Total knee replacement pain

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Ok so it's now been 4 days since I've been home and my whole leg is swollen, bruised and throbbing in pain .. the hospital has given me dihydrocodeine tablets and paracetamol which doesn't seem to do a lot. I put the ice pack on throughout the day and do the excersises in the booklet . All my muscles are so sore and it feels like I'm going to get cramp ...the hardest part is trying to sleep I can find no potition that doesn't hurt ....it's so draining ...I'm really hoping things get better soon . Is anyone else going through the same ?

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  • Posted

    Good morning

    I'm in a similar position to what you describe.

    Had my op on 13th September, my whole leg feels like it's one massive cramp which I can't stretch out enough to get rid of.

    Night time is the worst I just cannot find a position that allows me to sleep for more than a short nap.

    Im so tired.

    The pain killers take the edge of the pain but are wearing off before the next dose is due.

    The blood thinning tablets are making me feel sick and giving me stomach pains off and on throughout the day.

    Im trying to walk as much as I can during day to hopefully ward off any clotting problems plus stop the entire leg seizing up.

    Hopefully some people who are a lot further on than us will have some helpful suggestions

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    • Posted

      Hi ...thank you for your reply I had my operation on the same date as you...I'm not on blood thinners but have the surgical stockings on instead . It was easier in hospital aswell as the stronger medications there was all the equipment to hand ...my husband has gone back to work today ( calling me frequently) I felt so sorry for him last night as I was trying to move around to get the damm leg in some kind of comfortable position...I don't think he slept too well...this group is great as only someone else who's had the operation fully understands...are you in UK ?

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    • Posted

      Hi I too had my total knee replacement on the 13 September. Came home Saturday and feel like I'm in a worse state than ever. Pain is ridiculous, walking or resting, very teary, swollen like a balloon from toes to thigh, on 15mg mst morning and night and liquid oramorph but still not touching it and as for exercises ive got no chance cos of the swelling. Please tell me it will get better.

      ?I'm in north yorkshire

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    • Posted

      Rest is important too. Especially as so hard at night. Just a short five minute walk each hour would be fine plus the usual exercises no doubt you have been given. TENS machine around 20 pounds worth a try for in between pain.

      I don't think I even managed to get up for a walk each hour for the first couple of weeks...I was so wrecked!

      The good news is it does get better and is worth it in the longer run!

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    • Posted

      The first 3-4 weeks are the hardest; the first 7 days are like hell on earth.  No one prepares you for this...you just get blindsided by the pain.  Whatever meds you were given: 1. take them on a rigid schedule and give them a chance to build up in your bloodstream for them to work; 2. if they don't, get better meds...there are lots of options.  At 4 weeks, I was still drooling on my pajamas.

      You MUST start the exercises NOW!!!  Even small movements are helpful; it will probably take 3-4 months to get your full ROM back with home exercises and PT but you have to start somewhere...

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-heel-slide-exercises-526213

      I'm now 18 months post-op.  Check out my first thoughts on the subject...

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-experience-or-wish-i-had-another-kidney-stone--524499

      This is a brutal surgery and we've all been through it.  You WILL conquer this just as we did or are doing right now.  Click on my picture or name and then "See All Discussions" for 20 discussions that may help you out.  Just know that you are not alone in this.

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-and-ptsd-569521

      Good luck...

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  • Posted

    Hi Penny

    I am5weeks post op. Still swollen and sore and on crutches but making slow incremental progress.

    The first two weeks were very hard and you are not alone in how you are feeling.

    It's a much tougher operation than anyone appreciates. Where you are now is  painful, tearful and frustrating. I sought solace on this forum and others and the key  advice is patience. Everyone heals at their own pace and I thought being younger might speed up recovery. I was mistaken! Indeed there are times when you question whether the op was the right thing to do!

    Also don't overdo the exercises . 

    My leg was more swollen after a week because I was determined to push  through the pain barrier but all I did was knock myself back with the swelling.

    A little and often with some discomfort but not hurting yourself seems to be sound principle.

    I am just getting some decent sleep now 4 to 6 hours and it makes one feel far more positive.

    Stick with it! It will get better. I still have a way to go but it is comforting to know things will improve.

    Take Care

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike , thank you for your reply... You get a shock when you return home from hospital !! I'm missing the liquid morphine lol ...I can't touch the damm leg as so painful and throbbing it's like having constant cramp ...I'm really hoping that in a couple of months I will be back to my previous self and able to do all the things I love ...are you in UK ?

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    • Posted

      Yes Stockport

      Unlike our US friends the NHS pretty much leave you to it with a booklet for your PT and some paracetamol and ibuprofen.

      Suffered with that for a week before going to see my GP. I was prescribed with some sleeping pills and tramadol which meant I started to get 3 or 4 hours per night of sleep.

      I weened myself off drugs  both since last week( when they run out!)and am just managing with paracetamol now.

      I have an automatic car so can drive now I am off the drugs.

      Leg is uncomfortable and still can't walk but not the pain of the first 2 to 3 weeks. I am professing well now I terms rom and extension but don't get hung up on any stats there.

      Knowing you are not in your own and others are going through the same agony keeps you going. It's reassuring to know it's not you being weak or soft. it's a very tortuous experience but hopefully one that wil be worth while in the end.

      I am under pressure being  self employed to get back to work next week. The key will be to try and not overdo it and build up gradually and fortunately I have more of an office based job.

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    • Posted

      It continues to get better and better. I had a bit of trough at six weeks...realised I had not envisaged anything beyond six weeks beforehand and suddenly realised that between six weeks and three months seemed a long time. But once I accepted it was going to take a long time bit felt easier. Making a note in a diary of all the little steps of progress helps a lot. As does setting little but achievable targets, mainly from around the two month postbop mark. Good healing to you!
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  • Posted

    Hi Pennypops

    Very early days for you rest is very important take all the medication prescribed elevate your leg as much as possible ice packs as often as you can my tablets we're co codomol and ibrupophen when needed that was 12 months ago as for sleep i used a loose tubeagrip at night it will get better but cant be rushed

    keep going and keep us informed your in a great group here lots of good advice take care.

    Johnny.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are having so much pain. I'm in the UK and had a painful recovery from TKR, done back in March. Even if warned, you just do not expect how debilitating things can be. The pain meds either made me ill or did nothing and the GP expected me to be off meds after 2 weeks! Which shows how little they understand this surgery. Other kinds of surgeries I've had before the TKR were so much easier to recover from and indeed less painful.

    ?The good news is that it all gets more manageable with time. We all heal at varying rates and I'm sure you will read/ hear of those who sail through with little pain or trouble, while others struggle for quite a time. You can always see what your GP suggests, as they will likely offer some more effective pain relief, mine are probably just the exception. Remember you have been through major trauma (controlled trauma but the body does not know this and reacts the same as if you'd been in an accident), you have had all sorts of meds and your survival was put in the hands of others for a while. Now all this pain arrives and you have lack of sleep to deal with. I recall thinking I would never find  a comfortable sitting or sleeping position again. Expect to have good and not so good days for some time, as you heal, soon the good ones should outnumber the bad. Good luck and stay as positive as possible (I know that is so hard to do).

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words my love ..I just keep thinking about the reasons why I had the operation ..as I was in pain, hobbling around work with a limp and had to stop all the activities I love such as lovely long walks, swimming, some gym stuff...I'm hoping to return to these activities soon

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    • Posted

      Hi there. To all of you that have commented on here. It WILL get better. Pain meds, exercises, elevate, ICE & rest.... I'm 10 months post now....in the beginning I wondered, "What was I thinking getting this done?" I can tell you know it is so worth it. I could barely walk before...now....I can walk & dance again. I go to the gym a couple times a week to keep the muscles active. The swelling, and pain will go away in time. This is a major surgery. It took years for our knees to go bad....give yourselves time to heal!!  It takes patience, perseverance and a lot of motivation. Best wishes to all. 

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    • Posted

      Your life will open up in a wonderful way, and you will look back and feel rather amazingly brave and heroic for the ordeal! It is very hard, but indeed, set your face like flint and invest yourself fully into healing and rehabilitation. One dsy at a time!
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    • Posted

      At just over six months I sometimes find a happy tear in my eye, as I realise I have just done something or thought something that I could not have done before! I am so grateful. I agree, when you start reaping the rewards, however long it takes, (and it varies from person to person), you look back and the struggle is a worthwhile investment.
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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny , I know ...I'm just thinking of the reason why I've had this done ..and know it will get easier in time ...it's nice talking to people on the forum at least I know I'm not alone ..

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is a helpful forum!

      The sleep issue makes things very hard. Might be worth seeing if GO would give you some morphine if pain not managed too well. I got sent home with a bottle from the hospital. Never cracked it open in the end but it helped immensely to know it was there! 😀😁😃

      Regarding sleep, I used to wake a couple of times with sharp or throbbing pain in my knee. If I took my medication before I went to sleep it helped significantly. I took all The medication I was given for the first three weeks.

      People start to taper off the medication at different times. Around three month mark most people would probably be off most pain killers I should think, maybe just with occasional over the counter pills. But everyone is different.

      You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It was written to convey the need for patience, something our culture in the western world is not really geared up to! It has a lot of useful suggestions and information.

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    • Posted

      For sure!! I have photography hobby, which has to sit on the sidelines for over a year. I've recently picked up my camera again because I can now walk about.  And I can walk my dogs again. This time last year, I couldn't even walk around the block. I had a brace on each leg....it was sure no fun.  My right knee is doing great, and Synvisc one is helping my left knee for now. I have occasional pain in the TKR knee, but

      no where near before.  Yup! Life is great!! 

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