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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

Sleeping on side

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by kimmiekoko, Apr 25, 2011.

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  1. kimmiekoko

    kimmiekoko Junior Member

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    For those who have had MIS anterior surgery, how long before you were able to sleep on the side of your operative leg? My operative leg is my right side, and that's the side I always sleep on. I keep wanting to turn over to my right side when sleeping, but it's still too sore. I keep wondering just how long will it be before I can turn on my right side again.

    Also, I know there is probably a lot of controversy on this subject regarding hip replacement, but I have often read where some people that have gotten this done were actually able to jog on soft surfaces, such as a treadmill or trail, after fully healing.
    And I swear that I heard my dr. tell me on my first visit to him that after 3 months I could actually jog, hike,etc. I didn't ask him to repeat that because at the time I was just so excited about hearing him say I could actually get back to doing lower body weight training again that I dismissed it.
  2. DanM

    DanM Member

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    Hi Kimmie,

    I had anterior surgery on my left hip in February. I am a side sleeper as well, and as I recall I made some early attempts at laying on the operative side around weeks 2-3 post-op which were very...brief! I would say it was at about week 4 that I was able to actually lay on that side for any length of time...it took a little bit to find the right angle on my legs. I was able to sleep on my belly sooner, though that also took some maneuvering to gain comfort. I'm at week 8 now and most times don't think much about which side I sleep on. If you don't have one, I recommend getting a knee pillow for comfort when sleeping on your side. Any pillow will do, but the shape of the knee pillow helps me keep it place.

    By the way, for me my slow healing has been my IT band which until recently was very sensitive to the touch--that's been the biggest source of discomfort for me with regard to sleeping on my side, and even rebuilding muscle strength. It is finally coming around now.

    With regard to jogging, my OS is not a fan of jogging or running because he believes it may reduce the life of the replacement joint. From what I've read, mostly here on BoneSmart, opinions vary on that point and you'll hear some folks say they are back to running, jogging, climbing, skiing, and other (potentially) high-impact sports. And, to them I say bravo! :biggrin:

    For me, I'll stick to low-impact cycling, walking and hiking, but if I had a passion for jogging I'd be out there doing it. Life's too short not to enjoy it--and, while I'm not looking forward to a revision, it might be necessary no matter what activities I choose to do!

    So...as far as an opinion on the matter from just an ordinary guy who also happened to have THR, I would suggest you use your own good judgment, celebrate your new hip with a new pair of cross-trainers, and look forward to enjoying your jogging when your body has healed properly!

    Dan
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  3. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Hi Kimmie, your body will tell you when it is time to sleep on your op side. Many hippies have a problem with side sleeping at first. The area has been through lots of trauma so it can be sensitive.

    Have you tried using a pillow between your legs while you are on your side? I will prevent the leg from dropping to the bed.

    In terms of jogging Dan is right one. Opinions on this are all over the board. But we do have lots of hippies who are jogging. In fact they are doing lots more! Ask you OS to clarify and then go with what feels the best for you.

    Enjoy!
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  4. czak57

    czak57 Member

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    Hi Kimmie,
    I kept a log book where I wrote down dates of major accomplishments after my hip surgery because I know that I have to get the other hip done soon. I was able to roll/sleep onto my non-operative side at 3 weeks and my operative side at 5 weeks. Everyone's different but hope this gives you somewhat of a reference point. I know it's hard to be patient, but it will happen!
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  5. bobbie

    bobbie Junior Member

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    Hi Kimme, I am at 5 months now and sleep on my operative side alot. I couldn't do it for a long time. It really hurt at first. I just kept trying a little bit each night until I was comfortable. Now it is fine. I too used alot of pillows at first. Good luck to you.
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  6. Jean Hollis

    Jean Hollis New Member

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    I still have problems sleeping on my involved side at eight months, but I had a crushed pelvis before I had the new hip put in. The Dr. who did the hip said I could do anything, but skydive.
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  7. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Kimmie, please, please, please don't keep starting new threads about your recovery. Can you keep all your comments, reports and questions in the one thread? It makes it so much easier for people who want to follow your progress to see one kind of 'blog' about it.
  8. kimmiekoko

    kimmiekoko Junior Member

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    Okay, once again I'm a little confused I guess.:scratch: I thought maybe if you have a separate question, that doesn't have anything to do with your previous posts, that it would need to be under a different topic question. I'm finding it difficult, especially if I am away from this site for a good amount of time, to try to find my previous thread and add to it, and it also seems as though the new question will not be read because it has an old topic. I guess also thought I continue to see new topics or threads added consistently, not just ones added on to old ones, if that makes any sense.
    These were all new questions or topics that were totally unrelated to my previous posts, so I guess that's why I thought a new thread was necessary.
    I will make a concentrated effort to keep a tab on my original post to add anything new.
  9. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Yes, and I am constantly asking people to keep it all in one thread. I even have a notice asking people to do this Members: when you start a new thread about your recovery ...........PLEASE keep all subsequent reports in that one thread

    Most of the members that do this have their thread range from one topic to another, back and forth. Others will come and post, don't worry. But if each comment is in a different thread, we have to go searching for your other threads to check up on what was said before and things like that. It's just easier for me, the other mods and everyone if it's all in one thread.
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  10. kimmiekoko

    kimmiekoko Junior Member

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    Dan, I was just wondering what the IT band is?
  11. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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  12. DanM

    DanM Member

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    Hi Kimmie, funny how when we go through something like this all the things we get to learn about! :biggrin:

    So...rather than give you my layman's understanding here's a definition from wiki:

    "The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front while walking."

    Here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliotibial_band_syndrome

    As I understand it, the IT band goes from the glute to past your knee and is attached/co-mingled with your muscles. Jo may be able to explain further, but I've been told that it can be disturbed during the pulling and stretching of the DAA surgery.

    My PT has told me she believes I have ITBS. Only remedy I've been told is time and rebuilding strength in the surrounding muscles. Oh, and my PT gave me the foam roller they mention in the wiki link as well. Yikes, that is a painful treatment, but it does seem to loosen things up a bit.

    Dan

    PS Jo thanks for the link. I had written my post prior to seeing yours. I will give some of those additional stretching ideas a try.
  13. newhip

    newhip Member

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    I was told today by PT that if you sleep on the operated side you do not need a pillow.
  14. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    That would be true. As you can see in these images, in the left hand one, being lying down, the upper leg is in a bad position for a THR but the bottom leg is pretty much the same as it is when standing.

    [​IMG]
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  15. newhip

    newhip Member

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    I actually slept for a little bit on the operated side.....with no pillow...felt great..but site is still a wee bit sore...so changed back to my back.:rolleyespink:
  16. pctcoach

    pctcoach Senior

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    I started sleeping on my non-operative side with the foam 'knee separator' from the hospital at about 10 days post surgery. At 4 weeks, I can lie for a bit on the operative side, not for long enough to sleep on it. It will come for all of us.
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  17. kimmiekoko

    kimmiekoko Junior Member

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    Dan, thanks for explaining. Sounds like it's common among runners. I had just gotten into jogging years ago, before I started having hip pain, had to stop because of the increasing pain.

    I keep trying to lay on my right side, but the main thing I feel is kind of like a stinging sensation, very intense stinging, which makes me turn back over to my back very quickly.

    I have resumed walking and am up to 3 miles a day, but am thinking maybe I might be walking too fast, I average between 3.0 to 3.5 mph. It's very difficult for me to go any slower because I've always been a naturally fast walker no matter what I'm doing. I hope that I'm not hurting anything by doing this. I figured I need to get my right side back in shape and strengthened as soon as possible in order to get the left hip replaced, and be done with it finally.
  18. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Hi Kimmie, you are probably not doing any damage walking fast but you may be pushing a bit too hard. 3 miles fast at your stage is fair aggressive. Is this causing any discomfort? If not - you are doing really well!
  19. DanM

    DanM Member

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    Hello Kimmie, if you're able to walk 3 miles a day (at any speed!) at this point in your recovery, I'd say you are doing very well indeed!

    That stinging pain you describe was the same for me. I think it's caused by the deeper parts of the incision that is still healing so early on when we try to lay on the operated side.

    I don't know if all the walking you are doing may be helping/hindering the deeper tissue to heal. And, I suspect that opinions here will be across the board on that. Your OS may be your best reference point on that for your situation.

    Hang in there--you'll be sleeping on your side soon!

    Dan
  20. kimmiekoko

    kimmiekoko Junior Member

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    That's what my husband says, he tells me that he thinks something like about 20 minutes is a little safer at this point.
    Actually, today during my walk, I began experiencing some pain, much like the kind I had prior to surgery, so I made myself slow way down as I made my way back to my vehicle at the park.
    I was wondering how long it takes before you're able to go back to walking normally again, without discomfort. I've heard of some people that were already hiking and walking long distances already at this point. How is that so?
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