Does anyone else feel like their legs have poor circulation at night?

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi Everyone,

I enjoy this forum so much. I'm in the U.S., but we all suffer the same from TKRs..

I'm 13 weeks out from 2nd TKR, though getting better little by little. My nights are still awful. I get this feeling in my legs besides the deep ache, of not getting proper blood circulation. I usually end up worrying I'm going to get a clot, so I get up and pace the room. I also still have the overly sensitive soft tissue that hurts when a pillow or sheet touches it. I am awake all night and then can't wake up in the morning. My sleep pattern is all off. I'm so thankful I am not working at the moment. I have been trying to cut down on my pain meds, but tonight I ended up taking an OxyContin and a Percocet. Still awake and it's 3:40 AM. I do my stretches and physical therapy exercises but I'm so frustrated it's taking so long to feel normal again. My first TKR was in 12/14 and went much smoother than my right knee.

Thank you for any advice. I read this TKR forum daily. So helpful to know I'm not alone! What's up with the doctors not understanding the sleep issues we have? It seems worldwide!

Warmest wishes to you all.


2 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes what is up with these doctors?

    I had TKR 3 years ago.

    Even now (3 years later) I still do not sleep as well as I used to although I do not actually wake up in pain and discomfort anymore and usually get back to sleep fairly quickly.

    I hardly ever used to wake during thte night and now it is almost every night withut fail.

    This was a real shock to me as i have always been such a good sleeper.

    I anticipated all the other things, pain, discomfort, swelling,stiffness having to do lots of physio exercises but did not think I would not be able to sleep.

    Hope you are able to get some decent sleep soon.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Love Sarah xxx

  • Posted

    A lot of damage is done in surgery and nerve damage is the slowestt To heal, taking anywhere from weeks to many months. During surgery the blood flow is restricted by tourniquet and the blood vessels and much of that has to rebuild over time. Having been through this several times, it doesn't get any easier as.the damage is repeated and the process has to repeat itself. My recliner has been my best friend for years. In bed for a couple of hours, up, ice pack, pain pills, back to bed repeat as necessary. So far I havent found any way to avoid all of the problem. When walking and excercising, I have found slowing the process down and making every move slow and precise has helped with the rehab. Make sure you stay well hydrated 24 hours a day. That will help the soft tissue and blood flow issues. I start the day with 32oz glass of water and continue ever d u ring the night when I'm awake. Some worry about having to go pee more often but I've never found that to be a problem. As usual, be sure to rest and elevate as much as possible. Being retired when all this hit me I didn't have to worry about returning to a full time job. In that respect I had an advantage.
  • Posted

    Hi Ginger, I understand how you feel i also had and still have bad circulation 9 years since i had my knee op, i am told not to worry about it as they cut a lot of nerves and some don't grow back. i hope this helps.
  • Posted

    Hi Ginger,

    I'm also from the U.S., Rhode Is. I'm 57, post op 22 weeks, bilateral TKR's. I hear what your saying. The medical community doesn't really want to hear about the sleep issues. I still take 5 milligrams if ambien on most nights. But even when u took that, if I was able to sleep it was for no more than 2/3 hours at a time. I never really thought about the circulation issue, but knows maybe that had something to do with it. I am happy to say, however, that week 20 everything changed! I could all of the dudden sleep through the night! At most one bathroom break. Last night I never got got till it was light out! At 13 weeks U was still in the throes of it. No pain or sleeping med would do the trick. Also, I have been perplexed at how much easier might right was from my Left. From what I hear every knee is different in how it heels. It doesn't mean anything is wrong. I have to say my left is only now starting to catch up with my right. So don't worry. Things will get better. At 13 weeks I wasn't so sure, but u am becoming a believer! Good luck!

    • Posted

      Thank you all so much for your advise and support! Nobody believes me. I appreciate you validating my feelings so I don't feel like a hypochondriac or a whiner. Though I have to say. The first month or two, I milked it. When else am I going to get help and support from my daughters let alone the surgeon.

      My surgeon had me try capsaicin ointment for the sensitivity. It's fine until the burn of the hot peppers in it kick in a week later when you least expect it. Ice has many uses this time around. Lol it's either laugh or cry! I know I'm dating myself, but I walk like Artie Johnson FYI a Laugh In or the tin man in the morning. 😃

      Thank you all again,


  • Posted

    Hi Ginger!

    I have "faulty valve" issues due to varicose veins IN ADDITION to my TKR surgery done five weeks ago.the "faulty valves" cause blood to leak and settle in my ankles and feet and will cause swelling, throbbing, and, YES, a deep ache that will keep me awake.

    I get relief from wrapping my legs with compression bandages from foot to just below each knee. I wrap them around 10:00pm and leave them on until morning.

    The compression bandages work MUCH BETTER than any stocking COULD. They always fit and are quite helpful in eliminating pain and ache.

  • Posted

    Hi ginger. I feel exactly the same as you at the moment. I'm 12 weeks and can't sleep - when I eventually get off I end up waking up every hour to rearrange myself as the knee is hurting.  I too tried cutting down on oxycodone but spoke to a doctor today and he told me to put the dose back up.

    I too am so frustrated that it's not recovering as quick as I think it should be and with no sleep, a hurting leg and due back at work next week I am just in floods of tears all the time.

    in the night, my calf feels abit heavy but the worst thing I feel is when I'm on my side the joint feels really heavy and like it could slip sideways (like my muscles aren't strong enough to hold it in place) - I know it won't but that's what it feels like.

    sorry I'm not giving you any advice here, but it's just nice to have someone else with similar feelings at a similar number of weeks as me.

    I'm sure we're gonna get there in the end, but I'm really fed up now and even told my husband yesterday that I wished I'd never had it done!

    best wishes Ginger x

    • Posted

      Hi Susan,

      Yes!! I feel the exact way! Tomorrow will be 15 weeks, but holy moly my calves and kneed hurt! Laying in bed right now praying for a normal nights sleep. I'm on vacation too, thanks to my boyfriend (Sea Ranch, CA) as a bday gift. Just a darn little hike outside to the cliff - maybe 50 ft from the house, gave me that jarring pain feeling which I haven't Fuad since surgery. I'm waiting for that magical week disappears. So glad I'm not suffering alone! I want to be normal again and not walk like a Igor with a leg dragging. Hang in there! We are not alone!!!

  • Posted

    Hi Susan and Ginger,

    I hear both of you! I am now 22 weeks post op bilateral TKR and 57 years old. At 12 weeks I was feeling the same way! I couldn't sleep more than an hour or two at a time and had to go back to work at 13 weeks. I was crying several times a day and still in a lot of pain....and had a bad limp. Was difficult to go back to work, but I did it. Around week 18ish the pain was less and amazingly I started sleeping through the night. Wow!!👏🏻. Amazing! Also I stopped limping. I'm not saying that everything is perfect now. I do have a fair amount of stiffness, though it goes away quicker now. I regretted at 12 weeks too, now I know I did the right thing. Though I do believe as many have told me, that it takes a year to fully recover. I'm ok with that now. You both will get through this. It's very hard, I know....and the weeks will pass. I gage my progress monthly now rather than weekly. Good Luck!

    • Posted

      Thank you Joyce, that's brightened my day a little already!  

      I'm 49 and someways I walk and feel like an 89 year old (apologies to those who are 89!). You have reassured me there is light at the end of the tunnel - it's just that sometimes that tunnel seems to get longer!

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