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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

getting in and out of a bath

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by keith55, Jun 1, 2012.

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  1. keith55

    keith55 Junior Member

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    Thanks lh25 - but of course not everyone's recovery experience is the same.
    From another forum someone commented:

    "It will be very difficult to care for yourself straight out of the hospital, partly because of drowsiness from the pain meds, and partly because you will be on crutches and unable to carry anything, and it will be too painful to stand up for more than a few minutes at a time. Stairs and bathtub ledges pose a danger, as you will only have one leg you'll be able to stand on and thus can't transfer your weight very safely.(Forget using any area rugs - they are a real tripping hazard.) It can be hard to get to the bathroom quickly enough, so a bedside commode might be needed. It would have to be emptied and cleaned, something you won't be able to do during the week or so you need the commode."

    Fortunately my bathroom is right next to my bedroom. My sister cannot come to support me during recovery owing to her own health problems. Others on this website have told me I'll be able to look after myself but that is not the story above.
     
  2. keith55

    keith55 Junior Member

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    A general point which is not aimed at anyone in particular - nobody is perfect least of all me.

    I do wonder if some posters on this website suffer from "optimism bias".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimism_bias

    A sort of "yeeha" go for it - in fact why not have all your other joints replaced at the same time to save too many hospital visits.

    Then there are the contradictory "the surgeon was amazed I wasn't already in a wheelchair" stories. Now osteoarthritis is a slow but sure degenerative disease. So if such stories are true there must have been a significant period when the person chose to delay joint replacement despite suffering from arthritis. This contradicts the yeeha go for it mentality.

    Thankfully there are many posters here who are realistic about this whole subject for which I am very grateful.
     
  3. highland pony

    highland pony Member

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    Perhaps the gung ho optimistic approach is a bit prevalent in this section but the reality kicks in in the post op or recovery section I have gleaned most of my information in there I must admit. Not sure whether the doom and gloom people avoid this site as it has such a positive bent but there seems to be a realistic and balanced view over there. It is still a very positive one though
     
  4. lh25

    lh25 Member

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    You are indeed correct that all our recovery isn't the same, all I can do is share my experiences. I never was on crutches, I did use a walker and found a very handy tray that fit over the handles that helped with carrying things. And then moved on to a cane, mostly to help with stairs. I also used a cloth bag that fit over my shoulder to carry things. I was able to stand, the pain wasn't that bad, esp if you take your meds on a schedule.

    I don't mean to minimize the recovery at all, but I was surprised how much I could do for myself.

    Good luck with what you decide to do, and you are wise to be thinking about these things ahead of time.
     
  5. kneeper

    kneeper Forum Advisor

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    For using a bath bench you might check out the video on this page:
    http://www.physiotherapy-treatment.com/total-knee-replacement-rehabilitation.html
    Part way down the page is a video by "Chris & Renee" OT students. A minute or so in they demo using the bath seat.

    I'm pretty sure for the first several times I didn't try to stand and shower, but eventually I did. I think it will depend on how strong you feel. For me getting the bath bench in the right position was also key. I'd suggest trying it out before the surgery.
     
  6. lh25

    lh25 Member

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    I've been thinking about your post Keith, and I don't think the points you raise are always contradictory.

    Let's see if I can explain why I see it that way. You are correct, there are lots of stories from people who did in fact delay their surgeries, even when their OS was telling them it was time. They just found ways to adapt, and gave up activities. Until they realized, as I did, that we weren't living our lives, we were enduring them.

    Then, they finally had the surgery. And made it through a pretty hard recovery, and came out the other side. They have recovered from the surgery and gotten their lives back, quite literally. So, yes, they might be the "Yee-ha" types, since they lived through it and know how much better they are now. Wouldn't it make sense that they'd encourage other people to make that same journey?

    It's true that not everyone has a good outcome, and there are stories about that on the post-op forum. But statistically, most people are better off once they've recovered then they were before the surgery. Which makes sense to me, given how common this surgery has become.

    Not sure this makes sense, but it's how I look at it!
     
  7. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor

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    I had my TKR 6 months ago.

    I love to soak and relax in the bath, like several of you.

    Although I've been managing the shower by myself since about the third week post-op, I didn't feel confident enough to lie down in a bath until about a month ago. It was bliss!

    But then came the problem of how to get out. I did not have sufficient bend in my operated knee to get it under my butt and be able to pull myself up to standing, so I did what I do on "dry land" - rolled over onto my front, then kneeled up on my non-operated knee and pushed myself up backwards until I could stand.

    As others suggested, I made sure that someone was in the house, so that I could shout for help if I needed it, but pride would not allow me to let my husband see my ungainly way of getting onto my feet! :biggrin:

    Enjoy!
     
  8. skigirl

    skigirl Moderator

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    Keith, I don't think that any of us minimize the pain and stress of the first few weeks.

    However, I can tell you perfect honesty that after two different knee replacements, I was able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, down the hall and then return to bed on my own steam. I could walk up and down a flight of stairs. I could go into the kitchen and fix myself something to eat--nothing fancy, but a sandwich or a yogurt or fruit. I could go to the kitchen and fetch ice and then return to my bedroom for my knee.

    I think I am pretty typical. IN fact, they won't let you leave the hospital until you can do those things.

    I see that you live in the Uk, can you go to a rehab place for a week or so?

    But, I go up and down a set of stairs with 14 steps each way to my studio. I was down there on day two of being home from the hospital. Mostly you will be tired. But, once you go in for the first time, you shouldn't have to do those steps every day?

    For my first tkr, I had a bath I had to step over into the tub for the shower. I could do that fine on day three. I wrapped my knee is something called "press and Seal" it is like super plastic wrap and kept the knee dry. i shower every day, so from day three I climbed in and out of the tub. I did have a seat in the shower, but had no trouble standing up. I hate baths, so when we redid the bathroom, we put in a step in shower, which is much easier.

    I think you might look around and find a few friends or church members or acquaintances who would be willing to shop at the grocery for you or pick up a script at the pharmacy. those things will be harder for about three weeks. Kelly
     
  9. larryf

    larryf Junior Member

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    When were you'all able to shower? Also when can I get back in the pool after my surgery on July 18. Summer is already half gone as it is.
     
  10. Nyland

    Nyland Post-Grad

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    Thanks for this thread and also the tub bench video. We have a tub shower unit in our master bath. I got a transfer bench and my husband installed a handheld shower head. I truly feel that I am ready for the recovery because of all of the tips and sharing on this site. My friend had TKR las fall. She regrets it. Her knee is stiff and incredibly swollen. When I told her about the cyro cuff that I ordered she said that may have been her problem. She didn't ice after her surgery. My surgery class isn't until 2 days before my surgery, so if they tell you everything that I have learned here at that class, I doubt I'd have time to prepare. My OS has only discussed the surgery and his pain protocol, no recovery tips. So, I am very grateful for this forum!
     
  11. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    You are very, very welcome. Many of us went into surgery not knowing completely---or anything at all---about what to expect during recovery. This forum helped me out tremendously, too!
     
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  12. speccybecky

    speccybecky Sr Bonesmartie

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    I went up and down real flight of stone stairs in hospital . At home toilet/bathroom is up 14 stairs. Did it as soon as I was home from hospital . Number of stairs doesn't really matter..method is the same. My shower is over bath, first time I stepped in intending to have a shower but decided since I was over I was going to sit. I sat and then ran the water in. There was someone in house I case I needed help but I managed without. Occupational health at hospital provided me with a sort of walker with 2 trays for a few weeks to enable me to make a meal , drink and transport it from kitchen to chair. Gradually I didn't need it when I progressed to just one stick. I was pretty independent and my husband was back to work in a couple of days but I couldn't have shopped for food.
     
  13. RICBAK1

    RICBAK1 Senior

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    HI i have 10 steps from drive and further 3 more into house,not pretty but managed on crutches 3 days after ltkr,which was 30/5/12 and now can go up no stick down holding wall and stick .Also soon as over this bath out shower in a lot easier in long run to use.
     
  14. Coniglietta

    Coniglietta Member

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    Hello Keith, I just want to put in my two penneth if I can. I had my right knee replaced just over 3 weeks ago. I was in hosp for 5 days by the 2nd I was standing,and the 3rd walking. It wasn't until the day I was discharged that they showed me how to use the stairs. I did not "learn" on 3 or 4, I was on a normal flight and it was soooooooo easy, in fact it felt easier than walking. Really its no bother at all.
    My own house has 3 steps down to the front garden and 1 high one up to the front door, 4 steps outside the backdoor to the back garden. 13 stairs up to the bedroom and bathroom and I was doing all of these from the day I got home (well maybe not the ones outside the backdoor). I left the hospital with crutches and was shown how to hold onto the bannister with one hand and your crutch in the other and its one step at a time, no bother.
    As for bathing, I personally gave up the bath years ago after my arthritis got so bad I could not bend enough to get out of it. I can use the bath if I so wish I just have to make sure I had my bath stool next to the bath so that I can put it behind me and sit on it in order to lever myself out again. This is too much a bother to me so I prefer to use the shower. I already have hand rails and the length of time you actually stand in the shower is minimal so please dont worry about anything.
    Stick with this site there is a wealth of experience and everyone will want to help with advice.
    Best of luck,
    Viv xx
     
  15. GrandyGirl

    GrandyGirl Graduate

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    I'm a little confused about what you are asking regarding taking a bath. However, I have a shower seat and have not tried immersing into the tub but have been thinking about it lately. If I do, i intend to place a full size bath towel on the bottom of the tub to eliminate the possibility of slipping and I think I have enough upper body strength to pull it off. But generally speaking, I like to play it safe so I havent been concentrating on how nice a good soak can be.

    As for the steps, I think the key to that will be to continue to strengthen your quads and hamstrings. The stronger my hamstring got, the easier it was to lift my leg to climb stairs and to get in and out of my bathtub.

    Dori
    aka GrandyGirl
     
  16. BJ Mac

    BJ Mac Sr Bonesmartie

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    BUT 3 flights of stairs??? That definitely sounds daunting for quite some time... :yikes:
     
  17. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    I had a shower seat immediately after my BTKR. When I was allowed to shower,I sat in the shower and used the shower head jets to inundate my quads with hot water---hydrotherapy, I guess! I would do heel slides in the shower and gain some ROM.
     
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  18. RICBAK1

    RICBAK1 Senior

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    Can not wait to get rid of shower over bath was thinking before tkr but now definatly having done before get older.I use my steps for exercising do some in house then a walk when i come back go up and down 10 times up okay down need to hold on still
     
  19. noddy

    noddy Junior Member

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    I think when/if you bath will depend on you and your recovery. I was relaxing in a hot bath with a book the day i left the hospital - 4 days after surgery. My operated knee was propped on the side of the bath on a towel and i was perfectly capable of sitting on the edge of the bath and swinging my legs over to get in and getting up with two arms and a good leg onto the side of the bath to get out! I found this easier and safer than trying to stand/balance/sit in a shower whilst trying to was myself.
     
  20. Coniglietta

    Coniglietta Member

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    Tim thats amazingly simple, I mean the shower heads used as hydrotherapy, I would never have thought of that ! You are one clever dude :tada:.
    Must try that tonight.......
    Thanks Viv xx
     
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