THR An Opportunity to Enjoy Life Again

Sukuma

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Yes, I came home the next day and have the pain well under control, I am astonished at the speed the pain diminished, but tire very easily.

A recovery thread would be great - " An opportunity to enjoy life again" - thankyou.
 
What a splendid title @Sukuma :loveshwr:

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines may help you have a less painful recovery.
Slow and steady, my friend.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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 to these pages on the website


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.
 
The day for the surgery arrived. I was the last in the list for the surgical procedure that day because I had previously tested positive as a MRSA carrier. The nose ointment and washes had worked bringing a negative test , so I no longer had an excuse to proceed. It did mean that I had to wait all afternoon, unable to concentrate on anything other than what was about to happen, finally going down to surgery at 7pm in the evening.

The surgical team were absolutely wonderful. I told them I was scared. The operative nurse hugged me as I went down and the next thing I knew I awoke relaxed, calm, not care in the world, still on the operating table. I had read on forums recuperation on the days that follow, but not seen much about the actual immediate effects of coming out of surgery and this was the bit I had been worried about, with all sort of scanarios going round and round in my mind for days.

I was so well looked after and surprisingly alert (or rather I thought I was). No nausea or sickness, just numb. The team patched me up and then took me through to recovery. I was shaking a bit as the drugs were leaving me, wrapped up in a "hugger", yet I felt really relaxed, chatting away with the nurse responsible for me in recovery as he explained everything that was happening while monitoring my vitals. An hour, back in my room, having warmed up, still unable to feel my legs, but very calm knowing that everything had gone to plan, no complications. I had worried about waking up to find my lower limbs numbed, thinking that this would terrify me. I had worried about having to wait several hours for the numbness to wear off, wondering if I would just panic and be terrified. It was such a different experience to what I had dreamt up in my mind, relaxed, knowing what to expect with sensations and not in the slightest bit worried about it. I don't know, but tend to think some of this is due to the drugs.

Several hours later, the spinal block wore of and the pain post-op pain began.

I had read many articles in this forum and others sites, plus spoke to other people who had gone through the process, so well prepared, particularly in understanding that everyone's journey is unique to the individual. As much as we want to have a clear plan mapped out as to what we are going to experience, I had learnt that it's just not possible under these circumstances. We can have an outline of what is possible to expect, but it won't be precis.

Armed with this knowledge, really helped me through the first 24 hours. I was in alot of pain, even the morphine didn't seem to touch it, sleep just wasn't going to happen. In the morning, given that I had no idea how I was going to get to the toilet, being told that I would be going home that day and how that would be achieved was a complete mystery to me. Step by step through the day, I learnt to use the crutches, learnt to get to the bathroom, walk up and down stairs, yet I still was uncertain about pain management. The speed at which all of this happened was incredible. The surgeon I had chosen is one of the UK pioneers in developing techniques to speed up recoveries, so I was experiencing it first hand what this means. I was home, 24 hours after the I had gone to theatre. Totally exhorsted, in pain, but in a wonderful, happy mood.

I was still a little concerned about pain management, but to my astonishment, this all came under control and I could actually start cutting down my meds within the next 24 hours. I had read so many different experiences people have had with this and it must be really frustrating for those who have pain for a while. I really count myself very fortunate to say, yes, I have pain when doing certain movements, but otherwise it's fine with limited over the counter meds (unprescribed) on Day 3. Every move has to be done slowly, carefully planned and well controlled in every way, but knowing I can get about (even if it takes me a very long time) without pain I take as a HUGE bonus. I see it as a fabulous blessing and a brilliant start to the long road to recovery.

My biggest miss at the moment are my two beautiful Ridgeback dogs that I am keeping seperated from me until I am strong enough. My partner is keeping them entertained. They know I am in the house, but can't work out why I am not in the same room as them. Here's hoping to continue the journey in a such a positive way.
 
@Sukuma Welcome to the other side. Sounds like you are off to a good start!

Can you share the name of your surgeon? I am trying compile a database of UK surgeons as a resource for our members.

Happy Healing!
 
This update makes me so happy! so so thrilled for you! congrats on the first couple of days of recovery! it all goes uphill from here!
 
@Sukuma Welcome to the other side. Sounds like you are off to a good start!

Can you share the name of your surgeon? I am trying compile a database of UK surgeons as a resource for our members.

Happy Healing!

Hi Jaycey,

To answer your query http://stranksorthopaedic.co.uk/

I went private, but he also works for the NHS.
 
Day 4 Post Op.

I felt strong enough today to venture into the lounge with our two large dogs, not that they took any notice. Henry was more interested in knowing whether there was any food available. They soon learnt their boundary line are my crutches and not to come any closer. Henry unfortunately has allergies so has a dreadful habit of banging into our legs trying to scratch his face, so I was very worried that he would set me back if he did this - however, they haven't taken long to learn all is not well at the moment, so stay away. It is great to have full access to the house again.

I managed a short walk on my driveway outside on my crutches, slow but steady and felt safe.

I am really pleased with how everything is progressing, though hesitant when I say it as a setback can easily appear - but for now, progress is alot better than I had expected.
 
Day 7 Post Op.

How I long for the time when I don't need to sleep on my back any more, but for now I just have to put up with it. It is so hard to get comfortable in an unusual position. I seem to spend alot of time moving pillows around, such as under my knees/heels and elsewhere in the effort to get some sort of comfort, without much success, then resorting to getting up and walking around the house to ease the stiffness that is ocurring from lying in a position I am just not used to, plus of course there is a lingering ache in my hip. Two hours later, I am awake again and the whole process is repeated. I knew that I would find this particularly difficult and kind of just accept that it's part of the process that I just have to put up with.

For the past two days, I have ventured once a day outside and walked up and down my driveway, in addition to what feels like an endless exercise regime supplied by my physio. It has been refreshing to be able to get out of the house for a little bit to take in the fresh air. My two large dogs have been very good, keeping their distance and not once have they come close to my leg, which I am very pleased about, as I was really worried about this. Strange how I have trying to train them not to bang into me or squeeze past me for the past year with limited success. Now, when it's absolutely essential that they don't, they are doing exactly as they being asked to do, to keep behind an invisible circle around me, unless I invite them to calmly come closer. Maybe it's that repetitive message that this is the way is works now, with NO exceptions, is what makes the difference.

I ventured a little further yesterday onto the bridal path outside my house - just a few metres, not to far. My partner is with me at all times, to make sure that nothing goes wrong. The first walking couple I saw stopped and asked me whether I had just had a hip replacement. The lady of the couple then started to tell me she had both of hers done, the latest one four months ago. We had a lovely chat as she shared with me some of her experiences.

I have taken off my wound bandage. The cut has healed nicely with limited bruising. No staples as the wound was stitched internally and then the skin glued together. It seems so early to be removing the covering, but I am following the guidance I have been given. Lots of healing of course is still going on. Lots of progress has been made, though still tired with limited interest in eating, though being someone who loves her food, I am eating. I thought my appetite would have come back by now. It has a little bit but still a way to go.

Week One is nearly over! Onwards and Upwards....
 
I am a little ahead of you, now in week 8, and I tried to go back to side sleeping last night but irony of ironies I now find I am more comfortable in my back, something I never thought I’d get used to at the beginning. And getting good solid sleep now unlike the very broken sleep at the beginning where I had to get up for a wee every couple hours.
My appetite has also fully returned. I think the meds and the anaesthetic and the trauma of the whole thing have a suppressing effect and as we start to heal and all those toxins leave our system, so all our bodily functions wake up and normalise again.
Good luck with your recovery.
 
I now find I am more comfortable in my back,
Wow, what a change, I just couldn't imagine that. I guess we are habitual creatures and find it hard to change. All the best in the rest of your journey.
 
I like your one week update, Sukuma! I recall wanting to hit that one week post op milestone figuring I'd hopefully and comfortably have a routine down even though I knew it would be constantly evolving.

It seems you're doing well! I'm sure chatting with the woman, while on your walk, that had two hips done gave you a little boost. Early recovery can feel a tad lonely, like you're the only one recovering from THR, lol. That's the great thing about the camaraderie of BoneSmart and we're thankful you joined us.
Best wishes as you continue healing and Happy Wednesday!
@Sukuma
 
@Sukuma, believe it or not, one of my worst pre-op fears was that I wouldn't be able to sleep on my back at all. Ha! Now, 3.5 months later, I can't get comfortable unless I'm on my back!!!

Otherwise, sounds as if you're having a pretty pleasant recovery. Keep it up! :egypdance:
 
Day 11 Post Op

The sky is blue, it is a beautiful day.

The morning has started with a set of exercises, followed by a walk outside in the brisk cold air, before settling down with a hot cross bun and a coffee. I have settled into the daily routine, of exercise, rest and repeat throughout the day. The pain has gone when at rest, just the stiffness and muscle aches when they are stimulated to move in ways that they haven't been able to do for a long time. My 5 inch scar is sometimes ichy, even so I am grateful that it appears to have healed really well with limited swelling or bruising.

I am so excited that I can now get into bed without having to think about every move. Pre Op, I was unable to move my leg sideways with the hip joint locked, whereas now, I am able to lift my leg, away from the other leg, onto the bed without difficultly. Before I had to move my legs up onto the bed with limited gap between them, almost flipping them together onto the bed.

My other great joy, is to be able to sit on a chair and lift my leg up via the hip, knee bent, so that I can put my foot in a shoe. Pre-Op, I had lost this ability. I would put my hands under my thigh, to lever the leg up. Again, this was due to the hip joint locked into position, unable to rotate, the muscles around the hip could not engage. Yesterday , each time I put on my shoes, I had to remind myself, not to use my hands to lift up my leg, but to engage my muscles for the joint to rotate on it's own. It feels tough when doing it, but wow this is such a wonderful achievement, given the length of time that I have not been able to do this.

I am still concerned about the leg length, as my operated leg continues to feel longer than the other one. I plan to speak to the PT about this at my appointment scheduled for next week, though I know it is early days and there is alot more work that is needed to get the muscles and stance correct. I recognise I need to find the right person with the appropriate skillsets to be able to help me with this in the future, once the initial healing process of the first 3 months or so is complete. 10 years ago, I was a bit concerned that the same leg was naturally a little longer anyway, due to the wear in my shoes though also tried to figure out whether it was related to poor posture, but struggled to find a knowledgeable person. I did see someone about a shoe lift, but decided that wasn't the right way to go, as I still didn't know what was causing the inbalance. The best person I did find was a ex-Olympian gymnast, who was able to critique my posture within minutes seeing me (whereas PTs I had seen didn't appear to be able to do this) and came up with a list of exercises to do. It's a shame that I didn't apply the rigour that was really needed to follow up this up properly - it needs to be different this time.

The exercises are getting easier, less painful and I particularly enjoy the short two walks outside, though today I plan to increase to three. I am starting to get some cabin fever with not being able to hop into my car and get out of the house for a couple of hours. Evenings seem long, as I am now tired of watching TV box sets and long to be able to do other things. I just keep reminding myself that this is only temporary, just keep remembering the little really important steps that are starting to show fantastic progress is being made.

Happy Healing everyone and rejoice in the little progressive steps.
 
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Sounds like you are progressing nicely!
I had a Ridgeback in the 90's. He was a very fun big goofy dog, a real comedian.
I got used to sleeping on my back after awhile but now that I can go either side or back I alternate throughout the night.
Keep up the healing, my best to you and Happy Sunday
 
:hi: @Sukuma
So glad you are having a beautiful day:SUNsmile::flwrysmile:

Reading your description brought back to mind my pre-op condition... I lost the ability to lift my leg up and out without my assistance and there was an ever increasing loss of ROM and chronic pain...

So nice remembering how grateful I was post-op also.
You are doing tremendously well!:loveshwr:
My other great joy, is to be able to sit on a chair and lift my leg up via the hip, knee bent, so that I can put my foot in a shoe.
Most hippies take much longer to accomplish this...yay!
Yesterday , each time I put on my shoes, I had to remind myself, not to use my hands to lift up my leg, but to engage my muscles for the joint to rotate on it's own. It feels tough when doing it, but wow this is such a wonderful achievement, given the length of time that I have not been able to do this.
Sure is nice to know you can do this without helping but please do keep in mind, it is Very Early after this major surgery and alot of soft tissue....muscles and tendons are still healing so they may appreciate the extra babying while they recover.
It is a truly a balance and I had a fellow double hippy caution me that I needed to be careful about "too much practicing " that could lead to self induced tendonitis which could set me back.
You know best what works for you...and I felt like I had a quicker-than-most early recovery which can actually be trickier.

Glad you are holding off on the LLD diagnosis... 3 months is our minimum suggested time for getting a professional to measure. Tight hip flexors and other tightness, which is normal at this stage and helps us take the time to let that new prosthetic to settle and stem affix to the bone, can cause perceived Leg Length Differential.

This recovery business can be tedious and boorring...:bored:
Keep that patience muscle toned up my friend. All woth it in the long run.
 
Sure is nice to know you can do this without helping but please do keep in mind, it is Very Early after this major surgery and alot of soft tissue....muscles and tendons are still healing so they may appreciate the extra babying while they recover.
Thanks for the reminder as pushing to hard is something that I have been thinking about - you are so right that there is a need to curb some enthusiasm as it can work against the recover if over done.

Thankyou for your encouragement.
 
Lots of good advice from posts above.
My 5 inch scar is sometimes ichy,
Some science - :wink:
Itching normally occurs during the second phase of healing referred to as the Rebuilding or Granulation and Proliferation stage. While itching is an uncomfortable distraction, it is considered normal.

During this phase new skin tissue is formed to replace the damaged tissue. Histamine, a chemical released by the body as a protective barrier for the newly enclosed wound site, is what causes the itching sensation beneath the skin around the wound. The itching can last for as long as the chemical is released for wound healing, which can amount to several weeks.

Follow your surgeon's protocol for wound care. If the itching becomes severe, you may obtain relief through the use of a frozen gel pack (cold compress) which helps by numbing the area, reducing the itching sensation. Do not use topical agents close to, or on the incision without the approval of your surgeon for risk of infection before the wound is fully closed, which normally occurs between 4-6 weeks post op.

Then, once its safe and with a nod from your surgeon -

Sometimes the skin around your incision becomes dry and itchy while healing. Although it is okay to put lotion or cream on the surrounding skin if it is uncomfortable, you should not apply anything close to or on the stitches or incision without the approval of your surgeon. It normally takes four to six weeks for the incision to fully heal and close. You don't want to risk infection by applying a product near an open area before that time. Some of the more common creams and lotions used on a healed incision are Bio-Oil, Vitamin E Oil, E45 Cream, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion with Vitamin E, and Coconut Oil.

Happy Sunday...Have a great week!
 
It normally takes four to six weeks for the incision to fully heal and close. You don't want to risk infection by applying a product near an open area before that time.
Great information - thankyou.
 
@Sukuma, my nurse friend put me on to Bio Oil as being “the” stuff to lessen scarring and even out bumpiness. Obviously, you don’t apply until it’s safe to do so, as @Layla said. Honestly, it’s reduced my skin cancer scars to nothing, and one of those was a monster on my right shoulder at 3-4 inches long. You can barely see it and it was done in October of last year. I’m using it on my anterior approach scar now and it’s looking great.
 

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