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[THR] bye-bye femoral head! my post-op recovery thread

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Bergame

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Thanks so much for checking in, @CricketHip. So far, so good:fingersx:. My main complaint has been a fuzzy, weird head, as I really have had no hip pain to speak of since day two. The sudden flood of drugs - anti-inflammatory, aspirin, antibiotic, pain relief - may have overwhelmed my system. I was able to stop taking Tramadol 48 hours post-op, so that helped stabilize my head.

Trying to be a model Bonesmart patient: icing religiously with homemade Ziploc ice packs made with the Bonesmart ‘recipe’, and doing gentle PT exercises provided by my surgeon (ankle pumps, heel slides, quad contractions).

I wonder how many patient phone calls surgeons have been spared due to the instant experienced advice available on Bonesmart? I have come here every day Post-op and always found the practical information I needed, or the reassurance that what I was feeling was normal. Not to say that I would substitute Bonesmart for my surgeon’s expertise, but rather that Bonesmart provides a sort of triage level of care for non-urgent issues that can be used before contacting the doctor.
 

Barbaraj

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Sounds like you're doing really well, @Bergame! I agree that that miserable brain fog caused by all those drugs is really the pits. But fabulous you were able to get off the Tramadol within 48 hours. Still taking it at night so I can get some sleep, but it really messes with my head and my digestive system. I've been so concerned about constipation, chewing prunes, eating high fiber foods and daily dose of Miralax, that I've now got the opposite problem--groan. But not having any pain right now is a big gift so enjoy it. You're doing all the right things and it sounds like you're headed for a smooth and reasonably comfortable recovery--good for you!
 

CricketHip

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Bergame, you are so right. I wonder, too, how many phone calls were avoided?? That's why this forum takes this very seriously and tries to ensure the advice is safely doled out with resources to back them up.
When we are vulnerable- going in/out of major surgery? This site becomes a welcoming place to come gather some comfort and talk to other people who've been through it and will understand. I remember that so very well 4 years ago. I'm almost 4 weeks post op again and it is still so helpful to me!!
 
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Bergame

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Ooohhh @Barbaraj , sorry to hear about your ‘over correction’ on the digestive front. I did the very same thing, and found out that walker could move pretty darn quickly when needed. Hid the Colace bottle after that interlude!:heehee:
 

Layla

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I wonder how many patient phone calls surgeons have been spared due to the instant experienced advice available on Bonesmart?
I believe many. This has been discussed here before. It's easy to find answers and reassurance here for many simple and common things we wonder about. I know I may have made a few phone calls to my OS if I hadn't found BoneSmart. And you're right, BoneSmart isn't a substitute for a surgeon's expertise when needed, but perfect for the non-urgent questions that we all have. The commaraderie and support found here is second to none. We're glad you're a part of it all! Keep up the good work. :)
@Bergame
 

Barbaraj

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Well, I am reassured to read that someone else ditched those meds after them presumably working TOO well, @Bergame! I am certainly not wanting to deal with constipation, but the other problem is just as bad! Once I can get off all this medication I think my digestive system will settle down. For now, just plodding along the recovery trail! Keep up the good work—you’re doing great. We are all going to reach “hip nirvana” at some point which, for me, means not thinking about the darn things!
 

Mojo333

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I wonder how many patient phone calls surgeons have been spared due to the instant experienced advice available on Bonesmart?
I know it saved my OS office many calls.:yes:
Having the real-life recovery experiences to draw on was invaluable to me.
Is this normal? seems to have been the question I got the most assurances about.

Hope today is a good day @Bergame :tada:
 
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Bergame

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May I have anyone's advice and experience about using one crutch versus two?

I've been using one crutch - opposite the bad leg - inside the house because it leaves me with a free right hand to carry things from here to there. Also, I am in a townhouse with four stories and my stair-climbing method uses just one crutch on the side opposite the banister, so I keep finding myself on another floor with only one crutch. (My saint of a husband and designated crutch-retriever returned to work this week, so I'm prowling around more on my own.)

Did you progress from two crutches to one crutch to cane? Or directly from pair of crutches to cane?
 

Barbaraj

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I have no experience using crutches as both last hip and this one, I transitioned from the hated walker to walking poles which I really liked. I am tall, and the walking pole forced me to stand up straight and try to practice heel/toe walking mindfully and more successfully. I probably should have used two of them but I'm too much of a klutz and felt even using one was enough complication (!) for me. This time around, interestingly, I pretty much ditched the walker early again, but then progressed to walking without assistive aids. Sure, when I go out I sometimes take a pole (mostly to ward off careless and oblivious pedestrians who drift too close) but usually I just hold lightly onto my husband's arm and it works fine. I feel so much more secure and steady on my hip this time. I think it's probably because this is my second hip surgery and I have more faith in relying upon my operated hip and can evenly distribute my weight and just move. But, I realize this is not going to be the case for others. I'd say do what works for YOU! Try out two crutches, try out a cane (even consider a walking pole)--you'll quickly figure out what works for you and that's the important thing. Happy Tuesday!
 

Jaycey

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Post LTHR I left the hospital with 2 crutches, started using only 1 the day after I got home and then progressed to a cane. Post RTHR I only used 2 canes and transitioned to 1. I didn't feel a cane gave me the stability I needed early out.
 

CricketHip

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@Bergame Im sorry, I only used canes, also. So I began with the walker and used that for at least the first full week, I believe. then progressed to 2 canes, which I loved! That gave me much more freedom. It felt so much more normal.. of course that's my opinion for my own feelings.
Now I am on and off of one cane. It feels great when Im sore and feeling a bit tired and it also feels great when I can safely walk on my own.
I think its whatever feels stable enough for you. There's not just one way and I hope each day gets easier!
I would think 2 crutches to 2 canes might be interesting to attempt first? You asked this a day or so ago, so am curious to hear how it's going? :old:
 

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I used two crutches for the first week. Then one crutch for three or four days. Then I switched to one cane for another two or three weeks. That was what my PT advised.

Sent from my SM-S327VL using Tapatalk
 
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Bergame

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Thanks for your feedback, everyone. Almost as many walking-implement strategies here as posts, which is reassuring in itself: there is no ‘wrong’ way. I’m pretty much going with one crutch all the time now.

I have my first post-op visit to surgeon tomorrow and will bounce my gait off him. He’s a PT proponent but I have dodged PT ever since, on Day Two, the therapist had me do straight leg raise, mini squats and single-leg balances. Ummm....no. But I will welcome the PT’s advice and practice on cane-walking going forward.
 

Mojo333

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I have my first post-op visit to surgeon tomorrow and will bounce my gait off him. He’s a PT proponent but I have dodged PT ever since, on Day Two, the therapist had me do straight leg raise, mini squats and single-leg balances. Ummm....no. But I will welcome the PT’s advice and practice on cane-walking going forward.
Trust thyself!

Hope you get great report.
 
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Bergame

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Had the exciting scar reveal at my two-week appointment with surgeon today. Can't believe my surgeon fished artificial components and bones in and out of this little opening. I look forward to posting it on our scar show-off thread.

Got an all-clear for elliptical and exercise bike on low resistance.

Forgot to ask about losing the compression stockings, but my husband kinda likes the schoolgirl look - takes him back to 1977 when we met:heehee: so I may stick with them for a bit longer. I really don't mind them.

Surgeon didn't bring up PT and neither did I. :mute:

Dr told me not to have any dental work for three months and to use antibiotics for any work after that for at least two years. My dentist is proactive about this anyway, as she is already set to call in my prescription ahead of my fall checkup. It's so great to have talented, caring doctors in my life at this time; from my primary care to my ophthalmologist, they have all been helpful and knowledgeable about this surgery.

Possibly my favorite news from appointment: doctor said pedicures are fine. I feared they would be banned. I will seek out the salons which make safety and sanitation a priority just to add a level of further comfort.

I remain under restriction against rear extension and turned out abduction due to the anterior approach.

Seeing the xray of the new joint for the first time today really drove home the fact that the bad bone has left the building! And yay for that.
 

Barbaraj

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Fantastic post-op report, @Bergame! Glad you successfully dodged the PT question since at only two weeks out, seems unnecessary and a waste of time. I was happy and even eager to do PT after my 6 week post-op visit but before then my OS was a proponent of walking only. Glad scar reveal wasn't traumatic and I’m betting you walked out of your OS’s office with a smile on your face. Hurray for you! Now start checking out possible places to get a pedicure—that’s definitely on my wish list of things I am looking forward to! Happy Thursday to you!
 
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Elf1

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@Bergame that's a really good post-op report from your OS, sounds like you're definitely on the road a good recovery. My OS kind of pushed for IT but so far me and the young lady I'm going to are getting along ok. Today she had me on the recumbent bike and did some gentle stretches and a little bit of massage around the incision which had been tight. Actually felt good and still feeling good this evening so pretty happy with that.
 

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@Bergame what a great OS report! I join the chorus of "glad PT didn't come up"s. At my second hip 2-week visit, it did. I said I hadn't taken the option. PA said, that's fine, all you really need is walking anyway, let us know if you want a referral later.

And here I thought I had too many stairs in a split-level! My hat is off to you!

Late to the crutch discussion, but I am thankful my OS used rolling walker-to-cane progression rather than crutches; I have arthritic hands and wrists. First hip I used the walker for support for maybe 10-12 days? ( would have to check my recovery thread and am too lazy.) Then I used it a bit only outdoors, with nothing indoors, and then I switched to cane outdoors. The cane had been in the way walking-wise indoors but I did carry it as a weapon in the house and out shopping. I carried it on walks long after I didn't need any weapons, to help the gait during the last bits of the distance, when I was tired and the hip more so. Second hip I didn't get past 6 hours with the walker once home. It was such a pain to wrestle a very fully-loaded walker around the corners and up/down the narrow stairs! I was so much more secure with the second hip that I put the cane in the car but never once used it. I took it on a plane flight with me at 5 weeks (MIL's memorial service, scheduled long before hip, and yes, OS ok'd it, which astounded me!) using it as a cue to other folks and again, a weapon if needed. I thought I'd need it to walk the rough dirt cemetery road from church to gravesite, but by golly although I was slow I was strong and steady!

And re that plane flight, I wish I had a video of TSA's reaction at the (small) departure airport! I was wearing loose, lightweight pants with good deep pockets, so had a sandwich bag filled with ice in the left pocket. It being late August, the bag had sweated pints, all eagerly soaked up by the linen. I forgot it was there....first officer to see it reminded me! He was good with me tossing him the bag, but the people on the other side of the "metal implants" scanner freaked out. Then, of course, the wet pants had already alarmed the machine for that portion of my anatomy, so I got the dreaded groin pat-down. Fun and games, I'm tellin'ya.
 
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Bergame

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Hi @zauberflöte, In my pre-op months, your recovery thread was a go-to source for me, so it’s nice to have you pop up on mine now!

Love your TSA story. Would your small airport happen to be Charlottesville (seeing your Central VA location)?

I will think of you at Denver International as I remove my best friend (ice bag) from my shorts when I fly for the first time in September.
 

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