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THR 10 Days Post Op and back to gym doing elliptical - Okay??

NJLuke

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Morning:
49 year old male lifelong athlete / Left hip replaced anterior approach Jan 16, 2020. Happy New Year!
Pain has been minimal. 102.5-103.5 degree fever for approx first week (doc said was okay). Fever has subsided.
Walked 4,000 steps unassisted on Day 7.
Day 10, went to my gym and did (light) elliptical for 30 minutes followed by light recumbent bike. Somewhat soar that evening.
Doc says my hip will 'tell me' if I'm over-working it, and is quite pleased with my recovery thus far.
Am I pushing it too far too soon?
BTW: Sleep has been horriblle. I generally crash around 10pm, then up from 2am-5am, fall back to sleep until about 6:30am.
The only real discomfort that I feel is around my knee, and some cramping down my shin (neoprene compression sleeve seems to help)
Welcome any feedback!
-Chris
 

Jaycey

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Welcome to BoneSmart!
Am I pushing it too far too soon?
Short answer - Yes! Far too early for gym work. Yes your hip will tell you when to slow down. But right now all the muscles and soft tissues are totally traumatised. All you should be doing at 10 days out is icing, elevating and short trips around the house.

I'll leave you some guidelines. The article on activity progression and the chart representation of this recovery might give you some insight. The sleep issues are addressed in the last article on the list.
Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website

Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Going4fun

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Yes, I think you're overdoing it--way overdoing it. Sometimes there is delay in onset of soreness ... and when that soreness comes from overuse too soon, OMG, it can be nasty. Your soreness after the elliptical and recumbent bike is telling you to back off and that's the minor kind. That soreness will get a lot worse at this pace.

Exercise does not speed up healing. Doesn't speed up muscle repair, nerve repair--not at this stage. Essentially there's little upside to doing what you're doing so early.

The only upside (and I got tempted by this as well) is to convince yourself for a moment that you're recovering at a super fast pace.

You mention the anterior approach. There are people on who come to board everyday because they had the anterior approach and they thought they would go from the operating room to the dance floor in two weeks. Does no such thing. Still major surgery that results in sore soft tissues that is pulled, twisted, retracted and all of that. Still had to have a device hammered into bone.

You'll get to where you want to go ... unfortunately if you're extremely active ... very easy to think that exercise speeds healing. Nope. Not at this early stage. Gradual is the word ... very gradual ...

Example: frankly, just getting into the car and going to the gym ... and walking to your locker ... or to the exercise room ... would have been an extremely effective and demanding workout for day 10. Just getting up at home and going to the bathroom ... and moving up and down stairs ... to eat ... lots of good movement there.
 
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longtimechemist

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That’s amazing progress. Having had a right THR myself in October, I couldn’t imagine doing all that so soon.
A colleague of my wife’s had a THR a couple of years ago. He loved the result, and was soon in the gym on the treadmill and the bike. He started weights on the exercise stations too.
We recently saw him in town. He limps quite badly... He regrets going at it so hard so soon. Surgeon says revision is the only option.
Just one anecdote, I know.
 

SarahBee

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I had the anterior procedure and I had an amazing recovery. I was amazed and grateful for such relief from pain and regaining mobility so quickly after surgery. A lot of things others suffered, I did not. Now I am almost 10 months post op and progressing nicely. BUT the one thing I dealt with and continue to deal with is soft tissue and nerve pains that come from nowhere. You may be fortunate and have none of these issues. But are you willing to risk damage to already traumatized tissue? You are very early on in recovery.

I think it is either @Layla or @Jaycey who uses this analogy: If you had a horrible car accident and had these injuries, would you push these poor tissues so hard? Just my thoughts. For me, I'm glad that I took it easy early on, walking to recover. Just because I could, didn't mean I should. Best of luck. It's hard sometimes to hold ourselves down. :)
 

CricketHip

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Hi @NJLuke well, I am on the same bandwagon as everyone else who's replied to you. too much too soon!

Maybe do some reading on the recovery threads, especially ones that went at their recovery a little gung ho and read about their tendinitis issues that plagued them for months.

You may be fine with it all, but why risk it for now? Easy walking is good. Just stop and smell the roses and be glad you live in a world that offers us such an excellent option for our beat up joints.

glad you are doing so well. I hope you hang around and interact with us. We care.
 

Layla

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Hi Luke,
Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us.
We're happy to have you here. :)

Whoa! I'm joining the chorus. Please slow down before you hurt yourself and sideline your recovery. I hope we don't scare you off with our opinions and advice but many have of us have read of ambitious / aggressive recoveries such as yours heading south quickly. We do care and don't want to see that happen to you, so please consider our words of caution.

Below you will find the Activity Progression For THR which was included in the Recovery Guidelines above that you may not have read yet. The suggested activity level for your point in recovery may feel like child's play to you, but it is meant as a rough gauge and will keep you out of the ODIC (Over Did It Club) as we refer to it around here.

Your body is using energy first for healing so please allow the energy you're expending on unnecessary activity to work toward healing the "controlled trauma" your body so recently withstood. I encourage this especially in light of the temporary sleep issues you've stated you're dealing with. Our body does it's best healing while we're asleep and since you're struggling in that area please allow the energy you do have to go toward the healing process first and foremost. We'd love to follow your healing journey so please continue to share here.

A great rest of the week to you! :wave:

@NJLuke
 

Tkdbob

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I walked a lot soon after my hip replacements. I think the intensity of your activities is critical, if you are moving at a slow rate with little resistance then you won’t cause damage but you could cause some serious soreness. I myself like to feel the results but that needs to be tempered by an awareness that you could easily overdue it and wind up relying on a walker for a while. Just go gently for the next few weeks. Just my 2 cents.
 

Celle

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I'll join in with what the others have said. You are doing too much, too soon - and it will get you in the end.

It doesn't matter how young or fit you were before your surgery. Complete recovery is still going to take about a year.
You've recently had very major surgery and all your hip tissues are traumatized. Whether you are 18 or 80, those tissues are going to take just as long to recover and if you further traumatize them by over-exercising now, they could take even longer.

Those soft tissues aren't lazy or unfit - they're wounded and they need time and gentle treatment, so they can start to heal.
 

ForumUser

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NJ,

You know, of course, your bones that have been sawed off, cut off, ground off, etc, don’t know you’re a life long athlete, right?

While I am not the fastest (NOT a race) recovery specimen, I have done this twice, the first as a 45 year old. Yeah, the anterior approach should, and probably does, result in less muscle discomfort, but the bones ... they still get the full saw, cut and grind treatment. Both mine were lateral approaches.

After a run in with overdoing it, I was CAREFULLY on an elliptical machine at three weeks ... and, this was considered pretty aggressive - maybe even unnecessarily aggressive.

Here’s my story for some light reading ...


Personal recommendation? Ice and elevate, walk, walk, walk ... ice and elevate ... walk, walk, walk... ice and elevate. Repeat.
 

Layla

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Happy One Month Anniversary!
I hope you're doing well, Luke. We'd love to read about your progress if you care to share next time you're on the forum.
Best wishes for a good week as you continue on your healing journey. :wave:
@NJLuke
 

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