Anti-Inflammatory Supplements after Total Knee Replacement

Posted by lsmorgan @lsmorgan, May 31 4:54pm

I had my right knee replaced five weeks ago. I have lots of swelling and inflammation and I’m wondering if anyone takes supplements to help with the inflammation that has had a knee replacement? Sleeping is absolutely horrible at night. From what I understand this is common with a knee replacement but I am so exhausted.

@lsmorgan, are you still keeping you leg elevated? And doing PT? @rknee @artscaping @rickraleigh @njpahl and @johnbishop @sureinmn may have some thoughts about anti-inflammatory supplements. What supplements were you thinking might help?

You may also appreciate the tips shared by members in these 2 related discussions:
– Swelling behind knee https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/swelling-behind-knee/
– Trouble sleeping after TKR https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/trouble-sleeping-after-tkr/

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Ismorgan, I am almost 3 months out. I have quite a bit of soft tissue swelling. It really gets bad when I push too hard. At my 6 week check, my surgeon suggested Voltaran and that really helped. He said to give it a whirl again. He said it would take a year for the swelling to go away. I still ice and elevate. I also do most of my exercises and yoga/stretching faithfully (once for sure and maybe even twice a day). I purchased a percussion massager and go along my IT band, quads and glutes. This seems to help push out some of the swelling. I love raising my leg straight up and resting against a wall, again stretch and lushes out the swelling. I hope you find relief. Swelling is difficult.

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@lsmorgan I agree with @njpahl on the icing and elevating. I thought I was doing it enough and still had swelling at about the same post op time as you are. My surgeon scolded me pretty bad because my idea of icing and elevating were quite short of his. So I did a lot more icing and elevating during the day and it really did help with the swelling for me.

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There are a couple schools of thought on anti-inflammatory medications after surgery.
One of the latest (just discussed with my daughter's excellent ortho on Saturday) is to replace opioids with a combination of Acetominaphen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen. This has been shown in "blind" tests to provide as good of pain management as oxy after a few weeks out from surgery. Her current regimen calls for oxy at increasing intervals, with a combo of Tylenol & Acetominaphen between, plus ice. It seems to be working on a major trauma repair to her arm.
The older school of thought was that NSAIDS somehow impeded healing – I haven't done any research, but I believe most docs no longer believe that – there is more of a consensus that anything that reduces swelling & pain to improve the ability to move & do therapy is a bonus.

And don't forget the ice! We have a saying in our family, coined by my husband while he was being an EMT in his first retirement. "If someone could get a patent for ice, it would cost $100 a cube." That's how valuable it is. 25 years ago, I was given an early, experimental version of the "ice pump" after knee (ACL + MCL) surgery, and asked to use it full time for 14 days. I tried it, and was amazed. Ever since, in our family we ice FULL time for at least one week after any surgery, and then many times a day for several weeks, and finally at least 3-4 times a day until pain and swelling are gone. My daughter has been on ice 24/7 since she came out of the OR. It helps keep the swelling down and helps keep pain under control. Thank goodness we have an absolutely fabulous icemaker in our new refrigerator – it produces enough ice for my daughter's arm and three very thirsty water drinkers.

The final NSAID you might want to consider it Voltaren gel, which is topical. There is a 1% strength available over the counter, and if it helps a little, you could ask for a prescription for a greater strength, up to 2.25%, I believe. The advantage is to be able to target the actual spot that hurts, without putting the drug through your digestive system. This is one of my long-term pain management strategies for arthritis and chronic pain & inflammation.
Sue

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I understand fresh ginger root which is not tasty and Turmeric are good natural anti inflammatories.

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I meant raw ginger root is hard to eat. Anyone sho has tasted pure ginger will know

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@buickturboman

I meant raw ginger root is hard to eat. Anyone sho has tasted pure ginger will know

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You could use ginger in supplement (powdered capsule) or make a tea by steeping "coins" of the root. (You can also "long steep" and refrigerate to make iced tea)
Whatever you use to do, start one at a time, slowly, to see how your body responds. While both are culinary herbs as well, some bodies respond with gas, bloating, etc.
Sue

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@buickturboman

I meant raw ginger root is hard to eat. Anyone sho has tasted pure ginger will know

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If you have a blender and like smoothies, you can dice up a small piece of ginger and add it to your smoothie. Trader Joe's has some pretty good Ginger Turmeric tea if you like tea.

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I was told to make a ginger root tea with goji berries to reduce inflammation naturally. I drink it every morning and early afternoon and it really does help. Cut up about a finger length of ginger root (find it at Sprouts or Whole Foods) add a handful of goji berries (also Sprouts), boil for 30 minutes and voila! Also eliminating sugars out of my diet along with elevated foot pumps has reduced the swelling. It’s not 100% gone, but greatly reduced.

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I just started a low histamine diet to help with inflammation issues, so far it’s working…not sure if it would help a post surgery inflammation issue.

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@njpahl

Ismorgan, I am almost 3 months out. I have quite a bit of soft tissue swelling. It really gets bad when I push too hard. At my 6 week check, my surgeon suggested Voltaran and that really helped. He said to give it a whirl again. He said it would take a year for the swelling to go away. I still ice and elevate. I also do most of my exercises and yoga/stretching faithfully (once for sure and maybe even twice a day). I purchased a percussion massager and go along my IT band, quads and glutes. This seems to help push out some of the swelling. I love raising my leg straight up and resting against a wall, again stretch and lushes out the swelling. I hope you find relief. Swelling is difficult.

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Thank you for your post @nipahl. it sounds like you have accepted the challenge of what I call, "just deal with it". You have adopted a program that you follow religiously on your way to that one-year goal of making the swelling go away. The "legs up the wall" addition is very helpful. I certainly appreciate you sharing the Voltaren. I used that years ago and am glad it has been made OTC purchasable. You can get stronger content with an Rx. I used to get it in patches that I placed on my knee. Is that still available?

It is good to know about the massager and that it can help release the swelling.
Let us know what else might be helpful. Do you see a physical therapy specialist?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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@johnbishop

If you have a blender and like smoothies, you can dice up a small piece of ginger and add it to your smoothie. Trader Joe's has some pretty good Ginger Turmeric tea if you like tea.

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Thats great to know! I have a Trader Joes down the street and Im not allowed to take NSAIDS so this sounds great.

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