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[TKR] Work

palmtree

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Hi, new to this forum. My question is how long were you on pain meds? I am still on them but would like to lessen the amount. I am at 3 weeks out.
Thank you
 

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@palmtree
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!

Many of us use pain meds for 3-4 months, others for weeks. Everyone is different with how they react to a major surgery.
Most find they forget to take their pain medications and gradually wean off them.

Please post your surgery date, a moderator will add it to your signature for you. Having the exact date will help us properly advise you. Thanks!

Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
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 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.
 

kneeper

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True, everyone is different. I gradually moved to a weaker pain med and then spread out the doses. 5 hours instead of 4 etc.
 

winemama

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Your body will tell you when you can slow Down on the pain medication. Like they said everybody’s different I was totally off my meds including Tylenol at six weeks after that nothing and right now I’m at 13th weeks, don’t try to rush it your body needs it
 

Bionic

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After my hip replacements I was off all meds by 3 weeks but the knee has been different. Between 4-6 weeks I started reducing my meds and now, at nearly 11 weeks, I am more or less off them altogether. They still sit on the bedside table, just in case.
 

possum65

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I am 10 weeks post BTKR's, and have only just stopped pain meds now. I don't think there's any hurry, I certainly couldn't have managed without pain relief at 3 weeks.. My hips were fine by 2 weeks, but knees are usually more painful. Depends what you are taking also, I only had Paracetamol (Tylenol,) and NSAID's after leaving hospital, the stronger meds really don't agree with me. What you don't want is to cut down or stop, and be in pain. That's miserable.
 

Seattle123

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Agreeing that everyone is different, I tried to wean myself off pain meds too early and stalled my ROM progresssion. My surgeon took me to task, I got back in the originally prescribed dosage and got back on track

Now at five months. Now pain free. I have discomfort from time to time, but can clearly attribute this to doing some ill advised like weeding a hill and walking sideways while doing it.

Mostly, I don’t even think about my knee. Whereas the years leading up to TKR and the recovery weeks afterwards, there were two of us in room
 
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palmtree

palmtree

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thank you everyone, appreciate your responses.
 

Momma-me

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@winemama You stated, "Your body will tell you when you can slow Down on the pain medication"

I wish this were true. Unfortunately, many OS's take you off them when they believe YOU "should" be off of them.
I just asked for a refill of my hydrocodone. I am only 2 1/2 weeks out and I am anticipating them giving me a hard time about it.
 

winemama

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I am so lucky with my doctor, when I explained my pain to him he’s like I’m gonna give you a refill, just work it the way you think it should be . Hold your ground, There are different combinations of drugs they can give you, make them explain to you why he’s cutting you off at 2 1/2 weeks that’s crazy. Good luck
 

donnag1108

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Hi There,

I was on pain meds for 10 weeks. I wanted to stop sooner and like most was concerned however I would say take them if you need them! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
 
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Unfortunately, many OS's take you off them when they believe YOU "should" be off of them.
I too recently had the "should" word tossed at me. My instincts were to tell him there were no "shoulds" in knee replacement recoveries, as anyone who had one would know, but I bit my tongue seeing as how I have one more surgery I want him to do later in the year on my left patella. I went to Plan B instead. My PCP. :)
 

Artist58

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My doctor stopped at 2 weeks and wouldn't refill. So, muddling through. Ridiculous.
 
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palmtree

palmtree

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My surgery date was 4/23/19. I had a left knee total replacement Getting better slowly.
 
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palmtree

palmtree

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Hi Everyone, I am 3.5 weeks out from total left knee replacement. I am just curious, when did everyone go back to work? I was told probably at 4 weeks, but I am not even close. Still on a walker and not feeling great yet. Making progress but it is slow.
 

Pumpkln

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@palmtree
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.
How to tag another member; how to answer when someone tags you

Here are the instructions on finding your thread, How can I find my threads and posts? . Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on.
 

Pumpkln

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palmtree,
We recommend 12 weeks before returning to work, you will have enough time to heal and start feeling normal.
Some of us will be able to return sooner, some later. Depends on your job heavy or light duty, and how you are doing.
We also suggest a Phased return to work
 

eaglemom

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Asking for pain medication shouldn't be difficult. However the surgeons seem to think that everyone heals the same and have some 'rule' as when we should be off the pain meds. That just upsets me. At my next to last appointment I was told "this is it, no more." I just looked at him and said this is my first prescription. Fast forward to my last appointment and was told "no." I looked directly into his eyes and said "yes, I might not use them but I sure want them IF I need them. Plz write the prescription. BTW this is 2nd time for meds in 11 weeks." He did refill it - and I just like knowing its here if needed.

As for returning to work don't rush it. Take as much time as you need. It's very early on in the healing process.
 

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