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TENS machine post surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by dw6928, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    I currently use a TENS machine to alleviate pain in my knee which is to be replaced 8/26. I was wondering if anyone had used a TENS machine after their TKR to "help" the pain meds
    work a bit better. I am planning on bringing it to rehab with me (maybe hidden a bit).
     
  2. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    If memory serves correct, (I've lost my manual) it's on the list of 'not recommended' things to do. Shame!
     
  3. exjock

    exjock Junior Member

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    My PT ends each therapy session with the electric pads on each side of knee and compression ice pack. Isn't this the same as TENS? I would hope that they are not doing anything that could harm knee are they.
     
  4. beachcomber

    beachcomber Post-Grad

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    That is just what I was thinking and wondering about.... Jo? How IS TENS different from e-stim?
     
  5. ttlncsc

    ttlncsc Junior Member

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    Howdy,

    I was in a drug study that prevented me from receiving any anti inflammatory drugs for the first 6 weeks. My knee would swell significantly and that interfered with the rebuilding of my quadriceps. I had a great outpatient PT and he cooled my knee, elevated it, and simultaneously applied electrical stimulation for approximately 10 minutes. His goal was to facilitate venous and lymphatic return thus reducing swelling. It appeared to be of benefit. The swelling was reduced the next day and it seemed that I had improved flexion. He explained everything and said it was worth a try. Have not had it applied since that day. Hope that helps, Tom
     
  6. exjock

    exjock Junior Member

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    All Electrotherapy Devices Should NOT Be USED With:
    Implanted Medical Devices • Broken Skin or Wounds • Persons with Epilepsy • Top or Side of Head • Front of the Neck • Pregnant Women • Cancer Patients • Eyes or Mouth • Heart or Throat • While Driving

    Saw this warning on site that sells Tens units. I am going to call OS on Tuesday (he is not in on Mondays) and find out from him if it is harmful. Would hate to harm joint.
     
  7. Linda2

    Linda2 Post-Grad

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    My guess--and mind you it is only a guess--is that implanted medical devices would be something like a pacemaker. My PT uses e-stim at the end of my therapy with the ice pack, too. It seems strange that so many would use it if it were contraindicated.
     
  8. carolinagirl

    carolinagirl Senior

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    THe only time the E-Stim was used on me was during my second week of PT when I just could not do those straight leg raises! He hooked me up to the game ready, with the stimulation pads. Later that afternoon my quads started jumping and jerking. Within a couple of days I was able to do my leg raises. So in my case the E-Stim was only used to wake up my muscles.
     
  9. beachcomber

    beachcomber Post-Grad

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    I agree with you Linda... I feel confident the e-stim is safe to use on our knees, with proper placement.

    I also think some of those directions fall under the same category as the sign now posted at McDonald's drive up windows that says "Caution-- Coffee is hot!" after someone sued them because she drove off with a cup of coffee squeezed between her legs and it spilled and she was burned. They are just covering their liability issues....




     
  10. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    I intend to use it starting it rehab. It has to be better for your body than months of Percocet.
     
  11. ttlncsc

    ttlncsc Junior Member

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    Hello again,

    I understand your concern however, please don't put yourself and your health in jeopardy.
    Pain and your new knee can have a mind of its own. Everything can be quite pleasant and suddenly you're ready for someone to amputate the hurtful thing. Consult with your MD and your PT. Many of us have weaned off significant meds only to find we need something to help us sleep. If you are not reasonably comfortable you will not be able to tolerate PT and the rebuilding process. The surgery is pretty much down to an art but the rebuilding is like constructing a house one 2 by 4 at a time. Good luck, Tom
     
  12. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    Tom, thank you. This is my 2nd TKR so I still remember needing meds for pain, sleep and PT. I am just considering the TENS as a buffer at times. I will check w/ my OS prior to surgery. If he nixes it, it goes into the closet.
     
  13. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    Good news. My OS just gave me the green light for the use of the TENS machine post surgery. I am sure it will give me some relief when the pain pills waiver.
     
  14. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    I was going to say - ask your surgeon, doctor ot PT. I took it that implants were a no-no with TENS but I'm always happy to be proven wrong!
     
  15. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    Josephine, there seems to be a fair amount of "debate" about the TENS machine and implants. I, for one, cannot see how gentle stimulation to a traumatized surgical area could be deleterious. I will find out very quickly if the hospital and rehab staff concur with my OS.
     
  16. 1jt@atime

    1jt@atime Forum Advisor

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    I have used a TENS machine durng every PT visit through two knee repalcements. Ice and TENS was the routine at the end of every visit.
     
  17. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    so did I. I was just wondering about integrating the machine into the immediate
    post-surgery phase (like day 3 on) to help w/ the pain. I loved it after PT and use it to this day on the first knee when it flairs up.
     
  18. ttlncsc

    ttlncsc Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I asked my PT about the TENS machine and he said it was a great thing for those with chronic pain issues and could see its use after knee replacement.

    I specifically asked about implantable devices and he said it was related to pacemakers and defib devices. Good Luck, Tom
     
  19. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    I'm pleased to hear all that. I consider myself re-edumicated!
     
  20. dw6928

    dw6928 Senior

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    5 days to go until the 2nd TKR surgery. I'll let you know how the TENS machine works right after that.
     
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