I am 8 weeks post-op right knee total replacement.

Posted , 7 users are following.

If I don't wear my compression stockings to bed, I am lucky if I get a couple of hours sleep because I wake up with excrutiating pain in my knee and above it (I think it is nerve/neuropathic pain), as when I get up and move around or sit down my feet up, the pain goes away.  Last night I put the stockings back on for bed at around 11pm, and slept till 8!  I know the simple solution is wear them.  But I didn't have this problem when I had the left knee done and ditched the stockings well before the 6 weeks.

I am taking a multitude of drugs to try and get on top of this; 

co-codamol 30/500, gabapentin 300mg, amitrptiline, voltarol suppositories, Butrans patches, arcoxia.  

By now I should be using a lot less drugs than this, and unless I can get full sleep on a regular basis, it will delay my return to work.

I suppose my questions are;

1) Is there anything else I can do except wear the vile stockings

2) Has anyone else had this nerve pain following this procedure

3) Should I be doing anything else about this pain in my legs, or ignore it and be more patient (I have had 2 prior spinal surgeries, and this latest procedure was done under epidural and sedation)

I am new to the group and I am sorry for the ramble, but this "side effect" could be such a set back as I have got 110 degrees bend, no pain on walking, wound is healed and is regularly moisturised with E45 to help with movement

thank you

0 likes, 17 replies

17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there Sharon, I am also new to this forum joined today in fact!

    i am so sorry to hear of you pain, I confess that I ditched the horrid stockings after 3 weeks they drove me mad! I did suffer with awful nerve pain that always started at night! Doctor put me on gapapentin which took the pain away and if I forgot to take one nerve pain was straight back!

    i was advised when I ditched the stocking to rotate each ankle round and around about ten times clockwise and anti-clockwise on both legs on and off for about half an hour, that helped a lot seemed to relax my legs greatly! That would be good to try, I guess it helps with the circulation ! Hope that helps you. 

    I don't have pain in my knees apart from me over doing it in the gym then I put ice on my knee which really helps. I still take meds but have cut back in last few weeks. My problem is not being able to walk without using a stick!

    happy hew year and best wishes for your future!

  • Posted

    Hi Sharon!

    Compression stockings helped me A LOT with swelling and also with the ache of my varicose veins. MOVING AROUND, as you have discovered, is my GO-TO method for pain and achiness, however. I stretch all the time throughout the day and at night.

    I had more issues with Knee#1 than Knee#2. Each experience is different--even on the same body!

    Once I got off prescription medication I felt better. Sometimes I think the body reacts strangely to medication and pain actually INCREASES! After my blood thinner shots were done (2 weeks post surgery), I began Ibuprofen as needed. It felt more natural for me, and at 11 weeks post surgery with #2, I find I often FORGET about taking it because movement keeps pain at bay. On bad weather days (rain/snow) I DO find that I require more PAIN assistance and DO take Ibuprofen every six hours or so.

    Good bend, good use of the E45 Cream and good that walking doesn't hurt.

    I'd say TRY to taper off ( no cold turkey sudden stopping) from the medications and increase the stretching, walking and general MOVING AROUND.

    I bet you'll notice s big improvement.

    Oh, and I FINALLY am sleeping about six hours at a pop throughout the night! Haven't done that in YEARS!

    Keep in touch and let us know how it goes!

    • Posted

      thank you, but I have OA in most joints including my spine, and have RA and fibromyalgia, so the only extra is Butrans at the moment, so I'll see what happens.  All the best, I will report back, you are all really kind
    • Posted

      thanks Cheryl, I can't come off my meds altogher, as I have OA, RA, FB and have had both knees done now and 2 serious spinal repairs.  I just want to be rid of the night/lying down pain!
  • Posted

    Oddly, I have not worn those compression stockings since coming home from the hospital the day after surgery.  Interesting how different areas do different things...
    • Posted

      thank you for your reply.  I find it staggering how different it can be.  Glad you are doing well.  I did with my first knee, but this one is being a 'sod'! But I'm mobile and flexion is good etc.
  • Posted

    Hi Lin73970,

    thank you for replying.  Isn't it weird how we all have different responses to having had the same operation?!  I was already on gabapentin and co-codamol before this, for my spinal issues.  I feel I am lucky that I have such good mobility, I knew already about the physio being tough from having the last one done, but in the small hours and I'm night-walking, I feel so sorry for myself.  I get up, walk around for a bit then get the kettle on, have a cup of tea and a couple of bikkies or cereals if it's getting nearer breakfast.  Then most times get back to bed, and hopefully get another couple of hours.  The stockings are driving me mad, and they are fraying and prone to curl down my legs, but it seems I might just have to keep wearing them for a lot longer yet.  I'm due to see the Physio again on the 4th, and so I am going to cross examine him.  The Consultant was happy with me and doesn't want to see me until it's been a year, but I can go back if I need to.  Just feeling fed up with myself again, and new years eve always lowers my mood,  Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be sleeping ok without the pigging stockings.

    Wishing you healthy, Happy New Year

  • Posted

    Hi Sharon, I am also at 8 weeks post-op TKR. I couldn't stand wearing the compression stockings at night. Even now, I have a lot of difficulty just getting a solid 6 hours of continual sleep. The pain in my knee feels more like a deep tootache type of pain. For the first five weeks, I found that elevating my leg on a high pillow and keeping a cold pack on it helped along with taking one oxycodone at bedtime. Now I don't need the cold pack because the swelling has just about gone. My worse pain for the first six weeks was incisional stinging and burning. I couldn't even bear having heavy bed covers resting on my knee and inner thigh and had to place a square decorator pillow on it's side between my legs just to keep the weight of a sheet or blanket off of it. It was the worst feeling, like bee stings. That has greatly subsided over the past two weeks. My incision didn't heal as well as my last TKR did back in 2012. This incision still has deep purple/red areas and has developed some keloid scar tissue. I bought Mederma lotion as my surgeon recommended and I massage and stretch it many times every day. I don't see a whole lof of improvement after two weeks of this routine. It all just takes a very long time to heal. Not only that but our physical bodies have been through tremendous trauma and gaining back physical strength is a very slow process.

    Time does heal all wounds but a total knee replacement takes a lot of patience because there is so much invasion and trauma into muscle, bone, nerves and tendons. But, as for myself, I'm happy with the results. My knee feels strong and straight and I no longer have a fear of it collapsing as I go down stairs as it had been doing.  I had only been taking ONE oxycodone maybe two times a day in the beginning and supplemented with extra strength Tylenol. I won't be able to get any more oxycodone so I'm treating the remaining six tablets like they're gold and only take one when I really can't stand the pain any longer.

    It's sure a journey and not for the faint of heart. But keep up the good work and I'm sure things are going to improve. It's 2016 and the best thing is that the surgery is over and done with. I'm thankful I don't have any more knees!! 

    Happy New Year!

    • Posted

      Your last paragraph, Jemma, mine exactly. Glad I'm not a centipede!!! I am 77 in March, am 5 weeks post op R TKR and 22 weeks post op L TKR . The second op was quite an improvement on the first for a number of reasons. I use Bio-oil on both scars and fine it really good for moisturising. Next Saturday is NMWS Day (no more white stocking day). Beginning to sleep better and feel very positive about the future. Every blessing to ALL TKR-ers. It WILL get better. 😸

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