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Old 10-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asta View Post
Thanks for all of the advice. In addition to the encouragement, I have picked up some helpful pointers. I already know how critical the PT will be but everyone is convincing me of the need to stay ahead on the pain medication. I also think I need to buy one of those toilet seat extenders that everyone is recommending.

How about the length of time before I will be able to climb stairs? My bedroom is on the main floor of our house but I just discovered a week ago that the shower pan is leaking. There isn't enough time to fully repair it before surgery so I hope to be able to use one of our upstairs showers at some point. In the meantime we are going to put silicone around the tile edges so that I can use the downstairs shower at first.

This is going to be one long week. I just hope I don't drive my family crazy with worry.
I had to practice stairs in my PT before I left the hospital after my partial and total. It's "up with the good, down with the bad". Basically, when going up stairs, step up with the leg not operated on, and bring the other one behind it. You just keep stepping up with the good leg, letting it bear the weight of moving up the stairs. When going down the stairs, step down with the leg that was operated on. The good knee bears the weight of stepping down.

The hardest part of my PT was getting to the point where I could trust the artificial knee to do its job. After five years, I didn't believe I would ever be able to do stairs normally. However, about four weeks after my last revision, I was able to walk up and down stairs normally. I'm sure my PT thought I was nuts since I burst into tears.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:00 PM   #17
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Great advice! Keep a close eye on your bowels. The first BM after surgery is the worst. Hopefully they schedule you a laxative Senna S is good, I see 2 at bedtime frequently.

Yes, stay on top of your pain meds. The more you are up and moving, the quicker you'll recover. Some people are in SO much pain before surgery, post-op is a welcome relief. DOn't be afraid to take them.

Ice is your friend. 3 parts water to one part rubbing alcohol in a ziplock baggie is perfect. It will get frozen, but with the alcohol, it will stay pliable. Knees get very swollen, and the ice seems to really help. You can wrap ice pack in a pillow case.

Wishing you a speedy recovery
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:01 PM   #18
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I climbed steps to the second floor when I got home from the hospital. It took about a week before I could descend them for the first time and about 6 weeks before I could walk down them well. Take your pain pills every 4 hours at first- I tried to tough it out and it's very hard when the pain gets ahead of you. At 5 weeks my bend was 130 and I went back to work.
My other recommendations are the same as others have said: work hard at your PT, take stool softeners and get a raised toilet seat.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by asta View Post
I also think I need to buy one of those toilet seat extenders that everyone is recommending.

How about the length of time before I will be able to climb stairs?
I might wait until you are at the hospital to get the toilet seat. Your insurance may cover it with an order.

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You can climb stairs as soon as you return home. the home PT will practice with you so that you improve your confidence...that's where Breezy Carol comes in!
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #20
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I came back to this thread to see others advice, since we are right in the middle of recovery with my MIL.

I mentioned earlier that our biggest issue has been unrealistic expectations given prior to the surgery by the doctors and PTs. And, unless there's something really off about my MIL I feel like I'm seeing it here too.

The only two people who have commented that one should be able to go up and down stairs with no issues as soon as one gets home are both PTs. Do you really expect that OP should be able to get to/from the second floor of her home immediately after surgery?

Yes, MIL was taught how to do stairs and yes she can technically go up and down (we have 5 steps to get into our house), but it is extremely difficult for her to do. Every time she leaves the house or returns (basically just to go to PT) just doing those 5 steps she is shaking, sweating, and about to collapse. There is absolutely no way even now almost three weeks out that she could get up and down from the second floor, and it would be incredibly dangerous if she tried with no one home.

Are we just completely off from the norm? Every time she goes to PT, they say she is doing very well and progressing along on schedule. She is quite overweight, so she knows that is a factor, but she's also only 53 so I would think her recovery should be easier than an elderly person.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #21
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Are we just completely off from the norm? Every time she goes to PT, they say she is doing very well and progressing along on schedule. She is quite overweight, so she knows that is a factor, but she's also only 53 so I would think her recovery should be easier than an elderly person.

You answered my question here. I was wondering how old she was. Like I said in my earlier post, I KNEW I had to be alone and take care of myself, so that could be why my recovery was easier. I also have steps I had to go up and down to get into our house. My DH was gone 10-12 hours a day and my kids were in school all day so I was on my own. My dad would pick me up for PT and then just drop me off.

I swear the drugs have a lot to do with the recovery. The first one I was on the pain killers for 7 days and then weaned myself off them and just took celebrex and extra strength tylenol. I did 100% better. For the next knee I took the pain pills for the 2 days I was in the hospital and then when I got home took the celebrex and tylenol and had an even easier time. I was driving in 2 weeks and even went to a party! The kids had places they needed to be and nobody to get them there so I was very motivated to get well!

I went back to work at 6 weeks with the first one and 5 weeks with the second one. I will say it wasn't easy going back but once again I knew I had to so that could have been the motivation.
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