Knee Pain After Replacement Surgery - Week 2
By Dr. Renae Norton
I am two weeks out today! Strangely, the first week was the easiest week and week two was much more difficult. The biggest issue this past week was that I couldn’t sleep. I was simply in too much knee pain. It appears that the more active you are the less stiffness you have. At night we tend to be much less active, ergo more stiffness. Stiffness and pain are not the same thing but it’s easy to get them confused, LOL. Especially at night when you simply cannot get comfortable no matter what position you are in.
I normally sleep on my side. That wasn’t happening until the last couple of nights. The difference being that most of the swelling has gone away now making it much easier for me to sleep on my left side with a pillow underneath my right knee. Hallelujah!
How I Manage Knee Pain After Surgery
The other reason I was having more knee pain the second week than the first week was that I weaned myself off all the pain medications. I came off of the meloxicam and the gabapentin, and substituted extra strength Tylenol, which seems to be working fairly well.
The only issue with the Tylenol is it’s a delayed release so just at the point in time when you need it the most because the last dose has worn off completely, it takes another hour or so to basically kick in. The recommended dose is three times a day or every eight hours. I take it at four in the morning, 12 noon, and 8 p.m. But, from 4 to 5, and noon to one, and 8 to 9 p.m. I am pretty uncomfortable. On the other hand, if I had to pick a schedule that works for me given the fact that I’m an early riser and that I go to bed fairly early, those times seem to be working well.
The only other problem I’ve had with the Tylenol is that it causes my palms to itch. I am taking Benadryl to manage that.
The last two nights I have slept well, and I look forward to continuing to get more and more comfortable. The Baker’s cyst on the back of my knee has gone down substantially just in the last 24 hours giving me an extra boost in terms of pain relief.
Manage Knee Pain With Collagen
One thing that I am doing that I think makes a big difference in my recovery is that I am drinking collagen-based smoothies. I noticed a significant relationship between less pain when I drink collagen-based smoothies versus much more pain when I don’t drink them.
Since the surgery, and because I am in the basement, my kitchen facilities are not quite as convenient. Bottom line, I missed two days of having my collagen-based smoothie. Huge problem! Yesterday I finally got my smoothies made, had one last night and had another one this morning and I can already tell the difference. If you have arthritis you need to be drinking smoothies made with collagen. I use Garden of Life brand.
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