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

Is using heat okay after surgery?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by luvtocamp, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. luvtocamp

    luvtocamp Member

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    I am new to Bonesmart, and so happy to have found this wonderful place. One comment, or question, regarding the heating pads. I use an electric blanket during the cold months, and often just lie on top of it when my back and knees are hurting. Is this a no-no after TKR? My surgery will be in Feb. I will be lost without my blanket.
     
  2. lisabon

    lisabon Member

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    Re: I made it! (Lisabon)

    Welcome Luvtocamp! So glad you found our little forums before your surgery. You have lots of time to read up and prepare which is great!

    I have never used an electric blanket even though I live in the cold Northeast US but I have been using an electric heating pad on the small of my back at night time lately mostly because my back has been achey lately with the change of weather. I also put it on my left thigh sometimes as that muscle is very tight and it is causing some pain for the knee.

    I think you will find that while there's nothing wrong with using the electric blanket, you are going to want to avoid putting any heat on your knee until you are pretty well healed. I know it sounds crazy to you right now, but all you are going to even want to have on your knee after the surgery is ice. Lots and lots of ice! and frequently! Last night I was laying in bed with ice on my knees and behind them and a heating pad on my lower back. So the heat kind of cancelled out the cold to the rest of my body. :rolleyespink:

    The "experts" on this forum will probably explain a little better why the heat is not good for your operated knee after surgery. But in a nutshell it has to do with inflammation and swelling. Heat will only make it worse. Ice makes it better.

    Hope that helps. Please keep us posted on your progress!

    Lisa
     
  3. Mountain Kat

    Mountain Kat Senior

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    Re: I made it! (Lisabon)

    luvtocamp, I don't use an electric blanket, but I do have a heated mattress pad. It has been a life saver ever since I got home from the hospital! One of the way that pain affects me is by making me cold. Whenever I don't feel well or am overtired, I feel chilled, I've noticed that for years. It has been even more apparent since my surgery. I have even gotten to the point of shaking and tensing all over - this just makes the pain worse. I keep ice on my knee, but I have the mattress pad turned on almost all the time I am in bed! And my fuzzy blanket follows me everywhere I go. :th_heehee: (I feel like a little kid!) Between the two, I have managed to keep the chills at bay and that helps manage pain too.
     
  4. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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  5. luvtocamp

    luvtocamp Member

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    Thanks to all for your advice....I love my blanket, but will not use it on my knee after surgery. I certainly don't want to make things worse. I do have back issues, have had back surgery and need a fusion now, but I will go back to using the heat pad for that. I just can't say it enough.... this forum has been such a positive influence for me. I am not exactly looking forward to surgery, but my fear has been lessened by those of you who have made it to the other side, and take time to post the ups and downs of your journey. I check in here everyday to see how everyone is doing, and say a prayer every night for those who are struggling with problems.
     
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  6. kneesrus

    kneesrus Sr Bonesmartie

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    A good post op icing program will cut weeks off the recovery. It is important that the icing and elevation start immediately post op. The patient has to be pro active in the application of ice and elevation. Don't assume all these things will be taken care of.
    Best of luck,
    David
     
  7. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    I did use heat after my BTKR, but that was only on my quads to help loosen them up and stretch them before PT. I would never heat the knee joint so soon after the surgery.

    The application of heat allows fluid and blood to flow to the injured site, thus encouraging swelling. Ice keeps the fluids and blood flow from the site, thus keeping swelling to a minimum. As others have written, a good icing and elevating program will aid you in recovery.
     
  8. kneeper

    kneeper Forum Advisor

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    You're so right.
     
  9. Columbique

    Columbique New Member

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    I totally agree that the Forums give the most and best information possible! Thank you everyone. I also agree one cannot assume things will be taken care of. Being pro active in your own care seems the only way to go, if only we know what to do... Each time I read something in the TKR forum, I learn something I should have known before. With your help, I'm getting there. Good luck to all.
     
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