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What Clothes to Bring?

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CaliGirl

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I got my general pre-op instructions from my surgeon's office (which are so generic they should be entitled "Having Surgery for Dummies"). I do have a pre-op appointment 7 days before my 5/2/16 surgery, so I know they will go into a lot more detail then, but in the meantime I'm just obsessing about everything.

One of the things on the list is "On the day of surgery wear loose clothing that will fit over bandages," (okay that part makes sense). Then goes on to say "(oversized shirt that buttons down the front.)" I can't figure out why my clothes need to button down the front for knee replacement surgery, though. Can you? The orthopedic group where my surgeon practices does have a number of different doctors who each specialize in different parts of the body. My best guess is that this is a totally generic pre-op instruction sheet that they give to EVERYONE who is having any type of surgery, and is meant to cover all the bases - but that's just a guess

My doctor said I will probably be in hospital for 3 days (2 nights), so this is not being done outpatient as the pre-op sheet alludes to. For my hospital stay, I had planned to just bring a comfy, cotton nightgown (like a super-long t-shirt that goes down to my knees), but it pulls over my head. For going home, I figured I'd bring a sundress (which again goes on over my head). I figure as long as I stay away from any maxi dresses or skirts that are so long I could potentially trip on them, that's probably easier to deal with than loose pants.

Ladies, what did you wear in hospital, and what did you wear most at home?

Thanks in advance.
 

Tabbycat

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Hi Caligirl,
I'm in the same boat wondering what to pack for my TRKR on 21st April. So far I've got a couple of pairs of wide leg pyjama bottoms with elastic waists in black jersey, so they don't look like nightwear, and some loose t shirts.
I've also got a shawl I used when I had a hysterectomy and it was the best thing I took in. I thought it might slip off my shoulders when trying to walk but it doesn't. It's nice wrap around you in bed or if you are up, and doesn't get in the way if you have a drip in your arm. I might be in up to 6 days, my husband says I WILL be there that long to get my money's worth and give him a break before all the hard work of looking after me :scare:but if I am ok I want to come home. ( I will really miss my cat:kittykiss:)
I will be interested to read more comments in this thread.
Love,
Tabbycat
 

Timetolive

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I wore stretchy loose knit shorts that came down to my knee and long sleeved T-shirts most of the time. You need to remember PT will be bending your knee and you will be in positions that will expose your panties (for lack of a better description..). I would wear long shorts. You will be walking down hallways, laying on a table in PT, and having your leg lifted for elevation, etc. If you are worried about shorts because of your legs, believe me - my legs are big and I would rather them see my legs in shorts than see my bum! :heehee: God luck to you! You will be do great!
 

Timetolive

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@Tabbycat, in the hospital you will have a lot of bandages on your leg (and possibly a drain) right after surgery. Long pants will be great after those come off - if they are big enough in the legs. I had a spinal, so I had a catheter until the next morning. After the catheter was pulled, some of the bandages were taken off, and I got dressed in my shorts and T-shirt. Whatever you take, it needs to be extra comfy and stretchy to pull over that knee.
 

JLP

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I wore men's gym shorts (cotton blend) and T-shirts. It is difficult to find women's gym shorts that are not skin tight and they are so short. You probably will be walking during PT sessions in public areas so a nightgown may not be the best. I know when I was walking during PT, there were always workmen in the passageways.
 

Tabbycat

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Thanks, that's very helpful. It's all a bit of a dilemma when you don't know what to expect:thud:
What about culottes, they are usually wide in the legs and cover a bit more than shorts? And also is it ok to wear non slip yoga socks in the hospital or do you need proper slippers ?
Thanks,
Tabbycat:kittykiss:
 

gizmotto31

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I don't think a button up shirt is necessary but they are probably suggesting it so doctors and nurses have easy access like they would in a hospital gown. I was in a gown the first day until catheter and monitors were off. After that, like others, I wore basketball shorts and a dri fit tshirt. I think long pants would be uncomfortable and inconvenient. First, you will be in thigh high surgical hose. Those need to be pulled up often and adjusted. Also, doctors, therapists, and nurses are constantly checking and working on your knee. It helps to see the knee and not restrict the motion anymore. I also wanted to feel the ice penetrate. It was all about comfy and convenience. I was worried about my pride and privacy from the time I scheduled my surgery, but within 2 minutes of changing into the surgical gown (worse than hospital gown), I realized I had no pride left and could care less anymore as I knew the professionals could care less too.
I have to laugh at myself though as on day 3, I decided to dry shave my non surgical leg before PT. I had a minor knick that I didn't think twice about but as I was waiting to start therapy, I looked down and one would think I took a butcher knife to my leg because there was a lot of blood. I had forgot about being on blood thinners lol. I had to ask for a few bandaids and in turn fessed up my story to the staff. They laughed so hard but did say that everyone would know and understand why I would have a little stubble and that they don't judge. I really did do it more for my sake (and maybe some cute resident doctors) than anyone else, but at least I could entertain them as well as myself.
 

Clipless

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Comfy t-shirts, knicker-length stretchy shorts, and slip-on mules (e.g. Merrill's). After my second TKR I changed into my own clothes that same night and felt much better for it. The next morning my surgeon was so surprised to find me fully dressed and sitting on the side of the bed eating breakfast! Fyi you will need a nurse to help you wrangle the IV tubing and urinary catheter (if you have one) but it's all doable.

I also brought a small, soft fleece blanket and a favorite pillow from home.
 

Josephine

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I can't figure out why my clothes need to button down the front for knee replacement surgery, though. Can you?
Absolutely it's necessary but for the same reason they give you a open backed op gown! Access. See if you have a funny turn or are unwell and a doctor wants to use a stethoscope on your chest, he doesn't want to have to do battle with a tee shirt or sweater! Simple as that.

There are one or two other morays: no opaque or dark coloured nail varnish or lipstick when going to theatre because we need to be able to see your natural colour in your nails and lips! If you get cyanosed (a bluish discolouration of the skin due to poor circulation or inadequate oxygenation of the blood) it shows first in the lips and the nail bed.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I always choose to just wear the hospital gowns-one in bed and add another one on backwards when up walking. I know from experience that things happen in hospitals and I don't want fluids, blood or food to stain my clothes. I'd rather mess up the hospital gowns....lol. To go home, I always bring a knee length nightgown and robe to wear home since I will hit my bed the second I get home. I don't care if I get wheeled to my car in my robe, who cares if someone sees me, it's a hospital after all, not the mall. I also bring my own slippers for walking around (my slippers don't fall off and have a nice sole), but use the hospital socks in my bed to keep my feet warm. I don't like to just use socks to walk as you never know what may be on the floor; even though the hospital floors are kept immaculate, things do get dropped, plus I don't want to wear socks around then have to change them to get back into bed. At home, I generally just wear nightgowns for the first days as I spend most of my time in bed. As I feel better and am up and around more, I wear loose comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and take off. I prefer my nightgowns as they go over my head, aren't tight on my knee and they're nice and cool. It took quite a while before I could put on jeans again, so for the most part I wore mid-calf length dresses or really loose, stretch walking shorts. Luckily, my surgery was in the spring so I wasn't freezing.
 

referee54

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After my BTKR, while in the hospital, I wore comfortable T-shirts and very loose gym shorts. Later on, when I was back home, I wore very loose sweat pants.

Functionality and ease of movement/access---comfort is very important. I did not worry at all about how I looked.
 

JLP

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I used the non slip socks from the hospital to walk around in. You will feel so much more comfortable in your own clothes.
 
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CaliGirl

CaliGirl

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Thanks to everyone for your replies. I don't care what I look like in hospital, and if my panties show while I'm doing PT in hospital, I'm sure it's nothing they haven't seen before. :heehee: @Josephine, what you are saying about the hospital gown and ease of access if necessary makes good sense. I think I will just wear the hospital gown while I'm in hospital, and maybe bring a bathrobe so my bum isn't hanging out while I'm walking the halls. The pre-op sheet did say not to wear makeup, your explanation as to why makes total sense.

It's interesting that a number of you mentioned slip-on shoes. I'm doing pre-op physical therapy, and the therapist said that slip-on shoes are a bad idea post op. :shrug: I have Crocs (that I usually wear as slip-ons but they do have a strap that comes around my heel if I choose to wear them that way. Once he saw the strap he said they would be fine. I figure I'll bring those to the hospital as they are very easy to get on and off.

@lovetocookandsew, I think I will follow your lead, and spend the first few days at home in my nightie. That definitely sounds comfortable, and sensible.

@Clipless, I hope that I follow in your shoes, and am doing that well one day post-op. :) By the way, we're virtually neighbors.
 

PolarBear60

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I just wore the hospital gown in the hospital. My thoughtful PT put another one over my backside to preserve my modesty when we went walking.

I wore men's shorts, T-shirt, and slip on shoes to come home.


Jean

LTKR (Stryker Triathlon): 21 April 2015
Right Knee Arthroscopy: 25 July 2006
Left Knee Arthroscopy: 10 February 2005
 

conrn

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I changed into wide leg capri's and a tee shirt the morning after surgery. We had PT twice a day in a group session. Day two another pair of capri's, tee shirt, and sneakers.....PT in morning then home in the same outfit.
 

Josephine

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I wore the gown last time. It was easier and you could get a clean one if necessary.

As for shoes, I always wore my favourite Rhode mule-type sandals and no-one said a word!

Rhode sandals.jpg
 

Carolina Writer

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I bought a couple things today for my hospital/rehab stay. I've gone with what some of the others have done - long shorts and a couple tees. I did buy a short robe, it's good to have anyhow, as I think Ill be more comfy. As for shoes, I have a pair of slip on sneakers with a closed in back. They have a good tread on the bottom so I hope they are okay.

I'm a bit self-conscious when it comes to being makeup free as I have some skin issues. That said, I'll have a bit of makeup with me just in case. LOL
 

Celle

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I think the two main things about shoes are
  • that they are easy to put on - it's hard to tie your laces at first;
  • that they will stay on, so that you don't trip while walking.
You may also need to allow for some swelling, as your foot sometimes swells a bit, too.
 
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