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THR 50 year old male's recovery

KathyB

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Hi @toughstuff, I agree with @Jamie regarding the use of assistive devices.
Post op I was using a walker for a full three months, then a cane/walker until about four months, then a cane until about six months. All of of this assistive device use was due to a bad limp and not being able to walk properly or without discomfort. It took a while until all the muscles used to walk and balance properly were working again. I still use a cane if I am going to walk on the sand (just started doing sand walking) or will be on uneven surfaces for very long. I still have slight discomfort getting up from low seats and into the car. All that being said, I am so much better than pre op, a lot better than at three months post op, better than 6 months post op, and still improving. Although my limp was mostly gone at six months, I can sometimes feel it close to returning if I do too much walking/activities all at once or too many days in a row.
Slow and steady with hiccups along the way is the recovery path. Also, I was still icing 3-4 times a day for the first couple of months and 2-3 times a day up until 3 months. After 3 months, I would still ice anytime I had discomfort from doing something new or over doing. I also have OA in my non op hip, not as bad as the op hip. Because of one's gait changing from a THR, your non op leg can be affected. I went through a period post op where both legs would be sore as my activity level increased; however, this has subsided now at ten months post op. Hope this helps and all the best to you.
 

Fiona444

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Hello @toughstuff. I am sorry you are still experiencing pain. I am just coming up to 7 weeks PO and have had no aches related to my op for around 3 weeks I guess. I found very simple PT exercises helpful although I certainly was not religious about doing them at all and never did them if painful. Just gentle specific movements to loosen things up abit. I too am active and walk a lot and again find that helpful. I am still aware that the muscles can take up to a year to heal fully so ensure I stick to certain precautions eg inward rotation of the knee. I do hope you get some relief soon
 

Fiona444

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Just to add, I used my crutches to give a bit of stability and take pressure off my damaged muscles until about 3 weeks. It made a huge difference as I could go for long walks without strain. Maybe try using some to rest the muscles for a while?
 

Marvin L

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The muscle pain comes and goes. I’m almost 3 months out. I’m doing PT 2x a week n go to the gym 3x a week. My pain or soreness moves around, some days quads, the hamstrings , them glutes. But it get better, just keep moving. The therapist works me out til I hurt, she said it’s a necessary evil to strengthen the muscles. And do a lot of stretching.
 
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toughstuff

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Does it really just take time? Most everyone gets back to pain free but it takes more time than I expected?
 

Eman85

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How long were you told or did you expect to be pain free? That's the biggest problem with this surgery. My OS was very realistic in preparing me and 1 year was his timeline. I can still make it hurt if for some reason I wanted to, but in normal day to day activities I am pain free.
 
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toughstuff

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6-8 weeks I was told for it all to settle down and feel pretty good. That is still a little ways away for me but at this pace I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
 

Going4fun

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6-8 weeks I was told for it all to settle down and feel pretty good. That is still a little ways away for me but at this pace I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
This is a tricky one ... surgeons can define "pretty good" in ways their patients don't. There are for a lot of people big jumps from weeks 4 to 6 .. .and 6 to 8, it seems ... So don't give up yet ... "Pretty good" for a lot of surgeons just means you're walking and moving about as well as can be expected and that the device seems to be in place on the X-rays. And "about as well as can be expected" ... of course, varies! ... There's a wide variation in recovery that is still considered a "normal" recovery.

I got frustrated too ... and I called my surgeon's chief nurse multiple times for reassurance and to report on my frustration. She was extremely helpful. One tip from her: don't measure progress by the day. Judge by the week. I later amended that to by the month!

And to clarify ... hips in recovery don't always scream during our walking/exercise ... they scream on delay ... later ... So walking as long as it feels good (even with walker or cane) ... is only part of the equation. You also have to be aware of the amount of movement that causes a backlash a day or two later. (That's the tricky part ... and it's tricky because that amount changes and increases over time--but then we push it to far.) If you can get back to the walker and the cane, you will speed up your recovery ... by not straining muscles and tissue that are still under trauma and recovering from the surgery.

And just to make sure, you can take steps in the morning, in the house, without feeling excruciating pain? The pain comes later? And how much walking/exercising are you doing? Distance and time.
 
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toughstuff

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Going4fun, I really appreciate that response.

My hip area has felt good in the morning from week 2 on. It is just as the day goes on that I have some soreness/pain. I looked at my iphone log. I have been doing between 1.5 and 2.5 miles of walking a day. Never more than a mile continuously.

The time frame of 4-6 and 6-8 weeks that so many refer to as a nice jump in pain management.......is this due to how long it takes in general for muscle and soft tissue to heal? I am at 4 1/2 weeks right now.

Additionally, it is my right hip so I have not been cleared to drive yet. I have practiced this a little in a parking lot but it is not real easy yet and causes some discomfort.
 
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toughstuff

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Has anyone on here successfully went back to golfing after the hip replacement? I certainly cannot do that yet, but I wondered about the possibility and time frame.
 

Jamie

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Of course you'll be able to go back to golf once you are through your recovery period. Some people even reported improvements in their game! :heehee:

Please look forward to all the wonderful things you'll do with your new hip. What you're going through now is just temporary and it will pass. Maintaining patience is difficult, but it will give you a much better result than trying to push when your body is not ready yet. Each of us heals differently and so it's important to listen to what YOUR body is telling you rather than try to match up with time schedules. They are only a general guideline in this recovery process.
 

Going4fun

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Golfing ... that's an easy one these days ... Soft tissue takes a while to recover ... You can definitely cut back--like hugely cut back--your movement for a few days ... even a week ... and see how the hip feels ... 2.5 miles is quite a lot if your muscles are not up to it ... I'm not sure I get in 2.5 miles of walking and I'm nearly a year out ... though I do hit the gym ... and have just completed a serious round of PT.

You cannot over-baby the hip at this point ... at least someone as previously active and ready to move as you are ... can't over-baby things ... Definitely time to listen to your body as Jamie says ... and this is not one of those situations where pain is good ... or serious pain indicates progress. Nope. Just the opposite. Pain is your signal to stop ...

Someone recommended you watch a video of the surgery ...

I have watched a lot of videos ... Besides the initial cut, there are retractors ... there's pulling this way and that ... sticking instruments into the soft tissue ... there's blood ... a saw for cutting off the femoral head and neck of the arthritic hip... to make room for the new hip. There are some people who don't get enough sedation and manage to be awake during surgery (though not in pain since they have had a spinal) ... and they all report ... that the surgeon's work sounds like someone working in a woodworking shop or auto-mechanic's shop.
 

Eman85

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6-8 weeks I was told for it all to settle down and feel pretty good. That is still a little ways away for me but at this pace I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
6-8 weeks is about right for pretty good, but still a way to go and real easy to take steps backward quickly. You understand your muscles are not healed. Why would doing therapy until it hurts be good for injured muscles? What would make them heal faster? Just for grins skip the PT and see how you feel.
 

Layla

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Hi @toughstuff
Please provide your surgery date below, to be applied as your signature. It will be helpful for those who stop by to read / comment to readily see the date of your THR.
Thanks in advance. Have a great weekend!
 

Debru4

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So many variables are involved in this recovery, as the responses on your thread show. I agree with @Going4fun:
This is a tricky one ... surgeons can define "pretty good" in ways their patients don't. There are for a lot of people big jumps from weeks 4 to 6 .. .and 6 to 8, it seems ... So don't give up yet ... "Pretty good" for a lot of surgeons just means you're walking and moving about as well as can be expected and that the device seems to be in place on the X-rays. And "about as well as can be expected" ... of course, varies! ... There's a wide variation in recovery that is still considered a "normal" recovery.
I found my own recovery to be really uneven. There were aspects, like being able to walk with no limp without aids around 2-3 weeks, that I was a rock star at. And then others, like the tennis ball bottom, burning thigh, and stutter steps that were not as easy as some others experienced them. With that said, I did no PT, but was able to resume walking and daily activities pretty smoothly, by gradually adding things on. The 4-6 week, and 6-8 week jumps Going4fun described were pretty accurate for me. One thing I have noticed is how hard it is for people who have been very athletic and/or active to find the patience to ride the many waves of hip recovery.Perfectly understandable!

One thing you mentioned that I had never heard before was that people who are fit, muscular, and athletic have a longer, harder time recovering. What I have heard is that it really is so unique to the individual, AND that those who struggled with the bad hip for longer often had a more challenging recovery. I think it sounds like you are doing really well overall, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that within a couple weeks you are feeling a lot better. Go slow to go fast----you don't want to set yourself back:)
 

CricketHip

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@toughstuff , I think you are around 4 weeks post op? You are still in some early stages of healing.. if you had fallen and sprained your hip or sprained your ankle would you be surprised if it was still painful at 4 weeks?
I think sometimes when we have surgery it romanticizes the procedure and we think we will be up and about within days.
But technically, we have a badly sprained hip. At least this is how I view it, how could it not be? They dislocated our hip and then retracted the soft tissue.. Which results in a lot of angry, swollen soft tissue and it can take a long time to heal! Years ago I remember a Dr telling me that I didn't fracture my ankle but in a way it would have been better because a sprain can take twice as long. So I keep this in mind when I get antsy and anxious.

My current THR is a little more fussy than my first one. So that is frustrating as all get out. But around 7 and 8 weeks things began improving much faster... now we aren't supposed to compare, yours may come sooner or even a little later but Bonesmart peeps believe that recovery comes to those who wait and rest and ice.
Somebody mentioned aggressive PT that hurts and stretching, I hope you noticed that they are much further along in their recovery than you? As our forum nurse, Josephine loves to advise:

"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."

Keep resting icing and walking. Its still early days.. my surgeon told me when I asked about returning to work that after 6 weeks I couldn't injure the implant but he wouldn't be able to predict how sore I'd get with a return to work until I tried it and he recommended a very phased return.

Good luck and stick with us.. moral support is a good thing while healing!! :ice: :flwrysmile:
 

Mojo333

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And to clarify ... hips in recovery don't always scream during our walking/exercise ... they scream on delay ... later ... So walking as long as it feels good (even with walker or cane) ... is only part of the equation. You also have to be aware of the amount of movement that causes a backlash a day or two later. (That's the tricky part ... and it's tricky because that amount changes and increases over time--but then we push it to far.) If you can get back to the walker and the cane, you will speed up your recovery ... by not straining muscles and tissue that are still under trauma and recovering from the surgery.
I love this...perfect explanation.
 
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toughstuff

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My right hip replacement was done on July 23rd, 2019.
 

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