THR Clairebella’s recovery journey


Apr 23, 2023
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I had a right total hip replacement on Wednesday. I am 47 yrs old, female, reside in UK. Posterior approach.

Couple of queries. Home after 2 nights. I’m still incredibly sore. Taking paracetamol and dihydrcodeine which manages to last me the 4 hours during the day but at night I’m awake every 2 hours.

I’m also so tired. Plus very weepy. Feel in a right state! I’m not sure if I’m doing too much or not enough in terms of walking and exercise.

Any help/advice appreciated!
@Clairebella Welcome to BoneSmart and the other side of surgery!

At this point in recovery you don't need to be doing anything except ice, elevate, take you pain meds and get up and walk around the house regularly during the day. Being very sore is normal. You just had very major surgery.

Being tired is also a part of recovery. Nap when you can during the day.

Read about post op blues in the articles below. Very normal. All will pass with time and patience.

Here are your recovery guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns, please do post here. We are with you all the way!

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:
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.
Welcome. You will find this board incredibly supportive and full of our experiences after hip replacement.
Weepy, yes, sometimes anesthesia will bring that on and you will have weepy days off an on. I did for first 3 months or so.
Losing your independence for even a short while tends to make us a little sad. Then little aches and pains we aren't sure about make us worry as well. But just ask here cause we probably all have had whatever it is you are dealing with.
For now rest, ice, elevate, get up, walk around a little then rest again.
Wishing you the best
Thank you!

In people’s experience, how many days should I expect to be in a level of pain than requires strong painkillers?

Everything you are describing sounds pretty normal. I took pain meds for six weeks. They reduced the strength of the dosage every week. You’ll likely need them for a while, although some people don’t. Everyone is different.

Best of luck to you!
@Clairebella What you describe sound pretty similar to my experience. I can’t remember when I stopped taking paracetamol and ibuprofen, I think i stopped the oxycodone in day 6 and after a while I slowly started reducing the ibuprofen and then the paracetamol. It’s better to stay ahead of the pain rather than take them when it hurts. I’m coming up to 9 months and feeling pretty good although I still get quite tired. Had a good cry several times in the early days. Joined the ODIC a couple of times. Slept a lot at random times and went with the flow. Getting up at night for the bathroom (several times a night) eventually wore off. But it was good to stretch and take a few steps every couple of hours. I found this site invaluable in helping to reassure me and I hope you will too. Good luck. :wave:
Hi! My first op five years ago I was on Codeine for a long time. This time no Codeine and scaled down the morphine after 6 days but we are all different and a lot of it depends on what state you were in generally before the operation.

Please don’t worry about the stong meds for now. They are there for a reason - to stay ahead of the pain.

Maybe speak to your GP re the dosage level.

Don’t try to overrule your body - that’s what physiotherapists do sometimes .

Finally Ice ice and more ice. Did I say ice? It really helps!
@Clairebella first off welcome!
This site has been very supportive. I am 10 days post op right hip replacement. I was on Percocet and then weaned off to try Tramadol. I took tramadol for one dosage and did not like the side effects for me. So I switched and I am taking Tylenol 2(500 mg) extra strength.
My moods have been all over the roller coaster. I have been sad, angry, grief stricken, crying and ready to give up.
Hang in there. I did and continue to do what everyone here did. Rest, Elevate, Ice ( would like to do more) and walk around ( usually to the bathroom or hallway.
I have also done some ankle pumps and am finally feel better. Sending good wishes your way.
Despite the soft sell of the operation you have just had a major operation. The procedure is very traumatic to our bodies much like a major auto accident.
There is no necessary exercise and walking to the bathroom is usually enough walking in the first weeks.
Aw thank you so much guys, for all your replies, and now I’m crying again

I will keep on with regular dihydeocodine just now even though it grinds my digestive system to a halt.

My op leg feels tight, a pressure almost within the entire thigh and the joint. It’s swollen. I have my long scar which has dissolvable stitches in it - it feels tight and sharp pain. I have the robotic probe would too which has steri strips on it - that feels right and itchy. My entire thigh when most sore feels tender and bruised, like I’ve been kicked in the leg by a horse.

Might seem a daft question - when you Ice where do you put your ice pack? I’m worried about putting anything on the scar.
Hi! It sounds like you are getting lots of great advice! I had TRHR on Thursday. If pain meds wear off, it’s horrible. I work to not let that happen. My ice is on and around the incisional area. Keep reaching out. The struggle is real. Sending love!
Ice where it hurts or there’s swelling, which at this point is, like, everywhere…

Don’t underestimate elevation, that’ll also help with the swelling. it took me a little time to really get my leg elevation situation set up properly.

And rest! You’ve earned it :)
@Clairebella The way you describe your leg feeling is what's known around here as having "a log leg". The swelling is normal for this type of surgery and will fade away over the next week or two. Where you put the ice packs is up to you. Try them in several places on your leg to see where they feel best. There is not much danger if you do put them on or next to the incision - which I'm guessing is now covered with a bandage and by what ever pants you are wearing. With the ice packs it's best not to put them directly onto bare skin but put a towel or other cloth between skin and ice pack.

"My entire thigh when most sore feels tender and bruised, like I’ve been kicked in the leg by a horse." Yup that's pretty much what happened .... though instead of a horse it was a bone saw, mallet, and lots of tugging and yanking on your hip. Our retired leader, Jo, once quipped that hip replacement was about 1/2 surgery and 1/2 carpentry.

It is very early days for you and it will get better!
Log leg - that’s it exactly!

Hip replacement 1/2 carpentry - also so true! Especially with those tools!

My log leg also has some weird nerve tingles going on behind my knee at times. And butt. It’s weird, it feels so normal to weight bare on the joint and still feels like my own joint but feels like someone else’s leg at times.
I cried on and off for 4 weeks . Would watch a show and cry and then cry telling someone why the show made me cry!!! It was so crazy, but driving again and getting out had made such a difference. Also not focusing on how long before I felt normal again and just letting the healing happen has really helped. Hang in there . I’m almost 6 weeks out and finally feeling like I might just make it!!
@Clairebella you've been given a lot of good advice to from our fellow Bone Smarties so I'm just going to add welcome to the healing side! :wave:
I don't know what you're icing with, be careful with ice packs and be sure you have a towel or some material between you and the ice. Make sure you are icing long enough, if using ice packs you will need multiples and keep them on, there is no such thing as too much just too little. You will feel tingles, zings zaps and things you can't even describe when the nerves reconnect and stitches pull. Log leg might last a while, many use a leg lifter or a belt to help move the leg until it eases off. On a bright note the first week or 2 are the worst and it gets better, slowly, but it will get better.
Thank you so much everyone.

I survived another night! I woke with pain 3 times and it’s always a real discomfort and shock waking to pain.

How often do you change your dressings? I was sent home with 2 but don’t think I was given any major instructions on changing and wound care etc.

I’m currently icing with an ice pack over pj bottoms.

I’ve not really got an appetite but have an on-line shop coming with yummy foods for tea.

It’s unbelievable how often I have to ask someone to do something for me. Mostly carrying cups of tea over to the couch. I think my husband is losing patience

Anyway, the sun is shining and set to do so all week so on and up!
I woke with pain so often with my bad hips the THR pain was no big deal. Now I sleep with absolutely no pain in my hips which was the major goal.
Never had any dressing, I had clear tape over the incision with no stiches or staples. I could shower over it from day 1 and peeled it off at 2 weeks.

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