Pain in good knee after TKR on opposite knee

Posted , 9 users are following.

I am 8 weeks out of a total knee replacement on my right knee. My left knee was doing fine until this past week. I've always had a tad of arthritis in the good knee and it would make crunching sounds while going up the stairs but never really hurt.

I'm having trouble getting up the stairs one at a time because my operated knee is still very weak and the good knee has started getting sharp shooting pains.

Unfortunately I have formed adhesions in the operated knee which is not allowing me to get full flexion and I have to go in for manipulation this Tuesday. That is when they put you under anesthesia and the surgeon manually forces your knee to full flexion. After the procedure I will have more swelling, more pain, and more weakness in that knee which means even more stress on my good knee. I'm afraid I won't be able to use either knee to get around during my now extended recovery. Has anyone gone through this, or is currently going through this, that has advice on how to keep the good knee from falling apart.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Wicca, this is soo unfortunate to happen to you! I can feel for you and hopefully it will get better but it will take some time. I did have both knees done at the same time 14 weeks ago and what I can tell you is that tho it is a BIG surgery I am glad now that it is done. One of my knees the right one was not hurting so bad but Dr. did say that both had a big deal of arthritis. If I don’t do my exercises at least one time a day I KNOW that I need to do so. Knees do tell you when to move them.

    The best of luck to you and hang in there, always sunny days are coming even if later in the week!! 

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  • Posted

    You answered your own question: "...which means even more stress on my good knee."  Very common.  Lots of us get sciatica on the "good side" because we change our gait to avoid the "bad" side pain.  Had my "episode" at 5 weeks.  Normal.  Chiropractor fixed me in a few sessions...locked SI joints in my hips...

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  • Posted

    Hi. I’m sorry you’re having trouble with your operated knee. I had a right TKR just over  11 months ago. My other knee also has arthritis, and prior to my surgery on the right knee, I was wearing a brace on BOTH knees to help with stability and pain.  I saw a rheumatologist a couple of months before my surgery, and he gave me an injection of Synvisc One into my knees. It takes 3-4 weeks to be FULLY effective, and by the time I had my surgery, I had no pain in my left knee. It didn’t do much for the right knee, of course...but I’ve been pretty much pain free in my “good” knee for a year now. The injection cost just under $500, but was covered by my insurance. And even if it wasn’t, it would be worth it for no pain. I’ve had the shot 3 times now....you can get it every 6 months.  I did pay for the last one because I am no longer working, and currently no insurance. Like I said...worth it!! No pain, no brace....I’m walking again. Maybe this is something you can discuss with your physician?
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the information. I did get the same injection about a year ago. It did nothing for me but cause me even more pain. I'm not sure if it was the doctor not knowing what he was doing or the fact that my knee was so bad (bone on bone) that there was absolutely no room for gel to go. I saw my knee inflate like a balloon while he was injecting it and I almost punched the doctor lol. The staff even said they never saw anyone in so much pain during and right after the injection. My father had it done before me and said it helped him so I decided to go for it. Again, not sure if it was the doctors fault or that my knee was just too far gone. Unfortunately, it scares me now to get it done in my left knee but I may consider it down the road.

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    • Posted

      Over 10-12 years ago, I had Synvisc and it was very successful.  But then I had the three-injection regimen (days 1, 8 and 15) and the shots lasted almost a year.  Maybe that would work?
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  • Posted

    Hi Wicca, I can sympathise as I have had a RTKR 7 months back with manipulation under anaesthetic at 12 weeks as bend was a struggle and gradually since op, my "good" knee has started being painful. Like yours, it had the odd ache or crunch in the past, but nothing compared to the right, which was in very bad shape by the time I was referred to surgeon,

    ?I have had an x ray on the left knee and am told it is "not too bad" and they just advise conservative action, whatever that means- well, basically take painkillers and manage. Yet I can feel it getting worse rapidly. It does not help that the right knee replacement has been awkward from the start and still is - sore, stiff, swollen and feels very uncomfortable. The x ray on that looked ok so I'm told it is soft tissue that may take a long time to heal now. I figure there is still excess scar tissue, as that can cause all these issues.

    ?I'm pretty well fed up with both knees now bad and little apparent advantage to the surgery in my case, unless things do indeed change with time - I'm still hoping. Sorry I do not have an answer for you, just can empathise. I hope your MUA will be a help, mine did help the bending which was a gain and I'm grateful to sleep better now and scar is nicely healed. I did find I was mobile again right after the MUA and it was better for the exercises and physio after, so I don't think you should worry too much that it will set you back as much as you fear.

    ?I'm planning to see an osteo path to see if they can help as I do feel very out of alignment and walking awkwardly still, so I don't think this is helping my knees. I will post how it goes if anyone wants to know. Take care for now.

     

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    • Posted

      Cynthia, ask your doc about having a Synvisc One injection in your left knee. I used to wear a brace, and it was very painful. I have had barely any pain now for over a year...only when I overdo things, and the pain doesn’t last long. Goes away with some rest.  You can get the shot every 6 months. I’m sure it helped with my recovery from replacing the right knee. It’s an expensive (just under $500) shot, but is covered by insurance. I’m in Ontario, Canada. I paid for the last one because I’m no longer working.  But it is so worth it to me!! Might be an option for you, too. 
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    • Posted

      Synvisc...used it for 5-6 years back in my 50's.  The newer "One" shot lasts up to 6 months.  I got the three-shot regimen (days 1, 8 and 15) that lasted almost a year.  There's been some controversy lately about how effective this treatment is and how many people it really helps.  From my experience, it was GREAT!!!  Had four knee scopes (two each side) so I needed something to take care of the bone-on-bone condition plus the increasing arthritis.  Worked out very well.  Then I moved from cold to warm and didn't need it for six years until my TKR.  I'd look into it...

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    • Posted

      I'm in the UK so it's a bit of a lottery whether we can get certain treatments, I'm in one of the areas where they ration everything, however could look into private treatment, have resorted to that for other things and always been worth the money in the end.

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  • Posted

    Oh no that's terrible and also sounds very painful is there anyway of getting advice from the hospital or from off one of the assistants colleagues of your surgeon as to the best course of action I'm only one week through my PKR and I know all about the swelling bruising and pain it's hard I have severe arthritis in what is now gonna be classed as my good knee (left knee) so I'm not looking forward to all of the pain going into that knee the only other thing I can think of is maybe get a knee brace for your left knee good luck with your procedure on Tuesday

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  • Posted

    Thank you for all your well wishes. I had the manipulation done 3 days ago and the procedure went well. Doing pt every day for the next two weeks and can definitely tell a huge difference. The only draw back right now is that pt is VERY painful! It hurts during the hour session but hurts so much more about an hour to two after the session. The pain is a sharp shooting and burning pain throughout the knee and thigh. I know it's normal and I'm not concerned but the pain is quite dibilitating, especially at bed time. My biggest fear right now is that the scar tissue will come back and form adhesions again.

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