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Have I overdone it after knee surgery?

Q) I had a knee replacement four months ago. The operation was successful and I can walk, drive and exercise, but I still have pain just below my knee when I stand and sit or try to go up and down stairs, even though I did all the exercises. Have I overdone the exercises or damaged my tendons/ligaments?
Pat (Spring 2017)

A) I know it can be disappointing not to quickly feel 100% after an operation, however some pain and swelling after a knee replacement is normal for several months as the body heals around the new joint. It sounds like you have been doing all the right things to look after your new knee, so it is unlikely you have damaged tendons or ligaments.

The fact that you still have pain on standing, sitting and going up and down stairs is perhaps not surprising as these are some of the movements that put the most strain through your knees.

So, don’t feel disheartened and continue with the sensible activities that you have been doing and see if the pain settles over the next couple of months. However, if you start getting pain when at rest, if the pain gets worse rather than gradually better or it does not settle down, then you should be going to see your GP to get this checked out.

Read our information about looking after your new knee.

This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham for the Spring 2017 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

Send your questions for Dr Tom Margham to

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