TKR Skin Burning

Hobiecat

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Hi-My right TKR was September 14 and my major problem is sleeplessness. This is mostly due to burning hypersensitivity of the skin around and below the knee. I can’t stand the sheets touching the knee. Took 600 mg of ibuprofen and 2 Tylenol and actually slept 3 hours! Stopped Percocet which actually seemed to keep me awake.Sitting up icing it which helps but really would love a night of sleep. Trying to rub area with different textures cloth to “desensitize” the nerves as suggested by PT. Anyone else with this problem?
 

Jaycey

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@Hobiecat Welcome to BoneSmart and the other side of surgery! My colleague @Jockette had this sensitivity problem post op. I've tagged her so that she can come and chat with you here. It's a complaint we hear quite often. The desensitising does work for some.

I'll leave your recovery guidelines here for you:

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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. Here is a very general week-by-week guide. Activity progression for TKRs

6. Access 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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome! Yes, that sensitivity is awful. It does mostly fade after a while. I still have to be careful what touches my knee 5+ years later, some things can, some can‘t. I wear shorts as much as I can!
 

Flashlight

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Hi Hobiecat, burning pain in the upper thigh is usually due to pressure on the nerves from the tourniquet. I wonder if what you are feeling around the incisional site is caused by swelling, heat and redness from trauma to the tissues of your knee. I would ask your doctor. I would let him know you are unable to take the percocet there are other medications to help you through this. Are you still on a blood thinner? Everyone is different but it was my lower leg that needed to be desensitized. I'm just starting to get all the feeling back and some days it is more sensitive. I just returned to my bed after sleeping in a recliner last week. I can't stand anything covering my foot. Now, with the cooler temps it's an adjustment sleeping with my hubby. I'm still not able to sleep more than 5 hours but it's an improvement from a couple weeks ago.
 
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Hobiecat

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Hi and Welcome! Yes, that sensitivity is awful. It does mostly fade after a while. I still have to be careful what touches my knee 5+ years later, some things can, some can‘t. I wear shorts as much as I can!
Thanks so much for the support. I haven’t worn anything but oversized gym shorts since the surgery haha.
 
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Hobiecat

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Hi Hobiecat, burning pain in the upper thigh is usually due to pressure on the nerves from the tourniquet. I wonder if what you are feeling around the incisional site is caused by swelling, heat and redness from trauma to the tissues of your knee. I would ask your doctor. I would let him know you are unable to take the percocet there are other medications to help you through this. Are you still on a blood thinner? Everyone is different but it was my lower leg that needed to be desensitized. I'm just starting to get all the feeling back and some days it is more sensitive. I just returned to my bed after sleeping in a recliner last week. I can't stand anything covering my foot. Now, with the cooler temps it's an adjustment sleeping with my hubby. I'm still not able to sleep more than 5 hours but it's an improvement from a couple weeks ago.
Thanks for your help. My worst area is a 10 inch area below the knee on the right. I was able to sleep 3 hours in the beginning of the night and 3 hours in the morning. I hope you continue to improve.
 

sistersinhim

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I also had an incision sensitivity and the surrounding areas. Desensitizing it with different levels of softness overcame that. It took weeks but did eventually go away. What a relief, one less thing to deal with!
 

ski_bum

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Hi-My right TKR was September 14 and my major problem is sleeplessness. This is mostly due to burning hypersensitivity of the skin around and below the knee. I can’t stand the sheets touching the knee. Took 600 mg of ibuprofen and 2 Tylenol and actually slept 3 hours! Stopped Percocet which actually seemed to keep me awake.Sitting up icing it which helps but really would love a night of sleep. Trying to rub area with different textures cloth to “desensitize” the nerves as suggested by PT. Anyone else with this problem?
I used a big pillow at the end of the bed to make a tunnel. Toes did not get caught in sheets. Early after surgery I was given Gabapentin for sensitivity.
Good Luck
 

Rain Dancer

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A number of us have found relief from sensitive skin by wrapping the area in plastic wrap. Some people put cream on first before the wrap, but I didn’t. I only did this several times before the issue went away. Sounds weird, but it works! If you search for “plastic wrap” in the forum, you will see multiple posts.
 
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Hobiecat

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A number of us have found relief from sensitive skin by wrapping the area in plastic wrap. Some people put cream on first before the wrap, but I didn’t. I only did this several times before the issue went away. Sounds weird, but it works! If you search for “plastic wrap” in the forum, you will see multiple posts.
Thanks for this great idea. Will try tonight!
 
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Hobiecat

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Hi- I wanted to post again to possibly encourage others. After 4 weeks of minimal sleep at night after my RTKR I finally was able to sleep through the night in my bed last night. I appreciate all the suggestions from this forum. I tried melatonin and added back 1 Percocet at night (realized pain was still waking me) and what a great night. I am working on desensitization of the skin around my knee and this and wrapping area in plastic wrap worked. The burning is already improving. My postsurgical course with regard to extension/flexion (122 degrees and 0 degrees) has been relatively easy and this pleases PT and orthopedist but all the other issues-sleeplessnes, nerve pain, sciatica have made the first weeks miserable The tide seems to be turning in week 4. Hang in there and heal at your own rate. The thing that discouraged me most was hearing about someone else who had no pain, healed in 2 weeks and needs no PT!
 

benne68

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someone else who had no pain, healed in 2 weeks and needs no PT!
... and that someone likely also has short-term memory loss! :heehee:

The tide seems to be turning in week 4.
So glad to read that you are feeling better. It sounds like you are doing extremely well for just one month post-op.
 

Layla

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The thing that discouraged me most was hearing about someone else who had no pain, healed in 2 weeks and needs no PT!
Haha! Was it an uncle of your neighbors best friend? Tall Tales!

Happy Three Month Anniversary! I hope you're doing well and ready for some holiday cheer with those you love. Wishing you the merriest Christmas! :wreath:
 

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