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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@JustinMcClanahan

@ellerbracke, I wish I had found a community like this when I was facing my replacement in 2006 – The pool is something I wish I had known about then to avoid the extended/rough rehab I experienced. I used a pool to assist in the rehab of my rotator cuff repair and it definitely helped me bounce back quicker. I think it would have done so for my knee as well had I tried that. Another benefit if the pool is a bit cooler is the water feels fantastic on a swollen joint.

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@JustinMcClanahan : Amen! I also wish that I would have found this great resource of information before my TKR. I suspect that like me, many people eventually end up here because of concerns or problems with the results of the surgery, or issues with the rehab afterwards. Would have been so much better to have all this information beforehand. Can’t wait to hear from saeternes how her surgery went, and if the advance preparation and knowledge made a difference. I hope so!
May I ask how long ago your rotator cuff surgery was? I had 2 of them, one on each side, and pretty much sailed through rehab. Although recovery of full strength took almost a year, in both cases I was back playing tennis after 4 months. And yes, that includes when I had the surgery on my dominant right shoulder, where they also had to cut and release one of my biceps tendons because a bone spur had worn it to a frazzle and could not be saved. Hope you’re back to full function!

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I will be having a knee replacement done in February and have seen a lot of products for after surgery. I've heard about an ice machine called Cryo and a foam block type pillow to elevate my legs. Has anyone gotten these and are they worth getting? I will have the other knee replaced later in the year also so I can use it for that one as well. I will be having a class with instructions a few weeks before the surgery so I'm sure they will have suggestions also. I will be getting a walker and cane and probably a toilet seat. Other than that I'm not sure.
Thanks
Carol

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@ktgirl

I will be having a knee replacement done in February and have seen a lot of products for after surgery. I've heard about an ice machine called Cryo and a foam block type pillow to elevate my legs. Has anyone gotten these and are they worth getting? I will have the other knee replaced later in the year also so I can use it for that one as well. I will be having a class with instructions a few weeks before the surgery so I'm sure they will have suggestions also. I will be getting a walker and cane and probably a toilet seat. Other than that I'm not sure.
Thanks
Carol

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Hi Carol @ktgirl, You will notice we moved your post to an existing discussion on the same topic where other members are discussing what devices and equipment help after TKR surgery. What helped me the most was a free standing toilet rail which I like much better than a raised toilet seat. It just slides up to the toilet and will fit in a very tight space — https://www.amazon.com/Stand-Alone-Toilet-Rail-Vive/dp/B015789VQI/. I think I would have liked something like the Cryo Cuff Cold Therapy but I went with a couple of large reusable and flexible ice packs that I could wrap around my knee with a towel. Here's a link for the Cryo Cuff – https://www.amazon.com/Aircast-Therapy-Machine-Cooler-Solution/dp/B075FF137V

A wedge pillow might be helpful. I just added a folded, heavy blanket under my mattress at the bottom of the bed to elevate my legs some. During the day I used pillows under my feet on the couch to elevate and ice the knee. Make sure you do your pre-surgery and post-surgery PT exercises faithfully along with icing and elevating after the surgery. It will make the recovery go so much better. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

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Putting items under the mattress will ruin the mattress. We made the mistake of using a phone book under the mattress for elevation as suggested by someone long ago and later discovered the mattress remained bent out of shape. Recommend no one puts items under the mattress.

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Two comments-
1. As to putting items under the mattress for elevation: avoid doing so. We put a phone directory (remember the old days?) under the mattress at someone's suggestion. It ruined the mattress- we discovered it too late. The mattress became deformed and we ended up having to purchase a new mattress.
2. As to the compression stockings- they are a pain. It was suggested putting plastic bags to slide them on helps but we didn't find it useful. I finally discovered the weave has a heel section- not easily seen but it's there. I gently marked the heel corner section with a ballpoint pen and it helped a lot. Once you get the heel part where it should be, it's easier to roll up the rest of the stocking.

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@toctoc

Two comments-
1. As to putting items under the mattress for elevation: avoid doing so. We put a phone directory (remember the old days?) under the mattress at someone's suggestion. It ruined the mattress- we discovered it too late. The mattress became deformed and we ended up having to purchase a new mattress.
2. As to the compression stockings- they are a pain. It was suggested putting plastic bags to slide them on helps but we didn't find it useful. I finally discovered the weave has a heel section- not easily seen but it's there. I gently marked the heel corner section with a ballpoint pen and it helped a lot. Once you get the heel part where it should be, it's easier to roll up the rest of the stocking.

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Welcome @toctoc. I battled with my compression socks for a few months when I was first diagnosed with lymphedema. Then I found a pair of compression socks with zippers on the side and it has made a world of difference for me. Very easy to pull on and zip up and much easier to get the heel pulled up. That's all I buy now and they are cheaper than the ones I used to buy by more than half price.

I'm thinking it might depend on what you put under a mattress and whether you have box spring, slats or plywood base under the mattress. They do make wedges designed to elevate the head or the foot part of the mattress. I can imagine putting a phone book under a mattress could cause problems, maybe because it would aborb humidity and start to mold.

Do you mind sharing what you were searching for when you found Connect?

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My surgeon has as optional equipment hand-out: this equipment: VascuTherm Iceless Cold Compression Unit. (expensive rental – minimum- 2 weeks/325 + tax cash only here in California) Unfortunately the system states I cannot post the intended video links so I suggest a search on Vimeo (nice simple video) or a much lengthier video on YouTube.
The positive side of this equipment is that you don't need to deal with ice. (We happen not to have an icemaker connected to our fridge and don't care to be running to the store to buy it and then have to store it.) The other positive side is that it includes a compression program.

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@johnbishop

Welcome @toctoc. I battled with my compression socks for a few months when I was first diagnosed with lymphedema. Then I found a pair of compression socks with zippers on the side and it has made a world of difference for me. Very easy to pull on and zip up and much easier to get the heel pulled up. That's all I buy now and they are cheaper than the ones I used to buy by more than half price.

I'm thinking it might depend on what you put under a mattress and whether you have box spring, slats or plywood base under the mattress. They do make wedges designed to elevate the head or the foot part of the mattress. I can imagine putting a phone book under a mattress could cause problems, maybe because it would aborb humidity and start to mold.

Do you mind sharing what you were searching for when you found Connect?

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As to the mattress in question, it was a spring mattress. As to what I was searching for, it was a wedge pillow. Most elevation pillows available have a bend, they aren't triangular. Since bending the knee is a "no,no" I've decided to put that item on the back burner.

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I don't think your compression socks are indicated for post-op. Take a look at the photo I've attached. They are closed toe and go way up the entire length of the leg.

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I have had 3 TKR and I used the ice machines but would use small water bottles frozen instead of ice, always having back up ones in freezer, Also one device that I can not imagine not having , it is a long strap with a loop at each end , so you can grip it with your hand and the other end goes over your foot so you can easily lift ypur leg in and out of bed or a chair. Not sure what clinical name is but it is a must. This thing was my best friend until my quad muscle was ready to take over . BEST OF LUCK

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