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TKR Pain Meds

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I just had surgery July 2, I am so stressed out from not sleeping, its causing me to just sit and cry, my knee is so tight and no matter which way I try and lay down it doesn’t matter, the tape, the tightness and swolleness, I know alot people said this was a long and painful recovery, but if I knew it was this bad I might have opted out. I'm just really discouraged right now, I'm doing my stretches and just started PT, one of the techs said it's going to get better, dont give up, I keep holding onto those words. I'm glad there are people here who understand.
 
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rmc@1021

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I am so glad I found this site its 11:32 pm and I sit here on the couch wide awake , my surgery was july 2, 2020, I really did not do a whole lot of researching of the recovery involved in this whole TKR, I have heard so many success stories, so I went with it, this lack of sleep and thos pain, and tightness has brought me to tears often, I have had many surgeries but never dealt with this kind of pain and stiffness, then having to stretch and do PT with stitches is beyond torture, I just need alot of encouragement , I feel so alone in this, no one I know understands what I am going through ,I dont think I was spiritually or mentally prepared for this kind of pain and insomnia, the PT therapist told me it will get better , just take it 1 day at a time, any words of encouragement will gladly be appreciated
 

eaglemom

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You're 9 days post surgery. Are you taking your pain medication on a set schedule? If not get on a set schedule & stay on it. You didn't mention if your elevating your leg. If not you need to be doing so, along with icing. Ice will help with pain also. Frankly day 9 you need not be doing anything except resting & occasionally walking (with a walker) around your house/apartment. Nothing else is needed. Your knee isn't happy and adding PT to it will never work. Its very fine to say NO to PT.

I think if you'll get on a schedule with medication, ice and elevate you'll feel some better. The tightness is something many of us struggle with. Time is what is needed. Do you have ear buds or headphones? I've found that relaxing music while resting to help my attitude!! I think having the music in my ears gives me something else to focus on. Anyway, its a suggestion.

Others will be along and offer more encouragement. Medication / elevation / icing are going to be your best bet for awhile. Your body is trying to heal, and your baby knee isn't happy. Yes it will get better.
 

Rjack09

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Hey. You're gonna be fine. I thought I would jump back in here I got my knees replaced 3 1/2 years ago. Bilateral I had both done at the same time. It was a bit of a challenge. I think you’re about nine days in. You Gotta keep your chin up, what you’re primarily doing at this point is healing. Repeat healing. My advice is number one see if you can make sure that your pain management is as good as it can get at this point. I cannot stress, and most people here cannot stress enough to elevate, and ice. I used one of those ice machines that looks like a little igloo cooler and circulates iced water through a Velcro tape membrane that you can put around your knee. Please realize that elevate means that your knee is above your heart. I was a dumb butt early on and consider that putting a pillow under my ankle while I sat down was elevating! Anyway again, you’re at a very early raw stage we are probably the main objective is just to get some basic healing done. Realize you’re going to be getting very small incremental gains and victories. These will stack up. Another piece of advice, you’re going to heal as fast as you heal, don’t set expectations and compared to other people stories. All you need to worry about is stacking those little victories. You’re going to be going through quite a bit more time of unbelievable stiffness. I remember both of my legs, knees feeling like they were made of wood. It was quite disconcerting. Anyway, there’s some really cool people on this site that can help you with advice and stuff. I’d be glad to help you out if I can with any of my war stories!
 
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Rjack09

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By the way you’re going to be a veteran of all this in the not too distant future! I’m so glad I got both my knees done, but frankly if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be able to walk! Anyway my wife and I do daily walks and hikes and life’s all good. I don’t know if it would help you but I needed some kind of inspiration before I went in for this, they happen to be at Saint Jude‘s commercial on TV. They show these brave little kids battling cancer, and you know their parents went through and go through some real hell. I realized I’m gonna be going through kind of a rough patch healing From knee replacement but at the end I’m gonna be in much better shape, and that I have no right whatsoever to feel sorry for myself! You’re in a battle so you might as well put your soldier hat on! You’re gonna you’re gonna do fine!
 

Celle

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Hello @[email protected] - and :welome:

The others are right. This is a long recovery.
After all, you've just had very major surgery. You're not going to bounce back in just a few weeks.
We'll be here to help you through this. We've done it ourselves, so we know what it's like.

Now, take some deep breaths and believe that your knee knows what it's doing. It will heal, on its own schedule, not on anyone' else's time schedule. Nature has been doing its job of healing for a long, long time, with or without our input.

Right now,your knee needs time and gentle treatment, so it can start to heal. Resign yourself to lots of rest, ice and elevation. You need to take you medications on a strict, regular schedule - and not so you can do PT. You don't need hard PT.

Here are some guidelines, to help you through recovery.

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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Celle

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@[email protected]
I have merged your threads. Please don't keep starting new threads. Just continue to post on this one thread.

I know you're anxious, but please be patient about expecting replies. Our staff are volunteers and we don't work 24/7. You will always receive a reply within 24 hours.
 

Sara61

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:wave: @[email protected] - Night times are the worst at the beginning of this recovery as we head into a long often lonely night ahead, pain seems to increase,:hissy: daytime is better as we usually have company and things to keep us occupied, try using the nights that you feel lonely, bored sleepless to reach out to your Bonesmarties friends ( mostly)
there is someone who is online somewhere around the world on BoneSmart, ready to chat, vent and laugh with.
I too at the beginning often wondered WHY I was crazy to have had a surgery, that initially left me in PAIN and every movement was stiff, awkward and jolly hard work ....but IT DOES get better, each week you will notice a small improvement, then bigger ones and before you know it you will have suddenly notice you have no pain and life is great once again :flwrysmile: it is really important to try and keep a positive attitude, apart from us all here your new best friend will be :ice: make sure you use plenty of it for at least 45 minutes applying to the front and back and keep taking your medication on time, don't think as it's feeling ok to leave a couple of hours ...It's not it will hit you a lot harder. Stay Safe & here's hoping a better day for you :friends: hugs from Portugal xxx
 

Roy Gardiner

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:welome: to BoneSmart.
then having to stretch and do PT with stitches is beyond torture
Then don't do it! No pain, more gain.
Imagine exercising hard in recovery for a broken leg or a sprained muscle; counter-productive, obviously, and would worsen the damage. It's much the same with TKR, you have damage needing healing, not unfitness needing training.

All you need is to help retain mobility (not fitness or strength) until healing is complete. This is done with gentle stretching exercises, without pain.

Read full details here https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/post-operative-exercise-–-the-bonesmart-view.25463/
the PT therapist told me it will get better , just take it 1 day at a time
:thumb: correct. Try to take your medication, and to get more if you're still in pain.
 

Dizzy

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I feel your pain, literally! My LTKR was 4 weeks ago. Still in a lot of pain, I can't take the Oxy anymore because it's giving me a headache, it's Sunday and I can't call for a different pain med until tomorrow, my comfy recliner isn't working properly, my donut didn't have enough icing on it, etc. The thought of doing anything, other than sitting, icing, and having a "pity party" for myself, is not gonna happen! I have a hobby that I love...Diamond Dot Painting..and I can't do it so that's really aggravating me too. Had my RTKR 3 years ago so I knew what to expect but that still doesn't change what we're going through now. I swore back then I'd never do this again yet here I am!!! All I can say is "hang in there...you are not alone even if it feels that way! This recovery takes a LONG time! Don't give yourself a time table. You may be disappointed. This forum is the best and refer to it often but don't compare your recuperating to anyone elses. We're all different! Hang in there! Going to go now. I've invited myself to my own "pity party" and I don't want to be late!!!
 

Jockette

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Stop doing any PT that increases your pain, that is counterproductive. There is enough pain in the early part of this recovery without adding to it. All you need are gentle movements and some short walks.


Regaining our ROM is more about Time than repetitions of a list of exercises.

Time to recover.
Time for pain and swelling to settle.
Time to heal.

Our range of motion is right there all
along just waiting for that to happen so it can show itself.

In the general run of things, it doesn't need to be fought for, worked hard for or worried about. It will happen. Normal activity is the key to success.
 

Qdogpa

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Very early in the recovery process..We all have experienced what you are going through. That doesn’t make it any easier...BUT, over time, you will make progress. as others have said, take your pain meds, ice, elevate, rest..way too early for any serious PT..TIME is our best friend in the recovery process!
 

Muldoh

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Your words expressed exactly how I am feeling! And although I am sorry to hear your pain, it is somewhat comforting to know we are not alone. And the tears only make it worse, trust me I know ;) I am 2 days ahead of you, and just heard from a friend who told me how happy she was that she had her knee done. It’s been almost 2 years for her and she acknowledged all the hardships in the beginning but really gave me the speech about being so glad she did it! It will get me through the day I think. I hope it helps you too
 

sistersinhim

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Your number one goal should not be doing PT, it should be healing that infant knee. Doing daily activities is all you need to be doing. We call them ADL, (activities of daily living). You walk to the bathroom, that's PT. You go to the kitchen, that's PT. Whatever movements you do is PT. Formal PT that causes you all this pain and swelling is doing you more harm than good. You have to recover from that PT session before your knee can get back to where it was before that session.

You are the boss and should always maintain total control of what is done to your knee. If something hurts at the time or the next day, don't do it again for a few weeks. You can try it again then. If it doesn't cause extra pain, then your knee is ready for it and it's OK to do it. It's a trial and error thing.

I think just about every one of us experienced a sleeping problem. I just slept when and where I could. If it was 12n or 12m, it didn't matter. Sleep is good no matter when you get it. Have you tried Melatonin? Many find that helpful. Benedryl works for some, too.
 

Layla

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Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us! So sorry to read of the pain, fatigue and discouragement you’re feeling. Sending a warm hug your way. :console2:

I’ll congratulate you on your new knee even though you’re most likely cursing the entire process right now. You will begin to notice progress slowly, but surely. Some have a rougher start than others, but there are plenty here who understand and can sympathize. Try to take it one day at a time, doing all you’ve been advised through the Recovery Guidelines and helpful hints from those who‘ve been there, done that. It Will Get Better.

You will sleep. When you’re feeling miserable because you’re not able to drift off, watch tv, read, come to the forum, lights never go out here. You can visit the Social Room and read threads there, it may serve as a pleasant distraction and could even bring on
some Z’s :sleep: https://bonesmart.org/forum/view/social-room.11/

What really helped me was to focus on progress weekly only. If you do it daily, you’re setting yourself up for a big let down. Pick a day of the week, I chose the weekend and reflect back on the progress you realize you’ve made, whether it’s less meds, less pain, more sleep, better appetite, improved mood...whatever. Its all positive and you’ll find something, so cling to that.

One of my favorite recovery reminders -



Re-read Post Op Blues from the Recovery Guidelines and understand its only temporary, reminding yourself of that often.

Brighter days are on their way....truly they are :SUNsmile: :happydance: I hope today is one of them!
@[email protected]
 

kneeper

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Yes, these early days are a bit tough. I knew what to expect when I had my second knee done and I still had moments when I said to myself "I did this twice? Voluntarily?!" :heehee: I think we've all shed tears of frustration. But it was worth it in the end.

Sleep is one of those frustrating things. Once I decided that sleeping "normally" was not going to happen in the recovery I didn't stress so much about it. "Normal" during recovery for me was that I slept in installments of a few hours at a time overnight and then I'd nap at least once during the day. Lie down (with your leg elevated) whenever you can. Naps during the recovery are part of letting your body heal and don't interfere with sleeping at night, so grab them whenever you can.

Others have offered you good advice about pain meds, ice and elevation. You will get through this. :console2:
 

pamsknees

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@[email protected] like everyone has advised you, if PT hurts don’t do it! I had my bilateral TKR on Mar 16, the day before everything shut down. PT was not available for me- in hindsight I’m glad! My knees have healed up wonderfully - today not quite 4 months after surgery, I walked 2.5 miles & biked 20 miles. I stayed on my pain meds as scheduled , even setting an alarm for them & I iced constantly for probably the 1st 2 weeks & then whenever I was sitting for another few weeks. I think the icing, elevating, pain meds & lack of PT is why mine have done so well! Hope yours gets better quick
 
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rmc@1021

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Yes I have read all the advice and articles, thank you for reaching out, I'm still having trouble sleeping at night, so I nap in the morning and afternoon
 

Sara61

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In the early days of recovery just nap/sleep :sleep:when you can, our bodies heal whilst we rest, soon you will be wishing for the days we could "nap guilt free" I'm now 9 months post surgery and still try to get the odd "siesta" in the afternoon :heehee: especially if I've spent the night fighting with sleep....:tiredwheel: whatever you do don't get your self into a "frazzel " about it once your body is healed regular good night sleep will return xxx
 
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