← Return to Night Pain: Using a knee wedge after total knee replacement?

Comment receiving replies

I have had trouble sleeping since Day 1. I have a history of insomnia. For about the last 3 years I have been sleeping almost like a normal person. The surgery put a stop to that. Even the night after the surgery I was in too much pain to sleep.

I had my surgery done by a surgeon that came highly recommended. It was a wonderful hospital and the nursing staff couldn’t have been more kind, caring, efficient and attentive. I was walking 3 hours after my surgery, PT started the next morning, and was twice a day until I was discharged the morning of the 4th day. I have continued at home and will start formal PT on 2/11.

The first day after surgery, my pain was not well controlled. When my surgeon made rounds the second day I mentioned it. He made an adjustment and I had less pain. Of course some pain is to be expected.

At discharge, I was given a week’s supply of pain meds. They lasted through the 9th day, and I called for a refill.

I was shocked at the lecture I got from the doctor’s nurse about opioids and addiction. She said she would ask the doctor and call me back. She called on the 10th day to say he was authorizing a 5 day refill and that was the last refill.

I’m still having significant pain, especially at night. I’m also having a lot of thigh pain and swelling. Supposedly that is because of a tourniquet and is not uncommon. The thigh pain is worse than the knee pain, which is almost gone. Right or wrong, I have been trying to save some of the pain meds for PT. I have heard it can be quite painful.

I can remember prior hospitalizations and surgeries in the past 25 years. The theory about pain was “Pain never felt is pain never felt”. Not so these days. Now it feels more like “One opioid can cause addiction”. I think if I had better pain control at night I could sleep. I think lack of sleep has a cumulative negative effect on healing and progress. It’s a sign of the times.

I have heard good things about acupuncture. I think I may give that a try.

Jump to this post

Replies to "I have had trouble sleeping since Day 1. I have a history of insomnia. For about..."

@connie1559 I’m sorry to hear about your pain. I know how difficult it makes it to sleep. The opioid crisis really has the doctors cracking down on prescribing much. On the plus side though I have read that ibuprofen works almost as well as prescription pain killers. Have you tried that? I can’t take any NSAIDs so was stuck with a limited amount of Tylenol which is not an anti-inflammatory and not much help.
I don’t know anyone who has had acupuncture for that type of pain but I do know people who have had great success with it for other things.

I know there is an opioid crisis. I had opioids, without the restrictions that you are having (doesn't seem fair). Eventually I did feel that Ibuprofen was more effective as it relieves inflammation and at the later stages my pain was due more to inflammation than the initial surgery. However I was instructed to take the opioids particularly before therapy sessions. Eventually I was instructed to stop taking Ibuprofen too and prescribed a combination of other short term medics. I kind of recall having some thigh pain but that went away.

I just had my TKR on 2/7 and can relate to the pain. I am still using the opiods with the support of my doctor. Frankly, without them, I would not be hitting my flexion and extension goals. I am using the pills to achieve those goals and to get through brutal PT. But it's my every intention to wean off of them as soon as reasonable. I am sorry you are getting such a hard time and lectures- not fair. The pills are made for precisely these reasons- TKR or THR- and we are not using them for abuse. I will say that insomnia is still a real problem for me 9 days out even with the pain meds. I wake myself up with an alarm all night to dose myself and not get behind in the pain. Please ask to speak to your doctor if the nurses are trying to shame you. Feel better soon!