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PKR 3 weeks post PKR: question about pain meds

Rosy

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Hallo all. New here. 3 weeks post PKR. I couldn't ask for a better rate of recovery, but I am trying to stop hydromorphone and the pain is really wearing me down. I do well with 2 mg (so not a lot) but I want to get back to driving. So confused as to what to do. Thank you all for this forum. I am battling fatigue, but it seems like that is normal from other posts!
 

Qdogpa

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I am 4 weeks post op, and only use Oxy at night to fall asleep.. pain was/is a 4/5 regardless, my knee is achy, tired and stiff...I take 2 Tylenol 500 pills three times a day ...fatigue? every single day sadly.. it will get better!
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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Thank you. It just helps so much not to feel lonely in this journey.
 

Celle

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Hello @Rosy - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

Since you're still in a lot of pain, you probably still need to take your medication as prescribed.

This is a year-long recovery, whether you had a partial or a total replacement, and no matter how young or fit you were before surgery.
Don't try to rush your recovery. Your body needs time to recover from major surgery.

Most people don't start driving until 4-6 weeks after surgery.

Yes, the fatigue is a normal part of recovery. most of your body's energy is being directed towards healing your knee and there isn't mush left for anything else.

Here are the recovery guidelines we give to everyone with a new knee.
Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. Try to follow this

6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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Thank you for your reply. I do think I need to take more of the pain meds. My surgery date was Jan 27, 2020 PKR (Oxford). I was extremely fit before surgery, so I guess I expected things to be easier afterwards. My range of motion is excellent. I am just so tired some days. I work from home and went back to work a week after surgery. I know! So trying to be gentle with myself and rest whenever I can. Thank you for all this information. It helps a lot. Especially since I am young for a knee replacement and I simply don't have any peers who have gone down this road.
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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Oh! another question: is a partial supposed to be much easier to recover from than a TKR?
 

sondrals

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If you think about it, they still cut you open and saw off part of your bone. But they claim it’s an easier recovery
 

Celle

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I work from home and went back to work a week after surgery. I know! So trying to be gentle with myself and rest whenever I can.
That's incredibly early - far too early, in fact.
This wasn't in ingrown toenail you had fixed. It was one of the most major surgeries you can have, and you can't just bounce back from it in a couple of weeks.
Please stop pushing yourself so fast, or it will come back to bite you. You can't hasten this recovery, no matter how much you want to and doing too much, too soon can actually slow down your recovery.

We usually recommend taking about 12 weeks off and then doing a Phased return to work
Oh! another question: is a partial supposed to be much easier to recover from than a TKR?
Well, that's what the advertising often says.
However, we've found that it isn't so. For the vast majority of recipients, it takes just as long and it's just as hard to recover from a PKR as it does from a TKR.
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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You have given me a lot to think about. There are a lot of ways that I can cut back. Thank you for the feedback.
 

Cjackso21

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I have had a lot of experience with recovery from TKRs and revisions (which were all mostly like a TKR, revision makes it sound easy). I tried to stop pain meds at around 4 weeks once cold turkey because it seemed ok. But was sick for a week from withdrawal symptoms. The next time I found a website that shows how to slowly get off by decreasing the amount but keeping the same schedule. Either cut in half or as I did, make a solution of the ground up pills with water and measure the solution. And yes, take it easy! I am taking 8 weeks off with the option of extending it. Can you file for state disability? This helps a little so you don’t have to feel obligated to work.
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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I am going to read up more on the meds decrease. I am self employed.
 

Peaches0000

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My right TKR surgery was January 9, 2020 and I stayed on the Oxycodone for 5 weeks- I am glad I did- I miss them, and realize I had withdrawal symptoms all last week-bad headaches and stomach issues- wish I would have read the post about weaning off gradually, just quit cold turkey and felt so crummy for a few days- I didn't think I could do my PT 3 X a week without taking a 5mg Oxy before I went, but honestly , it is going fine just taking the Tylenol- I think your body tells you when it is time to quit the pain meds, but honestly, I would not stop them too soon. This surgery is brutal.
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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Phew. Week 4 (3 weeks since surgery) is kicking my butt. I soared through the first couple of weeks. I was high on the kindness of strangers. The pain was rough, hospital was traumatic, but everything was coloured by kindness. Now life has to start going back to normal and I am just so tired. It's lonely not being able to drive yet; missing the gym; not wanting to complain; trying to be positive. Nobody understands the toll the surgery took or how awful I feel, but I honestly don't want to complain. Thank you for creating this safe space where I can be honest. One step at a time. I think the most difficult thing is that I use exercise as my go-to therapy. Exercise now is somewhat limited ;-). Definitely no endorphin highs taking place.
 

Bird lady

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Hey Rosie! I just finished week 2 which was awful for me I stopped taking the Tramadol cold turkey and went thru withdrawals all week.....nauseated shaky nervous. Today I am finally over that hump.
Here's to better days for both of us........I actually took short walk outside on a beautiful sunny day here in Louisiana and my spirits are lifted!!! I too am self employed and have had to do some work from home. Would be nice to be able to take off 8 weeks but just not possible! I am feeling ya sista! Hang tough!
 

Qdogpa

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4 1/2 weeks post op, and everyday a tad better.. pain is now more a constant ache( unless stressing thru PT or exercises) and knee is stiff ,tight and still a bit swollen. Have gotten out in recent days for some walks, which just feeling the sunshine is uplifting. Sleep has still been unattainable, I frequently take an Oxy prior to bed, just to help fall asleep, it it wears off 3 hours later...trying to find anyway to be comfortable in bed is impossible.

today is last day of many of my meds , so will be interesting to see how I feel in the next few days. As much as i try and stay positive, i get frustrated that I am not completely or nearly pain free.. I need to keep reminding myself, it hasn’t been 5 weeks yet, and I had SURGERY!
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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I haven't figured out how to reply individually yet. Bird lady: so glad to hear from another self-employed person. Fortunately I work from home as a piano teacher, so I do have some flexibility. It's just that I am usually a very energetic enthusiastic teacher and now I am a little bit grumpy lol. I also had a short walk today and it was great. Thank you for the encouragement.
Qdogpa: I find that elevating my leg at night seems to help with sleep. It's a bummer always waking up halfway through the night with pain. Sometimes I make myself a cup of tea and ice a bit before I try to go back to sleep. I guess most of us are unprepared for the long recovery time of this surgery. Good luck!!
 

Cedar41

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I’m 74 one month out from RTK. I was taking 2 50 mg Percocet every 4 hours. Love my wine at night so started cutting back my meds to try to get off them so I could enjoy my glass of wine. Week 3 started 1 1/2 pills every 4 then 5 hours. 3 days ago I was taking 1 every 4/5 hours but not setting any alarms to medicate at night. This AM I took 2 50 mg Tramadol and have had no pain all day. So guess who is going to have wine tomorrow
Also. 16 years ago I had a left partial knee. I walked without assistance one week after surgery if I remember correctly. Scar 5” vs TKR scar 9”. They didn’t touch my knee cap with the partial
 
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Rosy

Rosy

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Cedar 41: I miss my glass of wine at night too :). I love that you bring that up!! I am having kombucha as "pretend" wine--not really fooling myself. I have found that the aspect of managing medication is really challenging. Enjoy that glass of wine.
 

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