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Avatar universal

post op knee pain

I had full knee replacement 4 months ago. Mobility is excellent but I am still in a lot of pain. If I am on my feet during the day, I have increased pain and the knee is hot and slightly swollen. I was faithful to rehab and am now anxious to be more active. It's so discouraging.
4 Responses
875426 tn?1325532016
I did not have a knee replacement, but arthroscopic surgery to the knee.  A long time later, I told the surgeon how that knee got all red and hot (post being in hot water) versus the other one.  He was surprised it was happening that far out from the surgery but told me it was bone healing that was causing it.  It is great your mobility is excellent.  If you possibly can, I recommend you get to your local gym with a heated pool and walk around in it a few times a week.  It helps to strengthen your leg and does not hurt nearly so much as if you were to do the excercise outside the water.  You might also ask your doctor if it would be alright to try acupuncture, ask if he would test your vitamin D to make sure that is not low (which wouldn't help matters), and about increasing vitamin C (ester C is gentle on the stomach) for improved circulation in the area as well as what would be an adequate intake of vitamin e for you (which helps with tissue healing).  

And it helps if you can make up your mind to be patient- you had a pretty major surgery and it takes time to get to the best it can be.  But if your pain has recently increased, I definitely would report that to your doctor ASAP, along with the hot and swollen symptoms.  Hopefully, you don't have an infection brewing or something!
Avatar universal
As for me, I think it is not recommended to have it undergone acupuncture, or go to the gym. The best thing is to go to your doctor first, consult him what is best for this, the replacement might not be the best knee suited for you. It might need another one for replacement.
Avatar universal
Thanks for taking the time to weigh in. I first had unicompartmental surgery in Sept of 2009. But the post op pain was still a problem so in Sept of 2010 the uni was replaced with a full. Physio went well. But now 4 months out, I again have as much pain as ever! I probably am frequently guilty of over doing the exercise. I'm usually very active. I'm gaining some weight and that is driving me nuts! I do take all the vitamins you mention above. I tried acupuncture. I worry about the amount of Advil I take in order to get some relief.
875426 tn?1325532016
Yeah, finding a balance between doing too little and too much can be a challenge.  You want to help your recovery along but conversely, don't want to overdo and set yourself back.  I'd ask the doctor if doing the physio in a heated pool would be a better option for you.  I remember when I was at the pool prior to arthroscopic knee surgery, it seemed to be the place to be for many older adults, including, as I recall, a woman with recent hip replacement- there I believe at the order of her physician.  The weightlessness the pool provides can take pressure off the joints I believe.  

I would agree with linainverse in the consulting with the doctor prior to going to the gym- I certainly wouldn't want to give you a bad steer for your personal medical situation.  I'm sorry the acupuncture didn't seem to help?  Sometimes, it can take a lot of treatments, at least twice a week to notice a difference with a physical problem if it is going to work at all, which can (if not covered by insurance) get expensive (I know).  

How much Advil are you taking to get relief?  I believe the maximum doctor's prescription here in the U.S.A of the ibuprofen is 800 three times a day.  It generally isn't recommended to be taken longer than a month at one time either.  It can put a person at risk of heart attack for one thing and also be bad for your esophagus and stomach lining as well as raise your blood pressure.  

I have arthritis in my jaws myself (and a torn disc) that I at times take ibuprofen for, but I have to really watch it anymore with my stomach and esophagus, etc..

Gaining weight seems to be a common struggle for people with disabling conditions and I know I have a sibling with fibromyalgia who hates it when the weights starts coming on.  They are quite disciplined to exercise every day, but also like to eat and drink some sweet things too, wanting to keep that enjoyment in life.  Are you already looking at the calories in the things you like to eat to see where maybe some things you like have a lot less calories than others you like?  

While one of the benefits of exercise is endorphine production, of course, you are hoping not to overdo, so you might consider trying to get your endorphines (natural body pain killers) going even more with laughter, if you can find something to laugh at (anything that makes you laugh?).  To quote SomeOne famous, "A merry heart worketh good like a medicine".  

It might be that even scarring, since you now have had more than one surgery on the knee could be contributing to your pain... maybe adhesions have formed and are affecting it.  

Please let me know what your doctor says- I think your first priorities are to make sure there is no infection and nothing gone wrong with the knee replacement.  Then trying to come up with a good pain management plan, exercise and diet regime are next, so you won't be hurting your body with too much ibuprofen, so your leg will have the best mobility you can attain, and so you won't be driven nuts with those unwanted additional pounds!
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