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Severe Shin Pain Following Surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by BobBailey, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. BobBailey

    BobBailey New Member

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    Re: Please help - my husband had knee replacement

    Hi, My husband had knee replacement on Monday, Aug. 9th. He has had severe pain. We did go to the class before surgery. Everything they told us did not happen. It was a complete waste of time. His pain was unmanageable the day after surgery. They finally put him on dilaudum. Definitely helped. Since coming home he has had a difficult time. Severe shin pain. Even with meds, a level 5. Last two nights he has woken up nauseaus, slight temp and his leg very hot and burning. All in the shin not the knee. Likes his ice machine and the CPM machine. He turned 62 in July and retired immediately. He was a letter carrier and did a lot of walking. He was out on medical leave since January because he could not longer do his job. Luckily he had a lot of sick time saved up from his career in the post office. He needed all of it. We have been told that day 16 is statistically the key to feeling like you can recover.
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Hi, and welcome again!!! I hope you don't mind that I copied your post here. We have a great group of folks on BoneSmart who are more than willing to chat with you to help and provide support for you and your hubby during recovery. This is tough surgery!

    I'm curious as to what you were told in your pre-op class that didn't come to pass. Normally those pre-surgery programs are very good and help people understand what the surgery and recovery may involve.

    It is a fairly normal thing for the doctors and nurses to do a little jockeying with pain meds immediately after surgery. Each of us is different and reacts to the various medications differently. I'm glad they were able to find a pain medication that worked. But...if it's not working now even though he is taking the maximum dose every 4 hours, you should contact your surgeon's office first thing Monday morning and tell them he needs something different.

    It could be the nausea that is making him feel worse. Your surgeon can prescribe a medication that will take care of that also. Nausea many times comes along with these strong pain medications, but the meds do wonders to calm things down.

    Likewise, the slight temperature is pretty common too...along with the "hot" feeling in the joint or leg. The fact that he feels the pain in the shin is nothing to be alarmed about. During recovery, pain can appear in all sorts of odd places.

    It's good that he is using the ice machine. Ice and elevation along with pain meds really do help.

    This is very, very major surgery. Recovery can be quite challenging sometimes. It may be a little long than "day 16" before he really begins to feel like himself. The best thing is to take it one day at a time and focus on the routine of resting, icing, elevating, and taking pain meds on schedule. He'll get there!

    Please don't hesitate to post any time with questions or concerns....or to report a milestone accomplished! We look forward to hearing from you again.
  3. Tykey

    Tykey Forum Advisor

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    Day 16 might be a statistical average, but I'm not sure where that comes from. My day was day 2, for others it might be 2 months or more. It'll be what it will be.

    It's irrelevant to an individual though, you will recover in your own good time.
  4. cotton1958

    cotton1958 Supremo

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    Well, want to thank your husband for doing his job and delivering our mail. Sorry he wore his knees out. I wore mine out too working at my job.

    But your husband is way early in this process of healing. Needs some more time. It does get better. Sorry he is hurting. Anytime you feel like there's something not right, it doesn't hurt to call his Dr. as that's what you are paying for. And of course we are always here!
  5. BobBailey

    BobBailey New Member

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    Thank you for your responses. First the class was held in the same hospital where the surgery was performed. Told he would take a shower on the 2nd day. Not so. Did not get a shower until we came home 4 days after surgery. Ice machine was haphazard as was the CPM machine. Was told the CPM machine was two hours each shift. Not so. Sometimes an hour and other times they would forget it was on so it would be three hours before it was removed. Ice would be lukewarm water before someone would change it. There was no assist with bath. Handed toothbrush and toothpaste and left alone. No water. First day after surgery was told would get up to chair once or twice. Not at all and on second day only once. When pain was so severe on second day, a nurse said, "well we don't like to give too much because it might cause constipation." Are you kidding me! Wife about to ask ask for a pain management team when a resident doctor came in and then he agreed to change to toridol and dilauden (sp?). Definitely much better. But had to fight for it. I think the class made it sound like they were going to really take good care of us. They did not. I don't want to hear anyone say they are too busy. There was not one person, nurse, or otherwise who seemed really rushed and stressed at their job. The nurses were actually wonderful. Still things could have been better. I guess my whole point is that the class didn't do anything to make me better prepared for the surgery.
  6. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Well, it certainly sounds like the hospital left a lot to be desired in terms of care. The comment about pain meds and constipation was unreal!!! That's what stool softeners are for, for heaven's sake. It just proves what we talk about here many times that a patient needs an advocate when in the hospital like this. Someone has to speak up and make things happen. It sounds like you were able to do that for your husband and that's good. I'm glad he's home where he will get premium care.
  7. cotton1958

    cotton1958 Supremo

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    I think the hospital and Doctor would want to know the problems you had. Figuring as much as you have been through, you may not feel like it right now. They will probably send a survey out.

    Of course saying that, I didn't send mine in on my complaints. I was told my hospital was really trying to make improvements and really wanted to know what the problems were. But I figured if I told them when I was in the hospital what was wrong that should have been enough.

    But now I wouldn't mind letting them know. I think one of the things I was most upset about was a certain CPN that got me mixed up with someone down the hall and kept pricking my finger thinking I had diabetes. I got so upset I told them I was going to move to another hospital. And I was on lovenox. And while I was watching the movie on lovenox, same CPN turned the TV off and I told her to get out of the room and that a nurse had ordered the video.

    At about this time, my daughter had to step in and stayed with me at night.

    But basically I got the best care possible(almost)in one of the best hospitals in the South. So guess I feel lucky to get what I got.

    Oh and another time they asked me why I was sitting in a 'hip' chair. I was like duh, it's the one you put in the room.
  8. kneesrus

    kneesrus Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi BobBailey,
    Sorry to hear about voyage on the Titanic. It sounds like the staff has never worked with this type of case ever. Time to get things right.
    1) The shin pain is very common because of the swelling of the surgery is going down to your foot. The increase fluid cause a great deal of pressure on your shin bone.
    2) You can substitute your CPM for a Ther ex ball size 65cm. You can sit on the ball and rock back and forth to regain your motion. The advantabe of the ball is, you can do it in any room in the house.
    3) Ice and elevation several times a day.
    4) Try not to limp. Use a walker or a cane and try to have a normal stride.
    Forget about the past and look to the future. You can not control the past.
    Everyday you will find that you can do a little more. Work on putting on your shoes and socks, drying your feet, putting your pants on etc. This is all therapy and you will see improvement. Your time will come when life is better than before surgery.
    Best of Luck,
    David
    L TKR 12/19/07
  9. Susie-Q

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    I got a phone call a few days after I got home from the hospital asking how the care was and I was able to tell them. My care was basically very good, they were very attentive and came quickly when I rang the buzzer or at the very least called into my room asking what was needed so they would know who to send. My only complaints were the dinner post-op should be re-thought, lasagne right after major surgery is not a good idea, especially when taking pain-killers that might make one nauseous. I ended up throwing up all over myself right after my children came to visit me, embarrassing..... (they are 12 and 16) I was expecting chicken noodle soup and crackers..... LOL Also, they only gave me pain pills when I requested them, not regularly around the clock. So I had to remember how much time had passed and ask for it. I guess there was some rule that it had to be patient-requested so they didn't over-medicate me.....which makes no sense......

    (edited to add: I don't think they intentionally give all post-op patients lasagne, it just happened to be Monday's dinner.....but not appropriate for someone who's stomach might be tender.....)
  10. Max Wallace

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    Sorry you had such a bad hospital experience. Your husband is very early in recovery, try to remember some bone matter is removed and that is a major trauma for your body. Bruises and soreness in various places on feet, shins, calfs, thighs are all common. Now that you are at home make sure that his pain meds are kept in good shape and be persistant with his DR.s about staying on top of the pain. if he is experiencing to much pain he will not get the benefit of PT because he want feel like doing any. My definition of PT is any thing he does that involves his knees it doesn't have to be exercise just staying mobile and pain free.
  11. brs0660

    brs0660 Forum Advisor

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    Sure hope you get a satisfaction survey...also you need to write to the insurance company. Sorry for your challenges. I agree with David..try to keep positive and look toward the future.
  12. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Agree with all of the above ....

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