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Just had a total knee replacement

(23 Posts)
Delphie Mon 27-Jan-20 03:06:13

I am home after my knee replacement, finding it hard to adjust to the pain. was told to take paracetamol in addition to what the surgeon prescribed. But in tears as am not sleeping hardly at all, keeping my poor Husband awake with constant crying. Is this common ?

tiredoldwoman Mon 27-Jan-20 05:23:53

Good morning Delphie, you're probably awake right now ?
I've had both my knees done recently ( May then Oct ) I'm back to work and loving my new no pain bod !
Sleep until recently has been elusive , trying to get comfortable in bed was impossible . I used ice as pain relief and it worked better than meds .
My b in law had his done at the same time as me but he , like you , was in tears a lot of the time .
Take your meds , ice and lots of elevation . And do your physio ! Big hugs to you and well done x

tiredoldwoman Mon 27-Jan-20 05:32:59

I live alone so had to do everything for myself , but it meant that I had a whole bed to myself and disturbed no-one .
Have you a spare bed to escape into , giving you more room and keep your leg safe and away from your husband ? Two sleep deprived zombies must be awful . smile x

Farmor15 Mon 27-Jan-20 06:07:18

My OH had both knees done together last April and now is a new man! First weeks were a bit hard, but we got ice packs and used them a lot- one set on and the other in freezer. Also taking max paracetamol dose consistently for at least 6 weeks. 1000 mg every 6 hours. He took some ibuprofen in addition some of the time. The strong opioid painkiller didn't suit him.

tiredoldwoman Mon 27-Jan-20 06:14:35

Not sure about the Ibuprofen as you'll be on blood thinning tablets for a few weeks .( I seem to remember that they weren't compatible ?) Check with doc if pain gets worse x .

Jane10 Mon 27-Jan-20 07:54:30

I only took paracetamol after my last TKR. It works well with this sort of pain. Sleep is a big problem for the first weeks. It's hard just lying on your back. I found after my first TKR that, as long as I had about 7 hours sleep across the day I was OK. It didn't all have to be at night. I used to get up after a few hours and read but just napped off and on all day as necessary.
You won't always feel as bad. This too shall definitely pass!
Have you checked out the Bonesmart forum? It's real people posting about their experiences and what helps rather than medics/nurses/ physios telling you about stuff they only know in theory!

NewHere Mon 27-Jan-20 08:12:33

Hi Delphie
The good news is things are going to get better when you're healed! My hubby has had both knees replaced and struggled with the pain and the meds (constipation is no fun). The surgeon told Hubby that ice would be his friend, he was right. I spent a lot of time running to and from the freezer and his knee was so hot it melted ice packs in 20 mins! Keep taking the advice of Drs, do your exercises (which will hurt but will give you movement back) and don't expect too much too soon - now is the time to put yourself first x

annsixty Mon 27-Jan-20 08:20:26

I think some people are scared of the exercises because of the pain, I gritted my teeth and the more I did them the easier it got and the pain, which in my case, wasn’t too bad, got better more quickly.
I was given strong co-codamol, 500/30 mgs for the first month.
Sleeping is uncomfortable but the difference after a few weeks is worth it.
Good luck to you.

Yiayia4 Mon 27-Jan-20 08:50:01

Hi Delphie
I had a knee replacement six years ago,you've been given some good advice on here.The first few weeks are hard but it does get better and so worth it in the end.Ice is your friend and the excercise does get you moving.
Healing thoughts.

Granarchist Mon 27-Jan-20 08:52:10

OK so pain relief for one person is not necessarily the same for others. Post op pain for me was agony and I was in tears a lot of the time. My eventual solution (having tried many many cocktails of painkillers) was daytime:- paracetemol every 4 hours at way over recommended dose (speak to a health professional you trust and they will advise) interspersed with ibuprufen every four hours - so you take one or the other every two hours. Nightime - zopiclone 7.5mg. I reckon daytime pain can be managed but night time no way so I sleeping pilled my way out of it. GP was not happy but I said to him that until he had experienced a TKR he was in no position to judge - he is a darling and agreed to prescribe. I also cried through all my physio including when I was doing it myself (head face down in a pillow to muffle the sobs). All so worth it - and less than 6 months later I was climbing in the jungle in Africa. I now do absolutely everything pain free but some Pilates and Yoga movements are not possible as the knee doesn't quite flex enough - getting out of a very narrow bath is a bit gymnastic too. IT WILL GET BETTER.

Charleygirl5 Mon 27-Jan-20 11:06:12

I have had both knees replaced, 4 years apart. Both times I had mega problems with pain. The last time I was sitting at home rocking in my chair- decided this is silly so I rang my GP and she was lovely and prescribed an opiate which seemed to do the trick.

It was too painful both times for me to exercise and I am none the worse for that, it just took longer. It was around 6 weeks post-op on both occasions before I turned the corner.

I was lucky, I managed to sleep on my side and I was fairly comfortable.

I live on my own so I just had to get on with it. My cat escorted me to and from the loo during the night- she was worried about me- I could see it in her facial expression!

Jane10 Mon 27-Jan-20 11:34:36

After my first tkr I did all the physio exercises resulting in inflammation which led to adhesions and I had to have manipulation under anaesthetic to break them. Horrible. However, after that experience, for my next tkr I had the confidence to refuse physio. I'd checked the research database for evidence of efficacy for physio post tkr and there isn't any!! People who don't do it just as well as those who put themselves through it. My surgeon agreed. Just as you can't bend a hose full of water you can expect to bend a swollen joint.
So I iced and elevated my knee, made sure I was keeping walking around the flat then the garden then stairs etc. I built my flexion and extension up gradually that way. I saw a physio at a follow up appointment and he was amazed at my progress which was decent of him under the circumstances!

Granarchist Mon 27-Jan-20 12:00:26

my physio daughter said that one of her post op tkr patients lived up 5 flights of stairs with no lift and needed no physio from her!!!

Nonogran Mon 27-Jan-20 12:43:13

I had TKR ten years ago very successfully. Took regular pain relief, did the exercises, got plenty of rest etc. Took me 4 weeks to turn the corner, back to work full time after 7 weeks. Great success for me but, remember this, anaesthesia can make you post op depressed. Don't worry, mind over matter, you'll be fine. Chin up.

Jane10 Mon 27-Jan-20 14:32:41

Charleygirl my cat also escorts me to the loo every time too! He sits and blinks at me! A very responsible animal.
It is interesting the differences in pain perception from person to person. Because the opioides had made me so sick the first TKR I just took paracetamol (and swore a lot) second time round. It was fine. I really can't say pain was a problem for me.

Chickenjoe Wed 29-Jan-20 19:28:36

I've just had a TKR a week ago and really cheesed off with the pain,evenings and nights are worse but ice def helps I haven't had much physio guidance just what I was told in hospital so its a bit and miss although I can lift my leg into bed without some support .
Is it wrong to sleep at night with a pillow under my bad knee I was told it would deform it?

humptydumpty Wed 29-Jan-20 19:51:54

chickenjoe can't help you with your query, but I've just had a total hip replacement, and looking online most websites say you must not support the affected leg with a pillow - but I found one that said the opposite! In the end, I decided to look only at advice from my local NHS trust. If you can't find anything online, I suggest you ring the physio department.

Jane10 Wed 29-Jan-20 20:30:07

chickenjoe you really should checkout the Bonesmart knee forum. It's packed with practical advice as well as other people's experiences of feeling the same as you.

Grannycool52 Wed 29-Jan-20 21:39:26

I had a tkr about 10 weeks ago. Sitting here with icepack on now and yes, it is a little painful & swollen, but nothing like it was in the early weeks. I'm now back doing pilates, seated yoga, stationery biking and indoor bowling, and on other days walking for up to an hour a day.
It definitely gets easier over time.

Londonwifi Thu 30-Jan-20 19:16:23

Hi Delphie,
Now I haven’t had knee replacement but bear with me. I fell off my bike and broke my shoulder in three places on the joint. The pain was unbearable at night even when ai took painkillers. The only thing that worked for me was Meditation for pain. It sent me to sleep every time! Boy did I need it as the pain lasted 6 weeks and I thought it would never get better.
Your pain will subside eventually. Please look up sleep meditation for pain on youtube. There are some very good ones but some not so good so choose wisely. It’s worth a try.
Good luck.

tiredoldwoman Sun 02-Feb-20 17:18:36

Hi Delphie , how are you getting on with your knee pain , any relief ?

marianalma Mon 03-Feb-20 08:31:11

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Jobey68 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:38:28

I had a TKR in Nov and am so glad I did, I didn’t have any horrific pain post op but did everything I was told and took my meds regularly even when I didn’t feel I needed them.
Ice was the best pain reliever though and many nights in those early weeks I sent hubby down to get my ice pack as it was the only way I would get any sleep.
It’s a tough recovery but varies hugely between people, I feel I’ve been fortunate in mine but it certainly was no walk in the park. I’ve got good movement 3 months on but it’s aches and feels stiff if I walk about too much, it’s improving all the time though, hang in there it gets better!
I’m going back for knee number 2 this year and can’t wait! 😊