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THR Gimpy Gal post op!

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GimpyGal

GimpyGal

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Yesterday was 24 days post op and I had a followup with my surgeon. It was delayed a bit due to having to wait long enough to have my stitches removed that were added when my wound busted open.

So, he was so very pleased with my progress! Key points -

1. Like many of you said, insomnia is a huge issue for many. He suggested Melatonin over Magnesium to start and I had a much better night last night. Might be a fluke, but I'll try it again.

2. It is my right hip but I'm free to drive once my husband gets me to an empty parking lot to see if I'm comfortable slamming on the brakes. I'm shocked. I'm also not sure I'm ready, so will try this sometime next week. I don't want any hesitation lifting my right foot since it hurts when I do. But log leg is gone.

3. Golf. Can chip and putt right now and save the full swings for when I'm comfortable adding them in. He expects me to be doing full rounds of 18 holes long before my next appointment in two months. Take a cart so if I've had too much I don't have to walk in! Start with nine holes. Stop if the pain level rises - all practical advice.

4. Made it clear what medical procedures need premeditating for and the earliest I should schedule them. I'm looking at a dental implant and a couple of small skin biopsies but not until the 3 month mark. Nice to have that spelled out for me.

5. Disagrees I need continuing PT even though the at home PT says everyone needs it. I would prefer to wait until our extremely high Covid numbers are reduced, at the very least. Can call for a Rx if and when I make the final decision which he says is totally my call.

6. I can finally shower! Came home with that ability but the stitches brought that to a halt. Still no submersion for two more months! This bath worshipper will probably be whining about that restriction before long.

7. While I don't feel ready to golf or drive quite yet, this was a huge huge dose of confidence in my recovery. My husband and I celebrated by finally getting that CHOCOLATE prescribed by my fellow BoneSmarties! Tonight's treat will be a glass of wine since I'm off all pain killers.
 

leejaa

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Wonderful report. You are on your way to reclaiming your life and enjoyments. Wine and chocolate sound like a great way to celebrate. Have a fantastic week end.
 

Elf1

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Very good report, happy for you. I agree about going to an empty parking lot to check your driving reactions, good call. If after checking your reactions and knowing you're good but still a little apprehensive about driving, especially on your own, that's ok. If you don't quite have the confidence to do something then hold off a little and try again another day.
 

Mojo333

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Great report....just listen to your body when resuming any of your normal activities and you will keep any setbacks at bay.
There can be ups and downs in this recovery...but it sounds like you are well on the way!!!!
 
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GimpyGal

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So, today is basically a month out from surgery. Doing well but a tad surprised I'm still uncomfortable. Pain level is fairly low (doesn't exceed a 'two' for the most part) but there. I am doing more around the house and am up to maybe a 3/4 mile walk daily, so all I can do is be careful not to overdue and give it time.

I've run into one weird thing I've never seen mentioned here. My wound (the surface skin, that is) has healed nicely. When I left the hospital I had no external stitches, only tape. The wound opened at one point and was taped shut again in that one spot. Then reopened again so three stitches were placed there and have since been removed. Skin is fully healed - no scabs, no flaky skin, just 'scar'.

But, at the bottom of the incision towards my knee (the stitches were closer to the hip) I can feel (can't see it) the cut edge of what feels like fishing line barely poking out of the incision. There's no redness or soreness and it's not poking out but a very small fraction of an inch, but it's there. Is this an internal stitch poking out that will eventually dissolve on its own? Is it something I can ignore or would my surgeon want to know? It's really the strangest thing - kind of like the end of one of those clear plastic tags that attach a cardboard price tag to a new piece of clothing. The plastic that you cut off, but it has a thinner diameter.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?

On a good note, I'm driving with no issues already. Even practiced slamming on the brakes since it's my right hip and it's uncomfortable but not bad enough that I'd hesitate to do it. Next step is golf which I do not have the desire to try quite yet. Giving that a week more and will reevaluate.
 

Mojo333

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I had a few and they did resolve in there own.
I was asking on my recovery thread and our now Nurse Emeritus had this explanation for me...
Mojo333 said:
Guess they used mostly some kind of surgical mesh/ glue, but there's a few sutures as I can feel then strategically placed. Namely at the very top where one is sticking out and knotted. I can feel the others are under the skin. The ones at the top are really bothering me now. Looks like it is puckering the skin as it is closing up.
I think what you have is a subcuticular stitch like this. Sometimes the surgeon fixes it with a knot at each end if it's nylon which needs to be removed. The nurse just snips the knot off one end and draws it out! Or if it's dissolvable, the knot will be buried under the skin and it's left to melt away on it's own.


subcutic drawing-horz.jpg



But sometimes they don't and the end of the suture peeps out and has to be dealt with by the surgeon, the PA or a nurse but using sterile scissors, not your embroidery ones!
 

Layla

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Happy One Month Anniversary!
How time flies. Get that pesky little issue cleaned up by your surgeons care team and you’ll be on your way. :walking:
All the best as you continue the journey.
@GimpyGal
 

CricketHip

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Hello! I've enjoyed reading your recovery thread. You faced each obstacle with a good attitude and that is half the battle in itself!
That little stitch is probably nothing, but if you are like me, you will fuss at it and about it and I'd sure want it looked at and addressed.
Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
One Month! You will be so pleased at you progress into the second month, seems to me that things smoothed out easier in month 2 and even more so in month 3.

Keep up the good work and attitude!
 
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GimpyGal

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I love BoneSmart! I went to bed wondering what to do and wake up with the opinion I should at least run this past my surgeon. I'll call him today. His office is very responsive. In fact, the surgeon told me his staff will not allow him to leave until every question that came in during the day was answered. And they don't leave until they've returned all the calls that came in during the day.

Nice to see our Josephine dropping by with a past response. Her presence remains even in retirement.
 
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GimpyGal

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Needing reassurance from my BoneSmarties today. As a point of reference, I'm 5 1/2 weeks out from surgery, been released from home health care and PT, and my surgeon says I'm doing absolutely great. But as I approach the 6 week mark (that designates RECOVERY!) I'm still struggling, even though I know 6 weeks is not a magical flipping of the switch. Also, recovery on my knees took more time than for the average patient, so why should this be any different?

Current problems -

My right knee (which is a replacement) feels like it's been tweaked, although I don't remember twisting it. It's giving me more problems than the right hip at the moment. I know my body could just be adjusting and it's fall out from that, but am I fooling myself? I've picked up the cane again, using compression during the day, am icing the knee as well as the hip, elevating, and cutting back on the time I'm on my feet. It's the 5th or 6th day this has been an issue.

Same can be said of my lower back. Even have some sciatica since the back and knee started acting up. All normal stuff at this stage of recovery? I shouldn't have Googled 'sciatica after hip replacement.'

I've not only cut back on my walking outings but also my PT. I feel it could be aggravating things and if cutting back doesn't help at this stage of the game I don't feel it hurts, either. My PT told me whatever walking I do around the house doesn't 'count' and I need to keep increasing my walking outside, but I disagree. If I put two miles in as measured by my watch just around the house, that has to count for something. It may not build stamina but it should count!

I cancelled the little golf trial (minimal golf, mostly socializing) I'd planned this week thinking uneven ground might not be the best idea since new aches and pains have shown up. But then I think I'm approaching six weeks and 'should' be resuming more activities.

Sleep is still elusive and that isn't helping my attitude after nearly six weeks. Started Magnesium last night. Also Melatonin. And, my PT suggested I try adding heat at this point in recovery, just to see if it brings relief between icing. It helps a bit or at least feels comforting.

Should I be worried about these additional aches and pains? Should I be doing more, instead of less? Am I just taking the easy way out by dialing back? I really have not seen any improvement and maybe even backsliding, in the last 2 weeks.
 

Pumpkln

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But as I approach the 6 week mark (that designates RECOVERY!)
At 6 weeks you are still very very early in this year long+ recovery, guessing whoever told you that has never had a joint replacement, that would include your surgeon and PT.

Dial your activity back and give your poor hip a chance to recover. YES, the walking you do inside your home counts.

Should I be worried about these additional aches and pains?
The aches and pains you are having are normal, again you are very early in recovery.

Should I be doing more, instead of less?
Your hip is telling you with increased aches and pain that you are doing too much too soon, and need to slow down.
I really have not seen any improvement and maybe even backsliding, in the last 2 weeks.
Welcome to a normal recovery, ups and downs are your reality.
 
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GimpyGal

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Thanks, @Pumpkln. I expected someone would drop by and say exactly what you have. I just needed to HEAR it.

And my comment about 6 weeks meaning recovery!!! was totally tongue in check. It just feels like it's some magical milestone!
 

Mojo333

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My PT told me whatever walking I do around the house doesn't 'count' and I need to keep increasing my walking outside, but I disagree. If I put two miles in as measured by my watch just around the house, that has to count for something. It may not build stamina but it should count!
Bull feathers to your PT.:nah:

Actually walking on flat even surfaces is likely to ward off some further aches and pains.
I just had to remind myself often -
Tightness is a normal occurrence after this kind of major surgery. Your surgeon did major carpentry work and disturbed every millimeter of soft tissue in this area. You aren't tight because your muscle is underused and needs to be stretched and rehabbed. You're tight because your tissue is healing... If a long full step right now is causing pain and limping, don't take long full steps. Take smaller steps. Take a short walk several times a day, instead of longer walks. Use your cane. Use ice. Rest a lot.

This isn't the time to do anything to excess. Baby steps now, and lots of patience, pays off big time later. Recovering from self-induced tendinitis can end up taking weeks or months. Consider yourself as still recovering from surgery and structure your return to your life as a slow, gradual process where you introduce very small increments in activity, and then give yourself time to see how you react to it.
All temporary, and worth the patience. I am certainly glad I am able to get back to a full happy life.
Trust you instincts and listen to your body.
You've got this...all temporary.
 

Pumpkln

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GimpyGal,
Sounds like you are doing just fine with your recovery, just need more of the elusive patience while your hip heals.
 

EllieRose

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Well, once again, I’m right there with you! Not as patient with this healing as I was with knees. So either what you’re experiencing is normal, or we’re both abnormal! . One day, we will look back on this and wonder why we thought it was so difficult...,I hope. Hang in there!!!
 

leejaa

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One day, we will look back on this and wonder why we thought it was so difficult...,
Yes, you will. Patience now and slow and steady will get you there. Still early in the recovery journey but so worth it in the end. I hope your day is peaceful.
 

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