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TKR Numbness & Pain

Hi my favorite readers! After receiving some emails and comments from my readers regarding their tkr leg getting either numb or painful, I wanted to post a reply for others who may be experiencing these same symptoms.

For myself, the area surrounding my bionic knee scar is numb. However, I’m so used to it, it’s no big deal. It could be much worse. The area is most pronounced immediately on top of my knee cap area. It extends to about 2” radius/circle surrounding my entire knee (inside, outside, top, bottom).

When I first stand up, there is pain on the outside portion of my knee. It is most noticeable from the outside of my tkr knee to my foot. Sometimes my foot tingles and feels like there are little critters crawling on it. Eww… The pain was MUCH, MUCH worse before my surgery, though. The current pain is worse during sleeping when I attempt to change positions. OUCH!!

I don’t know if it is because I have gotten used to it, or it is the passage of time, but the pain has diminished from when my total knee replacement recuperation first began 13 months ago.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. It does get better, in my opinion. If it doesn’t, I would suggest consulting with your physician.

Good luck! As the famous philosopher, Red Green, once said…”We’re all in this together!” 😉

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






33 comments to TKR Numbness & Pain

  • Cowgirl

    Hello Everyone,

    Yes I too have the pain and burning but on the outside of my knee. I get shooting pain all the way down to my foot! Its like an electrical shock and I yell when it hits because its not on a timer. Just hits whenever it wants to. My pain is still bad at times but overall I do not have the pain I constantly had before my replacement. Thank God for that because I could not stand it anymore! Now its a different kind of pain and I’ve went from 4 pain pills a day to 2. You have to weigh it out in your mind if the pain is really bad enough at the time to take a pain pill. Actually I’ve been on strong pain pills for two years and a half after my injury and scope surgery at which time I was told I needed a TKR. It was up to me when, and I was told to hold off as long as I could before having TKR done. I think i may have waited too long enduring the pain but finally after 2 years I gave in. Dr. said my knee was way worse than he imagined. My waiting was out of fear of the unknown and I still have mixed feelings but I can’t go backwards now. Its all straight ahead from now on and I hope I reach my pain free zone really soon.

    Blessings to all and just hang in there, yours will come eventually just as mine will. Nobody said it was going to be a picnic. Btw…Anyone able to dance with the Bionic knee? I so want to dance again. Be detailed with what dancing you can do from clogging, jitterbug etc. These are my favorites to dance.

  • Debi

    I dance in my mind while watching Dancing with the Stars……that show is my guilty pleasure and I live vicariously through the stars who are learning to dance.

    Cloris Leachman made me feel REALLY bad last season…but this season, with 2 ladies hurt before the season even began, I felt a little better, seeing how they were both younger than me!

    I just want to be able to walk, function well in my job, work in the yard and climb the ladder to get in the pool……and SWIM!!!!!

  • booktoots

    Hi Cowgirl and Debi,
    Personally, I like doing aerobic dancing but without the knee bends or kicks. And…belly dancing. 🙂 Belly dancing took longer to get back into after my tkr than aerobic dancing, though.
    Hope this helps…

  • Brenda

    I had my TKR last September after 10 years of pain, and 3 arthroscopes to “clean up” the damage inside. Finally the Dr could do no more so I elected to have the total knee replacement. Like others I still have some numbness down the side of the op site, but that soes not worry me. Recently though I have experienced a shot of pain right down my leg when I turn or make some other quick turning movements. Stairs are still a major problem for me.
    After lots of investigations, a forum of orthopaedic surgeons decided that is was nothing to do with the surgery, but some muscle tissue damage.
    Yesterday, under local anaesthetic and ultrasound, I was given a silicone type injections to help with movement between tendons, and a anti iflammatory block of some sort which should last for a couple of months. After this time the Drs think that the problem should have resolved itself.
    I hope so, in 10 days I embark on a four month world cruise and I don’t want this annoying me after all I hve been through to this point.
    Here’s hoping.

  • soccermom

    Hi!
    I just had bilateral knee replacements done on 6/16/09 – just 4 weeks ago. Forget dancing- I just want to sleep!! I am a right side sleeper since birth and just cannot seem to get comfortable enough to get more that 2 hours of sleep consecutively. I have tried all sorts of propping, pillows, pain meds etc. I know i am still pretty early after the surgery but I am progressing at a fantastic rate, walking about 3/4 mile and doing stairs.and most activities of daily living. I have not tackled walmart yet.
    The fatigue is however, affecting my mood. Does anyone have ANY SUGGESTIONS to get comfortable.
    Thanks for the positive thoughts.
    Soccermom

  • Hi Soccermom……I salute you for having both knees done at once!

    Sleeping, or lack of, is a problem we have all faced……..and it just takes time. I even bought a recliner at 3 weeks, thinking I could sleep in it if I woke up in the middle of the night……but really never did. I use an assortment of pillows, and I would always wrap my knee with the large gel ice pack when going to bed….Eventually I started using Tylenol PM to help me sleep which helped.

    I think after the 3rd month, I was sleeping much better. Keep the faith and it’ll get better soon!

    Keep us posted…..Booktoots has lots of helpful posts….

    Debi

  • brenda

    Hi i had bilateral knee done july 09 its been 8 wks and i have severe pain and stiffness good range of motion still not the whole way straight .im on pain pills and sleeping pill can only sleep about four hrs at a time then im up . my family dr stated i have rsd ,this is terrible if i had any idea it would be like this i would have never done it i would have lived with the pain ,,,Brenda

  • booktoots

    Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. You’re going through the toughest part of a tkr recuperation. We all have been there. I had one knee done and it was awful at 8 weeks. I can only image what a bilateral is like. It has to be a nightmare.
    Hang in there. It does get better and will definitely be worth it. Believe me….we’ve all been there and feel for you.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

    Blessings to you…

  • Jeff

    Hi, I had TKR on 17th November 2008. Off work for 15 weeks and pain was very bad. Ten months down the line I now seem to have developed severe pain under my kneecap. I haven’t been back to see my consultant since this new pain, and I would dread to have more surgery. The whole experience has not been good and if I could turn back the clock I would have not have had it done. Regarding the kneecap pain, I don’t recall having knocked it or knelt on it to cause damage or fracture. Happy days !

  • Robert Bishop

    Hi all! I had bi-lateral knee replacements two weeks ago, and could not be happier! I’m a 57 yr old male, and have had bad knees all my life. I scheduled the surgery last April, and spent the summer getting ready – lost 15 pounds through diet and four or five visits to the gym every week. The surgery went perfectly – except I apparently didn’t stop my aspirin therapy soon enough – I needed three units of blood and a few extra days in the hospital. Two weeks later I can walk with my fingers resting on the walker, have been outside with crutches, and have even gone out for lunch once. I started with the full array of pain killers, but now take two Tylenol Arthritis three times a day. The compression stockings bother me more than the knees. I sleep in a recliner – have not found a comfortable way to sleep in a bed, but I expect when I have more range of motion etc that will come. (If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.) I have a Visiting Nurse therapist come three times a week, and will start going to a PE facility for therapy in another week. I know it is difficult or impossible for many people to reach the level of fitness I did before the surgery, but I am convinced that is why I have has such a good result so far.

  • Bill

    I use a down blanket doubled up under me ans a thin body pillow between my legs, she is not pretty but she works.i wake up once at night to pee. I am 4 weeks out and can walk one mile un aided. still working on my range. I had right tkr

  • Bruce

    Jeff, I had TKR done 6/6/09. Knee joint swelling and knee cap pain are still my enemies. Supposedly, the knee cap pain is caused by the swelling. The physician has no idea why I have had swelling since surgery. I now wear a compression sleave, but my knee still hurts. And, whenever I exercise my knee swells.

  • Hi Hun,

    Just to let you know your among thousands of people who are going through or have been through your experience. I’m 11 months out of my replacement and I’m still on pain meds and I still can’t do well with stairs. I think about would I have done this had I known the pain it would bring. I basically exchanged an everyday every minute excrusiating pain for a lesser and not as often pain. My Dr. told me I was looking towards august of this year before I would see good results. Now as my replaced knee is healing I now have calcium build up around the replacement and my left knee is in my Drs. word just as bad as my right one was and I needed it done but I quickly said no! He said you will know when. I don’t even wanna think about getting it done even though its buckling on me and I have almost fallen several times. Thank God I have’nt. All I can say is just hang in there. You have a ways to go but It will get better its just a very slow process. God Bless and good luck. P.S. Use ice, ice, ice as much as you can.

  • Hi,
    Your knee hurts when you exercise of course but your Dr. should have told you that the swelling is fluid build up but it cannot be drawn off because it may cause infection. You can’t even get a cortisone shot in your knee because it may cause infection too. The best thing to do and I know because i’m 11 months out and still take pain meds, is everytime you exercise your knee, prop it up and use ice packs on it. Thats pretty much all you can do unless you have pain meds to help. Trust me I know this. This is a long healing surgery so just do the best you can. Also you can use a large ace bandage wrapping about 4 inches below the knee snug and loosening as you go over the knee itself. That pushes the fluid back up towards the heart and takes down swelling. Good Luck and hang in there. We sure can”t go backwards. We have to move ahead one day at a time.

  • Well your one in a million. This surgery is not an easy thing to go through at all. I’m glad your doing so well. I took in home therapy for 4 weeks and was not allowed out of the house. Then I had 12 weeks of out patient therapy. I’m still hurting but I can walk well, my leg justgoes numb after about 30 minutes.

  • Irene Morgan

    I am female and 85 years old. Four years ago I fell full body on my sloping driveway and that was when I hit my left knee so hard, it was damaged. It was crippled for these past years, checked with my doctor who wasn’t enthusiastic about my considering knee replacement. But, I had a total knee replacement 3 months ago. Physical therapy has been part of my recovery. About 2 months after surgery I drove my car; with the most difficulty getting in and out because of the pain. I still wear a compression hose on that leg which I feel is a big help. My knee has 1 piece of plastic attached to one piece of metal, round shaped and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I sleep with a refrigerated cold gelatin plastic form I put on my knee, (a bag of frozen peas work good, too) I prop my knee up with puffy pillow, take Vicadin pill, and sleep comes easy, with pain occasionally. Have graduated to a cane instead of my walker and on occasion inside I walk without any help; but I’m afraid I might fall when I go other places. Getting inside and out the door of my car is becoming easier. I use those little wheeled drivable carts when I am in a store that has them.
    I’m happy I had it done.

  • Your Doctor does’nt know why your having swelling 6 months out? Thats ridiculous for him to say that. I’m a year out feb. 2nd and just recently my knee has been subsiding to swelling, its part of the healing process. Imagine this ok? Your nerves, tendons, muscles are all wrapped around your knee. Now you have the replacement and the new knee is foriegn to all of these things. Kind of like their talking to each other, like is that my knee? Thats not my kneecap..The nerves, tendons and muscles have to gradually take hold of the new unrecognized knee. You would’nt grab onto something you did’nt know would you? Well these nerves tendons and muscles are the same way. As they get use to the new knee they will gradually reform into their regular position. I found looking at it this way gave me comfort in knowing that the swelling and pain were not just indicators of the surgery, but also a part of my body getting these things back into place. I hope this illustration helps you. Sure helped me although I stil havepain and I don’t do very well with stairs. God Bless….Hang in there, you will be fine, its just a matter of time, work and patience.

  • Just be careful and watch where you step. I do that and I still fell down 5 steps. Ouch! Yes it hurt but thank God it did’nt do any further damage.

  • Carolyn

    Hi all, I had a tkr 9 weeks ago and am doing well 120 degrees, stairs, no sticks etc but all of a sudden I am getting a pain on movement below the knee cap? I have some numness as well and at night its a nightmare trying to get comfortable. Just thought someone might have had the same pain on movement only?

    thanks for any help

  • Carolyn, I had TKR on January 18th of this year. I have had four back operations and nothing can compare to what this surgery was like. I think it aged me 10 years. I am 62. I will NEVER do again unless I was dying in pain. I have the numbness below the knee. I go to a PT..She said the scar is too tight and I have to keep kneeding it like you would bread. Do the thigh also. Now for those of you who can’t sleep I got this tip from someone andit helps. Put cream around your knee without fragrance and make sure your scar is healed. Then take saran wrap and wtap it aroudn the knee. This way in the morning when you wake your knee is not stiff like it normally is. It keeps it moist. It works!!!!!! It won’t hurt you either. I talked to my PT about it. He siad it if helps you can do whatever you want. I just started to drive today. I came to Florida for the winter so I could use a pool. You wouldn’t believe how many people down here have had there knees and hips done. So we compare which may or may not be a good thing. Some of them are ahead of me who had surgery after me. You just can’t let it get to you. They say it s all about attitude. Right now I am in the depression state.Just wondering if I am ever going to get better. Everyone says I look great and I am doing great but I just don’t feel great. I go no where without my pain meds. I have not eaten ot yet. Because I can’t sit that long. It’s just frustrating. Oh an my ankle is swollen. I am told this is all partof the surgery. I read these sites every night. Some of them are so bad so I skip by those. I don’t need anyone else’s problem depressing me. I need to concentrate on myself. One day at a time. I tried thepool today. I am like a little kid. I make my husband hold my hand etc. What a nightmare! But I am hopeful that I am on the road to recovery. I just didn’t realize it was going to take this long. I cry once a day. Take a pill and then feel better. I am waiting for the day that I am done crying and done taking pills. Yhey say joints are the worse. So my dear I hope I didn’t bore you and Good Luck! If all we end up with is numbness I’ll take it:)

  • joyce

    Still in a lot of pain after two years. Hurt less when it was bone on bone.

    Don’t know why ,any suggestions as what to do?

    On 2 pain meds a day…and still feel lots of pain

  • Pete

    Whoa! I guess I’m the lucky one. Had TKR on 4/7/11. Took pain meds only the first 2 days. (Didn’t want to get hooks on those and the pain wasn’t a lot worse than what I was experiencing before surgery.). Home therapy for 3 wks, out patient 3 wks. Slept in recliner for couple of weeks. About 5 wks.out bed finally got comfortable again. It will be 3 months come 7/7. Feeling GREAT. Sure, therapy & exercises hurt, but pay off. FYI, I’ll be 79 in Sept, and weigh 240#…(Old & overweight)

  • Maxine

    Hi all, I had a right TKR on Feb 11/11. I have been an athlete most of my life, played national basketball. I got hurt at work and had my TKR at 46 yrs. of age. I guess the most frustrating things for me are sleeping and travelling in a car or sitting/standing or waling too long. It was overwhelming to realize the things that I will most likely never be able to physically do. I get frustrated and down with people who like to bunch ALL of us who have had TKR’s, saying we are all alike. Healing is an individual experience and no person should be compared to any one else! I am happy to not have end stage arthritis pain, but the healing exerience can be very depressing at times – I hope to keep a healthy new knee for as long as possible. All the best fellow TKR people.

  • Haynie Bartolotta

    I enjoy, result in I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  • Norman Allen

    I had a TKR in UK privately with one of I would say best surgeons (he trains other surgeons around the world)(Oaklands Hospital, manchester) on 16th December 2011. I had some pain a few days after the OP but to be honest was not serious and normal pain killers helped a lot. After 3 days was on my way home. The only problem I did experience was trying to sleep on my side so for some 4 weeks I had to get used to sleeping on my back. Knee was painful if turned on its side due to pressure on the healing joint and bruising. 5 days after the OP my leg was badly bruised down to the toes but this went away after 3 weeks. Went to PT each week and did my usual exercises at home with a small bike to get the 110 deg. bend. That was effective after 6 weeks. Now in may 2012 as 1 write this note I have no pain and almost a full bend and great cycling and back to walking my dog with no more arthritic pain. In fact, my TKR is the best part of my body at 63 yrs. My surgeon uses a computer aided minimal invasive surgery and after the OP the nurses were on guard all the time withe the bleed tube etc to ensure no blood build up in the knee or infection. I was I admit very worried before the OP but its the best decision I have ever made. I think quite often these TKR’s are often down to the precision and skill of the surgeon and the team but ones own physiology is also important especially exercises before and after in the correct manner.

  • Ginger

    16 wks out from left TKR…getting better each day. Do still have days when depressed and ask when will it stop hurting completely. Question I need addressed has to do pain above or side of knee when getting up from sitting. Not excruciating pain, but definitely makes you catch your breath. When can I expect this to go away? Reading these posts help me know I’ m pretty much “TKR normal”. Thanks

  • booktoo1

    Hi Ginger,
    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comment. Glad to hear you’re doing so well. Everyone recuperates differently, but in my case, it took me about 10 months before I didn’t have pain in my knee area when going from sitting to standing. Hope this helps.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Debbie

    Hi, its been a while for me on this site. I have recommended it to others. It helped me a lot during my sleepless nights and crying jags. Its nine months now and most of the pain is gone. But.. The rain kills me. I don’t know why . But it has always. My TKR left the top and left side of my knee numb. My knee reminds me of an old rusty hinge, when I bend it. My reflexes aren’t as fast. Im slower pulling this leg back. I hate when I stub my toe. The doctor is shocked at my scar. You can barely see it. I would rather have the scar and the numbness gone. The other knee is starting to hurt . I am going to fight all the way try other methods of treatment. Im not sure I want to have more surgery. I am just now starting to walk up and down steps normally. I still have trouble getting up from a seated position. This site has ran for a long time. It is 2013. the holidays are coming up . I hope all have a blessed Thanksgiving , and a very Merry Christmas. I wish you all well.

  • Hi Debbie,
    Thanks for returning to post your tkr comment and finding my site useful enough to share with others. Your feedback is sure to help others going through the same thing.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

  • Susan

    I am 4 weeks out and moving along pretty nicely. My flexion is excellent but my complete extension is not there yet. I found myself worrying about this but I am determined to keep working on my exercises and PT and have faith that I’ll get it. I think it’s important to focus on the steady improvements that are happening. I also have to remember that some days are better than others. Thanks for all of the input here and I wish for the best outcome for us all.

  • Dee

    I had bilateral knee replacement on 11-4-2014 it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am 47 years old and not in best of health. I was on pain killers for many years before surgery and due to how much I took I could not have any difference in pain medication for the surgery, so it was like having surgery almost then don’t get pain relief. The first 2 weeks I cried in between my pain pills I hurt so bad., then the therapy I forced myself to do finally started to help. By the third week I could get out of bed myself and the fourth I took care of myself and walked a good distance. I was in rehab for a month. I’m still getting better because when I got home I got pneumonia and got set back a little on my exercise, but I’ve already progessed to just a cane within two months . Like a lot of you I also have electric shocks under my knee caps don’t know what that’s about but I’m going to find out on my next appt. time. the nerves are playing games still. Good luck to everyone.

  • Hi my name is Nedy ! I had TKR 5 weeks ago. I too have a lot of numbness on my knee and sides and about 2 inches up and down from knee. Also can’t sleep and cry a lot. I hate this!!! So how long before the numbness goes away ? And also when I leave PT and I do like 90 or more I can’t do that at home. And it feels like my knee is as stiff as when I walked in to therapy. Does anyone else have this problem? Very frustrated,,,,,,

  • Hi Nedy,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your insightful tkr comment. You are experiencing everything I did at your stage. I have written other posts about this, so I recommend taking the time to look around my site.
    Keep in touch and good luck!

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