Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Upcoming Bilateral Knee Replacements

I am scheduled for bilateral knee replacements on march 16th. Would like to hear from anyone who has had this surgery. My greatest fear is the pain/discomfort the first few days after surgery. I am already on 2 or 3 vicadin a day for low-back pain (spinal stenosis). Since my body is not "narcotic naive", i'm very concerned about how well the pains meds I receive after surgery will work. Any input on experiences regarding bilateral knee replacements would be greatly appreciated.
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replied February 16th, 2005
Active User, very eHealthy
The surgeon and anestesia department should be telling you about how they will control your pain in the first few days of healing after surgery.

You should have something called a pca (patient controlled analgesia) pump installed on your iv and you will be given a button to push when you need extra meds for pain relief. You will be getting morphine sulphate already but you can add a bit extra every 6 to 8 minutes and the nurses can give you a bolus dose if necessary, as long as the doctor authorizes you to have the bolus dose of this powerful pain med.

After several days on the pump, you will be taken off that and given percocet tablets or something similar for pain. Vicodan isn't going to touch the pain you are getting ready to experience. The final outcome is what will make this all worth it.

Good luck and press on hard and heavy! Dont be afraid of the pain, your doc is there to control that, you just have to tell them if you are not being relieved.
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replied February 16th, 2005
Thanks Much!
Thanks for your reply! The docs have told me that they'll do everything they can to keep me comfortable - so i'll be sure and tell them if i'm not!! They haven't told me specifically what pain meds they use (beside the morphine pump). I will call their office and ask that question.
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replied February 16th, 2005
Active User, very eHealthy
No problem and remember, you are going to have pain. They cannot take it all away but they can help it.

You have a very long road ahead and you are going to be really, really, really, sore! Each day should be better then the day before and then you will be all better and ready to get your back fixed.

If you can take percocet, that is what I would recommend you ask your doctor to prescribe for you, for post operative pain control. 10/325 is the dose I would ask for becuase there is less tylenol in that, you can take 2 every 4 to 6 hours and not worry about od'ing on the tylenol.

Again, good luck and get better! :d
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replied February 16th, 2005
Thanks Again!
Thanks again for your good wishes. I do expect to be sore. I've had a couple of major foot surgeries (fusions) but after those surgeries, I didn't have to try to use my feet right away. They were put in a a cast and left alone to heal - so i'm sure the movement that i'm going to have to do will be a whole new ballgame. With one of my foot fusions - the donor site where they took bone out was the only place I had really bad pain. The other fusion went very smoothly. I guess remembering that terrible pain is what's scaring me - but then I also keep reminding myself that in a few days - I was much better. I guess i'll find out how tough I really am.

My 33 year old daughter had a hip replacement yesterday at the same hospital i'm going to and her os is one of the docs that is replacing one of my knees. It was a first-time experience with us for that particular hospital or doc. While she was pretty uncomfortable for awhile yesterday - all she had to do was speak up and they could give her more pain meds very promptly. The morphine pump was not taking care of her pain. I've spoken with her a couple of times today and she's doing much better and had been up and taken a shower. She feels she's getting excellent and compassionate care so I guess that's all any of us could ask for. Her experience is making me a bit less fearful. Also - now i'll know to ask for percocet 10/325. I'm taking notes with me to the hospital in case i'm not thinking very clearly. Thanks again!!
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replied February 16th, 2005
Thanks Again!
Thanks again for your good wishes. I do expect to be sore. I've had a couple of major foot surgeries (fusions) but after those surgeries, I didn't have to try to use my feet right away. They were put in a a cast and left alone to heal - so i'm sure the movement that i'm going to have to do will be a whole new ballgame. With one of my foot fusions - the donor site where they took bone out was the only place I had really bad pain. The other fusion went very smoothly. I guess remembering that terrible pain is what's scaring me - but then I also keep reminding myself that in a few days - I was much better. I guess i'll find out how tough I really am.

My 33 year old daughter had a hip replacement yesterday at the same hospital i'm going to and her os is one of the docs that is replacing one of my knees. It was a first-time experience with us for that particular hospital or doc. While she was pretty uncomfortable for awhile yesterday - all she had to do was speak up and they could give her more pain meds very promptly. The morphine pump was not taking care of her pain. I've spoken with her a couple of times today and she's doing much better and had been up and taken a shower. She feels she's getting excellent and compassionate care so I guess that's all any of us could ask for. Her experience is making me a bit less fearful. Also - now i'll know to ask for percocet 10/325. I'm taking notes with me to the hospital in case i'm not thinking very clearly. Thanks again!!
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