Range of motion (ROM)

In medical parlance, I’m “PO83,” which stands for “post-op 83,” and which means it’s 83 days after I had my total knee replacement (TKR).

I haven’t been obsessing over what’s referred to as my extension (how flat I can get my knee) and flexion (how much I can bend my knee), which are two very important things to monitor after a TKR.

I was “released” from physical therapy (PT) on December 10, 2021, when I reached a flexion of 120. I’ve worked harder at PT at home than I did when I was going to the Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic to do it.

According to “the literature,” a completely straight knee joint will measure 0° and a fully bent knee will have a flexion of at least 135°. If you’ve had a knee replacement, your physician may look for a knee extension close to 0° and a flexion in the 125-135° range to consider you fully recovered.

Degrees used doing everyday activities
65° to walk
70° pick an object off the ground
85° to climb up stairs
95° to stand from a sitting position
105° to tie shoelaces
115° (or greater) to squat or sit cross-legged
125°+ covers most activities. However, squatting or sitting on your heel may always prove challenging. (Note: I don’t think I’ve ever sat on my heels in my life, nor do I want to.)

I measured today, and my extension is at 0° and my flexion is at 137°. I’m calling it a win.

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