THR 1st Hip Done, Didn't realize I'd be this tired...


junior member
Jul 27, 2023
Winter Springs, FL
United States United States
Friday 18th - checked in at 5 AM and was released to go home at 230. They asked if I wanted to stay overnight - but I'd rather be home.

Only hiccup I know about so far was they had to switch from the epidural to general anesthesia as my legs were twitching for some reason.

I think the general and oxy have really messed up by GI tract. Not hungry, things taste weird so I've barely eaten. Not to be indelicate - but ducolax is not having the desired effects.

Right now it's just really muscle aches - but I've not really hit PT very hard (PT is a phone app!). So i'm trying to back off the oxy a bit.

Sleeping on your back is everything everyone said it would be - but i'm managing 90 min to 3 hr stints - and since I sleep on & off during the day - who am I to complain!
Welcome and yes, stomach issues after surgery as well as the opiates lend to these types of GI problems.
And you will be tired, your body has gone through a traumatic event so just relax and let it heal!
I was a side sleeper so sleeping on my back wasn't something I was used to but I got used to it after awhile.
Right now just take it easy, Ice, rest and get up and move about several times during the day. This is a journey.
I wish you the best.
@GrumpyMCO Welcome to the other side! General anaesthetic is rough for many of us. So sorry you are suffering from the side effects. Lots of fluids.

You will get used to sleeping on your back. I had to do this years before my first THR after spinal surgery. And you may be able to sleep on the non-op side with a pillow between your legs when you are a bit further into this recovery.
but I've not really hit PT very hard
My friend you are healing - not in training. Hips don't need PT. Walking is the best exercise. Strength training comes after that hip has recovered from all the trauma.

I'll leave our recovery guidelines here for you.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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:
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.
@GrumpyMCO Each body has its own reaction to general anesthesia. It also can take several days for it to completely leave your system. Couple that with the pain meds, and it's easy to see why you are feeling out of sorts. All of those things also like to have the side job of slowing down that GI tract. Keep drinking lots of fluids, preferably low to no caffeine ones, and use a gentle laxative if necessary. Any key food that specifically helps you in that area would be great to concentrate on: usually in the fruits, vegetables, and whole grain categories. I like apples and watermelon, and dried fruits. Others here have mentioned pumpkin. In any case, don't let that get ahead of you, if you can help it. That just adds to any discomfort you're having. Luckily, it is all temporary.

Just keep moving regularly even if it's just to get up, walk around a bit. No need to "get exercising!" Walking is plenty for right now. Easy does it wins this race. I always find it amazing how much our bodies hate this assault on their wondrous mechanical and chemical engineering balances and how quickly they respond to getting it back on an even keel. You just have to give your body time to do it. Best wishes for good healing. Keep us updated.
Hang in there and be patient. Sleeping on my back was misery for me. Sometimes I think if they replace the other hip, I’ll never get a decent night’s sleep again.

Most of the time I sleep on the hip without the replacement with a pillow between my knees but, one year out, sometimes I sleep on the hip replacement. Sometimes it’s ok, and sometimes it feels uncomfortable.

Am I supposed to be forbidden from ever sleeping on the hip replacement?
Am I supposed to be forbidden from ever sleeping on the hip replacement?
Not in my experience - as a side sleeper I started sleeping on the non-op side as soon as I could comfortably get into position without extending the operated leg across midline - pillows helped. Then I kept trying on the op side - just 20 - 30 minutes at first but now at 7m I can sleep easily on either side, often choosing the operated side for some reason! Give it time :sleep:
I'm on my 6th full day post surgery and continue to progress.

Is it normal to sometimes get a burning sensation on the front of the leg - not at the incision site - but at the front of the thigh and front of the shin? But sometimes it feels like my leg is in a Gob Jabbar. That is usually what drives me to get up and out of bed in the middle of the night.

Getting out in & out of bed easier & easier. Focusing on walking normally with the aid of a walker - but given I've not walked normally in decades it's a bit of a stretch. My walk was once described as akin to an emperor penguin, took my daughter out of the will for for that comment. But with both hips devoid of cartilage for a long time, I did tend to waddle as my opposing limps coordinated.

I seem to have some light sensitivity so doing work on the computer is challenging.

I hate going to bed at I know it will be a struggle. If I get up at 2 or 4 I just meander out to the recliner with an ice pack and eventually I doze off - so net net I'm getting enough rest and that's what I'm focusing on.

I stopped hard-core pain pills after day 3 and really haven't regretted it. Doing Tylenol and Celebrex with almost constant icing when awake. I really feel fortunate that the pain has been so manageable,

I can't imagine what an posterior or lateral approach recovery would be like, my cousin had a hip replacement with the posterior approach and sent me a picture of the scar (eww) it was HUGE!

I just ordered a spare set of wheels for the walker and some tennis balls so I can convert it to an outside walker and not trash our floors when I come back...can't wait to show off my compression stocking legs to the neighborhood peeps. Gosh that sentence sounds so pathetic, but I am excited to walk outside!
I had 2 posterior and I'm hard pressed to find my scars, they are just light pink small lines.
My walk was once described as akin to an emperor penguin,
I was the target of the same barb -- but, in my case, it was AFTER my surgery! Took me more than a month to get to something that resembled a normal gait.
You are early days, so give it time. Meanwhile, welcome to the penguin club! :happyfeet:
I think the general and oxy have really messed up by GI tract. Not hungry, things taste weird so I've barely eaten. Not to be indelicate - but ducolax is not having the desired effects.
I had this problem after THR. Ate a lot of fruit and veg but the thing that really worked for me was eating golden kiwi fruit including the skin. One a day, no problem to report!
I read that revisions are easier for the surgeon when the original replacement was done posterior because the incision is larger.

So, I planned ahead given the possibility that the surgeon would have to go back in.

Perhaps the recovery for posterior is a little longer but it’s major surgery no matter which approach and just about any kind of pain or burning or numbness is normal.

And, as I and others can attest, pain can persist past the one year mark.
I read that revisions are easier for the surgeon when the original replacement was done posterior because the incision is larger.
I'd say they can go in any way they want for a revision, it's not like the original incision has velcro. my left hip looks like a football from previous multiple surgeries. For my THR the OS made a nice new clean incision on a blank canvas. For the THR the posterior gives a bigger window for the OS. In my case first THR they knew going in there were going to be complications with hardware that had to be removed so the big window worked well. Same OS opposite side for what he dubbed as the chip shot of THR's for me turned into a little more when he discovered a large bone cyst in my pelvis. Would he have seen it through a smaller hole?, hard to say but it all worked well for me.
This web page has a post from one surgeon on why he no longer does the anterior approach.
It's interesting to see the variation on THR procedures & recovery regimens. You'd think with so many being done it would be settled by now - but everyone is different.

I got asked if I wanted to stay overnight and said no.
My Brother-In-Law over in the UK spent a week in the hospital after his replacement - granted - I don't know if there were complications, but I don't recall hearing there were any.

1 Week & 1 Day from the surgery I took my first long walk - 10 minutes in the mid-day Central FL sun. Don't know if it was the temp or recovery that made it challenging - but it was good to be outside.

I feel so fortunate mobility & pain-wise.
Sleeping still sucks. But my recovery buddy follows me around even at 230 in the AM and hangs with me all day.

1st Hip Done, Didn't realize I'd be this tired...
You have a great buddy there to help with recovery! And I cannot even imagine walking 10 min outside in FL during the middle of the day right now. Kudos to you!
@GrumpyMCO What a dear recovery buddy! I remember a few years ago a member posted a short video of him doing laps around his home with his 2 sweet dogs happily following his every step. Our fur friends do make recovery much nicer!

As for length of time spent in hospital .... it use to be (before the COVID pandemic) that most surgical patients spent at least 4-7 days in hospital if not longer. Unless the surgical procedure was something quite simple such as an arthroscopic surgery ( I had one of those on L knee in 2004 and it was day surgery). I know back in 2011 when I had my hips surgeries I was kept for 5 days. When COVID got really going most hospitals started sending folks home sooner and found most did very well. Of course now if there is any indication that a patient is having ANY medical issues or complications that patient is kept until those issues are resolved. The day surgery model for surgeries such as joint replacement also came out of the pandemic -- hospitals needed every bed they had for seriously ill patients plus they did not want other patients unnecessarily exposed to that nasty virus.
Day 10

Pico bandage is off, showered without shielding the bandage and am feeling more human every day.
Even transitioned back to the upstairs workstation - but I'm still trying to limit my hours working - taking frequent breaks and walking around.

Egads, smart watch says I got 9 hrs of sleep last night! I guess I was due for an "equalizer" sleep as I'm no longer napping.

Little dog is puking all over the house, feel a bit guilty about not being able to help clean up. My wife is a saint, first she got me through the rough spots post op and now she's chasing the little furball with paper towels!

I don't have my post op visit with my Surgeon until this Thursday - looking forward to getting the all clear to ditch the walker - wife is constantly telling me to use it as she's afraid I'm going to fall. To be fair, I wasn't the most graceful person before surgery. :wink:
Don't rush ditching the walker, maybe go to a cane??? You don't want to lose your balance and fall.
Dogs are fun! I'm dog sitting today for a little fur ball.
looking forward to getting the all clear to ditch the walker
Keep in mind that walking aids -- like the walker and/or a cane -- serve an important purpose during the early weeks of recovery by helping you maintain a normal gait. Without them, you are likely to favor the surgical side and that can throw everything out of alignment. I'm sure you surgeon will watch you walk and let you know whether you are ready to progress to the cane.

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