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TKR Knee pain after surgery

kcoffee

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Hi all,
I’m new to this,so please bear with me. I’m 5 1/2 weeks after total knee replacement. I’m still having a great deal of pain, which my doctor says I shouldn’t be having at this point. I’m at my wits end. Is anyone else experiencing this?
 

Celle

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Hello @kcoffee - 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.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

In spite of what your surgeon says, most people still have pain at 5-6 weeks post-op.
Complete recovery from a knee replacement takes a long time, as long as a full year for all your tissues to be totally healed, although you will be able to do most things long before that.

It's not a recovery you can hasten, no matter how much you'd like to. If you think of it in terms of a race, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Apart from drugs, you can do some things to ease your pain.
First, make sure that you are not over-exercising. There's no deadline you have to meet to achieve Range of Motion (ROM), so you don't have to do lots of exercising. Slow and steady is the way to go, and never do or allow any exercises that take you beyond discomfort into pain. Don't allow your PT therapist to force your knee at all. Hands off is a good idea.

Second, icing and elevating your knee will help to relieve pain and swelling.
There is information about how to do that in the recovery guidelines I'll give you, here:

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.
 

Toyon

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HI, I'm four weeks beyond total knee replacement surgery. I still have pain although it's lessening, and use oxycodone and tylenol and ice. I really love the ice machine! I've appreciated the support I've received at this recovery forum. Thanks guys!
 

Dizzy

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IMHO, if the doctor has not had knee replacement himself, then how does he know how much pain you should be having? Sorry..but that really bugs me because everyone 's pain level is different. It makes you think you're doing something wrong!!
 

sistersinhim

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I had some pain for over 6 months. Of course, the first couple of months were much worse, especially if I did too much. It does get better as time goes on. But, you have to treat your knee like the baby it is.

There's still plenty of time for you to continue to improve. Recovery from a knee replacement takes as long as a full year, sometimes even longer. It's a marathon, not a sprint, so you're in for the long haul.

There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth-busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
We even have one member who found out by chance that her ROM had improved at 3 years post-op.

From now on, though, it's a matter of letting your knee make progress on its own. You can't speed that up by working at it. In fact, working too hard could actually slow down its progress. Just keep using your knee in your normal daily activities.
It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your ROM is there right from the start, just waiting for all that to happen, so it can show itself.

Here are a few articles that may help you:
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Knee recovery - Lose the Work Ethic!!
TKRs and our fast food society
Life in the slow lane
 

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