THR Confused


new member
Jan 23, 2017
United States United States
Good morning my fellow Hippies!!!!!!! My surgery was completed yesterday day, after YEARS of pain and being told I was too young. I’m in a bit of pain/discomfort, it it’s no where near the pain I was feeling in my hip joint. I’m so happy to be at this point!!!!! Do any of you fine folks have any pointers for home exercise and just being comfortable while at home?
Well, here you are with a shiny new hip! Congratulations, especially since it's been a long and winding road for you.
Hopefully the surgical team gave you some medications and a schedule to follow for any pain and discomfort? Ice will be your new best friend. I followed the advice given on this forum and applied the packs for 40 minutes of each hour. Just be sure to have a thin layer of cloth between your skin and the ice pack. No freeze burns allowed.

Here are our guidelines to read over. Pretty much everything that you may think of is covered in them. As for home exercises, scroll down and read the next to the last paragraph, called BIG TIP--- pause then read it again. :yes:


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.

If you want to use something to assist with healing and scar management, BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.

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 these
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs
The recovery articles
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.
The one thing my OS told me to do were ankle pumps for circulation and to get up and walk every hour, while awake. That was easy because they apparently pump us full of fluids while in surgery/recovery.
Both of those were to help prevent blood clots. I think I started with 30-50 steps each time I was up and found that it helped to "limber up" my new hip, so it was all good.

Happy icing! :ice:
Congratulations on you new hip, it’s great to have it done and be on the recovery route.
@Cappy2430 Hey - welcome back to BoneSmart! Gosh - that was a long wait for you. So happy to read you have finally made it to the other side!
Do any of you fine folks have any pointers for home exercise and just being comfortable while at home?
No real need for exercise. Short walks around the house in these early days. Take your pain medication as prescribed, around the clock. Ice is your friend!

The first few days can be tough. But things will quickly improve. Time and lots of patience needed.
I’m definitely dealing with the difficulties of being home. It hurts, but it’s a good hurt that doesn’t originate in my hip!!!! Trust me, I’m heeding to everything that was said to me, taking these meds…. And icing up. I’m excited to be in the other side too!!!!
Hi @Cappy2430 and congratulations on being on the recovery side!

My surgeon told me that the best way to recovery was to walk and walk some more. (He wouldn't prescribe PT, which he said isn't necessary for hip replacement patients.)

But take it slowly! As Jaycey, no real need for exercise yet. Just the occasional walk around the house for circulation. Give your body needs the healing time it needs to recover from all the carpentry work your surgeon did.

I appreciate all the answers and have been icing and doing exactly as instructed…. But this morning has to be the worst swelling I’ve had since I’ve been home. My thigh is HUGE not pain other than the surgical site, but jeeeez it’s huge. I really can’t engage my quads with some of the exercises. I’ve been elevating and icing and taking anti inflammatory meds that they gave me…. So hopefully this will pass. Also, I’m being hounded by my job for a note for how long I’ll be out. My Dr didn’t give me one with my discharge paperwork. I do a good deal of walking/climbing and I’m on my feet a decent amount…. I don’t want to jump in too early and hurt myself. What’s a good time table for return to work?
Hi Cappy.
Congrats on new hip. I also just had my replacement a few weeks ago at the age of 46, so happy it's done. Days 3-10 I experienced the majority of swelling in my upper thighs, don't worry it's normal. Keep taking your NSAIDS and blood thinners as directed it will get better. I am now 3 weeks into recovery and am no longer needing my cane or pain medications. I have been walking and going to physical therapy twice a week. Personally I think PT helped a bunch with stretching, exercises, and massage. Icing my hip and wound was the best, I highly suggest. Good luck and hoping for a speedy recovery.
3 mos is the usual return to work especially for any job with physical activity that won't allow for light duty.
As far as the swelling ice, ice and more ice for the recommended length of time. Also no need to do any activities if you're swollen beyond ankle pumps and slow walking indoors.
Oh I forgot to add. If your recovery goes well then I would say approx 6 weeks out from work. But then again it also depends on how physical your job is. Hope this helps.
Hi @Cappy2430 and congrats!! Sounds like you are doing very well:thumb:
My left leg swelled more than my right had. The compression sock was quite painful around my knee, and the oxy wasn't touching that. I swapped those for a better-fitting pair I had left over from hip #1, and it was almost instant relief. The swelling does go down on its own, so stick with it on the ice and elevation! Also helpful to me was wearing loose floppy clothing. It actually was a couple of months before the thigh portion of my jeans fit properly! Don't worry about quad exercises-- there is plenty of time for rehab in a few weeks! (Just thought of something-- Jaycey (I think) has a lymph massage technique which I think has its own article in our library here-- see what it says.

As far as return to work, advice here is 12 weeks, plus a phased return. If you ask for that, it will be easier to go back early than ask for too little and have to negotiate more time. Since you climb (stairs? Ladders? Telecommunications towers? Trees?) alot, you might want to be super sure that you can handle that safely and with power left over for unexpected events, before you try it. Your hip and your employer will appreciate that.

Keep up the good "work"! We stay our of the way and our body does the heavy lifting in the healing department!
Day 6………. My in house Physical Therapy has started. My left leg is swollen so getting muscle to activate and move is beyond a task. Was told that my swelling should start to disappear but it could be around for another week or so. So pain pills, ice and elevation have been my buddys. I do my ankle pumps, glute squeezes and quad squeezes…. But everything is such a task. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day…. And my rehab is going to take some time…… but I need something tangible to happen. I’m trying to keep depression from setting up shop, but it keeps getting closer day by day. I have to adjust my expectations and I think I’ll be ok. Well that’s the news from my side of the world!!!!! I hope everyone is doing well
Early days @Cappy2430 ? Don't get discouraged - this can be a long process. And I don't agree that swelling will just disappear in a week. Swelling can take place for months. Ice and elevate and please don't stress.

Go back and read the articles Crickethip left above. Pay attention to the Activity Progression and the Post Op Blues articles. All very normal at this stage.
Early days @Cappy2430 ? Don't get discouraged - this can be a long process. And I don't agree that swelling will just disappear in a week. Swelling can take place for months. Ice and elevate and please don't stress.

Go back and read the articles Crickethip left above. Pay attention to the Activity Progression and the Post Op Blues articles. All very normal at this stage.
Will Do!!!!
Congrats on the new hardware, I received mine one year ago and everything you are feeling and experiencing is part of the healing process. Take it easy on yourself and don't overdo, your body is in hyper healing process and not to be interrupted!
Get up, walk around, make a snack, enjoy a book, watch a movie, repeat for awhile.
Your body will let you know when it's ready to do more.
As far as depression that does settle in. You are suffering from loss of independence as well as healing.
Keep reading others journeys here and you will see you are not alone.
I wish you well.
Happy One Month Anniversary! I hope the last several weeks have been good for you.
Enjoy the weekend! @Cappy2430
Hi fellow hippies!!!! I had my THR completed in Feb of this year. So I’m 7months post op. For about the past 4 months I’ve been having the weirdest jamming/catching sensation in my surgically replaced left hip. I have numbness, weakness and pain in the hip, buttocks/lower-back area. My surgeon is saying that I could have Piriformis syndrome and that my hip flexors are weak. 7 months post op, and I’m afraid to walk unassisted because I feel like at any moment I could put weight on my left leg and it could fail me and I end up falling. And we aren’t even going to talk about the newly acquired ED issues I’m having that were nonexistent before. I’m grateful that I had the surgery, because the pain I was in is gone…. But it’s like I traded 1 major problem for plenty of smaller ones…. Ughhhh anyone else run into these issues??? And if so what worked for you?

Thanks in advance!!!!
@Cappy2430 Sorry you are dealing with these issues. I had piriformis syndrome post LTHR. My symptoms were horrid pain in buttocks radiating down my leg. I found hamstring stretches from a seated position eased this. If you try these stretches, do start very gently. Your hamstrings may be very tight and you don't want to strain anything. Icing also helped - sit on an ice pack. :ice:

I'm not sure why surgeons are surprised that hip flexors are weak post THR. Of course they are! You probably limped around pre-op trying to stay off a sore hip. Muscles atrophy. But they are not going to bounce back overnight. Walking is the best beginning to build strength again. Get that piriformis pain controlled and then focus on walking.

Have you talked to your family doctor about your ED issues? I doubt if it is a result of your THR but you should get this checked.

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