Unable to sleep after TKR

Posted by msmontie64 @msmontie64, Tue, Apr 16 7:20am

Was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on what helps them sleep at night. I had TKR 4 weeks ago and still cannot sleep for more than a couple hours at a time. The burning sensations keep me awake. Thanks in advance!

I suffered from the same. Found that keeping on your pain meds as prescribed helps and pillow between your knees. Also, I took a couple naps during the day of which throws off your sleep schedule. Tried not to nap during the day but got to listen to your body…your healing and rest is important! Hope that helps as it does get better!

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Hi @msmontie64, welcome to Connect. I'm 11 days post TKR. One of the things that has helped me is wrapping a flexible cold pack in a towel and putting it under my knee and leg when I go to bed. Sometimes I will use a cold pack that I've used a little earlier in the evening and it's not quite as cold but still pretty cool when pressed against the leg.

I know you will get some good advice here. Have you let your care team know about the burning sensations?

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Yes, I remember those sleepless nights well. Pillow between knees, and ice for about 20 minutes prior to going to bed helped to some extent. I chose not to continue Oxycodone, but it does help to take 1 before bedtime. If I recall correctly, it took me almost 3 months to sleep through the night. Certainly the pain dimished to the point where it would not wake me up any more, but if anything else woke me (traffic, storms, room too warm -can never be too cold for me), then the knee would ache enough so I could not go back to sleep. Check with your physician regarding the burning sensation – mine was strictly general, but sometimes intense, pain.

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Thanks for suggestions. I stopped Percocet last week. Won’t go back on it. I just ordered flex cold pack ..thanks for advice. I had been using frozen peas but that couldn’t work to sleep.

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@msmontie64 Hi, and welcome to Connect.
I’ve had two TKRs and used oxycodone or hydrocodone prior to bed after both of them. That help me to fall asleep and stay asleep.i never iced.

I hope you find something that helps, you need your sleep.
JK

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Take your pain meds as prescribed!! people try to get off them too early because they're afraid of addiction. Your pain needs to be controlled for your to heal.
People that don't take their meds in the beginning (which you are) don't get better as quickly. You need to be able to sleep. Try 800 mg ibuprofen when you wake up in the early morning. It'll let you get back to sleep. Also, prescribed muscle relaxers work.

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Yep… I'm agreeing with the others. Take your pain meds. I took oxycodone for 9 weeks the first TKR and 5 weeks the second TKR. Some told me to try extra strength tylenol. It did nothing for me. I transitioned to Tramadol. At the end, I was just doing one before bed and one before PT – but it was terribly important to me to do my physical therapy and sleep. I don't know of anything more important during your recovery. Have you transitioned to anything after Percocet?

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@debbraw

Yep… I'm agreeing with the others. Take your pain meds. I took oxycodone for 9 weeks the first TKR and 5 weeks the second TKR. Some told me to try extra strength tylenol. It did nothing for me. I transitioned to Tramadol. At the end, I was just doing one before bed and one before PT – but it was terribly important to me to do my physical therapy and sleep. I don't know of anything more important during your recovery. Have you transitioned to anything after Percocet?

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I’m back on meloxicam….I was taking it before surgery. Today was first time at PT on it……Advil worked much better to manage pain…..so I need to talk to Dr. Tylenol does nothing for pain for me…..

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@msmontie64

I’m back on meloxicam….I was taking it before surgery. Today was first time at PT on it……Advil worked much better to manage pain…..so I need to talk to Dr. Tylenol does nothing for pain for me…..

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At 4 weeks I was on very little pain meds, usually the one before PT or my own morning workout. I found myself taking one before bed just to try and sleep not for pain. I still wasn't sleeping the best so I talked to my Dr and he prescribed Trazadone . It has helped, and he also prescribed me 4 Xanax to take in the beginning too so the cycle of not sleeping was broke. You NEED sleep to heal better and feel human during the day! I also had the intense burning at night. I was fortunate that a friend had TKR before me and gave me her BREG cooling machine. It's basically a small cooler that you fill with ice water and the pump continuously circulates cold water through the pad. I put the pad inside the pillow case I used between my knees and it worked to keep me cool all night. I hope you get some relief soon.

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Doodles418. Thanks for the tips. 1 day to go for my bi-lateral TKRs. I’ll talk with my Dr about Xanax or something else. I’m not ver a good sleeper. And the cooling pad between your knees at night sounds like a great idea. Did you leave the machine on all night?

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I should clarify the xanax was used for 4 nights not 4 at one time! And you cannot mix xanax with Percocet. You can take Trazadone and Xanax. The first weeks I kept up with the Percocet. Don't try to take too little at first. It was after 3 to 4 weeks that I could take less. And around the 6 week mark that I finally addressed the sleeping issues. Wish I had sooner. The first 2 weeks I had to sleep on my back which was miserable for me as a side sleeper. I was up so often then that I used ice packs through the night. When I started sleeping on side with pillow between knees is when I started to put the cooling pad inside all night. You might be able to find a Breg machine on Craig's list. They used to send them home from the hospital with tkr patients. Will be thinking and praying for the best for you tomorrow. Keep me posted. Kathy

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