Burning after total knee replacement

Posted by jetter @jetter, Feb 12, 2019

why does it burn after total replacement?

@kapkalkac

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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You are at 115° flexion after 3 1/2 weeks surgery?….i am 7 1/2 weeks from surgery and assisted flexion can get at 107° and 0° extension. I have another 4 weeks PT
My age is 78. I don't know what flexion I can get on my own, but I am hoping for more. My lower leg and knee get so hard it feels like a wedge at the lower part if the petellar tendon but after it gets warmed up I can walk pretty well. Good for you

About the burning in another post…I had the horroble burning stinging sensation around my knee which was worse during the time my leg was at rest. After 4 weeks, it tapered off. My other knee kneeds to be replaced but I'm going to have a solid case of amnesia before that happens.sounds like you had the best of outcomes as you could have. Best to you

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It probably is nerve irritation. I had the same thing.

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I have had 5 major knee surgeries. 1st TKR Dec 2013, developed arthrofibrosis. Surgeries 2014 and 2015 to clean out scar tissue. Revision October 2018 for arthrofibrosis. Then major change. Had revision surgery 12/10/2019 by Henry Finn, Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Chicago Weiss Memorial Hospital and University of Chicago Hospital. Dr. Finn's process was to apply low dose radiation to the bone and scar tissue a couple of hours before surgery followed by a complete revision with a hinged implant. I am now 3+ months out from surgery and have been experiencing burning pain around the patella and radiating up a few inches an down the length of my leg. I had my other knee replaced in 2004 without issue but I am feeling a similar burning pain in that leg also, although not as intense. Does anyone have a suggestion as to what it might be?

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@jmacvol

I have had 5 major knee surgeries. 1st TKR Dec 2013, developed arthrofibrosis. Surgeries 2014 and 2015 to clean out scar tissue. Revision October 2018 for arthrofibrosis. Then major change. Had revision surgery 12/10/2019 by Henry Finn, Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Chicago Weiss Memorial Hospital and University of Chicago Hospital. Dr. Finn's process was to apply low dose radiation to the bone and scar tissue a couple of hours before surgery followed by a complete revision with a hinged implant. I am now 3+ months out from surgery and have been experiencing burning pain around the patella and radiating up a few inches an down the length of my leg. I had my other knee replaced in 2004 without issue but I am feeling a similar burning pain in that leg also, although not as intense. Does anyone have a suggestion as to what it might be?

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Hi @jmacvol, I moved your discussion and combined it with anongoing and active discussion of a similar title, "burning after total knee replacement." I did this so you could read through some of the previous posts made by Connect members with similar experiences as yours and so those members would see your post and experience as well.

@jmacvol, I have not heard of applying low-dose radiation to a knee prior to surgery. Was this an attempt to clear out some of the scar tissue and other stuff prior to surgery? Is there any redness or swelling with your burning pain, especially in your other knee?

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TKR on November of 2018: same burning pain around knee cap & up the inside of knee. Was toldl the pain would subside but can take up to a year. At the one year mark still hurts, same pain then was told it could take 18 mos to 2 yrs. Now after 16 months still the same pain. I have scheduled to get a second opinion on 4/26. Worried about the visit because of the virus but want the pain to stop. Ice helps numb it but only for a short time less than 1 hr. Can't walk around with an ice pack on my knee. Please any suggestions or advice is very welcome. Thx

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@barrett727

TKR on November of 2018: same burning pain around knee cap & up the inside of knee. Was toldl the pain would subside but can take up to a year. At the one year mark still hurts, same pain then was told it could take 18 mos to 2 yrs. Now after 16 months still the same pain. I have scheduled to get a second opinion on 4/26. Worried about the visit because of the virus but want the pain to stop. Ice helps numb it but only for a short time less than 1 hr. Can't walk around with an ice pack on my knee. Please any suggestions or advice is very welcome. Thx

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Hi, @barrett727 Welcome to Connect.
I have had two TKRs but have not experienced the pain you are referring to so I cannot advise, yet many others here have. Have you read back through some of the posts?
We are patients also, sharing our experiences and often what has helped us. You do need to get a second opinion, I hope the appointment you have scheduled now will stay on schedule, and the new doctor will be able to help you. When the time comes I hope you will let us know how it goes.
JK

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This is my second TKR on the same knee.I have burning at the back of my knee and still have tighten. Is this normal after 3 months.

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I am six months out from right TKR and have terrible burning on the inner side of my knee and under the kneecap. Dr. Says it will take about a year for the nerves to regenerate. I also have numbness on the outer side of my knee. The burning is more intense after any kind of exercise. Ice helps. I also use Voltaren cream. Dr. Says it will help with inflammation. Dr. Also suggested Gabapentin, but I have heard mixed views on it, so I have decided not to take it. Good luck!

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@angviv

I am six months out from right TKR and have terrible burning on the inner side of my knee and under the kneecap. Dr. Says it will take about a year for the nerves to regenerate. I also have numbness on the outer side of my knee. The burning is more intense after any kind of exercise. Ice helps. I also use Voltaren cream. Dr. Says it will help with inflammation. Dr. Also suggested Gabapentin, but I have heard mixed views on it, so I have decided not to take it. Good luck!

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Good evening @angviv, Am I reading this correctly, you are waiting for a year or so for the nerves in those areas to regenerate. That may be what is causing your discomfort.

However, I would suggest that you get a bit of an understanding of fascia and how it works in your body. The fascia is almost like a thin sheet over all of your body parts including muscles, bones, vessels, etc. It should remain fluid and move gently in and out of areas within your body. When it becomes "stuck" or restricted, the pain accompanies that area until the restriction is released. Fascia is created in layers. I mentioned that because sometimes when you get one layer unstuck, you encounter another one. Let me give you a couple of links to more information.

https://myofascialrelease.com/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
Has this added to your knowledge of what is going on with your knee? What other questions do you have? Are you taking any medications specifically for nerve regeneration or pain?

Be safe and protected.
Chris

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@angviv

I am six months out from right TKR and have terrible burning on the inner side of my knee and under the kneecap. Dr. Says it will take about a year for the nerves to regenerate. I also have numbness on the outer side of my knee. The burning is more intense after any kind of exercise. Ice helps. I also use Voltaren cream. Dr. Says it will help with inflammation. Dr. Also suggested Gabapentin, but I have heard mixed views on it, so I have decided not to take it. Good luck!

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I use both & ice does help but you have to do it many times a day. I have neuropathy (18 yrs) been on gabapentin for 12 yrs. The burning pain is on the inner side above the bend & all around the knee. It's been 17 months (surgery was 11/19/18.) The dr keeps moving the goal line as to when the pain will stop. I can bend the knee fine 115% inflection. It's like a constant head ache & worst if I stand or shop to long 1 hr or more. My knee replacement is the Stryker triathlon. I have a second opinion appt on the 4/21 but in light of the stay home orders I may reschedule. Just wanted to know if anyones dr figured out why the burning pain & how they cured it… thanks Jeanne

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I had my knee replaced 5 months ago and have had burning sensations on the outer to upper part of my knee since the surgery. The doctor gave me a steroid shot about 8 weeks in and it got better for a while. Now the burning is back and is so bad I cant stay in any one position for more than 15 minutes. I've been told that as my quad gets stronger the less pain I will have. Well I have been diligent with PT and exercise and it's only getting worse. I cant go up or down stairs or hills without tears in my eyes. Does anyone know if this is normal?

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@emmar

I had my knee replaced 5 months ago and have had burning sensations on the outer to upper part of my knee since the surgery. The doctor gave me a steroid shot about 8 weeks in and it got better for a while. Now the burning is back and is so bad I cant stay in any one position for more than 15 minutes. I've been told that as my quad gets stronger the less pain I will have. Well I have been diligent with PT and exercise and it's only getting worse. I cant go up or down stairs or hills without tears in my eyes. Does anyone know if this is normal?

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Hi @emmar and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to a discussion by the same name. Click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to scroll through past posts of members who have experienced a similar burning sensation, like @connie1559 @gator1965 @contentandwell @mhort1213 @ruthannejoan @artscaping. For some it resolved, for others it did not, and still others never had the burning experience.

Emma, are you able to get a televisit with your doctor or physiotherapist?

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@emmar

I had my knee replaced 5 months ago and have had burning sensations on the outer to upper part of my knee since the surgery. The doctor gave me a steroid shot about 8 weeks in and it got better for a while. Now the burning is back and is so bad I cant stay in any one position for more than 15 minutes. I've been told that as my quad gets stronger the less pain I will have. Well I have been diligent with PT and exercise and it's only getting worse. I cant go up or down stairs or hills without tears in my eyes. Does anyone know if this is normal?

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I too welcome you to Connect, @emmar
I have had two TKRs but was one of the fortunate ones who never had the burning feeling that so many do have. My only problems are not quite as much flex as I would like (both knees hover at around 120°) and sometimes when I do a lot of exercises my R knee complains a bit. I suspect the lack of flex is my own fault for not following the PT exercises as much as I should have on my own.

As @colleenyoung mentioned, there are many on here with the same problem, I am sure you will be hearing from some of them. I wish I could be more help.
From what I have heard people on this forum say, most doctors will not take a patient for a consult within a year of their TKR. If you still are having a problem at that point, and your orthopedist offers no help, I suggest getting another opinion — from a really top-notch orthopedic surgeon. Both of my TKRs were at large medical centers in Boston with very well-regarded surgeons. If there is a large medical facility, preferably at a teaching hospital, at all within your reach I hope you will consider going to one of them. I know of people who have had TKRs here in southern NH but had to go to Boston to get them fixed afterward. It may be a long drive, but it's worth it if you are able to find a surgeon who can give you the relief you hope for.
JK

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@colleenyoung

Hi @emmar and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to a discussion by the same name. Click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to scroll through past posts of members who have experienced a similar burning sensation, like @connie1559 @gator1965 @contentandwell @mhort1213 @ruthannejoan @artscaping. For some it resolved, for others it did not, and still others never had the burning experience.

Emma, are you able to get a televisit with your doctor or physiotherapist?

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@ernmar, I would like to begin by welcoming you to Connect and to this frequent issue of (TKR) post-surgery pain and
the discomfort that has not responded to PT and just briefly to steroid injections.

May I suggest that you take a look at the whole subject of fascia, the layer of tissue that surrounds all of your muscles, bones and other organs to protect them. Sometimes when the fascia sticks to itself, it becomes restrictive and quite painful. So then you may want to explore Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome or MPS. The physical treatment is called Myofascial Release Therapy or MFR.

For me, I followed instructions and thought I had the perfect situation. It wasn't. I went back to my surgeon who jumped up and said come with me. After images, he just looked at me and said, "I'm sorry Chris, it's the fascia."

He was correct and the MFR journey began for two reasons. I had to be able to feel my feet in order to drive, and I wanted to be able to walk without pain if at all possible. Both of those situations have resolved themselves. Yet, it does seem that I do have flares of fascia restriction……and MFR every week keeps the lid on them.

Here is a link to "Strolling under the Skin" that introduces the structure and purpose of the fascia.
The second link is to the website.

https://myofascialrelease.com/
@ernmar, have you expressed your concerns about lack of effectiveness so far to your surgeon? What does your PT tell you? Did you ask to see the images and have them analyzed for you so you had even a basic understanding of the body parts and their current status?

Just let me know how I can help without leading you astray. Heaven forbid! We all are committed to seeing you through this situation. Remember that we cannot recommend or proscribe for you. We can share what we have experienced and facilitate introductions to others with greater expertise. And that is a two-way street, we need to hear from you.

Be safe and protected from inner and outer harm.
Chris

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@jmjlove

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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I know everyone has different experiences with their individual TKRs, but my experience says the Dr should be involved if you are really in pain. Please remember, there is a difference between pain, uncomfortable and just being aware.

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