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Over-Icing
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lzuzek posted:
just had bi-lateral knee replacement and the evening of about post-op day 7 or 8, still in hospital (long story), set myself up with ice under/over, then blankets atop, laid back and promptly fell asleep. 3 1/2 hrs later, nurse came into room for someone else, turned on light which woke me. In a panic about the fact that the ice was still ICE - ie still very cold - I got myself up and went for a double lap walk 'round the nurse's station (about the farthest I could manage at that point) in hopes of getting blood circulating again, nurse just shrugging her shoulders, not having anything useful to advise or caution.

Well, as one would expect, all that night during trips to bathroom the knees felt virtually FROZEN stiff and straight. Unfortunately, that sensation only worsened over following day, night, next day and night as well and now on 3rd day, in spite of arudous work on therapy and exercise to try to get back to where I'd left off in my progress, I am still feeling like it is 1st day post-op and that all my previous work and progress has been for naught. Worse, as I've tried to research "over-icing", frostbite, hypothermia, I get nothing specific to my situation but scary info about potential effects of depriving a part of one's body, arteries, veins, bones, ligaments, joints, tissue (even under normal circumstances) of blood and oxygen for such an extended period of time.

Not only that, my thoughts turn to the caution against using a pillow under one's new knees for fear they'll "freeze" or scar tissue will form around a BENT form. I mean, a little ol' benign, soft, room-temp pillow can have that effect, so is it far-fetched to fear that ice will have quite literally "frozen" my leg straight? My bend capability, range of motion, agility in general, had all reached a MUCH higher pinnacle from dedicated and diligent work at my therapy, and now, can barely bend at all without tears streaming and while walking LOOKS quite good and normal (after all, the legs are pretty straight), the pain and heaviness and rigidity of the whole knee area is like carrying around a big bowling ball. I just keep at the work and hope for the best at this point. But it seems no matter how hard I work, each time I treat myself to rest and immobility for even an hour or 2, when I get up again, it's like day 1 post-op all over again.

Any thoughts? similar situations? similar experiences? advice? Anything would help.
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1wareaglefan responded:
Hello, I don't know why no one has responded to your post. Try going to bonesmart.org and asking your question. It's a very active and helpful website for knee replacements.
 
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JudithKi responded:
Hi, I think you may have scared youself. When i had my knee the nurse made me sit for 2 1/2 hours with an ice machine cuff around my knee and when I asked to go back to bed and take it off she kept saying to leave it on. You will find for the first few weeks it feels like you have a wide thick rubber band around your knee and it will get stiff and sore and I found mine would swell when I did too much. Give it time and a chance to heal it takes months of work and pain, you were game getting them both done at once. i need my other one done but after going through a hip and knee replacment in the last 18 months am too scared and had enough....Good luck
 
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Bal M Rajagopalan, MD responded:
Hello,

The coolness may be due to anemia. With bilateral knees, your complication risk is tripled. So it is important that your surgeon and internist see you to rule out anything worrisome. Best case scenario is it will be very dificult to have bilateral knees done so the rehab will be intense.
DR RAJ MD,FRCSC
www.drhipandknee.com


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