Car travel after TKR

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Any advice on when it might be feasible to contemplate a long car journey ( as a passenger) after TKR - talking 400 give or take 50 miles ? 

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  • Posted

    Well, in New York City, it might take for four hours to go 20 blocks, but I-10 West from Abilene to El Paso at 95+ is a different story.  It's not the distance but the time you will be in one sitting position.  If you are the only passenger in the back seat and can move/stretch, that's different from being in the middle of the 3rd seat of a minivan. 

    If it gets uncomfortable, stop the car, get out and loosen up the knee.  Use some Voltaren Gel (RX in the US)...great topical anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.  Or some OTC Aspercream with 4% Lidocaine or OTC Lidocaine patches.  Or pick up an AirCast (picture) and have the knee iced for the whole trip.  Or zonk out on your meds and wake up at your destination.  Or call The Disney Company and have Wile E Coyote come over and bonk you on the head with that sledge hammer he tries to use on the Roadrunner.  Get creative!!!!

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    • Posted

      Hey, I’m in UK and would be travelling on A roads and motorway from Yorkshire England down to South coast or up to Glasgow in Scotland - so stopping would definitely be part of a normal trip pre TKR anyway but eg on motorway that can’t be spontaneous unless emergency! So usually takes us 4/4.30 hours going to Scotland and more like 6 hours  plus going South mainly because of the around London stretch and longer distance too. But we’d normally do this Scotland trip with  stop  and London with one or two so we maybe just have to plan extra stops which will of course lengthen the time overall. 

      Voltarol gel and I are old friends and I have a cryo-cuff ice wrap contraption which is my new best friend since last Tuesday and is portable.  Good leg room in front passenger seat and I’m only 1.6m tho could sit in back to put leg out fully that may make me car sick very quickly! 

      I asked because advice booklet from hospital says only do 15-20 min car trips at present so that made me think about the potential trips later in recovery. 

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  • Posted

    6 weeks after surgery I traveled in a pickup truck 120 miles and my knee was not happy with me.  I had ice but didn't have a place where I could put my knee up.  I think if I had been the only passenger in the back seat of a car or van it would of been ok (with the ice) 

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    • Posted

      Thx - see my reply above, yes it’s the long time in car that concerns me and when to do this I was thinking 6-8 weeks post op. I’d not thought about taking my icing contraption with me so that’s a good idea I think. 
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  • Posted

    ....... I think only you can answer that by judging how you feel with other everyday activities .I think I would be wanting to be at the walking with one crutch stage and able to more or less straighten and get 90 deg bend. Also not generally feel in too much pain while sitting around all day long. I think you would want to stretch and bend it every hour or two during the journey as well but otherwise I don't see it being a real problem.

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  • Posted

    Hi Celtic Chic,

    How long since surgery??

    Can you stop for breaks?

    Small Irish roads or motorways?

    Just asking, trying to help, but there are a lot of variables to consider.

    If it were me, stopping for a break is key.

    Hope you're going somewhere really nice.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

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  • Posted

    I had TKR in September of 17. It waa recommended to me that I stop every 1.5 hours, regardless of driving or passenger, to get out and property stretch and walk on my knee. They said I should do this forever when traveling. At the time, I was looking at a 3500 mile driving vacation with a friend. I often go for 1.5 to 2 hour trips and by the end of those, I am more than ready to get out for a couple minutes to properly stretch my knee.
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    • Posted

      Thx,  other medical issues mean we quite often need to stop for my husband when we travel together anyway so sounds like we need to basically mentally adjust how long it’s gonna take us to do trips from now on!
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  • Posted

    This is a long journey even for a person in perfect health so consider the following . How do you feel yourself are you able to sit for a reasonable time with your knee bent .. can you sit up front and have extra leg room ..you will need to stop a few times to stretch. . Stay hydrated make sure pain is controlled..take ice pack if you need to ...So only you know if you can do it but be prepared for the journey...there is nothing that says you can't do it ....good luck

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  • Posted

    I think it would be ok as long as you can sit in the back and keep your leg elevated, can ice regularly, and take breaks.  After a couple of weeks.  Of course it depends on your pain level and how you are feeling -- everyone is so different.  I took a 4 hour airplane flight at 3 weeks post surgery and was fine, but I know that was probably not what everyone would be able to do.  I took a 5 hour car trip 2 weeks after surgery to repair my broken knee cap, too.   I just relaxed in the back seat.
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    • Posted

      I get terribly car sick in the back plus I would think it might be tricky with seat belt? But we do have a roomy front seat for someone my height - couldn’t elevate but could stretch right out. Will see how next couple of weeks go before I make any definite plans I think! 
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