Severe Pain after 2nd TKR

Posted by ssbionicknee @ssbionicknee, Sep 8, 2019

I had a right TKR in May of 2018 and it was painful, but tolerable. Physical Therapy seemed to go fairly smoothly. In August of 2019, I had my left TKR and am having a horrible time controlling the pain and Physical therapy is not going near as smoothly. I went to PT last Friday and was in extreme pain afterward. I was up all night. I had sharp pains inside the wound, extreme sensitivity to touch on the inside of my knee, what felt like spasms in the back of the knee and the knee was very sensitive to anything touching it. I had to keep it still and iced all day Saturday in order to get the pain under control. I know I need to do my exercises, but am afraid of triggering the pain again. I have heard that no 2 knee replacements are the same, but this one seems to be really bad. Is this normal? I have to find a happy medium when doing physical therapy. Any thoughts or suggestions?

@lynnwade54

I'm not sure, but I do know that I had shoulder surgery back in 2007 & then again in 2010 by another surgeon who said that he had to go back in because scar tissue had built up. Even with that I didn't have nearly as much problems as I am having with my knee. During the 2nd surgery the surgeon said I had so much scar tissue unlike anything he has ever seen within his 10 + years of being a surgeon. All I know is that I am afraid of the thought of the surgeon going back into my knee as well as the good knee, which they say is bone on bone. I'm afraid that I may experience the same issues. I have heard that all surgeries are not the same, well I don't want to take the chance.

Jump to this post

@lynnwade54 With all you have been through I can certainly understand your reluctance to put yourself through that again. If you do get a point where the pain from not having a TKR is really bad you may change your mind. If that happens, make absolutely sure you research your orthopedic doctor and that he is excellent. The doctor who did my second TKR has pretty much all great reviews on the rating sites and when I did have more pain that anticipated after the TKR he was seeing me frequently because he too was concerned!
So, ask people, and definitely check reviews. I do not give credence to reviews if there only a few but if the doctor has been around long enough to have many you can usually trust them. If you wait too long to have a TKR, I have heard the recovery is more difficult. I did that with my first TKR and I was limping badly and in pain all day every day so I took the first doctor I could get.

I had to delay the second TKR and during that time I exercised a lot building up the supporting muscles. That made a huge difference in my discomfort. The knee had gotten so good I had to wonder if I should go ahead or not, but I did. So please do leg exercises that will help to build those muscles up, like bike (I ride my recumbent bike), walking, either regular or on a treadmill, and using an elliptical.

Are you getting synvisc injections for the "good knee"? I found them to help a lot. There is at least one other brand also that I had one time but I found for me that the synvisc seemed to work better.
JK

REPLY
@lynnwade54

I'm not exactly sure what he meant by abnormal blood work. No I don't think that he have done any testing for metal and cement allergies, but I am going to ask him when I go back. No I have not tried myofascial release and/or acupuncture. I don't think I can deal with the acupuncture because I can't handle the needles I hear that it really hurts. I will check out the links that you sent me thanks everyone for your advice and comments.

Jump to this post

@lynnwade54 – No acupuncture doesn't hurt. I hate needles too, but it doesn't even feel like a pinprick. After both of my TKR's, I did acupuncture to help reduce the inflammation and swelling. It really helped, and I've read of others who had the same result. Now, I'm not saying it would help with severe scar tissue build up, but it did help me recover my ROM more quickly. Will you let us know when you learn what the doctor says?

REPLY

Sounds awful. Was it done by same doctor? Now I'm scared, I'm having my second replacement, left knee, done next week!

REPLY

Hi everyone, to answer your questions; no I am not getting synvisc injections for the "good knee" I'm really afraid to have anyone do anything to the right (good) knee.

REPLY

Hi everyone, to answer your questions; no I am not getting synvisc injections nor acupuncture to either knee, my surgeon nor therapist never mentioned acupuncture or injections to me. At this point I am so afraid of letting anyone do anything else to me right until I can get some relief for this left knee. Yes all this was done by the same doctor he said if he does not get the results he is looking for he is going to refer me to another surgeon for a 2nd opinion. Yes I will keep you all informed once I get my results from the test.

REPLY
@zakcat

Sounds awful. Was it done by same doctor? Now I'm scared, I'm having my second replacement, left knee, done next week!

Jump to this post

@zakcat i'm not sure who you are replying to, but if you have selected the doctor well then you have no reason to be concerned. Your first TKR finally got better, although it took longer than you anticipated, correct? Since your first knee was good then I am sure your second one will be too.
Although I opted for the Conformis knee because I read that it has an easier recovery since it is made to be the same as your natural knee was, I have pretty much heard that the biggest difference in recovery is in the skill of the surgeon. I think of my recovery as being great and the knee never hurts except occasionally a little twinge when I have overdone exercise.
I hope your second TKR goes well, let us know how you are doing when you are feeling up to corresponding.
JK

REPLY
@lynnwade54

Hi everyone, to answer your questions; no I am not getting synvisc injections nor acupuncture to either knee, my surgeon nor therapist never mentioned acupuncture or injections to me. At this point I am so afraid of letting anyone do anything else to me right until I can get some relief for this left knee. Yes all this was done by the same doctor he said if he does not get the results he is looking for he is going to refer me to another surgeon for a 2nd opinion. Yes I will keep you all informed once I get my results from the test.

Jump to this post

@lynnwade54 I am pretty sure that synvisc could not make anything worse and it could really help to have one leg that feels better. If this has not come up with your surgeon you might want to ask him. It honestly did wonders for my knee. The only caveat being that if you do schedule a TKR on that knee at some point you can't have any injections for a certain amount time prior to it. I can't remember if it was 3 months or 6 months. For most people this would not be a problem because their orthopedic surgeon would be the same doctor who you would get shots from, but I go to one doctor for simple things like that, and I went to a different doctor for the TKR, someone who had an impeccable reputation and who used the Conformis knee.
JK

REPLY
@zakcat

Sounds awful. Was it done by same doctor? Now I'm scared, I'm having my second replacement, left knee, done next week!

Jump to this post

@zakcat – Don't be scared. I had my 2nd TKR in January of this year and it was a huge success. It's better than my first that was done in 2017. I'm pulling for you. Will you keep us posted? What are you most scared about?

REPLY
@debbraw

@zakcat – Don't be scared. I had my 2nd TKR in January of this year and it was a huge success. It's better than my first that was done in 2017. I'm pulling for you. Will you keep us posted? What are you most scared about?

Jump to this post

Doctor said it could go much easier than the first, or be more difficult !

REPLY

I spoke with my PT and my doctor. I am taking Lyrica, for nerve pain, along with my pain meds and it has made a huge difference!! The pain is now tolerable. I have even been able to go longer before I need pain meds. The PT has been focusing on the hamstring tendon in the back og my knee. Because the pain is tolerable, he has been able to do more in therapy. Then I come home exhausted. 🙂 Even though I was told each TKR is different, I expected this one to be like the other knee. The front of my nee is still very tender and I believe the nerves are healing slower than they did on the other knee. I am not looking forward to when we have to focus on bending the knee. I am also going to be starting water therapy soon and am hoping to start bending the knee in the water where it will be more comfortable. I can keep you posted on how it goes from here.

REPLY
@ssbionicknee

I spoke with my PT and my doctor. I am taking Lyrica, for nerve pain, along with my pain meds and it has made a huge difference!! The pain is now tolerable. I have even been able to go longer before I need pain meds. The PT has been focusing on the hamstring tendon in the back og my knee. Because the pain is tolerable, he has been able to do more in therapy. Then I come home exhausted. 🙂 Even though I was told each TKR is different, I expected this one to be like the other knee. The front of my nee is still very tender and I believe the nerves are healing slower than they did on the other knee. I am not looking forward to when we have to focus on bending the knee. I am also going to be starting water therapy soon and am hoping to start bending the knee in the water where it will be more comfortable. I can keep you posted on how it goes from here.

Jump to this post

@ssbionicknee Things are sounding more positive, that’s great. I’m glad that the lyrica is helping. Hopefully as the nerves heal you will be able to discontinue it.

Your physical therapist sounds great, I’m sure the water will help a lot. I tried that once but the therapist was terrible! She would tell me what to do, which wasn’t much, and that would be the last I would see of her! I never went there again. I hope to hear how you are progressing with it.
JK

REPLY
@ssbionicknee

I spoke with my PT and my doctor. I am taking Lyrica, for nerve pain, along with my pain meds and it has made a huge difference!! The pain is now tolerable. I have even been able to go longer before I need pain meds. The PT has been focusing on the hamstring tendon in the back og my knee. Because the pain is tolerable, he has been able to do more in therapy. Then I come home exhausted. 🙂 Even though I was told each TKR is different, I expected this one to be like the other knee. The front of my nee is still very tender and I believe the nerves are healing slower than they did on the other knee. I am not looking forward to when we have to focus on bending the knee. I am also going to be starting water therapy soon and am hoping to start bending the knee in the water where it will be more comfortable. I can keep you posted on how it goes from here.

Jump to this post

Good afternoon @ssbionicknee, @contentandwell, I am glad that you are progressing with your recovery from TKR. I was wondering if it might be a worthy idea to look at MFR for the pain episodes and resources you will need when the bending begins. There is a discussion about this approach on Connect: Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain.

There is another worthy idea and that is to involve your friends in the therapy. I was a member of a walking group that tackled 5 day 40-50 mile inn to inn walks around and about. My walking buddies had enough of my knee pain and so locked me in my car and convinced me to just get it done. After the surgery, they were very active in my recovery. Someone showed up every morning to take me to the one grocery store to walk safely up and down the aisles. Another met with the only PT in the village who was also the only attorney we had. He guided them with appropriate exercises and equipment. Do you have an ice machine with a knee adaptation wrap? That was very soothing.

And just for chuckles, our only nurse in the group told me not to bother going off the mountain for stitch removal. She would do it. I got a stitch kit from the surgeon and she proceeded to do her thing. Only afterward did she tell me that she had never removed stitches before. She was a pre-admission nurse who trained paramedics and ER staff. So what did she do….looked it up on the internet.

Be safe and protected from both inner and outer harm today. Chris

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.