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Tens Unit and Knee Replacement

Can a Tens Unit be used on a knee replacement?  My Aunt had a full knee replacement done last year, and she's still in pain.  I bought one for my back.  I was wondering if it could used for her.  Thanks
6 Responses
655875 tn?1295698707
This is something that you should ask your doctor or nurse hotline.  I would imagine you should be able to, but it always best to check with the doctor.  Good luck.
547368 tn?1440545385
Hello Hellsbells,

Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum.

I admit I do know know that answer to your question positively. I would think it would not do any harm but I would hate ro say it's okay and your Aunt gets zapped!! Ppl with hip and knee replacements do use TENS Units. Placement is key.

I did find this older, very similar thread on another Forum in MedHelp. This may be helpful:

If you have experience with a TENS Unit than you know that a physician or a physical therapist should work with your aunt. Proper placement and usage can make the differance between good, bad or no results.

Good luck to you and your aunt. She is fortune to have a caring niece. :)

Take Care,
Avatar universal
God Bless you , I feel so bad for all of you who are going through this pain.
My husband,who is 56 years old, 6'4 and 235 lbs, and who has always had a high pain tolorence,now cries so much because of the pain. He had a total knee replacement 6 weeks ago, There is NO pain medication that will take this pain away.
We are up all hours of the night, 4 to 5 times a night, during the day I am so tired because of "0" sleep, that I don't have the strength to help him.  Now I'm reading from you guys, that even after a number of years, you still have pain.  OMG!!  I will not be the one to tell him this
4908180 tn?1360855134
Has your husband been back to see his surgeon after his total knee replacement yet? My follow up appointment was six weeks after my Dec.4th 2012 total knee replacement.

I had a lot of pain but it was manageable with Vicodin. Sleeping was difficult so I got a prescription for Temazapam and that gave me a good six hours of sleep at night. I iced it a lot to bring the swelling down. It was very swollen and hot. I went to physical therapy 3 times a week. I was at 84 degrees flexion. It was extremely painful when the therapist bent it after each therapy session, I mean pain so bad I nearly passed out.

After six long weeks of this therapy, I saw my surgeon for the follow up. He took one look and told me that I would need to go in the hospital for manual manipulation to break adhesions that had formed. All that therapy and pain for nothing! With those adhesions, I would never be able to get more than 85 degree of knee flex. Five days later I had that done under anesthesia. He said the adhesions 'popped' and he was able to get 120 degrees of flex. He ordered me to go to therapy that same day and 4 days following.

I still have pain but it's not the same. I can ride the bike at therapy and my knee flexes enough now to be able to put on my own socks and shoes. I can go up stairs like a normal person, but still come down one step both feet. Walking down stairs requires a greater degree of flexion on the surgical knee. I count the day that the manual manipulation of adhesions two weeks ago as DAY ONE and I feel like I'm starting all over again. The past months have been a total waste of time, money and pain.

Maybe your husband also has scar tissue or adhesions that are causing him this pain. Here's my personal recipe for pain management; take a Vicodin or Percocet one or two hours prior to physical therapy, "soften" up the knee before therapy by flexing it to the point of pain. Massage it deeply along the scar to break any adhesions and along the sides to stimulate blood flow. Keep ice on it for an hour after physical therapy but all the other times elevate the leg on a pillow and use a heating pad.

Pain management and the determination of the cause of pain takes priority over everything else. Without proper pain management therapy will be pretty much useless.
875863 tn?1271606985
I saw the Dr. (two weeks after manipulation). He wants me off the meds and has ordered a tens unit for the pain. We tried this in therapy yesterday and I have very little pain now. So far. I was doing a 100 degree bend after manipulation and yesterday got to 110 degrees. It takes work, dedication, and determination to get through this whole thing. Manipulation is painful. Like starting over, so if you can, make yourself handle the pain, and push through it before a manipulation, do it!!. In my experience, it actually feels better to do so. It's not easy by any means, but I believe a big reward is just steps ahead. I wish you well in your recovery, but understand it's up to you. I'm not a therapist or Dr. just a total knee replacement recipient.
Avatar universal
Hi Ms _Nepa,

I was reading these posts.  When I came across yours.  So sorry to hear
your husband is in so much pain after this TKR surgery.  My husband to
is 230# and 55 years old.  The meds he was sent home with didn't work for
him.  So we tried again. still no luck.  Third time finally decided they needed
to up his medicine to 2 tablets at once of oxycontin HCL  ER  and then he could take the oxycodone-acetamin every 2 -hrs  with Tramadol between.

Then he took oxycontin again at bed only 1  
This finally gave him the relief that was needed since he was 6'4 also.

Maybe this might help or something to check out.
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