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Normal pain after knee arthroscopy? In WAYYYYYY TO MUCH PAIN :(
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Normal pain after knee arthroscopy? In WAYYYYYY TO MUCH PAIN :(

I had a knee arthroscopic surgery yesterday to fix my torn meniscus and remove loose cartilage. Well, I am having the WOORSSTTT pain right now. I'm only 13 and the pain is unbearable. It feels like the WORST cramping EVER in my whole leg. I first was prescribed Tylenol #3 with coating and it didn't work at ALL. it actually made my pain worse. So after taking 2 pills (one every 4 hours) my mom called the surgeon and he changed me to Vicodin. I have been taking that once every four hours with 2 Motrin. The pain keeps getting worse though!!!!! UGH! I'm sitting here crying (which isNOT like me) because of all the pain. My mom won't do anything because it's "too early to tell Anyhong" is she right?!?! I'm in SOOOOOOOOOOO much pain! What do I do?!?! I can't sleep, walk, bend my knee, AYTHING!!! and my mom is MAKING me bend it and walk on it and she doesn't understand!!!! How do I deal with this?!? What should i do? I'm only 13 so i can't drive myself to the doctors and she won't take me!!
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82861_tn?1333457511
First, try to calm down.  When you get upset and stressed your pain actually gets worse.  I had the same surgery in 1980 when I was 18 and I was shocked at how much it hurt.  That was my first surgery and I had no idea what to expect, and the doctor certainly didn't prepare me for it either.

Surgery hurts.  Period.  What you're feeling is actually normal post-op pain.  I also have a feeling you may be having a reaction to the pain pills.  My mom responded to narcotics exactly the same way.  She said they just made the pain worse.  Pain killers don't actually "kill" pain.  They just change your brain chemistry so you don't really care about it anymore.  Ask your mom to speak with your doctor about discontinuing the vicodin and sticking with a prescription dose of Advil or Aleve or any other non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medication he thinks might help.

Ice is essential to reducing swelling and inflammation.  The more you keep the swelling down, the less pain you'll have.  The surgeon should have sent you home with post-op instructions that included ice instructions.  If not, that's another question for your mom to ask him.  Have a look at this link (you'll probably have to cut and paste it into your web browser) and ask your doctor for a unit like this.  I had one for two shoulder surgeries and it helped tremendously with post-op pain as well as physical therapy pain.  Your surgeon shouldn't have any objection to a cold therapy unit.  Most surgeons who specialize in sports medicine put them on their patients in recovery.

http://www.cszmedical.com/products/localizedcold/portablecold.htm?gclid=CJXnloiNjKkCFchI2godHk8Low

Honey, I know it hurts really bad and moving the joint goes against everything you ever knew about pain.  We're always told "if it hurts, stop doing that!"  Well, where orthopedic surgery and recovery are concerned, it's just the opposite.  If you wait until it doesn't hurt any more before moving it, you might as well not have had the surgery to begin with.  The problem is scar tissue.  It's normal to form scar tissue under the skin where the work was done, but if you don't move around now, scar tissue can freeze the joint and maybe even make another surgery necessary.  Moving the joint now while it hurts like crazy, will allow you to have a fully functioning knee for the rest of your life.  

You probably shouldn't be walking on it right now, but slowly bending and straightening your leg while sitting or lying down is enough for the first few days.  Did the doctor send you home with crutches or anything to help you move around without falling?

Not all surgeons are created equally and too many of them don't fully explain what they want you to do when you go home.  It would be great if your mom could speak directly with the doctor rather than going through a nurse to get specific post-op instructions for you.  

Meanwhile, try to stay calm and work with the pain.  I know, it sounds crazy when all you want to do is run away from it!  Oddly enough, I find that when I focus on it rather than strain to ignore it I can control my reaction to it better.  Focus on your breathing and keep it slow and deep.  Close your eyes and think about every part of your body from your head to your toes.  Notice how your facial muscles relax and your heart rate decreases while you control your breathing.  Same for your neck muscles and all the way down.  This is a form of conscious relaxation that many pain management patients find helpful.  Sometimes I can even get some sleep this way when pills don't help.  The first 48 hours are always the worst after surgery.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing.  :-)
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1331115_tn?1401672466
Hey give it another day or two youu just had surgery and it takes time to heal. As far as your Mom making you move your knee that's a good thing this way blood flows to it which will speed up your recover. Also you don't want your knee to get stiff as it will be so much harder when you have to do Physical therapy..... Hang in there the pain will get less day by day.
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547368_tn?1332173665
You've obtained some great answers so I'll be brief. And I am always hesitant to offer suggestions to minors... your body and reactions are a bit different then adults in many situations. In my opinion it's imperative that you follow the instructions of your surgeon and parent(s).. and not those found on an Internet site.

I've had knee arthroscopic surgery as have many of my friends. What you are experiencing is perfectly normal. The pain from the arthroscopic surgery was extreme the first 48 hours... nothing made a huge difference in it. If this is your first surgery I know you must be frightened. But relax, the pain is normal. I bet by the time you read this your pain will have lessened.

I wish you a speedy recovery.... and ppl your age tend to bounce back and heal quickly. Just follow the guidelines of your surgeon and if the pain does not decrease have your parent contact the surgeon.

Best of Luck,
~Tuck
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Avatar_f_tn
just got arthoscopy 2days ago i was in agony yesterday - alot of pain today but not as bad - so horrible i just keep topping up the meds and seems to benumbing the pain abit - cant wait until its all over :-(
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