How Long Do You Have Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery?

How Long Do You Have Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery?

If you have arthritis or a knee deformity, knee pain may be part of your daily life. You may have trouble climbing the stairs or even walking. Your doctor will recommend knee replacement surgery to relieve pain and restore your knee’s function. You should be able to carry out your daily activities after this procedure.

As the name implies, knee replacement surgery involves replacing the knee with artificial components. The severity of your knee damage will determine the extent of replacement your surgeon will perform. 

The knee replacement surgery is not painful. Your doctor will administer an anesthetic to numb you to the pain. However, you may feel pain after your surgery or even months after you are used to the prosthetic. 

This article explores the common causes of pain after knee replacement surgery. We also look at treatment methods to help you relieve pain.

How Long Should Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery?

General pain after knee replacement is normal and part of your recovery. Your doctor will prescribe treatment to help you deal with this pain. The pain will slowly disappear over the first few days, You may also undergo physical therapy and exercises to help with the pain.

You may also experience swelling, which should go down within 2 to 3 weeks. Using an ice pack can help reduce the swelling.

What Is The Cause Of Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Pain after knee replacement surgery is common. You may experience this pain due to any of the following reasons;

Type of Surgery

A knee replacement surgery might be partial or total. The type of surgery depends on your condition and its severity. If you find walking difficult, your doctor may perform a partial surgery. If you have arthritis or knocked knees, you may undergo a total replacement.

A partial replacement does not cause as much pain as a total replacement. You should be able to walk independently after two weeks of a partial replacement. However, walking without assistance may take up to 3 months if you undergo a total replacement.

Infection

You may have an infection after your surgery. Infections occur at the surgical wound site and can cause pain. The wound may also be hot to the touch, and pus may drain from it. If you have a fever and feel sick after surgery, you most likely have an infection.

Loose Prosthetic

If you feel pain years after your knee replacement surgery, it may be because of a loose joint. You are likely to fall and unable to perform your daily activities. You may also feel like your knee is about to give way whenever you stand or walk. 

If you feel like your knees are unstable and weak, your artificial knee may be loose. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these.

Fracture

If you feel a sharp, sudden pain after a pain-free period, it may be due to a fracture. A fracture around your implant may cause excruciating pain, and you would need immediate medical attention. Your doctor may use a cast or recommend another surgery, depending on the severity of the fracture.

Nerve Injury

Your nerves may be irritated during your procedure. This injury can result in persistent knee pain after your surgery. Your pain may or may not improve over time, depending on the location of the pinched nerve.

Instability

Unstable knees can cause pain when you perform specific motions. Instability occurs due to the rapid wear of your artificial joint. If your knee pain results from instability, you may feel like your knee will give away.

If you feel knee pain after your surgery, your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination to identify the cause of the pain. Your doctor will note the characteristics of your pain to prescribe appropriate treatment.

How To Deal With Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery

Pain after knee replacement may be normal or not - it all depends on your symptoms. Fortunately, you can deal with this pain and prevent a recurrence. You can manage pain after your knee replacement surgery by following these tips;

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

You are likely to develop an infection within 30 days after your surgery. Fortunately, you can prevent this by following your doctor’s instructions on how to clean the wound area and change your dressings.

Your doctor at Fort Worth Physical Therapy will also prescribe medications for you. You should also use all your medicines as prescribed. Avoid using too much or skipping doses.

If you notice any unusual symptoms, check in with your doctor immediately. You should also visit your doctor for regular follow-up treatment.

Rest And Elevate Your Knee

You can rest your knee by reducing activity. Resting allows your body to heal and reduce swelling. 

You should also elevate your knee above your heart level when resting. You can place your knee on pillows or cushions to do this. Also, ensure that you support your knee in a straight position. Placing the pillow directly under your knee can make your knee bend.

Ice And Heat Therapy

Ice therapy can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Heat therapy can improve blood circulation and relax your muscles. Together, these therapies can relieve knee pain after your surgery. 

It is ideal to use ice therapy for the first 48 hours after your surgery. Apply the ice pack to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You should do this several times a day. 

You should use heat therapy after the swelling has reduced. You can apply the heat pack to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You should also do this several times a day.

When using either ice or heat therapy, always wrap them in a towel before applying them to your skin. Using direct heat sources can cause frostbite or burns to your skin.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can also help with relieving knee pain after surgery. This treatment can improve your mobility and help you move around in any direction. You will also be able to return to your daily activities gradually.

Physical therapy is great after knee replacement surgery because it is a tailored treatment. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and create a plan that suits you. The treatment plan will consist primarily of stretching and strengthening exercises.

As you progress through knee pain therapy in Fort Worth, TX, your physical therapist will adjust your plan. For instance, when you start treatment, you may only be able to do a few reps with the help of your physical therapist. As you progress, you will be able to do these exercises on your own. Your physical therapist can then increase the intensity and duration of your exercises. 

You may also receive massages, manual therapies, or electrical stimulation. These physical therapy methods target specific areas to provide quick and fast pain relief.

What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery?

Physical therapy helps to rehabilitate your knee after surgery. You need physical therapy after your surgery due to the following reasons;

Pain Management

Your physical therapist can help you manage pain. You will undergo treatments that target your muscles to relieve pain. For instance, massage therapy, dry needling, and electrical stimulation target specific body areas to improve blood circulation and promote pain relief.

Improved Strength

You may be unable to walk immediately after your knee replacement surgery, Your doctor would also advise you to rest your knee for pain management. However, you may experience muscle weakness with prolonged bed rest.

Physical therapy after surgery ensures that you can rest your leg and still get adequate exercise. These exercises strengthen your knees and also prevent muscle weakness.

Improved Flexibility

Getting used to a new knee joint might be difficult. Your physical therapist will recommend treatment that can help you improve your flexibility. Following your treatment plan can help you get used to your new knee and prevent instability.

Gait Training

A knee replacement surgery may affect your walking pattern. You may also experience muscle weakness if you are on bed rest for a long time. Your physical therapist will recommend gait training exercises to improve how you walk.

These exercises help you walk more efficiently. They also reduce the stress on your knee to relieve pain and prevent the recurrence of the injury. 

Education

You will learn how to manage your pain at home and also continue your exercises. Your physical therapist will show you safe ways of performing these exercises to prevent injury. You will also learn lifestyle modifications to help prevent a recurrence.

Conclusion

Knee pain after a replacement surgery is normal. You should feel pain for about 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery. However, if you feel persistent knee pain after your surgery, you should contact your physical therapist for a diagnosis. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and determine the best treatment for you.

If you have knee pain in Bedford, Barkman & Smith Physical Therapy can assess your condition. Our team of experienced physical therapists is ready to listen to your complaints and create an appropriate treatment plan.