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.

@stretchystretch

I am in my 6th-7th week after bilateral total knee surgery.I found the first 2 weeks far better than other weeks cause the anaesthetic drugs aren't worn off yet and whilst in hospital they consistently dose you up pretty good. After rehab and when home I hate it. They gave taken me off tablets too soon I feel , sleepless nights nausea, etc I am at 112 both knees though and physio is going good

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@stretchystretch They do not let you stay on the opioids for long these days due to the opioid crisis. There is a general feeling that people get as much relief from ibuprofen as they do from the narcotics. That was a problem for me because I can only use Tylenol and that is not nearly as effective as NSAIDs.
JK

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@gailfaith

Hi. My knees are now 10 and 12 years old. And I had it back when they used the passive motion machine so that made it easy, but if you can get to a gym and sit on a stationary bike, and adjust the seat (low) so when you peddle is stretches (bends) the knee a wee bit, then keep lowing the seat as you can. That works as your passive machine. Do it several times a day if you can. for 10-15 minutes at a time. I ended up with 132 degrees of bend, !!!!!!!! , and walked without pain almost from the start. Best wishes. @gailfaith

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Gailfaith: I’m 2 weeks post tkr on right knee. Usual issues, pain, stiffness, but already improving. Current numbers for flex/extension are 114 and 8. Working more on extension now, flex will come along later, based on previous arthroscopic surgery on same knee. BIG question: went to PT today and was told that 125 degrees flex is about the top limit, quote “since implants are not designed to go much above that and may even be damaged or fail if pushed too far”. Did anybody caution you about bending too much? Any problems doing so?

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@ellerbracke

Gailfaith: I’m 2 weeks post tkr on right knee. Usual issues, pain, stiffness, but already improving. Current numbers for flex/extension are 114 and 8. Working more on extension now, flex will come along later, based on previous arthroscopic surgery on same knee. BIG question: went to PT today and was told that 125 degrees flex is about the top limit, quote “since implants are not designed to go much above that and may even be damaged or fail if pushed too far”. Did anybody caution you about bending too much? Any problems doing so?

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@ellerbracke @gailfaith Gail, your flex is amazing! Were you young when you had the TKR? I think for us who are older that amount of flex does not happen frequently. I am at about 120 on one of my knees, and not quite there on the second one. I thought by doing the recumbent bike as close up as possible I would achieve more but it did not happen, in fact I think I regressed a bit after PT.
I never heard that 125 was max. I know that 120 is the minimum they hope to see patients achieve.

Good luck eller with your PT and don't stop doing it, or let it go. That's the key I believe. I honestly thought I was doing enough but now I realize that I was apparently not. Thankfully though, I do not have any pain from that knee. I have my appointment in October, it will be a year then, and I am really curious to see what my flex is. I never had a problem at all with extension.
JK

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@beatricefay

Thanks for the advice, I’ve been icing and raising my legs in bed but find they start hurting after a short time. I bought support hose yesterday which was recommended by my doctor. I had it on for about an hour but it hurt my wound too much. Think I’ll wait till the wound is more healed, then try again. I see it will be a slow, painful process.

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I had my left TKR 1 1/2 yrs ago and all is well . I had my right aTKR 6 months ago. All was great until about a week ago. My knee was sore and when I rubbed it I noticed that ther was now a definitive dip in my scar line. There is moderate discomfort when I apply pressure to the indentation. I was released by my surgeon but this is concerning me ??? Any responses?

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@ellerbracke

3 weeks after tkr I am still working painfully! hard on getting total extension. I am used to briskly walking about 2 miles every morning. Currently only doing 1/2 mile – PT does not want me to do more until knee gets straight. I can feel it in my hips and the sciatic nerve that even with aiming for perfect form, it is not quite right. I’m considering placing a gel insert in the one shoe temporarily to allow me to walk longer distances. Has anyone tried that?

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@ellerback. I know its frustrating not to be able to just walk as you use to but your knee problem didn't happen overnight so its going to take awhile till you can get back to normal The gell wont make you walk anymore then you can now your knee has to heal correctly I hope you listen to P.T. a your Dr. Hugs Linda

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3 weeks after tkr I am still working painfully! hard on getting total extension. I am used to briskly walking about 2 miles every morning. Currently only doing 1/2 mile – PT does not want me to do more until knee gets straight. I can feel it in my hips and the sciatic nerve that even with aiming for perfect form, it is not quite right. I’m considering placing a gel insert in the one shoe temporarily to allow me to walk longer distances. Has anyone tried that?

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@ellerbracke

3 weeks after tkr I am still working painfully! hard on getting total extension. I am used to briskly walking about 2 miles every morning. Currently only doing 1/2 mile – PT does not want me to do more until knee gets straight. I can feel it in my hips and the sciatic nerve that even with aiming for perfect form, it is not quite right. I’m considering placing a gel insert in the one shoe temporarily to allow me to walk longer distances. Has anyone tried that?

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Hi, @ellerbracke – since you posted about the possibility of a shoe insert following your total knee replacement, I've merged your post with this one so you can meet others who've gone through similar journeys.

So glad you met @lioness, and also hoping you can meet members like @moscholl @contentandwell @kdo0827 @cobweb @gailfaith and others here. I trust that they will offer some thoughts on your working painfully on getting total extension 3 weeks after the surgery and also looking at a gel insert for your shoe so you can walk longer distances.

How has your pain been overall postsurgery, @ellerbracke?

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@beatricefay Ive never had TKR but back fracture and more I can suggest for inflammation Tumeric is anti inflammatory I like the tea its ginger,-Tumeric ,good tasting and Trader Joes has it .Several people use it on here and elsewhere one lady told me she drinks it at supper then chamomile tea later in evening I drank this after my fracture it relaxes you .Good luck

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@lisalucier

Hi, @ellerbracke – since you posted about the possibility of a shoe insert following your total knee replacement, I've merged your post with this one so you can meet others who've gone through similar journeys.

So glad you met @lioness, and also hoping you can meet members like @moscholl @contentandwell @kdo0827 @cobweb @gailfaith and others here. I trust that they will offer some thoughts on your working painfully on getting total extension 3 weeks after the surgery and also looking at a gel insert for your shoe so you can walk longer distances.

How has your pain been overall postsurgery, @ellerbracke?

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Overall, I’d say average. Oxycontin round the clock for 3 days after discharge, tapering off to 6 Tylenol/day until 2 week mark, now 1 or at most 2 Aleve per day. Sometimes none. Does not mean no pain, but it is tending down to pre-surgery level and slowly improving. Would be much better if I did not do the exercises……. necessary evil for now, helpful in the long run. Thanks for asking!

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@lisalucier

Hi, @ellerbracke – since you posted about the possibility of a shoe insert following your total knee replacement, I've merged your post with this one so you can meet others who've gone through similar journeys.

So glad you met @lioness, and also hoping you can meet members like @moscholl @contentandwell @kdo0827 @cobweb @gailfaith and others here. I trust that they will offer some thoughts on your working painfully on getting total extension 3 weeks after the surgery and also looking at a gel insert for your shoe so you can walk longer distances.

How has your pain been overall postsurgery, @ellerbracke?

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@ellerbracke I had a TKR just about a year ago but never had need for any type of insert. I was in considerable discomfort for a while but it literally lifted overnight suddenly! These days of course the surgeons are very judicious about prescribing narcotics so I was on very little, and being a post-transplant patient I can only use Tylenol for pain relief. I had a small prescription for hydrocodone that after a short amount of time I was told to cut in half, and then in quarters, and also tramadol and gabapentin that I only took at bedtime.

I never had trouble with extension, but did with flex, and I do not believe I am at the flex they want you to achieve even at this point. I heard that number was 120, and I suspect I am a bit under that because I know my right knee is, which was done a few years ago, and my left knee does not flex as well as that one.

I have an appointment with my ortho at the end of the month. I will be curious to see what my flex is then. I am still working on it.
JK

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JK: I envy you the ease with extension. I have longstanding back issues, and I need my legs to be balanced so I will not cause any more problems. I had arthroscopic surgery on same knee 11 months ago, and, being an overachiever, was so proud of my 130 degree flexion in no time at all, and I suspect that I neglected the extension a little bit. With all the walking for exercise, and gardening, etc., I do, the slight imbalance MAY have hastened the progression of arthritits to the point where pain was constant and limiting. So this time, I’m getting it straight before getting it bent (it’s ok anyway, around 110 to 115 after 4 weeks). As to opioids: same surgeon did 2 shoulder arthroscopies – 1 each side -, 1 knee arthroscopy, 1 knee replacement. Each and every time he was generous with prescription, and each and every time I returned the leftovers. I hate opioids with a passion, but nothing beats a decent night’s sleep when you had surgery and pain.

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Hi everyone, it’s time to open a new group dedicated to joint replacements.

All discussions related to joint replacements, such as replacement of knees, hips, shoulders, wrists and elbows as well as preparing for surgery and recovery can now be found in the Joint Replacements group here, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/joint-replacements/.

+Follow the Joint Replacements group and continue to connect with others and share your experiences, ask questions and encourage each other in your rehab.

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