knee replacement -lack of sleep

Posted , 18 users are following.

Evening all, had a total knee replacement 4 weeks ago and still can't sleep. I used to sleep like a baby but now wake up every 2 hours. Am totally exhausted, I am only 45 but this is one tuff ride. Any advice on how to sleep more comfortable and why I may have a pain in the arch of my foot.

Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi, are you still in pain is that what wakes you?  I found sleeping with a soft pillow between my knees helped.  I also used heat on my knee, that seemed to help relax me...  I don't need to do that anymore, but I still use the pillow.  My surgery was July 23.  I have a lot of soft tissue damage which I hope will. Heal, it's still painful when I walk.  It will get better...I know it took about two months and one day I thought, what a great sleep I had.  We need to remind ourselves naps are ok too.   
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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, not so much the pain just uncomfortable. But I will try heat (good tip, thank you). Just finally got my wound signed off yesterday, was a little weepy so will try some heat. Feels like a dead weight when I wake up every couple of hours.
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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki, I think what you're experiencing is very typical at your stage. Like Sharon I used a pillow between my legs (not under the knee). I use a heat pad now as I get a lot of muscle pain at the back of the leg but be careful of putting heat on your knee if there is a lot of swelling. I get strange feelings in my foot too and used to get them pre op too. It seems to me you can get pain and discomfort anywhere in your leg after this op! I took strong painkillers spaced out regularly over 24 hours in the early stages and I think that helped with the sleeping. It does get better though. I sleep quite well now. At your stage I was still taking a regular afternoon nap too. Rest when you can. Take care. Jen (11 weeks post op). 
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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, I had my op July 26 and am interested to hear of your soft tissue damage and that you still get pain walking. I am very much the same. My reason for having the op was so that I could enjoy walking again so I get very frustrated. I also find heat helps to soothe the muscles and I think the stretches the physio's given me help. Have you any other tips? Jen 
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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer, my pain is the worst when I first put weight on my leg, especially after sitting.  I fear that something isn't right inside...but my surgeon said it will come.  It didn't hurt this bad at one month, so I hope he's right.  I am doing a couple exercises that seem to help.  I'm using ice 

      again too and it does take the pain mostly away for awhile.  I heard that tissue debate sometimes doesn't repair, but I hope not.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Sharon, I'm not sure if I've got soft tissue damage. I think it's probably more the muscles at the back of my leg. It seems to get a bit better then tightens up again. As I say, I think the exercises and hamstring stretches are helping but they're no quick fix are they? We can only hope, as you say. Take care. Jen x
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  • Posted

    Hi .. I am 16 days post op. I have posted about the lack of sleep. This is the first wake up call of the night ,... I am usually up four times. I walk, ice, read etc and wait for painkillers to work though I find nothing stops the pain breaking through really. I s my surgeon this week who is pleased with everything and suggested the worst nights should get better in anothe week or so ....... Hope so!
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  • Posted

    It may be a little early for the heat, but if your swelling is gone it isn't.  Nothing like a warm bath to help relax the body...  I could hardly wait for my staples to be out and he sle so. Could relax in the tub.
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    • Posted

      Sharon, I think you are correct about the heat. My therapist would never approve heat at any period of recovery. He had his PhD in physical therapy from one school and the other therapists in the building were from a couple of different schools.....none of which would approve heat during the recovery program. Their opinion was that heat, whle it felt soothing, actually was a deterrent to healing joint replacements.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I agree as well.  I did find though once the swelling was gone I used a little heat to relax my muscles before exercising and it sure helped.  Although I'm Canadian my physio is Aussie, and they all have. A little different approach.  He also uses acupuncture and I have great results with it.  He told me ten years should he would have never imagined doing acupuncture but can't believe how successful it is.  He uses a gentle heat during the acupuncture, although this was after my swelling left. 
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    • Posted

      I am in the States and it seems for the most part everyone I have talked to in othe parts of the county have  been on the same page. It may be the insurance compaanies calling some of the shots or possibly the American Medical Assn establishing protocol or just the schools are all in line as far as the way they teach. Although you find an enormous number of foreign doctors, there seems to be very few foreign physical therapists, at least in the mid west.
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    • Posted

      Aaww, I love my heat pad! Both my physio and consultant said heat can be helpful as long as there is no swelling. I feel it helps to relax the muscles at the back of my leg which are very tight. I never put it on top of my knee. Hope it's ok 😊 So many conflicting views. Jen (11 weeks post op) 
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  • Posted

    Hi Nikki,

    i was getting better until yesterday, only getting up once in the night and sleeping for about 3-4 hours at a time.

    tonight, I got up at 2am, sore and stiff in my leg. I haven't been able to find a comfortable position since and got up at 3am to sit in my chair so that I don't wake Claire up with my tossing and turning.

    hopefully this is a one-off and I'll be back to what passes as normal again soon.

    i think it is probably due to my knee joint shifting sideways two days ago. I have a damaged LCL in this leg and I had a problem with this before. I was hoping the op would tighten things up but apparently this is not the case.

    oh well........

    im seeing my physio again on Friday so I'll see if he can recommend anything.

    I'm just lucky I still have Tapentadol to take for times like this.

    hope you improve soon too.

    john

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  • Posted

    Unfortunately you are experiencing the part of the process the medical team doesn't talk about prior to surgery. I am yet to talk toy 1st person that hasn't gone through it. Fore, ice, pain meds and sitting up in my recliner with the leg elevated was the best I could do and then maybe a couple hours at a time. Something about the weight, circulation and inactivity is the sleep killer. Keep up the prescribed exercise and icing and eventually it will dissapte. Don't be surprised if weather changes don't bring you temporary discomfort for a long time but that generally is a one or two day thing. As I have previously mentioned, due to PVNS I have been fighting this for 12 yes and 9 various knee surgeries so have a little history. My ice bag and recliner are my best buddies

     Best of luck

     

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Nicky, at 3 wks plus 2 I could have written the same post. I woke  last night at 11.30. (after an hour), 2am, then bliss! for the first time, 5 and a half hours, the longest post op yet. I then had another two hours but woke up in a lot of pain in the knee itself. Possibly because I was at physio yesterday and worked a lot. I don't know the answer I'm afraid. I used to be a 9 hour sleeper and never moved but now I'm tossing and turning all night. Can't get comfy. Thank goodness for this site so at least I know this is normal.
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    • Posted

      Hi Carol, I know it's crazy. I dread night times and like you it's every 2 hours. My hip is giving me some discomfort too so that is not helping. I am still waiting for physo and hoping this will benefit me in the long run. I agree this website is great because unless you have had this done you really dont know how tuff it is. :-(
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    • Posted

      Waiting for physio at 4 wks? Where are you? I've had physio every week since leaving hospital, twice this week. My crutches went yesterday and am now on sticks. Am in the gym from tomorrow. so I know I'm doing ok. I told my physio yesterday that the lack of sleep was exhausting me and she suggested that I take maximum painkillers before bed. I did that last night pjus a Piriton for good measure, which normally knock me out for 8 hours.. I think that's how I managed a longer stretch last night but I am really in pain today and I wonder if it;s because my knee was still for so long. Oh well, I know it will get better. Looking back a week shows a big improvement. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi ... Don't mean to be a know all ... I am taking OxyContin twice a day with naproxen twice and Paracetomol. Just yesterday I wondered about an antihistamine as well as they have helped me sleep in the past.,however, I have a friend who is a pharmacist and he said don't do it as mixing different groups of drugs which have any narcotic effect together can be very dangerous .... So many people who have fixed from mixing prescription medication with over the counter sleep medication really put themselves at serious risk. Obviously, I don't know what you normally take, but I would check it out .... Hope you don't mind the advice!
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    • Posted

      We were given Piroten in hospital as a safe way to help sleep.I take paracetemol, naproxin and tramadol but no Oxycontin so perhaps that's the difference.  My physio checked it out yesterday and approved but I agree totally that you must check it all out first.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Carol, bit of a nightmare to be honest. Had the surgery in Yorkshire but now live in Derbyshire. Wanted to keep my consultant. I keep chasing it. Yes I take a large dose before bed and find I manage during the day with ice. Plus I take naproxen.
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    • Posted

      It was brave of you to move at this time. I;m mid move and renting a flat until I can drive and finish the move then. It is probably what has caused the delay in your physio though. Beaurocracy and mislaid paperwork perhaps. It will be so good for you when you get the physio though.If nothing else it gives me  something to look forward to, breaks up the never ending days and nights. 
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    • Posted

      Fingers crossed it won't be too long, chased again today. I'd grown very fond of my surgeon after 8 years however I have very quickly gone off him after this operation! Joking, great guy. Yes I can't wait to get out of the house...
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    • Posted

      I had total knee replacement on October 1st, so 2 weeks ago. I got out of the hospital the next day and have been having PT 3 times a week. I have been a long time user of benadryl to help me sleep at night. My surgeon told me I could go back to my regular medications, except for my methotrexate for my recently diagnosed RA which I have to wait to restart in a couple weeks. The thing is that I've had no ill affects from taking the benadryl with my oxy pain pills. It's definitely been a help with my sleeping.

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