What Causes Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Researchers continue to study the many causes of pain after knee replacement surgery. Some are biological and due to conditions present before surgery, while others are due to complications that arise during surgery.
On the biological side, patients suffering from arthritis may experience increased sensitivity because of the ongoing pain that was present before surgery. As well explain below, inflammatory responses and allergy-related problems can also contribute to persistent pain. Another source of pain is referred pain originating from the hip due to a change in alignment.
If you are experiencing ongoing pain after knee replacement surgery, but do not have a medical history of arthritis or the previously mentioned issues, you may be dealing with surgical complications. While your doctor will take steps to prevent problems, its still possible for these to rare issues to occur:
Remember to stay open and honest with your doctors. This will help them properly diagnose and treat the problem to get you the pain relief youre looking for.
Addressing Inflammation In The Body You Can Help
Inflammation is a natural response within the body, and lets us know when things are out of balance. Its a natural part of the healing process, following knee replacement surgery, for the area around the replacement to be inflammed.
There are steps that can be taken to ensure the bodys inflammation response is healthy and normal, and these include eating a diet lower in inflammation-causing foods, and allowing a specialist in the field of using movement and tension release exercises to reduce secondary inflammation that might come from compensatory body mechanics.
Overview Of Knee Revision Surgery
The first step is removal of the existing implant. If there has been significant bone loss, bone grafts may be required to fill these voids. Bone grafts can be either autografts or an allograft . In some cases, metal wedges, wires or screws may be used to strengthen the bone.
Finally, specialized revision knee implants are inserted. Temporary drains may be placed to help prevent excessive swelling of the knee and are usually removed a few days after surgery. Additionally, specialized negative pressure incisional dressings are also frequently employed to improve wound healing as they have been shown to decrease post-operative wound complications in high risk patients. These dressings are usually connected to a small portable pump that stays on for about a week and keep the wound protected and dry.
Also Check: Bioknee Cost
What To Expect After A Total Knee Replacement
If you struggle with chronic knee pain and knee mobility, your doctor may recommend total knee replacement surgery once conservative treatment options are exhausted. Knowing what to expect after a total knee replacement can help you regain knee strength and mobility so that you can resume independent living more quickly.
What To Expect After Discharge
Within 10 days following your discharge, you should be able to:
- Bend your knee 90 degrees and extend your leg fully
- Stand independently or with little help
- Rely less on assistive devices
- Bathe, dress and use the toilet on your own
- Climb up or down a flight of stairs
At the two to three-week mark, your knee may be strong enough to carry more weight. Most people are either using a cane or nothing at all by this point.
Three months after surgery, the majority of patients are 90% recovered. After six months, most patients feel 100% recovered.
Also Check: Does Tommie Copper Knee Sleeve Work
Adhere To Your Doctor’s Medication Prescriptions
Immediately after your surgery, your doctor may give you pain medication. This can take the form of intravenous or oral pain relievers. If you have low pain tolerance, your healthcare team may give you a strong opiate or opioid.
Don’t worry, though, as you will only need this for a day or two following the procedure. After this, your doctor will put you on much milder anti-pain medications.
What’s important is to follow everything indicated in your prescriptions. Never take these medications for longer than what your doctor tells you. More importantly, don’t stray from the recommended dosage.
Knee Replacement Pain After Three Months
Swelling and bruising can continue for three months or more following knee replacement surgery. However, it varies from patient to patient and depends on the condition you were in before surgery. Many patients are back to their activities without the pain they had before surgery by this stage of recovery.
If you find that any movement or activity is still exceedingly painful after three months, you may be experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain persisting for three months or longer. Its a condition that affects roughly 20% of knee replacement surgery patients. It can develop and increase in intensity in the weeks and months following surgery. This can have a huge impact on your overall quality of life. Talk to your doctor for help.
Read Also: Does Aflac Cover Hysterectomy
Dos And Donts After Knee Surgery
After knee surgery, youll likely encounter challenges and pain on your path to recovery. While it may seem difficult, remember that what happens after your surgery is just as important as the surgery itself.
Here are some dos and donts to help you recover:
If you experience problems during recovery, call your doctor immediately for proper healing and to prevent further health issues.
How Long Do You Use Ice Machine After Knee Surgery
4.6/5about 10-20 minutesthis is here
It’s generally recommended that you use an ice pack 3 to 4 times a day for about 20 minutes each time. Get a recommendation from your physical therapist or doctor if you see no improvement, or if you think additional icing might help. After several weeks, you may also benefit from applying heat to your knee.
Likewise, how long should you ice your knee after ACL surgery? Ice helps with the swelling and can help to decrease pain after surgery. For the first few days after your surgery, the more, the better.Ice approximately 30 minutes 35 times per day. The first night and first day following surgery, you should ice as much as possible.
Similarly, you may ask, can you ice too much after knee replacement surgery?
Early after TKR surgery, you‘ll be icing more often. After a few months, you‘ll likely ice less often. The length of time you ice matters and you won’t want to ice for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer icing might damage skin or cause localized frostbite.
What happens if you ice for too long?
Leaving ice on an injury for too long can cause more harm than good. Because ice constricts the blood vessels, it can reduce the blood flow to the injured area and slow the healing process. Ice should not be needed after the first 24 hours unless your doctor recommends it to reduce active swelling or to relieve pain.
Read Also: My Knees Crack When I Squat
How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal
You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal leisure activities 6 weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to 3 months for pain and swelling to settle down. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear.
Your new knee will continue to recover for up to 2 years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and muscles can be restored by exercise.
Even after you have recovered, it’s best to avoid extreme movements or sports where there’s a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.
What Should You Expect After Knee Revision Surgery
Most patients who undergo revision procedures can expect to have good to excellent results. Although expected outcomes include pain relief with increased stability and function, complete pain relief and restoration of function is not always possible.
Up to 20% of patients may still experience some pain following revision knee surgery. This can persist for several years after the procedure. Additionally recovery after revision total knee surgery is heavily dependent on the state and function of the knee prior to the revision surgery.
You May Like: Whiten Knees Fast
Knee Replacement Pain A Year And Beyond
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to help you get back to the activities you love. Your doctor will encourage you to stay fit through activities like swimming, cycling, and even golf. This type of exercise will help you stay limber and pain-free.
On the contrary, there are certain activities that could negatively affect the prosthetic joint materials in place. Even normal use will begin to wear out the implants, but excessive weight or activity can cause your knee replacement to loosen and become painful. You may need to avoid running, jogging, high-impact exercises, and contact sports for the rest of your life following surgery.
The good news is that studies show more than 90% of total knee replacements are still functioning properly 15 years after surgery. Staying healthy and following the advice of your doctor will help you achieve these long-term benefits.
While its possible for pain to persist for a year and beyond, it shouldnt be debilitating. Scar tissue can continue to heal, as well as the muscles in your knee, but if youre suffering from ongoing pain after a year, always talk to your doctor.
How Long Does The Pain Last After A Knee Replacement
Over 90% of patients who have knee replacement surgery experience a significant improvement in their pain and mobility. But remember that this is a major surgery, which means that it takes time to recover after going under the knife.
It often takes three months to return to normal activities and six months to 1 year before your knee is strong and resilient.
Don’t Miss: Inversion Table After Hip Replacement
What Are The Alternatives To Revision Surgery
Alternatives to revision knee surgery are rarely used as they can sometimes be more complex and lead to worse results than revision surgery, but they include knee fusion or .
The following alternatives are employed depending on the seriousness of the problem affecting the knee:
- of the knee joint may relieve pain but at the expense of keeping the knee in a fixed, non-bending position.
- may be used in extreme cases in which the knee joint has a severe infection that cannot be eradicated
When To Call Your Surgeon
- a temperature of 101.6 F or higher
- a sudden increase in drainage, draining lasting more than five days after your surgery, or drainage that is yellow in color or foul-smelling
- severe discomfort, fatigue or pain
- severe swelling that does not improve each day
- blisters around your incision
- any change in movement such as new weakness, firmness in your calf muscle or inability to move as usual
- any questions or concerns
Read Also: Ginger Poultice For Knee Pain
Total Knee Replacement & Nerve Pain
I’m 4 weeks post TKR. The joint & incision feel fine. Although the muscles are tight the range of motion is good. What has me pulling my hair out is nerve pain! The surface of my skin is unbearably sensitive to even the slightest of touch. This, coupled with the occasional burst of lightening down the back of my leg, is making life a living torture! Pain meds do precisely nothing for this nerve pain. Does anyone have any tips for nerve pain relief?
2 likes, 46 replies
Posted 5 years ago
Hi, so sorry to hear you’re in so much pain & nerve pain is nasty. Amytriptoline also is good for nerve pain. See your GP, don’t wait to see the surgeon. GP should be able to prescribe something for nerve pain.
As you’ve no doubt read on this forum TKR is a brutal operation. You’ve been diced up & sewn back together. I still have a spot on my scar, when I massage, it that twangs at the back of the knee. It felt horrible at 1st but am used to it. I never had nerve pain. I feel for you, had sciatica few years back & that is also nerve so I do not envy you.
I hope you get something to relieve it soon. Hang on on there & look after yourself, in a couple of years you will be skipping about on your new knee like a spring lamb!
Have a lovely Christmas but just make sure someone else does all the work!!
Good luck on your journey.
How Long Do You Have Pain After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Youve just had a total knee replacement. While you know that this will definitely add years to your mobility, the pain from the surgery is the only thing you can focus on overcoming right now. While you may have been experiencing chronic pain before knee surgery, it may come as some relief that post-surgery pain should go away in a short time with proper recovery.
Immediately after surgery, you can expect to be in the care of hospital staff for anywhere from 2-5 days. They will keep you on regular pain medication and be able to keep you up to speed in your recovery process. Its when you head home that it is now up to you to make sure you are doing your stretches, monitoring and dosing your pain and subsequent pain medication accordingly, and following your doctors orders.
While the rest-ice-elevate rule applies to most injuries and surgeries, it is particularly important after a total knee replacement because your pain can be so significant, you will want to do everything you can to stay on track in your healing process.
You May Like: What Is The Best Knee Walker
Don’t Let Pain After Knee Replacement Get In Your Way
There you have it, all the answers to your question, “how long does pain last after knee replacement?” Again, general pain usually lasts for up to three weeks, but it can be up to six months or even longer in some. However, the right post-OP care can help reduce the risks of chronic knee surgery pain.
So, be sure to follow your doctor’s directions! Supplementing your recovery with assistive devices, like knee braces, can also help.
Ready to invest in high-quality knee braces? If so, then please feel to check out our extensive collection of knee braces and supports!
Here Is An Overview Of What You Can Expect During These 12 Weeks:
- Days 1 3: In the hospital, you will work with a physical therapist and occupational therapist to work on straightening and bending the knee.
- Discharge Day: Most people are discharged from the hospital within a few days. You will be sent home with specific instructions for care, medication, and therapy.
- Week 3: By the time you reach week three, you will be able to move around a little more, and the pain will be decreasing.
- Weeks 4 6: The most noticeable improvements in your knee happen during this time if you are consistent with your rehab and exercise activities.
- Weeks 7 11: Physical therapy and rehabilitation continue. At this point, you will be working on range of motion, mobility, and strengthening the muscles.
- Week 12: You can start to return to normal activities but still need to avoid high-impact exercise .
Beyond this initial recovery time, you will notice that the pain will continue to decrease, and your function will improve.
Recommended Reading: Nano Knee Cost
When To See A Doctor
People should speak with a doctor as soon as possible if they think that they have developed a blood clot or infection.
Signs of blood clots include new or worsening pain or swelling in the calf, ankle, or foot and redness, swelling, or tenderness above or below the knee.
Part of a blood clot can break loose and travel to the lungs, where it can get stuck and cause a blockage. This condition is called pulmonary embolism, and it is a very serious and sometimes life threatening emergency.
Signs of pulmonary embolism include:
- shortness of breath
- sudden chest pain
- coughing with chest pain
Blood, or systemic, infections require immediate treatment to prevent further serious complications. Signs of infection may include:
- high fever, typically higher than 100.4ºF orally
- worsening pain, swelling, flushing, or tenderness of the knee or the area around the surgical incision
- leakage from the surgical incision
- worsening pain during rest and activity
What Happens During Surgery
Prior to surgery, your physician and surgeon will consider things like weight, the condition of existing bone and cartilage, and other medical factors, and will have a plan in place post-surgery for optimal healing.
During knee replacement surgery, your doctor will make an incision, moving your knee cap, and cutting away any damaged bone, cartilage, and joint surfaces. This is then followed by the attachment of artificial joints, which are tested by rotating and bending the new knee replacement, before the incision is closed up with stitches and/or surgical staples.
Factors during the surgery, including blood loss, and unforeseen medical issues involving the condition of the bone, cartilage and underlying muscle can have an impact on recovery time and post-op pain following a knee replacement surgery.
Pain after knee replacement surgery is sometimes caused by biological factors present before the surgery, while others may be caused by complications and conditions during the surgery itself.
Arthritis is an example of a biological factor that may be present before the surgery, which can flare up after knee replacement surgery. Similarly, patients with pre-existing concerns about fibromyalgia may find their pain response heightened after knee replacement surgery for as much as six months.
Recommended Reading: Dcf Knee Compression Sleeve