I had Total Knee Replacement 5 weeks ago and I am still suffering severe pain especially at night.
My surgeon is managing my pain I have been on numerous pain medicinces including Fentynal patch, Diludid, Percocet, Norco, and now Oxycotin. I am in my 5th week of recovery and most of my pain is at night when I go to bed. It is a severe aching and throbing that starts at the knee and proceeds all the way down to my lower calf and shin. I am currently taking 3 10 mg tablets of Oxycotin but still experiencing pain.I also ice my knee down in the evening. I took 4 weeks of physical therapy and my doctor is now having me do 4 more weeks and has me using my walker again. I am 42 yrs. old and doing normal activities, short walks, physical therapy exercises I am instructed to do at home and using the stairs. I rest when I feel like I have done to much. No matter how much or how little I do each day by evening I am in such severe pain it hinders my sleep all through the night. My doctor has mentioned a possible infection but I don't see any redness and my swelling appears normal. My question is this type of pain normal? Shouldn't I be receiving some relief from the pain medication? I am following all of my doctor's directions and my therapists. Is this normal at 5 weeks post op? When should I start expecting some relief?
My experience with numerous sugeries is that ortho-related surgery hurts the most and takes the longest to resolve. I am actually impressed with the amount of opiod meds your docs have you taking. All I ever got was 5 mg vicodin for my neck and shoulder surgeries. LOL! So much of pain management is mental. There is no magic pill out there that will get rid of all your pain. Surgery hurts, and ortho rehab work hurts even more. Try to lay off of the exercises for a few days and see what happens. It sounds like you're doing a fantastic job in that area, but it may be just a bit too much too soon. Frankly, I think you need to take a short break.
to the one recovering from Total Knee Replacement
You may contact me at ***@**** if you like. I've gone through this surgery and a year ago had a revision to the first...they incised the same scar, and I had to go through five weeks of therapy afterwards.
Pain at night is normal to a degree because your leg is in one position as you sleep until you roll over. I sleep with a pillow under my knee and leg or between my legs so that my knee is supported. After my first surgery, I went out and bought a body pillow because as the knee heals it needs to be straightened, keeping it bent for too long of a period can cause a contracture of the knee. I worked my fanny off in therapy and need to get back at it. You really need to take it easy though and not overdo because you're going through pain now because of your activity.
One other thing that my surgeon told me is that when you're laying down that the blood tends to pool around the area of the surgery and it's something that will subside but can cause extreme pain when it does this. It's just in the early stages of healing and you have a long road ahead but don't get impatient with the healing process...it all takes TIME...
Hi. I am facing a revision of my first knee replacement in approx 3 weeks also. I am so scared. I got an infection the first time---MRSA + and I am facing some horrible risks again. I would love to talk to you. I need to talk to someone who has been thru similar surgeries (experiences). How can we chat? I have never been to this site until today!
I had 2 hips replaced at the early age of 30. I used to bike ride 20 miles a
day for fun,until the surgeries. It does take a person at least a few months
to 6 months after a knee,hip operation,to have the pain be somewhat manageable.
The problems I am currently facing after 3 and 4 years after surgery,is that the
pains in my hips and legs never went away completely. The bone-on-bone pain
that was unreal,is gone,but I have been going through other severe pains on and
off for all these years. My PM Dr. had me on high doses of narcotics all along
which was the worst thing he could have done,since the meds don't work anymore,
no matter how much I abuse them.I'm left an "addict" even though my new Dr. says
I'm just "dependant" on them. I think we,as the patient,can tell the difference.
I,(we) need to try and get down to what is causing our pain,instead of masking the
pain with drugs. When you are in real pain in the future,no amount of drugs will begin
to give you any type of releif. It's not meant to scare anyone,just the God's Honest Truth.
God Bless All.
I am 10 weeks post op TKR and 5 weeks post MUA, and having severe pain medially, and very poor extension. I am scared. My knee sticks out pretty far, and I have alot of trouble walking....anybody had this problem?
I had a Total Knee Replacement 6 months ago because of Arthritis (I am 57) and had the usual problems at the start, infection, pain, pins and needles, electric shock feelings etc Then on the 4th month after surgery could do without crutches or sticks as I worked very very hard at the Physio exercises to mobilise the knee. It bends past 90 degrees and completely straightens.
Then a few weeks ago, I got up one morning and couldn't put my weight on it for the pain under my knee and all down my shin. It has been like that ever since. I am now back to 2 crutches and severe pain. Surgeon thinks maybe infection but Antibiotics have not cleared it!
Anyone else had this problem.........and if so....what was the outcome please. Ann
I just started visitng this site a few days ago. I am sorry you had such pain but I am encouraged by all I am reading about others with Total knee replacment pain following surgery. I was beginning to think I was crazy even though my surgeon has never made me feel that way. I had my TKR on 5/17/07 and I have struggled with horrible, unrelenting pain since then. I have done 51 sessions of intense physical therapy, I have had a manipulation under anesthesia, and arthroscopic surgery to remove massive scar tissue and after each of the last two procedures the first week seemed better but now I am back to all the pain, swelling, cold extremity, hot incision site etc. I too am being followed by a pain management Dr. I am taking 20 mg of Oxycodone Extened Release twice a day and using 5 mg Ocycodone Immediate Release every 6 hours for break through pain relief. I have build up a tolerence and the meds don't really help. My Dr. is going to move me onto something stronger. You said your Dr. mentioned possible infection and you don't see any redness. My surgeon has been and still is suspicious of infection in my knee. He has done numerous CBC's, C reactive test, ESR, ultrasounds, indium labled bone scan, a nuclear bone scan, and has aspirated the knee and sent the fluids to be tested (when he did the manipulation). All of these tests were negative for infection. That still does not mean there is no infection. Pain is the number one symptom for infection. My surgeon told me about a lady that had horrid pain and at about 14 months post op they found infection. In fection in a total knee can be hard to diagnosis. I hope this
information is not needed and you are all healed up. Would love to know how you are doing. Age 42 is so young for a TKR, do you mind sharing the reason for the TKR. My was for severe Degenerative Joint Disease. The surgeon first attemted to clean up my knee arthroscopically but when he got in there it was worse than the MRI's showed. My other knee needs something done but I am scared to death to go through this again.
I am almost 69 yrs. old. I had a total knee replacement done June 11th and sent home June 15th with my operated site full of very huge purple/redish blisters. Sent home with a prescription of antibiotics. Next day or so noticed red wide line about 2 inches wide travelling down from operated knee to my ankle. It was very hot. I finally showed the nurse assigned to come in to my place and she was very concerned and when the Physio gal came tohave me do exercises she looked at it and was agast at what she saw. She phoned my family Doctor who told her to have me go to the city about 40 miles away where the surgery was performed. I went that afternoon to emerg and a Doctor looked at it and decided to put an antibiotic in my vein as well as a prescription to take by mouth along with the one I was taking from the day I was sent home. Two days later the knee where the blisters were became all red and hot to touch also. All the time I am enduring such throbbing pain and sharp pain below the knee around the shin inside where the redness was. Two days later I spoke with a friend who is a nurse at the same hospital and she put a phone call into the surgeon who phoned her back at her home and told her to have me go to his clinic at the same hospital at 7:30 a.m. within the next few days. Meanwhile I once again packed my bag and went to the emergency a day before I was to be at the clinic. A special nurse tended to me and she had another antibiotic put into my vein and sent me back home to my home town only to have me go back for the 7:30 a.m. clinic appt.
As soon as the surgeon saw my knee and my leg he ordered me to have 24hr antibiotic pumb. I had a tube about 49cm put in my upper arm to go into the vien near my heart and that night the nurse came to my apt. to hook me up. That was just this Tuesday past and yesterday (Wed) the nurse came in again and hooked up another bag as well as Thursday and will keep doing this until the cellulitis clears up. Today when I saw the Dr. in his office he told me I would have this pump hook up atleast another two weeks and he wants to see me again this coming Monday at Emergency in my home town since he is there for the day so that I do not have to have someone drive me back into his office. Can anyone give me some encouragement who has beeen through this. I was in a room with a patient found to have the mrsa virus and as soon as they discovered it they moved me into another room but could the two days of sharing a room with her have something to do with the infection. This has surely set me back with my physio as I am to keep my leg up and yet do exercises on a board in my bed???. My nurse said today when she came that the wide line down to my ankle is still spreading.
I had my total knee replacement surgery on Sept. 22, 2008. It is now October 18, 2008, I am experiencing a difficult time with sleep. I have been averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a day, this is driving me crazy. I finally went to the store and purchased a sleep aid and that seemed to help some, I don't like to take a lot of medication, but this is the only way that I can get aleast 5-6 hrs of sleep. If you have any idea as to why I can't sleep without taking the sleep aid please let me know what you think. The pain med that I take is percocet, I take 1-2 tabs a day.
Hi there, you are a short timer so be patient. I had mine done 12 weeks ago and do get pretty impatient at times. My PT told me that for the first 3-6 months I would experience pretty sleepless nights and that has been true. It is getting better now though but some days are good and some not so good. Be sure to elevate the knee above your heart a few times during the day so the blood and lymph can drain away from the knee area. I just lay on my couch and put my leg up on the back of the couch for a few minutes a couple times a day. Be sure you are icing, icing and more ice! Also, do your exercises faithfully. Hope you feel better soon, but it does take time. I get frustrated because I seem to be limping and not bending the knee like I should, but I just keep at it and hope that will go away soon.
Yes, your post did help someone: me. I had TKR on June 21, and today am feeling so discouraged because my pain has increased the past 2 days. Reading your post reminded me to elevate more, and to spend more time with ice (I still use ice, but not nearly as much as at first). I am so tired of not sleeping at night, and dealing with pain, but yes, I do my exercises faithfully. I think perhaps I push myself too much. A few days ago, I was so excited that I could bend my knee fully to ride my exercise bike, I rode for 30 minutes, hard and fast! Also, 2-3 days per week I make myself go on a long walk. That is in addition to PT 2 times per week, and exercises at home several times per day. Friends suggest I am doing too much. Any feedback from anyone would be appreciated!
This is a VERY old post and this poster is no longer active on here. If you would be so kind as to go to the top of the page and click the Green "Post a Question" tab and re-post I would LOVE to be able to post and hopefully help you!!
I am 5 weeks post op from the TKR surgery. Then last week I have noticed a "funny" feeling on teh outside of my leg. running down to my foot & sometimes up my leg. It feels like a nerve or something. Whe I stretch it I can feel it more. I have done 6 weeks of therapy & was at 95 degrees. I did put my walker aside & used a can a few days &also did more physically. Could I have overdone?? Should I back off? This is the strangest & most painful, aggravating surgery I have ever had. I feel I ned more pain control but I understand the docs need to wean you off.
There is so much more I need to ask... Thanks, Sis
This is my first post to this group.
I am right behind you Tricia, as I had mt TKR on July 2nd, 3 months ago. I'm currently at 103 degree bend but have been there for about 3 weeks. Getting a little frustrated with lack of progress but most people tell me that it is still early. The physical therapists seem to think I am close to a manipulation. Has anyone out there experienced this first hand, if so, what do you think? Did it help? I go to the gym almost everyday and do physical therapy 3 times a week I've always had a very active lifestyle. I'm 61 years old, my friends also tell me I should slow down.
Feedback from anyone would also be appreciated.
I posted an earlier comment earlier in which I said I bought TENS hose. I meant to say TED hose. It did reduce the swelling, but that is still my biggest problem. It's much smaller now, but I still can't get the ROM I need.
I am working hard also on ROM. I totally do not want to go the manipulation route because I have to get back to work by 2/4/11. I had my surgery 11/10/10. I just started using Dynasplints. One splint is worn two times per day two hours per day for straightening the leg. I am almost straight already, and the guy who fitted me in two weeks I would be totally flat. The other splint is worn on the bottom of the leg at night in bed. It gently continues to bend the knee all night. He said in two weeks I should be at least at 120. The only problem with the spint at night that I am having is the pressure on the inside of my lower leg. I had terrible bruises there after surgery, and it is still tender. I am hoping to make it through the night tonight. It is my third try. The splint that straightens my leg doesn't bother me at all. I am very hopeful this will work. I have also increased my therapy at home and at the clinic. The splints are covered by insurance if the doctor writes a prescription. Good luck.
I'm just past 4 weeks - my surgery was 2/2. I am doing my exercises but from day to day the stiffness and pain are different. I am using Norco for pain management. Night time I lie with my leg elevated (I'm in a hospital bed until I can turn over and manage a regular bed) and do dorsiflexion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorsiflexion) The dosiflexion is a gentle movement and I find it helps ease the tightness of the calf muscles. Last night I had so much tightness and pain - but I did my dorsi exercises and this morning my calf wasn't tight and hurting. I still have terrible tightness in my knee, at the side and a bit behind. Some days are easier than others. No two are the same so on the days when I'm tighter I become frightened something is wrong.
I do a lot of breathing also. Deep breath in and imagine the exhale is clearing the area that is hurting so much. I find this helpful when I cannot sleep and the pain meds are not totally managing my pain. I also try to imagine healing in my knee and find visualization and breathing to be most helpful.
I hope this helps you. The only thing I hear from people is rest, exercise, eat well and stay ahead of the pain with medication. I've been told body tissue heals in about 8 weeks - so there's a lot of healing going on -
when I do too much in one day I pay for it the next. I now build in a nap between 1 and 4 pm and find I am feeling much better. Sleep is a time the body can heal itself.
I had a total knee 3/05/2012 been doing PT since. This Thursday 5/31/12 is my last day however I am having pain that started during the week end. Pain on the top of the knee by the incision and at the bottom of the knee on both sides of the incision. It is painful to the touch as well as painful when walking. Not hot thankfuly but just a tad red. I do not know when this will end.. do not know if I should call the doctor or wait it out.. So depressed over this knee business and my right knee is hurting pretty bad at this point.. Not much cartalidge there either. Has anyone experienced this and have any suggestions.. I know it has been said that total knees take a long time to heal. Thank you all for your time an attention. Donna
Had my knee put in about 1.5 years ago. I've had multiple right and left hip replacements and I must say the knee replacement was by far the most painful. The time given to me by the surgeon for recover is one year.
Have you asked your doctor about the circulating ice water system?
That helped me a lot. There are a lot of nerves and muscles surrounding the knee. When they do the surgery, they have to detach some and move others around. Therefor all the pain. The hip cavity on the other hand has much less nerves and muscles to contend with.
Had my knee put in Jan 4. The knee was finally pain free on March 27.
Hope this is a guide to the upcoming events. Take good care of the knee. It's a gift you should never abuse.
I had a total knee replacement 12 years ago. I was swimming at 6 weeks, playing golf at 8 weeks playing tennis at 8 months. I have taken up cycling cause im bored with the other activities. The problem is if i cycle 20 km my knee is fine but if i cycle more then 20km it feels a little stiff the next day. Does anyone else have this problem?
I had my right total knee replacement 11/10/11 and my left total knee replacement 1 1/2 years prior to that. As of today both of my knees continue to throb, shooting pains down my legs, mostly at night. My orthopedic M.D. has done x-rays several times and sees nothing. He claims that it "could" be tendinitis. I currently take 2-5mg. ea. immediate release Oxycodone every 4 hours. THAT is his solution. It does help, but not all the time. I do go to water exercise class 2x's a week and that helps as long as I'm in the water. Does anybody have any solutions other than a narcotic drug? The pain is just terrible and keeps me awake most night and I hate taking so many pain pills but have no choice. Can someone please fine a solution to this pain?
I'm now 4 weeks into my TKR, I'm a (49 yer old man)
The best advise I can offer anyone who is considering this operation is BE PREPARED !
Firstly, if you can afford it go out and buy yourself a nice comfortable recliner, you ARE going to need it, being comfortable and finding some sort of sanctuary from the pain post op is key, you are also going to be sleeping in this sanctuary and using it as your safe place for quite a while.
You are also going to be given a ton of advise by a bunch of people who really don't know or understand the pain and rehab that's involved in a TKR, I have had many arguments with my homecare PT to the point where I told her to not come back, she has the old school mentality of push hard and NO pain No gain !!
DO NOT listen and buy into this,
Listen to your knee and and do what it's telling you to do, if it's telling you to relax and use elevation and ice instead of a 20 minute workout then do just that, do not push it! your knee will tell you when it's time for a little work out.
If you have a exercise bike use it.
I was terrible for the first 2 weeks post op, i was constantly tired from lack of sleep, I wasn't eating properly, I had the most horrific constipation the drugs were knocking the crap out of me and the last thing on my mind was exercising 4 times a day.
I bought the bike a week ago and I have gone from crutches to walking without any aid at all, my energy level has sky rocketed, I use the bike 4 or 5 times a day with ten minute workouts each time, I have thrown away the sheets of exercises that the PT gave me as all they did was hurt and inflame the knee, you can find good deals on exercise bikes on the internet, I live in Ontario so use Kijiji mine cost me $40.00 and it's a professional bike.
As I mentioned before be prepared for constipation!! stock up on stool softener before your op and start taking it immediately after! YOU WILL NEED IT.
Meditation is also a great way to relieve pain, find a quiet room, go to you tube and find some nice relaxing meditation music play it nice and quiet just like white noise in the back ground, go to your sanctuary and just relax, deep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth let your mind go and think of happy times, it may take a few times but tell people to leave you alone for 20 minutes while you're doing this, you will be amazed at the results.
I hope this helps,
I am now ready to return to work on week 5
I'm posting this to say I feel better about my progress after reading that others also have a lot of pain six weeks TKR post-op. My surgery was done on September 24. I was not prepared for the continuous pain I have had. I still have swelling. I can slowly climb stairs but with some discomfort. I go to PT 3x weekly and ride my stationary bike 40-80 minutes daily. My flexion is about 120 degrees. I take Lortab 7.5 3-4 times daily. I am fairly comfortable during the day but when I go to bed, I cannot find a position where the knee does not hurt. I try a pillow under and between my legs but that doesn't give me enough relief to sleep. I manage to sleep about 3 hours in bed but have to get into my recliner for most of the night. After reading input from others, I think maybe I am doing relatively well. The few people I know who have had TKR tell me the pain will go away. Best of luck to all of you who are enduring TKR rehab.
You must first understand that your your dr is trying to avoid reopening your knee. However, he should probably reopen it, cleanse it and get rid of the infection. Then, place you on the high-dose meds that he is probably giving you. First mistake was the hospital should NEVER have placed you in a room with someone who has MRSA -- they should be in a pvt room. The mistake was the hospitals (saving money, more than likely). You need an advocate--most hospitals have a patient advocate number to call when a patient needs help. You call that number, tell the advocate what happened and that you want the matter cleared up pronto--at their expense. Be nice but firm. You surgeon sounds good but they are always reluctant to go back in, but I think this is your best bet. Are you on vancomiacin? Spelling may be off but that is the strongest meds one can take for MRSA. I wish I knew how to contact you for further info. If you live in a small town, it may behoove you to go to a big city near you where care can sometimes be more appropriate....although I like the sound of your surgeon and your current treatment.
It appears you are doing well and I'm gld to hear it. Stever1964's advice is great. What I don't understand reading about everyone's pain is why the docs aren't helping.The objective of pain meds are to help one relax so all your energies can work towards healing and not fighting the pain.
Before the tkr I did acupuncture, holistic medicine, vitamen supplements, celebrex and the series of knee shots. They all worked but just prolonged the inevitable. The deciding factor in having a tkr was that celebrex was giving me A-fib and I wanted nothing to do with that routine. The A-fib is now gone. I stopped Celebrex in 2012.
My recommendation to anyone considering tkr follows:
1. Choose doc carefully. He must ans all questions & not think any question too small or silly. You must have total faith in him & his PA.
2. Ask the doc for 3 of his tkr patients to call you with their experiences. One with a tkr within 3 mths; One with a tkr within 9 mths & one at least one yr out. They each called me within a wk. If the doc objects, get a new doctor. Pronto.
3. Watch the tkr procedure on a video (usually on the dr's web site). Once you see how they bend your knee & throw it around after the surgery, you will realize that nothing you do will hurt it.
4. I asked, & received, a Rx for the knee exercise machine. The dr told me they didn't normally reccommend that, but my reply was I would feel more comfortable if I had it available and he accepted that. When I was resting (during the day), my knee was in the machine being exercised. It helped tremendously. (p.s. if the doc had not given me the Rx, I would have changed docs IMMEDIATELY...to me that would mean he doesn't care nor does he listen).
5. I purchased the cold therapy machine (you can rent them) & used it often (but wisely). We bought bags of ice to use with it...unless you have an ice making machine.
6. The dr recommended taking a pain med one-half hr before doing pt (or going to pt). I did and had no problems. I was off the pain meds after four wks and only took asperin for a while. I believe that all my energy should go towards healing and not fighting pain. It is counter productive.
7. I did not overdo anything and stayed home fm work 6 wks as suggested. You should pace your recovery and activities to YOU, not to anyone else. You know your body better than anyone else, or, you should.
8. My experience was so positive, I did a tkr on my right knee 6 mths afterwards instead of waiting a yr. The experience was the same.
With both knees, I came home fm the hospital one day and was walking the next morning as though nothing had happened. It made me wonder why I had waited over ten yrs to have them done.
The worst thing about the whole experiences was having to wear the stockings to bed at night...I hated that and was delighted when they could be removed.
Also, after the staples were removed, I rubbed the scars with a liquid Vit. E every day and that helped tremendously too.
I hope this small bit of advice is helpful to anyone out there who is considering a tkr. Good luck.
why not ask your dr if he'll give you a Rx for a knee exerciser...or for a cold therapy machine. Maybe they would help. Did you try asperin for a while without the stronger pain meds? I have taken Re Liv vit supplement and it helps restore you body. Go to ReLiv.com and check it out. I took the Arthaffect for two yrs with the ReLiv and my Spine Dr said that my DexaScan showed my bones had improved fm those of a a 65 yr old woman to those of a 30 yr old woman and that whatever I was doing (along with my genes) to continue. That was the only thing I was doing. It helped my arthritic knees & back tremendously.
Yes, that was what happened to me. I was in pain from months after surgery, but had no idea it was infection until I had to push a "lift" for my father to take him from chair to bed. They are cumbersome and heavy. Very hard to move on thick carpet. That night when I moved him something snapped and I knew something was wrong. When I woke I could not put any weight on my leg at all without excruciating pain. I was taken to the er and an ortho I had seen before looked at my knee and said it is infected, let me take a sample. He took a sample of fluid from my knee and my sed rate was 99 percent. You start thinking something might be wrong when it goes into the 20's. Immediate knee implant taken out and a spacer put in where the parts were that also had antibiotics in it and I was unable to put weight on it for 6 weeks. I had to be in a nursing home at the age of 51 for those 6 weeks while they filled me with stong IV antibiotics too. Then when the sed rate was safe they redid the knee replacement. It has been several years and I have had the other knee done without complication, other than terrible pain, but the one with the infection started giving me pains in my shin, from my knee and around my calve. My sed rate was in the 20's so they scanned me and there was a pool of what looked like infection in that area, but they sent me to an infectious decease dr. and she said there was no way I had an infection. I just wouldn't have the mobility I had. Now, two years later my pain has returned and it is worse. I go to the ortho in the am tomorrow morning and am asking for a sed rate to be run. I want to know what is causing this. It can't be right. Along with the other posts I see, I too have been on hydrocodone for several years now. I have gone from about 8 pills a day down to one or two with tramadol for breakthrough pain, which I am trying to stay away from. But, at this point I am thinking about uping the meds again. This is killing me worse than the bone on bone that put me into the knee replacements to start with. WTF do we do. Does someone know a doctor who knows what they are doing, because I am starting to rethink my choices. I like this doctor and feel he is competent, but this pain can't be right. I don't want to be on these meds, but I don't want to be in excruciating pain constantly either. I don't know where to turn. Oh, yeah, last surgery I had they had to "wake me up" in mid surgery due to breathing issues. That has always been my biggest fears....to wake up in the middle of a surgery. I was so anesthetized and had nerve blocks front and back, and epidural that all I did was say, are you still doing my surgery? and they said yes, but we are almost done. Thank goodness I was so zonked, cause if I were in my right mind I would have flipped out. I don't know, maybe it is all just a crap shoot for everyone. Things go wrong and what can the doctor do, but what they have in their power, but I am freaking out thinking I might have bone cancer or something they just haven't tested me for......AGH, what can we do???????? I wish I knew the miracle cure.
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