And welcome to One Care Medical Center, an international orthopaedic hospital in Coimbatore. My name is Dr Salam and I am a full time practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Coimbatore.
In this blog post we are going to discuss on pain post a knee replacement procedure.
For most patients undergoing a total knee replacement procedure, the pain usually completely subsides by 3 to 6 months after the procedure. However, a small proportion of patients will have persistent bothering pain even after 6 months. Interestingly, as much 10 to 34 percent of all patients seem to complain about persistent pain!
The very aim of the knee replacement surgery is pain relief but this objective is sometimes not met. Interestingly in older people, the persistence of pain can affect their social relationships severely leading to social isolation. Not just this, the persistence of pain post procedure can also affect employ-ability for the patient.
Research had revealed that there are certain risk factors for developing chronic pain. These include
A. The presence of poor mental states like anxiety and depression
B. The presence of chronic pain elsewhere in the body
C. Lastly pain catastrophizing, believing that anticipated pain will be much more severe than it actually is.
However, research also seems to suggest that, the type of surgery, implant type and duration of surgery seem to have little impact on long term pain outcomes.
One thing is clear though, you never want to undergo a repeat and/or revision surgery for chronic pain especially after total knee replacement!. However, in exceptional cases were the implant is misaligned or loosened a revision surgery is recommended. Revision surgery for unexplained pain is clearly NOT INDICATED!
Management of Chronic pain
There are host of chronic pain management strategies for patients suffering from intractable pain. However, it’s not just the management of pain that is the issue. Patients in pain frequently need constant support from loved ones. There is a definite risk of isolation, more so with increasing age of the patient. A multidisciplinary team based approach to pain management is exceedingly important.
A variety of pain medications do exist and can provide some temporary relief for patients. However, the true challenge lies with older patients who may just accept pain as a normal part of ageing and refuse/deny treatments.
A combination of physical therapy, psychological counselling and pain medications can help a large number of patients successfully overcome persistent pain symptoms in the long run
I hope you enjoyed reading the short article on pain after knee replacement. If you know anyone suffering from chronic pain after a knee replacement surgery, get in touch with us. We will definitely help!