THR Gel packs

Poodle3

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Hi all,
I’ve been pouring over this sight since I discovered that I need a left thr. My right thr was done in 2011 and was pretty straight forward recovery. This time I’m alone but am arranging for help. Sounds like there are a lot of advancements since 2011.
I can get a shower transfer bench, elevated toilet seat and walker on loan from my local senior center.
I want to order some gel packs on Amazon. Any recommendations for size?
I know I’ll have more questions so will end my first post here.
Trying to stay busy so I don’t think too much about it and get myself more nervous!
Thanks
 

CricketHip

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I found that larger ice packs were more helpful because they kept colder for a longer period of time.

Here's one that I used and it has been great, I used this for my surgery 3 years ago and it's still going strong.

I also had smaller packs to use while it was in the freezer, it was perfect for icing during the nights.

Here's some great articles for you to read, it may help to refresh your memory about the recovery since it's been a while since your last THR.
***
If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Layla

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I want to order some gel packs on Amazon. Any recommendations for size?
I agree with CricketHip. Go big, or go home, lol.

I received a ice pack from my surgery site that contained two connected pockets, sewn down the middle with Velcro closures at the top of each pocket for easy removal. The pockets held larger than average size ice packs. I could open it to ice a large area or fold it in half and use it for probably twice the amount of time one of the smaller ice packs would stay cold.

Just noticed that your surgery date will be my five year anniversary, which I might add has flown by!
@wander03 and @skigirl are close in age to you and they’re scheduled for the same day as you. It may be fun to follow their threads as the three of you will be healing together in real time.

Wishes for your comfort as you wait out these next few weeks.
 
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Poodle3

Poodle3

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Thank you both!
I have made the decision to board two of my dogs for the first week. I’ll keep my 16.5 year old at home. She’s so very easy. And I’m keeping my 6 month old home. She is very mellow and respects my space.
So my question is, do you think a week is sufficient or should I be looking at longer? I want to have some time to get my sea Legs so to speak. I have a fenced backyard.
thanks
 

wander03

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@Poodle3 I noticed right away that our left THR is on the same day, as is @skigirl, as @Layla said. As you can see, I had a right THR on 3/23/22. Both are anterior. The recovery from the right replacement was quite smooth. I had been sailing along, probably still under the influence of the pain meds I was given while in my overnight stay at the hospital, so I was unprepared for having more pain and swelling on the third, fourth, and fifth days. But now I know to expect that possibility this time. After the first week, I do not recall being uncomfortable at all.

I’m sure there have been a lot of advancements since 2011. If my experience is typical, I don’t think you need to be nervous. And you will note I am four years older than you. :)

Here is the link for the ice packs I ordered from Amazon.

I ordered the 11 x 14.5 inch (2 pack). They are very similar to those in the post by @CricketHip, but are a bit less expensive per pad for two. I wrap each pad in a light-weight kitchen dish towel before using to prevent an ice burn. I received an gel pack holder from the hospital that contained two connected pockets, sewn down the middle with Velcro closures at the top of each pocket for easy removal, as described by @Layla. I was given four gel packs so two could be in the freezer while I was using two. Each pad is smaller than the ones I ordered from Amazon, and there is an area between the two pockets that is fabric and flexible. My original intent was to order more refills for the holder I received from the hospital, but I decided I would like the larger packs, particularly since I had four packs for the holder. I used the larger gel packs almost exclusively.

I have a grabber that I ordered from Amazon. It is very useful for retrieving things from the floor. I still use it every day. My physical therapist gave me a sock assist (for use in pulling on socks), a leg lifter, and a dressing stick. It was nice to not have to pay for them. I also have a walker and canes, which I used after I didn’t need the walker.

I did not push myself to do physical activities, such as cleaning the house and standing up for long periods of time, until my hip had time to recover. I think that those things can wait until after recovery.

As suggested by another person on the forum, I purchased a Pride lift chair. The one I purchased reclines to almost flat, and I sleep in it. The extension for the legs, the back, the head area, and the lumbar support all operate separately. I think it has made my recovery more comfortable. Unfortunately, Medicare only pays around $300 for some mechanical part of the chair.

I look forward to following your recovery as we travel the road together.
 
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Poodle3

Poodle3

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June 27th is a big day for quite a few of us!
The lift chair sounds great but a little out of my budget. I may be able to borrow a recliner.
I live in a small house (big yard) with no room for extra furniture beyond recovery.
My husband was alive for my first replacement so flying solo this time. Glad to have found this group.
 

hhhooray

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Hi Poodle3, I went with the Magic Gel hip pack I found on Amazon and it worked perfect for me. Was real easy to place and stayed in place real well.

Good luck on your surgery.
 

skigirl

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bronze
I ordered a few gel packs from Amazon as well. I know that I am different on this, but i hate ice. i think I used those gel packs for about a week or two. I had almost no swelling, so hated putting the ice on me--it is so cold!!!

I use forearm crutches instead of a walker--hate the image and the bulk of walkers. I used the crutches off and on for about two weeks or so. I have a grabber which I have mainly used to pick up the stuff that deciduaous trees shed in the summer!! I fill trash cans with sticks and so love the reacher for that. Have never used it for anything else since I could bend down and touch my toes right after surgery. Doc told me it was okay to bend down to put on socks and underwear so have done that without any equipment.

I am also alone for the surgery. I am leaving the day of, my daughter is picking me up from hospital, I will use Lyft to get there since it is really early. I live alone and walk up 14 steps to my bedroom. Had no trouble doing that after the left hip, so assume i will do it with right hip replacement. I always sleep in my bed---do not have or want any sort of recliner chair.

For this surgery, I have do have an option---I made one of the downstairs rooms a guest room and did buy a bed for that room. I suppose I could use that if I wanted, but hate to use another set of sheets and then I would have to remake the bed too! Ugh. I have to carry the laundry downstairs to the basement and don't want to do any more of that than I have to do.

I stayed in bed alot the first day or so, I think---I really cannot remember, but I did walk outside every day. I did pay some teenaged neighbors for a month to walk my dogs for me. I now only have one dog and she is very gentle. But, I will pay the girls again to walk her for a month. We usually walk a mile or two and I know I will not be able to walk that far for a few weeks at least. I like having her around otherwise.

I spent a lot of time in a rocking chair, watching tv the first time. I watched a year's worth of Project Runway during the first week before I became sick of sitting. By the second week, I could go out to a restaurant for meals and to book club, that sort of thing.

I know that i will have some difficulty driving since this is the right hip, my doc told me that it would be two or three weeks before I would feel comfortable driving. So, I will use Lyft at first. I took a few tramadol last time, but basically I took Tylenol and Aleve for the pain. Mostly it was an annoying stiffness. I have scheduled some appts with a massage therapist to take care of the scar. My left scar is still sometimes stiff and I hate the feeling.

My right hip is not that painful but my back is starting to hurt so I am thinking that some of that is the stiff right hip. Off with its head!!!
 

Lynne54

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I boarded my cat for five days, but unfortunately I ended up staying in hospital for five days and had to extend the boarding. Fortunately the cattery was able to accommodate an extension. Hopefully you won't need to do this, but it might be worth checking with the kennels if there is a need. I too live on my own, and I appreciated the small extension I had to make, although I did miss my cat.

I bought my ice packs on Amazon, and also from a local chemist. Amazon were the best priced. Good luck with your surgery.
 
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Poodle3

Poodle3

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Thank you. I did check with the kennel and they can accommodate an extension.
You understand how precious our animals are, especially living alone. Or as my vet said to me pointing at my dogs, you don’t live alone!
 
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Poodle3

Poodle3

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well, my surgeon cancelled surgeries for June 27th so now I’m working on rescheduling either 2 days later or July 11th.
meanwhile, got a positive MRSA result. I’m a carrier. I‘m trying to find out my risk level for infection after decolonization and how it compares to risk level if not a MRSA carrier. Msg into my surgeon.
any input from you all would be welcomed.
trying to stay calm about this!
 

Jaycey

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@Poodle3 We all carry MRSA so it's not unusual to have a positive result. Staff will work with you to keep any risk very low. Please don't worry.

I hope you get that date fixed very soon!
 

Jaycey

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Yup - Dr Google is totally off the list for a source of information. Stick with us here. You will get real information from members who have already been through this journey.
 

wander03

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@Poodle3 i hope you will be able to get your surgery rescheduled in the near future. Having to postpone mine would be a big disappointment, so I empathize with you. I look forward to your letting us know your new date.
 
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