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Stairs, Laundry, and A TKR

I never gave it much thought about my going up and down stairs while handling the task of laundry. I did not enjoy doing it, but it had to be done. So, why complain? (Well, actually I’d complain, but no one could hear me. The secret’s out. :?) Anyways, that changed recently when I read a story about what one of my readers went through during this process. It was an unfortunate experience that prompted me to write this blog post about my own experience regarding this subject area. Here is how I successfully handle these tasks while recuperating from my total knee replacement.

Clear view. Make certain to have a clear view of where I am walking. If I cannot see the step area on which I am to put my foot, I do not take a step. This is common sense, yet imperative in not hurting oneself. Safety first.

Empty. Make certain there is nothing else on the steps/stairs, “empty steps”. Small items such as toys, bundled up towels, or rocks can cause a loss of balance with the end result of injury.

Laundry basket. I find this an imperative item to have while doing laundry. Rarely do I go without it.
Downstairs. Going downstairs, I either slide the basket downstairs or carry it with one hand. My other hand is holding onto the railing.
Upstairs. This takes more creativity. Upon filling my basket with clean laundry, I stand at the bottom of the stairs and lift my basket up to a comfortable level – usually three steps. I use both hands to hold the basket. I put the basket down by bending over (that’s innovation…:)). Then, I stand up, grab a hold of the railing and walk up to the laundry basket. I repeat the process. Bend over, pick up the basket, put it up three steps, use railings, etc. There is no strain. It takes awhile to accomplish the fun task of doing laundry, but so be it.

Railings. These are a necessity, especially for a tkr person. I just described how I use them. You may find the same will be helpful to you.

Footing. Firm footing is essential during this process. I make certain my entire foot is on the stair before raising myself up upon my leg.

Walking aide. During my first three weeks after my tkr, I used a crutch as a cane. This was under one arm while the other arm held the railing. Upstairs: I’d put the basket on a stair, stand up, use cane under one arm and hold on to the railing with my other hand. I’d walk up the stair to the basket, etc. Same process, basically, as mentioned above.

Well, I hope this information helps others enjoy the fun-filled task of doing laundry while having to tackle stairs during a tkr recuperation. Consider yourself a multi-tasker. 🙂

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1 comment to Stairs, Laundry, and A TKR

  • Debi

    Laundry, you mean I’m supposed to be doing laundry???

    lol……..Luckily I live in a single story house and my utility room is conveniently located just outside the master bedroom, so it was very easy to just pick up an armful and walk around the corner.

    I made sure before I went for my surgery, that my house was obstacle free and I had a clear path to every place I needed to get to….I also had nightlights in every room to help me get around in the dark….especially when I was having to get ice packs in the middle of the night!

    I haven’t fallen…..yet…and hope I never do. So glad we have no stairs!

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