What items do I need post TKR during recovery?

Posted by saeternes @saeternes, Nov 5, 2019

Please let me know which of these things you purchased for your TKR recovery, and which were the most valuable. My toilet seat now hits me at the exactly back of the knee (it's pretty tall); is that tall enough? Thanks.

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Thanks for the advice on pillows. I just set up the first week of therapy (I live in a different city from where I will get the surgery). @ellerbracke , the straight leg exercise does sound excruciating. @johnbishop I do have thigh-high compression stocking. Did you get the nylon kind or something else? Thanks again.

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@saeternes

Thanks for the advice on pillows. I just set up the first week of therapy (I live in a different city from where I will get the surgery). @ellerbracke , the straight leg exercise does sound excruciating. @johnbishop I do have thigh-high compression stocking. Did you get the nylon kind or something else? Thanks again.

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@saeternes, my doctor prescribed that I use 20 – 30 mg compression stockings to help with the swelling in my legs from lymphededema. The first time I bought them at the Mayo Store at about $80 a pair. Since then I've been ones that work just as well for me and they are a lot cheaper if I buy them online. This past year I've purchased several pair of side zippered compression socks and they are so much easier for an old guy to put on. My plan is to keep buying these as my old ones wear out. They are pretty thin so in the winter time I generally wear some other socks over them.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LDCXZZH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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The best thing I have in my home is a handicap toilet! It is several inches higher. I am shocked that handicap bathrooms and places for seniors do not have them. So easy on the knees.

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@saeternes

Thanks for the advice on pillows. I just set up the first week of therapy (I live in a different city from where I will get the surgery). @ellerbracke , the straight leg exercise does sound excruciating. @johnbishop I do have thigh-high compression stocking. Did you get the nylon kind or something else? Thanks again.

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Hope you read the remainder of my comments, that MOST people do not have the problems with leg extensions. I did not mean to scare you off, just pointing out that a pillow crosswise under the knee is a bad idea. However, I found that once in a while an extra long pillow lengthwise under the TKR leg provides some nice and comforting cushioning (or perhaps even a body pillow).

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@lk3xs: I get your wish for more extra high/handicap toilets for senior and handicap places. How about the unfortunate fact that pretty much ALL toilets in airports and some other public places are X-low? Not the most fun thing to use when you are already short on space because of a suitcase/duffel/large purse in the narrow stall with you!

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@ellerbracke

@saeternes: regarding wedge or pillows – I used pillows, putting them between the knees when laying on my side. I was warned not to use a pillow under the knee when sleeping on your back, since that will delay the progress of getting the knee extension. As far as recovery after surgery is concerned, everyone is different. For me the most excruciating part was working on leg extension. 3 to 4 times a day I had to rest my extended leg on an elevated surface (I used the sofa arm rest), and simply keep it steady and as straight as possible for 20 minutes each time. Even with an ice bag on top, and distracting myself with glorious music recordings, I came close to tears every time because of the pain. Other people had no issues, from comments I read in the past.
Good luck, get as prepared as you can, listen to your therapists, and be patient!

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I started the leg extensions laying flat on the bed with a rolled up towel under my ankle joint, or Achilles , on the affected leg. I gradually added bigger towel to roll as extension improved. I used music for my exercise routine, it helped me with reps and counting too!

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Thank you for the replies. @ellerbracke, not to worry, I did read the entire message but I do sympathize with you on the extension problem. And who knows what I will face. @lk3xs and @ellerbracke I also don't like those low toilets nor the crowded stalls! I think they have them low so kids can use them. I work out at the Y and the toilets are all low there too. @johnbishop thank you for the idea of zippered compression stockings – I will definitely look into those! Thanks everyone. Any more ideas, send my way. Did anyone take on any specific exercises pre-operation? I am working out hard on elliptical trainer and weights to build my strength.

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@saeternes

Thank you for the replies. @ellerbracke, not to worry, I did read the entire message but I do sympathize with you on the extension problem. And who knows what I will face. @lk3xs and @ellerbracke I also don't like those low toilets nor the crowded stalls! I think they have them low so kids can use them. I work out at the Y and the toilets are all low there too. @johnbishop thank you for the idea of zippered compression stockings – I will definitely look into those! Thanks everyone. Any more ideas, send my way. Did anyone take on any specific exercises pre-operation? I am working out hard on elliptical trainer and weights to build my strength.

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@saeternes Prior to my last TKR I asked the surgeon about "pre-hab". He asked me if I was exercising at all and I told him I did water aerobics and water jogging and my recumbent bike. He said "perfect!". That was exactly what he would have suggested. It really did serve me well.
I was supposed to have a TKR in February of 2015 but due to low platelet counts I was turned away by the doctor as I lay on the bed, IV in, waiting to be brought into surgery, From that point I worked hard at these exercises and by the time I had the TKR, in October 2017, my leg was feeling much better but I still chose to have it done since I knew I would eventually have to.
I would imagine the elliptical would be good also, and for me, I get better cardio out of the elliptical, but you could check that with your surgeon.
JK

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@contentandwell

@saeternes Prior to my last TKR I asked the surgeon about "pre-hab". He asked me if I was exercising at all and I told him I did water aerobics and water jogging and my recumbent bike. He said "perfect!". That was exactly what he would have suggested. It really did serve me well.
I was supposed to have a TKR in February of 2015 but due to low platelet counts I was turned away by the doctor as I lay on the bed, IV in, waiting to be brought into surgery, From that point I worked hard at these exercises and by the time I had the TKR, in October 2017, my leg was feeling much better but I still chose to have it done since I knew I would eventually have to.
I would imagine the elliptical would be good also, and for me, I get better cardio out of the elliptical, but you could check that with your surgeon.
JK

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Because of tears and detachments I wasn’t able to exercise pre op other than slow walks. I did do arm weights etc. Post op I’ve been doing recumbent bike with great success, advancing from 5 min. Up to an hour now. I do pool exercises and long walks, also keep doing my assigned knee clinic exercises. It’s been a year, and I still do those esp for stretches.havent tried elliptical as I have balance issues, I would need to be harnessed on, Ha Ha! But it’s supposed to be good too as is low impact and good cardio workout

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Thank you @glasgow46 and @contentandwell . I did recumbent bike until recently, when I started having trouble bending my knee enough to make the turn. Very strange – earlier I could not extend fully, now I cannot bend fully. The elliptical is a darn good workout, end up quite sweaty, and so far it's not causing pain. I'll be back on the bike later I am sure. I do workout on weights quite a bit to build strength . @glasgow46 an hour on the bike is great!

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