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Got my new hip

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SheriALS

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I just had a RTHR on Tuesday at noon & was released Wed at 1:30. I had the anterior approach done with spinal anesthesia. It was nice to wake up and not be all groggy. The doc has me on a slow acting Oxycontin and Norco for breakthrough pain. My pain is well managed but having some troubles sleeping. I left my hip problem for so long that it also led to some problems with my back which is contributing to my sleep troubles. Already I can see improvement in range of motion and strength in my leg. I am excited about what is ahead for me.
The pre surgical months, days and hours were very nerve wracking for me (as for all of us) & I have had some emotional times since the surgery but all in all I am very happy that I finally got a diagnosis and the treatment I needed.
Bless you all,
Thanks for those who have gone before and been willing to share their experiences and best wishes to those who will come...you will not regret it!
Sheri

PS. Dr. Phil Downer of Seattle Orthopedic Center did my surgery at Swedish Ballard Hospital & MOST of the staff was awesome!
 

Josephine

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Hello Sheri, and welcome to BoneSmart. You've done well, it seems, and all power to you! I think you'll have seen that almost everyone, hips and knees alike, experience that sleeping problem. It will settle in time.
 

Texas

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Hi Sheri welcome im glad you are done with your surg and hope you have a speedy recovery...Sleep yes it will come in time..........good luck to ya.......)
 

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Sheri, congratulations on your new hip!! Wear it well and enjoy your new life. Hope recovery progresses smoothly for you. Give us updates when you can. As you know so well, your comments mean a lot to those who follow you in surgery.
 

workbill

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Hi Sheri!
I'm one of Dr. Downer's patients too!
I had mine done on April 7, so I'm about 7 months down the road. I have a follow-up in December, but everything's going perfect, so I'm sure it's just a formality.

I had an anterior approach, right hip too. Metal on metal.

I'm still having a surprising amount of numbness on my top of my right quadricept. It's getting better, but nerve damage is slow to heal.

If you're worried about getting the staples out, don't stress! I was literally shocked and pleasantly surprised how EASY it was! The nurse did miss one, but it showed up big time on the follow-up x-ray, and Dr. Downer himself just grabbed the special little tool and slipped the last one out.

Remember that a Laz-E-Boy recliner doesn't get your hip higher than your heart. To get the benefit of "elevation," you need to get your feet AND you hip elevated. A great trick I learned from this board is to have someone put books under the feet of your bed, and that slopes the whole thing. Then you can add pillows under your feet, and you're all set.

Welcome to the club, and post up any questions and/or concerns!
Bill
 
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SheriALS

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Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Bill, I was worried about getting the staples out. They look a little creepy and you do expect it will hurt to remove them. Can you tell me what to expect for my first appt post op? Are they only going to remove the stitches? Or will there be x-rays, or anything else?
I have not been very good about getting myself elevated for that very reason you stated. It is easy to get the leg up but the hip is another story. I will give the books a try.
Is the area of numbness you are talking about just to the right of the incision. Now that my swelling has decreased I notice some sense of numbness there. My knee was numb for a few days.
While I feel better already in a lot of ways I still have considerable pain in my knee. Anyone who experienced knee pain pre-op have any insight into how long it takes before you noticed improvement in the knee post op?
Thanks again
Sheri
 

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Welcome Sherri
congrats on the new hip . it is by far my favorite new part!!! Every week sees so much improvement. I can't comment on the knee as mine was already on it's way to surgery. My other hip got pretty inflammed from being used to much, that sure calmed down though. Hope your knee will as well
judy
 

workbill

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Hi Sheri,
My numbness is to the left of my incision, right smack in the middle of my upper thigh.

The follow up visit (for me, but almost certainly for you too) went like this:

Nurse takes you back to exam room, has you put on baggy shorts.
She then has you stand in front of her while she sits on a stool and pops out the staples, but I swear, if you don't watch you can't even tell which one she's doing!
You go take an x-ray while standing and wearing the shorts.
Dr. Downer checks out the x-ray first, comes and talks to you, then invites you to go look at the x-ray.
You both go back to the exam room, he watches you walk, has you stand and raise your hip as high as you comfortably can. That's about it, he never forces your leg in any direction, and is mainly there to answer any questions, tell you that your incision looks great, tells you that you don't have any restrictions except can't drive while taking narcotics.
He asked me if I wanted any "Gait Training" physical therapy since he knew I am a Tango dancer, but Tango dancing is so different than strolling down the street that I doubt if most therapists would do any good. (I stroll and dance just fine, by the way. Better than most if you ask my partners!)
:)

I drove myself to and from the appointment, and was thrilled what a NON-EVENT it was. Please please don't stress about it!

I did buy a groovy "Dr. House" cane. You'll be off the crutches in no time, but might get a whole 3 weeks use out of a neat cane. Makes a good conversation piece if you leave it out in the living room!

Best of luck!
Bill
 

Josephine

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Actually, don't know where that 'hips higher than' got in here but it's not entirely true. It should be sufficient to have the legs elevated higher than the hips and the flow of blood and fluids will take the swelling down from around the hip with it. Having the rest of your body recumbent will help. Something like this lady's position

ai36.tinypic.com_243ku0w.jpg
 

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1jt@atime

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But what I want to know is how do you get up from the position in the picture above without breaking the 90 degreee rule?
 

Josephine

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Gently slide your legs sideways off the cushion. The leg lifter might come in handy there.
 

1jt@atime

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What I was really thinking was how to get off of something low like a couch. My quads aren't as strong as they could be and I always have to lean forward to stand up and I'm kind of worried about that after my upcoming hip replacement. I guess I'll stay off the couch for 6 weeks.

Sheri, how are you doing today? I was going to ask how you were dealing with the 90 degree rule but I see you had the anterior approach so I'm guessing this isn't an issue.
 

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It would also help if you grip onto something...a high backed chair that is stable! (:)0)
 

Judles

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And THEN pull yourself up gradually and gently! Like everything else...you'll do it a few times and figure out just what works best for YOU! (:)0)
 

loggon

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Low couches seem to be the question for hips and knees. Esp. with knees I am 7 months out and wow some couches are so low it can be a pain. Good luck take it easy it will come.
 

Judles

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That is sooo true, Pat! I've been on some couches that were so low that I may as well been getting off the floor!!!!...OUCH!!!!!(:)0)
 

1jt@atime

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At least with the knees, I didn't have to worry about dislocating anything. I'll probably stick with the Lazy Boy just to be safe. It's a little higher and has two arms to grab onto.
 
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SheriALS

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Karen, thanks for asking how I am doing. I have good moments and bad. I feel like sometimes I could just get up and go for a walk and then after walking to the bathroom, I decide that is enough. This morning I forgot to take my Oxycontin and didn't notice it until this afternoon. I was laying here thinking "I thought this ache was supposed to go away right away" Then I remembered...took it and feel a bit better...and that just reminded me to take the other pile of pills I was supposed to take with dinner.
I go to see my OS tomorrow and I am sure he will say I am doing great but I feel like I should be better than I am. I have read other stories saying the same so I know I am not alone in this. It is hard to just lay around...
My range of motion improvement is already quite amazing. I had gotten to the point where I could not straighten out my bad leg while laying on my back but no problem now. My knee can almost get to my chest. The heel slides the PT gave me to do would have been excruciating for me pre op and now are not too bad. I do understand now the importance of taking pain meds prior to exercise.
I am dealing with sciatica because my pelvis twisted due to my bad gait and I am hoping some of that will start to improve on its own over the next few weeks. I will ask for some PT for gait retraining though.
Slowly but surely is my motto for now. It is just great to be able to read through other people's experiences to know you are doing okay and you are not alone.
Thanks,
Sheri
 

Josephine

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I go to see my OS tomorrow and I am sure he will say I am doing great but I feel like I should be better than I am.
If I had a £1 for every one who's said that on here, by now I'd be a very wealthy lady!

You're 8 days post op and already saying that? My goodness, why do you folk always expect so much of yourselves! Just because you got out of hospital in 2 days does not mean you had minor surgery! You are doing FANTASTICALLY!!
 

1jt@atime

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Sheri, It really does sound like you are doing great. I understand the feelings you are are experiencing with the slow progress of recovery but Jo is right... it does take a lot of time to recover. While I've not had my hip done yet, I have had both knees done. My first knee is 2 years old now and I still find myself needing to exercise more to strengthen the quads.

Do you have someone at home that can make sure you take all your pills on time? It's really easy to forget things like this when your mind is in a fog from the drugs and recovery. My opinion, you really need someone watching out for things like this for at least the first two weeks.

I hope your OS appt went well today.
 
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