Total Knee Replacement in Two Words: It Hurts

Nine weeks after my Total Knee Replacement (ta – da – dummmmmmmmm) and I still hurt. Nobody told me this part of the deal. Who do I see about this?

Only after my first couple of sessions did I learn that the only way to gain is with pain – when it comes to a Total Knee Replacement. It’s the only rehab where pain is good.

It’s pretty atotalkneereplacment_dupuynewmazing that they can take out a knee that was surrounded by muscles and tendons and stuff and put in a new knee-joint, get me up walking the same day and 56 days later, I’m still hurting.

I know they get in there and hack away with hammers and knives and saws, but didn’t everything go back where it was?

No. The Dupuy Total Knee Replacement is bigger than the original. So the surgeon glued and screwed the joint in,  stuffed everything back in place, stapled it together and sent me to The-rapists to make it work.

totalkneereplacmentblood My first day with The-rapist was the second day I got home from the horsepittle, which was three days after surgery.

I knew I was in for a long session with The-rapist when the form  I filled out assessing my needs on a range of 0 – 10, were all 0.

Rare, The-Rapist told me. Usually she doesn’t see patients until 14 days after surgery. I guess The-Rapist will make house calls the first couple weeks.  But the weather was nice then, and I wanted to get out of the house as much as possible.

No movement at all. No muscle movement, no knee flex on the first visit.  The-rapist said they usually like to have 120 degrees flex to consider the Total Knee Replacement (ta -da – dummmmm) satisfactory.

But with Mary Anne’s S & M skills, over the nine weeks I am walking again and have 123 degrees “aided flexion.”


Which means, when Mary Anne pushes as far as I can stand, I have 3 degrees more flex than “satisfactory.” Unaided, which means I take my other foot and push down on my ankle, is about 120 degrees.

And of course, my rate of recovery is being determined by my insurance company. They have said good enough, no more rehab for you bub. So I’ll be pushing on my own leg from now on I guess.

But, damn, my knee hurts. A lot. Still. I’m not sure I have the guts to hurt myself enough to get better.

Suddenly I have a lot more sympathy for those who have chronic pain and muscle degeneration.

I’ll get better. Don’t waste your sympathy on me, think about Laughingboy.

Thanks for your kind comments and encouragement. But move along, nothing to see here.

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Total Knee Replacement in Two Words: It Hurts — 14 Comments

  1. Have torn meniscus in both knees in the last fifteen months. Doc says knee replacement is in my future. Your blog is pretty scary! I am 67 and have had arthroscopic surgery in left knee but think the right one is going to be ok. Have talked to folks who have had knee replacement surgery and are doing well……guess it takes more time than we expect. Take care and keep after it……….

    • I’m glad to hear you are talking to people who have had knee replacements to get their feedback. So far, I’m pretty disappointed. I could get up and down stairs and in and out of a car before, standing for a long time was painful, but walking wasn’t. I probably could have put it off for another few years, but physically and mentally I thought I was ready. Ask your doc for ALL the alternatives before doing surgery. Good luck. Thanks for the comment.

  2. In August of 2004 I had elbow surgery on my right arm. Looking at that picture of Mary Anne pushing and measuring brings back ‘fond’ memories…only I’ve blanked out the name of my S & M specialist. That’s not fair…she was actually pretty great; but those sessions did hurt like hell…and yet…I have to say, I don’t think my ordeal was as bad as yours Mark. So yes, I’ll move along….but I am thinking about you and hope you have a really wonderful and pain-free Christmas as possible with your family. Hugs, Joy
    .-= Joy´s last blog pithYes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…. =-.

  3. It seems as if i will never get my knee surgery done after reading your blog..Is it really so much pain after getting the treatment done as i have heard that you really get relief from the pain after having done this treatment.

  4. I am 48yo and just had my done ten days ago. I am a retired firefighter and a triathlete. Kind of a tough dude but……..SONOFABITCH! I have been humbled. This will make me a better person for sure so I dont regret it but………SONOFABITCH! I am also putting my faith in the words of those who say “You wont regret it” but………SONOFABITCH!

    Here’s to ALL of you who have had this done……….NOW I GET IT

    And to those who are contemplating it – Just Do It. Rely on family or friends and allow yourself the opportunity to strengthen your faith in God. Best of luck! You can handle more than you think.

    • @Kevin: thanks for sharing. Yes it is TOUGH. I just participated in a feedback session for a new website for DePuy joint replacement. My biggest feedback was to make the recovery/rehab more realistic. It ain’t no walk in the park.

  5. I had total knee replacement of the left knee 6 weeks ago. While it has not exactly been a picnic, it has gone better than I had feared. Most of the pain I experience is during (and following) my physical therapy sessions. How are you doing now? Did you have both knees done? I want to have my right knee done in May, which would be about 5 months after the first operation.
    Jul G recently posted…6 Weeks After the TKR SurgeryMy Profile

  6. I still do not have all the feeling back in the nerves. Sensitive to touch. Guess that’s as good as it gets. Knee works great. I only need to have one knee done and I’m glad.

  7. Thanks for your encouraging (!!!) words. I had a tkr four weeks ago. Yes, you are right , it hurts but I am walking (with the aid of crutches if for more than 20 mins) but my biggest problem is sleeping at night. I crave a nights sleep – would give up anything for it! PT is difficult but at least it makes you feel as though you are getting somewhere.

    I am told that it will take at. Least a year before it feels as though it belongs to me.

    Here hoping you are now well recovered

  8. I am now ten weeks post-op. Can walk a reasonable distance and am using a cane only because my other half insists upon it!!! My surgeon is very happy with my progress as is my (the)rapist. My flexion and extension is terrific BUT I still have a lot of pain especially at night. I am managing to sleep a few hours each night – on and off all night, with the aid of some over the counter sleeping aids. Onwards and upwards….. Thinking of all tkr patients and wishing them good progress.