Knee replacement surgery can help relieve pain and improve function in people with severe knee problems, such as arthritis. However, surgery is not without its risks, and one of the most common one is pain.
The amount of pain you experience after knee replacement surgery will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Some people may have only mild aches, while others may experience something more severe.
Let’s look at some methods to manage pain after a knee replacement.
There are a number of ways to manage pain after knee replacement surgery. Your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication to help you get through the first few days post-op. The most common medications used to manage pain after knee replacement surgery are NSAIDs and opioids.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation and are generally the first line of treatment for pain after knee replacement surgery. They are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Some common NSAIDs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac.
Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to relieve pain. They are more powerful pain relievers than NSAIDs, but they also have more side effects, such as:
Opioids are usually only prescribed for short-term use after knee replacement surgery.
In addition to medications, there are several other things you can do to manage pain after knee replacement surgery.
Ice and Heat Therapy
Ice therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain after knee replacement surgery. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to your knee for 20 minutes at a time.
On the other hand, heat therapy can help relax muscles and improve circulation after surgery. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle and apply it to your knee for 20 minutes at a time for relief.
Elevating your leg above the level of your heart can help reduce swelling and pain after knee replacement surgery. Prop it up on a pillow or rolled-up towel. You can elevate your leg for several hours a day.
Physical therapy can help improve your range of motion and strength after knee replacement surgery. This can help reduce pain and improve your quality of life.Physical therapy typically begins a few days after surgery.
Your physical therapist will teach you exercises to do at home. You will also likely need to attend physical therapy sessions several times a week for the first few weeks after surgery.
Other Tips for Managing Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Aside from taking medication, applying ice, and using heat, you should:
- Get enough rest – Your body needs time to heal after surgery. Getting plenty of rest will help you recover faster.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Staying hydrated will help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Eat a healthy diet – Eating a healthy diet will give your body the nutrients it needs to heal.
- Limit activities that put stress on your knee – This includes activities such as running, jumping, and squatting.
Managing pain after knee replacement surgery is important for a successful recovery.
By following the tips above, you can help reduce your pain and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
When to Visit a Doctor for Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
It is normal to experience some pain after knee replacement surgery. However, if you experience any of the following, you should contact your doctor:
- Pain that is getting worse or not improving with medication
- Pain that is keeping you from sleeping or participating in your normal activities
- Pain that is accompanied by redness, swelling, or warmth around the knee
- Numbness or tingling in the knee or leg
- Stiffness in the knee that is not improving
- Fluid drainage from the incision
These symptoms could be signs of a complication, such as an infection or blood clot. It is important to see your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
You should also see your doctor if you:
- Have questions or concerns about your recovery
- Are not sure how to take your pain medication
- Are having trouble with your physical therapy exercises
- Are experiencing any other problems, such as constipation or nausea
It is always best to err on the side of caution and see your doctor if you have any concerns about your pain after knee replacement surgery. They can help determine the cause of the pain and ensure you get the best possible care.
Knee Replacement Near You in Boynton Beach, FL
Knee replacement is a major surgery, but it can be an effective way to relieve pain and improve function in people with severe knee damage. There are a number of ways to manage pain after knee replacement surgery, including medications, ice and heat therapy, elevation, and physical therapy. By following these tips, you can help reduce your pain and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
You can trust Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches if you need knee replacement near you. Our highly experienced and trained orthopedic surgeons will make sure you receive the best care. Reach out to our friendly staff today at (561) 733-5888, Ext. 9. You can also book a visit for knee surgery in Boynton Beach using our secure online request form.