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Author Topic: How to shower?  (Read 2687 times)

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Offline soozles

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How to shower?
« on: November 25, 2010, 12:21:18 AM »
Is anyone willing to share their showering secrets for when your leg is locked at 0 and you can't get it wet? I have a sower stool and garbage bags but it's not working so good. Oh and I'm non weight bearing soi can't stand in the shower either
May 2005: Torn PCL, misdiagnosed as chondromalacia
April 2010: pain worse, lots of instability
Nov. 23, 2010: PCL reconstruction
progress here: http://pclrecovery.blogspot.com/

Offline dm

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 05:08:56 AM »
I'm presuming you can't remove your brace to bathe? In this case, you need to secure your brace bag at the top with good old plain duct tape. sit on the side of the commode, pull the plastic snug above the brace, use a short bit of tape to secure it snug, then use a long piece to wrap all the way around very tightly, to seal the top of the bag to the skin above the brace all the way around. Duct tape applied smoothly is about the only thing I've found that will effectively resist water seepage. not too comfy to remove, but it's effective and cheaper than buying those expensive cast bags, which aren't often big enough for braces.

You'll have to use a shower wand attachment on the shower head to bathe with, of course, so you can perform all washing/rinsing while seated, and to control where the water goes more effetively, so you can direct it away from the tape seal as much as you can.

Once you wash and rinse, of course dry yourself before unbagging your leg.

Given the process that this is, I'd suggest just sticking to sink baths and leaning over and washing your hair in the shower for the most part, until you can get permission to remove the brace for the time it takes to bathe, which your doctor may or may not allow, you just gotta ask.
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.

cdubb

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 06:27:58 AM »
They do sell some cast bags large enought to fit over braces because Melissa on the boards was telling me about one she purchased for only $20 or so.  Even though my brace was locked at 0, my Dr. still permitted me to remove it for showering and I just had a water tight Tegederm patch over my incision.  I was heel/toe touch weight bearing with my left leg, so I would get my right leg  in first facing my shower chair, then I carefully, lifted my left leg in keeping it straight while balance on a crutch on the left side. Then holding both of the rails on the shower chair, carefully turned and then lowered myself and somehow also managed to get my left leg propped up on the side of the tub fully extended.  It wasn't pretty, but it worked.  In getting, out, I just reversed the process.

Offline maryc

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 08:33:49 AM »
My OT taught me this method and it worked great for me.  You need 3 rubber bands that can fit the circumference of your thigh snuggly but not too tight.  I got mine at a local Walgreens in a bag of assorted bands, and found the ones that were about 8 inches long worked best for me.
You will also need 2 dish towels and a large garbage bag.
Place you leg in the garbage bag and secure it to your thigh with a rubber band.  Roll the dish towel lengthwise and wrap it around your leg (tying the ends together if you can) and snug it to the top of the rubber band.  Draw the garbage bag over the towel and secure with another rubber band.  Repeat this process with the other towel and place the 3rd rubber band at the top.
Any water that gets through the top of the bag will be absorbed by the towels.
It takes a while to get everything set up, but it's worth it to be able to shower again.
I used a shower hose that fit over the faucet so I could sit and still get the water on my back.
Sending healing rays your way. 
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline lululocket

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 10:24:40 AM »
I actually left showering for two weeks until OS said I could get the scar wet. Until then I was too tired for all that, and the shower is too small. I bathed myself every day from the sink whilst i sat in a plastic garden chair. I just wrapped the brace in a towel to avoid splashes. I had to get somebody else to wash my hair the way they do it in a hair salon. It wasn't great, but it was safe, pain free and only temporary.

Just to look forward to : When I could get my knee wet, I had the garden chair in the shower facing the nozzle. I'd walk in on crutches, remove the immobiliser while standing then use my crutches to sit. I had to bend my knee about 30 degrees to fit in. Then shower in a chair (was amazing, felt like such a luxury). Dry as much as i could by pulling the towel into the cubicle and staying in the chair. Then I'd get out and sit on the toilet seat to dry myself properly and get brace back on. Try and do it with somebody else in the house tho, first time I forget to get a towel out in my intense concentration! And dry your hands before touching crutches!
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline soozles

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 04:28:40 PM »
Well, I tried to take a shower this morning, and it was not at all pretty. I have a bathtub with a shower hose attachment. I sat in a shower chair with my braced leg hanging outside the tub balanced on some textbooks. Then, this is the part I'm somewhat embarrassed about, my mom had to get into the tub with me cause I realized I couldn't reach the hose once I sat down, and it was too risky to try to stand on one leg in the bathtub. So my mom ended up basically giving me a bath. I don't know if that will work too well again, I might just have my mom wash my hair in the sink and use baby wipes or something for my body, cause that was a lot of work.

I also finally figured out a way to sit comfortably on the toilet, or semi comfortably. I took a stack of my textbooks and put them on the floor, and then I let my leg rest on those books. Works really well to take some of that pressure off my leg while it's hanging. I knew those textbooks would come in handy one day.
May 2005: Torn PCL, misdiagnosed as chondromalacia
April 2010: pain worse, lots of instability
Nov. 23, 2010: PCL reconstruction
progress here: http://pclrecovery.blogspot.com/

cdubb

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 07:13:52 PM »
Yeah, I have a little stepstool in front of the toilet that I rest my leg on when I am using the toilet.  Works very well.  I also have a raised toilet seat with rails also to make getting up and down easier. 

Offline tink1976

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Re: How to shower?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 05:38:19 PM »
When I first had my surgery back in Sept I just took a sponge bath until I was realeased to scar wet. It was not fun having my mom to help me bathe but it did the trick. I had no rinse shampoo or just washed my hair in the sink.

When I was allowed to get my scar wet and take a bath.. i found a trick to getting in and out of the tub. First I would take my brace off and sit on the side of the tub.. take my good leg and put it in then swing my bad leg around..put one hand one on side of the tub and the other hand on the other side and lowerd myself down.. To get out..I had to have help standing but mostly used my arms to and good leg to get to standing postiion and sit back on side of the tub and got out like I got in..

Shower.. I have a shower chair and and bucket. I rest my leg on the bucket to keep the pressure of it hanging off.

I didnt take anything but sponge baths till I was allowed to get scar wet and brace off.. not the best thing.. but the eaisest.

Good luck to you!!
Dislocations from 93
Fulkerson TTT
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Cartledge repair
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