Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Experience

Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.

Comment from: Soosie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 07

I had a total knee replacement three and a half weeks ago. I too find that if I have a good day it is usually followed by a not so good day. I am doing all the exercises and find that applying ice packs two or three times a day is extremely beneficial. I purchased a pair of ice packs off Amazon that came with a long stretchy velcroed band which is used to keep the packs wherever they are positioned. This is great because I can start with the ice above my knee, then gradually move the packs around and slide them down to below the knee. I oil my knee first with olive or coconut oil, cover it with a folded tea towel, and then apply the ice. My main problem is I can't stay up for long. I am so tired I sleep on and off all day. Pain is worse at night so my doctor prescribed Oramorph which makes it bearable. I am very grateful for the forums which make me realize that pain, stiffness, tiredness for several weeks after the operation is quite normal.

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Comment from: Trish, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

It is 2.00 am and I am crying with this nightly pain that robs me of sleep. I cannot take many pain tablets and have to use Panadol which is useless. I do have a low dose morphine patch but again not very effective. I am 11 weeks on from total knee replacement and just cannot believe the level of pain I am still experiencing. I hoped it would gradually improve but no sign yet. I sometimes wonder how I can continue. I guess I have no choice.

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Comment from: Marge, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I am having trouble sleeping after my total knee replacement. My knee doesn't hurt as much as it aches and throbs. I have physiotherapy twice a week and do the exercise at home twice a day. I've been told to use ice. The problem with that is my leg is heavy and the ice pack doesn't stay where I need it. I don't sleep in one position all night so when I move, the ice pack falls or stays where it was. Surgery was on my right knee and now I am having pain in my left knee.

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Comment from: clew37, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I had one total knee replacement a year ago, and the other 5 months ago. The second went much better, as I pressured myself to drink more fluids when the pain medicines made me ill. I was in hospital an average 3 days. Physical therapy after is really a must, as scar tissue buildup limits range of motion. The pain was bad, but livable. I used lots of ice bags and massaged my scar to keep blood from building up in the ridges. I'm back to work, almost pain free, and walk about 3 miles a day. I found it all to be well worth it.

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Comment from: Utah Dave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 31

I had a right total knee replacement in July, 2015, 11 months ago. I am walking 2 miles 2 or 3 times per week, but am still having pain. I cannot kneel on that knee without pain. The knee still swells up at random times, and after my walks. It still aches at night, but is controllable with ibuprofen or diclofenac. It gets stiff and sore if I sit for more than 20 minutes or so. The recovery the first few months was amazing. I was on pain pills for 11 days, and back to work in 2 weeks. Now, it has been about the same for the past 6 months. The doctor says all this is normal.

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Comment from: Dmcclean, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 31

It is 6 weeks after surgery. My knee was in very bad shape. Surgery took almost 3 hours. I started therapy after 6 days. At first I could only get 60 degree range of motion (ROM). I have been going to therapy 5 days per week. It is very painful and almost to the point of tears. Now I'm at 106 degrees ROM unassisted. I can get to 115 with therapist pushing. I'm doing my exercises at home but I need to be more diligent at home. I try the steam room twice per week. I get a good bend once my knee warms up. I am still on medicines three times per day. Not good when I skip it. I still haven't broken the code on a good night's sleep. This is a slow and painful process. I'm looking forward to some more progress.

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Comment from: Kelly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I am 45 and had a full knee replacement and knee cap button on the 15th April just under 6 weeks ago. I now walk mostly unaided but wasn't given any physiotherapy for two and a half weeks after my operation other than exercise sheet that I tried to do three times a day. My leg was so swollen that I had to cut the legs of tracksuit bottoms as they were too tight. The first day I went for physiotherapy my scar split open so was again only able to do more gentle exercise until it healed. The pain has been really bad. I am taking Tramadol during the day and morphine at night, it is now 2 am I still can't sleep very well due to pain. I have physiotherapy twice a week but still haven't quite managed to go round on a bike yet. My straight leg is perfect but my bend is only 85 degrees. I saw my surgeon this week and have permission to drive but due to my setbacks he feels I am two to three weeks behind but is still happy and has signed me off. Due to the nature of my job I am signed off at the moment till towards the end of July but might be able to return after 10 weeks. At the moment I don't feel I can do this as can't sit or stand still for very long. I feel better if constantly moving although I swell up. I am worried as to the future and whether I will be able to keep my job having to be the bread winner in my household. I just hope that as time goes by the pain and stiffness will improve, although I have already had 6 operations on this leg including having it broken realigned, K-wires in it and a microfracture surgery. My therapist feels, as I have been told since the age of 27, that a knee replacement would be required in the future, and that although they left it till the age of 45 he feels I will never be pain free and my recovery might only get to about 80 percent. This does worry me at my age but I'm hoping this will not be the case. I am staying strong but not intending to get the other one done for a long time yet.

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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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