TKR TKR recovery heel pain


new member
Sep 5, 2022
United States United States
Upon waking up from surgery they put in a continuous nerve block catheter. It did nothing for the pain. The first time they tried to get me up and walking was SO painful that they came back later after giving me more pain meds. I was able to walk part way to the bathroom (painfully), so they discharged me. The night I went home I called the anesthesiologist about the pain pump not working. She had me increase the mL/hr. No effect on my knee pain. It ran out yesterday (2 days after surgery) and my surgeon OKed removing it. ANY weight bearing on it hurts like crazy. I’m basically using the walker a crutches with a little shuffling on it. Any advice??
I’m sorry your pain is not being managed well.

What are you taking for pain? If Tylenol is not part of the mix, call your surgeon‘s office and ask if you can add it.

Are you icing? Ice, or some form of cold, can help reduce the pain.

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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:
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. At week 4 and after you should 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.
My nerve block catheter slipped out of place post-op and had to be re-inserted properly while I was in recovery. My pain was excruciating until they got it placed correctly. I hope this isn't the case with you but it sounds like you're past that point anyway. If your pain isn't being managed, I would definitely call your surgeon's office and ask for help. You can't recover properly if your pain isn't under control.
Yes, Tylenol is one of the pain meds. Tylenol every 8 hours, Tramadol every 6 hours and Oxycocone every 4 hours. I’m using an app to track and remind me (It’s called Take Your Pills). Yes, I am icing. I took off my compression sock but have put it back on.
I set alarms on my phone but an app sounds like a great idea!
So sorry about the pain part. It’s quite the shock when you realize how intense it can be. It can put you in panic mode. Hopefully your regimen of meds will help more. BUT you can surely ice and elevate a LOT as long as you protect your skin. It definitely brings down the pain and decreases the swelling. That’s your battle. The first week can be brutal but hang in there and follow through with what you can control. My RTK was August 3 and I’m icing right now. Mostly because I vacuumed too much and wore jeans to church that rubbed my incision. ☹️
Hopefully you have someone to help your in this journey, but if not, you’ve got US! Take care and rest.
Sorry to read you’re in so much pain :(. Hope you start to feel better soon.
I’ve found this site a great help and reading other posts about TKR has reassured me that I’m not the only one going through a tough time. It’s quite normal to feel : in pain, always upset and not much sleep ;).
Roll on 6 months when hopefully we’ll be feeling a bit better
All the best.
I’m so sorry to hear you have pain.
I had the same experience! The reason I didn’t have any relief was because the tubing was kinked so basically I had no pain relief for 24 hours. Once they fixed it I did get some relief and I was discharged home. I scoured the internet for pain relievers that did not contain a NSAIDs as my colon cannot tolerate them. I found relief in CBD ointment , bio freeze and arnica gel. Along with Tylenol I was able to manage my pain.
I didn't have the catheter that you are speaking of but I can at least tell you that day 3 was the worst day of pain for me and then it get better from there on. By a few days after that I didn't need pain meds except for sleeping.
Hopefully you pain starts decreasing as well. Good luck and hang in there.
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See if you can put your heel slightly off the surface it’s laying on, as in the end of the bed, or put your feet up over the arm of a couch.

By the way, I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread, as we prefer that members in recovery have only one thread.

This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Best wishes on your continuing recovery! :flwrysmile:
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Hi all.
I didn’t research TKR before I had my knee done so it was quite a shock how bad the pain was for the first few weeks! Thank goodness for the great people here, I’ve learnt loads- especially not to over do it!
I’ve been writing down when I take ibuprofen and paracetamol so I don’t get mixed up or take too many ! I don’t need quite so many during the day but night time I’m still struggling. I added them up to find I’ve taken over 220 paracetamol in 4 weeks :(. Too scared to add up ibuprofen!!! Is this normal??? X
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