Hi, I'm new here. Had a knee replacement 9 mo... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

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Hi, I'm new here. Had a knee replacement 9 months ago but still experiencing extreme pain.

Mutely profile image

Mainly to my shin bone, inside of knee & a large area on lower side

of thigh. Replacement has been checked & deemed ok & my pain down to tissue & nerve damage. Can't say I agree with this but wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Allergic to most pain meds so getting seriously fed up now :-(

29 Replies

Hello Mutely - Pat here. Welcome!

Not the same but I had a badly shattered ankle which needed both sides pinned and screwed. After 10 weeks i went into a flying boot and then 4 weeks later naked so to speak. Physio was my saviour. Lots of it with exercise.

Unfortunatly due to the way the bones healed I needed futher surgery 18 months later to have one set of plates and scews removed. The pain during that time was .....like nothing I could imagine.

Again a brilliant physio and very little pain killers worked wonders. Interesting though - my right foot which had only tissue damage was far more painful than the broken one!

Have you been given exercises?

Pat x

Mutely profile image
Mutely in reply to Bananas5

Hi Pat & thanks for your reply! I had to have a MUA ( manipulation under anaesthetic ) at 9 weeks post op as the knee wouldn't bend past 80 degrees or straighten more than 10 degrees. I then had a further 4 months of physio. Basically the most range of motion I will achieve is 120 which is how far the surgeon managed to " force-ably bend it during the MUA. Currently at around 100-110 max. I'm doing everything I can so walk the dogs for an hour either once or twice a day, use the stationary bike to keep the knee moving, stair lunges & just basic post op exercises. Because there is nothing wrong with the actual replacement it seems like that's it, not anyone's problem any more :-(

Previously I had a toe fusion which was badly done. I was left with a fracture in the big toe & the plate & screws were lose. The pain was horrendous! Thankfully i had a revision a year later & touch wood it's fine now!

Bananas5 profile image
Bananas5 in reply to Mutely

Big ow. Makes my ankle sound quite insignificant. Sounds quite horrendous. Surely it has to be netter than that's your lot? Sounds like sheer incompetence.

You say you can't take pain killers? is that all forms?

Moy sure what to suggest now but you;ll get tons of sympathy from everyone here.

Pat x

Mutely profile image
Mutely in reply to Bananas5

Pat I don't think your shattered ankle sounds insignificant at all :-( Orthopaedic op's seem to be a slow old business with that word " Time" attached to it! I just thought that as a fairly fit 47 year old when I had the replacement done I'd be seeing the brighter side of life now, but unfortunately I'm not. I know there are many people so much worse off than me, but every so often I just feel a little bit sorry for myself :-( Ibuprofen & Paracetamol I can take...they just don't do anything!

Bananas5 profile image
Bananas5 in reply to Mutely

Nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself. We all expect things to go right when we have an op. And so it should. Hard to believe this is your lot. Have you tried a paon clinic? My answer to everything! As people here will tell you!

Of course now paracetamol are being withdrwan as long term treatment for chronic pain. Think I've got yjat right. What has your GP said for pain? Or physio? Or even hospital? The pain clinic has such a cupboard full of combinations - they will have something to help.

Pat x

Jamie186 profile image
Jamie186 in reply to Bananas5

Hi Paton, the more I read the posts on this forum the more worried I become, I may have been expecting this op to go like the last one I had in 1973 which was a dream but now I read about complications e t c. In addition consultants, and surgeons seem all too ready to ship you off to a Chronic Pain Relief clinic, in which in my experience has been a waste of time.Their answer seems to be keep taking the pills, if they don't work we will try morphine patches. No sympathy, no idea's.

Happy new yaer

Jamie

SylviaH profile image
SylviaH in reply to Mutely

If you can bend your knee up to 100% after a knee replacement you are very fortunate indeed! I had a new knee 2 years ago and due to bad aftercare and the wrong sort of physio, I am left with a knee that will bend no more than 73%! and there is nothing now that can be done about it as all the nerves and soft tissue are damaged beyond repair, I also have to have strong medication for the pain. But there it is, I am grateful that I can walk at all so I think that you are very fortunate also you can ride a bike and that is something I will never be able to do again. So be grateful, I wish I had a bend like yours! and remember we are ALL different, so accept it and just get on with life, that's what I do. Also it is only 9 months since your op and that is not long really.

Mutely profile image
Mutely in reply to SylviaH

Hi Sylvia,

I posted that a few months ago so now I am nearly 13 months post op. ROM is anywhere between 90-100 which yes, means life goes on & I should be able to do most things. However, it was better before the op & equally the flexion was much better too. My knee/leg dominates my thoughts every single day & that is what I find hard adjusting to. I do get on with my life as that's what you have to but not many of us agree to go ahead with an operation that is HOPEFULLY going to make a big difference to our lives & then find it has, but not necessarily in the right way. I will be seeing my surgeon in January & will be interested to see if he he can offer any suggestions other than just giving this leg 'more time' which is pretty much what I've been doing! Even considering another MUA if he thought we could maintain the extra ROM. I sympathise with your lack of ROM but if your fine with it then that's all that matters. Personally, I would just like a little bit more! How greedy does that make me??!!!!

Wishing you a very happy & healthy NEW YEAR!

macgill profile image
macgill in reply to Mutely

Hi, glad that I have read your posts.I had a tkr on 18th September this year and I am having lots of problems. I have about 90% flex and its still very stiff and painful.reading your posts it seems that this is normal and the progress will take some time.added to this I have spinal canal stenosis so life isn't muchfun at the moment.keep taking the tablets. Regards to one and all

pastortim profile image
pastortim in reply to SylviaH

It's been 7 months since knee replacement. I had a MUA three months ago I can only bend my knee 75 degrees. It still hurts to walk and the Dr. says it's as good as it's going to get. I have to use a cane to help balance and the pain and swelling and the shooting pains are unreal.

Habs56 profile image
Habs56 in reply to SylviaH

I am 2 months out and am at 130 degrees bending....my Physical Therapist has been wonderful, even on the days when the pain and swelling was so bad I couldn't do much. I'm still working on the straightening....good luck

sandykay1 profile image
sandykay1 in reply to SylviaH

Sound like me I no I never ride a bike again I had that at physical therapy for almost 3 months and never peddled all the way around I never could make it all the way around !! my bending is really very little and it sounds like at 56 I'll have to live with that!! Heal stings and hurts a lot and after 7 months can't stand long with my back hurting so bad !!! Not being able to work is Terrible after working 39 years very depressing

Total Knee Replacement

A little over a year ago, 05-18-2013 I had my first surgery on my left knee . I was diagnosed with a stage 4 osteoarthritis in both knees. On 5-18-2013 I had a arthroscopic surgery done to remove a lose body in my left knee. The pain did not improve much after. Actually it got worse. I got scheduled for a left Total Knee Replacement on August 7th 2013, it has been a troublemaker ever since. Had right one done 12-18-13, no Problems at all... It is still sore...i am at almost 6 month post op, but it seems to be going in the right direction. I have done PT on both knees..all looked fine except the left knee was ALWAYS swollen, since the surgery. My PT was a little concerned because my bending and straightening was good. I had a burning tingling and also dull pain incl. swelling to the left of my scar. My whole left side on the scar was also always warm and sometimes hot to the touch. So, I kept telling My OS that it just didnt feel right....like there was something that is in between my kneecap.He sent me to have X Ray done. Everything looked Fine he said....no loosening of component. Still in pain....Had MRI, CAT scan ,Blood Test ...checked for Infection and Gout. All came back negative. Sent me to a neurologist. He did a EMG Test on me which was quiet umcomfortable. Result: Nerve Damage. They put me on Gabapentin 1800 mg a Day. Did not work...pain resisted. Changed it toTegretol...NOTHING! Started me on Amitriptyline for Depression. Really?? I was not depressed, but the neurologist told me that sometimes when you are in pain for so long that you become depressed and that would help your pain. Didnt help! So, i went back to My OS. He checked out my scar...come to find out that i Had a Neuroma!!! Well, that is not it.... I got the Neuroma removed and i am still in pain...the burning and tingling is gone, but the dull burning pain is not... I have trouble sleeping since day One....taking Ambien to get some sleep...Norco 10/325 three times a day...also Tylenol 500 mg twice a day. Still no pain relieve. Back to doc, Had Bone Scan done to See if there would be a loosening or fracture of componant...negative. He called me and said he thinks it could be CRPS .Complex regional Pain Syndrom. It used to be called RSDS. He said he recommends a nerveblock which Outs your Body in remissing or press a Reset Button.., because sometimes when you are in pain like this for a while... Your Brain sents out wrong signals to your Body That something is wrong Even though it is not. Well, i am not quiet sure about that!! Now he makes me feel like I am imagening things. I want to go for a second opinion, does anyone else has some suggestions??? I am about to lose my mind. I am living in pain 24/7. :-(

Chulasotta: Your post is now four months old and I"m wondering if you have any further comments or progress. I am in a very similar situation to yours and at my wits end what to do. I had bilateral knee replacement 7 months ago and my therapy was going extremely well with great flexion and extension on both knees. Then, three months ago, out of no where I got stabbing pains in my right knee. It swelled up and has stayed swelled since then. I tried to continue with my therapy, but it was all painful and caused spikes in the pain. Now, I get periodic spikes in pain that are excruciating. It starts just below my kneecap and radiates down my shin. Relief come with two Norco (hydrocodon and acetamenophen), a knee brace, and rest. The knee has also regressed from where it was three months ago. Whereas I could walk a up to a mile, shop for groceries and go up and down stairs (with minimal pain), I can no longer walk for more than 100 yards or so, shop with a power cart, and go up and down stairs using my left leg for all weight bearing. While the extension in the right knee is good, the flexion has gone from almost 130 to 80. I had an ultrasound done on my knee (new application for this technique) and it identified nerve damage. I see the doctor (physiatrist) in a couple of days to see if there is anything that can be done. In the meantime, my GP doctor has put me on Cymbalta for depression and he says it can help with pain as well. I certainly sympathize with your troubles.

Have you had any luck finding the problem, mine is similar...tired of hurting.

Hi. I sympathise with you. But. I would love to have your range of movement! I had a right Total knee replacement 10 months ago and am still in constant pain. My range of movement is poor even following a Manipulation Under Anaesthetic. My bend is only 70 degrees and my flexion only 23 degrees. To say I am fed up is an understatement! I am too disabled to work and also too young to retire. What do I do? Any advise greatfully received. Thanks.

sandykay1 profile image
sandykay1 in reply to roseh

You sound just like me 7 months ago knee replacement and manipulation ..very stiff ..hot..painful I cant stand very long without my lower back hurting And the back of my heal is very painful... very depressing at 56 i feel 100 and no way I can work..I worked 39 years and being home all the time is terrible thanks

Ronald49 profile image
Ronald49 in reply to roseh

I am also 10 months out & having this operation is my biggest regret.I still have constant burning in my knee a huge numb patch .The pain comes & goes but unfortunately the knee op has worsened my back pain after having had a spinal fusion a few years ago.I am just fed up.

in reply to Ronald49

I hear you! I had TKR 7 months ago. Ortho will see me again in January. My knee is constantly stiff and sore when I bend it, but not sore when walking. I dont know what my ROM is at this time but I think at 2 months it was only 5 degress off. I can bend it pretty good but not without pain or stiffness. I have been dealing with spine issues as I have a metal plate in my lower back fusing L3-L5. My pelvic is tilted on one side with a frozen sacro ill joint and it gives the illution of a short and long leg. I also have a fusion in my neck at C7. Im going to a chiropractor and P.T. And think this is why my knee hasnt healed right because my spine is so messed up. I ordered special shoe inserts so i can walk evenly as Im pronated severly. These spine issues Ive had before surgery and never thought to ask if it would interfere. Dumb!

Hello, I'm 63 year old auto body tech and had a TKR 9 months ago and still have pain, stiffness and poor ROM regardless of any amount of exercise or P.T. Three months of physical therapy failed to get my extension anywhere near a reasonable range or my flexion past 90 degrees. A MUA 2 months out failed (in my opinion) to yield any positive results in ROM. (still felt the same) The surgeon was more concerned with lack of extension so prescribed a "Dynasplint" brace and although a bit cumbersome, THIS THING REALLY WORKS FOLKS! I wore it to bed at night and in 2 months time my Knee was as strait as can be and that was GREAT! I did not extend the Rx for P.T. beyond 3 months as I felt I was not responding satisfactorily so instead opted to join a gym instead. I returned to work at just about 4 months out and it hasn't been pleasant I can tell you! My expectation with this surgery has quickly fallen to less than satisfactory and although I have not given up, I am hoping for but not really expecting a more normal return to life. While I continue to work-out at the gym, we'll see in another 3 months just what I am left with.

I know the original post is a few years old, but It popped up in a search. 

I had TKR 7 months ago, was in a lot of pain, the medication did not seem to have much effect. At the 6 - week stage I had some good range, the leg did not want to straighten fully, but would under pressure. The PT got some measurements 90 - 100 degree. I tried the gym out and managed, just, to pedal backwards 6 times. Then my range was restricted to under 90 degree's. The physio was not what I expected, basically check range. give new exercise list and go. Due to swelling and pain I have not done as much exercise as i should. I can once again almost pedal backwards, owning as many cycles as I have fingers I want to get out cycling again. I seem to get a good day "forward" then a week in reverse. Of course I feel sorry for myself, limping around/getting of the bus  like somebody 30 years senior than myself. I can get upstairs OK, going down with the new knee trailing can still be painfull but it shows I am getting there. After reading the comments on here I am grateful that I am getting a better range than some. At this moment I think the bend is about 90 degree but the knee is swollen and painful

I'm 2 months out, and the only real issues I'm having is the stiffness and swelling. I get what I call the nerves firing sometimes, and occasional pain below the knee, but enough to get my attention. Leg is nearly straight with extension, and I'm at 120 degrees with flexion. I had major sleep issues the first month, so I take 300 of Gabapentin at night, which has been a tremendous help. While brutal, my PT has gone extremely well- the therapist has been nothing short of amazing. This was a big surgery and I have to remind myself of that on days when I feel frustrated with what seems to be lack of progress. Good Luck.

Hi my mum had s knee replacement in December 14. She is walking no better than before and still in a lot of pain. Her knee has been checked twice and they have said it looks ok but I kept pushing her to go back to doctors. She has just been referred back to ortho again

Hi yorkydevil... I am 7 months Tkr as well, had surgery March 14 2016. I too am still with stiffness pain and swelling, I call SPS! My last measure from pt, 4 weeks ago was 110/2. Doc said it looked more like 100 bend. I feel like I live my life around "what exercise should I do next"? Syndrome. I still need to take pain meds. But try not to if not necessary. By 4-5 p.m. I'm pretty much done. Surgeon wants to see me in another month or so. I just think he wants another journal entry. Last I saw him, I was pretty determined n told him finally I was not going to let this surgery beat me??!!?! I guess that alerted him. These results should not be acceptable. Not only a very costly surgery but a surgery that takes a major toll on ones body physically and mentally. There were a lot of things I was told and not told before surgery, like I should have been exercising n strengthening that knee 6-8 weeks before.... Blah blah blah. Anyway, good days n bad days. But we who are left with this type of result, should not settle for less. We paid good money for the surgery and worked damn hard to get that knee working. I don't think we should live out the rest of our years with sps. Research the Internet, it will at least lead you in the direction for better results, wheather it be a possible infection, fracture or something else, tests can be done, revisions can be made. Hang in there, this is no easy surgery, the mind can play tricks on you, shoo them away, try to stay positive n patience patience patience .... Exercise is key... I think I over do it most times and maybe that's why I have the stiffness pain swelling by day's end??? I don't know, I try different exercise strategies every so often, important to keep both legs/knees strong.... Best of good healing to u and all

Hi I had one knee replacement in March and the other one in August. Things went very well I'm sending both at 125. However when I'm on my feet long, like grocery shopping or just stand to long my knees feel real tight. I tried to kneel weird feeling still have numbness in both knees. Dr keeps telling me wait after a year. I'm always rubbing my incisions with coconut oil.

Any Luck in resolving your leg pain? I also had a partial knee replacement a year ago. I have pain in my leg in shin and lower thigh and knee to the point I almost want them to cut it off and give me a mechanical one! My ortho surgeon says he doesn't know why I'm having pain because the x-rays look great. He's scheduling me for a cat scan. I feel like no one believes how much it hurts and I don't want to ruin my kidneys with pain meds. Its really becoming unbearable.

Hi, I am new and was online researching why I might be having shin pain after a TKR, when I came across your post. Sorry that this will be long but need to tell my story. My knees journey started about 4 yrs ago when I had a torn meniscus in my right knee. After knee scopes and everything we could do to keep from having a knee replacement, as I was too young for one and also I have a horse business and didn't want to give it up, I ended up have a partial knee replacement on my right knee. Three months after the surgery I was feeling wonderful. I was up at our local feed store one afternoon paying my bill and as I came out the door to go to my truck I tripped over the very end of the fork of a pallet dolly that was left on the dock. When i fell I apartantly fractured the bone below the replacement but didnt realize till I was completely off the pain meds 3 months later. That resulted in 3 months on crutches and a full knee replacement and a partial knee replacement on my left knee due to all the compensation from the right knee. Then I had another surgery on the right knee because the knee never fused and I was in a lot of pain so the dr replaced the bottom of the replacement and cemented it in. 2 weeks after I had the partial done on my left knee during Christmas dinner while getting up from a chair something popped in my knee. I knew something happened and told the doc and for 3 yrs of the doctor saying yes something was wrong and then no its ok and then yes you are going to have to have another surgery and have a full knee replacement. Ugh! My last visit to my surgeon resulted in me basically falling apart crying and telling him I had to have my other dr up my anti depressant because of all this which I was only put on in the very beginning of my journey for leg pain not depression. His answer to me was maybe I should have them up it some more. What? Did he just say that to me? Well that was when I found a new Dr. He ended up having to replace both knees. I had the right one done in August of last yr and the left one in December so my insurance would cover it before the end of the year. :) Well both knees are finally doing great. No pain in either one as I did as instructed and did my pt and exercises. So after all this I thought I am finally able to get back out and take care of my horses and my farm till I can sell them all since I dont think I will ever be able to do it like before. So I told the Pain Management dr. I was ready to get off my pain meds and as soon as we dropped down on them I started to have alot of pain in my right shin. So bad that I couldnt even walk to the barn without crying from the pain. At least from the surgeries i knew the pain would get better but this has not. As it gets worse it shoots down into my ankle and into my foot. My percocet would help some but not the dilaudid. Hummmm maybe the tylenol was the answer. My surgeon put me on a steroid pack and said he wanted me on crutches for 3 weeks to see if taking the weight off the leg would help. Xray showed the implant which now the rod is way further down my calf was rock solid and not going anywhere. The steriod pack helped till the last day and I took the last pill in the am and by night I couldn't walk it hurt so bad. My husband reseached my problem and found out that what i was feeling was like shin splints. Someone on another forum suggested using a Hot moist compress on the shin. Oh my gosh. It actually gave me some relief. I ended up canceling my follow up to the doctor because that thought of driving 2 hrs again alone (Hubby works a lot out of town) and having him say he would refer me to the back surgeon sucked. By the way I forgot to say that prior to the knees I have 2 back surgeries. First doctor screwed me up so saw another who was a God send and fixed me with a 3 level fusion. So my knee surgeon thought it could be my back if I was still having problems. Ugh! I cant tell you how many times I have sat here in my recliner crying over and over. What did I do to deserve this and only if I would haven't trip on that dolly, and why did they leave that where someone could trip over it. I was at a loss until last night when I was rubbing horse lignament and blue lotion on my shin when I felt a spot just to the right of the bone but just below the top of it. It is so sore and tender that when I touch it it shoots pain all the way down my leg to my foot and ankle. It hurts to massage it but I feel like I need too. I am not sure if it the muscle thats the problem or a nerve. At least I know its not coming from my back. Planning on calling the surgeon and hoping for a answer. I just feel like everytime I am ready to get back to life I keep getting knocked back down. Trying to stay positive but it hard to do. The weather here is beautiful and I wish I could just saddle up and ride a horse!

Hi mutely , I had my second knee replacement in May so I've now got a right and left total knee replacements, my recent knee replacement was the left one, I have to say the recent one has been more problematic I have been told second knees are usually y worse than the first one, wish some one had explained that at my consultations, like you I've had all the pain prescriptions, which all Coe with their own complications . So just keep up with your exercises and good luck. J

I had my knee replacement 7 month ago now in a lot of pain don't no if I should go to my doctor are not are just put up with it

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