After knee replacement surgery

Posted by beatricefay @beatricefay, Jun 16, 2016

Had left knee replaced 9 days ago. Right knee two years ago. Having a problem with inflammation so hard to bend knee and exercise. Trying to ice and raise knee above heart. Doctor suggested getting compression hose. Anybody have this experience and can offer suggestions. So tired all the time from pain interrupting my sleep and painkillers. My insurance refused to pay for the painkiller recommended by surgeon so have to take one with more opiates. That’s frustrating. Two years ago it was covered but now too expensive for me to use. Seems the drug companies, not our doctors are determining what we use.

@mistyouto

I’m having TNR on Feb10 knee pain is real bad and have to use a cane…..not looking forward to this…need reassurance ..

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If you haven’t considered stem cells instead of tnr then if people get them during surgery they have less pain and heal quicker according to Kerlan Jobe.

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Hi Mistyouto,
I had both knees done and it has given me a new lease on life. I can now walk pain free and do all of the traveling I enjoy. I know it’s a difficult operation and it will require patience, hard work and lots of pain medication, but in the long run it’s worth it. I won’t say it’s an easy operation and you won’t feel very good for a while, but if it’s successful you will be very happy to have improved mobility. The PT after the operation is very important as you must break up the scar tissue. Good luck with the operation. When you can, please post how you are doing. BeatriceFay

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@mistyouto

I’m having TNR on Feb10 knee pain is real bad and have to use a cane…..not looking forward to this…need reassurance ..

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Hello @mistyouto, welcome to Connect.

As you can see from this thread, recovery is hard to judge from a person-to-person basis. Personally, I had a close relative who replaced both knees and was walking within a week. I myself had a replacement when I was 19 and it was a hard road to recovery that included two additional surgeries. However, I wouldn’t worry about that too much considering my surgeon said of all his patients my scar tissue development was the fast and worst he had ever seen.

What I can say, is that in the end it was absolutely worth it. I went from excruciating pain after a block of walking to zero pain regardless of what I do with my new knee.

@mistyouto, what about the surgery concerns you the most?

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@nancylh

Hi Beatrice, Today is day 30 following my TKA. I can empathize. Still taking pain meds, will begin NSAIDS tomorrow to reduce swelling. I can finally get my shoe on and somewhat tie it. Those exercises that the PT have us do are painful. The knee is very tight, stiff, and tender. I was told to ice, ice, ice and have been trying to do so. I exercise two of the three times a day that i am supposed to. I acquired a complicated popliteal cyst post op so some of the swelling i guess could be from that. Last week i purchased those compression socks ($74 yikes). I lost my sock butler so it is harder to put them on now and i have yet to figure out a good way to take them off without bending the knee and causing more pain. I can only wear them about 3-6 hours because the dig into my leg right about where that cyst probably is. They do help with the inflammation and swelling as does using a wedge pillow to elevate the leg above the heart level. Hang in there. Not all of us are speedy healers. At first i felt bad because someone told me that their friend had the TKA on a Thurs. and was back to work on a Mon. Go figure. Super human or something. Rest and get better; be careful not to push too hard too soon. That’s all the experience/advice/etc. i have to offer. Blessings.

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@nancylh, keep working! Your experience sounds quite similar to mine. I had a real battle with swelling and scar tissue. Unfortunately, I let the pain and swelling get to me and I started slacking on my PT. Even though I had extremely aggressive scar tissue formation, I know that I am also to blame because backing off of my PT allowed for the development. Hang in there, however long it takes. You will reach a point where you can’t remember the pain and how hard it was before the surgery because you are able to return to activities that you had to give up for so long.

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@nancylh

Hi Beatrice, Today is day 30 following my TKA. I can empathize. Still taking pain meds, will begin NSAIDS tomorrow to reduce swelling. I can finally get my shoe on and somewhat tie it. Those exercises that the PT have us do are painful. The knee is very tight, stiff, and tender. I was told to ice, ice, ice and have been trying to do so. I exercise two of the three times a day that i am supposed to. I acquired a complicated popliteal cyst post op so some of the swelling i guess could be from that. Last week i purchased those compression socks ($74 yikes). I lost my sock butler so it is harder to put them on now and i have yet to figure out a good way to take them off without bending the knee and causing more pain. I can only wear them about 3-6 hours because the dig into my leg right about where that cyst probably is. They do help with the inflammation and swelling as does using a wedge pillow to elevate the leg above the heart level. Hang in there. Not all of us are speedy healers. At first i felt bad because someone told me that their friend had the TKA on a Thurs. and was back to work on a Mon. Go figure. Super human or something. Rest and get better; be careful not to push too hard too soon. That’s all the experience/advice/etc. i have to offer. Blessings.

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Hi Justin,Thanks for the encouragement.  I think i will print it and keep it for my next knee replacement.  Don’t know when it will happen.  Was supposed to happen last August.Thanks again.BlessingsN—————————————–

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@nancylh

Hi Beatrice, Today is day 30 following my TKA. I can empathize. Still taking pain meds, will begin NSAIDS tomorrow to reduce swelling. I can finally get my shoe on and somewhat tie it. Those exercises that the PT have us do are painful. The knee is very tight, stiff, and tender. I was told to ice, ice, ice and have been trying to do so. I exercise two of the three times a day that i am supposed to. I acquired a complicated popliteal cyst post op so some of the swelling i guess could be from that. Last week i purchased those compression socks ($74 yikes). I lost my sock butler so it is harder to put them on now and i have yet to figure out a good way to take them off without bending the knee and causing more pain. I can only wear them about 3-6 hours because the dig into my leg right about where that cyst probably is. They do help with the inflammation and swelling as does using a wedge pillow to elevate the leg above the heart level. Hang in there. Not all of us are speedy healers. At first i felt bad because someone told me that their friend had the TKA on a Thurs. and was back to work on a Mon. Go figure. Super human or something. Rest and get better; be careful not to push too hard too soon. That’s all the experience/advice/etc. i have to offer. Blessings.

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@nancylh
I had my second knee done last June and after a long healing period feel great. I also tried wearing the compression hose while my knee was still swollen but it hurt too much so I stopped. Instead I wear it now when I have a long airplane flight. Too bad you developed a cyst. I thought the swelling would never go down but eventually, after many months it improved. 30 days is not very many days after the operation so don’t be affected by others progress. Good luck,
@beatricefay

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Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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Hi Amberpep. Just read your message. Could your swollen ankle be because you are retaining water? I have the same problem. I’m on a water pill. Barbarabx

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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Hi there ….. that’s what I wondered, but it’s only 1 ankle, which seemed odd. My MD was not very helpful. And it only started after I broke that outside bone of my left foot 2x in a row. I want to see her again anyhow, because I was not at all satisfied with the results from my bloodwork ….. she did not test for Vit. D, T-3 or T-4, all of which have been low in the passed. I like her, but things are mounting up and I’m wondering.
abby

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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@amberpep Hi Abby: I think you are “right-on” to consider talking with your doctor again. I firmly believe in the power of being our own patient advocates! There is no one more interested in our health that we are. Make a list of these items that you would like to discuss with your doctor and ask for her help to alleviate your concerns and remember a second opinion is always wise, especially if it is with a specialist (perhaps a specialist who deals with bones, etc.) I wish you well as you take charge of your health care and seek answers that would be good for you. I am also tagging the moderator for the “Bone/Joint” group, @JustinMcClanahan. Teresa

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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Thanks Teresa ….. yes, I’m going to call next week for an appt. with her. This whole blood profile is sort of set up for the person who just takes everything at face value and doctor’s word as the “final word.” That’s not me ….. I want more information. There are advantages to getting older …. I’ve found my voice!
abby

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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@amberpep Abby: I’m glad to hear that you have “found your voice.” That is a benefit of maturing (I prefer that word to aging!). Keep in touch and let us know how your appointment goes and how you are doing! Teresa

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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@amberpep I know sometimes I just accept what the doctor says and then after I get out of the office I wish I had asked more. I hope your doctor would have given you a more complete explanation if you did ask, and I’m glad to hear you have another appointment with her to get more information. I am the same, “There are advantages to getting older …. I’ve found my voice!”, in that. My PCP may not like that but too bad.
Also, it does sound like that ankle is retaining fluid. Is the lymphatic responsible for fluid and it’s retention? If so maybe that’s what she was saying.

It intrigued me that you are getting synvisc in a knee that has been replaced, I didn’t think they ever did that with an artificial knee. I have the shots numerous times in my left knee, but not in my right knee which has been replaced. The irony there is that the replaced one hurts more than the one needing to be replaced. I have an appointment for that surgery in the beginning of May, with a different doctor for the left knee, but I may postpone it. I just do not feel ready for another surgery yet, after having had my liver transplant in the end of September, and right now my left knee is doing pretty well thanks to exercising a lot. As I understand if you exercise the supporting muscles in your thigh help a bad knee function better and it sure has with me. I was visibly limping last year but am not anymore.

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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Hi there … I wondered about the synvisc too, but they had withdrawn so much fluid from the first TKR, that’s when they did it. Obviously it didn’t work because I had the revision 2 years later, and now my knee is really great. I have moved about 3-4 hours away from the doctor who did the surgery, and I’m seriously thinking that if I ever need the other one done, I will go back to him, go to the rehab. up there, and then come home to heal. I would be able to drive up there myself for the checkups as that would be my left knee then. Yes, the ankle swelling is from the lymphatic system, but why did it start since the TKR’s? That’s what I don’t understand.
abby

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@amberpep

Four years ago I had a total right knee replacement. I took a spill in my kitchen landing on that knee about 5 months later, and whether that did it or not, I’ll never know, but after 2 more years of synvisc shots, all sorts of fluid withdrawals, etc., the doctor opted to do a revision RTKR …. meaning they redo the whole thing, but the posts that go up the femur and down the tibia are longer. It worked! Well, during the time I was recuperating from that one – I live alone so had absolutely no help, I took a spill over my computer wire and the outside of my left foot landed on a hard box …. that long bone broke, so they had to take care of that for several weeks; well, about 3 months later I did it again, broke the same bone! Well, I’m fine now, but ever since that experience my left foot and ankle swell every day (my right knee was the one with the surgery), and I don’t wear those short little ankle length socks around the house because my ankle really swells and it makes this huge round dent. I asked my doctor about it when I was in and she said, “well, whenever you’ve had surgery or an injury, it messes with the lymphatic system.” For some reason, that didn’t work for me as a complete answer. She didn’t think anything of it, but I just wondered “why?”
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
abby

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@amberpep, Hmm, the fluid draw is very probably (very probably? is that a proper expression?) the reason for the synvisc. Synvisc has to be redone every 6 months or so but if they withdrew too much fluid I wonder if it would regenerate. Probably not, just like when the synovial fluid gets worn away, it’s gone for good.

I had an appointment for surgery on my left knee on May 2 but I cancelled it today. I just cannot stand the thought of another recuperation after my liver transplant less than six months ago, plus all the exercise I am doing has really helped my knee by helping my surrounding muscles. I had a pronounced limp but do not anymore. I guess I am gunshy too since my right knee, the one already replaced, is more of a problem now than the left knee.

I can totally understand wanting to return to the same doctor with whom you are so happy, I would do the same I think. I have such good luck with the doctors at MGH that I am even considering changing my PCP to one down there — it’s an hour away with no traffic but during the day we give the drive two hours.

That’s an interesting question, about why the swelling started after the surgery. I hope you find an answer to that and let us know. I am curious too.

So happy to hear that your knee is great though, that must be such a relief.

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