Conventional Treatment Methods Of Knee Pain
Knee pain is treated in a variety of ways. Once the cause is diagnosed using proper techniques, a treatment plan is set in motion. Doctors use information such as a patients medical history, overall health, activity level, and comfort level to create a treatment plan that is unique to each patient. In the beginning, these plans typically enact the RICE method. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Sometimes patients also take over the counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. Pain is often caused by a form of inflammation, so these methods can help subside the pain.
If these less invasive methods fail to relieve pain, doctors will turn to slightly more intense treatment methods such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy seeks to strengthen muscles surrounding an injury and increase a patients range of motion. Corticosteroid injections are used to inject a powerful anti-inflammatory agent directly into the pain area. This is most often successful at relieving pain in the short-term but has been proven to damage tissue over time. Corticosteroid injections are not considered a long-term solution to knee pain.
After undergoing slightly more invasive treatment methods and still failing to see results, doctors may discuss surgery as an option. Initial surgeries for knee pain are less invasive than a total knee replacement. These surgeries may include:
Opioid Benefits And Risks
- The medicine works quickly.
- You will feel less pain.
- You will be able to be active to speed your recovery. For every day you stay in bed, you need 3 days to regain your strength.
- You will be able to sleep or rest better.
Potential risks are:
- Taking an opioid can lead to addiction.
- On average, more than 130 people die each day in the U.S. from an overdose of opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Amount Of Surgical Trauma
Joshi et al. stated that the post-arthroscopy pain seems to be unrelated to any intra-articular procedure which may be carried out and the results of some studies agree with that . In another study, low post-operative pain scores were found in patients with little pre-operative pain and small surgical trauma .
Although the difference was not statistical, patients who underwent arthroscopic meniscectomy exhibit on average more post-operative pain than those in the diagnostic arthroscopy group, and supplementary analgesia was required only in patients that underwent arthroscopic meniscectomy.
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Looking For Alternatives To Total Knee Replacements
We’re also funding research which is investigating alternative approaches to total knee replacement. For example, total knee replacement is not recommended for many young people. This study aims to develop a new method called ToKa®, which uses images of the patient’s joint and specially designed software to design a patient specific implant that will be made via 3D printing. If successful, this technique could prevent osteoarthritis patients from needing total joint replacement.
My Pain Level 4 Months After Knee Replacement
My pain level continued to decrease from 3 months after knee replacement to month 4. If you work hard following your surgery I expect that you will feel a big difference in your knee, just as I have.
I feel no more bone on bone pain and overall, I feel great.
You might experience some soreness in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons around your knee as I have. Its common to experience minor swelling after heavy workouts or play along with some heat.
I recommend that you continue to ice your knee after activity.
My joint feels much more stable and strong and Ive received many positive comments about the difference in my walking from friends when I am hiking, playing pickleball, and golf.
Everyone comments on how fast Ive recovered and they are amazed at my mobility. Recently, I had a few people tell me that they had no idea that I had TKR after a pickleball session.
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Five Reasons Why Knee Replacements Fail
Wear and loosening
Properly functioning implants depend on their appropriate fixation to the bone. Fixation is usually achieved by cementing the implant onto the bone. Some surgeons prefer instead to use biologic fixation, meaning no cement placed between the implant and the bone.
Although implants are firmly fixed at the initial knee replacement surgery, they may become loose over time. The cause of loosening may not always be clear but high impact activities, excessive body weight and wear of the polyethylene component may all act as contributing factors. Friction caused by the joint surfaces rubbing against each other wears away the surfaces of the implant, creating tiny particles that accumulate around the joint. In a process called aseptic loosening, the bond of the implant to the bone is destroyed by the body’s attempt to digest these wear particles. During this process, normal, healthy bone is also digested , which can weaken or even fracture the bone.
When the prosthesis becomes loose, the patient may experience pain, change in alignment, or instability.
Revision surgery of the infected knee can take several forms. Depending on the degree of infection and damage, the surgeon will determine one of two basic courses of action:
What Causes Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Researchers continue to study the many causes of pain after knee replacement surgery. Some are biological and due to conditions present before surgery, while others are due to complications that arise during surgery.
On the biological side, patients suffering from arthritis may experience increased sensitivity because of the ongoing pain that was present before surgery. As well explain below, inflammatory responses and allergy-related problems can also contribute to persistent pain. Another source of pain is referred pain originating from the hip due to a change in alignment.
If you are experiencing ongoing pain after knee replacement surgery, but do not have a medical history of arthritis or the previously mentioned issues, you may be dealing with surgical complications. While your doctor will take steps to prevent problems, its still possible for these to rare issues to occur:
Remember to stay open and honest with your doctors. This will help them properly diagnose and treat the problem to get you the pain relief youre looking for.
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What Not To Do After Knee Replacement
After undergoing a partial or total knee replacement, there are certain movements to refrain from to avoid re-injuring your knee or causing pain.
Avoid any risk of falling After knee surgery, it will take a while before you regain strength and balance in the leg, making you more likely to experience a fall. Avoid activities like climbing ladders and take care to hold on to handrails when using stairs. Hiking or walking on the uneven ground should also be avoided until your knee is properly healed.
Dont sit for long periods Sitting for long periods after knee replacement surgery is correlated with a higher risk of blood clots. Make sure youre getting enough light activity to support healing after your operation.
Running Running puts three times the amount of pressure on the knee as walking. Avoid running while youre healing from knee replacement surgery until cleared to do so by your doctor.
Anatomy Of The Knee And Associated Ailments
The knee is comprised of three bones, the Tibia , the Femur , and the Patella . These bones align in such a way that allows them to bend. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the knee serve as stabilizing agents. There is fleshy cartilage between the bones which acts as a cushion, preventing the bones from rubbing against one another called bursa.
When someone experiences pain in the knee, there are several potential causes. The three most common are:
- Osteoarthritis: soft tissues in the body degrade naturally over time. When the cushions between bones begin to deteriorate and the bones begin to rub against each other, this is called arthritis. This condition can cause a great deal of pain and occurs predominantly in people over the age of 50, but can occur to anyone at any time.
- Injury: an injury can occur for many reasons, including a sports injury, falling, or a traumatic injury such as a car accident. When these occur, the bones not only experience trauma but may realign in such a way that causes pain. These can include torn cartilage, a torn ACL, or broken bones.
- Overuse: repetitive motion in the knee can lead to more rapid degeneration of the soft tissue.
Certain individuals may be more prone to knee pain than others due to their lifestyle. These people include:
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Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Total knee replacement begins with removing the damaged parts of the femur and tibia. They are then shaped in such a way that will best accommodate the foreign objects that are used. The ends of both the tibia and femur are fitted with a piece of metal. The piece of metal that is on the tibia is attached to a piece of plastic. The patella is also sometimes fitted with a piece of plastic.
These foreign objects allow for smooth motion in the knee, and by removing the damaged parts can prevent further degeneration or injury.
Initial Swelling And Pain Management After Knee Replacement
Most patients have moderate to severe swelling for the first few days after knee surgery. Some patients may also experience this degree of inflammation for several weeks. However, this should ease down within the third to sixth month from the day of the procedure.
You can help your knee recover from the swelling faster with the use of ice therapy. Icing can help reduce inflammation, so long as done immediately after an injury. In the case of knee surgeries, you may have to extend the cold treatment for as long as you have swelling.
Aside from cold therapy, it’s also best to elevate the leg wherein you’ve had knee surgery. This will help prevent too much blood from flowing to the surgical site. The reduced blood flow, in turn, can help reduce swelling.
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No Pain No Gain Just Take The Medicine
There will be pain. There is no way around that, unfortunately. At first, the surgeon will likely have you on some pretty strong pain relievers. As the swelling goes down, you start to move and get used to your new knee, the pain will usually get much less. Well help you monitor and manage your pain. When the pain stops, well stop using the painkillers because there is no other need to continue taking them.
It is really important that the surgeons pain relief program is adhered to in order to achieve mobility through rehabilitation without restriction due to pain. Regaining movement will help to reduce the pain and therefore work to end the medication program.
Avoiding medication by choosing to tough it out or, using the medication for longer than you need it could lead to a delayed recovery. Its a joint effort to get the right pain relief with you and your medical team.
Interested in knowing more?
How Long Does A Knee Replacement Last
Patients can extend the life of their knee replacements by complying with their physical therapy routines and avoiding high-impact activities, such as jumping or jogging. High impact activities cause friction between the man-made components of the replacement knee, causing wear and tear.
Revision Knee Replacement SurgeryIf the initial knee replacement components need to be replaced for any reason, a second surgery called a revision total knee replacement may be needed. Wear-and-tear on components, component loosening, infection, and knee joint instability are the most common possible causes for needing revision surgery. Other reasons include knee stiffness and bone fractures.
Patients should talk to their doctors about when is the best time to schedule knee replacement surgery.
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Expected Range Of Motion
After knee replacement surgery, it is important to work with a physical therapist to restore as much range of motion as possible. Typically, the range of motion will progress quickly during the first three months. It can continue to increase for up to two years following surgery.
Normal motion after knee replacement is defined as the ability to get within 5 degrees of a straight knee and the ability to bend the knee back to 90 degrees. Most knee replacements have movement ranging from zero degrees to 110 degrees or more.
The range of motion of the replaced knee can be improved with a combination of stretches, exercises, and gradual resumption of normal activities. Some surgeons will recommend the use of a machine to bend the knee, called a CPM .
How To Get Rid Of Unused Opioids
Do not keep unused medicine “in case” you think you may need it. Having it in the house where other adults, children or pets could reach it is unsafe.
- To get rid of unused opioids, bring them to a drop-off location or to an Allina Health Pharmacy. To find a location near you:
- Minnesota: Go to pca.state.mn.us and type “household hazardous waste” in the search box.
- Wisconsin: Go to dnr.wi.gov and type “health care waste” in the search box.
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How Long Does Knee Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery
One of the most common questions we hear is, How long does pain last after knee replacement?
Traditional total knee replacement will typically require one to three months of recovery with the use of a walker or a cane while partial knee replacement surgery requires significantly less time. But there is more to consider when trying to figure out how long pain will last after surgery.
How long the pain lasts after knee replacement surgery depends on a wide range of factors, before and after the surgery.
Can Pain Still Occur Three Months After Knee Replacement
Yes, knee surgery patients can also experience ongoing pain aside from chronic stiffness. Indeed, an estimated one in five total knee arthroplasty patients experiences chronic pain. The pain, in this case, doesn’t go away even after three months following the surgery.
What’s more, the degree or intensity of pain can even worsen many months after the procedure.
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Is A Knee Replacement Painful
Knee replacement surgery is a common orthopedic surgery in the U.S. with the number of surgeries performed each year expected to hit 1 million by 2040. Knee replacement surgery is proven to provide pain relief, improve mobility and quality of life, but it has a reputation of being painful. Patients considering this procedure are often hesitant because theyve heard that the surgery itself has a long recovery time and they wonder if the pain and time recovering will be worth the benefits.
Are you considering knee replacement surgery? Lets first look at the facts- Most knee replacements are expected to last more than 15 years, and according to recent statistics, three to six weeks after surgery is the average time it will take to resume to most daily activities.
Pain After Knee Replacement: Six Months
If you are still experiencing pain six months after surgery, you may be wondering how long it will be until you feel normal again. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.
In some cases, it may take up to a year for all of your swelling to completely go away. Your knee will continue to recover for years to come, as scar tissue forms and your muscles become stronger with continued physical therapy and light exercise.
As previously mentioned, if you are still experiencing debilitating levels of pain at this stage, you could be suffering from chronic pain. While you may be tempted to tough it out, its important to talk with your doctor. Together, you can find what is causing your persistent pain and come up with a plan to fix it.
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Nerve And Other Tissue Damage
There’s a small risk that the ligaments, arteries or nerves will be damaged during surgery.
- Fewer than 1 in 100 patients have nerve damage and this usually improves gradually in time.
- About 1 in 100 have some ligament damage this is either repaired during the operation or protected by a brace while it heals.
- About 1 in 1,000 suffer damage to arteries that usually needs further surgery to repair.
- In about 1 in 5,000 cases blood flow in the muscles around the new joint is reduced . This usually also needs surgery to correct the problem.