Sleeping positions

Posted , 11 users are following.

hi again. I will be 5 weeks on Saturday tkr.  I had physio yesterday and my bend is only 62 degrees. This has been hard to achieve due to my sensitivity to many drugs, but I am hoping that I have finally got them sorted now.  Despite this I am doing my exercises & walking in the house without crutches. BUT sleep is still a massive problem.  The physio told me yesterday I am not sleeping in the correct position & therefore twisting my knee during the night.  She told me to put a pillow between my legs for support.  I think I have just had the worst nights sleep yet in trying to achieve this!!! As my husband is away at the moment, I have the whole bed to myself, please please can I have your thoughts & experiences!! Many thanks x

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  • Posted

    I actually went and bought a single bed, for my recovery period, I'm 3 weeks this coming Friday, there is no way I could have slept in the marital bed, with this pain going on, . I also got a (can't think what you call it) but it is a bit like a deck chair but just to lean on, you put it on the bed , and then pillows, a back rest I guess, . I used that for the first week to stop me rolling, now I either lie on my back with 2 good pillows, or turn on my side,(I had right side done) so turn on right side, keep operated leg straight, and I put other leg bent, right over straight leg , so basicley recovery position, then I go from that to back, approx every 2 hours, if my leg is stiff.  give it a little massage, quite often I need to get up for a wee, and even that serves a purpose cause it loosens the knee for another couple of hour,. I no it sounds like I'm up and down like a yo yo , but I'm really not and my quality of sleep is very good..hope this may help
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  • Posted

    Sorry you are having so many problems with this.

    What I did was to have apillow underneath my knee rather than between them. I also used to put ice on my knee when I woke in the night.

    If you can, I think it is probably better to sleep on your back

    I have got used to this now but it was not easy at first.

    I had TKR 3 years ago so trying to go back and remember the things I did.

    It may help if you can find something like a grocery box and put yur leg through it, so that it acts like a cradle they used to use in hospitals to keep the weight of the bedclothes off your knee. Again this only really works if you are sleeping on your back.

    Hope this improves for you.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Praying for you

    Love Sarah xxx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Sarah. I think it's just the stiffness that causes the pain, like an extreme dead leg!! I am trying to rest during the day at some point too but concious that I might not sleep at night if I do!! Take care, Karen x
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  • Posted

    I moved to the other side of the bed so my op leg was bent, flat on the mattress and the left leg bent slightly behind it.

    I am sensitive to many drugs and my GP gave me CoDydramol 500/10 a pretty basic medication post op but very effective. I was cutting down from 4 weeks and only increased after a car crash. Finally off them all together by 12 weeks

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  • Posted

    Hi Kmcg I am 4 months post TKR on right leg and a 71 year old lady.  Like Mandy I also chose to sleep alone and my husband moved into another bedroom.  I was told by surgeon and physio to sleep on my back for six weeks and used a V pillow on top of an ordinary one to stop myself rolling onto my side.  Once I was able to sleep on my side I too chose the recovery position so legs are never ever resting on top of each other.  Owing to MS my bladder is weird so always get out every two hours but as Mandy comments this is a positive thing because the knee/body gets a chance to move around and not become mega stiff.  Trust me when I say the first six weeks are the worst but from that stage on lots of improvements begin to occur, some of them are tiny and hard to notice but they are there I promise.  Good luck with your continued recovery.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Camper.  I will be 5 weeks tomorrow, so am hoping thinks will start improving really soon.... It's certainly not from the lack of trying!!! Take care, Karen x
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  • Posted

    I also sleep in the recovery position with help of pillow.  I  moved hubby out to spare room as I knew I would be uncomfortable for most of the night, even at 10 weeks I still wake every two hours.   I visited the physio yesterday and we discussed this and she believes that your body is telling you to move otherwise your leg will get very stiff.   
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    • Posted

      Thanks Hazel.  Fortunately/unfortunately my husband works away, so is away some of the time, then back again!! I have to say though I don't think either has made any difference, other than if he is here, I get lots of encouragement & cuddles when I am sore & frustrated in the night & that certainly helps!! Take care, Karen x
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  • Posted

    Hi there, sorry you are going through a tough time sleeping - its been a problem for me since the very start (to be honest Ive never slept particularly well....) and even now, 10 1/2 weeks post TKR, I often see every hour during the night - e.g. last night I settled down to sleep at 12.15, and woke at 1.15, 2.00, 3.45, 4.30, 5.30, and 7 am!! I keep a diary of daily activitis and exercise, and also sleep habits, buit I havent seen any particular pattern....

    For me, I cant even sleep in a bed - Ive tried a few times,but my knees "flop" to the sides too much - not only the TKR side, buth the unoperated one now has severe Osteoarthritis, and is causing me as much pain as the TKR....so I sleep on the sofa, on my back, with the back of the sofa keeping one knee in place, and a memory foam therapy pillow wedging the other one in place. I have a feather pillow under my TKR knee, from just under my bum cheek (sorry eek) all the way down - I find this moulds to my leg and supports my knee really well. Sleeping with a pillow BETWEEN my knees, as your Physio advised, has proved really uncomfortable for me, as has sleeping on my side. As for sleeping on my front - no chance! I also spoke to my GP, and she prescribed a low dose of Amitriptyline (10mg) which acts as a slight sedative and also calms down nerve pain. 

    I think, out of all the nasty things that TKR brings us, sleep deprivation is right up there as one of the worst.

    You really are still in the early days, and it can be really daunting trying to cope with everything all at once - pain that youve never had before, odd sensations which you wonder are normal, physio, exercises - to try and do all this on very little sleep can be tortuous. Do you nap during the day? I think its important, especially in the early(ish) days, to rest and sleep whenever you can. Here comes the TKR Mantra - "Dont stand if you can sit, dont sit if you can lie down, and dont be awake if you can be asleep!". I know we have to balance a lot of activities, and keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time, but rest is the absolute number one priority for healing. 

    Well, if Ive not bored you to sleep with all that, Id like to wish you well, and I hope you find what works best for you. Keep popping on here, if you cant sleep you will often find one of us lurking around in the wee small hours.

    Take care of yourself

    Terri xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Terri.  I am now on amitriptyline too, although only for the last 2 days so I know they need to get into my system more.  I seem to be more settled with the morphine too, but taking extra anti sickness pills(& stuff for the constipation too)!!! It's a vicious circle! Take care, Karen x
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  • Posted

    I found a thinner pillow, or even a folded bath towel was easier for me to handle than a full size pillow. The regular bed pillow caused me to have hip and back problems. It seems it's always a matter of what's right for you but at least you've gotten a starting point to work from. Sleep turns out to be the ongoing issue, that's why resting during the day is so important. We have to get rid if some of those old social moors that tell us that unless we are busy, busy, busy we are going to turn into a pile of dust on the sofa and our obits will tell the world we died as a lazy good for nothing.have patience, sleep will come eventually. My recliner aS and still is my best friend. As soon as t he night time pain hit I was up, grab a pain pill and the ice pad, a warm blanket and head for my chair to get my leg elevated a n d then try forv2 orc3choirs sleep there before heading back to bed. Drive my wife nuts for awhile till she fully and finally understood the ramifications of deep, unforgiving pain. After years of his and all my surgeries she just ignore me and sleeps through my problems
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    • Posted

      Thanks oldfatguy. I wish I had looked into a recliner chair before the op, my mum has one, but needs hers more!! I still ice at least 3 times during the night & it seems to help deaden the pain each time for a short while!! Take care, Karen x
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