THR CB's Recovery

CB1018

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Finally had my THR-L (posterior approach with wound vac) yesterday (7/12) after having the surgery postponed twice (original one was scheduled for May 26th) so I am thrilled that it finally happened. I have been ignoring hip pain in both hips for over a decade, I also have rheumatoid arthritis so I chalked my issues up to that. Last August the pain became constant and much more severe. I finally went to the orthopedist and have severe OA and subchondral sclerosis in both hips.

I arrived at the outpatient surgery center at 6 am. I was wheeled into the OR a little after 7. They sat me up, had me lean forward towards a nurse that covered my front with a warm blanket (that was heaven). Then the added some meds into my IV and next thing I remember is waking up a little after 9:30am in my room at the surgery center. I was freezing and slightly disoriented for about 30 minutes, then all good. They had me up and walking by 11 for a trip to the bathroom and to change back into my own clothes. They fed me some lunch and by 1 I was walking up to the x ray room, then to the PT room to learn how to go up and down stairs, then back to my room. It was about 1/4 mile round trip. I was fine, but quite tired by the time I got back to the room. I was discharged at 2 and on my way home. I felt pretty good most of the day, started to have a little bit of pain at night so I took an oxy, and was able to sleep for 5 hours.

I woke up this morning a bit sore and stiff with some throbbing in the hip joint, but nothing compared to pre-surgery pain. I know this will get worse in a couple of days, but all I can do is take it day by day. I am taking the tylenol every 6 hours but don't feel like a need anything stronger at the moment. I am getting around well including in and out of the recliner and off/on the raised toilet seat. The only thing I am struggling with is getting in and out of bed. I had a hard time lifting my operative leg before surgery due to the pain, but can't lift it at all when i am laying down, Is this uncommon or should it get better soon? I hate waking my husband to help me get out of bed every time I have to go to the bathroom at night.

Also, has anyone in here had this surgery that also has RA? Did you have a slower recovery, excess swelling, or any flares with the surgery?
 
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Jaycey

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@CB1018 Welcome to the other side! Sounds like you are doing well in these early days.
I had a hard time lifting my operative leg before surgery due to the pain, but can't lift it at all when i am laying down,
We call this log leg. It is very common just post op and will ease in time. For now get a belt from a bathrobe or a dog leash and loop it around your leg to help you lift it.

I'll leave your recovery guidelines here for you:

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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 this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
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.

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.
 
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CB1018

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I am trying to get up every hour, mostly because I have to go to the bathroom, so I am moving often. PT came today and I did a couple of minor exercises nothing painful. I noticed some decent swelling in my non post op leg. Is this normal on day 2?

And Thanks Ocean and Jaycey!
 

subie2021

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Welcome to The Good Side!
That other leg swelling was normal for me. Maybe it has to do with all the lower body jacking around that happens in surgery?
About the getting into and out of bed, it helped me to swap sides with DH so my op leg was on the outside of the bed. It made getting out of bed a lot easier - hooray for gravity!- and getting in somewhat easier with a modified log roll technique - hooray for momentum!
If you're using an abduction wedge or something to elevate your feet, you may still need some help. That's what's husbands are for, right? It's only just temporary, and it gives the guys a chance to repay us for all we've put up with :rotfl:
I wish you a smooth and speedy recovery. Take it slow and easy!
 

Zoebichon

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My husband definitely had to help me lift my legs onto the bed for the first 3 days and nights. Our bedroom is upstairs 14 steps and I spent the first 2 weeks downstairs on a foldout sofa futon in the living room. It has a really comfortable futon mattress with an inner spring on it. My husband also slept downstairs for the first 3 nights, in the den in the next room.

I also had same day surgery and I was sent home with one of those wide canvas straps around my waist. (Like you may see in nursing homes on patients). My husband definitely had to help me in and out of bed and he also held onto my waist strap helping me to the bathroom in case I became dizzy. I slept with it on for 3 nights.

After 3 days, I no longer needed help getting into and out of bed or to the bathroom. So hubby moved back upstairs to sleep. I learned about putting a kitchen trash bag on the side of the bed, sat on it and easily scooted myself back and swiveled into bed. Keeping my legs together.
 
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CB1018

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After 3 days, I no longer needed help getting into and out of bed or to the bathroom. So hubby moved back upstairs to sleep. I learned about putting a kitchen trash bag on the side of the bed, sat on it and easily scooted myself back and swiveled into bed. Keeping my legs together.
I am definitely looking forward to being able to get into and out of bed on my own. I never realized how often I use the bathroom at night.


Day 3: Everything is very stiff and swollen and finding it much more difficult to move. Bruising is starting. Pain is definitely worse, but manageable. I still have log leg and cannot move the leg when I am laying down in bed. I am fine getting out of recliner and on/off the toilet seat.

My bedroom is upstairs and I have done the stairs every night since the surgery. The stairs make me a bit nervous, but I feel pretty stable with the cane. I will only go up or down with my husband nearby. I don't trust my stability yet.
 

benne68

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I have done the stairs every night since the surgery. The stairs make me a bit nervous, but I feel pretty stable with the cane. I will only go up or down with my husband nearby. I don't trust my stability yet.
That's wise. Taking a tumble with a brand new hip is not something you want to risk. But, good for you doing the stairs! Movement helps with recovery -- as long as it isn't causing pain.

The stiffness and swelling are absolutely normal -- and will likely get worse before they get better. But you are on your way.

It sounds like you are doing great! Best wishes for your continuing recovery.
 
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CB1018

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Day 4: Feeling much stronger and more stable. Stiffness and swelling seems to be a bit better than yesterday. Still have log leg when I am in bed....super annoying.

I have been taking an oxycodone before bed (just tylenol during the day). The last 2 days I have woken up with horrible pressure headaches and ringing in my ears along with some nausea. I called the doctor and he prescribed Tramadol instead. The pain is not that bad, but I definitely feel it more at night. I am considering only taking tylenol tonight, because the headache and nausea is worse than the hip pain. Has anyone had better luck with Tramadol?

I feel like I am sleeping a lot. I really can't stay asleep for more than 2 hours, so I am napping often...until my bladder wakes me up.

PT came again today and added a few more exercises, nothing painful.
 
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CricketHip

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I had very good results with Tramadol with my first THR. I think I was a bit loopy on it for the first two doses, then all was well. I don't recall any of the headaches that accompanied the Oxycodone.

Sleep is how you heal! Many of us get our sleep in increments as you have noted. I actually loved all of those naps. It felt so decadent. :thumb:
 

subie2021

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My OS prescribed oxy right after surgery, and it made me sick...dizzy and very nauseous with vomiting and dry heaves. Ugh, it was so horrible that I don't remember if it helped with pain or not.
I let him know about it and he prescibed tramadol, and was just the ticket. Great pain relief, and made me the sort of drowsy where I could function during the day (let's define 'function' as able to get up hourly, fix simple meals and snacks, and do a few basic ADLs) but also let me fall asleep easily when I went to bed.
I hope the tramadol works as well for you. Best wishes!
 
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CB1018

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Day 5: Hip is feeling pretty good, feel like I can graduate to the cane, but not going to yet. I would rather be safe.

My only complaint is headaches, I take tylenol every 6 hours, but have a constant headache. Is this normal?
 

Zoebichon

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I did have throbbing, head-holding headaches the first couple of weeks. But they only came during the night and disappeared once up and had coffee and liquids.

I don’t feel I was ever dehydrated but during the night they came and disappeared after lots of A.M. fluids.

Mine went away after I discontinued my Dilaudid, after 13 days. So who knows?

I do hope your headaches clear up soon. They are no fun.
 

cold_brew

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Good that you can move it more now…

I am at +days and the leg lifting motions that were barely possible early in the week are becoming nearly routine. So keep at it and get thru those first few days somehow
 
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CB1018

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I had very good results with Tramadol with my first THR. I think I was a bit loopy on it for the first two doses, then all was well. I don't recall any of the headaches that accompanied the Oxycodone.

Sleep is how you heal! Many of us get our sleep in increments as you have noted. I actually loved all of those naps. It felt so decadent. :thumb:
I took it last night and definitely felt better than with the oxycodone.

It is so weird taking naps. I have a 13 and 10 year old and can't even remember the last time I took a nap.... Maybe when I had the flu in 2015?!? Regardless, I am sleeping when I can
 
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Sleep is good, lets the body heal.
I'm sure with younger children it's difficult but rest as much as you can.
Stay well.
 

Layla

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Happy One Month Anniversary!
How are you doing? We'd love if you'd share your progress with us.
Wishing you a great week and hope to hear from you soon! :)
@CB1018
 

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