Sleeping on my side and getting in the tub shower?

Posted , 9 users are following.

It is 7 weeks now since my operation.  I still haven't tried sleeping on my side.  I've been stuck on my back with my upper part raised by pillows.  I suppse this is due mostly to my back pain rather than knee pain.  Do others have bad lower back pain? I can't get rid of it!  I so feel like I need help, but what is there to do?  I tried my first shower yesterday but couldn't bend my knee enough to get it over the tub height.  I made a wet mess of the bathroom!  What do others do about tall tub sides?  This forum is great!

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  • Posted

    Tall tub sides...  A step with a non-skid surface and a rail.  Also, put you good leg in first.  There are also these great suction cup handles to hold on to.  Got them on the tub rim and in the shower.  "I never get wet without them." - American Express

    The lower back pain is because you've changed the way you walk...your "gait".  Many of us have had the problem.  The most likely suspects are hip misalignment or locked SI joints.  A chiropractor can fix those in a jiffy.  Worse is sciatica which is the lower back pain PLUS shooting pain down one leg.  Believe me...get this fixed now before you pinch a nerve.  That's a whole other level of pain!!!  Read the Sciatica section in this post...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-experience-or-wish-i-had-another-kidney-stone--524499

    Anything else?  I've got 18 posts out there...lots of thoughts that many have found helpful...

    Oracle out...

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  • Posted

    Hi Debbie!

    We have a soaker tub-- purchased many years ago when we were agile and without arthritis! We wonder WHAT we were thinking!!! Anyway, try sitting on the edge and lifting your surgical leg with a looped belt. You can then lift it into the tub, rotate and get the other leg in then stand. I bought a shower stool for those first weeks after staples came out and standing in the shower was too exhausting.

    As for sleeping on your side, try laying on your back then gently crossing one leg over your body, leading with your toes. This produces a spinal twist which rests the lower back AND feels VERY restful to Sciatica, too, if you have it! I am a stomach sleeper, and I finally mastered this cross-the -leg-over technique around nine weeks. Getting g to my stomach took another three weeks due to my scar sensitivity.

    I hope this is helpful!

    You are still at the early stages of recovery and are dealing with new challenges. It will all get easier. It will.

    I love this forum, too!😊

    TKRs June and October 2015

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  • Posted

    Have you got a small step you could step onto while getting in the bath? also make it a target now to increase the bend so you can get in. If you get in and have a nice warm bath gently bending leg ,but not causing pain, just slight discomfort, it is great because all the muscles and ligaments are warmed up! Good to have a practical target too, not some silly random number.
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    • Posted

      To add, good for extension too, if your bath is near wall. I rest my straight leg on wall and with the heat it really makes for a nice stretch. You may not yet be in a place where you can sit down in a bath, but if your upper body strength is good in a few weeks time you may be able to lower yourself down if able to hold both sides of bath securely!
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  • Posted

    Debbie, you can get a bath seat (from amazon and if you've got prime, it will come the next day) which fits on the bath and overhangs on the entrance side so you sit on it and swing your legs over into the bath tub.  If you don't normally have lower back pain is it the way you're walking?  Check your gait.  Or it could be that one leg is now a different length to the other, so if it's not the gait, get that checked and adjust shoe if necessary.  I think something that could be added to hospital info is about not leaning forward when walking with crutches - I found myself doing this initially and once I was aware of it, stopped it, but if someone isn't aware, I wonder if that might cause back pain later?

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  • Posted

    Hi Debbie

    I am a side sleeper who had to use pillows to wedge myself in in order to sleep at all! The stretch Cheryl suggested is very good, I have employed similar to stretch out my lower back.

    I did start to manage to sleep on my side by about 12 weeks, usually with the unoperated leg across the other & on a pillow the other side! If that makes sense. You will find you aren't able to sleep as you used to, but with adjustment (or as my husband called it fidgeting!) you'll find a comfortable way.

    If you can maybe see a Chiropractor to help sort out the lower back issue, but as Chris said it probably is caused by change in gait. we limp due to arthritis or whatever but when the new joint is put in you will find you're walking differently. I find I'm now limping quite badly on the other leg! Just waiting to go back on the waiting list! Oh what a lot of waiting!!

    All the best

    Marilyn

    XX

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  • Posted

    I agree. Cheryl has it right. Once I got myself onto my side, sleep, back pain, attitude all were a bit better. Part was freeing myself from the ice machine and going to the freeze gel pad. 
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    • Posted

      You've reminded me of something I wondered a while back and then forgot!  I've got something called a chillow pillow and you can leave this in the fridge until you want to use it and the top surface takes the heat through to the underneath, so it's REALLY cold against your skin.  It's meant for the summer but I'm just thinking it could be useful under an operated knee!  I might just get mine out for the next knee, especially since it will (hopefully!) be late summer!

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  • Posted

    I had tkr 5 years ago.  Never had any problem with back pain but it was quite a while before I could sleep on my side again.

    Regarding showers, I do not like showers so I have a bath.

    Managed bath with a bathboard.

    Glad you find the forum helpful.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Love Sarah xxx

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  • Posted

    My back started hurting too. I started walking without a cane and find that my back hurts worse when I do this. Back to using the cane.

    I have a shower and would put the walker in the shower on one side. My husband held onto it while I used my good leg to get in first then lifted the bad leg over the rim. He would take out the walker while I hung onto the handicap bar. Put on the still and I was good for a long shower. Then he would reverse everything so I could get out.

    I tried it myself without the walker and found if I hung onto the handicap bar put my good leg in first and the operated leg second then sit on the stool. I've progressed now where I don't need the stool. I just don't know how people can lower themselves into a bath. That's a whole other level😀

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  • Posted

    Tub chair
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