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Pain after Knee Replacment
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DUKE MEDICINE
Michael P Bolognesi, MD posted:
For most people a knee replacement can predictably eliminate pain and restore function. This is not to say that the operation is not without complications. I think that we as physicians do a good job of presenting these complications to the patient pre-operatively but I am not sure that we are always great at preparing our patients for the recovery after knee replacment. The first couple of weeks can often be very challenging and the patient is truly doing a lot of work in physical therapy. They likely are requiring pain meds, anti-inflammation medications and icing in between and around the therapy sessions. We often generalize and tell patients they are about 75 percent recovered at 6-8 weeks and that they will continue to make some improvement often out to at least one year. All patients are different and this schedule does not apply to all. Unfortunately, there are some patients (some research has suggested approximately 1 in 5) that may have some pain in there knee after the surgery and when the recovery is complete. Most of these patients are better than they were pre-operatively but still not 100 percent pain free.
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annette030 responded:
Thank God my knees are in good shape. I have had four women friends who have not been as lucky, and ended up having TKRs. Out of the four women who had one or both knees replaced (either together or at different times) none of them had pain relief. They all said they had the surgery for improved function and they did get that, and do not regret having the surgery. But not one got significant relief of pain. They described the pain as being different than the pain they had preop, but it was still very bothersome. I specifically asked them about pain when my sister was considering a TKR.

Only one of the women are the complaining type. The other three are very accepting of their pain and just get on with their lives. I believe that they were all compliant with their treatment plans after surgery and did their PT as ordered.

THR seem to go much better. Most patients I have known that had this surgery said their pain was much improved immediately after surgery. My husband had his hip replaced due to AVN and had a swift recovery with far less pain than he had had before the surgery.

Glad to have you here.

Take care, Annette
 
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jtorres79 responded:
My mother had a knee replacement about 4 or 5 years ago. The knee replacement came apart within a year and she was back in the operating room getting it fixed. Since then her leg has gotten progressively worse to a point where it no longer bends.

She has been trying to get it looked at for the past few years because the pain is so agonizing. I see it in her face when she so much as stands. Every Doctor she has seen has denied wanting to help her out. Not because they can't, but because they do not want to be held "Liable" for any work another doctor did.

Now this is understandable, but is there any doctor or medical team in the U.S. that is confident in there skill set? Or that can attempt to fix this with some kind of waiver signed?

So today, "March 10, 2010", she finally had hope. She was referred to a Doctor that was finally going to look at it. She had spoken about this for weeks. When she spoke to him, he flat out said, "I'm sorry, I can not do anything. You have two choices, either amputate it, or get the doctor that performed the surgery to fix it. But I do not want to be held liable for another doctors work". Well the problem is that she did speak to the physician that did the surgery, but he won't even see her and has told her there is nothing he can do for her.

So now she's back to square one. In agonizing pain, with a leg that doesn't bend and keeps her almost 100% immobile.
I don't understand how so many people I've spoken to or read about have had this surgery and none have ever heard or come across such a painful situation.
Regardless, I will help her till the end to get some kind of help. So hopefully there's someone out there that can help, cause we re at a loss of hope.

Jose T.
 
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_swank_ replied to jtorres79's response:
I know there are doctors that specialize in fixing failed joint replacements because there's one in my area. This information is readily available on the doctor's web page. Look at the web sites for all the doctors in your area. You may have to travel a bit but you'll find someone.
 
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jtorres79 replied to _swank_'s response:
I appreciate the response. I am currently researching to see if I can find help for her. I'm crossing my fingers
 
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vtrouble responded:
I had a total knee replacement 2/10/2010.Had problems with rehab but doing better now except @ nite time.My leg is very achey and shoots pain all the way to my hip and always have a sore spot at the lower part of my left knee on the outside It stays sore all the time.I do not get much sleep at nite .I take pain meds and meds for RLS but nothing seems to help.My Dr is aware of the problems but what we have tried so far has not worked.I lay and rub my Left leg with my other leg all nite .One other thing I just want to stretch my leg and keep stretching it.Any one MIGHT have an idea of what MAY be going on? Anyone had this effect before?
 
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Cal1955 replied to vtrouble's response:

Give yourself a break! Your surgery wasn't that long ago. We all heal at different speeds and in different ways.

I am about 9 months out and still have the feeling that I want to stretch my leg, especially at night. The main reason that I got the surgery was due to a severe flexion contracture. Please check with your surgeon but my impression is that it is part of the healing process. I like to think that the signal to stretch is helping me get all those muscles that I didn't use correctly when I was limping back to the right length. I look on it as a very positive signal that my knee is continuing to heal and indeed I do keep getting more and more range of motion.

Deep tissue massage and a PT who liked doing trigger point release helped me a lot.

Best of luck to you.
 
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charlie5454 responded:
went into surgery for a tkr on my left knee and came out with nerve damage in my left foot. the pain is by far much worse than the knee pain ever was. on top of that i am and will be on heavy duty pain meds for life. as with all surgery there are risks we take. luck of the draw i guess. by the way....knee feels much better lol. god bless,charlie
 
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titi55 replied to vtrouble's response:
I had right tkr 3/10 and per my MD and physical therapist I am healing quite well. I too have severe spasms and spend many hours rubbing the legs. My neurologist assures me as my leg heals this will go away. The theory is as your disease progressed your nerves muscles and supply could not communicate in order to function properly. Now that you fixed the issue they need to rebuild they're communication pathways. .The spasms and sore spots the tingling are signs of progress. Be sure to keep your MD aware of these issues and changes. Good luck
 
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Burlyce replied to Burlyce's response:
Sorry, I meant 2 months ago that I fell.
 
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vista123 responded:
I has been years since I had my right knee replaced. I have some degree of pain all the time. Can you get arthritis in an artificial joint. I have been told that it could be arthritis. Or it could be botched up operation.'
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
I had some pain in my surgical knee a long time after surgery. It felt stiff and that the replaced knee was too big for the space. My doctor told me that it was the tendon.

He sent me to PT, and I do the PT exercises for ten minutes a day - sometimes more, and that helps my knee behave itself. If I skip the exercises, and I walk a long way, I have pain. Then I start doing my exercises, and my knee behaves itself again.
 
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birdmichelle replied to vtrouble's response:
I had my tkr in August 2010 and I'm having the same problem. My knee also hurts behind it and I go to the doctor tomorrow so I'll let you know what he says or recommends.Also I'm 38 yrs. old


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