5 days post op knee replacement

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi, I have just found this group, and this forum. I am 50 years old & 5 days full knee replacement post op. I ended up having an epidural & GA and then severe sickness reaction for the first 24 hours afterwards. I still came home on day 3.  I am in severe pain, and can't seem to get into a comfortable position, particularly at night. It's like a really bad dead leg/lock pain, that I cannot shift. The bruising is coming out now too.  How long is this likely to last please??!! I am using ice packs, and taking paracetamol, ibruprofen, and codeine (& anti sickness tablets cos of the horrendous time I have had). I am doing my exercises, walking regularly with the crutches, but am now also shattered due to the lack of sleep!! Is there anything else I can do to possibly help, even just a little! Thanks

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  • Posted

    I think you need something stronger than that!  Ask your doctor for Tramadol or diclofenic if you can't sleep you won't heal so quickly.  5 days is a horrible time and I promise you it will be better soon.  I found that 2 weeks was the turning point.  I am 6 weeks and feel ing so much better, it's quite unbelievable how clever the body is.  Listen to what it tells you but I really think you need something stronger for the pain. Good luck keep us posted xx
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  • Posted

    It would really help you to look at old posts where you would see everyone goes through the same thing.  I had the sickness exactly like you but was in for five days.  Unfortunately it is painful and you will probably feel bad for about eight weeks.  It does get better though.  The sleep is the hardest thing I think.  Try and grab your rest when you can, during the days mostly.  Nights are horrendous I know.  I used to end up sleeping on the couch as it was a confined space, propping myself up with pillows and sleeping on my back.  I didn't really sleep in my own bed with my husband for about eight weeks.  You will feel a little better when staples if whatever are removed.  Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat well when you feel able.  Exercise but rest is most important.  Hope this helps.  Remember, we have all been there. Xx
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  • Posted

    Hi there, and welcome!

    5 days post op? Such early days, you must feel exhausted!

    Im just over 6 weeks, and some days are stil such a struggle.

    Things you can do to help? Well, your poor body will still be in shock after being cut, sawed and battered about. You need to make sure and keep well hydrated as this is vital for your healing process. If youre still feeling nauseous, just eat a little, as often as you can - your appetite will likely be back to normal after 2 or 3 weeks, but you need to have fuel on board, again for your healing.

    The lack of sleep is, I think, one of the biggest problems for most of us on here. Its so difficult to get into a comfortable position, isnt it? Myself, I use loads and loads of pillows, both to prop myself up, but more importantly to stop my leg from "flopping" to one side, as this can send shockwaves of pain through my knee. 

    On another Forum, they have a TKR mantra - "Never stand if you can sit, never sit if you can lie down, and never be awake if you can be asleep". Its a pretty good sentiment - remember your body has been through a massive trauma and needs time to repair itself, and it does this best when its resting. Take naps, lots of naps - you can worry about "proper" sleep patterns later on. 

    You say youre taking yout pain meds - good! Take them regularly, dont wait for the pain to kick in. If you need to set an alarm to remind you to take them on time, then so be it. Once the pain gets its teeth into you, it wont want to let go. 

    its brilliant that youre exercising and walking, just be careful, its very easy to overdo things in the early days and youll soon regret it.

    Bruising - I was lucky and had relatively little - maybe due to the Arnica cream I used frequently post-op. One of the things I did, though, was to moisturise the bruised skin - for some reason it felt really dry and itchy. 

    If you find that the bedclothes are too heavy/warm for your scar, try a silk square draped over it - Im still using mine after 6 weeks as my scar still feels quite sensitive.

    im sure that plenty of others will be along soon to share their tips with you, but for now I wish you well - keep coming on here and chatting - its got a lot of us through some very low times xx

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    • Posted

      Terri, what a great mantra! Nice to know I did it without needing to be told. I think one of the best things to help with your leg being able to straighten is to sit in bed (or a couch) with your legs straight in front of you. Of course, you need to practice your bends in there. But I've never had a problem with how much I can straighten my leg.
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  • Posted

    Oh, just had another thought. Youre taking Codeine, right? You WILL get constipated, maybe horribly so (sorry to be unpleasant but we have no secrets on here!) The usual tricks of prune juice, etc, wont touch it. Id reccomend speaking to your GP and possibly asking for some Laxido sachets - you mix it with water to take it as a drink, and it doesnt give you the horrid griping, crampy tummy pains that Senokot and similar laxatives can. 

    Its all glamour, isnt it?!

     

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  • Posted

    As already mentioned try to sleep when you can. I was released after 9 days as my wound burst so I needed second surgery. I struggled with sleep for the first few weeks. The couch was the only place I could doze off. You just need to try not to worry about being awake in the night. Once you stop panicking about it, I found it helped.

    Prop yourself up on the couch and put the TV on, you'll soon drop off. Make sure to move the leg every so often but don't over do it.

    I would agree though that you need stronger pain meds. I had numerous complications so probably not the best comparison but I was still on a morphine pump in hospital at 5 days. I'm 9 weeks on and still on Oxycodene. If you get the pain under control, you will be able to relax more.

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  • Posted

    Wow! thanks everyone for such quick responses. I guess I was looking for reassurance that this was 'normal'!  Unfortunately I am now very sensitive to any of the opiate based meds (codeine is even somewhat problematic) so I will just have to soldier on. I did wonder if I was doing too much too soon, but I also know I need to make this work too. Thanks again, & I will now read more through the forum too
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    • Posted

      Yep, you are very much normal. cheesygrin I too had the epidural and the GA and vomitted while I was in surgical ICU. Those first 24 hours were hell, no? I was in the hospital for 6 days, and on the first day took a couple steps, which made me so dizzy I thought I would pass out. But by the second and third day I was moving around. But sleep was so horrible. It was even the blanket on my toes and heels pressing against the sheets that made it impossible. At home I'd toss and turn, moving pillows this way and that (I had a bilateral, so it was a bit more complicated). Like you, I didn't have very strong pain meds, but I would take Tylenol PM at night - I still do. The first two weeks were certainly the hardest. By week four, there was a more noticable change. About 5 weeks out I was able to take a 5 hour train trip and was walking up (ever so slowly) three flights of stairs to visit with friends). Swelling will be a problem for quite a while..I still (after 6 months) encounter it from time to time. Hang in there. A day will come when you will notice that yes, there's pain, but I can do so much more than I could before the surgery, and it's a different type of pain. I still prefer to sit on my bed with my knees stretched out in front of me and though I'm officially done with PT, I continue to work on my bend. Ice packs are still my friend, but I stood in the kitchen for several hours a week or two ago and thought, "Wow, when was the last time I was able to do this and not be in pain?" It is worth the journey and just know, it's a long one, but there will be wonderful plateaus along the way that you didn't think you'd ever be able to reach. This group will be a lifesaver, if in no other way then the emotional support of knowing you aren't alone and others completely understand.
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  • Posted

    Ice Legs while elevated.  5 days is a pretty bad time. No appetitie, no sleep, and plenty of soreness. And exhausted. Every 3 -4 weeks it gets better (different healing phase)

    It could be worse. U could have done 2 like me. smile

    Take the pain meds and stay ahead of the pain.

     

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  • Posted

    I'm now 8 weeks post op and went thru identical to you.  All I can say to reassure you is that it does get better.  You are doing everything you should, perhaps take a nap in the afternoon.  Non sleeping is very common.  Try sleeping on the side of your operated leg bringing your other leg right over the top ( not touching your operated knee). This has the affect of rolling your whole body over on its side.  Stay positive, keep doing your exercises, so important but listen to your body and rest too.   Stay positive and good luck.
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  • Posted

    Hello Kmcg 14, wow 5 days is early yet. I had TKR in left knee and was only in Hosiptal 3 days. They had me up and walking with walker after 2 day. 3 day I was home. Was it painful? You bet. Was I in pain. You bet. Don't take this wrong but everybody has a different pain entarlance. Ice is your best friend. Hang in their, I know its not easy. Remember, you've just gone through major surgery. Give yourself some time. I never got much sleep and still don't after eight weeks. But it does get better. Just wanted to say about the brushing, is normal. It will go away. Swelling is normal, ice is your best friend. Hang in their, it does get better.
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  • Posted

    Honestly , it really does get better 5 days is nothing at all, I too had the sickness, as soon as you get that under control you will feel a tiny bit more human have you tried ginger biscuits ? even a tiny nibble will help.Sleep will evade you for a very long time sadly. I am 24 days post op  and have not had more than 3 hours at a stretch yet.You totally have to nap in the day. In the early days I used my Ipod in the night to try and take my mind off the pain Try not to get hung up on  the excercise , do what you can and be kind to yourself, You have endured major surgery your body and your mind have to heal.If the pain is unbearable do not suffer gat something stronger, you need it !! best wishes and stay in touch
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  • Posted

    Poor you - know exactly what you are going through - it does get better but takes a while. You are doing the right things but dont overdo it. Get pain under control or at least manageable. I am 12 weeks and still stiff with some mild discomfort, walking with no crutches since week 7 and can go up and down stairs, drive and ride a bike. Sleeping well. Its really tough those first 4 weeks but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and its very early days. Some people recover quickly others less so. take co-codamol and ibroprufen regularly. Eat and drink lots and lots of water. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Everyone is different and I'm sure most on here wish there was an absolute in the healing process. You will have to prepare yourself for a few more weeks of this and the painful sleeplessness will just be part of it. Keep using pain meds as prescribed (don't wait till you are miserable before you take them). Excercise, rest elevate, more rest. A tired body just doesn't heal as fast as a rested body. Hydrate..... Hydrate.....hydrate. You h ave been through one hell of a traumatic experience and you need fluid and nutrition. What you are going through (nausea excluded) is the part most of us have endured and was never told about by our drs. During your journey you will find many things that are never discussed pre op. You will go through certain phases and suddenly they are back a s are the heck out of you.........then they disappear as suddenly. If you have questions or seek advice check with this group. You don't get fearmongering or absolutes just good, practical answers from those who have or are fighting the battle. I'm from the US and can't relate to some of the meds or allowable treatments of the UK but I'm getting ready for the 11th surgery on this leg so have a bit of a history of proper and improper healing. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Thank you again for all your lovely replies.  It's very encouraging to hear you are all well on the mend now. Unfortunately tramadol, diclophenac and the like are a no go for me, I now have quite a severe sensitivity to these & other opium based pain relief after being so sick etc after my op. I think, reading these has helped greatly already, and made me realise that I am probably doing too much too soon! So I managed a sleep this morning, a little lunch then a shower...... I'm now back in bed for another doze if I can!

    wishing you all well, & big thanks again xx

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