THR 8 weeks post op, new to forum

WannaKayak

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I had my right hip replaced using the anterior approach on May 14, 2020. My husband is a PT and he has been my caregiver and has told me that I'm doing well. He had triple bypass open-heart surgery on June 19 and we suddenly switched roles. I have been walking up to 2 miles a day with no pain, but recently I have been having a hard time sleeping due to pain in my groin and deep in my butt (feels like I'm sitting on a golf ball). At my recent post op they said I was doing well and that it was normal. Just wondering if I am overdoing it, or should I just put up with it and it will eventually go away. I'm only taking tylenol and advil at this point. I am so happy to find this forum as it helps to talk to folks who have been there. I an a contra dancer and kayaker and anxious to get back in the saddle.
 

Hip4life

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Welcome to the forum! The moderators will be by soon with some helpful tips. Sorry to hear about your husband and your ongoing issues. My husband had bypass surgery in 2007 and I was his caregiver. He repaid me and then some for it last year with my THR. At 8 weeks you are still healing. As you ramp up exercise/activity your hip will remind you of that. It is the boss here I have found out. Ice and elevation is the recommendation that became my best friend. The next: backing off of the intensity/length of exercise for a few days and seeing if it helps is the next. What your describing sounds like some of the soft tissues that were manipulated during surgery getting irritated again. Slow and steady wins this race. You will eventually get back to the things you love but patience is the key so you don’t set back or stall your recovery. I hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress.
 
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WannaKayak

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Thank you, Hip4life! Glad your husband has recovered well to take care of you, too! We've got good guys!
 

Pumpkln

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@WannaKayak
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!

You and your husband have been through a lot in the past few months, hope you are both on the mend.

Just wondering if I am overdoing it, or should I just put up with it and it will eventually go away.
Sounds like you are over doing it and your hip is letting you know with your groin and rear end pain, suggest you slow down and let these soft tissues heal.
You can start with cutting back your walking to one mile and see if that helps, if not cut it back by half again until you find the sweet spot for walking.
Your husband should be able to help you with some gentle stretching for your painful tissues.

Here is your copy of the Hip Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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.
 
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WannaKayak

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Thank you! I have a friend who had a THR 2 months before I did and was mountain biking at my level of progress. I think I was challenging myself to keep up. Do you know if elevating the leg per the attached article affects swelling in the hip or just lower in the leg?
 

leejaa

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Mountain biking at 2m is interesting to say the least. Was he biking on the road on his mountain bike or actually on hills and bouncing that new hip around and possibility of falling. It is not good to compare yourself to anyone else. We each recovery differently and often each hip if you have more than one done recovers at its own speed and pace. The hip is the boss of us during recovery and it is best to listen to it. You did awesome to take care of your husband at about 1m post op. It was not mountain biking but just as difficult in its own way. You two sound like a great team. Listen to your hip and body and you will have a great recovery.
 
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WannaKayak

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Thank you, leejaa! I really appreciate your comments. This forum is good for me. Covid 19 lockdowns and surgeries have kept me pretty isolated, I guess. It is good for my soul to relate to others who know what I'm going through.
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us! You and your husband have been through a lot in a short period of time. Thankfully you’re both on the mend now.

I have been walking up to 2 miles a day with no pain, but recently I have been having a hard time sleeping due to pain in my groin and deep in my butt (feels like I'm sitting on a golf ball)
My thoughts are if this pain is new...you’re overdoing it. Following is and article on Piriformis Syndrome. Read it and see if it matches the pain you described -

Elevating and icing any areas of pain or discomfort should help with the swelling. Make sure you’re doing it for 45-60 mins though, no less.

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. A colleague of ours on the hip side, CricketHip is involved in Therapeutic Massage and has often relayed this exercise to assist in manual lymph drainage. You may want to give it a try. I have, myself, and it’s very easy. This gentle, yet effective therapy will help prime your lymphatic system to move fluid and inflammation away from your leg, which in turn will help your range of motion and pain -

While laying supine, take deep breaths...deep, as in breathing in to a count of 5, 4, or 3 seconds, whatever is most comfortable for you. Hold that breath for another count of 5, 4, 3 then blow out completely, still using the count that's comfortable for you. A series of at least 6 reps may help get the excess swelling to move. To ensure you are taking proper deep breaths, place your hand on your naval and watch while taking in your breath, if doing this properly you should see your hand move up. Repeat this whenever you feel up to it during the day or night. Lying flat (supine) is best as the lymph nodes seated in your groin are less restricted, allowing for better lymph flow.

In addition, after the breathing exercise, place your hands lightly on your upper thigh, at the crease in your groin and lightly stroke upwards towards your naval. Be patient because it can take the body time to respond.

Please tag CricketHip if you have any questions or comments about the above described.

Enjoy the weekend!
 

Eman85

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I've had pain in the butt with both hips, similar but slightly different. Walking was the best PT for me and distance seems like the logical way to gauge it but it's not always the best. For me a big factor was the terrain. Uphills and downhills put a strain on my muscles and caused pains where flat ground didn't. I'd have a tendency to walk too fast and not use proper form so I wasn't really gaining anything.
Kayaking has been the new thing to do for us. River is just down the road and we bought some sit on Kayaks to enjoy it with.
 
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WannaKayak

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Thank you, Eman85! I have been walking on even ground, but I've been pushing myself to walk faster. I'm going to slow down and not walk as far until my symptoms ease up.
Yay! for kayaking. We also live near rivers and I can't wait to get back on the water.
 

leejaa

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One more suggestion for walking are hiking poles especially with uneven ground but even without. They help us keep good form and not lean off on one side (use two). They also provide upper arm exercise at the same time and burns more calories. I have many fields and even my yard is a bit rough as I live in the country. I use my hiking poles a lot when going any distance. The funniest part is my husband would say you are doing so well you do not need it till an acquaintance's wife stepped wrong in her vineyard and has a nasty break. Now, he reminds me about them. I also like the fact of extra support with uneven ground and taller grass where I cannot see what I am stepping on. I am not super fearful but do believe in safety first and do not want to have any more hospital visits or surgery.
 
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WannaKayak

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So far I have only been walking on level ground like walking park paths, but that sounds like a great idea when I start hiking. I living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so that would be a great tool for hiking! Thanks for the tip!
 

Eman85

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Walking paths at the park were what I did as my ground is too hilly and so are the roads. I made the mistake with my first THR and it took a little while for me to figure out it was the hills and uneven ground that was stopping my progress. The hiking poles or a walking stick is the way to go, my OS really recommended them instead of using a cane.
I'm right on the Holston river here in TN. Used to live in WNC and have been all around this area over the years.
 

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Another vote for the poles. I love mine; my surgery date was about 2 weeks after yours. One more thing about swelling. The exercise that Layla posted from Cricket, with the deep breathing, really seemed to help quite a bit. The other thing that helped me is Legs Up Wall (google for pics). On the bed works pretty well. Position your butt so that your hip, incision and hamstrings are all comfortable with your leg angle. One ice pack under the pelvis, and a second one under the operated butt cheek ... :ice: heavenly.

And best of luck to both you and your hubby, I hope you are both on the road to recovery.
 
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WannaKayak

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Thanks, cstinchcomb! Yeah, I have trekking poles ordered from Amazon! I will check out the wall thing. My incision in on the front (anterior approach). I feel for you! But I DO love my ice! I hope you recover well!
 

zauberflöte

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@WannaKayak I had that tennis ball in my butt only it was a golf ball. I had it for years before my first hip, and it wasn't until I got here that I found out what it was. Stretches and ice, unfortunately, did nothing for it. I saw a photo of a chiropractor demonstrating a piriformis release and almost cried! I knew how good that would feel. I was stuck with mine until the second hip, which must somehow have balanced my pelvis or something-- it was gone, and rarely speaks to me now. I think I'm an outlier-- I think most resolve much more easily!

So there you are up in the Piedmont... c'mon down to the Falls of the James if you want some kayaktion! Myself, I keep my sea kayak on Cape Cod and wait for calm days on the bay. Kayaking was something I could do when I couldn't walk nor get in the water.

Your guess that you might be overdoing it is certainly worth a test! Taking care of DH, and the stress involved with the whole thing can make a person tense-- it sure does me!

We had a contradancer here for a long time but I haven't seen her recently. She was happily contradancing the night away but not, I don't imagine, at two months out! Your hip may benefit from the whole Covid thing in that dances may not start up on time this fall? I have played for a few in Norfolk and Richmond; must try to get back to that!
 
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WannaKayak

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Thanks for all your input, zauberfloete! My dh is a PT and while we we’re trying to figure out why I had so much pain in my right leg two years ago, piriformis was his suspicion. Unfortunately, the bone spurs in my hip joint would not allow the stretches he wanted to help through to alleviate it. So now with the new hip, I wonder how long I would need to wait before trying them again. My dh is a fiddler for contra dances and we are both wondering when it might ever start up again. It'll probably be one of the last activities to come back. But I hope to be ready whenever it does.
 

Hip4life

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I looked up contra dancing as I had not heard of it. It looks like loads of fun! Even more so if your husband is a fiddler as well! I did square dancing when I was younger as my parents were avid square dancers. It was a hoot, if you’ll pardon the pun, great exercise and good times. I know my OS’s information video generally states that they ask patients to wait until 3 months to take up “recreational activities” of which dancing was an example. So, it may not be too far off depending on your recovery progress and your OS’s blessing. From the looks of it, stamina might be the issue. Lol. But one could always start conservatively and build from there. I’d bet there might even be a few hipsters there that could give you a few pointers. I think it would be fun just swaying to and enjoying the energy of the music! What a great goal it is to keep you motivated. As a side note: when I began to do some favorite dance and Zumba videos, I noticed a distinct improvement in my range of motion. They ask for a different movement than everyday motions. Just saying...:) ❤
 
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WannaKayak

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I'm actually a contra dance caller and pre-THR I couldn't even demonstrate, let alone dance. Whenever Covid 19 is over, I'll be ready! It is great fun and exercise! But my doc says I can't contra for a while because of the torque it puts on the leg.
 

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