Additional Tips For People Flying After Tkr
- Give yourself plenty of time to heal if you are planning a trip after TKR. Unfortunately, I planned my trip long before I made the decision to have TKR surgery.
- Take advantage of the early boarding group to ensure you have a comfortable seat. Know where you want to sit before boarding the plane.
- Sitting in the front of the aircraft also means you will one of the first to exit the aircraft and you can avoid standing in the aisle or sitting in your seat waiting your turn to leave.
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.
This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knees strength, stability, and range of motion. A variety of surgical techniques and prostheses can be used, depending on your weight, age, knee size and shape, activity level, and overall health.
How To Shower After A Total Knee Replacement:
Set the showering supplies within reach:
- Set the Soap , shampoo, conditioner, long handled sponge to wash the back and lower extremities, and wash cloth within easy reach.
- Set the shower hose in a location where you can reach it while sitting and standing in a shower. A shower hose mounted on a vertical slide bar is perfect.
- Place towels to dry after showering within easy reach so that you can either dry off after getting out of the shower while standing or sitting.
- Place and organize clothing you anticipate wearing after showering by the bed or chair within easy reach of where you will sit to dress.
If the patient has a choice, always choose to shower in a shower stall rather than showering in a tub.
A shower stall frequently has a non-skid tile floor and may not need a separate non-skid mat for the shower floor.All showers within a tub should use a non-skid mat. Not only are the tub floors slick, they also are not flat and level. A towel placed on the floor of the tub will reduce the slipperiness of the tub, but a non-skid mat would be much safer.
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Characteristics Of Severe Arthritis Of The Knee
Pain is the most noticeable symptom of knee arthritis. In most patients the knee pain gradually gets worse over time but sometimes has more sudden flares where the symptoms get acutely severe. The pain is almost always worsened by weight-bearing and activity. In some patients the knee pain becomes severe enough to limit even routine daily activities.
Morning stiffness is present in certain types of arthritis. Patients with morning stiffness of the knee may notice some improvement in knee flexibility over the course of the day. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience more frequent morning stiffness than patients with osteoarthritis.
Swelling and warmth
Patients with arthritis sometimes will notice swelling and warmth of the knee. If the swelling and warmth are excessive and are associated with severe pain, inability to bend the knee, and difficulty with weight-bearing, those signs might represent an infection. Such severe symptoms require immediate medical attention. Joint infection of the knee is discussed below.
The knee joint has three compartments that can be involved with arthritis . Most patients have both symptoms and findings on X-rays that suggest involvement of two or more of these compartments for example, pain on the lateral side and beneath the kneecap . Patients who have arthritis in two or all three compartments, and who decide to get surgery, most often will undergo total knee replacement .
How I Made Flying After Tkr A Success
Great news! When I received my boarding pass it was labeled TSA Pre-approved. No waiting in long lines and plus I did not have to remove my shoes.
The regular TSA lines were more than a half hour wait and I was able to zoom through the pre-approved line. I did set the security alarm off and was briefly rerouted to the full body scan where I told them I had just had TKR.
After the body scan, they used a wand around my knee and then sent me on my way . I was concerned about getting a bad seat so I went directly to the gate counter and explained that I had TKR 2 months ago and that this was my first flight since the surgery.
I asked if I could be included in the early boarding group. The attendant changed my boarding pass without asking any questions and my wife was able to accompany me in the early boarding group. If youve had knee replacement within a few months Id recommend doing this!
I was told that I could sit anywhere except in an exit row. I was fifth in line when we boarded and I chose a bulkhead right aisle seat in the first row near the bathroom. I could stretch out my leg and elevate it against the bulkhead and also stretch it out in the aisle.
I had to be careful to keep my foot out of the aisle when the other passengers were boarding and when the flight attendants went up and down the aisle. During the flight, I sat comfortably and took a walk the length of the plane every 45 minutes. I kept busy doing crossword puzzles and I did ankle pumps every ten minutes.
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How Much Range Of Motion Do I Need To Get Into A Car
We typically recommend that someone has at least 105 degrees of knee flexion to get into the drivers seat of a car. This makes it easier to clear the pedals and slide into the front seat.
To get into the passenger seat, you need around 80-85 degrees of knee flexion to maneuver yourself into the front seat. Of course, this doesnt mean it will be a comfortable ride at this range of motion, but you should be able to get into the car normally.
Walk As Soon As Possible
Recovery from joint replacement surgery isnt always easy, but getting back on your feet as soon as the doctor says its okay can help you recover. Walking helps prevent complications like blood clots, improves circulation, and keeps your joints limber. You dont have to wait until you return home after surgery. Most patients can start walking while still in the hospital. Walking helps deliver important nutrients to your knee to help you heal and recover. You can expect to use a walker for the first couple of weeks. Most patients can walk on their own roughly four to eight weeks after knee replacement.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Recover From Knee Surgery
4 Tips for Faster Recovery after Knee Surgery Keep the Knee Straight. While it may not be incredibly comfortable, its important that you keep your knee joint completely straight immediately after your surgery. Wear Your Knee Brace. After your surgery, your doctor may give you a knee brace. Appropriate Exercise. Physical Therapy.
When Can I Drive
If you had surgery on your right or left knee and drive an automatic transmission, you should not drive for at least 4-6 weeks. After 4-6 weeks you may return to driving as soon as you feel comfortable, are not taking narcotic pain medications, and can safely and quickly move the leg from the accelerator to the brake petal. For a stick shift, or standard transmission, it will be at least 4-6 weeks regardless of which leg you had surgery. Again, you should not drive if you are taking narcotics.
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Safe To Drive After Knee Surgery
To get a better understanding of how knee surgery impacts your ability to stop a moving vehicle, researchers in Germany recruited 40 individuals between the age of 36 and 86 who had recently undergone a total knee arthroplasty. Half of the patients underwent the operation on their right knee, while the other half had the replacement operation on their left knee. Researchers recorded a patients reaction time and braking ability in an automatic transmission driving simulator before the operation, and four times after the surgery. The driving test involved hitting the gas until they saw a red light, which meant they needed to come to a quick stop.
After examining the test results, researchers discovered:
- Eight days after surgery, patients with right-knee replacement had a 30 percent slower braking time than their pre-surgery braking time. At eight days, braking time was only reduced by 2 percent in patients with left-knee replacements.
- Braking force decreased 25-35 percent in both groups a week after surgery, and gradually increase over a year.
- Braking force reached preoperative levels in the left-knee group after 12 weeks.
Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting A Knee Replacement
Heres what you need to know thats not in the brochure: 1. You might not be a good candidate.A study published last year by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond questioned the value of knee replacement for some of the people rushing to get it. After analyzing data from a large study of men and women who had the operation, the researchers found that fully one-third of them were not actually good candidates for the surgery, which is why they got only a very modest benefita 2-point improvement on a common measure of knee function, compared with a 20-point improvement for people who started out with really bad knees.
“Pain that doesnt go away and moderate to severe arthritis are necessary for a knee replacement to do its job,” Lajam says. “If you have the surgery, but its actually a problem of nerve pain, hip pain, or circulation, its not going to help you.” The advice here is not to wait until your knees are completely destroyed before seeking surgery, but to make sure that youve tried other measures first and that you meet both criteriaconsistent pain and advanced arthritis.
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Bathing Right After Knee Replacement
During the first 12 days post surgery, I bathed from my sink . I had my wife put down a large beach towel in front of the sink. Then she brought a folding chair and put it on the towel in front of the sink.
I draped another towel over the chair and sat on that towel. I had soap, a washcloth and a towel nearby. I filled the sink with warm water.
Using the washcloth without soap I washed my head. I dont have much hair so it wasnt necessary to use shampoo or soap on my head. Next, I lathered up the washcloth with soap.
I stood using the sink counter for support and washed and rinsed my body. I then sat in the chair and washed my feet and legs. The first few days I could not reach my foot on the surgical knee.
My wife was kind enough to wash my right foot and my back while I was seated in the chair. She also dried the same foot and my back. I was able to dry the rest of my body while sitting and then standing.
It was a chore to bathe and I was breathing hard after I was finished. It felt great to be clean and to put on a clean change of clothing.
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Tips To Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery
Nearly half of American adults will develop knee arthritis at some point during their lives. Pain, stiffness, and limited mobility are often the result of knee arthritis. Knee replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore function when your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury. The average recovery time from knee replacement surgery is approximately six months, but it can take roughly 12 months to fully return to physically demanding activities. Though the recovery process can be long, there are steps you can take to heal well and enhance your recovery speed.
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Precautions After Knee Replacement Surgery
This article outlines the necessary precautions to take after total knee replacement surgery so you dont overdo it. The medical team at the hospital and my doctor gave me several suggestions on how to avoid setbacks and how to improve my recovery.
I also learned some dos and donts through trial and error. Well discuss the dangers of falling, infection, blood clots and several other things that might impede your TKR recovery.
Hopefully my experience will make your recovery from knee replacement less painful and free from setbacks. The more you know before surgery, the better your recovery will be.
Do as much reading and researching as much as you can and get information from friends and acquaintances that have had TKR. I asked a lot of questions whenever I met someone that had previously had TKR and Im glad I did.
Everyone has a different experience with total knee replacement and recovery but I was surprised how consistent the advice was.
Transferring Into And Out Of A Shower Stall:
If possible, always enter the shower before turning on the water.Running water is not only distracting but makes the shower floor more slippery.
Place an absorbent floor mat on the floor just outside the shower to step on when exiting the shower.
Showering might require some manual assistance from a caregiver to complete the task, but even if no assistance is required, always have someone within hearing distance when showering.The mixture of decreased balance, pain meds, and soapy water is always a dangerous situation.
A shower chair and a shower hose are a great help in cleaning below the waist.
Entering the shower stall:
- Approach the shower entry using the walker and positioning the body sideward to the shower entry with the unoperated extremity closest to the shower lip.
- Move the walker clockwise or counterclockwise until the back of the walker is facing the shower entry.
- Keeping one hand on the walker and the other hand inside the shower on the wall or grab bar, lift the unoperated foot up and over the lip of the shower stall and place it flat and firm on the shower floor.
- Bring the other hand inside the shower placing it on the shower wall or grab bar and bring the operated foot into the shower.
- Turn on the water and shower.
Exiting the shower stall:
Transferring into and out of a tub shower:
Tub showers are much more difficult to enter and exit than a shower stall because:
Entering a tub shower:
Exiting the tub shower:
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How Long Does The Pain Last After A Knee Replacement
Over 90% of patients who have knee replacement surgery experience a significant improvement in their pain and mobility. But remember that this is a major surgery, which means that it takes time to recover after going under the knife.
It often takes three months to return to normal activities and six months to 1 year before your knee is strong and resilient.
Similar Conditions That Affect The Knee
Sometimes patients with knee pain don’t have arthritis at all. Each knee has two rings of cartilage called “menisci” . The menisci work similarly to shock absorbers in a car.
Menisci may be torn acutely in a fall or as the result of other trauma or they may develop degenerative tears from wear-and-tear over many years. Patients with meniscus tears experience pain along the inside or outside of the knee. Sometimes the pain is worse with deep squatting or twisting. Popping and locking of the knee are also occasional symptoms of meniscus tears.
Since some of these symptoms may be present with arthritis and the treatment of arthritis is different from that of meniscus tears, it is important to make the correct diagnosis. A good orthopedic surgeon can distinguish the two conditions by taking a thorough history, performing a careful physical examination, and by obtaining imaging tests. X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans may be helpful in distinguishing these two conditions.
Knee Joint Infections
Also called infectious arthritis or septic arthritis, a joint infection is a severe problem that requires emergent medical attention. If not treated promptly knee infections can cause rapid destruction of the joint. In the worst cases they can become life-threatening.Symptoms of a knee joint infection include:
- severe pain
- fevers and
Again, a joint infection is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
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Are There Any Reasons Why I Cant Have A Knee Replacement
Unfortunately, some people may not be able to have a knee replacement even though their arthritis is very bad. This may be because:
- your thigh muscles are very weak and may not be able to support your new knee joint
- there are deep or long-lasting open sores in the skin below your knee, increasing your risk of infection.
Sex Positions After A Hip Replacement
Its REALLY important that those with hip replacements avoid sex positions that require placing their joint in extreme ranges of motion . The directions of motion to avoid depend on whether youve had an anterior or posterior hip replacement. The first step is to determine which hip replacement approach youve had.
Anterior-A hip replacement done through the front of the hip.
Posterior-A hip replacement done through the back of the hip
Patients whove undergone an anterior approach should avoid extremes of extension and external rotation . Patients whove undergone a posterior approach should avoid positions of hyper-flexion and internal rotation .
Here is a good chart to illustrate the motions to avoid after a hip replacement:
A study in the Journal of Arthroplasty measured hip replacement instability in common sex positions. They found that 25% of common positions require women to over-stretch their hip , putting them at serious risk for dislocation and other damage. The same study found that only one of the common positions had the same effect on men recovering from a replacement.
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