post surgical fatigue and lightheadedness

Posted by rfkavesh @rfkavesh, Aug 12, 2011

I had total knee replacement surgery almost two months ago. My knee is improving with physical therapy, but I am totally fatigued and lightheaded when I walk. All blood and other tests have been normal, yet the symptoms of fatiigue and dizziness persist. Any advice??

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@anklesurgeryguy

Hi there, how are you feeling now? Did your dizziness go away? I had ankle surgery 17 days ago, was under general anesthesia for ~3 hrs, had metal plate & screws done for my broken fibula. Surgery went well I am told. Recovering now, age 53, in vgood shape, normal blood pressure, etc, but whenever i am not lying down, I feel dizzy. Getting around on crutches requires concentration to not fall. Its not a terrible dizziness that I am going to fall immediately but more so a constant feeling of swaying & being in motion when I am stationary. Also, I don’t feel extra tired at all and my mental alertness is normal. Hopefully this vertigo type feeling ends soon!

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@anklesurgeryguy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

You had a recent surgery but since then you feel dizzy anytime you are not laying down and you are looking to connect with members for suggestions and support.

Members like @hriviere @contentandwell @sunnyflower have recently discussed this topic and may be able help.

May I ask if you discussed these symptoms with your provider and if you started any new medication/treatment since surgery?

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@erikas

@anklesurgeryguy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

You had a recent surgery but since then you feel dizzy anytime you are not laying down and you are looking to connect with members for suggestions and support.

Members like @hriviere @contentandwell @sunnyflower have recently discussed this topic and may be able help.

May I ask if you discussed these symptoms with your provider and if you started any new medication/treatment since surgery?

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@erikas @anklesurgeryguy Any time I have had surgery I have been very tired afterward, and slightly light-headed. I think the fatigue was probably simply from my body working hard to heal. After my transplant, I could barely stay awake in the hospital. Any light-headedness I had though was not enough to cause me problems.

Regarding your dizziness, is it possible that you actually have developed vertigo? I know a number of people who have had that, including my sister and my daughter, and it really can be a nuisance. I don't think the surgery caused it, but it could just be coincidental. What has your surgeon said about it?
JK

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@erikas

@anklesurgeryguy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

You had a recent surgery but since then you feel dizzy anytime you are not laying down and you are looking to connect with members for suggestions and support.

Members like @hriviere @contentandwell @sunnyflower have recently discussed this topic and may be able help.

May I ask if you discussed these symptoms with your provider and if you started any new medication/treatment since surgery?

Jump to this post

Hi there, thanks the reply. My surgery was Dec 31, 19 days ago. I took Tramadol day 3 to day 9 post surgery. I stopped the Tramadol day 9 thinking it was making me dizzy and by then Tylenol seemed sufficient for pain. But Days 9 to 19 i am still dizzy every day! The only medication i am taking past several days is aspirin 2x / day to prevent blood clotting. Seeing my primary physician tomorrow re this dizziness! I am eating normally, well hydrated, etc. I really don’t know what’s causing this & I felt great before surgery too. And I didn’t feel dizzy days 1 to 3 post surgery when the nerve block was still in my system & I had not started the Tramadol yet. I am considering stopping the aspirin too just to be on zero meds!

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@contentandwell

@erikas @anklesurgeryguy Any time I have had surgery I have been very tired afterward, and slightly light-headed. I think the fatigue was probably simply from my body working hard to heal. After my transplant, I could barely stay awake in the hospital. Any light-headedness I had though was not enough to cause me problems.

Regarding your dizziness, is it possible that you actually have developed vertigo? I know a number of people who have had that, including my sister and my daughter, and it really can be a nuisance. I don't think the surgery caused it, but it could just be coincidental. What has your surgeon said about it?
JK

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Hi JK, thanks the reply. I think I might have vertigo. Its a feeling as if I am swaying, slightly in motion, like on a boat. So when getting around on my crutches, I am not very dizzy like I will immediately fall, but I definitely have to concentrate to not fall. It has to be related to the surgery or maybe the Tramadol I took for 6 days post surgery. But now its 10 days since I stopped the Tramadol & I still feel dizzy all the time except when lying down (but I am still mentally alert / sharp). What happened with your sister & daughter for their vertigo? Did they remedy it somehow? I am 52y old & am in good shape other than this broken ankle.. it’s really annoying! Thanks for your reply!

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@contentandwell

@erikas @anklesurgeryguy Any time I have had surgery I have been very tired afterward, and slightly light-headed. I think the fatigue was probably simply from my body working hard to heal. After my transplant, I could barely stay awake in the hospital. Any light-headedness I had though was not enough to cause me problems.

Regarding your dizziness, is it possible that you actually have developed vertigo? I know a number of people who have had that, including my sister and my daughter, and it really can be a nuisance. I don't think the surgery caused it, but it could just be coincidental. What has your surgeon said about it?
JK

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Hi JK,
Forgot to say, my surgeon had nothing to say other than I should go see my primary physician. His staff said past surgery patients never mentioned dizziness.
You know how it goes with mechanical surgeries.. its a factory! But I am curious what happened with your sister & daughter having vertigo?

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@anklesurgeryguy

Hi JK,
Forgot to say, my surgeon had nothing to say other than I should go see my primary physician. His staff said past surgery patients never mentioned dizziness.
You know how it goes with mechanical surgeries.. its a factory! But I am curious what happened with your sister & daughter having vertigo?

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@anklesurgeryguy My sister and my daughter both did have advice either from their doctors or a physical therapist, I forget which. I remember one thing to do was to whip their head to one side very quickly, a few times. I believe my sister did have a couple of recurrences of it but she has not recently – this was probably sometime around 2012.

Interestingly, at that time I was working and in the same time frame, my boss had vertigo! We even pondered if it actually could be caused by something that can be transmitted from person to person. It just seemed awfully coincidental to know three people with it. They were not close to each other at all geographically, but I am thinking something that goes around, as the flu does.
JK

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@contentandwell

@anklesurgeryguy My sister and my daughter both did have advice either from their doctors or a physical therapist, I forget which. I remember one thing to do was to whip their head to one side very quickly, a few times. I believe my sister did have a couple of recurrences of it but she has not recently – this was probably sometime around 2012.

Interestingly, at that time I was working and in the same time frame, my boss had vertigo! We even pondered if it actually could be caused by something that can be transmitted from person to person. It just seemed awfully coincidental to know three people with it. They were not close to each other at all geographically, but I am thinking something that goes around, as the flu does.
JK

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Hi JK, that’s very interesting re whipping head to one side very quickly. I have been reading & it seems as though vertigo is due to calcium leaking into the wrong location of the inner ear. And certain physical maneuvers + gravity can get that calcium back to where it belongs! I am seeing a specialist soon. Its just very bizarre that this coincided with my ankle surgery! Thanks!

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@contentandwell

@anklesurgeryguy My sister and my daughter both did have advice either from their doctors or a physical therapist, I forget which. I remember one thing to do was to whip their head to one side very quickly, a few times. I believe my sister did have a couple of recurrences of it but she has not recently – this was probably sometime around 2012.

Interestingly, at that time I was working and in the same time frame, my boss had vertigo! We even pondered if it actually could be caused by something that can be transmitted from person to person. It just seemed awfully coincidental to know three people with it. They were not close to each other at all geographically, but I am thinking something that goes around, as the flu does.
JK

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Would you mind asking your sister & daughter how they each got rid of vertigo? How long did they have it for? I have had it 3wks now.. ugh

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Meds not effective after arthroscopic elbow surgery
I've had the elbow surgery May 7th and had to be off Orencia for 4 weeks. I have RA and osteoarthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I feel I've been set back a lot. I asked my Doctor about switching meds but doesn't want to. My knees are swollen and have a hard time keeping up at work. He put me on a prednisone taper and now I'm down to 5 mgs. and am feeling extremely tired and lethargic. The same thing happened when I had my total shoulder replacement. I was on methotrexate then and had to switch to a biologic drug. I will need knee replacements soon and don't even want to think of going through this again. I know people say to get some exercise and I get that but I can hardly move. Just plain exhausted. I saw this thing on tv called cubii and wonder if anyone here has tried it. It's like a floor pedal machine you can do while sitting.
Just wondering if that would help. Thanks

REPLY
@ktgirl

Meds not effective after arthroscopic elbow surgery
I've had the elbow surgery May 7th and had to be off Orencia for 4 weeks. I have RA and osteoarthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I feel I've been set back a lot. I asked my Doctor about switching meds but doesn't want to. My knees are swollen and have a hard time keeping up at work. He put me on a prednisone taper and now I'm down to 5 mgs. and am feeling extremely tired and lethargic. The same thing happened when I had my total shoulder replacement. I was on methotrexate then and had to switch to a biologic drug. I will need knee replacements soon and don't even want to think of going through this again. I know people say to get some exercise and I get that but I can hardly move. Just plain exhausted. I saw this thing on tv called cubii and wonder if anyone here has tried it. It's like a floor pedal machine you can do while sitting.
Just wondering if that would help. Thanks

Jump to this post

Hi @ktgirl, I am sorry you are having so much fatigue and getting motivated because of your medication changes and lethargy. You will see that I moved your comment and question to a discussion that is already talking about post surgical fatigue. I did this so you could connect with people like @contentandwell and @anklesurgeryguy

I definitely think any movement to start off is better than nothing at all. Even sitting and pedaling, push ups against a wall while standing, and simple stretching would be great to get you going.

Prior to your surgery, were you active at all? What medication would you prefer to be back on full time?

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@ktgirl

Meds not effective after arthroscopic elbow surgery
I've had the elbow surgery May 7th and had to be off Orencia for 4 weeks. I have RA and osteoarthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I feel I've been set back a lot. I asked my Doctor about switching meds but doesn't want to. My knees are swollen and have a hard time keeping up at work. He put me on a prednisone taper and now I'm down to 5 mgs. and am feeling extremely tired and lethargic. The same thing happened when I had my total shoulder replacement. I was on methotrexate then and had to switch to a biologic drug. I will need knee replacements soon and don't even want to think of going through this again. I know people say to get some exercise and I get that but I can hardly move. Just plain exhausted. I saw this thing on tv called cubii and wonder if anyone here has tried it. It's like a floor pedal machine you can do while sitting.
Just wondering if that would help. Thanks

Jump to this post

Hello @ktgirl

I noticed your post about post-surgical fatigue and just wanted to encourage you in this matter. While you do not mention your age, you do mention that you have RA and that your doctor has switched meds and that you are currently tapering off prednisone. Please know that any and all of these factors can cause fatigue. You probably need to give youself some time and to also keep your doctor informed as to how you are feeling.

As Amanda, @amandaburnett, mentioned, any activity can help. If you choose not to purchase a product please be aware that there are many free chair exercise videos on Youtube that might be helpful. I use many of them myself. If one of the exercises uses a part of the body that I find painful I just wait until it is over and do the next exercise. Please always check with your doctor to see if he/she approves before starting.

You might take a look at some to these exercise videos and see what you think. Here is a link to some sitting exercises on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-er7mpG7_Q

I hope you begin to feel better. Will you post again with an update?

REPLY
@ktgirl

Meds not effective after arthroscopic elbow surgery
I've had the elbow surgery May 7th and had to be off Orencia for 4 weeks. I have RA and osteoarthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I feel I've been set back a lot. I asked my Doctor about switching meds but doesn't want to. My knees are swollen and have a hard time keeping up at work. He put me on a prednisone taper and now I'm down to 5 mgs. and am feeling extremely tired and lethargic. The same thing happened when I had my total shoulder replacement. I was on methotrexate then and had to switch to a biologic drug. I will need knee replacements soon and don't even want to think of going through this again. I know people say to get some exercise and I get that but I can hardly move. Just plain exhausted. I saw this thing on tv called cubii and wonder if anyone here has tried it. It's like a floor pedal machine you can do while sitting.
Just wondering if that would help. Thanks

Jump to this post

@ktgirl I really can't think of anything to add to the responses you have gotten but just wanted to say I do understand and I think there is natural fatigue after any surgery. Your body is using a lot of energy to heal itself. Do what you can do, try to push yourself a little more each day. That may sound daunting but it will be worth it. I exercise daily but I still have to push myself, I really do not like exercise! I should go and do some right now though!
JK

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