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Review my post-op list of must-haves, please!

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by ketchup, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    Surgery is on Monday. I'm ridiculously anxious (have had two very scary experiences with surgery--both csections--so no surprise there). One way I try and reign in my anxiety is to do as much planning as possible. Can you guys review my list of things to buy/have on hand post-op to help with recovery? If I'm missing something, please tell me! Also, anything not on the list that helped you personally, please share! I also have questions on some stuff and I'm looking for recommendations with others. Thank you!

    I will be sent home with a walker, per the hospital, so that's not on the list.

    1. Cane. Need help with this! I'm currently looking at one that has two handles to help you go from sitting to standing more easily, but it doesn't have the best reviews. I know I want a cane with a tripod base so it stands up. Any suggestions?
    2. Reacher grabber (will have 2).
    3. Grip bar for shower.
    4. Raised toilet seat with handles.
    5. Hip replacement kit off Amazon (incl. a reacher, a dressing stick, a long-handle sponge, a shoe horn, and a sock aid).
    6. Reusable ice packs. I have one medical grade huge one at home already, and a first-aid gel style one, but I'd like to get more. Any recommendations?
    7. Wood plank to put under cushions on couch to make firmer.
    8. Coxxcyl support pillow.
    9. Pillow wedge to put between my legs.
    10. Extra long phone charger cord.
    11. Dry shampoo and large shower wipes.
    12. Loose pj pants for hospital.
    13. No skid socks.

    I imagine some of this stuff will be given to me by the hospital (right?), but since I shop pretty much exclusively on Amazon, I figure it is better to have it on hand and return it than not have it because I expected the hospital to provide it for me and they didn't.
    My questions...

    1) What items did your hospital or PT provide you?
    2) I know I am not supposed to shower for about a week. That sounds.. terrible. Is getting a plastic wrap thing like they make to go over casts a terrible idea? Should I just suck it up and not shower for the week and use dry shampoo/wipes?
    3) Do I really need a shower seat?
    4) How long did you have to (or were you advised to) use your walker before switching over to a cane? I ask because I'm trying to determine if a walker organizer bag is worth the cost, which I don't think it will be if I only use it for a couple days.
     
  2. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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  3. AJinNH

    AJinNH senior

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    Hi @ketchup I just had surgery on the 19th and am 9 days post op so I think I can give you some helpful hints. I do have some questions though. When you say you know you won’t be able to shower for a week, did your OS tell you that or is it an assumption? I was able to shower right away, I just had to keep it covered. I used the Saran Wrap Cling Fast (or something like that, may not have the name exact).
    Will you be home alone or do you have help at home?
    Do you know if you’ll have any restrictions, and what type? Not everyone has restrictions anymore.

    First, I doubt if you’ll need the pillow wedge for between your legs. If you need to have something there (and you likely may not), a regular pillow will do.

    Be careful on the large PJ pants for the hospital, you don’t want the lower legs to be too wide as that could be a trip hazard. I find the tapered legs are best.

    The stick-on grab bars for the shower don’t have the best reviews for safety, are you having a permanent one installed?

    In my experience definitely get a shower chair, one with arms to help you stand.

    Instead of a raised toilet seat I got a commode on Amazon. The benefit to a commode is that you can remove the bucket and place it over your toilet, so it serves as a riser with arms, but is also adjustable so that you can gradually transition down to your toilet seat height.

    I love my walker organizer bag because it allows me to carry my things with me, especially things too bulky for my pockets.

    If you’re having PT at home they will help you transition to a cane, everyone is different. I like my simple cane.

    I agree with the no-skid socks, but please make sure that you have rubber soled slippers or shoes to wear, it’s best to have the support.

    Sitting on the sofa, even with wood under the cushion may be difficult, you’ll need to have arms on both sides for leverage. If you have restrictions, getting off of a sofa may be tricky.

    Not a lot of my chairs have arms, so I got a bathroom safely rail that can be used for leverage once you stop using the commode/raiser, but can also be placed behind a chair to provide arms for leverage.

    If you might be sleeping in a recliner at first, I used baby monitors so that I could call a family member if needed during the night.

    A small backpack may be useful once you transition from a walker to crutches or cane. Do you have stairs in your house? If so you’ll likely be using a crutch to get up and down stairs. A small backpack can help you carry things.

    I use gel packs, Chiropractic Healthcare ones in various shapes and sizes. I also have a Polar Care Cube but a prescription is required here in the US.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  4. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    @Jaycey - thanks! I saw that, but since it is geared primarily toward knees, I wanted to run my list by hipsters. The list there is definitely helpful, though!
     
  5. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Actually it's not. It's for all joint replacements.
     
  6. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    Wow, @AJinNH - thank you!! That was incredibly helpful. I hope you're feeling good.. I'll have to go check out your recovery thread!

    To answer your questions:

    When you say you know you won’t be able to shower for a week, did your OS tell you that or is it an assumption?
    - this was in the binder I was given, and on one of the instruction sheets I received. I will have an aquacell bandage. The instructions stated that once the bandage is removed and the wound has not had any discharge for 72hrs, then I can shower. The sheet says this is usually on day 8 post-op. That just sounds .. terrible.

    Will you be home alone or do you have help at home?
    - My husband will be home with me for the first 9 days post-op during the day, and every evening.

    Do you know if you’ll have any restrictions, and what type?
    - Nothing over 10lbs for the first 6wks, then nothing over 20 for the first 6mo. This will be a challenge for me, as I have an infant (over 10lbs) and a toddler (over 20lbs), but I'm hoping I can be more relaxed about the 6mo restriction once I make it to the 6wk mark. There is simply no alternative to not lifting my 2yr old for 6mo, because she needs to be lifted to get in/out of her car seat. I know I can't cross my legs, do anything over the 90 degree angle, twist while standing still, turn my feet inward, etc.

    The stick-on grab bars for the shower don’t have the best reviews for safety, are you having a permanent one installed?
    - No, not a permanent one. It is one of the suction cup ones, and I am aware of the reviews. Honestly, getting in/out of the shower really shouldn't be that hard for me. Our shower is a stall shower, and you can basically walk right in (there's a small raised barrier, but barely any at all). I think I was planning on using it more to sort of steady myself vs. actually hanging on it to assist with balance. Great thinking re: shower chair with arms. I honestly hadn't thought about the fact that I'll need something to help myself up.


    Follow up q's:

    I don't have a recliner, and suspect that I will be in my bed for the first few days (it's a firm mattress, bed is low to the ground). What would you recommend for getting in/out of your bed? Do you use one of those leg raisers to pull your operated side into bed?

    When you talked about the issues getting on/off the sofa, you said that it might be tricky if I have restrictions. What kind of restrictions would fall into the issues category with this?
     
  7. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    Hmm. I'll have to keep reading. The ice section, specifically, seemed very geared towards TKR. Same with the shower tip. I'm looking for tips/tricks from those who have been through a THR, as it is an entirely different body part. Obviously the same wrap technique for icing to get relief for a TKR isn't going to work on a hip..

    Like I said in my original response though, the thread was definitely helpful; however, it didn't leave me confident that I had everything covered for a THR or that I had all the tips/tricks, hence this post. Never hurts to ask again, since obviously more people have had surgery since that original thread and surely have more tips/experience to add. Thanks again for making sure I saw the thread though, it did help me initially when I was writing my list.
     
  8. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Okie dokey! You're correct on those two but almost everything else is suitable for everything. Glad you found it helpful for a start up, anyway
     
  9. MajorHeidi

    MajorHeidi Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi @ketchup
    I had my first THR in 2014, second one comes tomorrow.
    I think you sound well prepared, but here are some other ideas....

    I agree with @AJinNH to get a '3 in 1 Commode' from Amazon.
    It is much sturdier to put it over the toilet and use the handles on it to get up and down.

    I got bed risers from Amazon. You can put them under the bed or the sofa to raise it by six inches.
    This makes it much easier to get up and down without breaking the restrictions/precautions.
    My surgeon has 'precautions' for 2 weeks; 4 years ago it was 'restrictions' for 6 weeks.

    Also, get some Phillips Milk of Magnesia for the omnipresent constipation from pain meds.
    The recommended Dulcolax did not cut it.

    I got some new Ugg slippers with good nonskid from Amazon this time.
    you can wear them outside, though not for a real walk....

    Hope this helps...
     
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  10. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    I see you are an ortho nurse. Your ice thread was super thorough for TKR. Do you have any recommendations for hips? The icing thing is something I'm still trying to sort out, logistically. I'll definitely use the alcohol/water tip to make my own ice packs (are these re-freezable, btw?), but have you seen or have any of your patients raved about any wraps/devices/contraptions as useful as the ones you posted for knees but that are for hips?
     
  11. confused newb

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    Ice is pretty straight forward for the hips, I made my own with the water and alcohol mix and they worked great. I found it best to double bag them to ensure you don't get any leaks. I also had a small plastic bin beside my chair to put them in when they started to melt in case of leaks (also condensation). You just form them to the surgical site and let them do their magic.
     
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  12. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    I bought a six pack of these and rotated them throughout the day. Alway wrap in a tea towel to prevent burning the skin. gel packs.jpg
     
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  13. AJinNH

    AJinNH senior

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    Hi @ketchup I found a yoga strap helpful in lifting my op leg into the bed initially. I only needed it for a day or two, then I used my other foot to lift my leg, and very soon after was able to lift my leg on it’s own, it was a quick progression for me. You could probably use a belt as well.

    If you have 90 degree restrictions and are sitting on the sofa, practice now and see how far forward you have to lean to get up and out of the sofa. Most sofas are just too soft as well as you’re sitting too far back to be able to stand without breaking the 90 degree rule. But try it and see if you can do it. Also, some people rent a recliner for the short term if that is helpful. But check out recliners in the BS library about features to have and avoid. I’ve found mine very useful.

    I also agree to be proactive about avoiding constipation. My gastroenterologist had me taking Miralax the 3 days before surgery, then every day after. This was a real concern for me since I have a chronic issue anyway, and this advice worked like a charm. I prefer the Miralax to MoM since it’s a tasteless powder that can be added to your water or tea.

    For icing, don’t stress out about it. In the hospital they used crushed ice in triple plastic bags (to avoid leaks). The gel packs work like a charm, just place them anywhere you have swelling and/or pain. You can ice multiple areas at a time. Try not to leave them in one spot longer than 30 minutes, and always have a thin layer of clothing between you and the ice, never on bare skin. Make sure you have ice packs ready, ones in use and others in the freezer ready to go while the first are refreezing.

    Can your husband start teaching your two year old to climb into her car seat? Maybe your physical therapist will have some ideas to help with getting your little ones safely into their car seats. You certainly have your hands full! There’s usually a remedy, you just have to find a good resource. You won’t be the first with this problem, the answer is out there.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out, let me know if I can help with anything else. Sending hugs :friends:
     
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  14. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Whew! You have a very thorough list and received great feedback.
    For what it's worth, I'll add my two cents....

    1) Given the choice between a cane with a base and a regular old candy cane shaped one. I chose
    the regular one. The one with the base felt super awkward to me and unsafe.
    2) Grabbers are a must.
    3) The grip bar you're speaking of sounds unsafe. I have a walk in shower as I believe you mentioned you do.
    I took my walker right in the shower with me for my first two showers, after that I didn't need it. First few showers were pretty quick anyway. Felt a bit unsure, hubby within earshot.
    4) Didn't use a raised toilet seat but our toilets are higher than normal and it was a non issue.
    5) Only thing I've used is a long shoe horn, in the beginning. Didn't need any of the other things mentioned.
    6) Used the blue gel packs, had many so I could switch out often if necessary.
    7) Only sat on a lift recliner, dining chair or counter height stool for about a month. Sofa too squishy and was advised against that type of seating.
    8) Never had / used one
    9) Body pillow a must, can't live without mine ($10 Target)
    10) Extra long charger :yes!:
    11) Dry shampoo and large body wipes good. I used the large body wipes until my husband through me in the shower. I was afraid, lol! First shower feels so good!!!
    12) I wore loose yoga pants. Easy on and comfy to sleep in.
    13) I used non-skid socks. TEDS are like ice skates on most surfaces.

    I went through a Surgery Center and they didn't supply anything. I had to bring my own Oxy script and turn it over to them.

    Try to relax on the shower. You'll know when the time is right. Anticipating and prepping for it is worse than the shower itself. In my opinion you don't NEED a shower set. Personal preference.

    I used a walker for about 11-12 days then transitioned to a cane. By three weeks I was done with both. But kept the cane in my vehicle. It's still there 9 months later :shrug:

    You're more than organized. Try not to worry, easy to say....
    You're going to do great!
    @ketchup
     
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  15. Eman85

    Eman85 senior

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    The basic hip kit is sock aid, grabber handled sponge, long shoehorn, elastic shoelaces for sneakers and a dressing stick. I used a real simple cane but my OS actually recommended a walking stick instead. The raised toilet ring is junk, get a bedside toilet and remove the bucket so you can set it over the commode. I bought a suction cup shower handle at Harbor Freight for $8 and I dare anyone to pry it off of my fiberglass shower, it's a great investment. I bought an electric recliner at Ashley for $300 and it's been great.
    I brought exercise pants and slip on sneakers to the hospital and a pair of shorts. I wore shorts as soon as I got to the room after surgery, made the walk in the hall less revealing. The second morning I was fully dressed and had my sneakers on for the next walk and PT. Ice packs would ne a nightmare! The hospital gave me a Breg Polar Pack. It's a recirculating ice water machine, you fill it with 4 frozen water bottles and water and it circulates through a pad. You can leave it on 24hrs and even sleep with it. It was on me as soon as I got in the room from surgery. I used it continuously at home and never had much bruising. I showered the 2nd day home and every day after that. If you need a cheap chair the white plastic patio chairs with arms work great, I used one at the table, easy to lift yourself out of.
    Practice all of this before, it makes it easier after. I did all of the PT exercises for weeks ahead of time, seemed to make the post op easier compared to others in the first PT class.
     
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  16. Bumblebee

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    Bring your own pillow to the hospital...hospital pillows not too comfy, slip on shoes, ear plugs, eye mask.
    I was able to shower with the waterproof bandage they put on me, but didn't feel stable enough to go in the shower for several days. Used a belt to lift leg in bed for several days. Kitchen Tongs (long ones) were great grabbers. You can get a sock on by rolling it on a folded magazine and slipping your foot into it (I just invented that recently):snork:
    Put an old purse on your walker for carrying stuff especially the tongs.
     
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  17. Miggie

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    It sounds like you have everything covered. The most useful item to me was the grabber, I hung it on my walker so it was available when needed (which was often!!) Since I had trouble sleeping, I found my recliner necessary I only lasted a few hours in bed each night. Sofa was out for me, as getting up would have broken the 90 degree restriction.

    You are going to do great! Will be watching for your recovery thread. Hugs
     
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  18. ketchup

    ketchup junior member
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    Thank you, everyone! The “hacks” in this thread have been super helpful, and definitely weren’t things I’d thought of/read on the many lists out there.

    This is exactly why having a forum full of experience is so priceless, I truly appreciate each and every one of you who have chimed in to share what worked for you!
     
  19. dlp

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  20. anny

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    Coming up to end of my first week...I experimented with homemade icepacks cos they're quite expensive here in NZ. The washing up liquid ones, even with rubbing alcohol didn't work for me, set too hard BUt I hit gold with the cornflour and salt. Found it on BS but can't remember who to credit for it, sorry

    Add 1 cup salt to 4 cups water, bring to boil to dissolve salt and leave to cool a little. Mix 1 cup cornflour with a little cold water to a paste (like making gravy).....you might find it hard work and that it won't go but keep at it. Add a tbsp hot salt water mix, then another tbsp to raise temp slightly. Add all cornflour mixture to saltwater and heat gently, stirring, until it's thick and shiny (you can add colouring too). Let it cool well....you're going to put it into plastic bags.....choose your size and seal well, double bag each pack and freeze. I find they get pretty cold but always moldable, and prefer them to my commercial ones

    I was also glad I took my own pillow to hospital.....I hate the plastic lined ones that crackle. Make sure you have an obviously different pillowcase on it so that they don't get mixed up. I also thought of taking my duvet, but decided that was a bit overkill, but a small soft fleecy blanket might be comforting. I also made sure I had some nice spray (my favourite is Body Shop Vanilla), the nurses all commented on how nice it was too. In the end tho, the first time round is the unknown....I'll be much better at it next time round :thumb:
     
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