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Pain with recovery
KarenLouiseR posted:
My total knee replacement surgery was 5 weeks ago. My phy therapy rehab (twice a week) is going well and I have good range of motion at this date post surgery. There is still some swelling but the incision is healing well. I'm able to exercise on the stationary bike for 6-8 mins and I'm religiously doing my prescribed exercises. My problem; For the past 2 weeks or so I've been experiencing prickly pain localized on the inside of my knee. The pain is more of a stinging burning pain than an ache. It's severe enough to keep me awake even though I've taken hydrocodone 10 mg just before bedtime. This area is not sensitive to touch but does effect my walking. The PT has noticed I'm turning my foot outward slightly as I walk. I'm not sure if this is a result of the pain or the cause of it. It seems to be less painful sometimes but I can't find the reason why. Questions; why am I experiencing this pain and what can I do to help it go away. I've also noticed in just the past few days that there is a slight click or catch on the outside of my knee directly opposite from this pain area when I bend my knee beyond 90 degrees and move it back and forth. What's going on and are these symptoms common in recovery?
Bal M Rajagopalan, MD responded:
Hello Karen,

It is hard to say whether this is normal or not since it is early. Try to turn your foot outward to unload the inner aspect of the knee. My recommendation is since it is still early, go see your surgeon and get an X-ray. He will reassure you right away. Clicking can also be very normal as well.

KarenLouiseR responded:
Thanks for your comments. Update on my inner knee prickly pain. The Phy Therapist said this was common due to surgical procedure that partially detaches the tendon from the bone enabling the surgeon to move it out of the way during surgery. This process exposed the nerves. What I was feeling was nerves healing, he said. That pain is almost gone now and different pain along with some swelling has moved to the outside of my knee. This too is normal, he said. My therapy is progressing well as of 8 weeks post surgery. My questions: how long must I be cautious about pivoting my knee or dislocating it? Also, how soon after surgery #1 can I plan for the other knee replacement surgery? Will my recovery take approximately the same amount of time as the first surgery?
Bal M Rajagopalan, MD replied to KarenLouiseR's response:
Hello Karen,

It is highly unlikely with a good knee replacement that you will dislocate your knee so don't focus on pivoting or dislocating. Focus on getting your range of motion and strength back. Your second surgery can be as soon as 3 months after the first. In my experience, the second knee is a much faster recovery as you now have experience and a good knee to reply on. Great questions. I am sure you will do great!


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