Back pain after knee surgery

Back pain after knee surgery is one of the common complains that patients do to knee replacement surgeon when they go for their follow up visit.

Have you done that? I remember my mom used to tell same thing to me quite often following her knee arthroscopy few years ago.

Surgery usually is not a causative factor for back pain but as patient feels the severity of back pain after knee surgery has increased they relate it to surgery.

Knee replacement surgery has been performed for last many years as a successful treatment of knee arthritis problem and has been one of the main stay for patients for whom all other treatment alternative did not give any benefits.

Let us see why it happens and weather it is a serious concern or issue for patient or a doctor.

From my experience as a Physical therapist I have to say following things about this issue!

back pain after knee surgery

What causes back pain after knee surgery?

  • Be it any kind of surgery that is Knee replacement surgery, arthroscopy, cartilage replacement or acl surgery, before surgery patient must be given anesthesia.
  • And when spinal anesthesia is given this situation can flare up because so many times it can puncture the nerve or flare up the existing back pain situation.

  • Also following surgery patient has to lie down in a bed for long time which could be another reason why patient s complain about back pain after knee replacement surgery.

  • Before surgery patient was having waddling gait where in he bends from side to side to propel forward. But once surgery is done his mechanical imbalance caused by deformed joint is gone and realigned joint and limb position can stretch the sciatic nerve which can lead to sciatica.

  • Another problem which I personally see is psychological too. Before knee replacement surgery patient had more of a knee pain so his back pain was masked under the heavy influence of knee arthritis pain. But once knee replacement surgery is done that knee pain is vanished and so the previously existing back pain resurfaces.

  • Sorry to say but patient expectations following knee surgery are also so higher that they would not accept any kind of pain in their body.

Treatment for back pain after knee surgery

Although not a major concern it could be easily treated with following approach:

Personally I would say if it is not a major pain issue and you can bear it try to bear it and avoid some kind of anti inflammatory medicines.

But if your pain threshold is so less or if you want to be absolutely pain free then you can take some medicines.

Also physical therapy sessions can help you with your back pain after knee surgery in the same way as if you never had knee replacement surgery.

And do not forget to do some self mild heat therapy at home.


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Please if you have a real life experience or you liked what I have shared with you here please comment in comment section so that other people who read this can get benefited.

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