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TKR Acupuncture - Can it help with pain?

KnockNeed

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I am 4.5 months post surgery and dealing with challenges to regain flexion. Mainly sciatica and a congenital hip issue. So yesterday I decide I will push the flexion as hard as I might. (I am about 110-115) Now, behind my knee, upper calf really hurts and is worse bearing weight. Knee also burns and is a bit warm. Is this a normal over doing it thing or did I screw up?
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

You most likely upset your knee by pushing the bend as hard as you might. As you can see, this is not a good idea. If you push the knee before it is ready, the knee will push back, and the knee will always win!

This is a year long recovery, on average, and you are less than halfway healed. It’s hard to be patient in this long recovery, but it’s what we need most.

Even though it’s been a while, I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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. At week 4 and after you should 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.
 

Jockette

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We all want to be better immediately, if only that could happen. I know you’ve improved a lot since day one, and that will continue. :flwrysmile:

Please give us your surgery date and which knee it is and we’ll make a signature for you.
 
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KnockNeed

KnockNeed

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TKR/Left Knee April 2, 2021
 
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maryo52

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110 is just fine. If you can stop worrying about it, check again in a few months and you'll find it's improved without even trying. AND the bonus would be less pain.
 

Triple J

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I am 4.5 months post surgery and dealing with challenges to regain flexion. Mainly sciatica and a congenital hip issue. So yesterday I decide I will push the flexion as hard as I might. (I am about 110-115) Now, behind my knee, upper calf really hurts and is worse bearing weight. Knee also burns and is a bit warm. Is this a normal over doing it thing or did I screw up?
Sounds as if you still have some swelling in the back of the leg that may have been exacerbated by the excessive flexion you attempted. Rest, Ice , Elevation for couple of days along with elevated ankle pumps f/b stretching of calf and hamstring muscles will likely help. Go at your own pace.
 
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KnockNeed

KnockNeed

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I have an acupuncture appointment on October 1 and am still uncertain if it is the right thing to do. I am trying to address sciatica and knee pain. My Left TKR was on Apr 2, 2021 and frankly I can’t always tell you whether the pain comes from my back or knee or both. PT, Physiatrist and Massage Therapist think probably both. Advice on acupuncture is needed. Thanks!
 

Jaycey

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I have had acupuncture for lower back issues many times. It does work for me. Do be sure and discuss trying to identify the pain area with the practitioner. Sciatic pain can radiate everywhere!

You will notice that I merged your newest post with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we will get it changed for you.

If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
 
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KnockNeed

KnockNeed

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Thanks Jaycee for info and merge. I could not decide how I was supposed to do it…now I know.
 

djklaugh

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@KnockNeed I have no personal knowledge of acupuncture but I do have a friend who used that prior to having a knee replacement. She had to wait a long time ( over a year ) to get schedule for the surgery and was in a lot of pain that medications did not touch. She found the acupuncture worked very well for her. As I recall she went for a treatment about once a month. If I were you I'd give this a try and I sure hope it helps you!
 

benne68

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I have an acupuncture appointment on October 1 and am still uncertain if it is the right thing to do. I am trying to address sciatica and knee pain.
I've used acupuncture to treat low back pain and sciatic and found it very helpful, even more than massage therapy. (I haven't tried it for knee pain, so can't comment on that.) Don't worry if you can't identify the source of the pain; a good acupuncturist will work with you to find the right pressure points to give you relief. Just be aware that it is pain relief and won't "fix" the underlying problem.
 
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KnockNeed

KnockNeed

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Thank you benne68! How many treatments before you knew it would help and gave relief? I am traveling to a destination wedding mid-October and want to be as good as I can be for myself and so others do not feel impacted. A bit concerned about long airplane sitting. I also have another epidural injection L4/5 L5/S1 scheduled. I call it my “All of the Above” approach.
 

benne68

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@KnockNeed I noticed some relief after my first treatment, but I'd say it took 3-4 visits before I really felt the difference. What I found was that going 2 or 3x a week gave me enough relief that I was able to start using yoga and massage to get longer term relief/

A bit concerned about long airplane sitting.
Sitting for long periods of time has also been an issue for me. On car trips, I have to stop every hour to get out, walk around and stretch my back
 
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KnockNeed

KnockNeed

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@benne68 it sounds like we are in the same boat. I hate wishing time away, but I keep hearing that the knee can take a year. So many folks have it worse, but this is my journey and right now I am tired of the pain and having to be conscious of it all the time. Thanks for sharing your experience with me.
 

Reader525

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@KnockNeed I know exactly how you feel. A year of healing is a long time out of our lives and wishing time to pass at my age feels like a double edged sword. Pain is a terrible companion, and now that I have graduated to "just" soreness and stiffness, I should feel better, but it's like having a houseguest stay too long, I'm ready to be free.

On the positive side, my physical therapist said I have graduated, I only have one more appointment!! I have -3 degree extension and 140 degrees flexion, and I'm walking better. He said as long as I feel confident as far as he's concerned, I'm good to go.

I am grateful for all of this, now I am looking forward to losing the aching that happens, especially at night.
 

benne68

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On the positive side, my physical therapist said I have graduated, I only have one more appointment!! I have -3 degree extension and 140 degrees flexion, and I'm walking better. He said as long as I feel confident as far as he's concerned, I'm good to go.
@Reader525 Congratulations on graduating! :yes!:
 

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