BoneSmart® Hip / Knee Replacement Forum
Joint Replacement Patient Advocacy
and Online Community
  1. RATE YOUR SURGEON ON OUR NEW JOINT SURGEON LOCATOR

    Your opinion matters so please click on this announcement to find out how to rate the surgeons you have worked with

    You could also go to the Surgeon Locator via the blue nav bar at the top - find the tab "Surgeon Locator"

    Dismiss Notice

[THR] Diary of my journey to happy times

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Klassy, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Newstart70

    Newstart70 junior member

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2018
    Age:
    70
    Messages:
    56
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Chilliwack, B.C.
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    @Klassy I love reading your posts. This forum is the best prescription for success, both mentally and physically.
    The stairs , especially going up, was scary at first with alternate feet.
    Ps...my niece gave me a tip with ginger...freeze it. It is easy to peel with a potato peeler when frozen, and easy to grate when frozen.
    Have a wonderful day and week!!
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Thanks for that tip @Newstart70 . I learn some surprising things on this forum!

    Day 124 ( yesterday) I went to London for a day of advanced ringing training. @Cathippy you are quite right, there is a move to get ringing recognised as a sport, mainly with the aim of broadening its appeal to new recruits. Traditionally recruits came from the Anglican Church congregations, and with churchgoing on the decline that is not sustainable. And although there are strongly Christian ringers for whom it is all about summoning the faithful to prayer, most of us ring as a hobby. Yesterday’s session certainly bore similarities to a boot camp, with lots of exhortations to drive our bells dynamically. I was utterly exhausted by the end, but pleased with improvement in my ringing, and no ill effects afterwards.

    I took my crutch for the journey, its first outing in weeks. I am not sure I needed it, but it was nice for security in getting off trains and buses. Plus the side benefit of skipping the queue for the ladies to use the disabled loo.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Day 125: On Sunday mornings we ring at two towers, both of which have a spiral staircase of about 50 steep uneven stone steps. At the first, I found I was going up alternating feet without even thinking about it. Very pleased. At the end, I ventured to alternate going down, and achieved that too. Hurray! That tower does have a very serviceable handrail, made of rope strung down the wall, which helped.

    At the second tower, I set out again to climb with alternating feet. This tower has no handrail, and by the 30th step I felt a twinge in my left kneecap, so returned to toddler style. I also came down toddler style. I don’t want to push it, I feel quite happy with the way it is coming along, as you say @Cathippy it just happens when we are ready. Getting there!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    I find it shocking your legs and hips can handle those stairs at all ~ I just can't even imagine!
    Making Ringing a sport would be great. From my point of view, it is a sport based on all those stairs and upper body workout already. However, the exposure would be wonderful. I have only just learned about it from you and I am quite sure many people don't have clue how the bells ring (perhaps even more so in North America - I think you have more respect for your history than we do and of course it goes further back). So some exposure to the talent and hobby would be wonderful.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Day 126: It was a Max (borrowed doggy) walking day. Got up with the alarm (7.30, we’re not talking crack of dawn here. Have I mentioned that I am lazy?) and thought, am I mad? But once out there walking by the river, sun shining, birds singing, M’s tail wagging, at a time when I would otherwise be reading the paper over breakfast, I thought, yes, this was the plan.

    My good mood even survived picking up 3 separate sloppy poo piles. (Sorry if anyone is reading this over dinner). Can dog owners give me any tips for when I have my own dog, is there a diet that produces nice firm output?

    In the afternoon I walked to my old workplace. H came too, to keep me company. I wanted to test how well I was walking now. Door to door it is 1.2 miles, all up hill, and I used to walk it 5 days a week without giving it a thought, in 20 minutes. I could do it in 17 minutes if I was late ( see above re me and alarm clocks). Then I went part time and did it less often, then I retired and did it not at all. Then I went to have lunch with a former colleague and found what was easy had become difficult and painful. I had to pause half way, and even twice on the way home. I blamed myself for becoming unfit, but the more I struggled to exercise, the worse I got, until I finally realised the problem was OA and a new hip or two was the only solution.

    So the walk today was an important measuring stick.

    I noticed that the hill got steeper sooner, and my left knee twinged a little, but nothing like the hip pain pre op, and I didn’t need to stop part way. I felt good when I reached the destination after 26 minutes, no pain once I stopped, but tired and needing a good rest, not as if I was fit to march up two flights to my old office to start a day’s work. So conclusion is, much better than pre op, but not back to where I was a few years ago. Good news is that the right hip was fine, and obviously only 4 months out there is plenty of scope for the left leg to improve.

    We had a coffee in a cafe near the office so I could sit and rest before returning home. Going downhill was harder, left knee was grumbling a lot and I had to zigzag the steepest section to take the strain off. It took me 31 minutes. I don’t know what it used to take, since I only had to watch the clock on the way to work, not coming home, but it was probably less than 20 minutes. My knee had sharp pain up to about 4, my hip had a slight aching burning feeling round the incision area, barely a pain but lately the hip area hasn’t hurt at all.

    Anyway, mission accomplished. I have a benchmark to improve on, plus I know that I can arrange to meet ex colleagues for lunch sometime.

    With Max’s outing as well, today had quite a lot of walking, although my 2 phone apps are divided about whether it was 12000 or 15000 steps. Whichever, I’m resting with ice.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. bickypeg

    bickypeg graduate

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2018
    Age:
    70
    Messages:
    558
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Church towers! Buses! Trains! Long walks! Climbing hills! Both jealous and exhausted reading about it! But congratulations!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  7. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    I agree with Hoppy! What a feat though - it must feel incredibly rewarding and I bet you are as proud as punch! :egypdance:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  8. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    It is good, isn't it? I hope that doesn't sound smug. But it would be easy just to think, oh, my knee hurts a bit and forget why. Writing it down here I see how far I have come, and I am amazed myself! Bless the inventors of the THR and their brave pioneer patients.

    Here comes a long post.

    I’ve been summarising my recovery at 10 day intervals. I’ll put the full record here, so that if I want to find it , it is all in one place. Now I’m at 126 days it is getting harder to identify changes to catalogue, it is more a case of doing the same but more easily. I may go to once a month from here on, I’ll see how it goes.

    Day 6: lay in bed recovering from the previous day spent in A&E after a fall due to fainting. Constipated and uncomfortable, but relieved to be in one piece and not in great pain. Walking, only to next room in the house, with 2 crutches.

    Day 16: very excited to have first outing in car. Felt every bump and turn in the road. Very very cautiously venturing for short walks outside. Sleeping about 5 hours a night. Appetite and digestion good. Still enduring the TED stockings, but off the self-injections. Pain meds 8 paracetamol and 2 codeine, watching the clock for enough time to pass to take next dose, but pain never too bad. Took my first tentative steps with one crutch, indoors, but not feeling secure.

    Day 26: walking (slowly!) for half hour spells indoors with 2 crutches. Able to get around with one crutch so more independent, but still preferring 2 crutches. Tackled stairs for first time. Longer walks outside, hands sore from gripping crutches too much. Pain and insomnia had reduced in previous week but then increased again, possibly through overdoing it or because numbness round incision being replaced by sharp twinges. Pain meds back up from 4 paracetamol daily to 7 paracetamol 1 codeine.

    Day 36: walking (slowly!) for half hour spells outside on 2 crutches on uneven ground. Car trips (as passenger) comfortable and able to get around unfamiliar places. Walking comfortably indoors with one crutch. Taking first steps indoors without aids. Gaining confidence on stairs. No pain meds required for last 3 days.

    Day 46: Suddenly notice that I don’t feel like an invalid any more. Still a cripple, but not a sickly one! Dizzy spells gone at last. I have developed an apricot-sized lump in the incision area.

    Day 56: I have finally made it up the stairs at home. I have recently started to do some housework: tidying, cleaning kitchen counters, laundry. I can walk 20 yards without aids, nervously. Had been off pain meds for about two weeks but have restarted to take paracetamol intermittently and very occasionally codeine to get to sleep.

    Day 66: Walking confidently without aids at home most of the time, still using crutch on first getting up in the morning. Walk outside with one crutch, at 2 mph. Confidently using stairs at home, though not with alternate feet. Can put on socks without using aids. Have made first cautious return to bellringing and gardening. The lump is now about the size of a cherry. Sleep is still not great but can manage about an hour on non operated side. Not much pain but a lot of stiffness, still take pain meds occasionally.

    Day 76 : All walking at home and in the garden is without aids. Walking outside I take one crutch but only use it intermittently. Stairs are still non-alternating but working on it. Can almost but not quite reach my toes - in the race between toenails and flexibility I have conceded that the nails are winning and have made an appointment with a chiropodist (podiatrist) to get them cut. Hobbies getting close to normal. I’ve taken two long car journeys on successive days. I can still find the lump, but I have to search for it - a small divot is actually more noticeable than the lump now. I sleep about half the time on my operated side, which means better nights. I took a few pills in the last week. I still get a lot of stiffness but I think it is lessening.

    Day 86. Can walk outside for .7 miles without aids. Flexibility has improved, though still not as good as on non operated leg. I can go upstairs at home alternating feet, with a lot of help from banister, and I have once gone downstairs on an easy flight of stairs alternating feet. I could probably cut my toenails if I really tried, ironically my podiatrist appointment for this purpose is tomorrow so I haven’t tried. Hobbies normal but for short periods of activity. I’ve driven for about 30 minute trips. Lump is still there but much less tender. I can sleep reasonably well except for the pillow wrangling. I’ve been back on the pills but in the form of cold and flu tablets. (Now I write that I’m wondering if that is why the twinge has gone). Stiffness remains but has improved. Writing this out it doesn’t seem like any major changes, but it does feel like the last 10 days have been a period of huge improvement. I guess it’s doing the same things but doing them easily.

    Day 96: Can walk for 45 minutes without aids, about 2 miles. I leave home without an aid if I know the terrain will be level. Hobbies can be indulged in for longer, I can potter in the garden for a couple of hours and I rang my first post-op quarter peal (45 minutes non stop ringing). The lump has pretty much gone, there is just an area near the incision which is firmer to touch than the good leg and is still numb. Sleeping is bad but due to coughing. Stiffness much the same I think. Stair climbing much the same. Having thought the twinge was gone, it came back as a twang. A rather alarming feeling of something catching or shifting. It has diminished in the last week but is still there. At times I can make it occur by tensing my glutes, and then I can feel it in my hand resting on my thigh as well as inside the leg. I’ve decided to deem it normal healing activity as long as it continues to gradually improve.

    Day 106: Days are whizzing past as much of normal life has resumed. Car journey of 4 hours ( as passenger) can be done with only 1 stop. Milestones of 10,000 steps in a day, 15,000 in a day, and .7 miles at 3 mph have been achieved, also first time sitting on floor, first escalator travelling up. Still using the banister a lot to climb stairs at home, though somewhat improved. Rang a bell up, rang a slightly heavier bell.

    Day 116: already. Where did the last 10 days go? There was a significant milestone in the last 10 days, which was no longer needing a pillow between the legs to sleep. Plus a fair dinkum quarter peal, not an ease-back-into-it one like my first post op ringing. Developed a persistent pain in my left knee by trying to push it to walk down stairs alternating feet. I gave it plenty of rest and ice and it mostly settled down. I think the problem is that the stabilising muscles have grown weak from disuse.

    Day 126: I sleep well on either side and change position without worrying. My hip is really reaching the point where I often forget about it, except when I stand up from sitting or lying and the stiffness is still quite crippling until I have shaken it out. The lump has gone, both thighs feel much the same to touch except that the area over the incision is somewhat numb. Range of motion is now actually better on left hip than “good” hip. (Good hip has OA, but luckily is not hurting yet). Unfortunately the left knee is limiting the distance I can walk. However, as long as I stop at the first twinge, there is no lasting pain. In the last 10 days I have started borrowing a dog to take walking. My crutch had a rare outing to help me with London transport, otherwise I feel very stable and haven’t even thought of using aids for some time. Similarly I can’t remember the last time I took pain meds. I have begun walking downstairs with alternating feet, sometimes it comes easily even on steep stairs, other times I have to abandon it due to knee twinges. I did a 1.2 mile walk uphill in 26 minutes fairly easily, the downhill return, after a rest, was harder, again due to knee, although hip also ached a bit after a long day. The twang in the general area of the incision is still there but mostly I don’t notice it.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    Great report and very encouraging even though mine may be quite different it makes it pretty clear getting my life back is just a few twists & bumps away! :loveshwr:
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. bickypeg

    bickypeg graduate

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2018
    Age:
    70
    Messages:
    558
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Such an interesting and encouraging post! Should be pinned somewhere for all the newbies to see!And a few times I was thinking - Oh how many 7s in whatever number? and thinking oh I did that/couldn't do that at however many weeks it was.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  11. HertsHippy

    HertsHippy member

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    189
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Any normal dog food should be fine - you can consult your local pet shop who can tell you what will be best for your breed and age.

    How quaint - I can almost imagine you reading the Grauniad or maybe I am very wrong and if so I apologise profusley.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    Sometimes it's a bit of trial and error to find what fits their digestion. Max might have gotten into something that made his tummy a little off. You can quite easily train a puppy to go in a certain corner of your yard too. Has to be grass but if you let "things" dry overnight, it is easier to clean up
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  13. Fit4Family

    Fit4Family graduate

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Age:
    58
    Messages:
    730
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United States United States
    Love your summary report @Klassy Very encouraging to read, everyone will have a different time table, but what I find encouraging is the steps back to an active and pain free life. ❤️
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  14. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Yesterday I had a visit to the private hospital physio for advice on my knee pain. I had emailed a question and was pleasantly surprised that she was willing to provide further sessions at no charge, despite my being discharged. She gave me some gentle exercises to strengthen my quads, emphasied that I had to build up slowly, and told me to stop trying to alternate feet going downstairs for at least a week to give the aggravated area a chance to settle down. That’s a turnup isn’t it, a physio who tells you to do less!

    I also asked her about the twang/click/clunk sensation in my hip and was very reassured by the explanation. I’m going to write here what she told me, as best as I can remember, because I know from searching on the forum that other people had this sensation, and future hippies may be searching and come across this post. I was able to make it occur so that she could feel it with her hand on my leg, so she knew what I meant. It is where several of the glute muscles come together to attach to the bone at the greater trochanter, over a bursa which enables them to slide past each other. The muscles are tight because of recovering from disturbance and swelling and then building up strength again, and also the restricted range of motion that was imposed to reduce risk of dislocation. The feeling is unpleasant because the bursa gets irritated. It’s not a sign of anything wrong with the implant, the trochanter is my original bone where it always was and the muscles weren’t cut, they are back in the right place, but they were pushed around to allow for the replacement process so they have become tight. It’s nothing to worry about, but best not to ignore if it causes discomfort because that would indicate the bursa was getting aggravated and that might lead to inflammation, ie bursitis. Now I’m 4 months post op, dislocation danger has passed so I can use full range of motion. She gave me some stretches that should lengthen the muscles and solve problem.

    I have been offered a follow up in 3 weeks, which I appreciate. I’m actually going to do these exercises and stretches!
     
    • Like Like x 5
  15. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    That is reassuring! It will be interesting to see if it settles down. I have a spot just below the hip on my outer thigh that startles me awake. Feels a bit bigger than a golf ball and just suddenly jumps like something is trying to get out. No real pain. We have very interesting bodies!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Day 131... I think... these numbers are getting too big! I have been in the Over Did It Club for a couple of days. My left knee, to the inside and just below kneecap, has been very painful to walk on. Particularly at the point where I first get up from sitting or lying. No pain at rest, so hopefully it’s reversible soft tissue trouble not OA. It was so bad yesterday when we stopped mid car journey I actually tried using my crutch which has been travelling with us unused. That only helped if I transferred more weight to my hand than was comfortable for my hand.

    I was puzzled why the knee was so cross, as I had stopped using it for stairs and I had barely started with the suggested physio exercises for it. Then H pointed out I had done a lot of digging, using left foot to push down on spade. So strictly no digging for now, ice and elevation.

    The knee had recovered enough for me to take Max for his scheduled walk this morning, though I drove there and back to keep the distance to a mile. He was so pleased come out with me on this lovely warm sunny morning it quite outweighed the remaining soreness. But I’m resting now, admiring my garden.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    The digging is very likely the culprit. I saw you post somewhere about Max getting you a little Easter gift :) He must be loving his walks. Like most dog owners, we have to spell W-A-L-K because a certain little lady gets so excited to go out. Dogs are funny little companions. :dogwalk:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Day 134. My left knee continues to hurt. It is sooooo frustrating! I have seedlings to plant out, I just want to get digging, but know I mustn’t. Walking is now the minimum required for normal life, not for pleasure.

    Bell ringing however is no problem, and I have had some good fun ringing lately, so I won’t grumble too much. Also, I have no pain at all while sitting or lying down. It just kicks in when I stand up after sitting. Ice helps a lot. Hip is fine, sleeping is fine.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    1,911
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Country:
    Canada Canada
    Sorry that knee is giving you issues and hope it settles down soon! Nasty side story for most after THR it seems. I am really grateful mine doesn't bother me all the time. I wonder how much one of those hand operated things would work. I think you twist the handle with your hand and the claw on the bottom of the pole will dig a little hole. I think they would be big enough for seedlings.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  20. Klassy

    Klassy senior
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Messages:
    427
    Gender:
    Female
    Country:
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Day 135, feeling sorry for myself. My left knee continues very sore. The right one is grumbling too. Yesterday I did very cautiously excavate some holes for the seedlings and planted them out, I thought without putting any strain on my knees. (Not using the device you mentioned @Carriemay60, though that is something I will look into). My knees obviously thought otherwise. I went for the shortest possible walk yesterday evening, just round to the next street to see what miserable antisocial person was burning rubbish, because the smoke was triggering my asthma and I wanted to know who to hate . (No 27, I hate you). On the way back there is a slight downhill slope and I actually had to walk backwards to reduce the knee pain to a bearable level so I could get home.

    Today I have done nothing but lie on the bed with an ice pack, coughing, and willing my knee to get better. It has been a dull day. H even had to take Max for his promised walk instead of me. I have taken some codeine/paracetamol just to make it bearable to hobble a few steps at intervals.

    I’ve had bouts of knee pain in both knees, worse on the right which is currently good leg, intermittently for over 30 years. I’m not sure if this is a return of that or something hip related. I don’t remember it ever being this bad, but we do tend to forget how bad things are after they get better.

    @carlC posted about his knee pain, also severe at 4 months post THR, and said it might be “theatre-goers knee”, so called because it comes on after sitting for a lengthy period with knees at right angle. That made me wonder if a reason why hippies get knee pain is that during the time of sleeping on our backs we tend to bend our knees up. It may just be me, but I often woke to find myself in that position and with stiff, achy knees. The timing doesn’t fit because I stopped back sleeping about 6 weeks ago. But it may have been one of a number of things that have upset my knee.

    Excessive gardening is probably enough of an explanation.

    I saw a newspaper article that the NHS should prescribe gardening, because it is so good for us. The prescription had better come with a health warning!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2

Share This Page