Knee Surgery Incision Painful

Old 01-12-09, 12:56 PM
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Knee Surgery Incision Painful

It's been 2 mos since having a total knee replacement and the incision is still terribly painful. I do my exercises and rub it with lotion 3 times a day and still can't stand the pain. I have to take pain meds just for that and want to stop taking those awful meds. Any ideas?
Old 01-13-09, 06:00 PM
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60 days post op and you should still be under the doctor's care. What does the doctor say? One thing you could try if you are not allergic to lidocaine would be Lidoderm. They are transdermal patches that allow lidocaine to be absorbed into the area where the pain is located. If the pain is at or near the surface, they might be effective for you. It's FDA approved for relieving nerve pain associated with shingles but is used often for nerve pain as an off label use. 2 others groups that are effective at relieving nerve pain are anti seizure medications such as gabapentin or Lyrica or antidepressants such as Elavil. For nerve pain, Elavil is usually given as one dose at bedtime, whereas for antidepressant treatment, it's spaced throughout the day.

It's very important to describe you existing pain to your doctor at your next visit, being very specific to what makes it worst, such as does icing it make it worse, but heat makes it better. Is it throbbing or sharp stabbing or is it burning? Is it sensitive to touch? Does it only hurt when bending? etc, etc.

Another thing you could ask about, without knowing what pain mediation you are taking, but percocet and Demerol (but not vicodin) can be augmented with promethizine. It's an antihistamine and anti nausea pill often used for post op nausea. One of the side effects, so it's often prescribed for this, is it boosts the effectiveness of some opiates, so you get the same relief without needing as much of the opiate.

Let me finish by saying I am not a doctor, but I've had 8 orthopeadic surgeries in the last 5 years and one more coming up. I also have RSD as a result of my injuries so pain management has become part of my daily routine.
Old 01-20-09, 10:47 AM
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WHen does your incisional pain occur? Is it only when you touch it? Does it mostly occur when you move the knee? Does it occur at rest, even when you haven't been particularly active (like, when you first wake up in the AM)?

If you feel the pain mostly when you move the knee, pain you describe could be coming from scar tissue that has developed between your skin and the tissue beneath it. Though you are "rubbing" your knee, you may not be mobilizing the different layers of tissue that have been cut. So, when you bend, you are pulling on sensitive structures. If you improve the flexibility of the scar, you may be able to bend without as much pull and without as much pain.

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