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THR 2 weeks post op

Peace&Love

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I am now 2 weeks post op and this site was highly recommended. I had my right hip total replacement done, and I suppose I am doing well, but not as well as I had hoped. For one thing, I put off the surgery way too long in hopes my heath insurance would grant me a network exemption for local Surgery instead of having to travel 4 hours and stay for 10 days away from home and obligations.
I have been close to immobile ( even though working) for over 2 years so I feel weak as a kitten and I’m not sure how to get my strength and energy back.
I feel my right leg is longer now, and hear that is common.. but I think my knee looks a little higher. . I was starting to have quite a bit of knee pain Months before the surgery so I am hoping it will go away, but today it was as bad as ever. ( cold front moving through ) I wasn’t given any specific exercise routine except to walk but don’t over do, and pumping my feet and a few exercises to do in bed 10 times each 3 times a day in bed. My incision looks to be healing nicely, no bruising at all! But the incision often grabs suddenly and feels like I am ripping out stitches. There are sutures inside but glue outside.

I should add that I am also a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patient. And am not able
To take most pain killers so this as been done with Mobic and extra strength Tylenol. Baby aspirin for a blood thinner. Other’s experiences most welcomed. Thank you
 

Layla

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Welcome! Thanks for joining us and congrats on your new hip.
I'll leave our Recovery Guidelines and comment more below.

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 these
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
6. Access to 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 the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Layla

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Hello again...
Please leave your exact surgery date below and which hip was replaced. It will be applied as your signature making it easier for those that stop by to comment to see how far along you are. Thanks in advance.

You may need to lower your expectations for only two weeks post op. Your body just experienced a controlled trauma and is healing. You're tired because your body is using energy first to heal, not leaving much extra for all the rest of the activities of daily living. Try to relax and roll with it. Sleep as often as you're able as our body does it's best healing while we're sleeping. I suggest you read the article above in the Recovery Guidelines titled Energy Drain For THR's.

I also recommend you read the article Activity Progression For THR above. At two weeks post op about all you should be doing is taking
walks around the house lasting longer than 5-10 minutes, but don't get into too much pain, or allow yourself to get too tired. Stop before you get to that point. For activity, you could attempt a little minor tidying up around the house, some quick / easy meal prep and maybe some dish washing...but that's about it for now. Recovery takes up to a full year, even longer for some and there's no rushing it.

Knee discomfort is a common complaint as the knee is often manipulated rather aggressively during the dislocation process. Ice your knee along with any other areas of pain or discomfort, several times daily for 45-60 mins, no less. There is also an article on Ice in the Recovery Guidelines above.

As far as your leg feeling longer, it's a common sensation also. It normally resolves within 3-4 months and following is an article on that -


You have lots of reading to do and there will be a quiz in an hour.
Ready, set, go! :heehee:

I hope some of the info helps clear things up and I'm wishing you comfort as you begin healing. Stop back often, we'd love to support you through your journey. :)
 

Elf1

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:wave: just wanted to pop in and say welcome to Bone Smart @Peace&Love! Happy you found us and think you'll find there are great folks here that are willing to share their tips, tricks, trials, tribulations and their successes. Layla left you a lot of great info so I'm going to leave you for now, stop in any time!
 

Debru4

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There are so many different aches and pains that pop up during the first couple of months, and most are perfectly normal.(knee pain, incision pain, leg length discomfort) But they still are worrisome and this forum is a wonderful place to reach out and ask questions, or to simply share how you are feeling and what is on your mind.

For those of us unable to take most pain killers, pain management is an added challenge. Do keep up with regular acetaminophen and extended icing, as well as standing and taking short walks in your house as you are able.

The exercises you mentioned are the same ones many of us are given and are about all the exercise you need to even consider for a long, long time. I'm sure dealing with lupus on top of the surgery recovery is really hard. Hopefully you will find the pain/s lessening over the next couple of weeks. Take care.
 

VSlowLife

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I feel weak as a kitten and I’m not sure how to get my strength and energy back.
The first two weeks after surgery are the slowest times, I found. So much swelling to deal with and healing going on. Hopefully you will start to feel a bit more spry as each day passes, now that you are into your third week. It’s a slow process getting strength back. Slow and steady is the general advice here. I follow it to avoid increased pain at night.

Bonesmart does not encourage much exercising, and although I had home PT, I was very mindful to keep it focused on learning to do things safely in my home, the first few weeks. I walked when I felt up to it, and then started trying sustained walking for a few minutes around the house.

But the incision often grabs suddenly and feels like I am ripping out stitches. There are sutures inside but glue outside.
I had this about the same time as you. Thankfully it was very brief. Then yesterday and this morning I had some baby “zingers” I call then right on the incision line, as I go to sit. I have the same, glue outside and internal stitches. I am about two weeks ahead of you.

I can walk without the cane for short distances, with things to grab if I need them.

I tried to go to the cane at day ten, but it caused too much pain. I am still using my walker, with a cane attached so I can do short distances with or without the cane.

Hoping you see improvements this week!
 

Celle

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Hello @Peace&Love - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your hip replacement and which hip it is, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:
 
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Peace&Love

Peace&Love

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Hi! I finally figured out how to find replies.. and thank you all!

i had my right hip done February 12, 2020.. my surgery started somewhere around noonish. They used the anterior approach, used a spinal for surgery and nerve freeze for pain after.

My incision is longer and not as ‘pretty’ and the one my preferred surgeon seems to produce.. but what can one do?

I am 3-1/2 weeks post op now and feel deceptively well.. I think I can do so much.. but I tire quickly.

I am confused about my follow up care. In past surgeries, I have seen the surgeon, been given instructions , timelines, when i can drive etc.. my health insurance sends me away for my surgery.. schedule went as follows.. Arrive, check into hotel on hospital grounds. Following day.. pre op tests.. next day surgery.

The surgery was around noon, and I was still too numb, but very willing to try to walk. They said no, I was too numb, and I would get up in the morning with the Pt person,

I needed the bed pan that night and the tech got the wrong one. It caused me so much pain..but in a very specific spot of my hip. I told her, and her response, well, you can’t take pain killers.. BUT IT DIDN’T hurt before the bed pan.

The next tech was horrified that the previous tech had not used an orthopedic bed pan. ( that was so much better) I told the dr in the morning and she said’ well you can’t take pain killers’ but no one would check it!

It continues to be a source of constant pain. Not terrible, but I’d say a 3 on the scale all the time. I was discharged to the hotel the day after surgery. My room was not handicapped accessible which led to several discussions ..

Scheduled for 4 PT sessions. I missed one due to fever. They provided transportation on a bumpy bus. PT was very gentle, though in reading my medical records, they have me listed as knee replacement therapy for 2 of the 3 sessions.

Also, the surgical inventory lists NO SCREWS USED, but there is clearly a screw in my X-ray done during surgery. On the 19th I was to see the surgeon‘s PA, where I hoped she would check or explain this pain .. all she did was undress the incision, and look at it, put a new removable dressing on it, and say, since I can’t take pain killers, there is nothing that can be done about the pain.
No X-ray.. no checking to see where it is tender., nothing.believe me I tried.
I was released with no restrictions.

I had a 4 hour ride home.. they instructed frequent stops to get out and walk, so it was more like a 5-1/2 hour ride home.

Next was the 3 week check up, but with my primary care dr, not the surgeon, I have no further appointments with her,.. as far as I know , ever,

My primary, as all my local dr’s.. remain baffled by this line of care.
He had no idea what to do for a 3 week post op hip replacement patient, He looked at the incision, said it looked ok.. but had no idea what to tell me for anything else.
No one has mentioned driving,

I had one PT session since I got home.. my one bright spot. I know my PT person and she shares all of your philosophies on pt. She did notice my knees turning in just a bit, but said I need to heal before we address.

My energy is returning, faster than my ability to keep up with it. I rode with hubby to the grocery store and said I was fine to go in, I didn’t take the rarely used cane, but even with the shopping cart one aisle in and I was done, but I pushed on, and was pretty useless the next day.

My work involves a long walk just to get into work, then on my feet for most of the day. The short term disability allows 12 weeks for this .my pt person says take it, use the time to build up strength slowly. Some days I think I could be working now, but I don’t even know who is supposed to release me to work.

I feel pretty alone in this. I thought I would have a follow up with my surgeon, but nothing is scheduled, for all I know. When she released me with no restrictions, I was to go right back to work?!

This has been the strangest standard of care I have ever seen.

( note to Celle: New Zealand holds a special place in my heart. Our daughter got her Masters there, and I spent a month exploring your beautiful country form north to south❤)
 

Celle

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Hi again, @Peace&Love .

Since your surgeon appears to have left all follow-up care to your own doctor, I think he/she needs to contact your surgeon and ask what she expects him/her to advise.

On the other hand, since your surgeon is being paid money for your care, you need to contact her office and ask for instructions, also mentioning that you were given none, and that no one has checked your hip for the cause of your continued pain. Somewhere along the line, there has been a breakdown in communications.

Where I live, it is standard practice for the surgeon to write to the primary doctor, saying what surgery was performed and outlining follow-up care. That is simple professional courtesy and good practice.
 
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Peace&Love

Peace&Love

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I left a message last week asking about follow up care, have not hear yet. I maybe should have mentioned that they used a Stryker II hip. The surgeon locally would have used a Zimmer Biomet. Hip.
it is a strange feeling to have this wonderful surgery and then be tossed out to fend for myself.
 

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PL,

Your story sounds odd, but medical care is different everywhere.

The only thing my OS/staff did was to evaluate the xray as “looks great” and remove the zipper device - however, other than overdoing it, I had no complications.

Most believe PT is not required.
 

Eman85

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It does sound odd that there has been so little communication. Many of us have received a lot of info both pre-op and post-op from our OS. The no restrictions is generally no movement restrictions because you had anterior approach. Energy drain is very normal and does last for a while. Rest and nutrition was the best medicine for me as that went. I'm guessing your follow ups are with your GP due to the long distance to the OS. I've got 2 Stryker hips and so far they work pretty good. I would continue to try and communicate with the OS. I might have missed it in your post but are you using ice? Icing the area is great for pain.
If you can take the 12 weeks, your body will appreciate it.
 

Layla

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I left a message last week asking about follow up care, have not hear yet.
Please call the OS’s office again today.
You know the old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
I‘d suggest you prepare a list of questions and firmly express that you expect / need all of your questions answered. I’d remind them you just experienced a major surgery and feel abandoned without instruction or direction and find it unacceptable.

I wouldn’t be concerned with the type of implant placed.

If you haven’t already, please thoroughly read the Recovery Guidelines above. I believe some of the info will still pertain since you’re less than a month post op. Given what you’ve shared, the Recovery Guidelines may be the most comprehensive and useful info you’ve received to date, so please familiarize yourself until you receive the info you’re seeking from the OS.

We‘re here for you and we care so please stop by for support or encouragement as needed.

I hope today is a good one! :SUNsmile:
@Peace&Love
 

Jamie

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What you're describing is certainly not standard care for joint replacement or for most insurance companies. Can I ask what insurance company you have? I'd like to do some checking into the company for you. I'd also like to know the name of the hospital and surgeon. You can send them to me via Personal Message, if you prefer not to put that information on the pubic forum. But you certainly can post it here if you like.

As suggested above, the best thing to do is to really put the pressure on your surgeon's office to provide you guidance for your recovery. You should have at least one follow-up appointment with the surgeon. They are paid for this and you are entitled for it under the bundled care billing process. That visit should include an xray as well as an evaluation.

I agree you should take the full 12 weeks you can get for recovery. You'll feel better going back to work the more rest and recuperation you are able to get.

If you'd like to see a therapist either at home or through out patient, your GP should be able to order some sessions for you. That might make you feel more confident about how you're doing.

It would be a good idea to document all the things that have occurred with your doctors and insurance company regarding your hip. You'll need dates and times as well as the names of people involved if you can recall them. Once you are feeling stronger, you may want to consider filing a complaint to your state Medical Board against the surgeon. I have checked and there are also relatively easy ways to register a complaint against the hospital and your insurance company if that seems appropriate to you.

I don't know if you have choices for medical insurance or not, but if you do, you may want to consider changing when you can. Making you drive 4 hours to have surgery does not sound like good medical coverage.

On the plus side, hips usually do very well in recovery. You can depend on us to help you with your recovery....we've been there for more than 30,000 hip and knee replacement patients over the past 15 years and we'll be here for you too. Your recovery sounds like it's going just fine so far, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. Read the articles that were posted for you and you'll get a good idea of what to expect. Ask any questions that come up and we'll answer them immediately. Listen to how your body feels as you are going through recovery. It will tell you when you may have overdone things and you need to scale the activity back a bit. We all do that at some point in recovery.

Hang in there! We'll help you get through this. Promise.
 

CricketHip

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Hello @Peace&Love My goodness, I am so sorry to read about your experiences so far. I hope you accept Jamie's offer and also the advice to call your OS office until you get some answers. :praying:

It's so difficult to get that worry out of your mind, once it begins to take hold.. ugh.

All of your symptoms sound fairly normal and if you had received some support when needed, it would have helped calm your fears. I am so sorry that you've felt alone. Hopefully this forum can help you get some support, when needed.

The endurance and strength will return. It doesn't happen overnight and initially it's good just to enjoy some gentle walking when you can. Especially if you can focus on your gait.
Our list of recovery links will hopefully answer most, if not all of your questions. At least for now!

I hope your day was a good one. I'm on the East coast and we were up to 70 degrees! Not a typical early March day. :SUNsmile:
 

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