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Getting ready for your upcoming total or partial knee replacement surgery can be a hectic time. Not only are you trying to get all your pre-op testing and doctors’ appointments done, and there are a ton of them. But you are also trying to enjoy time with your family and friends before you will be “laid up” for a while. I personally even went through a nesting period a couple of weeks before my surgery. During this time, it’s hard to think of all the necessary items you will need after the knee replacement surgery is complete.
Here is a list of the things I used daily, past the essentials like my walker. You can find my essential equipment needed for the knee surgery list HERE. Some of these items I had before my procedure at the advice of my doctor, but most I found myself scrambling for afterward. Hopefully, this list can help you avoid scrambling so that you can be a bit more comfortable and ready for your first few weeks after surgery.
Necessary Items (beyond the essentials) Tested By a Real Patient… Me
1. Ice packs
Notice the “s” at the end of the pack. It was very intentional. I used my favorite ice packs (Read about them all HERE) as much as I could. As soon as my leg “unthawed” I threw another one on there. Ice is excellent for swelling, healing, and pain relief. To the right is a picture and link to the exact one that was my favorite I used and still use throughout my recovery.
2. Wedge Pillow / Extra Pillows
Leg elevation is another crucial thing for swelling after knee replacement surgery. I also found it much more comfortable than laying my surgery leg completely flat. My surgeon wanted my knee straight when at rest, if not in my CPM machine. My wedge pillow with the extra inserts under the foot gave my leg enough support and kept me within doctors’ orders. Most nights, in the beginning, I would even sleep in this setup.
3. New Shoes, Especially Tennis Shoes
With my particular situation, the surgeon was going to be not only replacing a compartment of my knee joint, but he was also straightening my lower leg from a congenital disability. This required me to have to get all new shoes because the walking pattern would be different after surgery than before. Crazy right? All the new shoes. This was hard for me. I LOVE shoes so I had to get rid of ALOT!Up to 75% Off-Nike, Adidas, UA, and more!
Even if this is not the case with you getting a new pair of good, supportive tennis shoes are essential as you might not realize just how worn down yours actually are. According to most sites, and even the Nike Run App (where you can track your miles on a shoe), you should only go about 300 miles on one pair of shoes. Here is a post I wrote all about the top shoes for after knee replacement surgery, check it out!
4. Shoe Inserts
Knee joints take a lot of the “pounding” and force as we walk. A little extra padding with shoe inserts can help with comfort and protecting your new joint. Shoe inserts were another one of the must-have items from my surgeon. Directly from post-op, I was using Dr. Scholl’s work inserts as advised by the doctor. As I became more mobile and my workouts increased (around week 12), I advanced to the Dr. Scholls Sport Inserts.
5. Bedside Reading Light/Nightlight
I love to sleep in total darkness, so for me, a nightlight was not an option. Having a light to turn on though that was bright enough for me to see my path to the bathroom at night, was very helpful. The last thing I needed to do was fall by tripping over my dog, or stumbling around because I couldn’t feel my walker or cane. I took my handy clip on reading light and clipped it to a jewelry holder on my nightstand.
This placement was easily reachable, and with its bendy neck, I could point the light to make a perfect path to my bathroom. I also used the light during some of my insomnia-filled nights ( you can read more about those, HERE) Whether it was to read a book or type on my Ipads mini keyboard. I have found many uses for my reading light.
6. Elevated Tray Table
Many people relax on a couch after knee replacement surgery. I found I was most comfortable in my bed. I was propped up, resting my back against the headboard and even more pillows. I swear there were never enough pillows. Ha!
Either place you chose to be, you will want an elevated tray table. Trust me, having anything close to your surgery leg will make you panic! Even if you don’t plan on being on a computer, you will have to eat. These tables are great for playing card games or doing puzzles, as well. My kids loved playing games with me on mine.
7. Subscription Media For Entertainment
Okay, I might be showing my age a bit with this one, but I thought it was important enough to add because I did say at the beginning of the post I was adding stuff to this list I used daily. I bundled this all into one, but I have multiple subscriptions I use that I love!
I’m an Amazon Prime girl, and many of these services I use come with a 30-day free trial. I knew I was going to be pretty darn bored for roughly that amount of time, so it was perfect! I’ll list all the deals I can find right now, because hey everyone is different, right? The ones I ended up keeping for myself after the trial were Amazon Audible, Amazon Video which is included with Prime unless you want extra channels, and Amazon Prime (which I already had prior).
8. Loofa With A Handle
Reach can be a bit of an issue after knee replacement surgery. Plus, the last thing you want to do is slip and fall in the shower! I found having a loofa with a handle along with my regular loofa extra handy to reach everywhere during shower times.
If you have followed some of my other posts, you have seen me bring up shorts often. It is even one of my five truths about knee replacement surgery. Having a couple of pairs of shorter shorts is vital. I went weeks… that’s right, weeks without wanting something, really anything, touching my surgical site. No matter what season you have your surgery in, grab a couple of pairs of shorts. Even if that means you’ll need to turn the heat up a few degrees.
10. Support From Family And Friends
Until next time… take care!
Support from family members and friends is really the most necessary item on this whole entire list. Without their help, I would have lost. Let them help you as much as they possibly can. Whether it is cleaning or cooking a meal for you. Taking your kids out of the house for a few hours. Best of all, a good conversation and some company as recovery can get very lonely.
Read some of my other knee replacement lists!
11 Best Gift Ideas For Post Knee Surgery
10 Pieces of Equipment Needed Now Before Knee Replacement Surgery
Top Shoes for After Knee Replacement Surgery
SAVE THIS POST FOR LATER?
You should also add a shoe horn that is no less than 24 inches long and made of stainless steel. In preparing for my TKR, it was suggested to get one and start using it to getting use to it. They vary in price from $8.00-$30.00. I am so glad I bought the shoe horn. It makes putting shoes on without bending over very pain-free.
Thanks Ken! That is a great suggestion. I can definitely see that being very useful. I’m in the process of making another list that is more focused on equipment needed for TKR’s and I will be sure to add a shoehorn! Good Luck with your TKR and I hope everything goes very smoothly 🙂