Energy drain for THRs


Nurse Director
Jun 8, 2007
The North
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Someone recently said something that gave me this idea to demonstrate what post-op hippies are always experiencing: we called it an energy drain also known as fatigue or acute tiredness. All perfect descriptions! And I thought of these illustrations demonstrating how much of your body's energy is directed towards healing and recovery in the first three months.

How I've done it is to have two images of the same body.

On the left is the needy 'child' body with areas of damage and trauma indicated.
On the right is the giving 'parent' body which you should view as a kind of thermometer gauge indicating the amounts and intensity of energy being sapped by the child body for its healing and recovery.

The deeper or brighter the colours, the more intense the amount of energy being drained.
The coloured areas in the centre or core of either body also represent the tendency to experience fatigue after only mild or moderate activity.

And remember, this is for just ONE hip - for both hips done at the same time, please read the next post!

Some Transactional Analysis factoids:
Just as a baby will take from its mother regardless of her health and well being, so will this 'child' body drain energy from the 'parent' body. This is the reason why, when a person wants to be up and get going on things, they very quickly run out of stamina and end up feeling totally fatigued and washed out! This 'child' body takes no enemies! It will take what it needs when it needs it and you better get used to accommodating its need to suckle else you'll find yourself regretting it big time! :wink1:
Here are some facts regarding bilateral THRs

During a bilateral anything you get
1. double the length of anaesthetic
this is significant because the stress on heart, lungs and body generally from being sedated and receiving amounts of drugs for the period of time involved can be problematic. A healthy person should be able to cope but even so, it will still leave the body with more recovery to cope with in the immediate and long term​

2. double the amount of surgical 'assault'
and thus double the amount of repair, healing and recovery. This impact is significant as you can see from the Energy Drain chart​

3. double the blood loss
whilst this is true, most hip replacements have minimal blood loss anyway. But whilst a certain blood loss for one surgery may be easily tolerated by the body, double that loss at one go will also have an impact on the Energy Drain​

4. double the demand on your body for healing and recovery
as said in items 1, 2 and 3.​

I would therefore advise that, since people are frequently totally unprepared for the impact of surgery on their bodies and their general stamina from one replacement, it's often the case that recovery from a bilateral is much more of an uphill struggle. This is okay if you are mentally and psychologically prepared but can be extremely distressing and frustrating if you are not.

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