TKR Pain Meds

Dolly llama

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They’re not kidding. Don’t do PT. I thought I had to and I would fail terribly if I didn’t.

I woke up one morning about seven weeks after surgery and felt wonderful!!! I then realized I hadn’t had PT in 5 days.

I quit right then. I’ve been so much better for it. I’m feeling so much more energy and can do more without having to recover from PT.
 
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rmc@1021

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I am noticing that my knee can get so stiff and has been stiff since surgery, is this a problem or is this normal?

I also was told that if I dont continue to work on this knee it will permanently lock up and they will have to put me under anesthesia and put the knee un place or unlock it so to speak, all of this is starting to freak me out
 

Sara61

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@[email protected] I had very little PT after surgery infact the 1st couple of weeks I was told to rest, ice and elevate, when I did eventually go to PT , again the movements were gentle. Today I have a perfectly good ROM ( Range of Movement), I'm pain, stiff and swelling free, so I strongly disagree with whomever it was that told you that utter nonsense....

If your knee is stiff it is because it is swollen from doing too much, ease off the exercises for a few days, give that poor knee of yours chance to heal xxx
 

Celle

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I also was told that if I dont continue to work on this knee it will permanently lock up and they will have to put me under anesthesia and put the knee un place or unlock it so to speak, all of this is starting to freak me out
That's all completely incorrect. They are saying that to try and bully you into working harder, which would be bad for your knee.

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 and your knee is not going to lock up.
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

In any case, 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 knee has the potential to achieve good ROM right from the start, but it's prevented from doing so by swelling and pain. As it heals and the swelling goes down, your ROM (both flexion and extension) will gradually increase, whether you do PT or not

I am noticing that my knee can get so stiff and has been stiff since surgery, is this a problem or is this normal?
That's completely normal. Your knee has been through major surgery that caused a a lot of trauma.
.
Your knee is stiff because it's been wounded by the surgery. It needs time and gentle treatment, so it can heal.
The swelling makes it swollen and if you do more than your knee is ready for, the swelling will increase for a while.

Your knee can also get stiff if you keep it still for a while, because while it's still it's not making the fluid that lubricates, rather like putting oil on a rusty hinge.

Finally, stiffness is one other way in which you experience pain.

The stiffness is going to linger for several more months, but it should be decreasing gradually.
 

lovetocookandsew

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@[email protected] I don't know why they try to scare patients by threatening an MUA if they don't reach a random number by a random date. Your knee has just been through a major assault and needs some time to heal before you stress it out by overdoing the exercises or by an MUA. It hasn't even been two weeks yet; your knee was hammered, sawed, sliced and diced (not really diced, it just sounded good...lol) and it needs time to recover from that first.

Doing a lot of activity in the form of strenuous PT is counter productive; we don't want you to be a couch potato, but the best thing right now is gentle movements and walking in between a lot of icing and elevating. As long as you remember to place a cloth between your knee and the ice packs or ice machine pad, you can ice as long as you like. I used to ice anytime I was sitting or lying down, plus I iced all night long. Ice helps with the pain, along with helping reduce swelling, and the elevating also helps with swelling. Swelling is a form of pain, so getting it reduced is a good idea. As time passes, you'll find yourself icing and elevating less and moving around more. It's a natural progression, and as long as you keep walking around and doing normal ADLs, you'll do fine.

As the swelling recedes, your knee will bend more and more; the implant is waiting in there for the swelling to go down and it'll then begin to do it's job to allow you to bend and walk without pain. This recovery takes, on average, a full year, but most people feel much better somewhere around three months. It'll be a roller coaster, but at the end of that ride is a lovely reward; pain free knees that allow you to take back your life!
 
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Jamie

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Stiffness is quite common after a knee replacement. One of the best things to do is some slow turns on an exercise bicycle if you have one available. The gentle motion is not hard on your knee and can "loosen" things up sometimes. It doesn't have to be a lot of time - maybe 5-10 minutes, low speed, no resistance. If you cannot make a full rotation, you can raise the seat to make it easier. Or just rock back and forth on the pedals until you can actually go all the way around. The purpose is to provide some gentle fluid motion for your knee.
 

Jockette

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Another reason for stiffness/tightness, from one of our other advisors:

“Many members think PT is needed to alleviate tightness. Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing...and full healing takes a full year or more.“
 

eaglemom

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Ah, sleeplessness, naps and swelling - something I'm majoring in. I've long since gotten over my "resting" in the afternoon. Try to listen to your body, its telling you not to over do. (Something I'm still working on!)
 
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rmc@1021

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So I am 4 weeks today since my surgery, doctor gave me prednisone to try and help with the swelling and stiffness, It did nothing for my swelling or stiffness, it still as stiff as first week , just concerned I might have to get MUA , I'm constantly icing it, stretching exercises , compression stocking, and no change.
 

Sara61

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@[email protected] you are really still at early days to be thinking about getting a MUA the knee is still healing and has a long way to
My swelling and stiffness didn't start to diminish before I was at the 8th month mark and now at 10 months if I overdo things it comes back.
There is a interesting article in the library

 

Qdogpa

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4 weeks post op, I don’t see anything you are experiencing that I didn’t as well... Sleep was miserable, knee was stiff and tight( for many more weeks after that as well)... I am over 6 months out, and knee is achy and stiff at times still...That said, I am much better then I was at 4-6 week post op.. You will get better, over time...I did some PT , but then Covid came along, I found when the therapist gently massaged the knee area, I found some relief...bests wishes to a slow and steady recovery! Remember, time is a better friend then PT!
 

eaglemom

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Personally I believe your way to early in recovery to be thinking about MUA. Its to be expected it would be swollen and stiff, your only 4 weeks out.

You say your icing - are you elevating while icing? They have to occur together - and toes above nose. For at least 45 minutes each time you ice. When you say compression stocking are you meaning the while ones that go from your toes up to your thigh? Just curious if the surgeon said you should be still doing this. What type of stretching are you doing? I'm asking questions because frankly I think your expecting too much and doing too much. Your "job" is icing/elevating. Then a walk around your house and back to icing/elevating.

Hopefully I don't sound too harsh, I just think you need to relax & let the knee heal. We all want to heal quickly and feel better - but alas the knee will heal in its own time frame.
 

Kimbo1

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I too was told that if I "didn't push through the pain" I would need an MUA. At just a week after surgery, I was so sore and swollen from PT they thought I had a DVT. An $200 xray proved I didn't and I ended up stopping PT after 3 weeks. I am now almost 5 months from surgery and seeing many small victories. I was feeling just like you are and listening to these Bonesmarties helped me cope. For sleeping, you may want to ask your MD about taking melatonin. I t saved me. Even when the "zingers" woke me up, I was able to fall back to sleep. I wasn't getting my full 8 hours like now, but I was able to get 4-5. It will get better. You might start a journal too. It helped me to go back and see that I was improving. Hang in there!!
 

Tykey

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All sounds absolutely normal at this stage. The only difference is you have a PT who is a nincompoop, threatening you with an MUA, and creating doubt and misery for you. He/she is as much use as a chocolate fire guard. The good ones just encourage you to be gentle and patient, with time to heal.
Do some GENTLE EXERCISES only, ice, elevate and take your meds on time.
I challenge you to find many on here (or anywhere else for that matter) whose knees have set solid just by being gentle for the first few months.
Neither of mine have
 

Mrs. Ciz

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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!
I really like this advice. I too had bilateral TKR on 7/6/20. My first week of outpatient PT at 8 days post op, I was feeling very pitiful and sorry for myself. Then I looked over and watched an elderly gentleman probably 30 years older than me struggling with the same exercises I was doing. He was having such a hard time; his leg was shaking; he could barely bend it, but he did not complain and did not give up. I had an attitude adjustment right then and there. If he could do it, I could do it too! My PT appointments have been very positive ever since then. I think a can do attitude is half the battle...well that and good pain control. You must have good pain control. Stay on a med schedule, ice and elevate all the time! It makes a world of difference.
 
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rmc@1021

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I was just wondering if anyone has experienced sharp pain shooting through their scar area. Also anything that touches the scar area like blanket etc aggravates it. Is this all normal?
 

Pumpkln

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You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread 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.
So 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'll 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.
 

Dizzy

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@[email protected] I agree with Pumpkin.....probably zingers. Mine continued up until last week...6 weeks post op. I'm also experiencing the tenderness with anything touching my scar area. I'm always pulling my pants leg up, or throwing the sheet off. It's a long road but we'll get there!:beg:
 
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rmc@1021

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I am 4 weeks and 3 days since my tkr surgery, I am.still on pain meds which I try to not take only before therapy and at night, I was told I should be off them by now, I still have pain and still feel I need them , it's the issue with addiction down here in Florida, has anyone had problems getting pain meds after 1 month?
 

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