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After Knee Replacement: Managing Pain at Home

You may be given pain medicine to use at home. With pain under control, you’ll get back to an active life sooner. Use pain medicine only as directed. You may also be told to take over-the-counter pain medicines that don’t need a prescription. You may be told to use these with, or instead of, your prescription medicines. Take each dose on time, before pain gets bad. Wait about 30 to 60 minutes after taking pain medicine before starting an activity, such as physical therapy and exercise. This will give it time to start working. Tell your healthcare provider if the medicine doesn’t control your pain enough or if you suddenly feel worse. Icing and raising your leg can also help ease pain. Ask your provider about possible side effects. These may include:

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Having constipation

  • Becoming dependent on the medicine

Your surgeon may also advise some of these other treatments for your pain: 

  • Relaxation techniques

  • Massage therapy

  • Acupuncture

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (a TENS unit)

  • Continuous passive motion

Often a combination of medicine and other treatments work best.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
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