Night Pain: Using a knee wedge after total knee replacement?

Posted by connie1559 @connie1559, Jan 30, 2019

I had a right TKR on 1/21. Even in the hospital I couldn’t sleep at night because of knee pain.

Multiple sources, including a hospital issued post TKR book and my discharge instructions, warn against putting a pillow under the knee.

Does anyone know if a knee wedge would fall into the category of a pillow? Has anyone used a wedge with good results? Has anyone had their doctor or physical therapist tell them to not use a knee wedge?

I will ask my joint care coordinator tomorrow, but as I have been awake for the last 2-1/2 hours, I’ve had plenty of time to think about possible solutions to night pain. BTW, I am taking Rx pain meds, but pain still wakes me up every night. A knee wedge sounds good to me right now.

Thank you for any input.

I have THR and both knees replaced. I have always used a knee pillow. I am currently four months out my recent TKR left side. If I don't have the pillow from my knee to ankle I feel my hip angle is to low and I have pain in my knee. My pillow is pretty flat. I don't like the feel of my knees touching. I have always been told to use a pillow. I just know I am uncomfortable without it.

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@lk3xs

I have THR and both knees replaced. I have always used a knee pillow. I am currently four months out my recent TKR left side. If I don't have the pillow from my knee to ankle I feel my hip angle is to low and I have pain in my knee. My pillow is pretty flat. I don't like the feel of my knees touching. I have always been told to use a pillow. I just know I am uncomfortable without it.

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@lk3xs I'm the same way. After I started using a pillow following a TKR I got so used to it that now I always still use it. My knees feel so hard against each other if I don't! After I fractured my femur last summer the doctor said to use one too, and I have actually read that it is better for everyone because it keeps things aligned better.
JK

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@lk3xs

I have THR and both knees replaced. I have always used a knee pillow. I am currently four months out my recent TKR left side. If I don't have the pillow from my knee to ankle I feel my hip angle is to low and I have pain in my knee. My pillow is pretty flat. I don't like the feel of my knees touching. I have always been told to use a pillow. I just know I am uncomfortable without it.

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I was getting such pain with my knees touching all night, and the weight of my TkR on my other bad knee. Pillows always fell out so I ordered a small memory foam pillow that looks like a small saddle. I place that just above mu knee between my thighs. It works great, keeps my knees from touching and my legs and back in alignment. I am 15 monts post surgery

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@glasgow46

I was getting such pain with my knees touching all night, and the weight of my TkR on my other bad knee. Pillows always fell out so I ordered a small memory foam pillow that looks like a small saddle. I place that just above mu knee between my thighs. It works great, keeps my knees from touching and my legs and back in alignment. I am 15 monts post surgery

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If you don't mind my asking, how do you feel about the whole TKR procedure now that you are 15 months post surgery? Was it worth it?

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@jud

If you don't mind my asking, how do you feel about the whole TKR procedure now that you are 15 months post surgery? Was it worth it?

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I have thought about that one often. When I had my knee done, it was done as semi urgent as I had some bad tears which were not reparable due to bone loss. So I didn’t have a lot of choice. I have to say I am a bit disappointed with the result. I expected no pain, maybe some odd sensations, and definitely improved mobility. I do now have discomfort and sometimes pain if I overextend myself., such as too much on bike or lot of in and out of car. Sitting long periods is not good. I do my exercises, and still have trouble getting up from chair and toilet. My other knee is bad, so that muddy s the waters. If I look back I guess the big positive is being able to walk and move without crippling pain.i don’t use a cane any more, I can drive, and I can exercise in pool. I keep those positives in my head. I am going to wait as long as I can for my other knee, and pray I get better result. I have friends with great outcomes, so I know it can be done with the right doctor and therapy.

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@jud

If you don't mind my asking, how do you feel about the whole TKR procedure now that you are 15 months post surgery? Was it worth it?

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@jud My second TKR was in October, 2017 and I am extremely happy that I had it done. I wasn't in terrible pain before I had it done so many people thought I was crazy to go ahead. My pain had been worse but I had exercised to strengthen the supporting muscles, which is why my pain level decreased. Even so, I tired if I walked long distances. After having the TKR I could walk very long distances. Sure, I can feel some minor discomfort but minor enough that I simply ignore it.
If you get a great surgeon then you you are much more apt to have a successful TKR. I think MAKO surgery or getting a custom made knee helps a lot too. I have the Conformis knee.
JK

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Thanks for suggestion of custom knee. I will certainly as about that for my second knee

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@glasgow46

Thanks for suggestion of custom knee. I will certainly as about that for my second knee

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@glasgow46 If you google "Conformis" their website will guide you to orthopedic surgeons who use the Conforms knee. As I commented, the MAKO surgery seems highly successful also.
Two people on here who have had MAKOplasty surgery are @debbraw and @saeternes. They have both been happy with that also.
JK

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@jud

If you don't mind my asking, how do you feel about the whole TKR procedure now that you are 15 months post surgery? Was it worth it?

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I had my procedure in March and it was the best decision I ever made because I couldn’t stand and walk. The pain was unbearable. It is almost a year and I am experiencing no pain but just discomfort from the tight band. When I exercise too much I get a pain on the inside of the knee. I am able to walk a couple of laps in the mall. Still have difficulty getting out of a car due to knee flexion. I still get odd sensations and some clicking occasionally. I do exercises at the Y and have a home therapy program. My main complaint is that they do not prepare you mentally for the procedure and the first 6 months are awful. But on the flip side, if they did reveal expectations, no one would get it done! The key to successful surgery is a good doctor, mako robotic arm, and a good therapist. But I would not be in a hurry to do the other knee.

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I was a physical therapist for 40 years and have two totl knees. I agree with you. They are the most painful after surgery situations. I was in good shape for my surgeries, so I can imagine the struggle for some who were not. The average patient of mine needed more exercise to build up the leg ahead of time. Most had an incident that prevented that preperation. Using a pillow after surgery is because the kinee is swollen and restricted and you need sime support for the knee to relax, Your knee was done in January and you are talking about favoring your nee more with a wedge. Yhis, of course lead to more problems of not being able to extend your knee fullu. Let be be blunt! You most probablely can not extend your knee fully. Almost a year afterwards, you have a unstable total knee. My strong suggest, with in finances, is to resume physical theraoy with a sports Medicine group. If you hyave used up medicare, have the doctor use a di8fferent code, such as exascerbtion to,qualify you for a 2nd series. Sometimes you have to get into electrical stimulation under heatm followed with massage and special contact under restriction ans relax hamstring excisie and quadriceps re- education and proper knee alignment in gait with outsinking to get ypur useful leg back. Your may need to go back to a walker during re-ed until you yoe pulling up- on your knee correctly. Thank you for posting. You have a hard decision to make and it do

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I got cut off. Your decision should now be made with your contact with a referral for home health PT. I would prefer you go again tp out patient therapy. Do not hesitate to talk to me about this. I a frank and to the point. You should not need knee support after 6 months, generally. Bill

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@sjot4u I completely agree that the post-TRK is something of a shock – for me not so much continuing pain, but the effort I have to put in to move forward, and the toll on my stamina. I am still sleeping more, although it has improved. I did a lot of pre-hab so that is not it; in decent shape for my age. But I wonder how long I will have to keep doing these exercises. Good luck.

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