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THR Cstinchcomb's Right Hip Recovery

Layla

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Hi there @cstinchcomb
It sounds like you had a good post op visit. Hopefully it‘s reassuring to learn that all appears as it should.
Congrats on using one crutch already...impressive!
I hope you have a lovely weekend! :SUNsmile:
 

leejaa

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Good report from your surgeon's PA always is a good thing as is getting the dressing removed. Another step in recovery. Your walks are quite impressive at this stage of recovery. Have a wonderful day tomorrow.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Thanks again. My challenge now is not to overdo. PT watched me walk and said gait was the same with one or two crutches. This means that i am limping just as much with two. :nah:Definitely using two on the little walks, but it's great to have one hand free in the house.

No ill effects from yesterday's activity this morning .

My analysis of my gait is that I was not pushing off with the toes of my op leg. When I focus on doing that, it is improved . Pushing off hurt a few days ago but is ok now. I guess my quad is recovering a little. Long way to go.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Yesterday was somewhat of a breakthrough day.

I have been continuing the little walks (now 2 small blocks in length, 3xday), both crutches, careful to walk properly. Gait is improving and v slightly lengthening. No ill effects so far, just benefits.

I have started to really stand in my feet. For those of you familiar with a little yoga, Mountain pose with a focus on the lower body. This means standing evenly weighted through four corners of both feet. Arches, quads and glutes engaged (but not like a full isometric contraction) abs in, shoulders back, chin level. This involves pressing down somewhat with the feet like growing roots into the earth. Not painful! No bad sensations, so not too early to practice this. Several times per day.

So after all of this: I no longer think I have any leg length discrepancy (LLD). I think standing evenly weighted was too painful to accomplish early on and hence made me think the new right side was longer. "Weight bearing as tolerated" means ... don't bear so much weight on it that it hurts.

I have started forgetting the crutch and am now comfortable moving around in my small kitchen, or in the bathroom, without it and without limping (more than slightly, still working on unlearning bad habits). In fact I am walking around with less or no pain: it's been more than a year since I felt this good.

Thanks to my PT for pointing out that my gait was worse than I thought it was ... yay for video.

We all recover at our own pace I guess. Hugs to all. Fingers crossed that this continues. I have a ton of work to catch up on, so now I will try to bring the brain back online. When you own a business, there is no "paid time off", one just begs the indulgence of one's vendors and customers as required.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Few more notes that might be helpful to others. Today is the 11th day after my surgery.

When I "saw" my PT on video, she noticed (as had I) some swelling in my operated thigh, and suggested that I pull/massage very gently upwards in the areas where the fluid was accumulating. This for me was primarily just above the knee and in the "saddlebag" area on the outside of my operated hip. I have been doing this over my entire thigh, very gently (feels good, and I do have feeling in all of these areas aside from the skin just on the outside of the incision) off and on for the last couple days. Swelling is greatly reduced; I of course do not know if this had an impact but it sure seems like it didn't hurt. I now have zero swelling in either of my feet or ankles, even after a couple walks and several hours of desk time. Still need to keep an eye on it.

Just finishing up the bag of postop meds, which included Celebrex. My doctor's PA told me that Celebrex (an NSAID) impedes bone growth and was prescribed for this first ten days to prevent any stray tiny bone fragments from adhering to something that they shouldn't. OF COURSE they try to clean them all out of there at the time of the surgery. I am proscribed from taking further NSAIDs until after the 6 week mark (at which point I sincerely hope I do not need them). So a few takeaways.

Wowee, I need to be super careful, the bone needs to grow into the surface of the hardware.
I'm going to wait a day or so and see if, after the effects of the Celebrex have been eliminated, I can reduce or eliminate some of the other pain meds.

Lovenox shots are finally finished, that was kinda creepy but seems to have been effective. So far I do not have any bruising. I had *significant* bruising on the left, 6 years ago. If I remember correctly it could still surface; fingers crossed that it doesn't.

I am still icing and elevating lying down a few times per day. I am not icing continually as I had been for the first week. Ice is more fun when the weather is really hot (or certainly for pain, regardless of the ambient temperature).

My neighborhood is completely flat. I do not have any problem with the slight incline/decline of the driveway, but haven't walked on any hills (not planning on it in the near term).
 

leejaa

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Wonderful progress. Do not over worry about the Celebrex. I have been on Celebrex since before my first knee replacement and continue to this date because of issues with my thumbs and am not eager for any more surgery and especially not right now. I checked with my OS and he told me that there is usually no concern unless someone is especially osteoporotic or has other issues. I have had no issues from any of my replaced joints not healing correctly. You are doing awesome so congratulations on your steady progress and listening to your body and your hip.
 

Hip4life

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Back in town and communication blackout is over. Lol. Catching up on my hipster friends. Sounds like you’re making great progress and so glad everything has gone well. Loved the yoga reminder. Mountain pose is so basic but effective, at any time. Continued blessings for healing and return to wholeness. ❤
 
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cstinchcomb

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Things are continuing to move along. I still get tired easily, and am spending more time sleeping or reading in bed than I wish, given the number of things I'm just putting off, but it is what it is.
Thanks, @Hip4life, and thanks @leejaa , about the Celebrex.

For this morning's walk, I ditched the crutches in favor of my hiking poles. Wow. I walk a *lot* better with the poles (faster, but just better balanced. Crutches have been really helpful, but I've been on them since first of February, I have a callus on my left hand from using one crutch for so long, and am really ready to move beyond them. Walks are now about 4 blocks or so. Three shorter walks per day seems to suit my hip better that fewer longer ones. Each walk takes about 15 min. I don't think I am limping; am trying to get hubby to go along with me so that he can watch me walk ...

I won't really start up with physical therapy until I'm five or six weeks out ... beginning of July. Seems like I should be ready to get back in the pool around then, too; I need to wait to ensure that my incision is completely closed up of course. It's still almost entirely covered in steri strips, which I can "encourage" to fall off in about another week.

I still have some swelling around the knee of my operated leg. Aside from massaging the area, I've started icing it. My knee doesn't hurt; it seems like gravity is causing fluid to accumulate above it. My calves and feet are fine. Maybe I'll see if any of my compression stockings are long enough to help out. Suggestions are welcome on this front. Is this common?

I am now taking Tylenol during the day on an as needed basis (from my log, looks like one every four to six hours) and still taking a little of one of the stronger meds at night, wowee, helps me sleep really well and I think enough stays with me to help with pain during the day.

I definitely see why I was at the gym two weeks out from my previous surgery. With the covid, this time will be different ... I could really use to do some upper body stuff and some abs, and it's always been hard for me to work out at home; no discipline (been going to the gym 3-5x week since the 80s) . I am hoping that I get further faster by not pushing things now. It's fabulous to just walk around in our small flat house with no tools and no limp and no pain.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer :SUNsmile: :ice::walking:
 
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Layla

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Hi @cstinchcomb
I think leejaa deserves the credit for mentioning Celebrex. I’m unfamiliar....have never taken it. Try to enjoy all of that sleep since our body does it’s best healing while we’re sleeping, so snooze away. It seems you’re doing really well. Following are a couple things that have been shared on the forum in regard to swelling since you mentioned seeking suggestions. I hope it helps -


In my time here, I learned from, Sr Admin. Jamie, that it’s our lymph system that rids the body of fluid (swelling). So you want to get the fluid to the lymph nodes in your torso area so your body can more quickly process it. The lymph system works rather slowly on it’s own and much more efficiently with the assistance of gravity. The fluid isn’t draining into the hips, but contained with the lymph system and moving to the torso and lymph nodes located there. A colleague of ours on the hip side, CricketHip is involved in Therapeutic Massage and has often relayed this exercise to assist in manual lymph drainage. You may want to give it a try. I have, myself, and it’s very easy. This gentle, yet effective therapy will help prime your lymphatic system to move fluid and inflammation away from your leg, which in turn will help your range of motion and pain -

While laying supine, take deep breaths...deep, as in breathing in to a count of 5, 4, or 3 seconds, whatever is most comfortable for you. Hold that breath for another count of 5, 4, 3 then blow out completely, still using the count that's comfortable for you. A series of at least 6 reps may help get the excess swelling to move. To ensure you are taking proper deep breaths, place your hand on your naval and watch while taking in your breath, if doing this properly you should see your hand move up. Repeat this whenever you feel up to it during the day or night. Lying flat (supine) is best as the lymph nodes seated in your groin are less restricted, allowing for better lymph flow.

In addition, after the breathing exercise, place your hands lightly on your upper thigh, at the crease in your groin and lightly stroke upwards towards your naval. Be patient because it can take the body time to respond.

Have a great Thursday!
 
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cstinchcomb

cstinchcomb

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Wow, @Layla , thanks! I corrected the tag in my previous post, as indeed it was Leejaa who wrote about the Celebrex. I've done some deep breathing exercises in the past, will certainly work on it now -- it has a generally calming and focusing effect for me but I did not know about its effect on the lymphatic system.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Yesterday I gave up too many supports all at the same time -- the crutches and the drugs. So I felt great initially but later on the doorway to the ODIC appeared ... so today I am taking it easy. My hip flexors (the ones inside of my anterior incision) complained; they're just not ready yet.

Restarted a painkiller schedule, albeit at a lower dosage than before -- but on the clock, not on demand. I iced all night last night, and a couple times today. Fiddled around in the house some, most of the time using one crutch. Tomorrow I'll walk again, but I'll either take the crutches OR shorten the walk considerably.

Instead of elevating my legs on pillows, I've started a moderate Legs Up Wall in the bed, not quite to the 90 degree mark. That seems to be helping the knee fluid immensely. I should mention that I have stretchy hamstrings so this is a very relaxed position that does not put any stress on my legs.

I don't have a lot of swelling; even that around the knee is modest but it feels a little weird, which is why I mentioned it. I've started with the breathing and light massage indicated by Layla and Crickethip. It's certainly no worse.

Figure I'll keep this new regimen for another week? We'll see. Yesterday was too soon.
 

CricketHip

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It's good that you are doing the breathing and elevation, keeping the swelling down is also helping to ease your inflammation in that leg.. I love the Legs up wall pose, too.
Sorry ODIC is calling your name, we've all done it, right? I think waiting another week is a good thing and maybe in a few days you can try some weaning off of the drugs and see if doing one at a time is helpful?
Overall, you are sounding good! yay!
 

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Hi Cst... so good to read your update and learn you are going slow and doing well. You are very tuned into your body and listening to its cues. Noticing the start of the ODIC and modifying your behavior is wise. We are eager to do more and time will allow!

Your posts are written almost like a lesson plan and full of good hints. Thank you. I ordered and received hiking poles on your suggestion and will try them soon. Our sidewalks have been wet with rain and I've been cautious about outdoor walks. Dry today so will give it a go with a crutch as I attended the ODIC yesterday ( in my kitchen with an ambitious meal plan!) and body says go SLOW today!

Best to you as you enjoy the beautiful California weather and your new hip!

Carita
 
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cstinchcomb

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Hi @Carita, so glad that my play by play is useful to you. We all recover in our unique ways. One thing I will say -- the poles provide a *lot* less support than the crutches or walker (at least in my experience). I've had to shorten my walks by a factor of two, and re-start some level of pain meds.

That being said, I think/hope you will love them as soon as your body is ready for them. I use 'em on hilly hikes even after I didn't "need" them anymore; go further, faster, for me it saves my knees on long hikes (my knees are really fine), expecially with the downhill part.

I kill myself in the kitchen every time the ambitious part of me gets hold of the agenda. So I am limiting myself to one semi ambitious dish per dinner. If I make a vegetable that takes time, I leave the accompanying protein for a different day, eaten with the leftover veg ... I love leftovers, myself, it's like free food. Did I read that right? You made PIE?!?! yum, I'll be right over ... and yes, that falls into the ambitious category.

So ... to catch up here: I decided that I wanted to prioritize walking unsupported in the house and with the poles when I go out. In order to do this, I need to take pain meds (not a lot but some), and shorten the walks. If I wasn't so damn sick of the crutches ... IDK if this is the correct approach, but I am pretty much pain free with the current activity/drug regimen.

Best to all, :walking:
 

Carita

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Great food prep hints! I was way too ambitious that day. Your idea of one time intensive item is a good one. We also love leftovers. My hubby is always glad to eat my cooking even several days in a row.

So good to hear you are walking well unaided in the house! I understand that you may need more strength to use poles vs crutches and require some pain management. Considering the "work" done to bone and muscle it's impressive we are up and moving as well as we do post op.

My PT also encourages shorter walks with careful proper gait. She's quick to tell me when my goals are too lofty for this stage of healing. Patience!

With support,
Carita
 
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cstinchcomb

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I hope everyone is getting to enjoy Midsommar, as my friend living in Sweden puts it. Things are good here, hip is healing up with time. Now on Day 24.

Considering the "work" done to bone and muscle
Anything that involves power tools is going to take a while ... :heehee:.

I've been steadily decreasing the drugs (during the day especially) and yesterday was my first daytime with Tylenol only. Yippee! This went along well and I am hoping that this time I can continue. I am still trying to take one of the Tylenols about every 3 or 4 hours, not wanting to wait for pain. And I am icing after walks and doing Legs Up Wall in the bed when I feel the need. . I am taking one Oxy 5mg overnight but did not get up in the middle of the night to take anything else. I sleep so well with these so I might continue for a little while longer. I'm not worried about addiction, actually -- but I really do need my brain back.

I was curious about walk lengths so I logged into MapMyRide (haven't used it for a while) and put in my little walks, which I am continuing to do a couple or maybe three times a day with the hiking poles. To my surprise, the 'shorter' ones are now 8/10 mile, and the longer one (only done this once) is 1 mile! Next time I will try to time them; I think that they are still around 15 min or so each. Over the last 10 days I've just been increasing them (with the poles) a little bit each time. Still in my flat neighborhood. After walks, usually I ice for a half hour or so, mostly on the back of my pelvis instead of on the incision. And I still ice up at night, even if it's only one time.

I've also been doing some situps and started to experiment a little with the hospital PT exercises. My quad is recovering! I can now bend my op leg to 90 degrees while standing on the other. And I can stand on my op leg and stretch my other quad, it's really quite happy :flwrysmile:about that. I'm doing these in front of the kitchen island for safety but did not need to hold on to the counter. I am also stretching my calves on our slant board, that is seriously great.

One more thing, for all of us recovering hippies. If you've had your walking shoes for a while and were using them before your surgery then it might be time for a new pair. I have not replaced mine yet but I probably should and I am continuing to be super mindful of gait when I am walking. Maybe I'll wear my trail shoes today, since I really didn't wear those for quite a while before my surgery so they should be OK.

It's about time for me to look into scheduling my 8 weeks of onsite PT. So if any other local folks would like to recommend their excellent PT I am all ears. I liked the therapist I met on video, but always like recommendations -- and she has only had early morning appointments which are just not going to work for me.

Thinking about this recovery (the Take it Easy plan) vs the last recovery (the Go For It plan) ... I have had almost no bruising, just a little around the knee which has now dissipated. First time through my entire leg was bruised. Of course, different surgery, different surgeon, different blood thinner protocol afterwards, but still. And my quad is far further along now than it was first time through, maybe I've annoyed it less.

:walking: :ice: :walking: :ice: ...
 
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