Be Prepared - for home

Posted , 10 users are following.

Those of us post-op (4 wks TKR) are now experiencing the ups and downs. There is a mass of good advice on this forum but for those of you facing surgery I thought I would share some thoughts for when you get home.  I tried to think of every scenario that might affect me (Army training) but failed !

1.Tiredness.  I am tough and fit but I was totally unprepared for the level of exhaustion I felt. Poor sleep in Hospital didn`t help, but at home every little thing became a major epic leaving me wiped out. My mood was up and down for a few days too. I even had a bout of unexplained tears, which passed but was very unsettling.

2.Toilet.  You will not make it in time!  Get sorted before going home, especially crucial is nightime - you don`t want to be struggling to get out of bed a few times in the night. You should be drinking a lot - there is a load of stuff to flush through and if you have a lot swelling, like me - well, it has to go somewhere!  Arrange your receptacles now.

3.Sleep.  Forget it!  Nights will be broken and disturbed . Have your own bed and room if possible so you can read, fidget and thrash about on your own. ( see 2 !). Otherwise a partner will go through the whole thing with you.

4.Furniture.   It will all be wrong! Too low, too soft, wrong shape, wrong size, no firm handholds etc.  For a while you will need to elevate your leg so you want a sofa you can lie on( and get off). Heavy swelling needs your leg to be above your heart for a good while.   Arrange tables around you with absolutely everything you might need (see2 !)

5 Worry.   Don`t get fixated on any of those ROM numbers - needless worry. Measure your bending by eye or invent a piece of cardboard. The key is progress. Keep a note every day, that way you can look back and see how well you are doing. Same with swelling - you may think it isn`t changing but if you measure and record , voila! - you will see the difference.

Everyone out there will have their own tales to tell and ,it`s true , there will be times you want to saw your leg off . But stick with it - the horror stories are few and after a while you`ll start to feel good again.

Good luck one and all ( don`t forget 2 !)

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    All good ideas, Tony!  Just a few of my own. 

    1. toilet: Do get one of those over the toilet things which makes it higher, and especially if you are a woman. We have to sit down much more than men do, and getting up can be very difficult, especially if there is nothing to hold on to.

    2. It's hard to move things around in the early days when you are trying to use two crutches.  An over the body LARGE bag can be very useful when you want to take something with you from one place to another. . books, tablets, hairbursh . . whtever)

    3.  If you can get a trolley or borrow one from someone, it is wonderful to use as a support while taking that much needed cup of tea with you.  there isn't always someone willing, or around, to do this for us. . . 


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    • Posted

      Whoops, that went off before I had finished!

      Drugs.  If you have a nasty, horrible consultant like mine, who thinks that after day three you should be perfectly happy with three paracetamol a day, dig you toes in and INSIST on getting proper pain medication, it's essential to help you do the necessary  physiotherapy and to make life bearable.  On the flip side, remember that most of these really good pain illers are addictive, and you will need to come off them gradually when you are finally over the worst of the post op period.  

      Above all, remember that although this takes time, in the very vast majority of cases, in the end it is worth it. . . . 

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  • Posted

    Well said Tony 😀😀😀🐌🐌

    I like you was determined 2 recover in record time !!!!

    No way slowly slowly. Lots of exercises, highs lows , and tears .

    But there is a future with your new Alien 🚴🚴🚴🙈🙈🙈

    Take care


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  • Posted

    Good ideas Tony. I have a few more to add to the list.

    1. Get a toilet seat riser and shower stool. Makes independence so much easier.

    2. Have a list of friends that can drive you to PT until you can drive on your other.

    3. Make and freeze meals before surgery. You won't feel like cooking, and it's so important to eat healthy during your recovery.

    4. Rest whenever you need-getting a good night's sleep isn't likely for the first few months .

    5. Most important, remember your condition is temporary. I am 4 months post TKR, and can finally say that it was all worth it. Best of luck, and  remember to check this forum with any questions. It's an  amazing place to go for support!

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  • Posted

    Excellent.  Couldn't have said it better myself 

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  • Posted

    And get loose leg shorts

    I love this post! Yup, very good!


    You go, Tony...

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    • Posted

      I had a pair of velvet jogging bottoms. . loose leg, easy to pull on and off . . anything with wool made my skin really painful . .not on the scar, but where the nerve endings were playing up.  Mostly, just go for comfort over everything, and damn fashion.  Maybe shoes a bit bigger than usual too .  my foot was VERY swollen for weeks.
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  • Posted

    Very well said, and junny too b so true
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  • Posted

    Good luck with your seem to have a good handle on the situation...

    and a great sense of humor. Keep up the good work!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi everyone

      I no longer count the weeks because I am now in love with my TKR...whenI flex I cannot go as far as the knee I came with but far enough it is. Impressive...had I been born fifty years earlier, things would be mighty different.

      Pillows, enough pillows to get those tkr above your heart ..lie in bed propped up...and putcagel ice pack beneath and another on top or both sides, add a towel on the telly, read a book, enjoy Patient...after an hour slide the neoprene compressiob sleeve or do your ROM

      warm hugs


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    • Posted

      Good advice and positive points from everyone, thanks.

      Now, back to the toilet seat thing. I am sure this is overlooked but it makes life so much more bearable.   After experiencing the adjustable, over- the - toilet seat I recognised that, at 6ft 2in (and devastatingly handsome) falling off the toilet would seriously dent my image ! installed.....comfort and safety, with street cred intact !

      Another ` must have ` item - a long shoehorn - vital for the Gucci slippers.

      Must dash, the servants are bringing afternoon tea.  Stay bendy everyone........bye for now.

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    • Posted


      you are a hoot.  Back to toilets.  I have one that is chair height, and at 5'3" it's perfect except that it misalignes colon so it's more difficult to have an "environmental" moment with the ease of  a regular commode.  I have enough mobility that I can use either.  .this is just for your Gee Whiz file

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