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Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by goblue61, Jan 10, 2019.
Glad to read that you at least got out and about even if for a bandage change.
Well, after 38 years teaching elementary school I did retire from that recently, but I haven't slowed down. I think the key is having interests, hobbies, and a rich full life. I loved every minute of teaching, and was able to retire while I still loved it---that was a gift. And now, I love every minute of this life too--volunteering, spending time with family and friends, helping with grandkids, projects, and lots of hiking, gardening, traveling, and catching up on all the things I didn't do enough of while I was teaching. I agree that if you love your work and can find a way to keep doing it by reducing the workload and stress, you should keep doing it.
But boy, was this hip a wake up call for me. One day I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains, feeling great. The next week my hip started giving out, and shortly after that I was told it was bone on bone, nothing left to salvage, and I needed a replacement. Trips to the Dominican Republic and 3 weeks in Europe were already planned and paid for.....and I went on both right before my surgery. I don't regret going, but was in so much pain. I promised myself then that since I still have potential body parts that could give out, in addition to trying to live a healthy life, I am also going to be sure I don't postpone too many things I want to do in life----no guarantees one's health and body won't decide to interfere if you wait too long.
With that said, it sounds like you have a great handle on that, and on your current recovery---good for you! So glad to hear how well you are doing
@Debru4 so your hip went bad suddenly? Mine have been bothering me for 10 years, that's when I was first told I'd eventually need hip replacements. I was starting to have reduced range of motion back then and it has slowly gotten worse. I used to be serious about Yoga but it got too painful and difficult in recent years and I gave up. Hoping to get back to it after my hip heals. Will eventually need the left hip done too, but it's not really painful yet.
That makes me curious, how long did other people's hips bother them before surgery?
Sorry to threadjack Blue-man:
Deb, what a wonderful profession, teaching, THANK YOU!
@desertrat--I had had some minor aches and pains when the barometric pressure changed-- a little more so in that one hip, but nothing awful. Occasionally I would take some tylenol for pain, and took tumeric daily for inflammation in general. As I said, it went from no big deal to a big deal with pain and my leg giving out so quickly. I also began having terrible knee pain. I first went to a chiropractor thinking I'd tweaked something but after a couple sessions, he suggested a go and get a knee and hip Xray. When I did, I went thinking I'd be referred for PT, or get some medication. Instead I learned my knee was fine, my back was unchanged (MRI) from when I'd had back surgery 9 years ago, but my right hip was totally gone.
I was stunned. My surgeon said sometimes when they go, that's how it happens--fast. Or perhaps it had been worse than I realized and I had just adjusted to the pain, which I have to do in general since I am unable to take NSAIDS or narcotics. Who knows?!?!
I did put off the surgery for 5 months--had a new grand baby arriving, and two international trips planned. So I had two steroid injections and took small amounts of Tramadol. I was so miserable and within a few weeks of learning I needed surgery, not only did I have a painful hip and a knee that hurt from referred pain, but I also ended up with severe back pain, and leg pains. I couldn't walk/move much at all without pain.
The surgeon told me that most likely they were either referred pain, or a result of the way I was walking, etc due to the hip. He also said there was a chance that once my hip surgery was over, I might still have some of the other pains, which would indicate I had concurrent issues. Soooooo lucky that once the surgery was done, all of those pains left too!!
Sorry to ramble on.....like everyone, I was a mess! I too would be curious if any others had the rapid decline I seemed to have had?
I can't even imagine dealing with hip pain like you have for 10 years. Even in the 9 months I lived with it, I saw my mobility decrease to the point I was unable to comfortably do so many things I either enjoyed doing, or needed to do to take care of myself and my home. I notice so many of us are almost giddy once we realize that even when we are hurting from our surgery, it is still a "better" pain that before. And then once we get past that initial surgery pain, it is like a whole new lease on life! Yeah!!
@goblue61 also sorry to hijack your thread. Sounds like you're doing well. Please be patient with yourself, you'll feel a lot better in a few weeks. I know what you mean about wanting to lose the strong pain pills so you can have a beer - for me it was a glass of wine. How long did you have problems with your hip before you had the surgery? Inquiring minds want to know.
@Debru4 I wasn't in pain the whole time - at first it was just reduced range of motion which got worse as time passed. After a while, when I did yoga, if I tried to stretch my legs sideways it would hurt. Just the last year is when the right hip really started aching all the time with an occasional sharp pain if I moved wrong - might have been bone on bone for a while. I also trashed my left knee in the last year and I wonder if it's related. I'm pretty bummed about that. I'm glad to be rid of the burning ache in my right hip and my back even feels better because I can straighten up.
No no problem at all ! The more friendly conversations the better!
@Wayfarer--thanks for your kind words---I felt so lucky to have found the best job in the world for me! What type of work do you do? I saw on desertrat's thread that you traveled quite a bit before settling into your present career. Was the travel part of work, schooling, or plain old adventuring?
Desertrat thanks for asking.
My pain started about 2 years ago mostly as leg and sciatica pain down the leg. At first it was manageable with ibuprofen for the most part. With activity it always got worse so I decided to go to a doctor which recommended physical therapy. I was 100% sure at the time it was caused by a bulging disc of some sort since I have had that in the past.
Physical therapy for a couple months reduced the leg and sciatica pain however the groin pain was still there. It was at that time I asked the PT lady how come the other pain disappeared but I still have this groin pain which is causing a short stride and a limp. It was at that time she moved my leg around and found the loose hip joint.
She told me I should see an orthopedic doctor and get an x-ray to find out exactly what is going on with the hip and groin pain. So I met with a doctor, got x-rays, and was told that the pain was from osteoarthritis and my hiphwas bone on bone.
Never would have thought that could happen to me. 56 years old healthy guy and in need of a new hip????
That was a year ago and it got worse quickly this past year even though I was trying to exercise, saw a chiropractor, massage therapist, and even wore a Quell TENS unit for two months. All to avoid surgery if possible.
in September I had decided I would have surgery over Thanksgiving, but I found a good deal on a trip to Italy with some friends of ours. Italy sounded like a lot more fun than having surgery so I decided to go. Boy was I miserable. It didn't matter how many ibuprofen or Tylenol I took, I was still in pain the whole time. I decided in Italy that I would never be able to do a vacation like this again unless I got my hip replaced. This was my first trip to Europe and I would love to do more of that traveling in the future.
Debru, it sounds like you love to travel and many of your thoughts are the same as mine. We are not promised tomorrow and we need to live life to its fullest especially as we get older and we could be in our final third of our life.
As soon as I got back, I had to find a new surgeon since my insurance was not going to cover the previous surgeon. I like this new guy and got in as quick as possible in January.
My insurance stinks and this surgery will easily cost me $10,000 out of pocket but my quality of life was only going downhill.
Yoga was definitely out of the question since putting on my left sock and shoe would wear me out
Ha Blue! I quit putting on socks years ago (unless for some specific purpose--wedding, compression socks for travel/plane, etc). Just step into a pair of loafers, wear them out, buy another pair, repeat.
Like you Blue, I was in a bit of denial; however, my mom and her brother both had hips replaced, but they were in their late-60's and maybe 70's when that happened; so 58 for me? I'm finding more and more that's not that young for hip replacement. Do you have family with the same issue?
Deb, I am in the ophthalmic diagnostic equipment supply end of the ophthalmic field. I import the same from China and distribute around the US; have been doing that and going to China for over 20 years now. I have a couple lines of the same in the US and deal in used equipment of the same. It's just me; I'm a better manager of product(s) than of people.
Was in Beijing this past September and really (REALLY) struggled to get around. I always counted on my legs (hips) getting me around, but it was near to excruciating some days. That goes with the trip to Mexico this past Thanksgiving (I might have already outlined that). China, Mexico, US, et al, if I'm sitting, sipping on a beer, no worries, but walking a block or two or three...OUCH!
That's BS about the 10K Blue, I can't believe you have to pay so much. I mean it will be worth it, but $h*t! That's why I put my out of pocket stuff in my thread; as a comparative to others...I don't know what these things cost either comparatively in the States or abroad.
Wayfarer, I am self employed so I am one of the lucky people who have no choice but to get insurance on the ACA exchange. Here in Texas there are only 3-4 options for coverage for my family. I do not qualify for a government subsidy so our monthly insurance premium for myself, wife, and two boys (18 and 21) is $2,100 per month with a $4500 individual deductible. After that there is a 50% co-insurance with a total out of pocket $7,900. I have been told though there could be a couple thousand dollars of other stuff that may not be covered that could push my out of pocket to $10K. Time will tell.
I had several friends ask me if I just couldn't wait and have Medicare pay for it. Waiting another 8 years was in no way an option. I am extremely active hiking, skiing, biking, fishing, and working on our mini ranch. I just couldn't stand it any longer and even fell off my boat twice last summer (luckily not head first into the outdrive or center console). I had many days this past year that I hardly did anything and had no pain. Its those days that make you think that surgery is not needed and it can be put off. I am sure this is common with most everyone.
This past year after my diagnosis of a new hip needed, it seems like I spoke to many other as you said that either had hip surgery or knew of someone who has in their 40's or 50's. I am unfortunately adopted so I have no health history from parents.
@Wayfarer wow, going back and forth to China for your business - that's pretty cool! You will be back at it soon!
@goblue61 that is a shame you had to pay so much even with insurance. It's criminal that people have to pay a fortune for insurance and then it doesn't even cover everything.
As for my cost, I work for a large company with really good benefits (Intel) so it didn't cost me much. I have a fairly low out of pocket maximum and I had already used a lot of it. Will be on Medicare soon and plan to buy a supplement and a drug plan, so still should be pretty well covered. Already checked if my surgeon takes Medicare and he does, so I can go to him for my other hip, hopefully.
I guess most people go through some denial beforehand, and want to put it off. Apparently it takes a couple or a few years to finally do it. Then after it's done you're glad you did it.
Our health is such an important investment---I know I too often take it for granted, and don't always do the things I should to maintain it.
@goblue61---Prior to my back surgery 9+ years ago I did everything under the sun to address the pain and try to avoid surgery---After over a year and a half of many different treatments( acupuncture, massage, chiropractors, spinal decompression, pain shots, physical therapy, etc. ) I asked my surgeon what he felt my options were and being the droll man that he was, he said I had two options....have the surgery, or live with the pain;) I had the surgery, knowing I had tried everything else possible, and it was my only, and best option. I think when we are looking at a major surgery it does give us peace of mind to know we have tried everything possible first.
This time, when I went to the doctor for my hip, I thought I would also be looking at a number of options. Instead I was told surgery was the only real option, but there were some things I could do in the interim to manage pain. I did small doses of tramadol, tylenol, ice, pillows, "bed of nails"floor mat, acupuncture, massage, cbd capsules, pain injections, assorted topical creams, and various execercises. And, like you, I went on an incredibly exciting, and phenomenally painful trip to Europe. I went with my son and his wife on a multi-country trip to Europe. We were in each country only 2-5 days, and so while we were there, we had to make the most of the time. One day I logged nearly 20,000 steps on my Fitbit, and I think I felt every one of them....and not in a good way. Another day I made a trek several miles up a steep path to a monastery near where my ancestors had lived----by the time I reached the top----I was both proud I had made it, and in tears with the pain. So many highs and lows on that trip. But it made it easier when I got home to go right in for my surgery!
Where did you go in Italy? My all-time favorite trip was to Italy---Rome, Pompei/Naples, Florence, and San Gimignano/Chianti/Tuscany. I would love to go back--luckily I was able to do that trip without failing body parts.
This November, about 3 1/2 months after my replacement, I went to the Dominican Republic for 2 weeks. It was night and day compared to my painful hip trips. I had no trouble at all, and am sure you'll be travel ready before you know it!!
Hey Blue, nothing unfortunate about being adopted...if anything, you are fortunate of the same.
Lemme tell ya. My dad’s dad (know nothing about him per se) died at my age now (young!). I did some digging around on the internets and didn’t find too much other than a very removed 2nd cousin or whatever filled in some voids or history. Dad, still alive at 86, is from Indiana originally.
Desertrat, China and kool don’t go together! But ya know what? I welcome most trips. I know cities of China better than many cities of the US. Should be going in about four weeks, but don’t think that will happen...may shoot for late March. I mean I gotta get my travel legs on.
Nice to have 3 friends to chat to while we recover together.
Desert, Definitely the cost of health insurance and property taxes can keep a person working a little longer than they would like sometimes. I have a few friends that have great health care benefits working for large companies like yourself and I remind them of how good they have it sometimes when they think they are being underpaid.
Debru, I also had back surgery back in 2000 for a herniated disk. Although the hip pain was bad this past year, it still does not compare to the back pain I had. Probably the same for you I would guess. Your conversation with your surgeon and the treatments leading up to it are very similar to my experience. I unfortunately have had 3 more herniated disk in the past 19 years but did not require surgery. Did you get on any back pain forum/ threads pre op? Wow will those depress you! So many people in a great deal of pain. If that doesn't sadden you nothing will.
On a better note; my first trip to Europe was a week long trip to Florence and Rome. We were there over Thanksgiving so it was not crowded at all. So much history just blew me away. Touring the Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican, Trevi Fountain, and all the other sites were amazing. We also had a day trip to Tuscany visiting the hilltop fortress towns which were amazing. I am ready for a new country next fall if I am able.
Please tell me about the trip to the Dominican Republic. Never been there although I have been tempted to trade our time share week in Cozumel for a week there. Also want to put Costa Rica high on the vacation list once the hip is good.
Wayfarer, I have heard China is also an amazing place but also been told the overpopulation and the terrible air quality takes a toll on the enjoyment of the scenery.
Ha, Blue! Allow me to threadjack and derail--I've been accused of that already.
China is one of the most populous States in the world; since I've been going there since 1995 they had the one-child rule; this has been called off recently. So they know/knew that was a problem. Even with the one-child rule, peeps would still have more kids (especially rurally, and for those in big cities). One of my close colleagues' (he was of the Chairman Mao era product where he was taken from the fields and educated and successful cuz he was bright) brother had a second child/son to help on the family farm. He was fined, but didn't have any money; okay the thinking was, we will take your tractor...and they did. I met his brother once. Oh wow Li, he is your older brother. No, he is my younger brother; life is hard on the farm--he lost his brother to cancer. Another thing we had in common; I lost a brother...to suicide.
The air thing is a problem, but has been curbed, especially before, during, and after the Beijing Olympics--took son to that. Since I knew my way around, it was quite an affordable jaunt. The air quality can and still does get bad, but many changes are in place. There is a burgeoning environmental movement in China with decent results. There is "scenery" in China (I hitched across the Tibetan Plateau my first time there in '94/'95), but I look at China as a more cultural experience than a scenic one (save Tibet and Yunnan Province). When I want scenery, I drive to the Rockies (US and Canada) with one of the dogs each summer (although, twice last summer...the last hoorah with the bad hip).
You’re doing amazingly well. It’s awesome that you’ve experienced so little pain. My pain (anterior) was considerable for the first ten days or so, but maybe it was positive in the sense that it kept me from doing too much (I’m the queen of overdoing it in every way).
Unfortunately, the sitting issue is a major one—worse for posterior patients for obvious reasons. For me, sitting upright for any length of time was not comfortable until at least 2-3 weeks post op. Then I still had to take breaks. That kept me from driving comfortably until two weeks in (my right hip was replaced). I don’t think that sitting upright for too long would do any permanent damage to your hip, but it could increase the swelling. So see if you can minimize it by bringing an ottoman to work, or something to that effect.
Keep up the excellent recovery!! You’ll be traveling pain-free soon!
Otisbeagle, Yes I feel fortunate I have had so little pain the past 11 days of recovery. Trying to abide by the recommendations set forth in the guidelines for recovery. So far that has worked perfectly.
The last two days I have not really needed the Hydrocodone that I have left. I thought I didn't need it at all but a few times but ended up taking it for some discomfort after about 8 hours of not taking anything.
I have been transitioning to a cane the past few days and can really get around well with it taking it slow around the house and down the driveway. Staying home has been driving me crazy and I have promised my wife a trip out to dinner at a local Catfish restaurant tonight if I am feeling well. Will take the cane rather than the walker I am pretty sure. Only a 10min drive so I might also give it a shot driving.
I guess you are around 10 weeks into recovery? What are you doing PT wise? Are you back to work and driving? What is your routine for exercise these days? I probably can go to your thread and find out these answers.
Next week will be my last 2 days of in-home PT. Also I go to get my staples out on Tuesday and will have several new questions for my surgeon but I am hesitant to sign off on out patient PT after hearing what others have said on this site. I definitely would love to hear from others their routine for recovery after 2 weeks.
Wayfarer, Not sure where China would be on my top 10 " bucket list" destinations to visit. But I am sure it could be an amazing trip. For a vacation how much time in your opinion is needed? Stay in 1 place or move to different locations?
As far as beautiful scenery; you have some of it so close by your home in the bay area. My family has vacationed in California several times in the past 25 years and although I would not want to live there (I love my Lone Star State); I have visited San Diego/ Carlsbad, Tahoe, and Sonoma wine country areas and would like to go back sometime. The Redwood Forest near Sonoma is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. I have had Yosemite and Washington State on my vacation list for many years but have not been able to make it there.
Post both THRs I was referred to out patient PT. And both referrals did absolutely nothing for me. The exercises were more about core stability than something for hips. Unfortunately most PTs have a check list they use for every patient. Then comes the resistance bands.
Walking is really all you need to do post THR. If you have issues with your gait, try heel -toe walking very slowly at first. Be mindful of striking the heel and then rolling forward to the toe. Start walking half the distance you feel you can achieve. If you are not sore the next day, increase slightly. Your hip will tell you if you have done too much.