TKR Question About Pain After TKR

Dmcfad2

graduate
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
817
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, CA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I have not had a TKR yet, but am working on getting it scheduled. I have been reading lots of recovery stories about pain while recovering. My question is about the type of pain. Right now I am in terrible pain. My knee locks and grinds at times and the pain can bring me to tears. Is the pain afterwards different than that? For those who are recovering, how would you describe the pain you feel now compared to before your surgery? I am curious and want to be prepared as to what I can expect.
 

EalingGran

post-grad
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Messages
1,068
Age
67
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
My knee locks and grinds at times and the pain can bring me to tears. Is the pain afterwards different than that
I would think if you are in pain up to the point of tears- then post surgery pain would be easier than this. You should be in profit relatively early ( maybe after a few weeks?)
I didn't have that level of knee pain but I had really bad hip and sciatica pain caused by my knee/ crooked leg.
My post surgery knee pain was mainly heat/ discomfort/ soreness and inability to sleep for several weeks. Plus I had some MCL pain on stairs for several months.
 

mendogal

senior
Joined
Jul 1, 2023
Messages
321
Age
68
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
In the initial few weeks post op, staying on a scheduled pain med regimen - including setting an alarm at bedtime to take them on schedule - kept my baseline pain at a very manageable 2/10 except for very short bursts of acute pain (not excruciating) during getting in and out of bed.

Sharp pain hasn't really been an issue with either of my TKAs because it's transitory (if I sit to long, the first half dozen steps on the newer knee might hit a 7/10 but immediately go back down to 0 - 2/10 with walking about for five minutes). Deep aching is more how I would characterize it, it still hits 4 - 5/10 in the evening on my 12 week old newer knee, and that's my signal to ice and elevate before bedtime.

As @EalingGran noted, insomnia was much more of a post op quality of life issue for me than pain!
 

Axx72

member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
246
Age
51
Gender
Male
Country
Canada Canada
The more work you put towards being physically and mentally prepared, the easier it will be to deal with recovery. There’s always pain with recovery it’s just simply the way the body keeps you from doing too much.

The quality of life that you will get back far and away, exceeds the pain you deal with during a knee replacement.

Welcome to Bonesmart!
 
Last edited:

Mutti3

graduate
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
733
Age
73
Location
Kentucky
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I am 8 day post op! Surgical pain is controllable with narcotic. Bone on bone pain is debilitating, confining and down right miserable. Everybody is different and every knee is different even on the same person!
This time I am more prepared. But you can’t prepare for every Scenario. You just got to roll with it! My pain is less this time, but fatigue and nausea has taken the spot light!
 

Budsmom

new member
Joined
Feb 25, 2022
Messages
8
Age
75
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Post surgery is a different kind of pain. First it's the healing of the incision, then working on ROM. But, three months post-op I am grateful for this new, diminishing a bit every day, discomfort. SO much better than before!
 
OP
OP
Dmcfad2

Dmcfad2

graduate
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
817
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, CA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I am actually anxious to get it done. I’m sick of being in pain. I talked to the scheduler today who is waiting for my primary physician to send over authorization before she can schedule me. ☹️ I did my pre op labs and EKG today and asked that they send authorization ASAP. She said my surgeon is 2-3 months out. Bummer. I’m so ready to be out of pain!
 

benne68

Staff member since February 4, 2022
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
2,569
Location
Connecticut
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
my surgeon is 2-3 months out.
Keep in mind that sometimes surgeries are cancelled on short notice -- because of illness or family issues or even people simply change their minds!

If you are willing to go in on short notice, just tell the scheduler you'd be happy to be on the waiting list for a cancellation! A friend of mine did this and was called a week later with an opening for a full month earlier than her scheduled date.

Things happen!
 

lovetocookandsew

Staff member since June 5, 2019
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
5,977
Age
67
Location
Northern California
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
The pain you're in now will not get better; on the contrary, it'll either stay the same, or, more likely, it'll continue to get worse. That is frustrating, exhausting and debilitating. The pain you'll experience after surgery will be intense at first, but will generally be managed with a pain control regimen. Over time that pain will decrease, as will the need for pain control, until one day, probably without even realizing it, you'll notice you aren't in pain anymore, or at least you aren't in continual pain as you were before the surgery. You'll realize you're walking without the awful pain of a bad knee, which will tell you your new baby knee is doing what it's supposed to do.

Taking your pain meds on schedule after surgery, not just when you start to hurt, so that you stay ahead of the pain and keep it as controlled as possible, will be a big help. Another thing that helps is not to overdo and get into the ODIC (over-did-it-club); you want to avoid that at all costs. Don't push your knee to do things it's not ready to do; instead keep it iced and elevated as much as possible, taking breaks every hour or so to use the restroom, get a drink, etc. Proper icing, including making sure to keep a cloth between your skin and the icing source, really will help with pain and swelling, as will elevating. Light stretching and gentle movements along with walking are good for your knee. As time progresses, and your knee continues to heal, you'll find you can add to your activity.

Hopefully you'll get in sooner than expected, and be on your way to taking your life back!
 
OP
OP
Dmcfad2

Dmcfad2

graduate
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
817
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, CA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@lovetocookandsew Kim, thank you so much for such a detailed and hopeful response. I appreciate the info and advice. I am nervous, of course, but need to get this done so I can continue to enjoy doing the things I love that have become so limiting for me. I have always been active and now all I do is sit in the recliner with ice on my knee for much of the day. It looks like you have been through a lot with your knee. I hope you are doing well.
 

NightQuilter

Staff member since March 23, 2020
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
2,180
Age
73
Location
LA, California
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Debbie, I hope your surgeon gets that cancellation so you can get in there sooner. Would this be the same surgeon who did your hips? I agree with previous respondents - your current pain is not going to improve until your replacement. Be sure to check out some of the exercises to prepare for your recovery and get your home ready in the meantime. Good luck.
 
OP
OP
Dmcfad2

Dmcfad2

graduate
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
817
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, CA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@NightQuilter Yes, this is the same surgeon who did my last hip replacement a couple of years ago. He’s very good and I was so happy (unlike my first hip replacement with a different surgeon 9 years ago that gave me a lot of pain for a few years afterwards). I’m hoping for a wonderful outcome with my knee. Thank you. I loved bonesmart back when I was recovering. I made several good friends here and we helped each other through those first weeks of recovery. It’s such a supportive community. It’s nice to find others who are having your experience. Makes you feel not so alone!
 

SteveMinSD

new member
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Messages
14
Age
60
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Hi Debbie, I had a TKR about 5 months ago, and although I realize that I am an extreme outlier, I thought I would share my experience so you get a range of feedback for a better-informed decision. I was lucky to experience very little pain after surgery. Perhaps due to existing nerve damage to some degree, but may pain the day after surgery was not significantly different than the day before.

They gave me a nerve block and kept me in the hospital over night, but as the block wore off the pain was quite manageable. In the 3-4 level. I never had to take narcotics, and in fact kept forgetting my walker when I got up, if I was deep in thought because it really didn't feel much different. PT would kick the pain level up significantly, and I probably was pushing a bit too hard, but I was able to bike to work again 2-weeks after the replacement.

So, there are great results out there too!

Good luck with your surgery!

PS: I see you are in Oceanside. I had my surgery with Dr. Bugbee in La Jolla. I highly recommend both Dr. Bugbee and the Green hospital there. Amazing care!
 

MichiganGal

junior member
Joined
Aug 15, 2023
Messages
31
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I am 3 months post TKR. My knee was bone on bone and painful with everything I did. After surgery my pain was manageable with following what the doctor ordered. After 2 weeks I was off the heavy stuff and just using Tylenol for swelling and some pain. The feeling I would describe now is a feeling of a very tight ace bandage around my knee. If I sit too long, it takes a few steps to loosen up and then I am doing good. On thing I did not realize for me is the amount of swelling and how long that will last. By surgeon's PA and I talked one day about the swelling, and she stated that it could last up to 5 months and that is very common. I did PT for 8 weeks and that really challenged my knee, and I had a lot of swelling after each session (looking back I should have slowed down the process). The pain/odd feeling now is much better than the bone on bone pain before surgery. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
 

Salleroo

new member
Joined
Aug 20, 2023
Messages
6
Age
66
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi Debbie. I am a newbie. RTKR just 3 weeks ago. I was in so much pain initially day and night and tried oxy to help. The prescription was for only 30, then got refill (only 20) and have since stopped. I cannot get comfortable at night and little sleep for first two weeks and slightly better now. Stopped oxy as it did not help me sleep. I started taking 1 mg lorazapam a week ago, which had been prescribed 9 years back when going through breast cancer. Only take .5 mg for last 7 years as it still helped me get a better nights sleep. That said, it seemed to help my sleep a bit but the pain and discomfort continue.

My second TKR is scheduled for 3 weeks out. I just want to get through all this or I may never want to do it. With my first grandchild, I am anxious to be a more active grandma! Good luck getting it scheduled soon. I had to wait for a sibling walk in the Cotswalds and then a week long bike ride in NY so scheduled it for one week after my return!
 

GGsgirls

new member
Joined
Aug 9, 2023
Messages
13
Age
73
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
My second TKR is scheduled for 3 weeks out. I just want to get through all this or I may never want to do it. With my first grandchild, I am anxious to be a more active grandma!

Grand children can be very motivating. My first knee replacement for my right knee is scheduled for October 2. I want to be able to stay active for my six and eight year old granddaughter’s for many years to come.
 

kneeper

Staff member since January 6, 2014
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
14,047
Location
USA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I am 8 day post op! Surgical pain is controllable with narcotic. Bone on bone pain is debilitating, confining and down right miserable. Everybody is different and every knee is different even on the same person!
This time I am more prepared. But you can’t prepare for every Scenario. You just got to roll with it! My pain is less this time, but fatigue and nausea has taken the spot light!
Just to add that once I made it through recovery it was like a weight had been lifted off me without that pain.
 
OP
OP
Dmcfad2

Dmcfad2

graduate
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
817
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, CA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thanks to all who shared their experience. I understand that the surgery pain will get better as time goes on. I got a message from my PCP this morning that he has cleared me for surgery and has sent the clearance form to my surgeon‘s office, so now I just need the surgery scheduler to get back to me with a date. I sent her a message that I was cleared, so am hoping she will call soon with a date. I’m so ready. I’m tired of sitting in this recliner all day.
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Jamie
    Staff member since Feb, 2009
  • Pumpkin
    Staff member since March 26, 2015

Forum statistics

Threads
63,425
Messages
1,567,388
BoneSmarties
38,466
Latest member
blondie14
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom