Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Experience

Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.

Comment from: MalteseMom2, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

I had a total knee replacement (TKR) in May 2014 and it has to be the worst pain I have ever had. Agonizing, deep pain that only pain medications could quiet. I should have had it done a year sooner but we went through cortisone shots, brace, arthroscopy, and viscous shot, and finally I couldn't walk any more. Nerve block did not take so I woke up feeling like a machete cut my leg open. It is four month now and it's getting better with tramadol twice a day to help with pain. Today I walk 1.7 miles and hope tomorrow I don't pay for it. It took 3 months for the incision to close because I had a blood blister the size of a quarter. A wound care specialist should have looked at it but the doctor never suggested it after 8 weeks of oozing junk. My knee is still warm and I use ice at night. I take pain medications at night but when they wear off around 2 am the pain wakes me up from knee being so stiff. I feel I'm going to be one of those who will suffer for a year before I can say I'm glad I did this. I did bowl two games and that definitely felt better than last year when I had to give that up. I just have to be patient and wait it out.

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Comment from: cour58, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 05

I injured my knee in 1981 and had knee surgery to repair the damage. Over the next 34 years my knee just deteriorated, I was on hydrocodone for the last 4 years to manage the pain. I had total knee replacement (TKR) on 07/08/14. Surgeon said he had to do a lot of scaling (removing deformed and damaged tissue) the pain was beyond description. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital, I'm in week 9 now, walking without aid. Motion is still an issue, I can't straighten my knee all the way, I can bend it about 90 degrees. I'm weaning myself off the hydrocodone, and going to gym 5 days a week doing 300 leg presses allowing the knee to bend until the pain is too great. Surgeon has me in a leg brace because the joint is loose and he wants scar tissue to fill in and tighten the joint. I am working hard to make this TKR successful but having doubts, I'm still experiencing significant pain in the evening after being up and around all day.

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Comment from: linemant, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 03

I'm in my fifth week since my left knee replacement. Physical therapist measured my bend at 123 today. I have some stiffness but not bad. I have no pain and I've used the steps since day five after surgery. The cane went away after week two, I just have some swelling when I've used it too much. I have six week appointment this Thursday and look forward to seeing the doctor. Someday I'll need my right knee done and will not hesitate. If you are thinking about this procedure, just make sure you have a good orthopedic surgeon Good luck.

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Comment from: Martha, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I had my left knee replacement 7-8-14. Now 6 1/2 weeks later I got up with a burning aching knee until my daughter found this website and I read use ice. I thought I had graduated from this best friend. I have been applying the ice along with my medications and what a great rest of the day I have had. I go to physical therapy (PT) 2 times a week and do stretching exercises at home the rest of the week. I have to climb 17 stairs to leave my apartment and this week I have been returning using my new knee first. I plan on doing my other knee the beginning of October.

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Comment from: tubemaster, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 26

I had left knee replaced 8/14/14 and have right scheduled 10/13/14; preceded by 10 years of shots in the knee, pain pills, and pain ointments. I blamed skiing and basketball. Recovery has been the worst physical experience of my life, but I haven't had many of those, so I actually believe it's a normal recovery. Week 1, pain and pain pills, lay in bed, week 2 not as bad pain, pain pills, began outpatient physical therapy (PT), week 3 reduced frequency of pain pills, more PT, returned to work at office 4 hours/day, week 4, more PT, increased office time to 6 hours, and cut pills in half, and week 5 quit pain pills except for occasional Tylenol, quit nausea medication, milk of magnesia, and laxatives. Initial pain medications were oxycodone and hydrocodone every two hours, one or the other. They worked pretty good. Final dosage was oxycodone only every 6 hours, 1/2 of a 5 mg pill. Initially it left me nauseous, with panic attacks, so I got good nausea medication from the doctor. At six weeks I still need 10 to 11 hours in bed to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. But it's getting better all the time and I remain optimistic.

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Comment from: Ginni, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 25

I had a total knee replacement 17 days ago. I am still taking pain medications but about half of what was prescribed. I graduated to a cane. My knee is still very swollen and stiff. My physiotherapy exercises are going well. I wonder if I'll ever get to the flex range I am used to having. Hopefully I can ride my bike in a few weeks. If I knew today how difficult this recovery was going to be for me, I don't know if I would do the surgery.

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Patient Comments

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Total Knee Replacement - Candidate and Causes Question: What was the cause of you needing a total knee replacement?
Total Knee Replacement - Recovery Question: Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.
Total Knee Replacement - Exercises and Physical-Therapy Question: Please share your experience with exercises and physical-therapy following a total knee replacement surgery.

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