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THR chialiyu's recovery thread - 1/12 LTHR - Anterior Approach

chialiyu

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Just got home from my LTHR yesterday. The surgical center I went operates independent - They only do orthopedics procedure, no covid patients. I checked in at 8 and the surgery was on 9:30.

After I woke up, I felt light headed, nauseous because of the anesthesia. Curled up sleeping for a couple hours in the recovery room until the nurse suggested "Honey, you should eat something because you haven't got any food in your system since 9:00PM last night". She was right. I felt better after that.

Got transferred to the recovery suite nearby and spent overnight there. Did a couple light PT session with the therapist. Pain so far is manageable. My therapist said I don't have precaution so I can sleep in positions as long as I am comfortable with. I also don't need PT this time - just light walk everyday and gradually increase the distance.

The recovery of this hip so far is much better than my last one. I can walk, go up and downstairs with a cane, weight bearing on the operational leg is not problem. I have some concern about the length of my operational leg - it looks like 1/2 inch longer than the other side. Found an article in BoneSmart library about LLD and decided not to worry about it for now.

Still feel tired and sleepy and temperature is slightly elevated in 99 - 100 F. Have sore/dry throat because of anesthesia, (which happened last time - very annoying) Will take it easy - just ice, elevate, drink fluid....
 
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Pumpkln

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@chialiyu
Welcome to the Other side, sound like you are doing well after your THR. An elevated temperature after surgery is normal, it should go down in a few days.

Here are 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.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

djklaugh

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@chialiyu Congratulations on your new hip :flwrysmile: I'm glad to see the PT person told you to take it easy ... that's the best way to start off.

I hope the rest of your recuperation is relatively easy!
 

Mojo333

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:hi: First days are bumpy for sure.
Low grade temp and anaesthesia after effects are common though uncomfortable.
Hang in there, friend.
All temporary.
Healing Hugs xxx:friends:
 

Hippielife

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your having an amazingly great recovery. :yes!:.
sending good vibes your way.
 

Layla

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:hi: @chialiyu
Welcome to recovery! It sounds like you’re off to a good start.
I look forward to following your progress.
Hope today is a good one! :SUNsmile:
 
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chialiyu

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Day 2 post-op update:
Woke up with a more painful leg - on my quad close to my knee. (I don't recall that my quad muscle was sore last night.) Noticed more bruises around the wound area. My operation leg is swollen, but not too bad. Still recovering from the dry throat caused by anesthesia.

Last night I put a body pillow next to my left leg as support. another pillow in between my legs. one more pillow to elevate my head. Still uncomfortable but I managed to sleep for 4-5 hours (with interruptions).

Activity-wise, I just do light walk around the house with cane , easy feet pump, and quad set. For some reason I have more pain and feel more uncomfortable when I walk or move today. Plan to rest more this afternoon to see if it helps.

thanks for all the warm messages and useful information.
 

Layla

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For some reason I have more pain and feel more uncomfortable when I walk or move today.
So Normal. This recovery is not linear. Check out the little diagram below.

Four-five hours of solid sleep is pretty good in my opinion. Some will be envious. :wink:
Ice and elevate as you’re resting today. Icing really helps with swelling and pain.
Wishing you a peaceful rest of the day!

 
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chialiyu

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Post-op Day 3:
I had about 4 hours of good sleep and 1-2 hours on-off sleep last night. :banana-santa:Was planning on dialing into a meeting. Changed my mind because I felt tired and a little sick (still from anesthesia?) so I decided to take it easy and baby myself. Napped for a couple hours in the afternoon. I felt much better after that. :sleep:

Not a lot of pain around my wound but the quad muscle near the knee feels sore and somewhat numb.

Felt short of breath from time to time. I tried to cough and deep breath to clear my lung.

Activity-wise, I only do occasional walks to the kitchen to get water, snacks, feet pump and calf raise leaning on a pillow. the pain and discomfort so far is much better than the last time. Last time due to the nerve damage, I did a lot of PT to regain my muscle control, which caused a lots of pain. Thinking back, I don't know if they helped but I definitely was way more miserable. BS's guideline on PT is very helpful. :thankyou:

Still concerned about my leg discrepancy. Feels to me there is a 10mm difference between my operative leg and the other one. Will this kind of difference go away when my hip heals?
 

Jaycey

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Will this kind of difference go away when my hip heals?
Nearly everyone has a feeling of LLD just post THR. Yes, this does ease with time. In most cases the feeling just disappears. Give it 3-4 months post op.

Here's an article that might be of interest. Leg length differential - LLD
 
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chialiyu

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Day 4:
Had a good night of sleep for 6 hours. A little hard to fall asleep at first.
Only taking Aspirin (daily) and Tylenol 3 times a day (1000 mg). Pain is manageable. When I am sitting in the recliner I don't feel pain.
I am using walker at night to provide more stability when going to restroom, etc. Otherwise I am using the cane. I can bear weight on the operative leg for a short walk (< 1 min) without cane.
Started to do marching in place and standing knee flexion a couple times a day.
Keep icing, elevate, and short nap when I feel like to.
 

Layla

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Hello @chialiyu You’re doing great!

Please reconsider marching. The recently retired forum nurse with 50+ yrs experience in Orthopedics really frowned upon marching and the set-backs it often caused members. You’re doing so well, I’d really hate to see you stall your recovery.
When you have time read the article below, it touches on marching -

A great rest of the weekend to you!
 
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chialiyu

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Guess what, I did have more swelling this afternoon. :eeeuw: When things are going well, it is very easy to get excited and push too far.
The info is a good reminder. I will stick with walking for now. Thanks @Layla. :thankyou:
 
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chialiyu

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Day 5:
Had a good night of sleep. More swelling this morning. (My left thigh is 1.5 times the width of the right one.) It felt heavy and big to me. Don't know if it is part of the normal healing process. :unsure:

Ice/elevate + light walk to get beverage and snack (Repeat every 1.5 hours). So far it is under control and the discomfort is gradually coming down.
 

djklaugh

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@chialiyu Yes that kind of swelling is normal -- un-affectionately known as "log leg". It's your body packing fluid around an injured area for added protection. Elevating and icing will help it go away.
 
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chialiyu

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Day 6:
Swelling and pain is getting better this morning. The wound is slightly itchy. I also notice a new small blood stain (visible under the dressing) under 5mm in diameter. The dressing is still dry, no visible drainage. Is it normal to have new blood stain several days after the surgery? slightly worried about infection.
 

Jaycey

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I also notice a new small blood stain (visible under the dressing) under 5mm in diameter
Yes - my guess is that was probably there earlier but you just didn't notice. If your dressing is dry that's perfect. Itchy wound means it is healing.
 
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chialiyu

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Day 6 afternoon:
Called into a long meeting so I forgot to change my ice in the middle of it. Then dinner time, etc. by the time dinner was done, I felt my leg is itchy, warm, swelling....not happy.
After taking a shower and iced/elevate for an hour, finally the leg is happy again. :ice:
The incision site feels itchy. The 2 little blood stain kept the same size for the whole day. I still remember I got hundreds of little tiny itchy red blisters the 2nd week of surgery. Hopefully this time the Minnesota winter is easier on my skin.
 
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chialiyu

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Day 7:
Diligent with my ice/elevate routine. Able to walk slowly without cane. Taking aspirin and Tylenol 3 times daily.
The blood stain visible on the dressing enlarged slightly (from 5mm - 7mm in diameter). Incision is still itchy. Ice helps.
 

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