Personal And Economic Impact
Chronic pain after TKA can affect all dimensions of health-related quality of life, and has been found to be associated with functional limitations, depression, anxiety, poorer general health, sleep problems and long-term opioid use.- Older people with chronic pain after joint arthroplasty can experience interference with relationships and become socially isolated, which is a risk factor for other problems and can limit their capacity to bring about change or to seek help for their pain.,, Some people experience considerable pain-related distress, and this is often highest in those who experience no change or deterioration in pain symptoms following surgery. Pain relief is the main expectation of patients undergoing TKA, and those who have continuing pain are often the most dissatisfied and disappointed with the outcome of their surgery.,, An overview of the biopsychosocial impact of chronic pain after TKA is provided in .
Overview of the biopsychosocial impact of chronic pain after total knee arthroplasty .
What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
When the surgery is over, you will need to stay in the hospitals recovery room for observation. Usually, patients can return to their hospital rooms within a few hours after their pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are stable. Since knee replacement is major surgery, its common for the patient to be in the hospital for a few days before returning home. You will begin physical therapy during this in-hospital time.
When its time to head home, your medical team will have a transition plan to help with continued physical therapy and pain management. Its crucial that you are diligent about following these recommendations to regain the range of motion and strength needed in the joint.
Icing After Knee Replacement
Ever wondered why Ice machine is on best 20 knee replacement gifts list, because of this very problem of knee replacement swelling.
Let me tell you ice will help you in many ways, including edema or fluid reduction and pain control.
Whenever you apply ice to the body part, it has four sequential effects on that body part: Cold, Burning, Aching, and Numbness.
The icing on the operated knee can result in blood vessel constriction, and thus it helps with swelling control after knee surgery. It also enables you to control pain after a knee replacement by numbing the nerves in the area.
One of the common questions asked is how long to ice after knee replacement surgery? The usual answer is 15-20 min for 2 to 3 times a day. However, you should consult with your doctor if you have any medical complications like diabetes or skin sensation issues.
Just a word of caution for proper incision care since icing can make area wet.
Don’t Miss: Broken Vs Sprained Wrist
How Much Weight Can Be Put On The New Knee
Knee replacement patients are given weight-bearing guidelines to follow in the hospital and at home. Exactly how much pressure the new knee can initially support will depend on factors such as:
- The type of surgery preformed
- The type of prostheses and how it is fixated to the natural bone
- The condition of the patients natural bone
Over time, patients will be asked to put incrementally more weight on the new knee.
How To Encourage Healing
For anyone who has had knee surgery, it is essential to keep the wound as dry as possible until it has thoroughly healed. Covering the wound with a bandage will also help prevent irritation from support stockings and other clothing.
Having a healthful, balanced diet helps encourage healing, though a person may have a poor appetite for the first few days after their surgery.
The AAOS recommends exercising in the first few weeks after the operation. A physical therapist may recommend specific exercises that help restore movement and build strength in the knee, and a person may need to do these several times a day.
Otherwise, the best approach to aftercare largely depends on the type of surgery that a person has had.
Anyone who has undergone arthroscopy should exercise regularly. A doctor or physical therapist usually recommends 2030 minutes of exercise two or three times a day and walking for 30 minutes two or three times a day during early recovery.
A physical therapist may design a personalized activity program. This may involve gradually increasing the amount of walking and a timetable for resuming everyday activities, such as climbing stairs. They will also recommend rehabilitation exercises.
You May Like: How Do You Know You Sprained Your Wrist
Misalignment Of The Operated Knee
Proper alignment of a knee implant is just as important as its fixation to the bone. For starters, a poorly-aligned implant can irritate or even “poke” the surrounding tissues. This, in turn, can cause stabbing, sharp pain.
An incorrectly-aligned implant can also result in more scar tissue to form. After all, it can “injure” the surrounding tissues, so new tissue has to rescue the damaged ones. As mentioned above, the more scar tissue that forms, the higher your risks of stiffness.
However, one of the worse things that misalignment can cause is implant failure. In this case, your knees can become even more unstable, and it may feel “wiggly” or “jiggly.” If your knee buckles or gives way, the misaligned implant can cause even more injuries.
At the very least, you may feel intense sharp pains.
What Should I Expect
Its important to note that everyone has different pain level tolerances, and no two cases are the same because our knees are complex joints. Knees are the second-largest joints in the body, after the hip joints. As such, a knee replacement is a complicated surgery that involves balancing ligaments, cutting into the bones of the knee joint, and replacing parts of the knee joint with artificial parts. The manipulation of the knee joint to place the parts leads to the pain after the procedure. Postoperative pain after knee replacement surgery is related to the healing, stretching, bending, and rotating that the knee must do after surgery.
Also Check: Can Grinding Teeth Cause Neck Pain
How Long Does The Pain Last After A Knee Replacement
Over 90% of patients who have knee replacement surgery experience a significant improvement in their pain and mobility. But remember that this is a major surgery, which means that it takes time to recover after going under the knife.
It often takes three months to return to normal activities and six months to 1 year before your knee is strong and resilient.
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.
Read Also: Does Sciatica Cause Hip And Groin Pain
Your Recovery Timeline: What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
After knee replacement surgery, most patients wonder how long it will take before theyre back to feeling normal. For example, how long does it take to get a full range of motion? You may also be wondering how long you can expect any lingering stiffness to last. While every case is unique, there are typical timeframes you can use as a guideline.
Your range of motion capabilities often progress rapidly during the first three months following surgery, provided you are working with a physical therapist and following your doctors recommendations. Your range of motion may continue to improve for up to two years after your surgery.;
You can expect to use a variety of stretches and exercises in order to achieve optimal motion with your replaced knee. The normal range of motion after a knee replacement is defined as being able to bend your knee back to 90 degrees.
Knee Replacement Pain: The Week Following Surgery
You should expect to stay in the hospital for several days following knee replacement surgery. This is often considered the most painful stage of the recovery process. Your doctor will prescribe medications to help you manage your pain level.
In addition to icing your knee, you may be encouraged to move your foot and ankle to increase blood flow and lower the risk of swelling and blood clots. Your doctor may also use blood thinners, support hose, and compression boots to prevent further complications.
Generally the day after surgery, a physical therapist will show you exercises that will help you recover your range of motion and continue to heal. You may even be asked to get up and take a few steps . Patients who get up and put a safe amount of weight on their new knee typically experience a quicker recovery.
After leaving the hospital, most patients continue to take some form of pain medication for two to six weeks. Your doctor will determine the best method of pain relief for your specific needs, whether it is over-the-counter medications or something stronger.
Don’t Miss: Does Massage Help With Sciatic Nerve Pain
Elevation After Knee Replacement
Elevating your knee above the heart level helps reduce the swelling after knee surgery and help you control the fluid build up in your lower legs.
Having a right knee wedge can make your life much more comfortable. However, you can manage with regular pillows as well.
How to elevate knee after knee replacement surgery. query into the web comes out with a mixed result, which can confuse you.;
It is not rocket science, and the whole aim of elevating your knee is to reduce swelling. Just stack three or four pillows so that your knee is above heart level.;
Also, avoid dangling your feet and keep your legs above heart level position for a longer time.
Get Plenty Of Rest And Limit Knee Movement
You need plenty of rest, which is what you’re likely to do during the first 24 hours following your knee surgery. However, you can still take a few steps during the latter part of the first day. After all, you would still need to heed the “call of nature.”
The most important thing here is to place as little force and weight on your operated knee. For this, your doctor will likely;prescribe a knee brace, a cane, or crutches. After a few weeks, you may no longer need the cane or crutches, but your physician may still require you to use a brace.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If Carpal Tunnel Is Infected
What Are The Risk Factors For A Failed Knee Replacement
Age, activity level, surgical history and a persons weight can contribute to implant failure. Younger, active patients, people who are obese, and those who have had prior knee surgeries all have a higher increased risk of a failed implant.
Younger, more active patients have a higher rate of revision than older, less active patients because they place more stress on their prosthesis over more time. Obese patients have a higher incidence of wear and loosening because of the increased force of their weight, and they are more prone to infections because of their increased risk of wound healing. Patients with previous knee surgeries are at higher risk for infection and implant failure.
Malpositioning Of The Implants
Surgeons make an effort to balance the knee at the time of surgery. This means finding the proper size and alignment of the knee replacement so that the knee joint is not too tight, and not too loose, and so this balancing is the same with the knee straight and bent.
This is precisely why a knee replacement is a difficult procedure, and the art of perfecting this takes many years. Errors in the positioning of an implant may not be apparent on the operating table and only become evident when the recovery is stalled.
Newer patient-specific knee replacements are tailor-made and may reduce the risk of malpositioning.
Recommended Reading: When To Go To Hospital For Neck Pain
What Is Revision Total Knee Replacement
Revision total knee replacement is the replacement of a failed total knee prosthesis with a new prosthesis. In simple terms, it is the replacement of a knee replacement .
Knee revision surgery is a complex procedure that requires extensive preoperative planning, specialized implants and tools, prolonged operating times, and mastery of difficult surgical techniques to achieve a good result.
How To Assist Your Recovery After Discharge
To ensure your recovery process is as successful as possible, its important to follow your orthopedic surgeons directions as closely as possible. After discharge from the hospital, you will need to:
- Perform strength and mobility exercises and attend physical therapy.
- Maximize rest to minimize the risk of falls
- Use an assistive device such as a walker or cane
- Treat pain, discomfort and swelling with medication, cold packs and elevation
Read Also: Can Acupuncture Help Sciatica Pain
What Should You Expect After Knee Revision Surgery
Most patients who undergo revision procedures can expect to have good to excellent results. Although expected outcomes include pain relief with increased stability and function, complete pain relief and restoration of function is not always possible.
Up to 20% of patients may still experience some pain following revision knee surgery. This can persist for several years after the procedure. Additionally recovery after revision total knee surgery is heavily dependent on the state and function of the knee prior to the revision surgery.
Here Are Some Of The Reasons You Might Need Knee Surgery:
- Stiffness in the joint and pain makes it difficult to walk, stand up, or climb stairs
- You often have swelling in the knee area
- Chronic pain bothers you when resting
- The pain is disrupting your sleep
- The knee has defects or is bowed
- Medication and physical therapy havent been effective in managing the pain
If you can relate to any of these symptoms, then its time to talk to a sports medicine doctor about your treatment options.
You May Like: Does Neck Pain Give You Headaches
Will I Need To Use Crutches Or Other Assistive Devices After Knee Replacement Surgery
Yes. And depending on the type of surgery youve had , youll probably need to use an assistive device for at least a few weeks during recovery.
Assistive devices make certain activities like walking, using the restroom and dressing easier to do. They also help keep you safe.
The types of assistive devices youll need after knee replacement surgery depend on your condition, but common devices include:
- Walking aids like crutches, canes or walkers
- Shoehorns and sock aids
- Raised toilet seat
- Tub chair
The good news is some assistive devices may be covered by your insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance provider before you go in for surgery.
How Can I Learn More About Recovering From A Knee Replacement
The best way to learn what to expect while recovering from knee replacement surgery is to talk to an expert orthopedist.
Our team of orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons at TRIA are some of the best in the Midwest. Weve performed thousands of joint replacements, and 97 percent of our patients report being able to walk down stairs without difficulty a year after surgery.
When youre ready for surgery, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and other care providers will be by your side every step of the way from your first appointment through your recovery.
About Amy Haynes, PT, DPT
Amy Haynes, PT, DPT specializes in orthopedic physical therapy with an emphasis on total joint replacement and osteoarthritis. She enjoys helping;patients remain independent within their home environments for as long as possible and continue their recreational past-times.
Read Also: How To Tell If My Wrist Is Broken
Here Is An Overview Of What You Can Expect During These 12 Weeks:
- Days 1 3: In the hospital, you will work with a physical therapist and occupational therapist to work on straightening and bending the knee.
- Discharge Day: Most people are discharged from the hospital within a few days. You will be sent home with specific instructions for care, medication, and therapy.
- Week 3: By the time you reach week three, you will be able to move around a little more, and the pain will be decreasing.
- Weeks 4 6: The most noticeable improvements in your knee happen during this time if you are consistent with your rehab and exercise activities.;
- Weeks 7 11: Physical therapy and rehabilitation continue. At this point, you will be working on range of motion, mobility, and strengthening the muscles.
- Week 12: You can start to return to normal activities but still need to avoid high-impact exercise .
Beyond this initial recovery time, you will notice that the pain will continue to decrease, and your function will improve.
How Long Does Pain Last After A Total Knee Replacement
- 5 Jul 2018 by pasuzz
I had both my knees replaced last year on July 11th. I went home the next day after showing the Dr I could walk. As long as you take your pain meds as instructed the pain in minimal. Night time is pretty bad but ice helps a great deal. It took 3 months for the pain to subside. Go to physical therapy it does work and keep moving. Im doing great. Im weight training and doing some running. It was the best thing I ever did.
I had mine this year on may 8th. Was in and out of hospital in 12 hours,used walker few days, In therapy up to last week,passed all goals but knee hurts bad at times, ice often just get so frustrated with aches and pain want it gone now!
I know it is frustrating. The pain will go away. You will experience stiffness if you sit too long so get up and move after awhile.
I do, try to move legs even while sitting, ride stationary bike once a day, walking too much at walmart really causes pain,I’ve read pain lasts 6 months to a year,is that true?
You May Like: How To Control Knee Pain At Home