sleeping on your side

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hello folks

at the risk of sounding really silly, i would like to pose a few questions.

How do people sleep on their sides?

Operated leg or not? Knee bent or straight?

How soon did you feel comfortable on your side?

I long to sleep on my side but i am afraid of hurting my new knee. I still see my knee as some alien object and not part of me at all. It makes me nervous to try anything new. Any comments or suggestions most welcome.

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  • Posted

    Relax Sally! There are no stupid questions. And there are no pat answers either. Everyone has a unique experience; even each knee is a different experience. This knee took longer before I could sleep on the operated side (10 weeks). Last time it was about 5. I have slept for at least 10 years with a body pillow between my legs. It works well.
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  • Posted

    I am 3 weeks post op, and I am at 77 degree bend. I have started to sleep on my side with my knee bent and tkr knee down with a body pills between them.. I have got the best sleep since surgery since I have been able to do this.
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  • Posted

    You will not hurt your knee and, yes, it is part of you now. Sleep the way it feels good and listen to your body and you will be fine.

    Best,

    Mary

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  • Posted

    No silly questions, Sally. 1st of all, you won't hurt the knee. I fell and broke my femur the day after my revision and the prosthesis was solid as a rock.

    Sleeping on your side is just a matter of comfort. I think most on here will tell you it takes awhile. As for me I have always gotten along better with the bad leg down and a thin pillow between the knees. Knee to knee contact is very painful. You didn't say how long ago you had surgery but for most sleep is the most difficult part of the journey. The normal stages of sleep seem to come in 1-2 hr sessions. Then comes pain then awake. As I have said many times, my recliner became my best friend and soul mate. 1-2 hrs in bed and the next 3 hrs ice, elevation, pain meds and recliner. Its really just a matter of what you can tolerate. Just get some rest. The body needs it to heal properly. Keep asking questions and those on here will be more than happy to help

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally,

    My op's a bit different from most, I had a patella relocation, lateral release, capsulorrhaphy and arthroscopy. I was sleeping on my side at about 5 weeks.

    I found sleeping on either side was ok, but I preferred to sleep on the operated side so that I could bend my good leg forward to support my body position (my operated leg didn't bend very well). Whichever side I slept on I had the upper leg forward and resting on a pillow.

    I actually found it easier to sleep with a pillow on either side of me at thigh level so I could turn without the hassle of moving and resettling the pillow, but I could only do this as we have a king sized bed. I pretty much cornered the market in a variety of pillows to help me get comfortable!

    Jodi - 9 weeks post op

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  • Posted

    I would love to sleep on my side but have found it is too uncomfortable, even with a pillow between my knees. Maybe I'm using the wrong type of pillow. Both my knees are still swollen from the bilateral TKR. It's just not comfortable. I'm six plus weeks out. Sometimes I can lay on my side for a bit, but I haven't been able to sleep like that. When I do fall asleep, it's on my back and only for a couple hours, then I walk around for a bit  and then try again. I've given up on a full night's sleep, going to bed with that mindset has helped a lot. I plan on an up and down night and have something  to read or listen to by my bedside. 
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    • Posted

      You are about par for the course. I use a pillow less than 2 " thick, just enough to keep the knees from banging but not enough to throw the leg and hip out of alignment. Sleep in a comfortable, long term position will probably be the last part of the healing process.
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    • Posted

      It's an old packed down toss pillow I found laying on a shelf. Not very thick and definately doesen't have much give to it. I have even folded a small towel. The main thing is just enough to keep the knees from rubbing together and not throwing the hip in a bind.
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  • Posted

    Sally, I was finally able to sleep on my side at about 5 weeks post op.  It was my right knee that was replaced.  I slept on my left side, good leg down, pillow on top of that leg, and surgical leg on top of the pillow.  It was the only way possible for me.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sally, I am 18 weeks post TKR. I have only been able to sleep on my side for about a week. I start the night with a dense pillow between my legs and lie on the good side. Then I wake and sleep on my back with the pillow under my knee. Then I wake and sleep on my bad leg with the pillow between my legs. Then I kick the pillow out and sleep on my tummy. I do that all night! 

    Caz x

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  • Posted

    Hi, I use a bean bag cushion.  Very comfy.  
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