Watch 2020 JRAD Videos

TKR TKR in a week - What does PT advise about which side of bed to sleep on

bs27

new member
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi all - new to this forum. I am having my first, and hopefully only, total knee replacement on June 12. I've been preparing 2 first floor bedrooms and the area around a recliner in the living room - assuming I may want to divide early recovery time between all 3 locations. Before I go much further, I'm wondering what PT will likely advise about getting in/out of bed and sleeping. In one bedroom, the bed is lower but only the side with my new knee on the inside of the bed has room to negotiate a walker. The other bed would put my new knee on the outside of the bed but the bed is on the high side and also has just that 1 side with room for a walker. I also moved a recliner that fits me well from upstairs to downstairs for this event and built a sturdy, wooden platform to raise it up about 5 inches. I'd like to know before hand what PT will likely advise about having the operated leg on the outside of the bed or inside - or does it really matter? Thanks to my husband's numerous back surgeries, I'm well equipped with a assortment of useful medical supplies & aids. Also, the surgeon had me buy a water/ice circulating machine and said it would be iced up & running right after surgery. I've heard ice & pain pills will be my best friends for quite while - but were any of you TKR survivors told to ice & elevate at night regularly or is it more of an option when additional pain relief is needed when not able to sleep? Sorry for the long post ... Thanks in advance for any info anyone is able to share!
 

lovetocookandsew

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
4,044
Age
64
Location
Northern California
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I've always found it best to sleep on the top side of the bed. :heehee:

Ok, seriously, welcome to BS! I sleep on the left side of the bed which leaves my surgical knee on the inside. I never had a problem getting in and out. And the hose on the ice machine reached my right knee with no problems. I always iced all night long, but didn't elevate as I was more comfortable sleeping on my side with a pillow between my knees. Most people can't sleep on their side for a while after, but for some reason I was able to right away. I did ice and elevate a lot during the day; if I was sitting or lying down I had the ice machine on and my knee up elevating. And I made sure to get up and walk around often, more and more as time went on.
 
OP
OP
B

bs27

new member
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thank You! The bed that would have my operated knee on the inside is the lowest of the two and closest to the bathroom, too. I'll check the ice machine hose length tonight and work on getting my nightstand (actually TV tray to be bigger) set up with the important stuff (remote, phone charger … and room for meds). Bought 4 extension cords with an on/off thumb switch at the end so I can control the ice machine, light on dresser, etc. easily. If I could get my husband to sleep under the mattress, he'd be great for elevation & I'd probably sleep better, too! :eyebrows::eyebrows: I hope I'll be able to sleep on one side initially but time will tell. Thank you again! (Wow - sorry you had to have so much work done on that right knee! Hope it back to behaving well again).
 

Jamie

ADMINISTRATOR
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
60,328
Age
71
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Welcome officially to BoneSmart! Lovetocookandsew offered good advice. It's all about what works best for you, but most people find it easier to have their operated knee to the inside of the bed. This is because you will be more stable getting in and out of bed with your good leg planted firmly on the floor until you get your operated leg situated. For a while your leg may be too weak to lift. So having a leg lifter or a helping hubby is a good idea. There is no problem with icing all night while you sleep. I found it to be very comforting. Not everyone does. Recovery is very individual and you have to discover what works best for you.

Here are some short articles that will help you get started thinking about recovery:

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary

2. Control discomfort:
rest
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
the BoneSmart view on exercise
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for TKRs

6. Access to these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Closure

The Recovery articles:

The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Sara61

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
1,069
Gender
Female
Country
Portugal Portugal
If you are married /have a partner and are able to "boot" him/her out of the bedroom for the 1st couple of months I would highly recommend it :heehee:
My husband got moved to the spare bedroom it was a godsend, as for the first few weeks, sleep is difficult and having the space and room to myself allowed me to read, watch movie, text on BS without disturbing him, I was also less anxious that he would accidentally touch my knee.
I had my left knee replaced and chose the right side of the bed to get in and out off as I felt more secure using my non operated leg to support myself also it's easier to use your non operated leg to lift you operated knee onto the bed.
The only aid I purchased other than my crutches was a toilet seat raiser, my toilets are very low and it was a godsend I used it up to about 4-5 months post op.
Good luck with your forthcoming surgery :fingersx::) :-) (:
 

Celle

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
39,186
Location
New Zealand
Gender
Female
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
About icing: I iced my knee all night long. It's quite safe to do that, as long as you have some material between your skin and the icing medium, so your skin is protected from frost-bite.
 

Jajakio

graduate
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
538
Age
59
Location
Tennessee
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
We we are all different, but I really appreciated having my husband in the room at night. I can't count how many times he got up to do things for me. I was up and down at night some night's wandering back and forth from the bed to the couch to the spare bedroom. I gave my dear hubbie the option to sleep elsewhere but glad he stayed. I don't think it would have mattered for me which side of the bed I slept on. Physical therapy at my hospital asked us to measure height of bed beforehand and after surgery they helped us practice getting into and out of bed set to that height. And just asked me which side I was getting in on without recommending one or the other. I couldn't sleep on my side for may be 3 months anyway and almost everyone I know spent at least the first coup,e of weeks sleeping on their back.
 
OP
OP
B

bs27

new member
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thank you all for the info & tips! There looks like lots of great articles to read on this site and very nice surgery veterans willing to share their experiences. I suspect initially I'll let my husband stay in the same bed (king size - never know he's there!) and if he's well behaved and helpful (I'll need him to move the ice machine for the walker to get through the narrow space if I get up at night for a while), that will be great. If not, I can go elsewhere. I am supposed to take photos of our house entrance (6 steps) and the bathroom/shower setup - including the bed height is a good suggestion! I'm glad to hear that icing all night will be fine if needed. I'm scheduled to spend 1 night in the hospital - initially the surgeon said I was a good candidate for same-day surgery but once I visibly shuttered at that idea then explained my tendency towards dizziness/vertigo/nausea often due to a ridiculously high number of disagreeable drugs - he quickly switched to a 1 night stay then play it by ear. So they'll load me up with their finest cocktail of anti-nausea meds and unless I get vertigo, I'll want to get in & out of there as quickly as possible given the virus situation. Thank you all again & I'll send a progress report when I can! (Surgery on Friday, June 12, with 1st outpatient PT scheduled for Tuesday).
 

Jamie

ADMINISTRATOR
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
60,328
Age
71
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I'm so glad to hear that you'll be safely watched after surgery. It sounds like you have things under control. Before you know it you'll be starting down Recovery Road toward a more enjoyable life without joint pain. Hooray!!!
 

InkedMarie

graduate
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
737
Age
59
Location
Gilford, NH
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
No one ever told me what side of the bed to sleep on. I have *my* side and that’s where I’ll always sleep!
 

marieltha

graduate
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
848
Age
68
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Sorry I missed you in pre-op. Hope your surgery, overnight stay, and transition home all went well.
I agree with @Sara61 about sleeping in different rooms. Your caretaker really needs to get a good night’s sleep in order to do everything needed for you. We each had a phone—mine was in the bed—and when I had to getup in the night, I called him, and he came and made sure I got to the bathroom safely. We got so we could do this on autopilot. My ice device is gravity feed, and he redid that before I walked back. I also ended up with all my “stuff” (phone, ipad, Kindle, paperback, book light, lidocaine, voltaren, magnesium oil, tissues) next to me in the bed (king) so I didn’t have to get up or reach beyond the bed out of habit. As Sara61 said also, sleep after surgery is “odd“ and many of us found ourselves reading, massaging the leg, doing in-bed stretches, drawing, etc, at different hours. As I recovered, I often could get up by myself and just walk a bit in the bedroom to stretch the leg and relax enough to sleep again. My husband would have been beyond sleep-deprived if he had been in the same bed/room then.
Also, as Sara61 said, I kept the elevated commode for months after my second PKR. I gave it up quickly after my first and think that’s how I twisted the knee and sprained the ligament. Also, as @lovetocookandsew said, I got up and moved/walked more often after the second and had a better recovery.
Best wishes.
 

Sara61

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
1,069
Gender
Female
Country
Portugal Portugal
@bs27 Congratulnations on your recent surgery. :flwrysmile:
Please start a recovery thread and we’ll be able to talk with you about your recovery there. If you need help with that, let us know xx
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
51,554
Messages
1,383,581
BoneSmarties
32,266
Latest member
Nancan
Recent bookmarks
0

Top Bottom