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.
Technical Details Of Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement surgery begins by performing a sterile preparation of the skin over the knee to prevent infection. This is followed by inflation of a tourniquet to prevent blood loss during the operation.
Next, a well-positioned skin incision–typically 6-7 in length though this varies with the patients size and the complexity of the knee problem–is made down the front of the knee and the knee joint is inspected.
Next, specialized alignment rods and cutting jigs are used to remove enough bone from the end of the femur , the top of the tibia , and the underside of the patella to allow placement of the joint replacement implants. Proper sizing and alignment of the implants, as well as balancing of the knee ligaments, all are critical for normal post-operative function and good pain relief. Again, these steps are complex and considerable experience in total knee replacement is required in order to make sure they are done reliably, case after case. Provisional implant components are placed without bone cement to make sure they fit well against the bones and are well aligned. At this time, good function–including full flexion , extension , and ligament balance–is verified.
Finally, the bone is cleaned using saline solution and the joint replacement components are cemented into place using polymethylmethacrylate bone cement. The surgical incision is closed using stitches and staples.
Length of total knee replacement surgery
Pain and pain management
Dont Forget The Scar Cream
Use scar cream and an aloe based lotion often. I always applied it first thing in the morning as well as before and after my 3 exercise sessions.
It is inexpensive and ensures the scar is hydrated, making it more comfortable to bend especially during my range of motion exercises. At my age, I wasnt as worried about the cosmetic appearance of the scar, but if you are concerned, apply the scar cream often.
You May Like: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee
How Long Does A Partial Knee Replacement Last
Just as a total knee replacement can wear out over time, partial knee replacements can also wear out. The longevity of a partial knee replacement has always been considered to be inferior to a full knee replacement. The reason for this is the result of multiple issues.
First, people who have partial knee replacements often expect more of their knee, and place more stress on the knee joint through increased activity. Second, partial knee replacements do not allow for correction of alignment deformities of the knee, and may wear out as a result of misalignment. Lastly, the rest of the knee joint that was not replaced can wear out over time, and the partial knee replacement may eventually not control the arthritis symptoms.
Partial knee replacements typically will last a decade or two. Some studies have shown good results with these implants lasting well into the second decade with the majority of implanted partial knee replacements still functioning well.
Some people choose to have a partial knee replacement change to a full knee replacement. Recent studies have shown reasonably good results when people require a partial knee replacement converted to a full knee replacement.
Do I Have A Helper For My Recovery Period
If you opt for simultaneous replacement, you wont be able to use either of your legs normally for most of your recovery period. After a hospital stay of up to 10 days, you need assistance at home for up to six weeks. If a family member cant help out, you may need to hire a home health worker.
If you have your knees replaced in stages, your second operation isnt scheduled until about three months after your first operation. Your hospital stay is shorter per surgery and each recovery period is quicker, too. While you may need a helper for the first week, once youre released from the hospital with an assistance device such as a walker, crutches, or a cane you should be able to get around the house on your own without too much help during your 3-6 weeks of recovery
Don’t Miss: How To Whiten Your Knees
What About One Knee After The Other
Plenty of patients do their knees one after another, thereby not putting all the pressure on themselves at once. In fact this is much more common that bilateral surgery even with the trends toward bilateral that we are observing. Jeff in Michigan did just that and completed a 5K within two months of his second TKA. From first TKA to 5K it was six months. And if you ask Jeff he would say that he did it the right way. One knee did recover faster than the other, but he got there all the same. And for those whos health is not as good or do not have enough support at home for a more demanding recovery it can be the best option.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Total Knee Replacement A Surgeons Timeline
Published on: 19th December 2018
A few weeks ago, Channel 5 aired a documentary called Operation Live: Total Knee Replacement. Did you catch it?
It caused quite a stir, mainly due to its no-holds-barred content. As the title implies, the programme featured live coverage of a patient undergoing a total knee replacement at the Royal London Hospital. You can see it on catch-up here , though do exercise viewing caution, for obvious reasons.
For anyone who works with Total Knee Replacements or is considering one, Operation Live was a fascinating watch. It wasnt for the squeamish. But that was the key take-home point: for all its great benefits, TKR does take significant recovery time. More than many patients realise.
So what does that look like in practice? Keep in mind that recovery times vary from person to person, but here is a general guide.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Double Knee Replacement
Recovering from Double Knee Replacement. Most people recover within 12 months, but your recovery time may differ depending on your age and overall health. Despite the risks and challenges of undergoing double knee replacement surgery, both simultaneous and staged knee replacements are often successful.
Bilateral Knee Replacement Recovery Tips
When you have a bilateral knee replacement, the recovery phase plays a vital role in helping you resume normal activities quickly. The recovery and rehab process can help you heal faster after surgery and improve the long-term outcome of the surgery. Here we discuss the recovery time for knee replacement and six bilateral knee replacement tips.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Fat Around Knees
Knee Replacement Recovery Timeline
Immediately following the knee replacement surgery, depending on the type of anesthetic that you received, you will either wake up or come around from any sedating medications that you have been given during the surgery in the recovery room. Your knee will be wrapped in bandages and a surgical dressing. If you received a spinal anesthetic for the knee replacement, you will still be numb through approximately your waist downwards at this stage. If you received a general anesthetic, you will not be numb and you may notice soreness and pain in the knee at this point in time. Patients who receive a spinal anesthetic usually find that this wears off after approximately 8 hours and this is the point at which those patients will notice soreness in the knee.
Provided that you recover well in the recovery room without any complications, you will be transferred to a ward and they will begin your postoperative pain medication regimen after your arrival. During your inpatient stay, you will be aided by physical therapist and nurses as well as other healthcare professionals in getting back on your feet and mobilizing, usually with a gait aid such as a Zimmer frame or a cane, or a rollator walker.
Get Your Leg Knee And Muscles Ready For Surgery
Do your best to strengthen your knee before surgery. The stronger your muscles and supporting structures around your knee are pre-surgery the better your recovery will be.
I couldnt lift weights with my knee but I could ride a bike and swim without pain. Find some type of exercise that is comfortable for you and start exercising your leg months before your surgery.
Also Check: Nano Knee Procedure
Types Of Double Knee Replacement Surgery
Double knee replacement surgery may involve one surgery or two surgeries.
When both knees are replaced at the same time, the surgery is known as a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement.
When each knee is replaced at a different time, its called a staged bilateral knee replacement.
Either surgery may involve any combination of total knee replacement or partial knee replacement.
How Long Will I Be On Pain Medication After My Knee Replacement Surgery
Every patient experiences recovery from a knee replacement surgery differentially and as such, everyone will require pain medication at different intervals and for different amounts of time. There is no standard approach to this, although generally we do expect patients to be weaned off their narcotic analgesics within 2 to 3 weeks of the surgery and by 6 weeks after the surgery should only be requiring occasional Tylenol or a less potent analgesic to control their pain.
With that being said, there are a number of different factors that can affect a persons ability to tolerate pain medication or indeed their ability to have the pain medication kill their pain. As such, each medication regimen will be tailored to the individual. It is important to regularly communicate with your surgeon or healthcare provider regarding your experience of the pain and your current pain medication regimen, so that it can be altered to suit you and your needs.
Read Also: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee
What Seniors Can Expect After A Full Knee Replacement
A full knee replacement is a big operation, but its not as scary as people sometimes think. Its almost bread and butter for surgeons and physiotherapists, so its important to feel comfortable with professionals who are well-versed in the latest research and developments.
While the majority of full knee replacement patients enjoy a positive outcome, we cant guarantee it every single time.
A six-to-eight-week pre-habilitation program is something we do recommend and can help you achieve a best-case scenario to optimise your pre-surgery fitness, body weight, pain and mobility.
All You Need To Know Before Considering Replacement Surgeries For Both Knees Simultaneously
You may require a total knee joint replacement due to various medical reasons. An unfortunate accident which severely damages your knee or having debilitating arthritis are the most common reasons where people have to get their knee or both knees replaced.
Arthritis is a condition of inflamed joints and affects 15% of the Indian population. A damaged, worn off cartilage in one or both knees is a characteristic symptom of this disease. Total knee arthroplasty is an effective treatment option for arthritis and replaces your damaged joint and relieves pain.
Your doctor will substitute your knee joint with a prosthesis which is an artificial knee made up of either metal, plastic, or ceramic.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Cellulite Above My Knees
How To Treat Knee Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
In some situations, pain may be treated with medications and physical therapy. In other cases, particularly if loosening, infection or alignment issues are suspected, another surgery called a revision knee replacement may be necessary. The revision surgery may be minimally invasive or require removing the implanted knee and starting over. 2
Benefits Of Bilateral Knee Surgery
Many people consider undergoing bilateral Knee replacement because they have the following benefits:
- Less hospital stay compared to separate stays with single Knee surgery. An average hospital stay for a single knee replacement surgery is 2-3 days.
- Less time in returning to work and one time away from work
- Less time in rehab= Faster recovery time from double knee replacement
- Sometimes less cost too
Read Also: Can Knee Cartilage Be Rebuilt
Wear Loose Comfortable Clothes
As I mentioned above, you will have staples in your knee for about 12 days. Short pants or athletic shorts make it easy to dress and also keeps the fabric from long pants off the wound.
Even after the staples have been removed long pants especially denim can cause discomfort. If you have to wear long pants, I recommend thin fabric or zippered pants that are specially made for post-surgery . Check out my article on what to wear after TKR.
This is another good reason to plan your surgery and recovery during warmer weather when less clothing is necessary.
What Are The Risks Of Bilateral Surgery
It doesnt matter whether you have one surgeon performing the surgeries consecutively or if two surgeons complete the surgeries at the same time. Youll face several risks either way, Dr. Greene says.
Longer anesthesia Because replacing both knees takes longer, youll spend more time under anesthesia. This may be introduce increased risk, particularly if you have pre-existing heart or lung disease.
More blood loss Thanks to improved techniques, blood loss from a single knee replacement is typically limited, Dr. Greene says. However, if you have simultaneous replacements, youll have a higher risk of needing a blood transfusion due to hemoglobin loss, he says.
Blood clot risk The likelihood is small, but some data points to a higher risk of pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that breaks off and lodges in your lungs. If this happens, the result sometimes is fatal.
Hospital re-admission After two knee replacements, youll have an increased chance of going to a rehabilitation facility instead of going directly home following a single joint replacement. And spending more time in rehab boosts your risk of ending up back in the hospital, Dr. Greene says.
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Fear Bending And Baby The Knee
I have been in the field working as a therapist for over 20 years and havent yet seen an incision split open with active bending exercises, however I do understand how this fear can overwhelm early on in the recovery. The rule is baby the knee went it comes to walking but dont baby the knee when it comes to bending. That doesnt mean you aggressively bend the knee. You must use frequent low loads and the knee will respond delightfully and give you back your range of motion in steady increments.
Day : The Initial Recovery
After a full knee replacement, you will likely wake up after 1½-2 hours under general anaesthetic with your knee elevated, a bandage covering the incision/s and possibly a drain to remove excess fluid from the joint.
The anaesthetic will leave your head feeling a bit foggy and the brain will be protecting the knee by avoiding movement.
You May Like: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting
Simultaneous Bilateral Knee Replacement
With simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, both of your knees will be replaced during the same surgery. The primary advantage of a simultaneous procedure is that there is only one hospital stay and one rehabilitation period to heal both knees.
However, rehabilitation may be slower, as its more difficult to use both knees at the same time. In fact, many people who undergo simultaneous bilateral knee surgery need assistance at home as theyre recovering.
Simultaneous bilateral knee replacement also takes longer to perform. This procedure typically takes three to four hours to complete, while staged bilateral knee replacement only takes two hours.
Since simultaneous bilateral knee replacement requires more time and heavier doses of anesthesia, there is an increased risk of complications. The surgery isnt recommended for those with heart conditions or lung disease. These high-risk groups may experience heart problems or excessive blood loss during and after surgery.
Whats The Cost Of A Knee Replacement Surgery
The cost varies. The average cost of knee replacement surgery with insurance in the U.S. will depend on your coverage, copays and deductible. A Blue Cross Blue Shield study found claims of just over $11,000 to almost $70,000, depending on where the surgery was performed.
Your surgeons office can work with you to calculate how much of the cost Medicare or your insurance company will cover and how much will fall to you.
Don’t Miss: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
The Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery Timeline
Lajam tells her patients that for the first two weeks they wont like her very much, then they start getting motion back, getting around and seeing the pain dissipate. The first two weeks is the toughest part, then it starts getting better, she said. Severe pain after knee replacement surgery can be managed with medication.
Physical therapy can help you recover after knee replacement surgery. It improves your range of motion, reduces swelling and helps you learn to walk again.
Bending ones knee on ones own is difficult its helpful to have someone help you, Lajam said. She said her patients typically have in-home physical therapy a couple of times a week, with instructions on exercises after knee replacement surgery to do on their own. And after the first few weeks, most people switch to outpatient physical therapy.
Lajam says that your body tends to recover around the three-month mark. But your knee will continue to heal for more than a year after surgery.