Post Op Total Knee Replacement. Sleeping positions.

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Hi all. I am 5 days out from my TKR and am finding sleeping on my back very difficult. I would love to know if this concerns anyone else and also is it safe to sleep on my side !!!  I imagine this will sound odd to some but am still so unsure of what I can and cannot safely do. Cheers.

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  • Posted

    I slept on my side with a pullow under my knee,that was the only way i could get comftable n able to sleep a little.it will get better.im 10 wk into tkr and im walking about with just 1 crutch now and ot as much pain.you will get there nzjenni.good luck.x
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  • Posted

    Hello.this is the info I have.

    my best friend had a hip replacement recently and her advice was she had to sleep on her back for quite some weeks. She was dreading that Information.she can not sleep on her back.she had to give up on the bed and fall asleep in her recliner.

    so me tkr thought oh no can not sleep on my back, first question asked was do I have to sleep on my back, I was advised by Physio, I could sleep in any position that was comfortable for me, and that's what I've done, it's still difficult some times to get comfortable with the pain, but my infirmation

    was you do not have to sleep on your back.

    hope this helps

     

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  • Posted

    Hello there

    I had mine done in Jan so quite a way on now. I also managed on my side with a small pillow to pad my knee and one in between my legs. This was comfortable for me.

    Hope you find this may help for you.

    Good luck and hope you have a good recovery

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  • Posted

    Hi!

    I'm never comfortable on my back either! Propping up with lots of pillows worked at first and eventually I was able to maneuver to my side. FINALLY, at 12 weeks I WAS able to get onto my stomach without my incisions hurting because I was laying on them! THAT was my first six hours of straight SLEEP. 🙌😊😁🙌

    Whatever you can manage so that you CAN sleep is a BONUS!

    Also, at first, my BEST sleep seemed to come during NAPS throughout the day. Rest when you can. It will really help all the way around!

    Wishing you continued success with your healing following surgery!

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    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl

      Just wondering if you have any tips of getting up and downstairs with my crutches. My husband has to go to work and works all day and in that time I'm on my own and can't work out a way to get them both upstairs or downstairs, any ideas would be very much appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra .. I've just stopped using crutches for steps and to go up the stop you use you good leg first then the crutches .. and for coming down you use your crutch & tkr leg first followed by you good leg .. naturally only do one step at a time so it's slow but it gets you there smile

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    • Posted

      Hi tijim

      Thanks for your quick response.

      I can get up and down but it's when I reach the bottom or top I only have one crutch. This whole tKr is getting me down. How are you coping with it?😥

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra!

      Here's what worked really well for me...

      Leave one crutch at the bottom of the stairs. Use the railing and the other crutch to get yourself upstairs. If you have a walker you can then use it to get to your bedroom or bathroom. If you don't have a walker, use one crutch to get around up there.

      When ready to come downstairs just use the railing and your one crutch as you did going upstairs. At the bottom, get your other crutch and go on your way!

      You MAY want to practice with using the one crutch FIRST when your husband is home to see if this method works for you. Be sure that the crutch and your foot go up the stairs side-by-side as you hang on to the railing with the opposite hand. This assures safety and stability.

      I got really good with my crutch method on the steps. I'm a pretty independent person, and it was nice being able to DO IT MYSELF!

      Hope this works for you!😊

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    • Posted

      I was in so much pain before my surgeries that the pain FOLLOWING surgery was MUCH LESS than before! I had a nerve block with each knee surgery and good pain management while in the hospital for three days with my first TKR and two days with my second.

      With my first TKR the BIG ISSUE for me was the "steak knife" pain from the tourniquet. The knee felt fine, but the pain where the tourniquet had been was EXACTLY like someone sticking a steak knife into my thigh!😵

      My second TKR was surprisingly uneventful even though THAT leg (right one) had always been my most painful of the two.

      Swelling was a big cause of pain for me, and it persisted in my left leg. It made getting a good bend really challenging, too.

      I discovered that opioids made me REALLY LOOPY and didn't seem to help AT ALL with swelling or pain really. I got off them at two weeks post-surgery after I was done giving myself the blood thinner shots. Ibuprofen had been my medication of choice pre-surgery so I went back to it. It worked MUCH BETTER that the Oxycodone I used with my first surgery and also better than the Hydrocodone I had with my second Knee's surgery. Swelling g was much better controlled with Ibuprofen, too!😁

      As far as pain goes, for me, getting rid of the horrendous pain I had prior to surgery was a true miracle for me. ANYTHING was better than THAT throbbing pain which began at my knees and radiated down to my ankles and then from my hurting knees up to my hips and lower back. I used to get nauseated from the pain, too. My whole body would feel like it was vibrating. AWFUL!😵

      I began feeling better right away following surgery. The "healing pain" was MUCH, MUCH less for me than anything I had endured PRIOR to surgery!

      I am now nearly 15 months post-surgery with my left knee and almost one year post-surgery with my right knee. I stood eight hours at a political rally about a month ago. My knees NEVER hurt! My LOWER BACK was killing me😵😲😰😵😲😱, but my knees felt GREAT!

      I think it is all about comparing how you felt before with post-surgery issues now. Also, every person's level of pain tolerance is different.

      I am 100% grateful for my surgeries that have put me back into my life again!🙌😊😁🙌😁 I can work out in the yard and garden for hours now without sitting down in agony every few minutes. I can shop without looking for a chair to sit on to take pressure off my knees. I can keep up with my long-legged family better than I have in decades! Dancing at our youngest son's wedding this past weekend not only was possible; it was ACTUALLY EASY and LOTS of fun. Having surgery on my knees was part and parcel of my overall gift to my family of "having Mom back again!" It was all worth it to feel normal once again.

      I will probably continue to feel arthritic pain in my OTHER joints, but my knees...they are GOLDEN!🙌😁😊🙌 (Maybe more accurate would be TITANIUM!) 😁

      Wishing you pain-free times ahead very soon! Be patient. Be positive. Distract yourself with things that keep you happy. Above all, have faith that all WILL get better!

      Keep in touch, OK?💟

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    • Posted

      Thanks once again, I wish I had as much positivity as you,although you have made me see there will be light at the end of the tunnel. I used to take ibuprofen and dihydracodiene for my pain now they have put me on just dihydracodiene. Before had my knee done i could only walk if I had had my tablets and that wasn't that far , as like you I was always looking for somewhere to sit and dreaded it when I had to get back up. The big thing with me is that I am not very good at all with pain. I took my tabs at 10.30 and went to bed and I couldn't believe that I had slept for 3hours in a row. I don't sleep well in the night. Is it good to sleep a lot after a tKr? 😇

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    • Posted

      My family would laugh at how, at first, I literally would fall asleep in the middle of my sentences! A lot of that, I think, was the crazy medications ( anesthesia, pain meds, blood thinners, etc.)! Then there were the interruptions from nurses, aides, my surgeon that would wake me when I didn't even realize I had been sleeping! Very strange!😚

      The body has gone through A LOT with a TKR! SO MUCH physical trauma! Our bodies are TRYING to help us reach equilibrium following a real assault to nerves, bone, soft tissues, etc. No wonder we try to sleep! It isn't always easy TO sleep, though! I think I might of slept just a few minutes at a time at first!

      Hospitals normally are noisy. It was pretty quiet at our hospital which is just seven years old now and is all single-occupant rooms. Even then, my body kept waking me then putting me to sleep. REALLY STRANGE!

      I remember the first night that I slept three hours IN A ROW! That was at about six weeks post-surgery. Another big milestone was at 12 weeks when I FINALLY figured out how to get to my stomach to sleep. I woke up after FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP! Amazing!🙌😁😊🙌

      My best sleep would come during the day in NAPS! Feet up, quiet, Ibuprofen working...AHHHHHH!

      Yes! Rest as much as you can! I know I did! Sleep doesn't always come as expected, but even resting with eyes closed helps. I have read that our body does its healing when we are sleeping. Our bodies are AMAZING! They know what they need!

      Wishing you many nights of restful sleep and many BONUS sleeps in the form of lovely NAPS throughout your days!💟

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra .. I've unfortunately had issue after issue with mine .. mine was caused by being run over by a truck .. on day 8 post op I fell on my operated knee full force (tripped over the darn crutches had never used them b4) split open both internal and external stitches below the knee .. had to wait an hour in a blood pool for hubby to get home .. he then rang the surgeon went and saw him asap had xrays (all was good) got readmitted to hospital for 5 days as he wanted to see how I was healing and if the swelling would go done as my foot and lower leg looked like balloons, was only allowed out of bed for the bathroom.  Surgeon ended up deciding not to go back in and restitch due to high chance of infection so they used steri strips and a vaccum bandage for drainage and I couldn't do anything for nearly 6wks waiting for it to heal other than straightening exercises.  After that I got in the full swing of exercising surgeon was so happy with my progress that I didn't have rehab or physio .. come 5mths I ended up with an excruciating hip bursitis that once again stopped me from doing anything as it was pressing on my sciatic nerve .. ended up back on narcs for pain and using a crutch again.  Have finally had 2 booster injections for the bursitis which only helped slightly and since having the bursitis I have now being having physio twice weekly and next week I start at the gym.  I ended up being the one that caused the bursitis as the exercises I was doing weren't strengthening my quads enough so my hip took on too much.  Anyway now at 11 mths po I'm now suffering still with lots of swelling which for some can be normal still got the bursitis and have finally ditched using the crutch!  Am seeing surgeon next week and hoping he says I'm right to go with the other knee .. I just want this all over and done with.  However I do have a high pain tolerance and unfortunately a tolerance with drugs so am usually put on higher doses so they work... now I'm just on 60mg of codiene if needed but I find just taking paracetamol does the same job.

      Take care and totally understand where you're coming from and so glad I live in a single storey house!

      Cheers... Tracey

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    • Posted

      Oh my God what a nightmare for you. I don't think I could have coped with half of what you have gone through but I am not a brave person. I seem to be sleeping loads during the day but not too well at night at the moment. I am just hoping that all this sleeping is doing me good. I go to the docs tomorrow to have my staples removed. Not looking forwards to it but am told it doesn't really hurt. I am so impatient to get back to normal. Look after yourself and I hope that you get there soon. Bye Sandra.😥

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra .. good luck with having your staples removed they seem to be quite common.  I had internal soluble stitches then external stitches.

      Just wanted to remind you that try not to be impatient as it will only cause you grief .. this is such a slow progress to recovery that none of us really were prepared for .. just remember that 12-18+ mths is the norm for being back to normal!  Unless you're one of the lucky ones.  But please don't push it .. I did without knowing and I am still now paying for it 11mths down the track sad 

      Take care and take it easy... Tracey smile

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracey,

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

      I understand what you are saying about the length of time that it takes to get back to normal it is not nice though is it. I will just have to do as you are saying and try to be patient. I am not quite sure what you mean about you pushed it in what way was that?.

      I am looking forward to having the staples taken out it is another thing to cross off my list and they say that it is a little easier to bend your leg after they are out hopefully it will be. I will let you know how I went on tomorrow. Take care Sandra.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra,

      In saying I pushed it I meant I wasn't having physio and was exercising on my own from a chart of exercises from the hospital and without guidance from a physio I went to hard and the exercises weren't strengthening my quads enough and I ended up with hip problems as they were wearing the brunt instead of my quads.

      Do take it easy and take care... Tracey

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracey I will definitely do what ever the doc or pt tell me to do. I broke and dislocated my shoulder last year and they had to operate because the bone hadn't gone back in the right place and I couldn't lift my arm. They had to chip some of the bone off and twist it back where it should be and then sew back the rotator cuff. I did what I was told then and now I can lift my arm right up,but that took me over a year to get it right. I have got to have faith in myself like you. Look after yourself.

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