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Author Topic: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!  (Read 1102 times)

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Offline smileyshaz

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Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« on: April 16, 2012, 09:36:32 PM »
Hi everyone, since my tibial plateau fracture in October 2011 I have come to realise how much your knees affect everything you do.  I'm sure that many people have found easier ways of doing things whilst coping with knee problems so thought it might be a good idea to set up a topic where we can all give our tips to help others who are now having to deal with poorly knees.

Getting up steps - I found that I couldn't do it the way physio taught me (bad leg bent behind, hop up with good leg), so I put my bad leg up first, sort of hovering above the step, then hopped my good leg up to join it (be very careful if you are non-weightbearing that you don't accidently put your weight on your bad leg)

Putting on trousers - if you have to stand (eg you're in a changing room with no seat) then make sure you put your good leg in first, if needed you can rest back against the wall, or wedge yourself in the corner.

Bathing - I put a dining chair beside the bath, draped with a towel, I would then sit on the chair and swing my legs over the bath, then hitch myself onto the side of the bath before lowering myself into the water.  Reverse process to get out - Do not empty the bath before you get out, the water supports you and makes it much easier.

Thats a few to start us off I hope others will have lots more useful tips to add!
Words of wisdom from my consultant "Remember why you're called a patient!"
5/10/11 - Right TPF (grade 6)
10/10/11 - Surgery then CPM machine
13/10/11 - Plaster brace
15/10/11 - Home
27/10/11 - Clips out
24/11/11 - Smaller brace, teeny bit weightbearing!
28/12/11 - Brace gone, wbat
26/04/12 - Work

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 11:07:41 AM »
Good plan... ;D

The main advice I would give is to contact the Occupational Therapy guys before or immediately after your op and get set up with a toilet frame and a bath seat. These two things were amazing and make such a difference to the lovely bathroom experience!!!

Stairs - eek! Your method sounds quite stressful on the good knee, and potentially dangerous if the hop up misses!!  :o I have always lead with my good leg. Good leg steps up, weight through it to lift self up, bad leg follows gently and straightish. Weight through straight bad knee, good leg steps up. Easy peasy.... ::)

Friends and family - they are invaluable. If you're going to be post-op, you'll welcome help for at least the first few days when anasthetic, drugs and pain can make even sitting up difficult.... Line them up, warn them of your likely state of play  ::) and ask them for assistance in advance! You'll be glad of the company, if nothing else! If you're on your own, then plan as much as possible and don't be afraid to ask for help from the professionals like the OTs. That's what they're there for.

Food and drink - accept that you won't be standing around in the kitchen for a while, and get meals ready in advance. Stock the freezer with ready meals (I know...), get in healthy snacks and have a stash near your bed or chair, and keep drinks nearby.

Ice - invaluable after surgery to calm swelling and ease pain. Get some of the gel packs for the freezer - at least three (one on, two on standby). Just make sure you wrap them in a decent fluffiness of tea towel before putting them on your skin. The last thing you want is ice-burn or over-sensitizing your skin!

Can't think of any more for now....!

Brams  ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline kscope09

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 04:03:37 PM »
I'm glad we have a thred for this and I think a lot of other people will be.

When I had my scope nearly 3 years ago I was living at home with plenty of assistance and no stairs because i live in a bungalo but I'm hoping to buy a new house this year and I know that later on down the line I will need another op and it is a bit frightenening because I will be living alone.

I have already decided that I before the OP I will have a stairlift installed and when I'm climbing and descending stairs OK I will have it dissassembled and kept should I need it in the future.

I'll be using a shower instead of a bath, so no big bath wall to climb over.

Might ahve some rails isntalled aswell and they can always come down when I don't need them.

Even if they tell me I don't need crutches I will make sure I had a pair because i got nothing after my last op and getting aroudn was HELL so whatever the surgeon say's I'm using them out and about, which I'm going to avoid as much as possible early on.

Finda ophysiotherapist that know's the differnce between a chrondoplasty and a microfracture because so few of them really know anything about cartliage repair.

Most importantly I will tell my friends that I'm having an operation that could leve me seriously incapacitated for quite a while instead of the bravado I did last time when I told them I'd be running in a month and didn't want anyone to worry about me.
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o

Offline maryc

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 07:03:17 PM »
My best friend was an armless office chair for getting around the house.  Much smaller than a wheelchair so I could maneuver it better in tight spaces.  There is a safety issue however, no breaks, so be sure it is backstopped  against something when getting in or out.
Also a backpack (worn backwards) for carrying things.
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 Brambledog

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 10:16:55 PM »
Hell yes Mary! Had forgotton that one...

One of most frustrating things is getting food from the kitchen back to your sofa  ::) to eat in relative comfort... A backpack or over the shoulder bag is sooo useful. Invest in some leakproof containers for the food, and a small flask or bottle for your drink, and put in said bag for the trek back up the North face of the Eiger to the sofa again on those pesky crutches!

What would be very VERY useful would be a higher version of a walker seat, basically a high-sided tray on a sturdy frame with wheels and handles (and brakes lol), that can both support you (and your ropey knee) like a walker, and support your dinner in safety. Someone should make one. Quick! (Maybe they already have?)

Brams  ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline kscope09

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 01:57:44 PM »
I've also found going down stairs backs easier than forwards and actually putting my hands on the steps.

Office chairs are OK if you have smooth wooden floors becuase they move easier but it is a lot harder on carpet, having to pull so much harder might cause the knee more trouble and be a lot of strain on the good knee.

Does anyone ahve any tips for getting on and off an exercise bike.  There's no spring in my step to get on so I feel really put off using it becuse I'm so worried about having some kind of accident getting on and off.
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 02:19:09 PM »
Exercise bike, adjust seat to correct height for you, good leg/foot into pedal clip, swing other leg over forwards or back whichever way is easiest for you - bingo. Like mounting a horse but no movement of bike to contend with and much lower.  ;)
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline kscope09

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 06:22:09 PM »
Yeah but I don't even have the spring for that.  Anyway wouldn't the peddle move when I put weight n itand I'd fall forward.

I as thinking of putting together osme kidn of mounting block.

As for height,  theseat is at hip height.
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o

Offline kscope09

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Re: Hints and tips on how to do everyday things!
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 06:42:27 PM »
When you ae cycling, how high should the top knee come up.  Does it have to be 90 degrees with the body.  I tried it at 90 but it felt a little too cramped and if felt better at about 95-100 is this OK.

I found an article that listed the knee problem you could get through cycling badly andI'm really worried that if I get it wrong I could end up much worse.  I guess what I need to do is get someone to look at me on the bike and tell me if I'm doing it right.
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o















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