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How did you guys ice?

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greatlakes

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im probably overthinking, but have been researching ice machines on Amazon, and so many bad reviews for them. A doctor wrote in the comments to save your money and just buy bags of peas. I'm wondering if some of you would be willing to advise me based on your experience. Am torn between an ice machine, or a combination of: big gel packs that wrap all around, bags of slushy alcohol ice and frozen peas.
 

sistersinhim

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I tried the homemade water/alcohol bags but ended up throwing those away. They sweated so bad that everything around them got wet. I have get packs, clay packs and 2 ice machines. I use the ice machines probably 99% of the time. The gel packs are good for travel. The clay packs are heavy and don't stay cold long. I have a portable ice maker that I run almost 24 hours a day. I was going through 10lbs of ice from the store daily and that adds up. Plus you have to find someone to buy the bags for you. I recommend the ice machine and ice maker.
 

Lindilu

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I use gel packs intended to keep food cold. I put it in a flannel pillow case, works great for me. I tried using water/alcohol but gave up on those after one melted a leaked one night. Woke up in the middle of the night to a wet bed and thought I had an accident:heehee:
 

newlybionic

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Peas don't stay cold for a long enough time. The hospitals where I had surgery sent me home with wraps that had Velcro to hold them in place. There are two gel backs that are inserted. They gave me two sets of them so one set was in the freezer at all times. For my second surgery I got and ice machine called Breg Polar Care Glacier. It works great for me but there is a down side with them that they are fairly heavy once filled and you have to be able to have them close to you so you can be connected via the hose that goes with it. It works great while I'm in my recliner. The gel packs can go anywhere even in my car.

I would suggest you check with the hospital to see if they will have the wraps that they will be giving to you. If you will have someone with you the first couple of weeks or if you think you could carry the machine to your kitchen than it is helpful but the best ones are fairly expensive. I did love using mine and still do after a long days work some times.
 
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Thanks much, appreciate the real life advice. I'll check with my surgeon re whether they provide anything.
 

Keen Skier

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I love my ice machine!! I could not conceive of doing this without it. At 9 weeks out I still use it intermittently overnight and in the evening if I'm sore. I have 24 water/Gatorade bottles (16 ounce) that I keep in the freezer. My IceMan holds 4 bottles plus water and there is still some ice left after 8 hours so it's cold and maintenance free all night long. I just rotate the bottles morning and night. To move it around early on I folded up a big bath towel underneath and dragged it. If I were really ambitious I could always put the iced bottles in a backpack and carry them separately to lighten the load. At this point I just carry the thing!
I also have a few small gel packs (~4x11 inches) for quick fixes.
Agree it's noisy at night but I have my iPod with earphones and I've learned to sleep through the noise.
I got mine 7 years ago....It has survived one ACL and 3 arthroscopies with me and been loaned out to 3 friends. I was paranoid that it might die in service for my BTKRs so I found a second one on eBay for a good price ( you can actually service 2 knees with one machine with a U- connector hose) but they're both still going strong.





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Suz

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I recommend the ice machine and ice maker.
Paula, (and all others who prefer ice machines), would you be willing to tell us which ice machine you have found favorable! I have about 5 in my Amazon shopping cart but like @Keen Skier am concerned about the negative reviews.
 

Pumpkln

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I loved my ice machine (Breg), you can also freeze water bottles instead of ice cubes.
 

dianehelen

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There are also tons on ebay used, for a fraction of the cost.

The one I am getting , after researching, and hearing from others here, is the breg polar care glacier cold therapy unit

About $200 new, or $50-70 on ebay
 

Keen Skier

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As mentioned above I have a DONJOY Iceman.
Main complaint....its noisy.
Best feature....large reservoir means infrequent refills and easily accepts water bottles. Also has temp adjustment. Easy to turn on/off.

Like any other appliance, lifespan is directly proportional to TLC. A little bit of care when connecting the hose protects against leaks. My hoses don't sweat. After 7 years I had a connection leak....easily fixed 100% (by me...I live alone) and still good 4 weeks later with some cheap pipe repair tape from Lowe's. Motor is still going strong after MANY hundreds if hours of use.

I know people who love their BREG Polar Care but I can't tell you about specifics.




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uva55

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I bought 2 of these ice/ gel packs on Amazon, the XL size and rotate them, they stay cold a long time and freeze really fast, I always have a cold one ready.

Many prefer the ice machines, it's just a matter of preference!!!
 

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turtle68

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I bought to 10x12 Cyromax 10 hour gel mats at Walmart. They stay cold for a long time. I'm going to buy another set before my revision surgery. If you google Cyromax they come in different sizes.
Dorothy
 

Lovestoread

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My doctor provided me with a Polar ice machine that I used constantly! I loved it! I quickly learned (from this wonderful site!) that small, frozen bottles of water were better than ice cubes. I was told to bring it to the hospital for knee #2. I don't know what I would have done without it!
 

sistersinhim

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I have the Polar Care Cube that my doctor ordered when I had shoulder surgery. It takes only small clumps of ice or ice cubes, so it stays cold only about 4 hours. I bought a second one from Amazon, Polar Active Ice that uses large clumps, but it has a timer and the longest it'll run is 30 minutes, then I have to reset the timer. Using the large clumps of ice, it stays cold all night. I found that 30 minutes icing before I fall asleep is fine. Much longer than that I get chilled. Sometimes I'll turn it back on when I get up to take a pill. They're all kinds out there, which you have found out. It's probably just a personal preference call.
 

Caaot

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The hospital sent me home with a Cryo Cuff. In the hospital it was going constantly powered by a machine. The home version is the the cuff wrap and a large container to hold ice and cold water. It has a tube running from container to cuff. Gravity controls flow.Provides good compression and cold. I use it all through out the day. Like it!
 
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greatlakes

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Wow, can't tell you how much I appreciate all the lessons learned! Thanks so much.after my op, I'll be sure to post about whatever I decide on and how it works.
 

skigirl

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I got tired of the ice machine---it never seemed to get cold enough. I have four gel packs and I rotated them through two surgeries. Total cost---$40.
 

KarriB

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I used an ice machine early on, eventually we filled it with frozen water bottles and water instead of just ice/water, but later it was easier to use gel ice packs because I was more mobile.
 
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