At least so far I feel I am actually progressing a bit smoother than the last time, which was actually quite good, although it really is too early to tell. Tuesday was postoperative day (POD) 1. That was the worst day. At about 3 PM the pain maxed out at about 6/10 and I took two 5 mg oxycodone pills. Definitely controlled my pain. I was worried about the next day but as it turned out, Wednesday POD 2, was a very good day. I have been on the following regimen around the clock: Over the counter Aleve 440 mg at 9 AM and 9 PM and Tylenol 1000 mg at 7 AM, 3 PM, and 11 PM. I was able to walk around the house more and I even used my knee exerciser that I referred to in last years blog. A number of people asked me where I purchased this and you can get it at www.kneeexerciser.com.
I need to emphasize the importance of ice and elevation (above the heart). This really keeps the swelling out of the knee and improves pain and function. I use simple gel packs and a wrap around knee sleeve to keep the cooling in place. Many doctors prescribe ice machines, and those are good, but if you are conscientious you can simply use rotating gel packs. This is a gel pack I use http://bit.ly/FlexiKold. Having 3-4 on board is a good idea. Also- keep using your incentive spirometer. You can even buy this on Amazon.
My surgeon placed a compressive cotton and elastic bandage over my entire leg after the surgery and I removed this on POD 2. That was a relief. I left the actual bandage over the wound and will keep it covered for about 10 days. This is a special dressing coated with ionic silver that has antimicrobial (anti-infection) properties and some other advantages (Aquacel). You can find out about this dressing here.
Today, Thursday, is POD 3. I switched from a walker to crutches. I still have some difficulty lifting my operated leg onto the couch but I am doing more straight leg raises and other exercises my surgeon gave me.
I also took a shower today. The Aquacel dressing is waterproof so I was able to get the leg wet. I used a simple shower stool that doubles as a sitting stool outside the shower. The funny thing, to me, is that the chair is called Dr. Kay’s Adjustable Height Bath and Shower Seat Top Rated Shower Bench- no relation to me- Dr. K.
The pain all day has been very low, 0-1, and my flexion has gotten to 95°.
A few other things I could mention now:
A leg lifter is a great thing to have. I did not use a raised toilet seat or a bedside commode. I found great value in this foam pillow that I place on the couch and it really elevated my knee. I did not use a sock-aide or a reacher. My surgeon did not prescribe a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine.