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Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-10-2009, 8:21 PM Reply   
I've read a lot of comments on this site over the years about people using cold therapy after surgery and saying it was great.
this has prompted me to buy one on ebay recently, to use after my surgery next week.

Only thing is, these aren't widely used here in australia, and I won't have a chance to ask my doc what he recommends usage-wise (well i probably will, but i may not remember it afterwards) :-). My post-op info just says to ice for 20mins every hour.

Just wondering if any of you who've used a cold therapy machine can tell me how you used it? was it non stop for 8 hours a day, or do you alternate on and off? if anyone could let me know their programs as recommended by your docs, that would be great!
Old     (snowslider76)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-11-2009, 7:30 AM Reply   
I have the Don Joy Iceman, I used it about an hour at a time for the first three days. Hour on 1-2 off, sometimes I would go longer but I just kinda sat around for 3 days so it wasn't like a regimented routine. Helps with pain and swelling a lot, mostly swelling, vicodine prolly does most of the pain work.
Old     (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-11-2009, 8:30 AM Reply   
When I got my ACL done the insurance paid for the ice machine and a constant movement apparatus that would cycle my leg back and forth to slow scar tissue buildup before I could rehab it. I was walking in 5 days, so that was pretty quick. How it was applied was it was kind of a sleeve that would circulate ice water around my knee from a tub on the floor. This was almost ten years ago but I think it was on constantly until I got tired of it...not real sure though
Old     (joe_crawley)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-11-2009, 9:05 AM Reply   
The cold compression machine is the most important thing you will have. I couldn't have imagined recovery (patella graft) without it. I never needed vicodine, only naproxen.

Use it as often as you can (6-10 hours a day) early on to speed the recovery by reducing swelling. Then it can be used as needed to control pain.
Old     (dwday)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-11-2009, 9:26 AM Reply   
I'm with Gangstar Joe. Get it and use it as much as you can the first 3 days or so. I was off crutches in about 4 days. I would take hour breaks here to stretch but wore it all day and night otherwise. I rented mine and switched to the cryo cuff for mobility after I was walking.

I'm 9 weeks out (Hamstring Allografte) and am repping 230 on the leg press and feeling great. Kill the pt and goodluck. What procedure are you using?
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       12-11-2009, 4:34 PM Reply   
I agree with the suggestion to use it constantly in the first 3 days post surgery to minimize the swelling and for pain management. Then, use it after every P/T session!

Good luck with the surgery, Alice!!!
Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-11-2009, 11:18 PM Reply   
thanks everyone, i'll try to use it as much as i can then!
dday, This is my 2nd acl reco on the same knee. i'm having a hamstring graft, only they're grafting from my right hammy to my left knee, cos they used my left hammy last time.

hopefully this machine makes a big difference - i'm really apprehensive about pain cos it really sucked last time...
plus it's the middle of summer here, and steaming hot, so i think i'll enjoy it keeping me cool too :-)

thanks Kat, I'll be glad when it's over with, that's for sure...
Old     (parkgirl)      Join Date: Nov 2001       12-12-2009, 5:06 AM Reply   
I used it pretty much 24/7 for the first 2 weeks, I even slept with it on. We went through so many bags of ice it was ridiculous! It sucked, but it helped my knee so much in the long run.

Good luck girl!
Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-14-2009, 9:07 PM Reply   
hey, thanks everyone. surgery went really well and i'm back home now. i had a talk to the hospital physio about cold therapy this morning, and she said not to use it constantly. the reason being that while the cold will help reduce pain and swelling, it also reduces blood flow to the area, which you need for healing - particulaly as the graft tries to establish blood flow of its own.
it sounds fair enough to me, so i'll try to balance it out a bit. she just said to make sure my skin gets back to normal temperature before reapplying, so i'll probably use it in cycles. i still think it's going to be very handy though, so thanks for all your advice!

i must say, that i'm doing much better so far this time around - waaaaay less pain! i think the procedure must have improved somehow in the last 5.5 years, and i'm very greatful. not such a scarey experience as my first one.
my biggest problem is mobility givn both legs are sore, but i'll just keep taking it easy i think!
Old     (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       12-15-2009, 5:18 AM Reply   
Great news, Alice! Glad to hear you are doing well! Take care, do your PT & you'll be back on the water before you know it!
Old     (k9fxr)      Join Date: Jul 2005       12-20-2009, 12:58 PM Reply   
I am 9 days out from a double graft, I used the cryocuff (auto inflation of cool water in cycles off/on) 24/7 for 6d. I developed DVT's on the 7d in the lower calf and behind the knee.
I think alot had to do with putting it on too tight, I wanted the compression to take the selling down and I suspect it acted more like a tourniquet.
I would use it again, just loose and elevate the leg real high.
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-20-2009, 1:37 PM Reply   
not sure that the compression could be a direct cause of a DVT; how often were you up moving around or doing ankle pumps? DVT's usually are a result of inactivity and MD not recommending/prescribing a blood thinner....just my two cents
Old     (kcrider)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-20-2009, 4:18 PM Reply   
Here is a tip that I use. By the way I'm just 10 days out post surgery. Fill three plastic water bottles 2/3rds up. Freeze them. Use that for your ice and fill the rest in with water. You can add a little ice in there if you want. The bottles take longer to melt so it keeps the water nice and cold for alot longer than the ice. We were going through ice to quickly. It was either my mom or wife who came up with the idea. Its so much easier. I used mine almost 24/7 for the first three days, slept with it, and now its 2-3 times a day for at least an hour. USE IT. Also compress your bandages as much as you can to help with the compression. IF you get one that compresses and releases on its own than you are good to go. Tearing an ACL SUCKS!!!!! Hopefully I will be able to ride come June. Had surgery on the 10th of Dec
Old     (k9fxr)      Join Date: Jul 2005       12-21-2009, 8:15 PM Reply   
Chris, you don't thing compression of veins will cause venostasis. The cryocuff has velcro straps that go around the back of your knee, pretty sure they tightened up too much as the unit inflated and swelled with cold water
Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-24-2009, 12:04 AM Reply   
hey robot, what symptoms did you have from the dvt? i've just discovered a random bruise behind my knee that's quite sore, and i don't think i've hit it on anything... not sure if i'm just being paranoid, and i have no idea where i'd find a dr on xmas eve anyway!!!
i'm taking asprin every day and wear the stockings etc...
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-24-2009, 11:13 AM Reply   
alice, if the pain is horrible and if you squeeze your calf then you might have a DVT. If it's bad enough or you are that worried go to the hospital....hope this helps
Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-25-2009, 3:14 AM Reply   
hey Chris, thanks for that, it does help. i did end up going to see a dr yesterday and she said it was nothing to worry about - just a burst varicosa or something (i can't remember exactly what she said).
I realised that despite all the advice you get after surgery about preventing dvt, nobody really gave me any info about what exactly to look out for! if it's as painful as you say, then i think i'm doing just fine.
i'm on day 11 and have been walking pretty well without crutches for a few days now. things have been much smoother than last time so far! less pain and faster healing.
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-25-2009, 1:47 PM Reply   
good to hear alice! better be safe than sorry! make sure to do your P.T.


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