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Pain Meds Aren't The Answer

Submit an Entry: I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement...

By Marge Ragz

Updated February 10, 2012

What Made You Decide to Have Knee Replacement?

I have had two knee replacements, a year and a half apart. The arthritis in my knees had created a "bone on bone" situation, and the pain was unbearable. Before the first knee I spent hours in physical therapy strengthening my legs. I often thought it was ridiculous, but it paid off. I had full range of motion within the first week and practically no pain.

What Were You Not Prepared For?

I let the second knee go for quite a while and started to live on narcotic pain killers (especially vicodin). Even though taking a pill relieved some pain and actually gave me a lift, they also threw me into a deep depression. I told the doctor I am easily addicted to pain meds, and he gave me dilaudid, but the depression returned. Now, after the second replacement, (and I didn't spend as much time on the exercises beforehand). I have somewhat more pain but refuse to take the pain meds. I find the knee very stiff. I have a recumbent bike and ride 30-40 minutes a day, but the stiffness continues.

Lessons Learned

  • For me--don't rely on pain meds unless I want to have to deal with depression. I think I'd rather live with some pain.

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