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THR Finished one week

Michael1000

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Good Morning
Sorry it took me a while to post recovery. I was so anxious and although everything went well surgery day it did not immediately eliminate the anxiety. I very much appreciate everyone's kindness to me.

I was surprised how well things went and although I came home alone, it has not been bad. I only had one PT appointment the day I left the hospital. There were no exercises and no home PT. She told me to just build up walking. She did not tell me how much to walk or how fast to build up. I ask a lot of questions but I sensed she was getting tired of them and I was medicated so I did not get any specific information. I had a friend tell me that someone she knew built up to about a mile of walking in three weeks. Any comments on this will be helpful.

I came off the Oxi medication after the first day and was taking a NSAID (Naproxen) and Acetaminophen about three times a day. The past three days I have only been taken the naproxen. My biggest issue is a pain the lower back. The hip does not seem to hurt at all although sometimes when I first sit down my thigh will hurt some. I assume this would be normal (?).....after all it has only been a week.

The pain in my back is just beside what I believe is referred to as the sacrum. It is on the side of the new hip.

I have some issues with sleeping. I cannot sleep on my back due to breathing issues so I sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs. I am thinking now that my bed is too soft and causing the back issues through the night. It is difficult not to change positions and there is a point after 4 - 5 hours of sleeping that I have to get up, lay on my back for a while with my feet elevated just to relax the back (I have to try to stay awake while doing this) and then I go back to my side for some additional sleep. I would like to try sleeping on the side of the operation (just so I can roll over during the night), and although the nurse said that is fine, I think it might be painful and I am afraid to aggravate it.

My other issues are swelling and black and blue. No one in the hospital ever mentioned about the black and blue, which became quite extensive on the third day or so, but fortunately, again, thanks to this wonderful forum, I see that it is not that unusual. I have since mentioned it to my Doctor over the phone, and although he did not see the extensiveness of it, he did say it was unavoidable.
Sorry for this long story. I appreciate any comments and I am so thankful to have found you all.
Michael
 

Pink Peony

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Welcome Michael, and congrats on your new hip!

I must say, I read and still continue to read a lot of people's recovery thread (especially those who had surgery the same time frame as I did) to help gauge my activity level.

Relative to your question about walking - overall I took it very slowly. One key thing I have learned from this forum, is not rushing the activity, and giving our bodies a chance to heal. When I first went outside for a brief walk (I think it was week #2), it was a block or two (and with my home PT alongside me). My key focus was on trying to focus on getting rid of the limp I had developed, and focused on form. I gradually extended a few blocks every couple of days, but again, my main focus was how I was walking, not how far. I think around week 3 or 4, I started with trekking poles (recommended by another forum member), and this allowed me to start walking further.
 
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Michael1000

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Thank you; I think I will follow the pattern that you did. Just reading your response made me realize that I was focusing immediately on the distance and maybe forgetting at times about walking with back straight and getting rid of the limp. The surgeon did a great job because my leg lengths are equal (maybe so minuscule off that it isn't consciously noticeable) and although I don't think I am walking with a limp, I can see where I favored the other leg for so long that I will watch that as I walk today. I notice also that I am holding on so tight to the walker :) .....the Dr. said I can put full weight on the leg but I am not sure I am. Thanks again......
 

Celle

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Hello @Michael1000 - and :welome: to recovery.

Please will you tell us the full date of your hip replacement and which hip it is, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

It sounds as if you're doing very well.

Ther is no set amount by which you should increase your walking. Just make sure you do it gradually and don't try to rush things. At first, just walking around your house is a good start. Gradually increase the time or the distance every few days, judging that by how your hip reacts. If you have no additional pain or swelling after a walk, you can assume that you didn't walk too far.
If you have more pain or swelling, cut back a little and don't increase for a few more days.

I had knee replacements and I used to time my walks - 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back at first, increasing each way by a minute every few days.

Here are our recovery guidelines, with lots of useful and helpful articles:
Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
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:
rest
ice
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

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Michael1000

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Thank you for the information. It was on the Right and my date was July 31st.
 

Celle

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Wow, that was fast!
Thank you for your surgery date.
 

Celle

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I've done your signature and added your name to the July Sparklers surgery thread. There, you'll see the names of other people who had surgery in July, so you'll know who are your recovery buddies.
 

Eman85

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I might have missed it but I didn't see you mention using ice. Ice is the trick for swelling bruising and pain. I don't sleep on my back for the same reasons as you and struggled with it at first but it wasn't long before I could do the pillow between my legs and roll. I have back problems and have a piece of plywood under the mattress to firm it up. In my case if I roll past being on my side it makes my back hurt more. I use a pillow between my legs even now as it keeps me from rolling too far and helps my back.
One week is very early to be concerned with how far you walked and as mentioned it's more about form. I would have to stop and slow myself and start over so I would concentrate on proper walking.
 

leejaa

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Congratulations on your new hip and doing so well at home alone. Icing and elevation is very important in getting the swelling down and that will make lots of things better. I iced pretty much non stop unless I was walking. I even took a small cooler upstairs to bed with me once I slept in my bed and would change out ice packs any time I woke up.

Sleeping on the back is difficult for many of us. I actually slept in the recliner for the first 1-2 weeks because it was easier and I did not disturb my husband when I had trouble sleeping. I could get up and wander around or watch mindless TV. Napping is also vital to healing especially if your sleep is not great. I found that when I rolled on my operated side I could not stay there for long but it sure felt good to try a different position even if only for a few minutes. All temporary things that improve as you heal.

Yes, please concentrate on proper gait heel/toe heel/toe and not worry about distance. If you had been limping, waddling or other strange way of walking before surgery to take the pressure off the bad hip it takes a bit for our brains and bodies to relearn to walk properly. I actually talked out loud heel/toe for a while as a reminder. Also, do not worry about getting a long stride right away as it might be easier with a shorter step but the longer normal stride does come back as you heal.

I hope you have a peaceful night.
 
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Michael1000

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Thank you. There is nothing more effective than talking to people who are experiencing the same thing so this forum is most helpful. I have not iced much. Just curious about actual experiences....do you put the ice directly on the hip area. I looked it up and my back is aching I believe at the SI joint. Maybe that is where I should ice. I know not to put the ice directly on the skin, especially near the wound, but I did have elbow bursites/tendonitis and the PT told me to ice directly with ice but keep it moving and only do it for five minutes at the time. They have these ice cups that you can make the ice and then the bottom pulls out. But I also have an ice pack with a cloth cover and I suspect thats what you two used (Leeja and Eman).
 

Jaycey

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@Michael1000 use ice anywhere you have pain or swelling. Wrap any icepack with a thin towel or cloth to avoid freezer burn. Ice for 45-60 minutes several times per day.

There are more details in the articles Celle left for you (above).
 

leejaa

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I guess you could say I am lucky as I have multiple ice packs with covers (12) handed out by my hospital with each joint replacement and as you can see I have had 4. Never go to waste though since they are nice for packing lunches or drinks for picnics. Enjoy your icing anywhere it hurts or you can always try heating pad on your SI joint and ice on your hip and see what works best for you. My lower back liked heat but the hip definitely ice only. Have a good day.
 
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Michael1000

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I have to remind myself that it has only been 10 days. Maybe it is normal for it to get a little worse before it gets better. (?) I came off the medication (oxi) the day I came home and have only been taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen (sorry if I am repeating) but maybe the oxi is in your system for a while. I was also taking both the ibuprofen and acetaminophen very regularly and then I started taking less acetaminophen...which also might be the problem but I feel the pain has gotten a little worse. Not the joint itself, just the surrounding pain. Mostly the lower back and occasionally the thigh. It is definitely worse at night and first thing in the morning (ugh!!) but I suppose that would be expected. (?) since the surrounding muscles are so affected.

I avoid bending over, of course, but just sitting up completely straight is painful in the morning before the ibuprofen kicks in and moving around some. Getting out of bed in the night, leaning on my left (THR on right) and then having to pull up using the right muscles, moves the pain from 1 to 10 ....fortunately just for the moment the movement is taking place. I do remember when the PT brought me over to practice getting in and out of the car, the same thing happened so it might be using one of the muscles that has been cut or stretched or something.

I noticed some little red marks right above my sacrum but I believe it is just skin marks from the nerve block. (Unfortunately when I am anxious every little thing plays on me.) .......... I have some ice packs and might get more today (Amazon) but I realize from reading the links from above and hearing directly from you guys that the icing is more important than I might have thought and I am going to become more diligent about it. Thank you. I so much appreciate your time.
 

leejaa

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Icing should help but you might want to go back to a regular schedule of medications at this early stage of your recovery. You might want to try using a belt or dog leash to move your operated leg over and then supporting it down. You put the middle of the belt on the bottom of your foot and hold both ends in one hand and just give your leg an assist moving. My hospital provided a strap and I found it helped. A belt can be adapted or a dog leash. I used it getting in and out of bed and also getting in and out of the car to lessen the discomfort. After a while it is not needed but it helped in the early stages.
1597085151768.png
 

Layla

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Hello @Michael1000
Icing not only helps with pain, but swelling also. Elevation is useful too, toes above nose. Try some dedicated icing and by that we suggest 45-60 minutes, each time you ice, several times per day. Target 4x, but you can ice more also. Always make sure there is fabric between the ice source and your skin.

If you’re under medicated, it’s still early days, it may keep you less mobile which can create more swelling / stiffness. It is a balancing act of sorts. You mentioned PT. Not sure if you’re currently involved, but if you are you may want to step away from it for a month and use walking only as your therapy. In case you weren’t able to make it through the Recovery Guidelines here is a reminder of the BIG TIP -

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.

PT will be there at a later date, if you need them. I’d also suggest you read the Activity Progression for THR from the Recovery Guidelines. I referred to it often in the early weeks using it as a guide to stay active enough, without overdoing it.

Best of luck...stay in touch! :wave:
@Michael1000
 

Elf1

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:wave: @Michael1000, welcome to the forum, you've come to the right place and congrats on the new hip! My fellow hippies have given you some fantastic advice so I won't repeat it.

A lot of us found sleeping on our backs to be quite the pain for various reasons. Something you might want to try for when you're on your back is either prop up a bunch of pillows so you're not totally flat, may help with breathing. I also got a wedge type pillow that I used, even propped my other pillows on it as well.

Sorry, tried to attach a picture of the one I had but it wouldn't take. You can Google wedge pillow and you'll see different options, think mine was from Wal-Mart.
 
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Michael1000

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I don't want to obnoxiously repeat myself but I am so grateful and appreciative as to how helpful everyone has been. Most recently, Leejaa, Layla and Elf1. I am taking your suggestions for sure.
(1).The idea about using the belt is great. It also eased so much anxiety when I realized that someone else obviously had the same issue. ......
(2) I am not doing PT right now but I feel more comfortable knowing that it might be best without it anyway...I will definitely use the Activity Progression guide.....and
(3) I think I will get one of those wedge pillows. Looking at them online I think they lift your whole back up and I did notice that in the hospital bed it was a little easier to sleep with the bed up (which does the same thing...not just lifts your head up but your back elevated to some degree also)....I did still awaken a couple of times I think with apnea but not as much or as severe. Thank you again to everyone.
 

zauberflöte

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@Michael1000 everything you've mentioned seems to me "within normal limits"! I wore ice 24/7 for a month, and used it liberally after that too. It is nature's pain killer! I have quite a collection of Rite Aid and CVS generic small gel packs. Love them for anything, and as a bonus you can make them into little heating pads once thawed.

My first recovery was slower than the second, possibly because my dropped BP made me so tired. My walking schedule outside the house didn't start until the end of the first week. It was broiling hot and humid which didn't help the fatigue. First two days I walked one house in each direction. Gradually added more walks/day of same length, and then started adding one house per day. At three weeks I was probably doing 3/4 block and home, a few times/day. Second recovery was easier for whatever reason, I felt stronger all round, and was not such a nervous nellie because after all I'd already gotten through one recovery! I had to be able to comfortably walk a steep gravel driveway down to get to the road, and then a steep hill. Once I felt comfortable with the uncertain footing of the large-size gravel, I began walking the hills. Slowly!

You will do very well!
 
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Michael1000

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Thank you , Chris.

I have been reading some of the Recovery Area Posts. I am only in the second week. I discussed some of this yesterday but would those a little ahead of me agree that it might get a little worse before it gets better?

Last night I had a repeat experience. I got up in the night and evidently the way I got out of bed or the way I was sleeping, caused excruciating and almost frightening pain. I could barely stand. However, once I got back in bed and got relaxed the pain went away so I am assuming it was just a muscle / tendon etc. reaction. I had posterior and only 11 days ago. I just don't remember this happening last week. (A belt to help move the leg was suggested but I didn't have it last night and the more I thought about it, the movement that brings it on is - moving forward...in other words pulling my back up to get out of the bed.)

The mornings are also rough until I get the ibuprofen and acetaminophen in. I only took the oxi for the first day. I was thinking that maybe I should ask the Doctor for the tramadol prescription instead....which is lighter and then I could use it for first thing in the morning ..........or might some of you suggest just bearing through it. Also, if some could share how much ibuprofen they take...just curious? Thank you everyone.
 

leejaa

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I would definitely suggest contacting your doctor for medication and not just bearing through it. Pain is counter productive to a good recovery. Also ask your physician either the surgeon or primary care regarding ibuprofen. We are all different and have different medical histories so what is appropriate for one person may not be good for another.
 

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