Hair loss after TKR or any major surgery

Posted , 8 users are following.

I don't think this problem has been addressed in this forum as of yet, so I will start the topic of hair loss following surgery.

I had my first TKR in 2012, and noticed shortly after surgery that I was losing a large amount of hair each time I showered and blew it dry. I would gather up a large ball of hair from the sink after blowing it dry. After a couple of months, I was concerned enough to make an appointment with my Endocronologist that I see because I have had thyroid problems in the past. When I went to my appointment, she showed me that my bloodwork was normal. I told her that I felt there was something wrong because I seemed to be losing a great amount of hair. She said 'you had surgery on your knee recently haven't you? That's why you're losing a lot of hair'. I was stunned. She explained that anesthesia, some drugs and the stress of surgery put the hair folicles into a state of sleep. Anesthesia blocks the rapid cell division of hair folicles, and hair folicles are the most rapidly dividing cells in a human body. The hair folicles actually shut down and enter a 'telogen' resting state. The resting state results in the loss of hair. She added 'don't worry, it will start growing back in 3 to 4 months. Sure enough, she was right on the money. In a little over 3 weeks I noticed the hair stopped falling out and new hair was growing. I could actually see the 'baby hairs' sticking up in the part of my hair.

So if anyone that has recently had surgery and has noticed an increase in hair loss, take heart. It will return.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    In addition, my hair stylist said that I needed to wait four to six months after surgery to get a perm because anesthesia effects the hair for that long!

    Medication makes changes in the hair and in the skin as well.

    It is great to hear that your hair is well on its way to being as it was before your surgery!

    This site is wonderful because we can get FIRSTHAND knowledge from those who have actually experienced things and can share that knowledge.

    Thanks so much!

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  • Posted

    Stress by its self can do it. 20+ years ago my mother and brother were both dying from cancer. I was solely responsible for decision making on their behalf and 2.5 hrs away. My hair was coming out as you described and 2 different docs gave me the same answer as hours have you.
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  • Posted

    Stress is a major factor in hair loss and major knee surgery certainly qualifies. Lack of sleep also causes problems. I had hair loss problems when my 3 children were very young. I went to the Dr and all of my bloodwork was normal. Her response was to get 8 hours of sleep any way I could for 2 weeks. Leave the dishes, laundry etc and have my husband get up with the kids. Extremely difficult but in 2 weeks my hair had stopped falling out. My choice then was to find a way to balance life with health. It was never perfect but I still have my hair!

    So the answer? Rest, rest, rest, eat healthy and be kind to yourself as you heal from a major surgery. A tylenol pm doesn't hurt once in a while either smile (and yes OFG I know to watch the total of acetaminophin when taking pain meds too)

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    • Posted

      Recently my primary care Dr had me add 10 mg of melatonin at bedtime to my meds list. Melatonin is supposed to add a mineral that gets zapped when you are under stress and strain. I think it has helped some and it doesn't leave you with a hangover like some of the sleep aids. I took it About a week before I noticed any relief. Its a very gentle acting product and its over the counter so you don't have to mess with prescriptions. It comes in 3, 5 and 10 mg. At his suggestion, I'm using the 10. I'll probably stick with the 10.

      .

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  • Posted

    yes i did notice that after my bi lateral ., i have very thick hair so i didnt worry about it because i figured it  wouldnt be noticeable ,but if i had thin hair i probably would have freaked out ,!!.  its one of these things that happen when your immune system is under attack .
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  • Posted

    Hi Jemma yu are right i havent seen any posts about this i am 5 months post tkr my hair started to fall out after my op it has slowely got better as my health has improved

     

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    i never knew this either until my hairdresser let me know.   She said don't be surprised if you notice your hair falling out .....huh?  Scared me.

    Guess I got really lucky.  I am so sorry that you had to go through that and happy that it is growing back

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  • Posted

    That's really interesting, Gemma, because I've thought that in the last year (since my second TKR) that my hair has got thinner!  I've always lost a lot of hair when washing and brushing it, but when I get up in the morning, one side of my hair now sticks up all over the place.  As you say, there's always a lot of new fine hairs.  Thanks for sharing that info.

    Patsy

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