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THR Had Pre-Op Appointment

JannieC

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I am trying to figure out what kind of help I'm going to need at home after my surgery. I'm pretty independent but I do live alone. Because I'm having an anterior procedure for my hip replacement, my research shows me that I'll be able to bend forward. Am I being naive in thinking that I will be able to do critical, necessary things on my own? As a lifelong equestrian, I've gone through a lot of recoveries from injuries and I've always been okay on my own. I've concentrated in the last year on doing a lot of core strengthening exercises which my physical therapist told me will be very helpful. I hate asking people for help, but I know I'm going to have to arrange for transportation to, and back from the hospital. My preference really is to not have anybody move in with me. I will have people in my barn, morning and night, taking care of horses so I will have people around. Does anyone who has been through this in a similar situation, have any thoughts for me?
 

Mojo333

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Hi @JannieC and welcome to the forum. Good to know your surgery is scheduled and you will be getting on the road to recovery soon.
There have been several members who have recovered at home by themselves and done well.
I'm sure members will be by with their advice and suggestions.

I myself was in the hospital basically only a day and a half after my surgery, and I had my husbands help for the following week. Especially the first days so I could take my pain meds regularly and some of the dizziness and post anaesthesia effects dissipated.

I suppose I could've and would've managed if necessary, but perhaps if you had someone who could help for a day or two until you got settled...
That leg will be traumatized and many of us experience "log leg" for a bit where it requires a bit of help getting into bed. I fashioned a leg lifter with a sheet and grabbers were also an essential recovery aid.
I suggest 2 pair, one to pick up the ones you drop.

Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home

A recliner was one of my recovery buddies...and it was easier to ice and elevate and get up and down on my own. Again, personal choice but I can't imagine my recovery without it.
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery

Other helpful tips...
  • Tape down rug corners and electrical cords and make sure walkways are clear.
  • Place regularly used items at arm-level.
  • Pre-fill any prescriptions you may need after surgery.
  • Pre-Prepare some ready to eat meals and snacks.
  • Begin doing exercises to strengthen your upper body and the leg that is not having surgery. (Good to see you have already been working on this...was very helpful for me to have good upper body strength to get myself situated)

You sound like a very independent sort so it's great you have lots of help with your horses as you will need to give this hip the time it will take to heal so you will be back to a healthy happy life.
 

GrannyC

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Welcome to the forum. I, too, had my husband here to help. I probably could have managed on my own except for getting into and out of bed those first couple of days. I had “log leg” and just could not move that leg on my own for a few days. I guess if I was alone, I could have slept in the recliner for a few days until that cleared up. I’m sure someone will be along who lived alone and made out ok and they can give you some tips. In the meantime you might want to think about your meals and have those ready. You’ll definitely need some type of grabber in case you drop something on the floor and like Mojo said, some people get 2 in case you drop the first one. I’d also suggest writing down when you take your pain meds so you will be able to easily keep track of them. It’s good to take them as scheduled and also easy to forget what time you took the last one. I doubt you’d need someone to move in but it would be good to have someone stop in each day to see if you needed help with anything. I wish you well.
 

KneeHelp

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I had my anterior hip replacement surgery Monday. I'm very independent too. I had very little pain getting into our automobile to come home from the hospital, but did need some help. Using the walker to go to the bathroom was pretty pain free. The up and down movement from bed, chair, toilet is uncomfortable. That's to be expected. I have not tried bending from the waist, but it does seem like it would hurt.

I needed hubby to pickup meds and he made spaghetti sauce last night. I wasn't hungry at dinner. I was able to make noodles by myself later in the evening. I do need help changing the bandage.

My blood pressure is low so I have been depending on hubby to help me monitor. I have the pick up tool and when I dropped my cell phone twice it was too smooth to pick up. If I was by myself I would have my cell in a bag around my neck in case I fell. I do not feel like I could get myself up if I fell.

I don't have 'brain fog' like I did with my TKR, but I'm still a little foggy. I did organize a method to take Percocet on time and get up to move around. Sleep is OK, but I wake up on the half hour. It is difficult to find a good position to sleep.

All of that being said, My surgeon will not release you if you do not have someone to help out for 2 weeks.
 
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JannieC

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GrannyC.. thank you so much for your reply. That gave me a little laugh about getting 2 grabbers because I might drop one. Yes, I do have a recliner type chair that I lived in for a long time after getting kicked in my ribs and the recovery from that. Thinking it through now, I also like the recliner because it's impossible for me to try to roll over on my side. I have to stay on my back. When I'm in my bed now, all night long I keep changing position --waking up and changing position. I'm afraid it's become a habit.

I have a pre-op appointment a week from this Friday with my primary care physician. I'm going to try to get an idea from her about what I will need after surgery in my recovery. The hospital that I'm going to normally has classes for people getting joint replacements, but of course now they're canceled. I think that would have been great to get a lot of my questions answered.
 
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JannieC

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KneeHelp. Excellent point you made about writing down when you take meds. I have to do that now on a daily basis cuz I can't remember whether I've taken my regular supplements. I'm going to be on my first floor with my recliner and a bathroom with one of those wonderful toilets that's a lot higher than the normal ones. I was told to get a walker with wheela.

Something that I haven't seen anywhere on these forums yet is the use of a rebounder in recovery. You can do what is called a health bounce where your feet really don't even leave the equipment as you bounce. I got it because I can exercise and it's very kind to arthritic joints. It's also excellent for lymphatic drainage which can't be a bad thing after hip surgery. Rebounders anyone?
 

Layla

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Hello @JannieC
You may be able to care for yourself as soon as you’re back home, but it would be wise to have someone stay with you for at least a couple days. Once you’re familiar with how you will prep meals, navigate your space safely, take a shower and remember your meds on schedule, you may do well. But, what if you’re feeling foggy due to meds, off balance, or a little dizzy due to low BP? These are common complaints. Temporary, yes, but nonetheless scary while in the midst of it. I’m not sure I would have remembered my meds initially without reminders from my husband. I couldn’t absorb much of anything I read, starting over many times only to give up.
The hospital that I'm going to normally has classes for people getting joint replacements, but of course now they're canceled. I think that would have been great to get a lot of my questions answered.
Keep reading other‘s recovery stories here. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn reading similar accounts from different members over and over again.
Check out the Library if you haven’t already. Lots of interesting articles and beneficial info.

I wish you comfort as you move toward surgery / recovery.
 

GrannyC

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By the time I had my surgery, I had read lots and lots of posts, both pre-op and recovery, here on the forum so I felt I was well prepared. Because of that, I did not go to the classes offered and I was just fine. Please ask any questions you have right her and surely someone can help you. You can also make a list of questions for your dr prior to any dr visit. I’ve heard of those who have had to go to a rehab facility for a couple days prior to going home if they had no one at home to help but I’m sure that varies with different surgeons. It’s just a thought.
 

leejaa

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@JannieC , you sound like someone who can probably handle it all on your own however it is always wise to have a contingency plan or a plan B and plan C for just in case. You might arrange to have someone there for a day/night or two with the understanding that you might not need them of all goes really really well and you are not light headed or foggy. The other thing to remember is you do not necessarily need someone right next to you every minute. With my knee surgeries my husband was gone all day from 630am till about 5pm and I was home alone. I basically did my own thing including showering as I was not that foggy or dizzy at all. PT did come 3x/wk for about an hour for a few weeks but other than that I was supervised by my dog and cat. For my hips he had retired so was around but I kept sending him to do things and away as I am not a person who wants someone there every second even when healthy.
 

Elf1

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:wave: @JannieC and good news on getting a surgery date. Agree with everyone else that it would be nice to have someone at least stopping by for a while the first couple of days, and even better if they stay a day or two. I had a bit of log leg but my problem the first couple days was I just couldn't get myself up and off the bed or out of the chair. Was really strange as I have never had that problem in the past with any surgery to include my back. Luckily it only lasted for maybe two days.

Saw your comment about a rebounder and had to Google to make sure I knew what you were talking about. You're definitely going to want to discuss this with your Surgeon before you get on one. Definitely not in the early stages of recovery, maybe much further out but again, ask your Surgeon.

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.
 

Layla

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Something that I haven't seen anywhere on these forums yet is the use of a rebounder in recovery. You can do what is called a health bounce where your feet really don't even leave the equipment as you bounce. I got it because I can exercise and it's very kind to arthritic joints. It's also excellent for lymphatic drainage which can't be a bad thing after hip surgery. Rebounders anyone?
Scary thought :thud: Obviously you will need a nod from your surgeon before attempting any bouncing on a rebounder as I’m sure you already understand. As far as lymphatic drainage goes, regular elevation should help with that process, but let me also share something we learned from Admin, Jamie -

Our lymph system rids the body of fluid (swelling). So you want to get the fluid to the lymph nodes in your torso area so your body can more quickly process it. The lymph system works rather slowly on it’s own and much more efficiently with the assistance of gravity. The fluid isn’t draining into the hips, but contained with the lymph system and moving to the torso and lymph nodes located there.

You will receive an article on Elevation Do’s and Don’ts with the Recovery Guidelines. If you’d like to read it ahead of time it can be accessed in the BoneSmart Library.
Exactly one month to go...I’m excited for you, you’re going to love the result. :happydance:
 
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JannieC

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Can I change my previous title to the one above
 

Celle

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@JannieC - I have moved your post, above, from the Bugs, Errors, and Techy Questions area and put it in your own thread. We only use the other area for things that might have to involve our technical experts.
If you want something more simple, like changing a thread title, just post the request in your own thread and one of the regular staff will do it for you.

I will change your thread title to "Had Pre-Op Appointment". We already know your surgery is booked for June 8th, but perhaps you would care to post and tell us how your pre-op appointment went?

How do you feel now that surgery is not far away? Were you able to ask any questions? Was there anything you weren't expecting?
 
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JannieC

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Like a lot of hospitals, I guess, UVA schedules classes for hip surgery patients to attend prior to surgery.

Unfortunately this year, Covid caused the cancellation of the classes. In their absence, I was encouraged to call in any questions I had to my surgery coordinator team, but that proved difficult. So today, at my pre-op appointment, I finally got to ask my long list of questions!

I got my special soap to use prior to surgery and also a prescription for some kind of ointment to put in my nose to guard against MRSA. OK, sounds good.

In all my research, I read that anterior hip surgery has less post-op restrictions. I was thrilled to be told that I really have no restrictions. The only thing I can't do is to put my operated leg back behind my body with my toe turned out! I've been stressing out about what to sleep on and I find that I can sleep on anything I want. No positioning of pillows. I don't have to sleep on my back all the time.

My surgeon mentioned that setting up my living space so that I don't have to handle stairs would be a good thing. Done!

My anesthesia choice of Propofol turns out to be what the surgical team likes to use.

On my way home from my appointment I stopped and got a lot of healthy organic frozen food that will be easy and quick to cook. So, I am feeling pretty relieved and less stressed about my upcoming surgery.

The surgeon I'm using comes highly recommended and has done procedures for a number of my friends, so I have a nice level of confidence in his abilities. I think that's really important. I'm going to go tomorrow and pick up my wheeled walker.
 

leejaa

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Sounds like you had a good visit and are ready for surgery and recovery. It always feels good to have questions answered. Being prepared with food is wise and good nutrition does help the body to heal.
 
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JannieC

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I'm really happy to be able to say I'm looking forward to my hip surgery. But based on reading a lot on this forum, I am a little concerned about the fatigue factor that seems to come into play. I'm at the point now where if I just do a little bit of physical labor then I'm really tired and I have to rest and Ice my hip and back. I also might be affected by a course of radiation that I went through last summer, and resultant fatigue from that. So hopefully, I'm not going to be a lot MORE fatigued after surgery-- I guess I just have to keep telling myself it will be temporary and I'll get through it as others have.
 

leejaa

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You will get through this. Sounds like you have gotten through harder things if you had radiation. Yes, it is temporary and will abate just listen to your body and try not to fight it but go with it and get rest and naps whenever they happen. Slow and steady will get you a good recovery. I definitely looked forward to my surgery as I could not do anything without pain and could not even sleep. Your turn is coming up.
 

CricketHip

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Something that I haven't seen anywhere on these forums yet is the use of a rebounder in recovery. You can do what is called a health bounce where your feet really don't even leave the equipment as you bounce. I got it because I can exercise and it's very kind to arthritic joints. It's also excellent for lymphatic drainage which can't be a bad thing after hip surgery. Rebounders anyone?
This is a good question, rebounders are a helpful tool.. I would be very cautious in the first 2-3 weeks at least and would discuss this with both your surgeon and the Phys. Therapy team that will work with you after surgery. You are right about it helping with Lymph Flow but goodness, if you took a fall off of that rebounder or even a misstep? It could be very painful and you sure don't want any setbacks.
I've used rebounders when in PT for other issues and they would put me on one and they had a nice frame around the front end of it for a person to hold onto.. even that would be very helpful.

I have some simple tips to help stimulate your lymphatic system and used the techniques myself as soon as I was awake enough in recovery. I think you might find them helpful for you, and I'll leave them here for you.

****
Take deep breaths.. deep, as in breathing in to a count of 3 or 4, whatever is best for you. hold it for another count of 3-4, then blow out completely, still using the count that's comfortable for you. A series of at least 6 of these could help get your excess swelling to move. To ensure you are taking proper deep breaths, place your hand on your naval and watch while taking in your breath, if doing this properly you should see your hand move up.

Then, as you slowly breath out, to the same count of either 3, 4 or 5 gently press down and slightly upwards with the palm of your hand.
Do this whenever you feel up to it during the day or night. The more supine that you can get in the recliner or bed, the more effective this can be.. you have lymph nodes located in your groin and sitting up too much can cause a restriction of the lymph flow.

You can, after the breathing, place your hands lightly on your upper thigh, right where the crease is in your groin and lightly stroke upwards towards your naval.
I did this quite a bit post op and while it takes a while for the body to wake up and respond, it will and it will help get things moving.
The reason this can help is because our lymphatic system doesn't use our cardiovascular system to help lymph fluids move.. no assistance from the heart pumping. Our breathing and our physical (muscular) movements keep it flowing.


Additionally, here is a great illustration of how to elevate your legs for maximizing the benefits for easing the swelling..
****
Laying with a pillow under your knee is not a good idea. It should be like this, similar but different!





@JannieC I hope this helps and I forgot to add Welcome to the forum!! :flwrysmile: I hope you gather as much helpful information and support as I did for my THR's.
 
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JannieC

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Cricket hip, thanks for responding to my question about the rebounder. Mine actually does have a grab bar for stabilizing. :yahoo:Since it's sitting right here in my living room, I'm sure the physical therapist that comes can address that issue. Leejaa, thanks for your support.
 

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