THR 4 months on and damage to soft tissue^

@GrannyC .... we apologize! Jo's response (post #201) got mixed up in a merge of posts done recently and obviously is not in this thread. Thank you for trying to help us keep things straight. We're getting this all sorted out now, but it takes a little time when something like this happens.
@Jamie No problem. Sort of thought I was going crazier than I already am for a bit so I’m glad to know it was misplaced but found. You all do such an incredible job of keeping the forum running smoothly. It is a wonder things like that don’t happen more often. Great job by all of you and I’m sure others also would want to join me to say “Thank you!!!”
Here is a trick for nausea that worked for my husband when nothing else’s did. Get a stack of alcohol wipes and when you feel nauseous open one and smell it. It breaks the cycle and quells the feeling. He was thrilled with the results.
Well, my response WAS in post #201 when I posted it here!

Suppose I'd better see to this albeit a bit late!

It would be very helpful if you would answer each one individually - numbered as I have done - in as much detail as you can then I'll come back as see where you are

1. what approach did you have for your surgery? Anterior, posterior, lateral? You can look here to see the various types THR approaches or incisions

2. what are your pain levels right now? (remember the 1-10 scale: 1 = no pain and 10 = the worst you can imagine. And don't forget to factor in other forms of pain such as soreness, burning, stabbing, throbbing, aching, swelling and stiffness).

3. what pain medications have you been prescribed, how much are you taking (in mg please) and how often?

4. are you icing your painful area at all? If so, how often and for how long?

5. are you elevating your leg. If so how often and for how long?

6. what is your activity level? What do you do in the way of housework, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc., and

7. are you doing any exercises at home? If so what and how often?
This is the most crucial question so please help me by using the format I have left as an example
(which means please make a list and not an essay!)

Exercises done at home
- how many sessions you do each day
- enter exercise by name then number of repetitions of each
etc., etc.

Anything done at PT
- how many times a week
- enter exercise by name then number of repetitions of each
etc., etc.
My hip is still not great. At 8 weeks I was doing so well ...walking well with no pain or stiffness, just a very slight residual ache..and then this!! I wish I has read the bit here that says don’t do any exercise from a physio that hurts. That incompetent physio gave me those exercises that damaged my soft tissue and I still can’t walk far at all.

The whole of my outside thigh down to my knee and up my buttock was red hot! I feel a lot of harm has been done. I'm angry but also I’m worried that now. 4 months in and 8 weeks since the wrong exercises were given. I’m not going to get better but now have a chronic condition. Has anyone else had this difficulty? If so I’d love to hear how and if you resolved long it took etc?

The muscles around the hip feel very tight and with a dull ache and often a buzzy hot feeling which gets worse after 20 minutes walking. I relax, walk, sit etc in moderation but nothing is helping. I see another senior physio every week who very lightly massages the area but I’m not progressing.

She has told me to do clam exercises and side stepping to strengthen the muscles but I feel they are damaged and am very worried I’ll make things worse. I have lost all confidence in the NHS physios to be honest.

Any advice welcome.
Well, I wouldn't do any side-stepping or clam exercises! That's just going to make things worse.

Do you see where Josephine posted some questions for you earlier? It's been a while but, if you answer those now, I'm sure she'll have some great recommendations for you. Would you like to do that and then tag her when you're done?

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Hi @PhilippaC
I'm sorry for your pain and that you're not progressing as you'd hoped.
Sadly, you must not have read through the information Pumpkin provided you on September 1st,
the same day of your first post. You missed "The Big Tip" Hopefully once you respond to Josephine's questions you'll get answers...leading to relief.
Hang in there and enjoy the week!
I’m now starting week 5 post THR right side. In the first week I had lots of support, friends and family stayed over and I had visitors. That all mostly fell away after 2 weeks. Everyone I know either works or lives far away

I’m now struggling and finding it hard to stay buoyant. Small tasks are still a lot of effort and sometimes I feel a bit panicky and am crying quite a lot. My leg hurts if I walk on it without a stick and is still a bit swollen. I’m doing all the right things but am still very restricted and still not sleeping well …on my back and then tired during the day.
Before the op I was very independent and am finding this disability really really difficult as healing seems to be slow. With so much time on my hands and little ability to do things my mind begins to worry. I’m trying not to go there and tell myself all will be ok but still the worrying happens.

I’d like to hear how others who live alone are managing.
Hi @PhilippaC Welcome to BoneSmart! I’m sorry you’re feeling so low. I too struggled with post op blues and they are rough. One thing I realized after a few surgeries was that I, a normally very independent person, get very lonely and needy after a surgery. I then tend to get hurt and angry at my friends and family for not checking in or visiting. So for this last surgery, I went out and bought a bright and cheerful calendar (the old school paper wall calendar kind) and called each of my friends and family who were close enough to visit. I scheduled days and times with everyone so I had a least one visit a week for a couple months on my calendar. I told everyone what I was doing and why so they would take it seriously and not flake. Then I put the calendar up on my bedroom wall where I could see it and look forward to the next visit. It turned out to be such a blessing! It really cheered me up and kept me from feeling so isolated. (My favorite visit was when two of my friends came and brought a box of pastries from the local bakery!) Maybe something to try?
@PhilippaC, my heart goes out to you, and my hat is off to you. You are not alone in experiencing the "postoperative existential crisis" that can really hit those who are recovering alone.

I had THR (left hip, posterior) on Oct 19, 2022. I was sent home about 3 hours after surgery. I was fortunate in that my sister came in from the midwest to help me care for my animals and with the chores I could not do by myself. I also had friends drop by with the customary casseroles and good wishes.

Things were proceeding well... until Day 10 when the support officially stopped.

Of course, it never occurred to me that my friends or family would stop their lives to care for me for a month. I expected to be alone on Day 10. And yet I wasn't emotionally prepared for the thoughts that postop blues can bring up for singles.

For me, what was triggered was not just worry over breaking protocol or dislocation or simply not being able to survive recovery on my own. Instead I spiralled into some hell-narrative about permanent disability -- and worse -- aging. If I fell, whose arms would help me get up? If I screamed, who would know? I chose not to remarry after my divorce, so I began thinking: maybe I should have hung in so my spouse would help me to the bathroom. :bawl: I never wanted children, but maybe I should have bitten the bullet so they could clean my kitchen now. :bawl:

Fortunately, I quickly got over that narcissistic thinking, but I still felt small in the universe and imprisoned in my home, unseen and terribly vulnerable. I'm outgoing and sociable and volunteer in my community. But now all I could see was a very old woman...forgotten and dying alone. It was terrifying, and I cried for two days and nights. How many weeks would pass until they found my body? Would my animals starve or... eat my corpse?????? I'm serious -- I thought these things.

Until I did what you've done. I posted on bonesmart about my depression and received sympathy and reassurance. I no longer felt alone. And if you keep reaching out to us, you may not either, I hope.

The bonesmarters' help provided me the clarity I needed to get practical on my own. For example, I made a list of what I might do in the future if I'm ever in a similar situation. (My other hip isn't great, and both knees have been bad since my fifties, so it's very possible I will experience this again.) I learned that as someone on Medicare and a Supplement, I might travel closer to my sister for surgery and go to a rehab center near her home if that's called for. It wouldn't involve all that travel for her, and it she wouldn't have to be on call 24/7. It would also provide me with proper postop care should I need it.

I'm not sure what your insurer will allow if you should find yourself overwhelmed again by being alone after surgery. But the fact is that it can be very overwhelming to recover from posterior thr alone, and you are going through a very common experience for many of us who are or have been in your situation. So PLEASE feel free to vent here. We get it! But do research rehab center possibilities should you ever need surgery again.

As for now, can you arrange for some at-home care? I'm not sure how you feel about admitting your feelings to your family or friends...but might they take turns dropping by for a bit each day for some help and cheering up?

One piece of helpful advice you'll get here for physical pain is "ice, ice, ice." I found that to ward off my postop existential angst as a single, I needed to "distract, distract, distract." I binge-watched comedies, talked long-distance with friends, and read. I even ordered flowers for myself and had them delivered! :loll:

My battery is running low, so I'll post this now and write another in a bit with some practical tips on doing tasks on your own. :console2: Take care!!!
Hi @PhilippaC !

Here are the assistive devices that made it possible for me to keep my house relatively tidy, my animals fed and "petted," and myself clean and less overwhelmed.

1. Grabbers! I bought one for every room. They allowed me to pick things up from the floor without breaking protocol. With practice, I was able to get pet food bowls to the floor and back up. I also used them to pull up my pants.

2. A long-handled brush for showering. Mine came with a pumice on one side so I could also keep my feet smooth.

3. A long handled sponge I used to lather me all over and layer apply lotion.

4. Two grab-bars to hold on to when in the shower. You can also get a shower seat.

5. Plastic shower shoes with solid tread to prevent slipping on the wet tiles.

6. Activity rehab poles. Like Nordic poles but with cane tips on the bottom. They gave me more stability and balance than a cane when I started walking on cement alone. I felt much less vulnerable to a fall because they also worked my shoulders, abs, and elbows.

Hope this helps. You'll get lots of good advice here! And remember: you're not really alone because you have bonesmart to reach out to! We care! :SUNsmile:
Hi there,

I had a knee replacement, not hip. But I could relate to your post, and I am married. My hub is gone a lot and I am on my own like you are. I agree this recovery is super slow and it can get you down. It is tiresome! Several things I have done is, I signed up for BoneSmart, like you did. Yay! Be charitable. You can always go online here and try to cheer up other people who are not coping as well as you are. Your friends might be away but try calling them, on the phone, over the weekend, and just chat. Ask them about their lives because talking about your health problems can be a drag, even for yourself. You need some distraction from being overly anxious. If you like watching TV, there are tons of shows and movies out there nowadays (and I would hope in the UK as well). You can always browse on Amazon for something that interests you. Reading a good book will take you to a different world, probably a world without hip problems! Try to go outside for a walk if you can, even a short one. If you know an old person, visit them or call them. I visit my 90-year-old neighbor, and we eat a half a sandwich and talk about our medical stuff and laugh. She has had three or four husbands and the hours can get filled listening to the husband stories. Regarding being so sad, recovery is an emotional journey. It's okay to cry --you're alone, who cares! Eventually when you start feeling better you won't cry so much. You'll smile!
I felt the exact same way at 5 weeks. Then, around 7 weeks my depression lifted. My surgeon saw me at 6 weeks and was so puzzled my dark mood. He smiled at me and said it was time to go live my life! I had been cooped up in my house not doing anything because I was afraid of hurting the implant. So the day after the appointment I changed my attitude and went shopping at my favorite store and started to feel a bit like me again!
It took about a week of doing something each day but then I was good. So plan something fun this weekend and know that the slow recovery will eventually end and you WILL get better!
Hello PhillipaC, Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. We're happy you're here.
Please tell us the exact date of your surgery so we're able to add the information to your signature.

I am sorry you're feeling isolated and down. I understand this is cold comfort, but you're certainly not alone in feeling this way at this point of the healing process. Recovery is difficult with daily help or companionship and I am sure overwhelming when you're doing it solo. Since your friends and family that were there for you initially, but live a distance away and had to return to home and work, are you able to have regular phone conversations with them so you feel connected? If they're not checking in, try calling them, possibly they don't realize how isolated and lonely you're feeling.

While small tasks are temporarily difficult, try to view mastering them as a challenge, and I'll bet they become easier with each passing week. These small victories can be so encouraging.
My leg hurts if I walk on it without a stick and is still a bit swollen. I’m doing all the right things but am still very restricted and still not sleeping well …on my back and then tired during the day.
Pain and discomfort at only five weeks post op is common. Hopefully you're icing and elevating. If you're not please consider doing so per the instructions in the Recovery Guidelines under ICE and ELEVATE. It will help.
Also, take any meds you were prescribed on schedule, or OTC meds as needed if you've stopped the heavier narcotics. Sleep can be elusive early on so if you're not sleeping well at night, nap during the day if you're able. Your sleep will regulate soon.
With so much time on my hands and little ability to do things my mind begins to worry. I’m trying not to go there and tell myself all will be ok but still the worrying happens.
Staying busy and keeping your mind occupied is important if you're feeling this way. It will pass.
Think about activity you can engage in such as crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, adult coloring books. Researching / planning a getaway for when you’re feeling better. Watch old movies, play online games, search up new recipes for your collection if you like to cook. Read a book, page through magazines. Call an old friend, catch up on emails, invite someone over for coffee and dessert. Arrange a lunch away from home with someone.

You’ll be engaging in life again soon. Progress is slow, but steady. Try to look at progress once a week only by choosing a day of the week, then on that same day each week, look back and you'll see that you are doing better. Brighter days are on the way! Stop by here for support whenever you're in need. We'll be here and we care.
Big hugs and best wishes! :console2:

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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 these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The recovery articles
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.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. And thanks for all the advice and sharing- things already feels more manageable. I think I've been pushing the feelings of helplessness and despair down and they all have come up at once! I called my good friend and just had a good cry. I do usually take a lot of interest in my friends lives they are rather than focusing on my own stuff. I've decided to have video calls with friends, as suggested. Unfortunately my daughter and granddaughter who do live nearby have both got Norovirus so can't come over and of course I can't get there to offer any support to them.

I had the same op on my left hip 5 years ago and it was so easy... I was walking really well and mostly pain free at 3 weeks , no sadness etc and I guess I was expecting the same this time. But of course no two ops are the same and I am a bit older. I think this has a lot to do with how I am feeling now.... expectations!!

Here in the UK we don't get offered any after care as we have the NHS, which does an excellent job but it's currently a very basic service and overstretched. So you are discharged and pretty much on your own. I have got a lovely cleaner coming once a week now which really makes a difference. I'm not the tidiest of people by any means but when things get too chaotic, as they do when you can't do basic chores I find that a bit stressful.

I have watched loads of movies and series on TV!! I have plenty of audio books and have been going out into my garden and walking a little bit around the neighbourhood. Yesterday I put on my make up and made myself look and feel nice. I am counting the days till I can get in my car and go somewhere.. I know that is going to make a huge difference. Also I'm going to do some writing and make a gratitude list every day.

Till 'the big escape' I'm seeing that I need to reach out a lot more and a lot more patience is required! And I'll get more active on this amazing site!

My surgery was on 31st January 2023.
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:welome:back to the forum.

I love to see people share their struggles and you have just given some wonderful tips about how to keep things in perspective and work on keeping the Post Op blues at bay.
Love this list!
I have watched loads of movies and series on TV!! I have plenty of audio books and have been going out into my garden and walking a little bit around the neighbourhood
Yesterday I put on my make up and made myself look and feel nice.
Helps more than one would think.:curtsey:
Also I'm going to do some writing and make a gratitude list every day.
Till 'the big escape' I'm seeing that I need to reach out a lot more and a lot more patience is required
Yes, The Big Escape:heehee:

Hope today is a Good Day.:SUNsmile:

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