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Knee replacement recovery

(25 Posts)
GramaJ Tue 26-Oct-21 04:48:55

I had a total right knee replacement last Wednesday and came home Friday. I’m in a lot of pain despite meds to help relief it. My daughter, who is an OT, is staying with me for a week, which is such a great help, despite her continual nagging to do my exercises and keep moving. All very necessary, I know, to gain full mobility, but all I want to do is lie down, with strong pain killers and sleep!!!!

Has anyone been through this surgery and can offer any words of advice and encouragement please.

Lilydrop Tue 26-Oct-21 05:58:33

Ive had both knees replaced and an ankle fusion. Yes it hurts and you must do your pyhsio its very important. Its not unusual to feel tired or a but down after an op, but you will get better and be glad you had it done. Good luck and hope you feel better

Spice101 Tue 26-Oct-21 06:10:54

I've had both knees replaced in the last year. Fortunately I did not have a huge amount of pain other than some movements causing brief moments -such as lifting the leg to get into bed. Swelling was an issue and there was some pain from that. In my experience most of the pain is from the surgical wound and will subside fairly soon.

It is early days for you yet, give it a chance. There is plenty of time to sleep between exercising.

Alizarin Tue 26-Oct-21 06:43:45

Ooh, it's still early days Gramaj and yes it does hurt at first! I had a total knee replacement four years ago. I can't take opioids so was on ibuprofen and paracetamol. I had exercises to do every hour and it was uncomfortable but so worth it because I recovered quickly and had a full bend on my knee within six weeks, but it does seem tough having to exercise when in pain. I found ice packs amazingly helpful for the pain - flat gel packs I bought online. I've had both hips replaced this year and am currently waiting for my second knee replacement. The worst part of all of this for me was disrupted sleep and also those gadgets they give you such as the prop seat which, though useful, filled my tiny flat. Once you've recovered you'll find it's all been worth it. I would have no idea that I've got an artificial knee (or hips for that matter)!

Aveline Tue 26-Oct-21 07:08:18

I have two new knees and s new hip. First knee I did the physio excercises and they led to inflammation and adhesions. I needed manipulation under anaesthetic. Basically, just as you can't bend a hose full of water, you can't bend a very swollen knee. Second knee I did no excercises, just kept walking about as much as possible and iced and elevated my leg to help reduce swelling and allow drainage. Worked very well. Full bend at three weeks. Check the Bonesmart forum for real people's experiences and practical onfo.

GramaJ Tue 26-Oct-21 07:53:54

Thank you everyone for your experiences and advice. A great help. Aveline your description of the knee being like a hose full of water is so right. I would love to try just ice, walking and elevation but my OT daughter is being very strict about bending the knee. So painful! I’ll check the Bonesmart forum, thanks. It is early days yet………. Good to have support. Thank you

Alizarin Tue 26-Oct-21 08:12:08

I'm learning from this thread too, so had better add that my knee was never really very swollen, which obviously made the exercises easier. Your description Aveline of a hosepipe makes a lot of sense. I'd forgotten I used the Bonesmart forum too, very helpful.

Charleygirl5 Tue 26-Oct-21 08:37:43

I have had both knees replaced, years apart and I also was in a lot of pain so I am afraid I did what I wanted to do which was not much. I ould bend both knees 90 degrees the day after surgery which was a help.

Your daughter is being kind but she will be returning to work soon and will leave you to your own devices. I cannot explain why some of us are in agony post-op and others sail through it. My pain continued for 6 weeks post-op. It is not surgery I would like to repeat.

BlueBelle Tue 26-Oct-21 08:50:44

Two friends going through this at the moment one a month or down the line the other about 6 weeks both have said never again (maybe it’s like childbirth) both are adamant they won’t have the other done but it seems very individual some get a lot of pain others not so others
Good luck with your recovery

Farmor15 Tue 26-Oct-21 08:54:34

Another recommendation for ice packs and Bonesmart. It was my OH who had both knees replaced at the same time 2 years ago. I was continually getting gel ice packs from freezer, even in the middle of the night.

He only took paracetamol, but at max dose, and 4 times a day. It's important to continue taking it regularly for it to be effective.

Despite being wary of internet forums, he found the Bonesmart site very useful. He didn't over-exercise in first few weeks, just gentle walk to kitchen every hour. Later he used exercise bike, and had full movement - able to squat- after about 3 months

GramaJ Sat 30-Oct-21 23:56:41

Thank you once again everyone for your support and advice. Update on my progress. I’ve been taking orymorph at night since Wednesday, and continuing with codeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen and ice packs during the day, and tonight I can honestly say I think the pain is definitely not as persistent. I am moving about regularly but not putting too much pressure on myself to get a full bend on the knee. Physio on Wednesday so, no doubt, will hear then whether I am doing enough.

Jonnie Wed 03-Nov-21 10:26:26

I am reaching out to anyone who has had or is at the moment coming out of knee replacement surgery..I had mine last Thursday 28th October.
I have been trying so hard to do all exercises, icing moving round but today ... Well today I just feel b......d!
Last night I was up and down the bed so many times I think I did a full days exercise just trying to get comfortable to go to sleep.
Oh Blimey if anyone can support me through this ongoing saga I would be so grateful.
I feel a bit Mardy today and need a kick up the prervevial really.
All help gratefully received.
Thanks for listening to me moan

Aveline Wed 03-Nov-21 11:27:37

What a shame. I've been there! However, the good news is that 'This too shall pass.' You truly won't always feel this bad. Nap during the day whenever you're tired and ice and elevate your leg. Give yourself time to heal. Don't try and force it. Good luck.
Try Bonesmart forum. It really got me through.

Jonnie Wed 03-Nov-21 12:08:37

Oh thank you so much - I've never even heard of bone smart is that part of gransnet? I have only just come on to this site today for the first time.
It's funny I know I am really lucky to have my husband at home who is helping me no end.. but to talk to others who have / are going through the same thing is what I need as only they can relate.
I can't take ibruprophen as it upsets my tummy so am using the codeine and paracetamol and have had morphine if needed ( I only used this for a day really)
But the ibruprophen would be a godsend I think as it's the only anti inflammatory one out of the bunch.
Well If you could guide me to the bonesmart I would be grateful.
Thank you

Lizzie72 Wed 03-Nov-21 12:40:37

Barmeyoldbat Wed 03-Nov-21 12:55:55

Your daughter is right, exercise is the answer and to keep the knee moving so the scaring inside doesn’t stiffen up. Yes it’s hard when you are feeling tired but many of the exercises can be done lying on the bed. I had my knee replaced and can’t take any anti inflammatory due to a medical condition, ended up using morphine which I took at night so I could sleep. We went and stayed at a spa for 3 nights after my stitches came out and I spent a lot of time in the warm pool just walking and doing exercise and resting in between. Worked a great and was out cycling 7 weeks after the op. You will feel like sixth for a while, it’s a major operation so just rest and do gentle exercise. It does get better and is well worth it.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 03-Nov-21 12:58:19

Forgot to say ice packs were a great help

dogsmother Wed 03-Nov-21 16:19:11

Sorry to be repeating what everyone is saying but exercise and rest is key, also whilst resting you must try to keep the knee up and straight as much as possible.

Aveline Wed 03-Nov-21 16:26:48

Hmmm knee up and slightly bent is what I was told. I had three pillows at a gradual angle. Honestly check Bonesmart for excellent advice, diagrams info etc.

Nonogran Wed 03-Nov-21 16:41:26

Don’t forget. The anaesthesia can make you feel terrible too! Pale & pasty, depressed? Yep, that’s the anaesthetic! Give it time. You’ll be fine. Could take two years for all the tenderness to go though.

Deedaa Wed 03-Nov-21 16:41:41

I had both knees replaced about 15 years ago. I didn't have too much pain afterwards and only took paracetamol. The exercises did hurt though and I'm usually very bad at keeping up with things like that, but I did keep on with them and it made all the difference.

Aveline Wed 03-Nov-21 21:54:52

I didn't do the exercises and had the same result! All fine.

Esspee Wed 03-Nov-21 22:05:24

My OH had both knees done at the same time. He was operated on in the afternoon and around midnight he went missing. The nurse found him taking a shower. 🙄

Bibbity Wed 03-Nov-21 23:37:11

My husband had this. I hope you're doing OK. It looked so painful. I would definitely stay medicated as allowed even if you think you feel better.
You should definitely be allowed to rest and heal. Once he could get it wet I bought Epsom salts for a warm bath.

srn63 Thu 04-Nov-21 10:25:37

I have had both my knees replaced quite a few years ago, both successfully. My advice would be firstly get pain under control, ice, medication regularly (it's easier to keep pain away rather than get rid of it), read the Bonesmart website from start to finish the information on there is invaluable, keep your knee moving but don't forget that your can't force a swollen knee and it needs time to repair itself - major surgery has taken place on those bones and finally don't compare yourself to anyone else - you recover at YOUR rate not other people's.