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Sleeping on Side

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by YoungM, Mar 27, 2009.

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  1. YoungM

    YoungM Graduate

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    Hi All-

    At what point did you begin sleeping on your non-operated side with a pillow between your legs? When were you able to ditch the pillow and sleep on the side?

    Melissa
     
  2. heidi

    heidi New Member

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    I started sleeping on non-operated side 2 weeks or so after surgery with a pillow. The thought actually accured to me a few weeks ago that I now can sleep on both sides and roll over in the night with out any pain. I sleep 95% on operated side now and I am 5 months out. I still use a pillow but I have for over 5 years so I think its just a habbit now :)
     
  3. YoungM

    YoungM Graduate

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    Thanks Heidi! I'm on Day 10 now and am really looking foward to going on my side.
     
  4. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Hi M! Sounds like you're doing great!
    I just made sure I took meds before I was
    Ready to fall asleep & I used the abduction pillow
    For the full 6 weeks,,,,,I 'm not a back sleeper
    Either ! You'll know when you're ready,,,your body
    Will tell you! :)
     
  5. dovcar2000

    dovcar2000 Member

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    I did it within the first week and a half..on the none operated side..for some reason I found it easier then laying on my back. I used to put the frozen ice pack between the two knees and it helped numb the cut knee.
    I also was on morphine so I am sure that helped a lot.....lol
    I know a lot could not do that but right from the start I could bend my knees so that made it easier...
     
  6. hurtingbuthopeful

    hurtingbuthopeful Member

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    My doctor told me another 3 months of back sleeping! I hate it, never was a back sleeper to begin with. What is weird is the nurse at the hospital told me I could sleep on the operated side (?) Don't know how anyone does that because it HURTS too much! I am scared to try the operated side, so afraid of messing something up.
     
  7. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    -Its still too early for you to sleep on the
    Operated side,,,,,,ouch! :). Lots of this is trial & error anyway!
    We're ALL different in the healing department!
     
  8. Laurie

    Laurie Senior

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    Hi again, I remember how it hurt on the operated side. Can't quite remember when it felt ok enough to lie on it (my usual preferred side to sleep on). Maybe at about 5-6 weeks? Am sure everyone is different. If I remember correctly, I wasn't supposed to lie on unoperated side til after restrictions were lifted--about 4 wks. Then I used a body pillow between legs and still had a hard time sleeping for many weeks. That was the hardest part of the recovery for me--getting comfy to sleep.

    Laurie
     
  9. HopAlong

    HopAlong Graduate

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    I was told to wait to be 6 weeks post-op to sleep on the side, but the doc said if I really feel that I must, the to sleep on the operated side with a pillow between the knees, but not the other side.
    Last night I was tempted, but I stuck it out on my back.....I didn't like the dr's squinty look when he offered that, so I worry a lot about complications.

    I found that if I wake up miserable in the middle of the night because I can't side sleep, then I take 2 percs and sleep nicely on my back for 3 more hours---it works every time!

    I also put my Ted stockings back on, after not wearing them for over a week. He said that we are a very high risk for blood clots and embolisms for the first 3 months......so definitely wear them!
     
  10. kangaroo

    kangaroo Graduate

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    What causes blood clots?
    Is there a predisposition for some rather than others to get them?
    Is it age related?
    Can someone give me a summary of blood clots please?
     
  11. Peta

    Peta Supremo

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    Hi Rachel - as far as I know (and I'm sure Jo and/or Jamie will be able to explain fully) - blood clots can happen when there is reduced blood flow in the legs following hip replacement surgery simply due to lying inactively for periods of time. The blood flow slows up and clots can form. The real danger occurs if the blood clot (or part of it) breaks off and travels to the heart or lungs). I know it was something my OS was very concerned about - hence the aspirin daily for the first 4 weeks (which thins the blood) and I had to wear the white compression stockings continuously (unless I was in the shower) for the first 4 weeks as well. While in hospital I was constantly reminded to move my feet and toes as much as possible when lying in bed - and also had wraps on both my legs which automatically compressed every few seconds to encourage the blood flow. (can't for the life of me remember what it was called).
    I don't think getting blood clots is age related - I've heard of very young people getting them after long plane flights!
    I know sometimes obesity can be a predisposing factor - but again, I've read of fit, seemingly healthy people getting them.
    Try not to stress too much about this sort of thing - if you follow your OS's instructions the odds are against anything like a blood clot occuring.

    Peta :)
     
  12. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Good response, Peta!!! Jo probably knows more from the medical side about what causes blood clots, but I think you did a great job explaining it.

    They are something to be watchful for, but still an infrequent problem that occurs. Inactivity is the main culprit, causing blood to "pool" in an area (the legs are a common one) and then clot as it sits.

    This is why activity immediately following surgery is so important....even just moving your legs in bed and ankle pumps help. The same is true when you are in any situation where you are seated for extended periods of time .... get up and stretch your legs now and then .... it's a good thing to do!
     
  13. kangaroo

    kangaroo Graduate

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    Thanks Peta,and Jamie,
    I figured that all that was the answer. A lady I know had thr and then a blood clot which had to be surgically dealt with. She was told that people who have had breast cancer are more at risk of clots than others....another friend had blood clots after having delivered a baby, went home with the brand new baby and then was raced off to the emergency dept 2 days later with clots in her lungs. Another extremely fit ,active ,healthy male friend just died suddenly from a clot that travelled to his heart. Forgive me for being slightly concerned....I had a blood clot when I had a knee arthroscopy when I was 19 (after tearing the cartilege skiing!) apparently I sprayed blood all over the OS when he released the clot. lI can put up with attractive stockings if it prevents a blood clot...and given that winter is coming it won't be an issue as they'll be under my trackies!
     
  14. Peta

    Peta Supremo

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    Yes - I know it does happen. My sister lost her husband very unexpectedly on New Years Eve (this year) as a result of a blood clot which travelled to his heart. Is it going to stop me having my right hip replaced? No way! I'll do all I can to prevent a clot from happening and after that it's in God's hands - not mine!
    You're lucky it will be winter when you've got those stockings on Rachel - in the heat up here last November they nearly drove me crazy! They'll be lovely and cosy in the cooler weather! :)

    Peta
     
  15. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Excellent explanation, Peta. As you all know, activity increases the heart rate - hence 'cardio' exercises like the bike, treadmill and elliptical trainer. No matter what, giving the heart periods of increased activity and stress is good for it and for the circulation in general. You see, blood only clots when it is allowed to pool and/or be in a sluggish stream. Therefore, blood that is circulating briskly is unlikely to clot.

    Now all of the situations you have cited are due to different things;
    ~ THR - lack of activity in the legs, maybe some other medical problems as well
    ~ Clot after arthroscopy - same as above.

    ~ DVT after labour - there are various opinions as to what causes this; increased pressure within the pelvis from the pregnant uterus slows the circulation in the leg vessels as they pass through the pelvis.
    Long periods in second stage labour when the effort of pushing also gets applied to the vessels in the leg - remember how it freqently results in the development of haemorrhoids? Using lithotomy poles, stirrups or leg supports, especially those where most of the leg's weight is being taken on the calf muscle.
    ~ Breast cancer - some types of chemo-therapy can increase the likelihood.
    ~ Healthy male with a clot in his heart -
    otherwise known as a coronary thrombosis - that would be due to athero-sclerosis in the corony arteries and nothing to do with what we are commonly talking about here. That will be caused by things like high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, drinking and high fat diet.


    As Jamie pointed out, otherwise fit, young adults have suffered from DVT after a long-haul flight but theoretically it can also happen after a long car ride, etc.

    Now if you have a DVT, the next port of call for the blood from your leg veins is your lungs so the logic is that the second stage complication from DVT is a pulmonary embolus or clot in the lung. Clots in the heart start in the heart as described above.
     
  16. Gringo

    Gringo Senior

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    I never thought about this sleeping thing. I am totally unable to sleep sitting up or on my back. Never have been able to. I sleep on my stomach, in a semi fetal position with one leg bent and one leg straight. Been sleeping in the same position for 58 years. I wonder how this is going to shake out in the hospital next month...
     
  17. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Not too well in THAT position, Gringo....
    If you read through the threads, every one
    Of us that has posted has had difficulty.
    Sleeping on our backs! We've each learned
    To be as creative & innovative as we could!;
    Just wait til you make aquaintance with
    Your new bed partner.....your abduction
    Pillow! If anything will put you in your
    Place........"It" will! :)
     
  18. YoungM

    YoungM Graduate

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    Hi Gringo -my sleep preference is the EXACT same way -on my side in a fetal position, one leg straight, the other knee bent where it's almost touching my chin!

    I didn't think I would be able to do it either -but you make do. In the hospital, I was constantly falling asleep from the pain meds. However, I would wake up super early in the morning. Even now, it's a bit difficult to fall asleep; however, I notice I'm waking up much earlier just to get out of bed, walk around, and sit on a chair/recliner.

    Don't worry about it -the abductor pillow will prevent you from rolling over on your side. You will get used to it.

    I am definitely looking forward to being back on my side though :)
     
  19. HopAlong

    HopAlong Graduate

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    I have a leather catnapper recliner that might be the answer to the laying on back problem. It cradles you in comfort, so when the 90-degree angle law is lifted (because it has a low seating position before reclining), I will sleep in my catnapper.
    Do you think a recliner might help you too Melissa?
     
  20. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Gee Hop! That catnapper sounds great! 0anything
    That "wraps you in comfort" has GOT to be
    Worth trying!!!
    How are YOU feeling today?
     
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