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Tragically hip

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Hi everyone. I'm booked for a left hip replacement in June -- although it will likely be delayed because of COVID. I'm just trying to plan and anticipate for return to work afterwards -- I have a sedentary desk job, but also my husband and I operate a mixed livestock farm. I'm wondering how soon I might be okay walking through the pastures (uneven ground), carrying buckets of water, kneeling, lifting, driving a tractor etc? Does anyone have any practical experience to share?
 

Jaycey

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@Tragically hip
I have a small holding with several animals including donkeys. The good news is you will be able to get back to all those activities once that hip is healed.

Walking on uneven ground is hard at first. I would give yourself plenty of time and build up the walking on flat ground over several months. Good, sturdy shoes are a must.

New hips hate carrying any weight. Again - it's a matter of building up very gradually. Do things like carrying less water in several trips until your hip no longer complains.

I can't remember ever having a problem kneeling. But in the first few months you may have a problem getting up off the ground/floor. If you will be having physio, ask them to show you how to get up and down safely.

You can drive a tractor when you are released to drive post op. This is usually about 6 weeks out.

Having said all the above - please clarify with your surgeon about any restrictions you might have just post op. Many surgeons are no longer imposing restrictions. But please do check.
 
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Tragically hip

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Thanks so much Jaycey; this is helpful. I know my surgeon has restrictions about bending, crossing legs etc for 12 weeks which I gather is a bit old school! I don't feel so worried about the surgery itself (although that may be denial!) but I'm awfully anxious about leaving my husband with ALL the farm work for weeks or months. However, he assures me we will manage. :unsure:
 

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I'm awfully anxious about leaving my husband with ALL the farm work for weeks or months
I'm sure he will manage. And you won't be totally immobile for weeks. Is your surgeon imposing the 90 degree restriction? That is old school but the good news is your new hip won't really want to go past 90 degrees in the early days.

Just take it slow and listen to that hip. And remember - all this is temporary. A short space of time for a lifetime of no more hip pain.
 
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Tragically hip

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Yes, I'm trying to remind myself to look further out to months and years, rather than being fixated on the first weeks.
 

djklaugh

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@Tragically hip As Jaycey said yes you should be able to get back to managing your farm after your hip replacement. We have seen lots of people here who return to caring for all sorts of livestock (and returning to physically demanding jobs and activities) including, as I remember, one fellow who was a farrier and his horse clients were all very large - Clydesdales, Percherons, etc. The caveat is you will need to allow yourself to heal completely - and that takes time and patience! Trying to do too much too soon will actually impede your recovery.

Best of luck to you :)
 

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I don't farm but I have land, tractors, fence to fix and plenty of trees to cut. I could drive my tractor at 6 weeks, but I had to be very cautious getting on and off and moved real slow. Lifting and carrying much weight took some time, the lifting wasn't much of the problem but carrying even groceries was hard early on and didn't feel good. I didn't have that much trouble kneeling, getting up took something to lean on for a while. Uneven ground was rough for a while, like everything else it doesn't really hurt when you do it but later it really hurts. Animals can be rough as they can easily knock you down.
 
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Tragically hip

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Thanks @djklaugh and @Eman85 ! The time and patience prescription is difficult! But I understand it’s necessary. @Eman85, how long do you think it was til you felt you were back at full strength — 3 months? 6 months? A year?
 

Eman85

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Both hips were different and full strength is really a tough question. I can tell you that at 3 mos it was real easy to over do and hurt myself doing work. It's honestly hard to remember the 6 mos mark but at that point I was comfortable doing things. I'm at 1 1/2 years on my right and it still has some weakness that I'm working on. It doesn't stop me it's just a little weak still. I'm more of a work person than an exercise person. Of course age has something to do with it but I just go slower and steadier than I used to. I pay attention a lot more to not getting hurt or doing something stupid, never did that most of my life.
 

FCBayern

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I was about 10 months when I completed a very challenging hike over uneven terrain with a big elevation change without pain @Tragically hip. I was able to do many other things earlier than that, but I would say 10-12 months before you can be assured that a very active day wont cause you pain. My leg continues to get stronger, but I had favored it for 15 years or more so that's not surprising. I regularly carry a 5 gallon water jug up a long set of stairs without a problem, something I still find a little amazing!
 
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Tragically hip

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Thanks everyone for the helpful guidance. Just trying to keep my expectations reasonable!
 

DGrant

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After my first LTHR in 2015 I was mowing my lawn in about 30 days.. just mindful of not letting the grass catcher get heavy and not lifting anything substantial. It seemed reasonable for how I was feeling and gave me a light workout and zero pain. I really enjoyed it. I hopped on my motorcycle(the one in my avatar pic) on my 60th day post-op.. and had no problem.
This time around I'm older and it will take me a little longer, mostly because I'm taking it like that, but I'll know when I can safely do such things. I won't have to do my yards though.. we now have a gardener which is great.
I think everyone is different as well as their activity. Trust your body and instincts, that will probably tell you more than anyone here can. Some unfortunately take a while for pain to dissipate, some have immediate relief and come back strong pretty early on.
You're going to do great though, you're about to get a life changing procedure, and even a week or two after it's done you'll feel much better and will make good choices...and you'll just know what you should or shouldn't do as your abilities return. Best wishes on your journey.
 
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Tragically hip

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Well, almost 9 years ago I was first told I had “significant” OA in my left hip … and tomorrow I go in for my hip replacement. It seems a bit unreal! I’ve been focusing on preparations and trying not to think too much about the surgery itself. Most worried about recovery — like many others here, I hate asking anyone to do anything for me so I’m really going to have to fight the “I’ll just do it myself” inclination, at least for a few days. Wish me luck, on all counts!
 

Kevininnc

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All the best, mine is at the end of the week so we will be recovering at the same time approximately ;)
 

Jaycey

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I hate asking anyone to do anything for me so I’m really going to have to fight the “I’ll just do it myself” inclination, at least for a few days.
I think you will be surprised at just how much you can do post op. Yes, you need to take it easy. But you will not be bed bound and you will be moving around on your own from day one.

All the best tomorrow. See you on the other side!
 

Wyn wombat

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@Tragically hip just had both my hips done 17 days ago must say I am pretty mobile post opp if I was farming now I would be back on a tractor especially with paddle shift, but forget lifting weights or going over rough terrain for a couple of weeks.
My mother in law had a new knee at 78 and was back on tractor New Holland 6080 hauling silage after 3 weeks touch cookie but there was nobody brave enough to stop her.
You will be pleasantly surprised with your progress but leave the lifting to someone else for the first month.
 

Mojo333

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Hi and sending all the best for your surgery tomorrow @Tragically hip
Get that patience muscle toned up and if you can give it the time it takes, your new hip will carry you to a pain free productive and happier life.
The first months were a struggle for me too as I am fiercely independent, but I am 4 years out from Bilateral hip replacement and would do it again in a heartbeat.
healing hugs in advance...
 
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Tragically hip

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Hi everyone. Surgery yesterday went well. I had a sedative and a spinal, and next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. Had a fair bit of pain and nausea over night, maybe due to the drugs, so I’m going to see if I can get by with just Tylenol plus Celebrex.
My surgeon told me everything went smoothly, but that my hip bone was “deeper” than he expected — a nice way of saying I have more fat on my hips than he thought! So the incision is fairly deep. Ice, here we come!
 

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