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THR 4 weeks post op status

Reluctant hippy

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This Tuesday will be 4 weeks since my left THR. My last in home PT was on 3/26 and at that point he said I should start walking around house without cane and also outside with a family member. I’ve found that I struggle to walk without a limp or list to one side when I don’t have the cane. Also there is an uncomfortable weak feeling in my joint area (almost like the feeling you get when you got your funny bone) and soreness in my buttock. I’ve been walking with the cane about 3/4 mile 2x day thinking that surely my muscles would feel stronger and that feeling would go away. The other feeling I get is when I stand up, it feels like my stitches are stretching and pulling (looks fine on surface). Anyone else experience similar sensations, etc. around this 4 week point? I would love to do some stretches for my lower back and left quad but my outpatient PT doesn’t start until 4/23 so I guess I should just hang tight?
 

Celle

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Hello @Reluctant hippy - and :welome: to Recovery.

My last in home PT was on 3/26 and at that point he said I should start walking around house without cane and also outside with a family member. I’ve found that I struggle to walk without a limp or list to one side when I don’t have the cane. Also there is an uncomfortable weak feeling in my joint area (almost like the feeling you get when you got your funny bone) and soreness in my buttock.
It sounds as if you still need to use the cane. That's OK. Don't worry about getting around without it. Keep using it until you can walk properly without it.

There are no prizes for giving the cane up quickly. It's just a tool, to help you walk properly (without a limp) and to prevent falls. It's still very early in your recovery and your body will tell you when it's ready to give up the cane - probably when you find you're starting to walk off and leave it behind.

The other feeling I get is when I stand up, it feels like my stitches are stretching and pulling (looks fine on surface). Anyone else experience similar sensations, etc. around this 4 week point?
Getting up from sitting to standing is hard for most people at first. It should get easier as your recovery progresses.

I would love to do some stretches for my lower back and left quad but my outpatient PT doesn’t start until 4/23 so I guess I should just hang tight?
With the current Covid-19 situation, going to outpatient PT would be unwise. Unless there's a vast improvement before your appointment date, Stay Home and Stay Safe.
Hips don't need a lot of exercise, but I will ask @Pumpkln if she can recommend some suitable stretches for your lower back and left quad.
 

Celle

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Here is your copy of the Recovery Guidelines that we give to everyone with a new hip - lots of helpful articles here:

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 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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Reluctant hippy

Reluctant hippy

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going to outpatient PT would be unwise. Unless there's a vast improvement before your appointment date, Stay Home and Stay Safe.
Hips don't need a lot of exercise, but I will ask @Pumpkln if she can recommend some suitable stretches for your lower back and left quad.
Thanks - I’m not too thrilled with the idea of going into the clinic for anything currently but do have my follow up appt with Dr Hartford, my surgeon, the day prior to scheduled PT so I’ll certainly be asking about this. Hoping I can get some do-at-home exercises that I can start while waiting out the pandemic.
 

Eman85

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As the recovery guidelines will tell you 4 weeks is very early in the recovery process. No shame in using the cane and walking will become smoother as you do it. When walking I would have to force myself more on slowing down and walking as good as I could more than how far or fast I could walk. This virus puts my recommendation of shopping cart PT on hold for now. For me walking while pushing a shopping cart was the best PT for proper stand up straight,heel toe, non limping walking. I can't recommend anyone go near a store or shopping cart now.
All of the pains and sensations sound common. Both of mine had very similar feelings and more as each one was different. Most on here like me will tell you PT is not required beyond some stretches and walking. In most cases it causes undue pain and doesn't speed up recovery.
 

Pumpkln

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@Reluctant hippy
I am unable to recommend stretches when I do not know which approach you had, and what restrictions you may have with your THR.
Most insurances, except Medicare, will allow Telehealth with the risk of Covid-19, call your insurance company. You would be able to communicate over your phone, tablet, or lap top, and they will be able to show you appropriate stretches.
 

Mojo333

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:hi: @Reluctant hippy
I agree with Celle that the cane is still needed for now...until your leg gets stronger.
Your leg isn't weak , it is injured so that quad was likely pulled away to get in there and get your bionic hip on place and it doesnt need a work out.
Shorter walks more often may be less stressful on that healing soft tissue.
I also felt pulling and burning at the incision site.
All sounds very normal including the lower back stress and pain in the butt.:unsure:
A pillow under my knees when resting and some reach for the sky stretching was helpful for me
Hope you are still icing often. :ice::ice:Getting that inflammation under control will certainly help tremendously.
Keep your patience muscle flexed... you will get there!:) :-) (:
 

Layla

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:wave: Hello @Reluctant hippy
It’s one month today. Happy One Month Anniversary!
Hopefully you’ve had a good week and you’re staying safe and well.
Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend! :)
 
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Reluctant hippy

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Thank you and same to you! Recovery progressing nicely and I so appreciate the BoneSmart forum - what a treasure of information and support!
 
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Reluctant hippy

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7 weeks post op now and doing pretty good. But (of course!) have some concerns/questions:

First, I was doing chores over weekend and squatted all the way down (resting on my heels). Since then, I have a dull ache and stiffness any time I go from sitting/laying to standing. Once I start walking it goes away. Normal healing? Overdid it? Cause for concern?

Second, how long should I be icing and elevating for? Icing better than elevating or other way around? I generally only do it once a day but wondering if more is needed despite it not being my favorite thing to do.

Third, when does swelling go away? Including pic of of hips here (THR on left hip). 7 weeks post op still noticeably swollen. Normal? Red flag?
4AB92F1A-A851-4715-B435-7B93671536D9.jpeg

Thank you!!!
 

Mojo333

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:wave:@Reluctant hippy
Once I got over the six week mark, and felt stronger...my tendency to overdo things was unfortunately stronger too.
First, I was doing chores over weekend and squatted all the way down (resting on my heels)
Wow ...for being able to do this but certainly your still healing soft tissue didn't care for this.

Since then, I have a dull ache and stiffness any time I go from sitting/laying to standing. Once I start walking it goes away. Normal healing? Overdid it? Cause for concern?
I say you Overdid It and I would try to baby it some and not put it into extreme positions...new hips like Incremental progress...

Second, how long should I be icing and elevating for? Icing better than elevating or other way around
I found better, and easier to do both at the same time..

Third, when does swelling go away?
I didn't have an inordinate amount of outward swelling after the first month but then I was an icing fiend and also tried to not stay on my legs all day as it never swells or aches until we stop, it seems.:umm:
I was still icing and elevating at night after work at 3 months out and any time I overdid the activity.
You don't want to have to recover from self induced tendonitis by making that leg perform before the muscles and tendons have had a chance to fully healed from the surgical trauma.
The time it takes is well worth the payoff...good hips!
:happydance:
 

Eman85

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7 weeks it's hard to believe it but it's still early in recovery. Every hip is different but for me every time I stretched or strained a muscle or group of muscles they told me with stiffness and soreness. Swelling went away quickly with my left but not as quickly with my right. Also muscles that are aggravated cause the swelling. For me icing was enjoyable and using an icing machine I did it often and for hours at a time. Generally iced while sitting in the recliner which was my elevation.
 

Layla

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Second, how long should I be icing and elevating for? Icing better than elevating or other way around? I generally only do it once a day but wondering if more is needed despite it not being my favorite thing to do.
Hello @Reluctant hippy
It’s advised you ice for 45-60 minutes, no less, each time you ice. You can ice and elevate more than once a day, if you feel like it. If you can do it while watching tv or reading, you may forget you’re icing, making time pass more quickly.
I’d continue icing and elevating until the aching and stiffness / swelling ease.

Regarding ELEVATION, In my time here, I learned from, Sr Admin. Jamie, that it’s our lymph system that rids the body of fluid (swelling). So you want to get the fluid to the lymph nodes in your torso area so your body can more quickly process it. The lymph system works rather slowly on it’s own and much more efficiently with the assistance of gravity. The fluid isn’t draining into the hips, but contained with the lymph system and moving to the torso and lymph nodes located there.

Try both and let us know if you notice results. Best of luck to you, have a great day! :)
 
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Reluctant hippy

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Second, how long should I be icing and elevating for? Icing better than elevating or other way around? I generally only do it once a day but wondering if more is needed despite it not being my favorite thing to do.
Hello @Reluctant hippy
It’s advised you ice for 45-60 minutes, no less, each time you ice. You can ice and elevate more than once a day, if you feel like it. If you can do it while watching tv, or reading, you may forget you’re icing, making time pass more quickly.
I’d continue icing and elevating until the aching and stiffness / swelling ease.

Regarding ELEVATION, In my time here, I learned from, Sr Admin. Jamie, that it’s our lymph system that rids the body of fluid (swelling). So you want to get the fluid to the lymph nodes in your torso area so your body can more quickly process it. The lymph system works rather slowly on it’s own and much more efficiently with the assistance of gravity. The fluid isn’t draining into the hips, but contained with the lymph system and moving to the torso and lymph nodes located there.

Try both and let us know if you notice results. Best of luck to you, have a great day! :)
So appreciate that feedback! I thought I was only supposed to ice 20 min. So if you had to prescribe frequency and duration for elevating and icing given my swelling, what would you suggest per day?
 

Layla

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I thought I was only supposed to ice 20 min.
The recently retired forum nurse with 50+ yrs experience in Orthopedics relayed that icing for 20 minutes is only appropriate when healing from an injury. Following joint replacement ice is a critical part of the pain management program and also helps with swelling and resulting stiffness. Ice can be used on the joint and any surrounding areas of discomfort. I iced whenever I was sitting or laying down in the early weeks. Personally, I didn’t put a time limit on it, but only made sure I had fabric in between my skin and the ice source. Try icing / elevating several times per day initially (2-3x) and see how it goes.
Following you’ll find articles on both -
http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/pain-and-swelling-control-elevation-is-the-key.7602/
 

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@Reluctant hippy I definitely second the icing, even at this point in your recovery. It really is fantastic at easing pain and working on that inflammation. I wasn't a fan of ice until after my surgery and am now a convert. I'm just over 9 months out and I still ice when I've overdone it.
 
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Reluctant hippy

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@Reluctant hippy I definitely second the icing, even at this point in your recovery. It really is fantastic at easing pain and working on that inflammation. I wasn't a fan of ice until after my surgery and am now a convert. I'm just over 9 months out and I still ice when I've overdone it.
You make a good point. I haven’t had much pain post op (no pain killers either bc of nausea plus don’t feel they work on me) so I didn’t think the icing was all that necessary. But given my outwardly swollen hip now I’m trying to be diligent about icing and elevating to see if that helps my hips go back to matching sizes!
 

Layla

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Happy Two Month Anniversary!
I hope you’ve been doing well since you last posted.
Wishing you a lovely Sunday and week to come! :SUNsmile:
@Reluctant hippy
 

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