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PKR 4 hour ice pack myth

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How do folks cope with stairs? 'Cause I have a lot of them. I understand you need 90 degrees flexion to be able to alternate stairs going up. I have that. 120 degrees to alternate going down. I don't have that and haven't been pushing too hard yet to get there. On Monday I start outpatient PT where someone may want to crank my knee further than it wants to go. Not sure I'll let them but it probably would lead to better flexion temporarily so I can take stairs like healthy people do.
 

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Cranking on your knee may get a higher number that minute, but it will upset your knee in the long run. Been there, done that that.

It’s not just the number that allows you to do things, it’s healing that allows you to do things.

In my 8 weeks of PT my numbers were fabulous, however they were all forced. Those fabulous numbers in the office were worthless to me at home.
 

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On Monday I start outpatient PT where someone may want to crank my knee further than it wants to go. Not sure I'll let them but it probably would lead to better flexion temporarily so I can take stairs like healthy people do.
Be patient about wanting to go downstairs normally. It's normal for this to take as long as 4 months and there's no need to rush. Certainly, don't allow anything that is aimed at increasing your flexion faster. Your knee will bend enough for you to negotiate stairs like an adult when it has healed enough.

There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
 

Celle

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I have to ask - it's been puzzling me for a while. What is this "4-hour ice pack myth"? Did I miss something earlier in your thread?
 
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I have to ask - it's been puzzling me for a while. What is this "4-hour ice pack myth"? Did I miss something earlier in your thread?
I had started another conversation that a forum admin merged into my recovery thread. The nurses at the hospital, a very good hospital, aren't that supportive of the continuous cold delivery systems. Instead, they want us to use what they send us home with, a sleeve and gel packs, that they can be rotated out every 4 hours. With a big, warm healing knee I'm lucky to get an hour out of them, definitely not 4.
 

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Thank you for the explanation. Now your thread title makes sense to me. :thumb:
 

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@Woodpusher It's nice to know my knee isn't the only one warming up the ice packs in a short time. It amazes me the heat we put out and how fast the packs need replaced. I alternate with my ice machine because the gel-packs are so much colder.
 

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I'm looking forward to doing the stairs as I used to. Interested to see could be up to four months time till I'm able. Is it muscle strength that's holding me back?
 

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Is it muscle strength that's holding me back?
Not really. Your knee needs to be able to bend far enough, plus you have to virtually balance on one leg, while carrying all your weight on that leg - so it's a combination of factors and it takes a long time before your new knee is ready for all that.
It's better to allow yourself the time your knee needs than it is to risk having a fall.
 
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@Woodpusher It's nice to know my knee isn't the only one warming up the ice packs in a short time. It amazes me the heat we put out and how fast the packs need replaced. I alternate with my ice machine because the gel-packs are so much colder.
My ice machine gets pretty cold. I'll put it this way, in a warmish room if I apply it to my knee for an hour I have to bundle up in a sweatshirt and blankets in order to stay warm.
 

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In my early days I would melt the ice packs in about 20 minutes. Then I set up an ice water circulating machine that stayed cold for hours. I loved it! Every time I was seated or lying down I had ice on my knee.
 

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I'll be sure to post when I can do the stairs, either up or down, not foot over foot.
 

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@Woodpusher Sometimes I wonder if my ice machine is a lemon. It's never felt too cold since I bought it--only with fresh ice, and that lasts at most 4 hrs. Most of the time, it's just not THAT cold. We're using frozen water bottles, cold water, etc but no luck. The knee pad has always hurt my incision too, so I had to gerry-rig something to ease the discomfort where the hoses attach to the pad. Overall, if I ever do this again with the other knee, I'll probably buy something different or rent a Game Ready. Last night was probably one of the only times in 2.5 wks I got chilled all over---and that was with the ceiling fan going and my hubby turning the AC down after mowing. This is odd, considering I'm the girl who is always cold.
 

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@Woodpusher It took me a while before I could do steps comfortably. I am now 8 months out, I do steps well now, but it took a while. I still make sure I have a hand close to a hand rail just in case. It will come in time.
Rick
 

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On my 1st knee, I was up and down steps 6-7 weeks this knee is 6 weeks post, and not a chance doing stairs, my ankle is still so weak. Who knows!!!
 
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2 weeks and 2 days out now. Probably breaking a couple Bonesmart guidelines with the use of straps and self pressure mostly to gain extension. Still, my outpatient therapist is preaching the long road ahead and isn't doing anything crazy with flexion so it seems Ok. Nighttime is the hardest, though I came into this procedure with sleep issues. Can't complain otherwise except that and still the need for a lot of ice ❄.
 

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@Woodpusher You will melt the equivalent of a small ice berg by the time you are recovered..:ice:
All part of the process. In a few months you will have a functional knee. Well worth the discomfort.
Hang in there! Over the next few weeks you should see drastic improvement! You have a way to go, but it gets easier!!!
Rick
 
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Exactly a month today, yay! Except when I woke up this morning my lower back spasmed so now have a compression wrap around THAT. Not unexpected since I've been over compensating with other muscles since day 1 of the PKR. So I'll throw my outpatient PT person a curveball today and possibly ask her to work the lower back.
 

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Your back must have been talking to my back because they are behaving similarly. :)

I'm sorry it's messing with your recovery. As if we didn't already have enough to take care of!:scratch: Mine is definitely from walking weirdly all week. I've had my PT back off some things that were making me too sore to walk normally. My surgeon wasn't happy about it either and thinks I'm doing too much. I noticed today I walked more naturally and had no limping. I'm pretty certain it's because I was totally lazy last night and most of today.

I hope the spasms are a one-off occurrence for you, but somehow I suspect we're in for the long haul.
 

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