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Nagging Pain and Discomfort Worse Now than Before...
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SalCS posted:
Hi, I am 46 years old and 11 weeks post-op from a TKR. Obviously there is definite pain post-op and the 1st few weeks of recovery. I went to a rehab facility for 2 weeks straight from the hospital and had PT daily. I have been home for 2 months now and continue PT 2-3 times per week. I am active-thankfully much more active than pre-op. I have great flex at 145 degrees only 10 degrees less than my good leg and good flexibility. We are continuing to work on leg strength which I understand is normal. My main problem is that I often feel this overwhelming pressure in my knee. Sometimes, today for instance when I am walking I feel the same kind of grinding pain that I had pre-op. I know it is not as all that bone was removed and resurfaced with the metal. My therapist said it sounds like a piece of tissue may be getting caught.

I did suffer a knee sprain about 2 weeks ago-I fell down a couple of stairs and my bad leg foot and butt were sitting on the same step. Therapist said I was extremely luck to have the amount of flex that I do or I would have been in really bad shape. However, the above pain that I described was occurring before that. There are things I was doing with relative ease within 2-3 weeks post op that are now hurting or causing intense pressure.

We have had some pretty intense weather changes. I thought my "weather related" pain would stop post op. My therapist says it can take a year or more for it to stop. I was also down to taking darvocet only at night as needed. Since my fall I am now finding that I am taking it 2-3 times/day which I guess is to be expected.

Prior to surgery, in questioning others who are much older than me RE how long to expect pain and discomfort, everyone pretty much told me the same thing-"about 3 months". I am now approaching the 3 month mark and I have more discomfort now than I did after the 1st week. Is this normal or is somthing wrong with me?
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_swank_ responded:
People heal at different rates. In general, it takes a year or more to heal from a TKR. That's what my doctor told me. So you can expect pain for many months. I'm a little over 5 months post-op and still had nagging pain until a few weeks ago. Now it's pretty much gone unless I'm very active during the day. It just takes time. It doesn't matter what other people went through. Your experience will be your own.
 
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bziegler responded:
I am 11/2 year out from have a Partial Knee replacement with a Staph infection, and then having to let another Surgeon dig it out 6 mths later, and put in a Totaland that has been a one year last week. I have been in PT with the total 3 times now, I'm in there still ! My New Doctor, who is awsome, told me the normal time for healing in Patient is 8 months to a year, with Heat and Swelling . I have fallen on several times, thank goodness I would throw my body in any direction to not hit that bad Knee. My Range of motion like yours is very good. I find that the Knee cap popping is louder than the sounds I had before, I know the pressure you are talking about, I have ask him , my PT. and they say it is the Knee Replacement,Knee Cap and the tissue swelling. I have been reading past Post and have read some stories of People that are 2 Years out in more Pain now than ever. You are only 3 months out, you still have more time to heal, and are in a critical stage of watching how you twist and lift things, not to do anything to loosen it. I've been in PT with some People that are doing really good after 4 weeks, but I think as time goes on and we get back to a"Normal" life, something changes. I know the Doctors are awsome , but I don't know how they can tell you as an individual how long it wil take you to heal. Until they have one done to themselves, don't tell me I shouldn't have Pain and why is the Pain level so high ? I know I have gone through a little different situation than you, with the first partial with staph, which was not opened up and irrigated, and having to have it become grossly loose to where I couldn't walk, to a Total put in 6 mths later. I just pray I find a time I won't be in this Pain, and can get back to Walking my Dog, or going upstairs, getting my balance back. I don't know if you feel like you have a bulk inside there that is knocking you off balance or if is that just me? Give yourself sometime, read some old post, and I pray everything goes good for you . Not trying to get you down, just wan't to be honest. I will never do my Left Knee, and wish I hadn't done this one !
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Michael P Bolognesi, MD responded:
SalCS,
Every patient is indeed different. It sounds like you actually have achieved above average knee flexion and that is great. I tend to tell patients that it can take out to about a year to reach maximum benefit. It sometimes takes longer. I think it is always important to look back and ask if you are improving week to week. If you can say that you are then you are probably going to be just fine. It certainly seems that things like pain, stiffness, knee swelling, warmth about the knee and fatigue can continue to improve well past the third month in some patients. Keep working hard and make sure you share your concerns with your surgeon.


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