Pain after total knee replacement

Posted , 11 users are following.

I am 8 days post op for a TKR, I spent 5 days in hospital , they got me up on the 3rd day just to walk to the door with a frame then put me back to bed. When it came to my discharge my physiotherapist would not discharge me until I could bend my leg to 90 degrees, I went from 0-70 degrees with the most un bearable pain, she let me out with a strict warning if I cannot reach 90 degrees I will have to go back in and have a anesthetic and have my knee manipulated then go on a machine than bends it! This absolutely terrified me and I've been excerising religiously to try and get this bend to 90 degrees, which I still cannot do. Im using ice and my pain meds, I'm walking ok with crutches, I can straighten it fine, still un able to lift it . Today I'm feeling really down and tearful as its another day I can not bend it further, will it be easier when the staples are out? I'm so scared of having the manipulation . The pain is horrendous though the swelling is getting better, sleep? What sleep . I'm 47 and really should be doing more apparently so my therapist says. Any advice would be a great help to me right now please. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, yes your bend should improve after staples are out. Also, to get a decent bend you need to reduce swelling so elevate about your heart but do not bend knee. Best way is to lie on the floor with a pile of pillows under your leg and, keeping the leg straight, rest it on the edge of the sofa. Need to elevate for a long time (hours not minutes) and ice which will reduce swelling enough to bend. Also try and do stretch and hold to improve the bend. Good luck
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  • Posted

    You are doing fantastic after only 8 days. Physiotherapists sometimes scare instead  of inspire. As swelling goes down and your leg heals you will easily be able to achieve the bend/flexion. Heel slides are good for flexion and can be done lying down or sitting. This is major surgery and your body needs time to heal, you have the advantage of youth on your side. Read Chico Marx posts on this site, he gives excellent advice regarding exercise, pain management, depression, etc. . Pay attention to your body and rest, ice and elevate. I'm 67 and almost 9 months post LTKR. Best wishes for continued healing. 

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  • Posted

    Don't be worried....early days!

    90 degrees by six weeks is the aim ...and 6 weeks post TKR is miles away.

    Such early days.

    Bad to scare you, inflammation stops bend.

    Ice, elevate..are you doing plenty of that?

    Are you on plenty of pain relief?

    Patience is vital, not fear.

    Read around here, lots of good info. Look for the constructive stuff, and focus on being positive and also kind to yourself and kind to your knee.

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  • Posted

    Hey there dont beat yourself up, weve all been there , for me the first two week was the worse and after  it  was slightly easier it lessens a little the pain i mean. Your only 8 days post op, i cant believe the phsyio would even say about manipulating it. You havent even had your staples out, lets get you to there first . And once the6 are put yo7 will be able to do a little more . Just take your time natalie, theres no quick fix for this surgery . Its a very big operation. Im still havin bad days and im 10 weeks post op from a full tkr. Your body will let you do more as and wen its ready. Where do u live, if u were near me id come cu and cheer you up from valsam xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Natalie,

    ?I looked at your post and thought of myself,first of all don't beat yourself up about it.

    ?I had mine done 18 months ago and still cannot get the bend that I would like,I did everything to the book and more. I tried so hard all the time, I couldnt have done anymore. I was told that same thing and I did go back and have it bent under anesthetic, but even then the surgeon only bent it to 110,so theres a reason for that.

    Its still early days and yes once the staples are out, it does get slightly better,but its still not the be all and end all.

    ?I can straighten my leg,but it still pulls and I cant bend it more than about 100,i think I have to accept that that's all I am gonna get,because I did all that was told of me, I am still trying to bend it now even.

    ?Hope this is helpful,but just think if its better overall than before you had it done its been worth it!!!

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your comments, it has made me feel a lot better , it's good to know there are people out there going through the same thing, i have my knee elevated with ice , and am trying the exercises they have given to strengthen the thigh muscles. Xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Natalie. I'm 46 and having TKR in 2 weeks. I was told they get you up the same day and discharged in 3 days. Are you in the UK? I am having it done privately (in the UK) Getting nervous now. Did you have a general anaesthetic or a spinal. What pain relief after did you have?

      I hope the pain improves soon for you. Keep us posted. X

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    • Posted

      Deb I am a similar age to you, had the op done under NHS but recovered on a private ward which was lovely and the food was nice but the advice I was given on there was rubbish. I stayed for two nights which was enough for me. I had a spinal and as soon as I got feeling in my feet they got me out of bed although it took a few attempts because I kept getting light headed and all the colour just drained out of my face. I went into retention so ended up with a catheter which wasn't too bad. I was never encouraged to bend my knee at all so please get some good pain relief onboard and get that knee bent it saves so much trouble later on. Younger people seem to have more problems with flexion caused by build up of scar tissue. I'm 4 months post op still have trouble with flexion but the stiffness is getting better 

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    • Posted

      Hi

      I'm in the UK, I had it done in a private hospital but under the NHS. They were brilliant the level of care was brilliant couldn't fault it. I had a choice of spinal being fully awake, spinal sedation or general , I went for spinal sedation which was great as I didn't have the groggy feeling after also as my legs were numb I was pain free for a good 10-12 hrs . They gave me a morphine pump and plenty of pain killers . Good luck with your op x

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  • Posted

    Hi  Natalie, I was just like you at this stage although I got discharged after two days but I didn't have to do a 90 degree bend at 3 weeks it was only 60 degrees and I was threatened with manipulation. I hired a CPM myself and at 7 weeks I had got up to 85 degrees. My consultant told me to carry on doing my exercises and I saw him again at 14 weeks where I was probably at 90 degrees if that but I did point out to him that it was swollen so he let me off. I will continue to do the ROM exercises and the stiffness in my knee is getting less and less and I am managing to do 10,000 steps per day and I'm elevating and icing less. If the pain is too much get better pain relief prescribed it's really important that you can carry out your ROM exercises don't worry too much about the strength ones at this stage. If it's swollen rest,ice,elevate. This forum is excellent and this lot have helped me get through to this stage. I was 47 when I had the op and I'm sorry to say younger people have a harder time through recovery than the older ones. Don't beat yourself up it will all be good in the end just be patient because it really is a long recovery process X 

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  • Posted

    Hi Natalie,

    I am Post TKR 5 months ago today! So much better now but still working on bend and straightening. It’s much better but it takes time. Swelling makes everything so very hard and I was very swollen for awhile and now just a little swelling. Don’t be afraid it will come it’s true. They say it takes a year of recovery and now I know it’s true lol. Ice, elevate, rest, and do the exercises the best you can. Be good to yourself it’s so very important. The road we are on is long but rest assured it gets less steep. You are only in the beginning. Sometimes I now know physios aren’t the best at helping us. Mine was always disappointed with my measurement and only focused on straightening 3 times in 4 mos. I am now doing bettter on my own working at my pace which is better no stress. I know what I need to do and I do it. You are doing well. Oh, take pain meds too! It took awhile before I didn’t take 1 before physio appointment. It’s gonna be alright smile 

    Best wishes! 

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  • Posted

    At 8 days Natalie you are sooo early in recovery. Why did they not get you up sooner whilst you were in hospital? Was it because if the morphine? They usually just disconnect whilst you are out of bed & reconnect whilst you sit in the chair!!

    I am 4 weeks po & had spinal & sedation & was helped out of bed the night I had my op to use the commode & up the next day. The physio saw me that afternoon & I was flexing to 89. That was just before Christmas, I went into hospital on 16th December & was happily discharged on 18th December.

    I refused at the Pre Op the morphine infuser! Told them I didn't want it under any circumstances! The reason being in 2016 when I had my rTKR I was on the pump & I was really sick on it! It really set back my recovery & when I was discharged (a day later than this time) I didn't get anywhere near 90! In fact it took weeks to get even near 90! As long as you're extending, the flex will come with work & time. Quality not quantity on the reps at this time.

    So please don't be disheartened, I am absolutely positive my 1st recovery was set back by having the morphine pump.

    This recovery is more painful but much more movement from the start! Nothing that CoCodamol doesn't help though. 

    Just keep on doing your exercises, rest, ice & elevate & keep hydrated & taking pain meds religiously. you WILL get there.

    Also once the staples are out it will feel easier to bend, but you then need to concentrate then on mousturising & massaging the scar once it has scabbed. Giving the area a good massage once you can stand it. I always find that massaging & warming the joint before exercise.  I get better ROM once the joint is good & warm. Icing & resting after to help reduce swelling.

    I managed without having MUA last time, I hope you will too but if you have to have it, plenty on here have had it & come out the other side.

    Also don't forget the extension which is as important as the flexion! If you cannot straighten the leg you will always limp! 

    I had both my ops on the NHS, but the post op Ward consists of 1 & 2 bed rooms with en suite, so toddling to the loo with the walker (1st day po only) was easy & private!! They seemed to keep us ladies in the singles!! Lol 

    I wish you all the best, keep in touch so we know how you're doing.

    Marilyn 

    XX

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    • Posted

      Hi Marilyn, it's a bitter winter here and I have discovered wearing leg warmers that cover my knees and sitting in front of my portable heater makes it easier to do my leg exercises. Warm Epsom salt baths (after my incision healed fully) also make movement easier. Good luck with continued recovery!  

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