Mayo Clinic Connect
why does it burn after total replacement?
When did you have your TKR? Is there a specific area that burns? Do you feel the burning all the time? Have you felt it from the beginning or has the burning feeling developed over a few days? Is your discomfort from the burning relieved by pain meds, if you’re taking pain meds? Is the burning relieved by icing?
For the first 1-1/2 weeks after my recent right TKR, I felt a lot of a burning type pain each time I lowered my leg after having it elevated. I assumed it was a circulation issue. I now experience a burning, tingling feeling in the patella area. It lasts from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. It’s bearable but it definitely gets my attention each time it happens.
There are lots of supportive TKR folks here with countless experiences going through the TKR process. I hope someone can answer your question. Good luck!
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@jetter Hi, and welcome to Connect.
I have had two TKRs and not had a burning sensation after either, but we all heal differently and have different experiences. I know of people who had both knees done at the same time, something that I realize most doctors will not do, and the knees recovered differently from each other!
I would definitely call my surgeon to check on this just to make sure that he feels it is within the realm of acceptable discomfort.
I did have more pain after my second TKR than I did after my first. During that time my surgeon was seeing me frequently to check up on it. The pain suddenly lifted, almost overnight, and from that point on that knee recovered better than my first knee had.
Liked by Debbra Williams, Alumna Mentor
Hi @jetter – Welcome to Connect! I just had a TKR two weeks ago (thankfully w/o the burning sensation you describe). @connie1559 is right that there's a wealth of knowledge on TKR's in this forum. And @contentandwell is spot-on regarding the fact that every single TKR is different – not just every person but every surgery. I've been fortunate with my recovery, but my right knee was much slower than my left in almost every aspect of recuperation. Can I ask when you had your surgery? Also, aside from the burning sensation, how are you doing with range of motion and strength in your knee – and with pain management? I find that if I can control the pain and inflammation, I don't have as much swelling so I do better at my PT exercises.
Liked by JK, Alumna Mentor
I still have burning pain 10 months after total knee replacement. I think this is quite common
Ive had TKR on both legs. Second was 14 years after first at age 42. First surgery caused so much pain I cried for days. Pain was off the charts. Dr got mad at me thinking I was just being a baby. Yelled at me. The knee, to this day still hurts every day, 14 years later. I am no baby. I thought I'd lose my mind. Scared to leave hospital. Doctor wrote in my records that my knee felt better and I was happy. Lies. I was in agony, which lasted a month. Insufficient pain control. The horrible pain subsided, but the knee has never been comfortable or without pain.
Second knee replacement still hurts after 4 years, but healing process was much less torture than first. A better experience. I don't have the burning but i experience sharp pains in both knees every day. Like pinching inside the joints. Despite the discomfort, I do not regret having it done because I'd be in a wheelchair. Both knees were that far gone. Yep. They hurt, but I can walk. Thank God.
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TKR 2/26/19 & am experiencing this burning sensation on the inside of the knee and under patella like a smile. PT doesn’t seem concerned. I have swelling in the knee. 3-1/2 weeks out I am at 115 degrees unassisted and 5 degree for straight.
After reading I am feeling like burning is natural snd not problematic?
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I am 10 weeks out from double TKR and 3 weeks out from MUA. I'm still experiencing the burning on the sides of the knees and across the patella. PT tells me the same, "be patient and see how it goes". At 3 1/2 weeks out it sounds like you are doing great!
Liked by JK, Alumna Mentor, Debbra Williams, Alumna Mentor
@kapkalkac Although I did not have burning after either of my TKRs, from what I hear it is not unusual. Your numbers are great for three weeks out. I am sure the burning will end within the next couple of months, if not sooner than that.
Let us know when it finally feels better so we can celebrate with you! 😉
I experienced this before my tkr and am feeling it again at 3 1/2 weeks post tkr. It seems to happen when I try to straighten out my leg or when I bend it after keeping it extended. It also surprises me at night when I try to sleep. Ice helps butvI want it to disappear!
Hi @ibfinetwo – Welcome to connect! And congratulations on your TKR recovery. You are pretty close to hitting the 4 week mark and for me, that felt like a milestone. I had my 2nd TKR in January of this year so I'm just over 12 weeks post-op. Thankfully, I didn't have that burning sensation – every person and even every knee recovers differently. Besides ice, do the PT exercises help or make it worse? Also, I'm wondering how you are doing with range of motion? It seemed like for me, when I got total extension, my sleeping became much more comfortable.
I had the burning pain you describe which did subside maybe by 8 weeks. For sleeping, I slept under a loose blanket which was not tucked in. That seemed to help quite a bit. Also took 1/2 pain pill for first 8 weeks at bedtime.
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, Debbra Williams, Alumna Mentor
I'm three and 1/2 weeks out and my burning is now gone. Granted it was only a silver dollar size on the inside of my knee but it burned like hell. PT and Dr both said it's from a nerve they sometimes have to move or cut.
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Chi girl, So glad you’re doing better now. It appears we just have to wait it out sometimes and let our bodies do their mending. I’m 13 days post surgery with bilateral TKR. By all measurements available from my PT I’ve got great ROM for 2 weeks post op. I’ve still got a lot to go to get at ‘0’ or ‘120’. But, I’m sleeping better at night but still wake up multiple times during the night. Sometimes my husband will get me up and we’ll walk around the house to loosen up the tight muscles. I’m trying to do everything my PT tells me to do.
I know I have a lot of work ahead, but it will be so much better after the healing.
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, JK, Alumna Mentor
Jetter, Hi and anyone with burning. I am 9 weeks out and trying to get my quads strong enough to lift my foot off the bed when I contract them and straighten the leg, pressing the knee down to the bed by contracting the quads. When I do that, and when I do a straight leg raise while contracting really hard to keep the leg straight at zero degrees, I get intense burning on the inside of my knee towards the top. The PT's don't know what to say but want me to continue because Ineed to wake up my quads more and get them stronger. Does anyone know anything more about if the burning sensation is a bad sign for damaging the knee or what?
Hi Irol, I had a spot of burning on the inside of the knee. Both the PT and Dr. Said it was a nerve they sometimes have to move or cut and it would subside, and it has 😁 Maybe your is the same and just nee dd's s a little more time. Wish you the best.
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