Knee replacement surgery 60 days out pain

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I had pkr 2 mos ago. I go to pt as I’m supposed too and I’m trying to teach myself how to walk again. But I’m having severe pain at night and it is so very stiff. I cannot do my job as I could before and depression is setting in. I have tried a compression sock and that just makes my leg swell more than if I don’t use one. I find myself talking Motrin or Tylenol all the time because of swelling and pain. I’m feeling like I would have been better off just keeping my knee as it was before it hurt less then. My physical therapist says that it’s normal, but this pain is horrible. 

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  • Posted

    Am sorry to say but your PT is is normal and you are right too, it is horrible. I am 5 months post op and still have pain but nowhere near the pain I had at your stage of 60 days. It takes a long time and none of us recover at the same will no doubt have seen that from other posts on this forum...there's plenty of good advice on here and maybe Chico will reply to your post too...he has a way with words and a wealth of brilliant ideas and suggestions....

    But Exercise, Elevate and Ice are the three main tenets....don't push yourself too hard with the physio until you are ready as too much will set you back a few days again.....quality of exercise is better than quantity! Ice will help the swelling and above all you need patience as this may take some time. Keep taking the pain relief, sleep with a pillow between your knees (not behind the knee) and that may help you sleep.

    I too wished I hadn't had it done at 60 days but now I am pleased I did.......I am told it can take 8 months to a year to recover fully but you do need to do the exercises to improve your ROM and to get your leg straight - take some pain relief about 1/2 hour before you start.....

    Depression is normal part of your progress anaesthetic can knock the stuffing out of you, not to mention the pain and wishing you'd never joined will also depress you BUT I am living proof it will get better , so soldier on.....good luck...x

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    • Posted

      It will - I promise....I never thought my pain would subside and I had such great expectations of being mobile shortly after surgery that it all came as a bit of a shock to me to find the process so difficult....but every day was a bonus and still is - I still can't do stairs properly and need to walk with a stick (outdoor) so am still a work in progress but I do also have spine issues and am getting fairly ancient now - so not doing too badly - again compared to 3 months give it time and be aware you may have set backs if you overdo it...but then ice will help that again...keep up the good work ! x

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  • Posted

    The first 90 days are the worst.  110 is great right now.  Took me three months to go from -14 / +84 to -1 / +123.  Seems like you're on track.  I hit a plateau of -4 for weeks...tough to break through that one.  The pain is also normal as is the swelling and stiffness.  By 3 months, you should be a lot improved on these two items.

    For now, ice at night when you go to sleep.  If you don't have an ice machine, get a CryoCuff or AirCast with the portable ice bucket.  Put it on when you get into bed; you'll probably do a fast water exchange in the middle of the night.  Try some of these for sleeping...

    The Voltaren Gel (RX in the US) is a GREAT topical anti-inflammatory and painkiller.  Check with your doc and pharmacist for any interaction issues.  Else, there's OTC BioFreeze.  The ice and the gels can really help at night as can the Melatonin and diphenhydramine. 

    Swelling will subside but act up any day you push the knee too far.  Get a fit bit or the like and track your steps.  Know your limit and extend gradually.  Listen to your knee!!!  The stiffness will also go away but very, very gradually.  Most report feeling close to nothing at one year but the docs say up to 18 months.  Some veteran TKR patients (5+ years) report stiffness returning when they stop being active; I get it sometimes when I sit too long and I'm 2+ years.  This is a lifelong recovery...  Which brings me to this...

    Time to start rebuilding your dead quads, glutes and core.  Right now, all the pressure of daily life is being put on your new knee joint.  That work has to be transferred BACK to the supporting musculature where it belongs.  This is a mandatory activity or you will never walk correctly or handle stairs normally again.  Start slowly...this takes many months.  It will also enable you to regain your sense of balance instead of being thrown off by every divot in a patch of grass.  You have to get strong again.

    Post this on your fridge...

    Give up all expectations and Zen: "The knee will be better when it's better"...period.

    Oh... the depression...Jedi Mind Trick...kick it out the door...


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  • Posted

    All I can say is...I feel your pain.  I had my PKR and ACL reconstruction on Feb. 21st, and I’m still in pain and having difficulty sleeping.  In fact, it’s 1:48 am and I woke up with pain on the right side of my shin. My knee is still swollen and when I walk its uncomfortable. I feel like I take two steps forward and one step back.  One day I feel pretty good and I’m proud of my progress and the next day my pain and stiffness is worse and I’m down on myself.  It’s a rollercoaster ride, but it does get better little by little.  I’m feeling a lot better than I did a month ago, that’s for sure.  I’m currently at 125° flexion and -2° extension, but last week my numbers were better sad I’ve learned to just go with the flow and not put so much pressure on expecting the numbers to keep going consistently up. They will go up for the most part, but take dips sometimes.  One day you’ll feel good, the next day not.  I’ve also learned not to compare myself to others.  We’re all on the same journey but our bodies are different.  Sometimes I just wish I had someone on this journey with me...not just on this forum, but next to me walking, exercising, and sharing.  I’ve stopped talking about my knee with my girlfriends and husband because I think they’re sick of hearing about it.  Hell, I’m sick of hearing myself...I know they are!  I hope that just knowing that you have company on this forum comforts you. I, too, alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain control and occasionally pilfer my husband’s Ambien, but only when I’ve gone a week without sleep and feel like a zombie. Otherwise, I get by on Doxylamine Succinate (Unisom). I think it’s better than Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) because it doesn’t seem to make me as drowsy the next day and doesn’t give me the weird dreams Benadryl does.  I’m sure this individual, though.  Another thing I do if I wake up is elevate my leg, put heat underneath and ice on top for 20 mins. That seems to lesson the pain somewhat and make it easier to get back to sleep. 

    Well, that’s about it.  Hang in there!  It will get better, I promise! It’ll just take time....a lot more time than I initially thought.  Now, I shall try and go back to sleep.  Wish me luck 🙄

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  • Posted

    Hi. I know exactly how you feel not that it helps any, i had my knee replacement 12 march and i am still in pain but nothing like it was, the trouble is the pain has got to this point and isnt getting any less, i am awake most of the night walking around having soothing baths which helps but it doesnt last long, i am on pain killers called shortec, and gabapentin along with zapain which they say is simalar to co-codamol? i do the exercise they gave me and i also go to physio once a week which they say i am doing ok but i feel i am not getting any better now just stagnant, i will keep taking the tbs and doing the exercises as people tell me its still early days, hope your pain subsides and you feel better. i am like you i wish now i hadnt had the op i was coping before but didnt realise there would be  so much pain, but i have got to get on with it as there is no going back, i just wish the pain would ease every day that way i would feel as though i am getting better, good luck to you its not nice this pain feeling take care max
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