Questions after recent TKR

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hello everyone,

I had a TKR 11 days ago and this is much harder than expected. Have been pretty much in a constant 5-7 pain level the entire time. I was originally released on hydromorphone, which worked great in the hospital, but didn't help very much after being released.

Have since switched to Percecet, which helps, but still near impossible to get

comfortable for any length of time. Is this normal?

I have only been to 1 physio appt so far since leaving hospital but my ROM is not so great. Before the op, I couldn't straighten my leg better than maybe 18 degrees. I'm under 15 now but expected it to be much better. Is it reasonable to expect to get it to at least 4 or 5 in time? The bend is only at just under 90 so I know there's lots of work ahead of me there as well.

Another thing I have noticed in the past two days, is every once in a while it feels like

someone takes a red hot razor and slices an arc at the side of my leg just below the

knee, or that a very fine cut has just been torn open. It's very hard to describe but man is it brutal. Only lasts a few seconds but stops you dead cold. Has anyone else experienced this?

Than you for any response. It's encouraging beyond words to be able to share experiences with others. Hope I can be of help to others here as well.


2 likes, 49 replies

49 Replies

  • Posted you will hear from are finding out the things that weren't discussed in pre op sessions

     You have undergone a major attack on your anatomy which in turn has burrowed deep into the psychic. You not only have the external scar tissue but the internal as well. All kinds of soft tissue, tendons, ligament, muscle and nerves have been severed and bruised. They are all healing under strain as you are walking differently, exercising reguarally etc. Some suggestions: take pain meds on a schedule, not when pain sets in. When you excercise, ice immediately drink plenty  of fluids and rest whenever you feel tired. Good sound restful sleep could still be weeks away. Those sharp pains you feel will change locations from day to day and may resurface weeks from now. In most cases, it takes close to a year to get through all the healing process. Keep excercising, keep icing and good luck


    • Posted

      Thank you Oldfatguy for your encouraging words and sound advice.

      I'm currently exercising 2X a day but Working towards 3x a day

      and always ice immediately afterwards. Sometimes a couple times in between as well.

      My staples come out Monday. Looks like Frankenstein without the bolts. Haha

      thank you so much again

      God bless 

  • Posted

    Hi Peter,

    i too am at 11 days post op TKR. In one word, it's been rough! I have often described the pain as shards of glass stabbing into my knee - area of stab moves around. Getting the pain meds on a regular schedule and not allowing the pain to bloom is key.

    ice, rest and exercise by stretching and pushing a little past your limit each time helps.

    good luck, you can do it, this surgery is not for the faint of heart!

    • Posted

      Thank you Susan and YES it has certainly been rough for sure, and I think the road has just started.

      I fear I might be spending to much time in bed. About 15 min up and walking arount the house is about as much as I can stand. I do this twice a day and I have to go lay down again and take the weight off. Does this sound at least semi normal and how are you doing on you end? 

    • Posted

      Hi Peter, I too am young, at 57, I have been a competitive tennis player and skier all my life. I thought I knew pain from my recreational activities. Hah! I did physical therapy pre op to make sure I went into surgery the best shape I could given my crummy knee.  I am doing two weeks of home PT, then I move to PT office for however long it takes. The majority of my days to date have been spent in bed, mostly due to comfort not really sleeping. I have only gotten to 70 degrees of flexion at Day 10. My doc tells me not to worry about the flexion,more important is extension. That being said there are times I so badly want to just bend my frickin knee!!! I do feel better each day, however my stamina a is really low. Lots of challenges but the alternative of such incredible pain upon walking before surgery keeps me pushing forward!

      hang in there!

  • Posted

    Hi Peter, You have found the right forum here. Everyone is in the same boat and we are all at different stages of recovery. At the early days you are in, rest and icing after exercise is crucial. As Oldfatguy said, take your meds to a schedule, even if you think you don't need them. I set the alarm on my phone both for the painkillers and then the exercise about an hour after.

    The searing pains you are having could be nerve pain, if they continue, talk to your doctor. I got my usual GP on board at the early days and she was a huge help.

    Dont let the degree numbers guilt trip you into overdoing it. It's important to let your body heal. 

    You may find, like most of us here, that you burst into tears. Tears if pain, frustration, self pity or just .. Because. They are all ok. Crying actually helps me, I still do it at 13 weeks.

    You will get through this, we all will. just stay positive.

    Remember, there is always someone awake on here to talk to.

    Caz- 13weeks post TKR,Pom in Perth Western Australia

    • Posted

      Thank you Cazdesmond for all your encouraging words. There are certainly times when emotions run high. That's for sure. Iv'e wondered if this was the right thing to do at times but than I think of the condition before and yup, it was right, there was no choice.

      We just have to persevere. Thank God for places like this where folks can exchange experience and just plain talk 

    • Posted

      Hi Caz, merry xmas fom me here in Scotland ( -5 here) I know you very warm out there my sister lives in Armadale,now Caz,tell me. I am8week now and your five ahead of me,do you walk without a stick now? I still use it when Im out,should I still be using it? How far can you walk independently now? I am scared to go too far in case I cant get back,should I take a pill before I go? Sorry Caz suddenly feel at a crossroad now and not sure whether I should brace up and get on with it or what? I have eaten for Britain the last two days and because I havent been exercising I have piled the weight on sad I must get moving again.x
    • Posted

      hi fran ... the thing with the sticks/crutches is that everybody is so keen to get rid of them.  but actually, used properly, they only make sure that we heal properly and don't simply compensate other body parts, most importantly our hips!  basically, you need to listened to your body.  if your knee and leg hurts when walking, then the time isn't right.  if you feel unsteady when without walking aids, then don't.  there is no exact time when to give them up, your body will feel when it is right.  i moved from two to one but then ended up leaning on one so much i bruised the whole palm of my hand dark blue.  i then decided either none or both ... then went cold turkey and it worked well.  but again, that was my solution, you will find your own.  good luck!


    • Posted

      Thanks Britta,isnt this a bit of a journey? Your right,were all different and when I use that stick I do suddenly find myself transforming in to a leaning old lady,its like my body says " ooh a stick? it must be a doddery old dear" I have to say to myself " for God sake Fran walk upright!! this is NOT the future" so I will walk out tomorrow without he damn thing and when I get tired I will simply turn around and walk back, and if I do need it I will use it but not lean! Thanks Britta.x
    • Posted

      Hi Fran, Happy new year, yes it's very hot here, especially today. Funny really because the air conditioning makes my knee hurt. I couldn't stand living in the UK now.

      I never really walked with crutches after hospital. At home it was easier to get around holding on to the furniture. As you know, I live with three enormous dogs, crutches would be impossible. I only used them outside the house, especially when I went to The Rolling Stones concert at 4 weeks and Katy Perry at 6 weeks, that was mostly to ward off the crowds.

      I know how you feel about Christmas eating, I'm on. Diet Jan 2nd.

      I always take painkillers before I go out, I work my trips out around them.

      If you feel you need a stick, use it, listen to your body, it's healing and knows best.

      These last two days have been very painful for me. Simply because my new doctor changed my meds and I take them every 6 hours instead of 4. I decided to go back to my old meds.

      Good luck

      Caz x

    • Posted

      hi caz ... oh dear, those flipping meds!  i feel for you, i had a similar experience over the last couple of weeks.  i am so sick of being tied to taking my pharmaceutical cocktail so i reduced off my own bat.  a bit too bullish my doctor informed me.  so i am gradually fazing them out now, helped by the fact that the prescription has run out on one of them and my doctor has shut up shop until january.  two weeks down the road, i think my body is staring to get used to less.  but i have had some rough nights for sure.

      so why did your doc change a winning combo? ah, sorry, just spotted you have a "new" doctor.  but still, if it ain't broken, why change it?

    • Posted

      Hi Britta, my doctor got married and is in her honeymoon. When she gets back she is changing surgeries. My new doctor didn't like the idea of me being on Panamax and Panadeine, I don't know why, except he said something about my liver. But Panadol Osteo just doesn't stop the pain. Today I went back to my old regime and it suits me better.

      So, how are you doing? Still having bad nights? I am starting to sleep on my side, I wake up and change to my tummy, then my back, but at least I'm not on my back all the time.

      Caz x

    • Posted

      caz -- thank god for that! the timing for the change was just the pits, wasn't it. i felt so sorry for you. i have - over the past 2 weeks - massively reduced my medication. i ran out of one and thought "let me try without" and i felt no major difference so left it. and all others i am to a minimum dose. my head is clearer, no more of this cotton wool feeling. no idea how i bluffed my way through the day at work feeling like this!

      there has been a lot going on so my head is buzzing ... hence my sleep is not fabulous at night. if i go for a supposed nap during the day, i sleep like the dead for 2-3 hours! i toss and turn, come out in sweats and have been known to get back on my machine for 10 minutes, just to take the aching away. it isn't really pain, just like you want a really good stretch and to take the tension away. i have not slept on my tummy for 15 years! lucky you. i am a side sleeper and with a great lot of groaning managed to get myself in that position from week 4. thank god!

    • Posted

      Hi Britta, you sound like you are really on the last lap. I am feeling a lot more like me. Yesterday I drove my daughter to the supermarket and forgot my afternoon painkillers. I am going to try leaving them out again today.

      I have an appointment with my physio on January 9th. I think that may be the last one. I hope my bend is better.

      The stiffness is still there when I wake up, and I need to hold on to a few things at first. the tightness is strange, I just have to touch my knee and it releases.

      There are two pains that I get, one on the inside of my knee and the stab at the back, but they are getting fewer.

      So, I think I might be dancing soon.

      Happy new year Britta

      Caz x


    • Posted

      happy new year to you too, caz! isn't that just the best when you forget to take the drugs and don't really feel any worse for it?  it's like a little surprise package, yoohoo! i think i am now down to only taking meds at night.  huge progress.  i am stll stiff in the mornings too and am looking forward to working out on machines with my physio to see how i can bring the strength back.  i think that will make a huge difference.

      for sure you will be dancing soon, caz, both on the inside and the out!

      all the best for 2015!


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