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Can't shower until staples are removed?

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mamabash

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I am scheduled for a LTKR on Feb. 5th. Reading through the info they sent home with me, I discovered that I am not to shower until my staples are removed at 3 weeks. WHAT? That would be horrible! What can I do to keep it dry and clean while I sneak in the shower? I am going to "Joint Camp" on Friday and will be asking them, I just wanted to know what others did. Thank you!
 

Pumpkln

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There are water proof protective coverings that can be worn in the shower, ask about them and where you can obtain them. My staples were out in less than two weeks, three weeks seems like a long time to wait.
 

Jaycey

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@mamabash three weeks is very long. Normal wait to remove staples is 10 - 14 days after your op. As pumpkin says - waterproof bandages. As the nursing staff for them and if they won't give them to you - your nearest pharmacy. I had a shower from day one with waterproof covering.
 

referee54

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There are water proof protective coverings that can be worn in the shower, ask about them and where you can obtain them. My staples were out in less than two weeks, three weeks seems like a long time to wait.
I had the same thing--I had steri-strips and glue, and I was not allowed to shower for over three weeks. Sponge baths were the order of the day, but I felt like I could not get clean.

My first shower after my BTKR felt tremendous!

Ask them if you can use a waterproof covering---some will allow, it; some will not.
 
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mamabash

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The appointment that I was given, to have staples removed, was 3 weeks after surgery. Maybe I should question that? Could it be because of my size? Sounds weird, but I have pretty hefty legs.
 

Jamie

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I agree that you may be ready for staple removal before 3 weeks. See if they will be flexible on that date based on your healing ability. You'll want them out as soon as you can....it's usually 10-14 days.

As Pumpkln said, there are a number of things you can do to keep the wound dry. But you do want to follow your doctor's guidance here. If you need to do sponge baths for a while, you'll be okay. There are products to dry wash your hair too or you may be able to stand at the kitchen sink long enough to get that done.
 

Jamie

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The size of your legs has nothing to do with staple removal. See if you can have them removed by your home health nurse who will be visiting after surgery. That person can do them at the exact time they are ready to come out.
 

referee54

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As Pumpkln said, there are a number of things you can do to keep the wound dry. But you do want to follow your doctor's guidance here. If you need to do sponge baths for a while, you'll be okay.
What Jamie says is absolutely correct. Make sure that your OS will allow the coverings---if he will not allow it, the sponge baths will get you through until you can take the shower.
 

1ELISEA

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@mamabash
Ummm..... why not ask them to use glue (dermabond). That's what I had and I took a shower right away and no worries with having to waterproof anything. And no staples to take out.
 

Phil75070

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With both of my knees, my follow up appointments were two weeks post-op. My right knee was stitched and glued, my left knee 8 months later he stapled. With both knees I did not get them wet for those first two weeks as bandages remained on but I could and did shower with waterproof coverings (I wrapped my knee in saran wrap and taped it). When the bandages came off at the two week follow-up I was told I could shower and get the incisions wet but not to immerse my knee as in a bath for another 4 weeks.
 

pdx

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Insist on Dermabond glue and a waterproof dressing. Seriously.
 

kneeper

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I had some kind of water resistant bandage. I could shower with it on and then change the bandage. I could get it wet but "not soaking".
 

referee54

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Insist on Dermabond glue and a waterproof dressing. Seriously.
You may insist all you want, but the OS has protocols that they are particular to. If it fits into his, they will let it happen---if not, you go along with what the OS does.

They all seem to have a unique protocol of what they use and that works for them.
 

amab

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I Went two weeks before showering following both TKRs . Sponge baths and hair washing at the sink all worked ok. Still, that first shower following staple removal was super!!! Also Tim is right on target about the OS preferences! My surgeon is super, he's very protective of his patients and is a type A on doing everything possible to avoid any hint of infection; thus the inconvenience of 2 weeks with out a shower is just one of his orders.

Best of luck with your upcoming surgery!!!
 

metalheart

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My staples were removed 9 days after surgery, but I was sent home with a waterproof bandage (looks like a big band aid) that allowed me to shower the day after coming home. There are some other options out there and it seems waiting 3 weeks for staple removal is way long and way too long for a shower. Maybe a talk wiht the surgeon can clear that up?
 

Celle

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With my right TKR, I had to wait until the stitches were out, so I had a daily body wash at the bathroom sink. I managed to stay clean and fresh.

Three years later, with my left TKR (same surgeon), I was allowed to shower before I left the hospital. He was using a different dressing and stitches that did not need to be removed.

It all depends on your surgeon and you should follow his/her instructions.
 
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shower 1.jpg
@mamabash, I can only tell you that your first shower will be like dying and going to heaven. So you have something to look forward to, and it won't be long now!
 

treypops

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I also had the waterproof dressing and was able to shower the next day. I gotta tell you though, those showers took every ounce of strength and ability that I had. Spongebaths may be better for you ability-wise for the first few days.

I never had staples. So grateful for that. Only internal sutures and glue.
 
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