Coming off pain relief following Total knee replacement

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Hi all

Can anyone offer some advice? I had a TKR 5.5 weeks ago things are going really well. I’m planning on returning to work in three weeks and want to reduce my pain relief.

Following my op I was put on zomorph 2x 10mg capsules morning and night and 4 hourly paracetamol and ibruprofen. The zomorph was due to the severe pain following 4 previous knee ops and complications during surgery.

I went to the docs requesting to be weaned off the strong pain relief, he suggested codine 30mg 4 hourly with paracetamol. I spent a day on this and the pain went through the roof….. I feel shocking and my knee is so stiff it’s unbelievable. I was doing so very well and really don’t want to struggle in this level of pain but understand there will be withdrawals. Is this typical or not? Should I do a week of 1 10mg zomorph then switch to codine?? Your comments welcome.

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I could not imagine going back to work so soon after such major knee surgery. Also I remained on heavy duty pain medication until 12-16 weeks post op. Time, rest and physio will get you mobile however you cannot force the recovery to fit in with your schedule. Request pain relief to for as long as you need it. Hope things get easier for you.

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I went back to work at three weeks post op from a total knee replacement on a part time basis. I started off two days for 5 hours then built it up. I’m now six weeks P.O. and working three full days and a half day. I take one codeine at night and no other pain relief unless I need a naproxen during the day. Hope all goes well for you.

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What is your activity level? Are you walking without or with support? Are you on your feet a lot?

To reduce pain and swelling you may need to adjust what you are doing in terms of activity maybe?

Then you have some chance of reducing your medications.

Going back to work might be worth delaying if you have some choice in the matter?

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I had my TKR 4 months ago and I’m thinking of going back to work in a couple of weeks on phased return. I’m becoming more active now but still requiring pain relief to carry out the exercises. Initially I was on tramadol 100mg 4 X day and diclofenac. After 2 months I went on to cocodamol 30/500 x2 4 times a day and the diclofenac plus 10mg of amitriptyline on a night. I’ve cut back today but my knee isn’t comfortable so even now I think it’s too soon to cut down or stop the meds. Listen to your body, if you need them take them. I’m getting stronger everyday because I am able to do the exercises to strengthen my leg if I’m in pain I’m not going to do them therefore I won’t recover.

there is no way I would have been able to go back to work at 8 weeks, I had too much swelling go on after just walking short distances. I can walk 6 miles with just a small amount of swelling now but I still need the meds X

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I’m 4 months post and went back after 2 months but built up the time gradually. Was still taking a few paracetamol daytime and codeine at night. Full time at around 3 months and off pain meds altogether. But we are all different. Your knee will tell you when it’s ready and it won’t be rushed! Take it too quick and you’ll know about it. Good luck!

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