5 weeks post total knee replacement surgery

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I am still in a lot of pain. Still on painkillers and morphine. Not sleeping well, hot sweats, then feeling cold. Physiotherapist pleased with movement in my knee, can walk up and down stairs without crutches. But I feel so tired all the time, by time I have done my exercises, had my shower and had breakfast, I am worn out. Hardly have any appetite, feel nauseous most the time. Due to see follow up surgeon in two weeks and to discuss other knee replacement, but I am far from well from this last one.. is this normal.

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  • Posted

    id say the morphine is most likely the cause of nausea i was like that no appetite and when i tried i could not eat very much get your meds changed ,i was fine when i changed here in ireland we go to our gp for pain meds . hang in there you will improve plenty of rest more than you think so give in to it .
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    • Posted

      I tried coming off morphine a couple of weeks ago but the pain was terrible, so doctor tried a different prescription but still felt the same. I haven't been able to go out only to doctors or physio but I am going to try and go out for a walk tomorrow as physiotherapist said a change of scenery and fresh air might help with the pain. Thank you for replying to my post .
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    • Posted

      If you are still in pain, and meds seem not to touch, ask you doctor to put you forward for a guenethidine nerve block.  You'd need a course of them, but you might find they give you the relief you want 
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  • Posted

    Although the withdrawing from opiates can be very unpleasant and painful, the symptoms usually subside after 72 hours. Maybe you can try other things to manage your pain before reaching immediately for a morphine pain killer? All the symptoms you're having, particularly the nausea are symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Everyone feels the fatigue and sleepless ness for a could of months post op but the restlessness and appetite loss indicate narcotic withdrawal. Just go over your pain medication regime and ask your doctor what alternatives there are to using the heavy opiates.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jeannette, 

    i am surprised that u are on painkillers and morphine. I didn't even think that they sent one home w/ morphine. I will tell u the meds r the reason for the hit sweats and then feeling cold. Once I reduced them I no longer get the nite sweats. I do feel it normal to be tired after exercise, shower and breakfast. Ur still healing.

    the narcotics are also making you very tired and nauseous !! I knew this and   Never took any in hospital. Specifically, no morphine, Percocet or vicaden.

     They started me on  deloded , but I was mildly hallucinating so I went on codeine and every 8 hrs. Tylenol. I didn't want to get nauseous in addition to the pain, so I was very careful about what I took.

    i really think ur first course of action is get off such powerful drugs. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Whilst you are on morphine, ask for oramorph, as a top up.  You can take it as and when you need it. Stronger than normal painkillers.  You must eat, it will make you feel better, and give you the energy you need.  It is still early days yet and you have a long way to go.  do not be in a rush.  You will heal, but not at the speed you expected.  Take your medication on a regular basis, that way you avoid the troughs and peaks of pain.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jannette!  Greetings from San Francisco!

    I too am in week 5 now but for a partial.  Truth be told as far as I am concerned, everything I have experienced after listening to others sounds like I could have had a full.

    The meds are for sure making you nauseated, as well as creating hot sweats and cold.  I too am extremely sensitive to opiates and could not even leave the hospital until they found something that I could tolerate which was Tramedol.  Even then I was queezy but nothing like the opiates. Eventually it was suggested to me to take a half  of one every 4 hrs rather than 1 or 2 every six.  This helped immensly because the dosage was smaller and more continuous if that makes sense.  I eventually quit that except for taking Motrin 800mg 3x a day.  It took me a few days to get out of that fog but for me I would rather go through this pain than not be present in order to feel somewhat normal. 

    I too still have pain which is nothing close as to what it was in the beginning  and what bothers me more than anything is the stiffness which leads to the pain.  At the end of week 4 was the first time that I could tolerate sleeping on my side for a brief period of time then when I roll onto my back with pain which subsides. Such a huge victory.   I have to say that this process is excrutiatingly slower for me than I realized and the improvments are definitely there in babysteps. 

    Anytime I am sitting in a fixed position for long I have to start moving around or the pain will take over. Also I am trying so hard to walk normally but have so much difficulty doing that when it is so stiff all the time.  I keep reading about other experiences of marked improvement after 6-8 weeks so I am hanging in there and hope you will as well.  After all do we have a choice?  A true test in patience for wanting to be normal and have our lives back.

    I feel your pain with the morning routine.  My God after I get up, walk down 2 flights of stairs, let the dog out, feed her, get my ice together, breakfast so I can tolerate my daily pill regimine then exercise then I too am exhausted.  Then I am thinking I need to trudge back up those stairs to take a shower and get dressed.  Here is what I do know about recovery: for every hour in surgery that you under it takes a month to recover.  Now I am just talking about energy let alone the knee healing.

    I walk outside as well and let me tell you the first time I ventured out I just couldn't get enough of that fresh air.  It truly rejuvenates you.

    Hang in there.......I just believe that we will all make it through this and somewhere down the road it will just be a memory while we go hiking, swimming and traveling.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying to my post, sometimes it helps to know that this seems to be the normal recovery. I just have to be patient , hopefully will start to get some improvement soon.
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  • Posted

    Hi All!

    I'm so sorry to hear how much pain some of u seem to be having.

    As far as anesthesia , I asked for a spinal & was sedated so that I didn't know what was going on. I had to request it, it wasn't offered to me. I've heard it is harder for them; takes too long?! I really don't know. Anyhow, I was advised to do this & it relieved me from the usual anesthesia recovery.

    I'm only in 2 Advil 2x/day for now . Until 6 weeks when I stop the aspirin( to avoid blood clots) then I can take it 4x/day.

    I still have the codeine as needed.

    I do recommend plenty of rest, ice, fluid , exercise & in general being loving & kind to yourself😍

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  • Posted

    I had my second tkr at 5 weeks at which point I was doing well with the first knee replacement and it was rough with the second vs the first. I am at 7 weeks with the second and finally I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can identify with the exhaustion by the time you finish the exercises, shower and breakfast. Never have I napped so much in my life but I think we need it. I think you are doing fine. Be patient.
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    • Posted

      Hi Maila,

      I am in awe of those of you who have a second TKR so soon after the first!!

      I can't even imagine ever having this done again! I hope I won't have to. Now that I'm off the strong meds I'm actually napping more.

      Does anyone have a lot of numbness around the incision site? I do and in my lower back calf as well. Wondering if this artificial knee will ever feel natural?! All in all , I am doing well. I have had in house PT for 4 weeks. Tomorrow I start my out patient PT. hubby will drive me, I still do not feel like driving yet!

      Hopefully it will be good to get out. I live in New England, so it has been very cold and windy today. Not a bad time of year to stay in😀

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    • Posted

      Hi yes I have numbness on the left side of my knee, physiotherapist said it's quite common, sometimes comes back but can be permanent. She has told me to massage e45 cream into knee and to really work on the part that is numb as that may help. Hope this helps
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply! I am numb on the left and right side of knee. What is e45 cream? R u from Europe ? I asked the nurse practitioner at my surgeons office, who I saw for my 4 wk. check-up, if this was due to nerve damage. He said they don't cut any nerves! That would seem impossible to me!!? 
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    • Posted

      the nurse practitioner is wrong, it is very possible that nerves are cut during TKR. I have total numbness on the left side of my knee running down the same side of my calf. It was done in 2012 so it's permanent. Any good oil will do the job, don't spend a ton of money on fancy creams like Mederma, it's not work it. Bio-oil works fine and it's cheap.
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    • Posted

      Yes I am sure she is wrong.  Before the operation my surgeon explained to me that the area around the knee had masses of small nerves and it was impossible to be sure you could avoid them.   Having said that I have no numbness in my left operation leg.   However, after neurosurgery two years' ago the whole top and sides of right thigh were numb.   Told it would probably go away with time or I might have it for life.  It went away in time but this op has brought it back.  Now tell me how you can get numbness on the leg not operated on!!!!

      My actual op was a bit of a nightmare and I spent first three nights in HDU with sepsis.   This has left me very scared of having to have another anaesthetic ever.  I had a general rather than a spinal because of the neurosurgery.  I too had thought I was in line for a second TKR with a lot of pain in right knee.  However, one week after this op the pain in that knee disappeared.   I still use one stick outside the house, though I suspect I do not really need it now, and I wonder if I stopped whether the pain would come back in right knee.   Thinking about it I would be terrified of another anaesthetic but could face the knee part reasonably happily but I know I have been very lucky.

      The leg part of the op I have to say was a walk in the park at first anyway.  I did not have pain for a month, just a bit of discomfort if I had my knee bent and foot on the floor for more than 5 minutes.   This actually meant that I have had no real sleep problems.  An occasional cup of tea in the night but generally sleep right through.  However, big problems with eating and many missed meals.  Someone on here said you must eat but I end up completely unable to swallow.   It is getting better now but still very small portions.  GP says it is effect of major surgery

      Medication.  Discharged with two lots of morphine for one week, and told to then discuss with GP.  Actually I did not finish the morphine at all just one Amitryptiline at night as before since neuro surgery as it relaxes my back.  

      I am now six weeks and the pain problem started, though not too badly, at the start of the physio gym group (at three weeks) at four weeks when the programme was properly underway.  In fact the only medication apart from the Amitryptyline I am now taking is Tramadol before the sessions twice a week.  It does get me through them and able to do more but incredibly achey that evening and following two days and it really seems to upset the spinal stenosis in my back.  I am hoping as my bend is now very good and my extension just about acceptable that when I see the consultant next week he will tell me to stop the physio and just do the ordinary exercises.  I saw on here a couple of days ago that two consultants have said that which gives me hope.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Angela, 

      my name is Donna and I live in New England, not too far from Boston.

      thanks for all the info ! So sorry to hear of all you've been thru.

      of course they cut nerves! It was never explained to me , but I don't see how it's possible to avoid it.

      went out for my first out patient pt today, then came home and attempted to make a turkey meatball recipe!! Got as far as mixing the meat and forming into balls, then put in frig!! I am now icing w/my left leg elevated. I think I did too much for one day!! Still , this is my third day w/o codeine and also I'm now at 5 weeks.

      physio says he's going to work and the swelling and the knee bend. I mean the amount or the radius that I can eventually achieve .

      again, good to hear from you.

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