A WebMD Community member says that three weeks after knee surgery, he is still taking narcotic pain medication on a regular basis for unbearable pain. He says he thought his pain would be better by now and he would be off the strong medicine. He asks other members if they've had similar experiences.
Osteoarthritis (OA) causes joint pain and stiffness for 27 million Americans. Although there are many medications and treatments to ease OA symptoms, many patients with severe OA decide to have joint replacement surgery. In fact, nearly 700,000 Americans undergo hip or knee replacement each year. Another 23,000 have shoulder replacement surgery.
Many members weighed in with their post-surgery stories. Some said that they were on narcotic medication for several months after surgery but gradually were able to stop taking it. The important thing, they pointed out, was to keep exercising and doing physical therapy, even if it was uncomfortable. Some people who had exercised often and were in good shape before surgery seemed to have quick recoveries.
Many people said that it seemed like their pain was worse at night, but they encouraged the member to be optimistic. It will get better, they said. It just takes time.
Talk to your doctor about your post-surgery pain. If your pain is really strong, you may need different medicine or a visit to your doctor.