Knee Replacement Recovery and coping with sciatica

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Hi all. I had a TKR op 3 weeks ago. Before the op, I suffered from sciatica attacks down the left side brought on by spondylosis in the lower lumbar area. The attacks just happened to be the same side as the leg to be operated on!. Since the op, I've had some pain with sciatica mainly affecting the left hip/top of buttock area. Consultants couldn't answer my questions pre-op about how the sciatica could be dealt with during my recovery. Once the knee has mended I guess I'll have to resort to amitriptyline which is what I was on before the knee op to try and ease the sciatica pain, though it didn't work! Anybody else having this problem. Coping with the post-op knee pain is bad enough but the thought of having to cope with sciatica attacks too is rather daunting. Help!

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  • Posted

    Hi we do have a lot in common I also have spondolethesis in my spine, apparently after surgery for TRKR all I did was complain about back pain! I cope with this by using painkillers and hot water bottle! I am now moving around with 1 crutch but my knee still gets very stiff, probably cos I don't do enough exercises! My left hip also hurts prob cod I'm over compensating with my right knee, can't win! Take care it wl get beta x
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  • Posted

    Sorry you're struggling with additional pain, I can sympathise as my TKR is anything but straightforward and I'm currently waiting for follow up surgery. My best friend has suffered with sciatica for years so I've seen how she struggles sometimes. Why don't you go back on Amitriptyline now? I'm on this to help with nerve damage caused by 2 surgeries in 3 days. I didn't feel like it was helping me until I came off it. I know it can't be mixed with Tramodol but is fine with most other drugs. Suffering with pain is just going to make your recovery more difficult....they must be able to give you something to help.

    Good luck x

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  • Posted

    Hi there .....I am having the exact same problem......I am thinking of going to a chiropractor .........I am fine sitting and lying in bed but it's the walking I am having trouble with...my knee still quite sore (I am 6 weeks post surgery) but  just wish I could go for a walk and not have this dam back pain in my left hip.......thinking I am not making any headway at all.....talk about a pain in the butt!!!!!! That's exactly what it is....amitryptaline doesn't help me at all!!!!!!!!I agree it's bad enough dealing with the knee pain without having back pain as well...I really think it's the way I have been walking before my TKR......best of luck to you
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  • Posted

    Did they do an mri of the spine? I wound up having to have a decompression surgery as I had developed stenosis of the L4\5. Simple surgery that had me back on my feet without pain in 24 hrs. It was done by a neurosurgeon. According to the Dr's, it was caused by poor posture and walking due to knee pain before and after tkr. It all started with pvns 5 years before and was a culmination of everything
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  • Posted

    I also had a trapped nerve on the LHS treated with a nerve block and relatively pain free until I had the tkr 9 months ago. Within a couple of weeks it had flared up, fortunately it went against. However then my back went into spasm and was on diazepam for a week.  I now seem to have the symptoms of a trapped nerve on the  RHS. My right knee will also need replacing at some time. I am wonderingly if all the changes to our posture during pre and post op are what give us the additional trapped nerve issues ? As my left leg was quite turned inward by the time I had the op :-)
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    • Posted

      I think you are right...it is our posture and the way we have been walking prior to surgery .......very hard to get back to the way we were before we had aching joints........not sure how we should remedy thus situation...physio or gym????
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  • Posted

    Thank you to everyone for your comments of sympathy, empathy and support! I had an x-ray last year which diagonsed the spondylosis. The lower 3 lumber plates are fusing together. I'm told medication should/could help or ultimately spinal injections or even surgery. I went for a walk in the park today for 45 minutes (on crutches). My knee was very sore afterwards but my back not too bad. The sciatica attacks before were mainly when I started walking. Now it seems to happen when I'm sitting down. Going to see the doc next week. Meantime, my back-up medication is a very large Scotch at bedtime! Good luck to all of you with your own physical battles and thanks again.
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    • Posted

      Wish my brandy could work as my medication dode!!!!!!!45 min walk is dam good I wouldn't be able to do half that I don't think....I used to love walking, no wonder joints are worn out I suppose......but you can't sit in your chair for the rest if your life!!!!!!!might get a treadmill!!!!
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  • Posted

    Hi I'm glad you raised this question as mine is similar and I'm unsure what to do? I too suffered sciatica after slipping a disc many years ago however since my half knee replacement op nearly two weeks ago I'm suffering terribly when lying in bed? My sciatica is also on the same side as operated knee and I can't get comfortable when lying down either on my side or back my knee feels like it's on fire and the pain from the sciatica runs from the base of my spine down the buttock then radiates right the way down my thigh and calf! I'm at my wits end through lack of sleep
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  • Posted

    I am now 12 weeks PO following bilateral TKR. At seven weeks I had terrible sciatic pain in my right. I went to an osteopath who gently worked on me. That afternoon my pain was reduced by 50% & totally gone a few days later. It is such a cruel pain sciatica. Hope this helps.
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  • Posted

    Sciatica started ten weeks post op from a LTKR. The problem is that my SI joints got locked up. Frozen. It's because we compensate for the damn knee and throw our hips out. Cortisone shots didn't work for me. Physical Therapy did not work (they can't yank your leg). Celebrex...no joy. Working with a chiropractor suggested by knee surgeon plus one week course of 800 mg ibuprofen TID (tough on stomach). Feeling a bit better but not done yet. Need ice not heat for the SI/sacrum inflammation. If needed, I'll try Lyrica. My other complication is a spine fusion of L3 through S1 plus a replaced right hip so the chiropractor had to be careful. I'm paying the price for 45 years of hockey. Soooo..the problem is a combination of inflammation and alignment. Gotta solve both. Not uncommon for a TKR...not fun either. See what works for you...be patient. It's all trial and error to find the right solution for you.
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  • Posted

    Just sharing my own experience. Had TKR right knee some 14 weeks ago. Knee had operated for 30 years without any cartilages  ( removed at age 28 following rugby injuries)with much sport  activities( squash) so was completely useless by the time of the op. Knee had to be straightened during op. Pre-op I was walking with bad limp and had ben throwing my right leg for years. I now suffer back/high buttock pain every night such that I have to get up in the early hours to relieve pain by walking or using pills. Generally pain eases and disappears during the day. I also believe the problem is related to change in posture now that my knee is working properly. My case is also probably complicated by left hip resurfacing and spinal decompression and fusion ops 16 years ago!. Oh and 70 years of age probably doesn't help as well. Why did I engage in all that  squash/windsurfing? Hoping pain will eventually subside with time and swimming?? 

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