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Tips for after Total Knee Replacement
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kathcasc posted:
In just a little over two weeks, (Feb 11th, 2013) I am going for TKR.
I am wondering if anybody can give me any tips to make things easier
when I come home. I have heard from some people that the biggest
problem they had was sleeping in a bed. They had to sleep in a
recliner for a few weeks because it was more comfortable If that is the case then I am going out to buy a recliner. I just want to be sure
I have everything that I will need to make myself more comfortable.
Any tips people have will be appreciated. I know this is a rough
surgery but I need to stay positive.
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_swank_ responded:
It's hard to sleep, period, after a TKR. That is just something you'll have to deal with. I personally wouldn't go out and buy a new chair. You're going to need to keep your leg elevated much of the time so make sure you have plenty of pillows. You'll also probably have a CPM which would be hard to put on a recliner.

Otherwise, get something to raise your toilet seat. Getting up can be very difficult. You'll also want something to sit on in the shower. Make sure you clear pathways in your house for crutches or a walker. You may also want a bedside commode.
 
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love2walk responded:
I slept in a queen size bed with lots of pillows to surround me. And yes, sometimes in the recliner. Stay positive as this will speed your recovery!
 
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kathcasc replied to love2walk's response:
Swank - I will be buying the raised toilet seat but never thought
of something to sit on in the shower. Definitely something to
look into.
love2walk - i can tell by your screen name that you must
have done quite well with the surgery. Also, you are right about
staying positive. I have heard so many times that a positive
attitude helps tremendously. I am positive but very scared.
However, it has to be done.
Thank you both
 
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2Shelties responded:
I had total knee replacement therapy in July 2011. The one thing I found to be the most important was to do the exercises that are provided to you by your Physiotherapist. As long as I was doing the exercises my leg felt stronger and the pain would decrease. As well, ice was my favorite friend. Whenever I was in a sitting position I was using ice. As far as sleeping is concerned, I put a pillow between my legs and tried not to turn over to the other side to much as this did cause pain. Otherwise, take your pain medications as prescribed as this is very important in the management of your pain and I wish you luck with your upcoming surgery. You will not be sorry for having this surgery it has been a life saver for me.
 
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wjhisd responded:
Hello, I had bilateral TKR on October 22, 2012, and today I am completely pain free. Sleeping is a problem the first month, but it will get better with time. Use pillows, try different positions, and you will be fine. Also your rehab is important, and it is important to continue stretching exercises after your rehab after surgery. I had the physical therapist provide post rehab exercises and I will do them the rest of my life. I play golf 4-5 times per week pain free the first time in 10 years. Keep in mind (my opinion only), 20% surgeon, 20% rehab after surgery, and 80% up to you. Good luck, you will be fine and very happy you are having the TKR.
 
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azpaul26 responded:
DO YOUR EXERCISES IN A POOL, IT IS EASYER AND YOU WILL HEAL FASTER
 
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kathcasc replied to wjhisd's response:
Thanks for your information. You had both knees just a lititle
over 3 months ago and are doing great. Good for you! I
agree with everything you said especially about 80% being up
to me. People have told me that if I don't go to rehab and don't
have therapy then don't get the surgery. My feeling is, if
I am going to put myself through this then I plan on following
through 100%. Thanks for your encouraging words! I am
looking forward to posting again in a few months saying how
great I am feeling. I do believe a positive attitude also helps.
 
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webley replied to kathcasc's response:
I had my rt knee replacement on 1/14/13. A little less than 2 weeks now. They told me in the hospital that my recovery was on schedule but the "quality" depended mostly on me. How much of the recovery is dependent on how much you apply yourself. If you're a highly motivated individual, you're recovery will be good.
Pain management, swelling and flexion are the most important things folks have told me are the most important when first rehabing. I'm taking ES tylenol instead of the narcotics they prescribed for me. I don't like how the narcs made me feel when I took them in the hosp.Use icing when finished your daily exercises. recovering your range of motion is also important because your body is going to want to create "scar tissue". It will naturally occur but don't let it restrict your flexion. They'll be measuring your flexion often and let you know how you're doing.
Sleeping is still a problem. I personally like my recliner for resting and sleeping. I used it when I had my ltt hip repl in 2008.When the pain lessons I hope it'll be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you have good results from your surgery. Remember, you're not alone. There are plenty of us who have either been through it or going through it.
 
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kathcasc replied to webley's response:
webley - Thank you so much. This really made me feel better
because I do not do well with narcotics. That is the one thing
that has me very concerned. I had them with a previous
surgery and reacted very poorly to them. Does the ES tylenol
take away all the pain? It is now been two weeks for you.
How is your pain level now? I don't have a recliner but will be
going out today to get one. Sleeping seems to be a problem
for so many people who have gone through this. Please keep
me posted on your progress. I still have two weeks before
my surgery but will be sure to post on how I am doing.
 
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webley replied to kathcasc's response:
the ES tylenol seems to have cut the operational pain pretty well. the main discomfort is coming from the bending and flexing involved in the rehab. I"ve been taking it pretty much around the clock to establish a base for pain management. Seems to be working for me but make sure you don't exceed the recommended daily dosage. You'll know when it's time to ese off it. Just remember, you have to manage the pain in order to do the rehab correctly. I'll b posting with you to let you know how things are going.
 
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geishagirl responded:
Had my rt TKR (with new knee cap) in April 2010. Some complications due to previous medical problems (mine hurt like hell!) so opted for a brief stay in a rehab facility with WONDERFUL PT people. I am able to walk without a cane. I also opted for aquatic therapy and started that a month and 1/2 after surgery and have maintained it twice a week for an hour each time. It works wonders, not only for the knee but all over. Use all the gadgets available, heating pad, ice, walker, shower chair, raised toilet seat (a must) shower bars, etc. This is a MAJOR surgery, takes a while to heal, and yes, it is painful, but that lessens over time. Can't stress enough, be faithful to your exercises...my sister had it done a few months before me, did not keep up with the exercises and has lost mobility. BE KIND AND PATIENT WITH YOURSELF. You will have good and bad days with it, even after it is healed, but be faithful to those exercises and good luck.
 
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geishagirl responded:
Have read some of the notes and I also was pain med sensitive, which resulted in a few "painful" days until they got the right doseage. Honestly, for me it was a bit rough the first 2 weeks but everyone is different. It is major surgery so just ride with it...it does get better! I also cooked meals beforehand and froze them and loaded up on soothing soups and herbal teas and crackers, videos, books and music. Suggest you also get a handheld shower head and a bar for your bed. All of these sold at medical supply stores. The bar aids in getting in and out of bed which was a BIG help. Are you doing any rehab PT? I know they will come in beforehand and afterwards and make sure your home is safe for your return home and give you helpful hints. Your hospital or local visiting nurses should have this service, so take advantage of it. Also, I know our surgeon had a 1/2 video which showed what the surgery would be like and what to expect afterwards. I would say educate yourself as much as possible...Good luck with it all and it does it get better. Am sending you healing energies.
 
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YoungBob responded:
See my post, YoungBob about walker use.
 
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YoungBob replied to kathcasc's response:
Please see Tip by YoungBob it may save you some grief.


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