THR 7 weeks and feeling miserable

Just a FYI in regard to the peas. This was noted by a member in regard to using frozen peas as an ice source. If you continue to use them, you may want to place the bag of peas inside a freezer bag to avoid the result highlighted below.

On April 5, 2022, Klassy said -
"I wish I had had the benefit of your advice before I tried frozen peas. It turns out that the packaging of peas is not entirely waterproof, and the bedclothes and I wound up smelling of overripe peas. And after several trips through the washing machine, the sheets still have suspicious looking stains."

Really try hard to get in tune with your body, and listen to it. The more quickly you respond to pain and discomfort, with rest, ice, sleep, and some pain relief, the more quickly it will heal and you will begin to gradually feel better. If you are doing basic daily life activities you are using all of the muscles you need to help you recover. My surgeon was emphatic about this and I am eternally grateful to him for it. Go slow to go fast. It's counterintuitive, but it works! :)
Ice was my best friend.... I'm not sure if posting this is ok, but this is the most important purchase I made pre-op:

Hip Ice Pack Wrap - Reusable Cold Pack for Hip Bursitis, Hip Replacement Surgery and Hip Flexor Pain. Hip Ice Wrap for Inflammation, Swelling and Hip Pain Relief (by Magic Gel)

I can't recommend it highly enough.

My surgeon told me he didn't understand why his patients kept being given all these exercises post-op. He just wanted me to rest and walk as much as was comfortable and not to overdo it.
Thanks for your responses everyone, it’s been really interesting to see an entirely different perspective.

For my own clarity I made a list of everything I’m supposed to be doing according to the physio. When I look at it all together rather than in the dribs and drabs it’s been given to me, I AM a bit stunned and I realise why I seem so exhausted and feel like I’m doing so badly.
  • Knee slides lying down 2x10
  • Abductor slides lying down 2x10
  • Thigh presses lying down 2x10
  • Tip toe stretches 2x10
  • Standing abductor extension using resistance bands 2x10 (both sides so I also have to stand on the operated leg)
  • Knee using resistance bands lifts 2x10 both sides
  • Quad extension using resistance bands 2x10 both sides
  • Bridges 2x10
  • Clamshells 2x10 both sides
  • Lying side leg raises both sides 2x10
  • Step ups 3x10 both sides leading

I’m also to use static bike and an elliptical trainer.

Since I first posted I’ve pulled right back on the exercise and have started to ice again. I’m still in a fair bit of discomfort, especially at night and sleeping very poorly so I hope that improves soon, but on the plus side I’m feeling less of a psychological wreck.
@HipsAreForLife All those exercises are for strength training. New hips don't like bridges, clamshells and resistance bands. This is the "one size fits all" physio that just makes me so angry. You are not in training. Plenty of time for strength training once that hip settles.
Try not to get discouraged about still having pain. Your body went through considerable trauma with the replacement surgery, and since you've been trying to comply with your PT by doing so many strenuous exercises, your soft tissue has not had a chance to heal. One thing I did following my hip replacement several years ago was to check in with myself once a week and see if there was improvement over the previous week. When I was constantly evaluating my progress day to day, or even several times within a day it was easy to get discouraged. But by jotting a note each week about how I was feeling and what I was able to do, it really helped me put the healing process into perspective.
This is maybe a daft question, but at what point do I know I’ve healed? The implication was definitely by 6 weeks but clearly that’s not the case. I am currently afraid I’ll never not have pain so I’m not sure how useful a measure that will be.
The implication was definitely by 6 weeks but clearly that’s not the case.
No way! Recovery from THR can take up to one year or longer depending on the condition of the joint pre-op and how long you limped around pre-op.

There will come a day when you no longer think about your replaced hip. It just takes time and tons of patience. Unfortunately all that training exercise may lengthen your recovery a bit. But it's never too late to get back on track.
I am sore reading all those exercises. Good call giving that a rest for a bit.

After my RTHR in September, I think I stopped thinking about my hip around the 5-6 month marker. Now I am overusing it while the other hip heals and it is sending me reminders again. Lol.
@HipsAreForLife The "when am I healed?" varies from person to person. As said above there will come a day when you just don't think about having an artificial hip! The first time that happened for me was about 4 months after my surgery and I was chasing one of my big Maine Coon cats trying to get her into her crate for a trip to the groomer's. Did all the chasing and hauling her out from under the guest room bed and down stairs to crate without once thinking of my 2 new hips! Really was a lovely "Oh boy what a wonderful event" kind of thing. And the darling hips did NOT protest my actions in any way!! These days .... 11+ years later .... I rarely even think of the hips .... until I log in here. :snork:
Since I first posted I’ve pulled right back on the exercise and have started to ice again. I’m still in a fair bit of discomfort, especially at night and sleeping very poorly so I hope that improves soon, but on the plus side I’m feeling less of a psychological wreck.
Why not take a week off from exercises and ice as much as possible. It's free and a whole lot more fun than what you've been putting yourself through. The knowing you're healed comes slowly and when you think you're there you'll do too much and your body will remind you. It might be at 3 mos, 6 mos or a year and sitting and icing is the cure even that far down the road.
Hello @HipsAreForLife I didn't do the exercises you are talking about when I was a professional footballer (soccer player). You may want to remove the number in front of the 0 so instead of 10 bridges or 20 clamshells, maybe 0 bridges and 0 clamshells. For my first new hip, Mr Lefty, 2 bridges after the 3rd week wet me back about 6 weeks....I found that the more I pushed the worse it got and I was in a hurry to get back to I slowed down, did some slow 2nd hip September 2022 is taking time but will get there. Only other advice is don't eat the peas that melted
Hi there @HipsAreForLife
I hope you're having a good week.
In regard to healing, here is an article from the BoneSmart Library that may be of interest to you.
Healing: how long does it take?

I agree with the others and hope you'll please consider dropping all of the exercises.
It is not necessary to exercise your injured hip to promote healing. The controlled trauma sustained through THR will heal on its own. Often though, we're impatient and want to move the process along. In doing so we run the risk of struggling with pain and setbacks stalling the healing process. The best therapy for recovery is walking, but not to excess. Start slowly increasing time and distance incrementally in an effort not to overdo it. Give yourself the TLC you deserve and reap the benefits of a successful recovery.

Best Wishes as you continue healing!
The hip ice pack that @hhhooray recommended above is the one I use.

Many a night that ice pack provided the only relief that allowed me to sleep.
For me it was around 3-4 months that I found myself consistently having some days where I didn't think about my hip, depending on what I was doing. By 6 months it was more often, and by 9-12 months I'd mostly forgotten I'd had it done. Other folks I met here on the forum took even longer, while others say they felt that way sooner.

I think that is the goal most of us have when we have our hip replaced, but we get impatient or worried when we hear of those who progress more quickly. or those who claim to have had no pain at all. Some of that is natural human variance, and some is likely the fact that we often forget negative things once we start feeling better, so the reports may not be totally accurate.

Looking back, the best things I did that worked for me, were to listen to my body, to do daily life activities instead of PT, and to select a surgeon who not only was highly skilled at the surgery itself, but who also promoted a more holistic natural approach to healing as opposed to a exercise goal focused one.
@Debru4 - I think we all have different pain thresholds too and different levels of anxiety about what any pain or discomfort means.
@Gloucestergal65 ---Absolutely! I tend to have a very high pain tolerance level and that definitely is a variable in peoples' pain perceptions. I am unable to take any NSAIDS or narcotics, so have learned to live with more discomfort or pain as a result. Sometimes that has caused me to ignore things too long, which is why I always encourage others to check in with a doctor if they really are concerned----better safe than sorry!
Ice was my best friend.... I'm not sure if posting this is ok, but this is the most important purchase I made pre-op:

Hip Ice Pack Wrap - Reusable Cold Pack for Hip Bursitis, Hip Replacement Surgery and Hip Flexor Pain. Hip Ice Wrap for Inflammation, Swelling and Hip Pain Relief (by Magic Gel)

Thank you for posting this @hhhooray!! It’s brilliant. So good I just bought a 2nd. I also have an ice pack connected to a machine that gives around 3 hours of icing relief at a time - good for icing while sleep/napping. I borrowed from a friend so don’t have a link but the brand name is Össur and the model is the Cold Rush. Hope this is helpful @HipsAreForLife!
An update - now hurtling towards 9 weeks and still feeling rubbish. After bursting into tears at the physio today (exhausted/no sleep/severe pain in groin/complete lack of adequate pain control (can’t take NSAIDS) physios thinks I have acute tendinitis. Since I first posted here I’ve been resting, walking with a stick and icing. Anyway, I was so upset I didn’t really ask any questions and she said it would usually resolve in 6-8 weeks and to carry on with the exercises meanwhile. Exercises I can barely do because of pain. Before I go back next week, can you help with what I should be asking? My gait is so bad, I’m terrified I will never walk properly again. I had such high hopes of this surgery and can’t believe I currently feel worse and have less mobility than I did pre-op. I wasn’t ‘quite’ a gym bunny but I was really fit and active and now I’m limping about with a stick and still being helped into the shower
@HipsAreForLife I’m so sorry you are still having so much pain. I can relate. Nine weeks is still considered “early” recovery on the spectrum. I didn’t return to work until 14 weeks because I was still sore and having pain at 8-9 weeks and not feeling the most ready at even the 12 week mark (end of allotted family medical leave.) Two more weeks were added because I couldn’t pass the physical strength test to return to work. Go figure.

That being said: if it truly is tendonitis, the LAST thing you need is more PT! You need icing and rest. Normal activities of daily living are fine but don’t overdo. Then rest and ice.
Some GENTLE stretches might help but they need to be baby ones just to keep the tendon from contracting too much, not overstretching it and making it more angry than it already is. Then rest and ice some more. Don’t do any stretching right after icing, ever. It’s also unfortunate that you can’t take NSAIDS for their anti-inflammatory effect. Tylenol is better than nothing. I was having to take Tramadol to help with the bad pain. My primary care doc helped me with that.

I remember having a follow up visit for my pain with my OS right before I was scheduled to go back to work. He thought a bit more time would help. We tried another round of Celebrex. Neither really helped. When nothing seemed to help and I really had plateaued, we discussed injection into the tendon. Sometimes that direct steroid plus pain reliever does the trick to turn the tendonitis around. I’m not sure what your doc’s philosophy is on the timing. Most seem to like to wait and give Mother Nature time to work her magic. It’s just important not to undo her efforts in the meantime. My injection happened about the 6 month mark when all was said and done.

Just know there are still some options out there and don’t get too discouraged. Ice is still a great treatment right now both for that inflammation and pain. Don’t hesitate to touch base with your OS and see what options he/she may have. In the meantime, keep us posted on how you’re doing and how we can support you.

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