Pain After Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgeries successfully treat pain and disability resulting from knee arthritis for thousands of patients worldwide. The complications after a knee replacement surgery are rare but some patients may continue to have pain after surgery. Persistent knee pain is the most common symptom of patient dissatisfaction after a knee replacement surgery.
During the knee replacement surgery, the diseased ends of the knee joint are removed. Prosthetic metal parts are placed at the bone ends that reduplicate the function of the knee joint. A plastic polyethylene insert is placed in between the two opposing metal surfaces.
X-ray showing a total knee replacement.
General pain in the knee after replacement surgery is part of the recovery process. The pain may be associated with swelling and generally goes down in the initial 2-3 weeks. The pain is typically managed with medications such as non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or short term opioid medications. The swelling is generally managed using an ice pack.
While the general knee pain slowly goes away in the initial few days, some patients may need oral pain medications for several weeks after the surgery. Physical therapy and home exercises help to decrease the pain.
Intraoperative image showing closure of a total knee replacement.
The cause of pain after knee replacement may be due to a variety of reasons.
How Long Does It Take For Knee Replacement To Heal Inside
However, swelling and pain may persist for up to three months. There is a chance that any swelling in the leg will remain for up to a year. Your new knee may be able to heal for up to two years after it has been surgically repaired. During this time, scar tissue can be healed and muscles can be re-established.
When it comes to recovering from a total knee replacement, most people have a good idea of how long it will take. Recovery can take the form of a short-term or a long-term process. The ability to leave the hospital in the short term is an important aspect of a patients short-term recovery. When healing is complete, the patient can begin a long-term recovery process by healing surgical wounds and soft tissues. Recovery from total knee replacement requires pain management in order to be successful. Due to the importance of range of motion in terms of recovery, it is critical to be attentive to the extension and flexion of the joint. Physical therapy should be provided within the first six weeks of starting treatment. It may take up to six months for patients to recover, but some may only need one month.
What Causes Pain Behind Knee After Total Knee Replacement
If an artificial joint becomes infected, it can cause pain and stiffness, as well as losing its bone attachment. A fever, swelling, and redness are also possible symptoms. Infection symptoms may not be as obvious, and they may persist for an extended period of time.
When a patient is dissatisfied after knee replacement surgery, persistent knee pain is one of the most common symptoms. A person may experience swelling in the first few weeks after surgery, but they usually go down after 2-3 weeks. Some patients may require oral pain medication for a few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy and home exercises can help relieve pain. After knee replacement, there could be a variety of factors that contribute to pain. Quality, location, onset, radiation, relieving, and aggravating factors all assist in determining the cause of pain, which is determined by the doctor. Despite the risks involved, the knee replacement procedure is still one of the most successful surgeries in modern medicine.
Also Check: How Long Do Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections Last
How Long Does Knee Pain Last After Tkr
After the procedure, it is possible that you will experience general pain for several weeks. After surgery, swelling typically lasts 2 to 3 weeks, but it can last 3 to 6 months if it persists.
You will experience pain and recovery differently depending on the type of knee replacement you have. A walker or cane is typically used to guide the patient through the recovery process after total knee replacement. It takes less time for patients to recover from partial knee replacement, and they are generally able to walk without assistance within two weeks. Depending on the source of the pain, a knee replacement can be classified as either mild or severe. This is expected as a result of the surgical procedure, which causes swelling, bruising, and the use of prosthetics. Beyond that, it is possible to experience pain in other parts of the body, particularly the hip and shoulder. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or more.
Corticosteroid injections are a fantastic option for treating knee swelling and flare-ups. An anesthetic is injected into one or more of the genicular nerves to interrupt pain signals sent to the brain in this technique. If you have had a knee replacement, you may need to have it re-examined in some cases, but not always.
What Is A Knee Replacement
A knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty is a surgical procedure where the actual knee joint is surgically cut out and replaced with an artificial joint. The artificial joint can also be called a prosthesis. There are many types and manufacturers of artificial knee joints. Examples include Zimmer, Biomet, Depuy, and Stryker. After the damaged knee joint is cut out a metal rod is inserted into both the thigh and shin bone that serves as an anchor for the new joint. This rod is then glued into position with special surgical cement. The prosthesis attaches to the rod. The procedure which takes approximately 1.5-2 hours can be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. A general anesthetic or spinal block is required.
You May Like: How To Wear Knee Sleeves
Research: 10% To 34% Of Patients Are Not Satisfied With Knee Replacement
In August 2017, doctors at the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany opened their published research in the medical journal Patient Safety in Surgery with this statement:
- In spite of the improvement of many aspects around Total knee arthroplasty , there is still a group of 10% to 34% of patients who are not satisfied with the outcome.
- The therapy of chronic pain after total knee replacement remains a medical challenge that requires an interdisciplinary therapy concept. .
What this paper deals with is an ever-growing population of people for whom knee replacement did not work.
In their paper the Leipzig researchers were looking at effective means to help the patient with pain after knee replacement, a brief summary of their findings is presented here:
The treatment of patients with chronic complaints after total knee replacement is a challenging task. Therefore, an adequate therapy is only possible due to an interdisciplinary team of experienced orthopaedic surgeons with great knowledge in the field of endoprosthetic , qualified physiotherapists and pain therapists.
The researchers then assessed the following of having some benefits:
- Acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine which assisted in reducing knee swelling in some patients
- Gentile Physiotherapy .
- Injections of bupivacaine and lidocaine for very temporary relief
- Treatment should be supported by psychotherapists or psychologists with experiences in the area of psychosomatic medicine.
How To Avoid A Loose Knee Replacement
Dont have the knee replacement surgery. Dig deep, understand the problem/problems with your knees, and evaluate all nonsurgical treatment options. Realize that once the joint is amputated there is no turning back. If you are dissatisfied with your results you cant ask for your knee back. The mechanics of the knee joint are changed forever after knee replacement surgery.
Also Check: Where To Buy Bauerfeind Knee Brace
My Knee Still Hurts After Knee Replacement Surgery Is This Normal
by Ben Lankester – April 12, 2021
Most patients having a knee replacement will have had a total knee replacement effectively a complete resurfacing of the knee joint. It is an invasive operation that results in a lot of soft tissue inflammation, swelling and pain which takes a quite long time to settle down so it is normal for patients to have some pain for 4 6 months after the operation is done.
Some pain is normal for a few months after surgery.
A successful knee replacement operation:
- Resurfaces the damaged ends of the bone where the cartilage surface has worn away so that these no longer rub together.
- Re-aligns the leg if there has been deformity.
- Recreates the normal tension in the main knee ligaments which guide smooth bending movement.
- Gains a strong fixation of the metal and plastic components onto the bone.
If all these aims are achieved with a good degree of accuracy, then most patients will have a well-functioning settled knee. But there are many studies that show that about 15% of patients will be dissatisfied after surgery. Sometimes this will be due to persisting discomfort or pain, sometimes tightness or limited range of bend, sometimes instability or lack of confidence and often a combination of those features.
An arthritic left knee with deformity, and a resurfaced, realigned left knee with a total knee replacement.
Research: Doctors Are Looking For The Causes Of Pain After Knee Replacement And It Is Hard To Find
The confusion as to what may be the cause of chronic knee pain after knee replacement is a cause of great concern not only among doctors but obviously among patients. We often find patients to be confused between what is normal and what is not normal after knee replacement.
- Is some pain normal?
- Are the clunking sounds normal?
- Is the instability normal?
Also Check: Stress Fracture Of The Knee
How Long Do You Ice After Knee Replacement
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, swelling after knee surgery can last for three to six months after surgery. To help reduce inflammation and pain, itâs generally recommended you use an ice pack three to four times a day for about 10-20 minutes during the first few days after surgery.
How Can I Learn More About Recovering From A Knee Replacement
The best way to learn what to expect while recovering from knee replacement surgery is to talk to an expert orthopedist.
Our team of orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons at TRIA are some of the best in the Midwest. Weve performed thousands of joint replacements, and 97 percent of our patients report being able to walk down stairs without difficulty a year after surgery.
When youre ready for surgery, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and other care providers will be by your side every step of the way from your first appointment through your recovery.
About Amy Haynes, PT, DPT
Amy Haynes, PT, DPT specializes in orthopedic physical therapy with an emphasis on total joint replacement and osteoarthritis. She enjoys helping patients remain independent within their home environments for as long as possible and continue their recreational past-times.
You May Like: Why Do My Knees Hurt At Night In Bed
Injections For Knee Pain
There is good science behind cortisone shots and other injections, such as hyaluronic acid injections, that lubricate the inner workings of the knee and help relieve arthritis pain.
According to experts, there is less evidence supporting the benefits of other injectable substances, including platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow or stem cells, but further studies will reveal more about their efficacy in treating knee arthritis.
Injections can provide temporary relief typically a few months which can help you stay on your feet and postpone surgery.
Recover With The Um Rehabilitation Network
After a knee replacement, having the right recovery plan thats tailored especially to you is important. The University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network offers first-class physical rehabilitation services across Maryland, from community hospitals to an academic medical center. Get better faster with UMRNs expertise.
Also Check: How Do I Stop My Knees From Popping
Did Extended Delays To Getting Knee Replacement Cause You Post
Lets briefly touch on the delays caused by the pandemic as many suggest delays in knee replacement may cause significant post-replacement pain. In our nearly three decades of proving alternatives to surgery and our nearly 25 years of being an online presence, we have constantly updated our articles to provide our readers with the latest in research and clinical observations. In 2020 we added a new list of impacts to include COVID delay to surgery. Many people have had their ability to get a knee replacement greatly impacted. You may have been told to wait as elective surgeries were stopped, delayed and backlogged. While waiting for your knee replacement day you may have been sent back to the very treatments and medications that were not helping you and in fact, may have accelerated your need for knee replacement.
Here are some observations on patient reaction to this delay from Emory University School of Medicine researchers publishing in the HSS Journal: The Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery, November 2020
You probably do not need to be told what these researchers have confirmed:
However, this does not have to be the fate of all patients who were told they need to wait to get a knee/joint replacement. In many cases, the ideal intervention is actually not surgery but regenerative options that can repair the joint non-surgically. Lets talk about the problems now of post-knee replacement pain.
How To Treat Knee Pain That Persists One Year After Meniscus Surgery
Join our newsletter to stay up-to-date on dangerous drugs and devices, stay up-to-date on lawsuits and settlements, learn about FDA recalls and more.
The information on this website is confidential and secure. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Action will be taken against any unauthorized or illegal use, copying or posting. Read our profile for more information about our website.
Partners and legal entities. This website and its content are considered legal notices. Past results do not predict similar results. For more information, visit our partners page.
We do not believe in selling customer information. However, in accordance with the California Consumer Privacy Act , you may register your interest in viewing or removing your personal information by completing the form below.
You May Like: Darn Tough Knee High Socks
Doctors Report Knee Replacement Surgery As A Success Their Patients Say Not So Fast What Is A Successful Knee Replacement Surgery To A Patient That Would Be Long
What is a successful knee replacement? Doctors in Spain examined what factors influenced a patient having a successful knee replacement surgery, and what influences prevent patients from having successful knee replacement surgery. In their study appearing in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, they write: There is conflicting evidence about what factors influence outcomes after total knee replacement. The objective of this study is to identify baseline factors that differentiate patients who achieve both, minimal clinically important difference and a patient acceptable symptom state in pain and function, measured by WOMAC , after total knee replacement from those who do not attain scores above the cutoff for improvement.
What were the two most important factors the Spanish team looked at one year after surgery?
- Expectations -patients did not have a realistic expectation of what they could and could not do after the knee replacement.
- The mental anguish and health of the patient while they were waiting for the knee replacement.
The recommendation from this research?
- While they wait for surgery, doctors and caregivers should manage the patients expectations so they have a realistic opinion of what happens after the surgery. Manage their mental health before the surgery to help with a more positive outlook afterward.
Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury
The lateral collateral ligament is one of the four main ligaments of the knee. It connects the outer side of the femur and tibia and is primarily responsible for stabilizing the outer aspect of the knee.
An LCL injury is often the result of a blow to the inside part of the knee this causes the LCL to stretch beyond normal and can result in partial or complete tearing of the ligament.
Symptoms may include soreness on the outside of the knee, swelling, and stiffness. You may experience instability a feeling that the knee is unstable and going to buckle or give out.
32 million adults in the United States.
With aging, the cartilage that helps cushion the ends of bones in the knee joint can wear thin and eventually allow the bones to rub together. Pain, stiffness, and loss of joint movement can follow.
Some people have more significant wearing of the cartilage in the outer compartment of the knee joint and this can lead to lateral sided knee pain.
Read Also: Schutz Magalli Leather Knee Boots
Why Is This Important
People with ongoing pain after knee replacement can become trapped in a futility loop. They do not seek help, despite believing they have a good reason to.
Improving the information given before knee replacement surgery could help. The authors recommend warning patients that they could experience ongoing pain. But patients need to be aware that while some pain in the healing period is normal, they should seek help if their pain persists.
It is also important that clinicians acknowledge and legitimise pain at follow-up appointments. This may encourage patients to return for care if their pain persists. Patients need information about how to access the healthcare services and treatments that could help them to manage their pain.
Treating Knee Pain From Arthritis
Knee pain usually becomes worse as arthritis progresses. Many people with severe pain from arthritis choose to have surgery to relieve their symptoms and help repair the joint.
But surgery isnt right for everyone. Some of the more conservative options for treating knee pain from arthritis include medication and at-home strategies like exercise.
The exact treatment plan thats recommended for your knee pain will depend on factors such as severity of your pain, your age, your activity levels, and any other medical conditions you have.
Typically, your doctor will try the least invasive type of treatment, such as weight loss and medication, and then move down the line to consider surgery.
Because there are many considerations before turning to surgery, its crucial to discuss and explore all treatment options with your doctor.
Read Also: Front Knee Pain When Bending