Discussions that mention potassium

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Being in a cast isn't that bad but it can be frustrating. I was in a full leg cast for 6 months and have been braced many times. If you've ever been braced with an ACL type brace it is similiar except you can't bend your foot and it weighs a bit more.

The biggest thing is itching and sweating, it will happen especially if it is hot out. If you can't reach the itch with a blunt thin object (never stick a sharp object in a cast) then try taking some benadryl. Some talc powder near your foot and top thigh, after you've healed, can help elimiate some of the itching.

If you start getting leg / foot cramps try eating banana's, the potassium in them will help with the leg cramps and charlie horses if you get them. I can't tell you the exact amount because I don't know but I'd say a few a day if you enjoy eating them.

Clothing - wear sweat pants or shorts, jeans won't work unless you wear really baggy ones. Put your cast foot in the appropriate leg first then slip your other foot in and just pull it. It's not so hard just takes a bit of getting used to.

Walking - you will probably be on crutches, they will teach you how to walk with them. The biggest thing will be is the cast may see somewhat heavy but it's something you adjust to. Also be VERY careful walking up and down stairs. In fact, if you can avoid them all together for the first few weeks the better off you will be. Nothing like loosing your balance and falling down some stairs. The hospital should teach you how to work stairs, if not ask when you go in for pre-testing.

The doctor may not let you walk much the first week. You may not even feel like walking much. Keep your leg elevated when resting.

Bathing - Chances are you wont be able to take a bath or shower for the entire time the cast is on. Sponge baths will be the alternative. You could be creative and try to tape a garbage bag over the cast but I wouldn't suggest it. If you get a leak and it goes down into the cast and to where your operation occured it is going to smell really bad and could possibly induce an infection.

Sleeping - With a full leg cast it can be uncomfortable to sleep, if you can't sleep on your back try sleeping on the side the cast is on, if it doesn't hurt that much and put a pillow between your legs, your other knee rubbing on the cast will irritate you. If you can't manage that try sleeping on your good side with a pillow, just know the cast may be a bit heavy and your leg may be weak from the surgery so it might be hard to manuever it in this position.

After the surgery - If possible try to get someone to care for you at least the first few days, you will be in pain and can use the extra hand. You didn't indicate how long you'd be in the hospital but most surgeries are a day or two. If you have small children see if it's possible for someone to care for them for the first few days you are home. Trust me you are going to want to rest alot. Any surgery will do this to you. Anethesia generally takes a week to wear off.

Meds - If you are put on pain meds and prescribed a schedule try to stick to the schedule at first, do not wait until the you are in pain before taking meds by then they won't be as effective.

Car riding - oh this is almost as bad as doing stairs. Obviously you will not be able to drive the entire time, in fact, in some states it would be illegal to drive with such a cast. Before getting into a car make sure the front passenger seat is totally moved back, if you are of short stature you should be fine and can fit. If you are tall or long legged you may have to opt for the back seat of a car. If you own a truck you should also be fine because the seats sit up much higher than a car.

Temp disability card - ask your doctor if he thinks it is ok for you to get a temporary disability parking permit before you have surgery. He can fill out the form and state the dates on it and you can get issued a temp handicapped parking card. You will want to have this if you plan on going to the store or something. Speaking of stores, always use a wheelchair if your store offers it so you don't tire yourself.

Drink TONS of water the first week, you will get dehydrated and that's normal, again from anethesia.

That's about all I can think of offhand and it's probalby more info than you wanted.
I've not had the surgery you have had but I have had my cartilage completely removed, had my ACL reconstructed and my PCL released because my kneecap was tracking in the wrong direction. I've had 4 knee surgeries total and they are no fun. You do heal up fairly quickly but expect the first week to be rough. The more you prepare yourself mentally for it and prepare your home the better off you are.

Good luck with your surgery I hope it works out.

- Barbie