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Author Topic: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?  (Read 6156 times)

Offline doublemom

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Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« on: April 04, 2010, 11:15:46 PM »
I'm having a TTT/LR/possible MPFLr on Tuesday, and I'm wondering about any good tricks for keeping the knee area completely dry while taking a shower...  My surgeon won't allow the area to get wet *at all* for the first couple of weeks, but I LOVE my hot showers. 

So... other than spending a lot of $$$ on a special sleeve to keep the leg dry, what other tips or tricks do people have for covering a knee to keep it from getting it wet?

Thanks in advance,
Andi
2000 R patella dislocation
2004 - Soccer injury - LK medial and lateral meniscectomies
2007 - Dx patellar tilt, lateral subluxation, grade III chondromalacia
5/13/08 - RK medial/lateral meniscectomies & patellar chondroplasty
4/6/2010 - RK TTT/LR scheduled

Offline KW

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 11:25:21 PM »
Ask the Hospital/OS to give you Tegaderm before you are released. It acts as a second skin and if applied over incisions/stitches they will stay dry in the shower. I have used this for all 3 of my Fulkersons and PFJR.  It works great!

You can also have your local pharmacy order Tegaderm for you.  It is not expensive if you need to pay for it yourself...something like $10 a box.

Best of luck.

Karen
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 12:30:12 AM by KW »
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline oohheykate

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 12:48:01 AM »
I used a good ol' garbage bag duct taped at the top and bottom, with a towel folded under inside the top of trash bag at the edge for extra protection, just in case any water got in. It worked well until I was able to take my immobilizer off. I also left my leg on the side of the tub with the shower curtin covering it for a quick shower as it's not the most comfortable position. Seran wrap works well too. Hope this helps.

Good luck with your surgery Andi  :)


-Kate
-18 years old-
Left knee;
11.07.08- Scope
07.02.09- Lateral Release/Meniscus Repair
11.11.09- diagnosis of Patellar Instability/Patellar Tracking Disorder
12.10.09- Medial Reefing/Lateral Release
01.11- Synvisc
04.14.11- MPFL Reconstruction
06.21.11- LOA & MUA

Offline BadKneeDay

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 01:33:19 AM »
I agree with the trash bag idea!  I took a draw string trash bag, cut the bottom seam, and tied the draw string around the upper thigh, then it hangs like a poncho... I also wrapped the towel around my knee and taped it, just in case.  Another thing I did was get one of the showerheads on the hose that you can take down and I laid in the tub with my knee propped up on the side and just sprayed myself with the stream.  It was easier for me than trying to keep weight and balance on the good leg while trying to wash at the same time. 

Good luck with your procedure!

Jess

Offline Silkncardcrafts

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 03:11:55 AM »
Don't use a garbage bag as water can get in and the wound may get wet.

There are waterproof dressings that you can put over your wound. They should do that automatically anyway. If not, you can get them from a chemist.

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow.
11/1996 - RK LR
07/1997 - LK LR
11/1998 - LK MPFL Reco
12/2005 - RK LR Repair
07/2006 - LK MPFL Repair
11/2006 - LK LR Repair
22/05/08 - LK Trochleoplasty
11/02/10 - RK Trochleoplasty
07/03/11 - RK Chrondroplasty

Offline KW

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 03:38:25 AM »
Don't use a garbage bag as water can get in and the wound may get wet.

There are waterproof dressings that you can put over your wound. They should do that automatically anyway. If not, you can get them from a chemist.

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow.

I totally agree!!!  I had that exact problem with the trash bag method!  In the U.S. the waterproof dressings go by the brand name Tegaderm. I get them given to me before I am released from the hospital.  Slap one (or more if needed) on before a shower and the incision will stay dry.

Karen
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline Jennifer34

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 04:26:08 AM »
Hi Andi,

You are so smart to ask these type of questions.  I ran into a problem on Friday.  I realized that there is no way, I can go another day without a shower.  I was hitting 3-4 days already.  I waited for a while cause I was living alone and not comfortable.  I ended up getting a plastic sleeve type thingy that is used for casts from the surgery center.  I tried to use it but I had to keep everything on.  My leg was too big for the sleeve.  I ended up taking a garbage bag, put my leg in it, and wrapped tape around the top.  It worked great.  I just had to be careful getting out because it was slippery. 

I also could not get my leg wet at all until post-op appt.

Thanks
Jennifer

Offline dm

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 05:33:25 AM »
When you can take all the big lumpy bandages off, but still have to keep things dry, the tegaderm is a good solution. It comes in several sizes. Pharmacies in the US often carry it nowadays. for scope incisions, the small size works, for longer incisions, the 4x6 sheet works. Remember though, it's a one-shot application, you can't peel it off and put it back on and expect it to be water-tight. However, once it's on, it's good for several days before it needs to be replaced.

If you have an immobilizer or heavy bandages amd absolutely gotta wash, you ought to do a sink bath with a washcloth etc and a sinkful of warm water, and clean up that way, with the exception of washing your hair. If you can stand and wash that in the sink, that works.

Otherwise, use heavy tape and a plastic bag and totally encase the limb in plastic, making sure that the tape seal has no creases to let water leak in. sit in a chair if possible. and use a handheld showerhead, to minimize water running down the plastic covering, which helps lessen the opportunity for water to get in. Its also best not to bathe alone, have someone in the house or within call in case of accident.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline doublemom

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 05:40:02 AM »
Thanks everyone... I have a great shower chair, actually it's a transfer bench, that I love and it's going to be wonderful for getting in and out of the shower.  My DH installed a hand-held shower head for me also.  I'll have my DH ask the OS on surgery day if I can use the Tegaderm, if not I'll just put the whole leg in a large garbage bag with tape and prop it up on the side of the tub.  I'll definitely have someone with me for getting in/out of the shower, I won't even attempt that by myself until I'm more steady :)

Andi
2000 R patella dislocation
2004 - Soccer injury - LK medial and lateral meniscectomies
2007 - Dx patellar tilt, lateral subluxation, grade III chondromalacia
5/13/08 - RK medial/lateral meniscectomies & patellar chondroplasty
4/6/2010 - RK TTT/LR scheduled

Offline asreid

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 09:09:30 AM »
Hey doublemom,

I used double op-site dressings and they worked perfect.  They last 3-4 days and then I replace them with new ones.  Onlyd o this however if the surgeon has allowed you to do so.  Taking the dressing off leads to a chance of infection if the scar is still oozing.  That said I showered on day two after my TKR.  I required the help of two nurses and I can tell you that was the best benefit of priate insurance!!

I wish you well.  Funny how we always end up on the same links!!

Get well soon and look forward to your life returning to normall.


L/K Patella & Quadricep Tendon Rpture
R/K Meniscus Tear, PT Tear, Pes and Quad Bursitis
R/K PFJ O/A Grade 3(noyes)
R/K Patella subluxation
R/K Debridement x 4
R/K Bursectomy
lRk ITB Release
R/K Lateral Realease, Microfracture
R/K Aborted Fulkerson
R/K TKR Feb 2009
Now. New Knee - can walk!!

Offline anniehine

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 11:46:06 AM »
Hi Doublemom, my vote goes to garbage bags also..I used those small ones you get for waste paper bins and tied several elastic bands above and below and that worked a treat!  I did keep it slightly propped up on a chair too so it didnt have the full impact of the shower.

Good luck with your surgery, all our thoughts are with you! 

Annie.
Left knee started dislocating at 7 years old
Hypermobile
Arthroscopic scope April 2009
Trochleoplasty at 28 years old (10.2.10)
Did 1st SLR 1.4.10 WHOOP!!
Walked through house without crutches (12.4.10) very pleased with myself!!

Offline mmrocker13

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Re: Keeping incisions dry in the shower?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 03:03:41 PM »


So... other than spending a lot of $$$ on a special sleeve to keep the leg dry, what other tips or tricks do people have for covering a knee to keep it from getting it wet?

Thanks in advance,
Andi

I bought a shower sleeve. It was like six bucks. The two pack is $11.
89 (age 12): Pat. dislocation, lat. meniscus tear, femoral OCD lesion
89: debridement, chondroplasty, lateral partial menisectomy
02: partial lateral menisectomy, debridement
02: microfracture
09: subtotal menisectomy, debridement, c'plasty
10: scope/debridement
10: open wedge varus DFO
13: HWR