TKR Chronic Insomnia 6 Months After TKR Unrelated to Pain

lostlyric

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I had TKR on July 30th 2020. My recovery went well and I went back to work full-time 4.5 months after my TKR. But one major problem that is following me on a chronic basis is insomnia. I experience pain if I have been on my feet too long or walked too long but I take a couple of Tylenols and I am fine. So clearly my insomnia has NOTHING to do with pain. I am not taking any morphine or other type of pain killer.

The strange thing is that I have NEVER had trouble sleeping in all my 68 years excepting since my TKR. For a number of years I was taking Wellbutrin which causes insomnia or similar sleep problems but even through all the years I was on Wellbutrin I NEVER experienced any sleep issues. Since my TKR initially I thought it was the pain but after my pain became a non-issue my insomnia has continued and I cannot sleep without a sleeping pill. I have tried Melatonin 3 mg, no effect. I tried 6 mg Melatonin no effect. I stayed wide awake and then went back to taking sleeping pills. I cannot sleep without a sleeping pill.

I read somewhere that after major surgery like TKR that people experience sleep disturbances, but usually it's because they are taking pain killers and have issues because of pain. This is NOT the case with me. I also read that insomnia after major surgery may be caused by the type of anesthetic used. Elsewhere I read that insomnia is fairly frequent after general anesthesia. I was not given general anesthesia.

Can anyone on this website enlighten me as to what exactly is going on and causing my chronic insomnia. Any insights or advice will help. This insomnia has become a curse on me and my quality of life.
 

Pumpkin

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@lostlyric
Welcome to BoneSmart! :welome:
I am aware of short term disturbance and insomnia after joint replacement, I do not recall any members with continuing insomnia after 18 months.
I did a search for long term insomnia after joint replacement and could not find anything other than short term effects on sleep. Probably the same information you located.
I have asked my colleagues if any of them have any knowledge about long term insomnia.

Here is a copy of the article about sleep deprivation post operatively .
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

Have you spoken to your physician or seen a sleep specialist?

Hoping someone will respond with a similar experience.

Keep us posted on how you are doing,
Chris
 

ski_bum

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@lostlyric
Try CBD Oil, without the THC. I have been a bad sleeper for many years but CBD seems to be the answer for me.
 

hawk2go

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@lostlyric - I've worked with my GP and my chiropractor to come up with insomnia solutions but I kissed a lot of frogs to find the prince of sleep aids. Many sleep aids will help me sleep but I wake groggy and tired. I even tried alpha wave therapy to no avail. I have maintenance insomnia where I fall asleep quickly but wake around 3:00 for a few hours. My insomnia is related to menopause, not my TKRs. At any rate, what works for me is CBD+Melatonin or 1:1 THC and CBD tincture. I wake refreshed and rested. Melatonin alone nor CBD alone did it and stronger strains of THC:CBD combos left me looped. Sleeplessness will affect everything, I hope you find your solution soon.
 
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lostlyric

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Thanks to all who responded. Your responses are deeply appreciated. Incidentally, I am in my 6th month after surgery not 18 months (in case I implied that). So far I have not seen a sleep specialist or gone through a sleep study. Thanks for the suggestion I think it's a good idea. It just never occurred to me. CBD + Melatonin is an interesting proposition and definitely do-able. Only thing is prior to my TKR I tried CBD for pain management for about 18 months but it gave me constipation. But it's still worth a try instead of using a sleeping pill which leads to tolerance and dependency.

I just wish post major surgery insomnia was a better known and understood issue. Going into surgery you think of all the benefits, at least where TKR is concerned. You come out the other end and you find insomnia, loss of taste and smell. Fortunately for me the loss of taste and smell were over in about a month. Though my sense of taste hasn't returned fully it's still okay. I used to have a very acute sense of smell not so any more. Reduced sense of taste and smell I can live with but lack of sleep is another matter.

I read up on the causes of sleep deprivation in the weblinked article. The causes described don't really apply to me. I am VERY comfortable in my own skin and can fill any amount of time when I am not sleeping. But going to work in the morning without having a good night's sleep is a major concern and stressor. But I deeply appreciate the responses here they have given me food for thought and options. I cannot thank all of you enough. I was in a really dark place when I made my post. I don't feel as helpless now after reading the responses.
 

WFD

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Loss of sense of taste and smell? Could you have or had, Covid-19?
 

Jockette

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Is the correct date for your TKR July 30, 2021? :flwrysmile:
 

Sara61

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As soon as you mentioned loss of taste or smell, immediately Covid came to mind, as this is one of the main factors caused by Corona Virus, I have a friend whom is without either senses sinde the virus began in 2020. I have never heard it being related to a joint replacement :chinstroke:thou.
Hopefully you can get the answers you need soon.
 

Claire56

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Altered sense of taste was one of the side effects of one of the medications I was prescribed.
 

hawk2go

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I'm glad you're feeling better @lostlyric. I got my CBD 25mg+Melatonin 5mg from my small local pharmacist here in Pennsylvania. CBD is legal in all states and you may even be able to find it online for delivery. That may be a quick hit of the options you're considering. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Lovebugs

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Hi, just stumbled upon this thread about insomnia and wanted to mention that I started to have a problem with it, too, several weeks post surgery. Still trying to figure out why. BUT for me, at least,sleep medicine(I take Ambien) produces dependence in a very short time. Meaning that if I take it for 3 or 4 days in a row and try to stop because I think I don’t need it anymore, I cannot get to sleep the next couple of nights. I need to then take a half dose for a couple days to “wean off”. Anxiety medication does the same thing.
So sometimes one might think they have an ongoing problem with insomnia, but it’s just dependence on the sleep med.
 

kate97497

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I took Ambien for years and it was a long process getting off of it. I have suffered from insomnia for years. CBD alone didn't do the trick but CBD/THC combo has been a lifesaver for me. Since cannabis is legal in Canada perhaps that is an option to try?
 

Jamie

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It's okay to try some of the CBD and THC products legally available, but please be sure you coordinate anything you take by mouth with your GP. Some drugs that people are routinely on for other medical issues can interact with the cannabis products. Please don't self-medicate. Your GP should be aware of any and all herbal medications you take.
 

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