hairdresser needing answers

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new member
Apr 14, 2008
United States
I'm a 52 yr old hairdresser, with an active in-home business. Although my husband is the bigger bread winner, I'm hoping to get back to work asap.
Is five weeks from surgery unrealistic, to be standing and cutting again?
I've enjoyed reading some of the posts. Most are optimistic and reassuring.
I've had quite a few surgeries, but all were necessary. This is the first one than I am calling the shots on when-to-do. This one I'm more afraid of, and I don't know why. My quality of life has worsened, my limp is bad, my hip is locking up quite often, but my surgeon says, "wait as long as you can". It makes you wonder how bad you have to be, before you say it's time. I'm praying alot about it....hope I find the answers. My surgery has been scheduled for June 3rd. Any more words of wisdom out there?
Welcome to the forum Cutter. If you have read some of the other threads you will notice everyone is different. There are no really hard and fast rules. Patti went back at 5 weeks I believe, she still has problems with swelling and pain after a full day at work, she is 14 weeks PO, I believe she sits for most of her work. I am sure some of the others will be here soon. I work from home at my computer and can pretty much take a nap as I like. I still need these at almost 14 weeks. Stamina is a big issue, we all find it a struggle to keep going.

Perhaps if you get back into hairdressing gradually, say a few appointments a day you will be OK. Good luck June 3rd. Keep posting.

OOOOPS!!!! Just realised you are a hip patient, I was talking knee. Hope all goes well in June. Sorry I can't be any help to you, Sure Jo might be able to. Sue
Thanks for answering, Sue.
I woke up this morning, and couldn't wait to see if anyone responded to my post.
I've been reading alot of these posts, and I get encouraged by some and frightened by others. I've ALWAYS been a head-strong independent. I guess my worst fear is, 1) being under a stranger's control in the operating room, and 2) having to be dependent on others through the recup time (I'm more of a care-giver, than a care-receiver). I know...I know...I need to let it happen.
My husband and kids are terrific, but everyone's got their own stuff going on, ya know? I talked to another beautician, who was 7 wks out PO and she said she had to move her mom in with her for 2 weeks.
I've had thyroid surgery, broken collar bone surgery, hysterectomy, carpal tunnel surgery....this THP seems L-O-N-G going and problematic.
I also have a back fusion problem. I have not been able to sleep on my back for years. I'm a side sleeper, and according to what I'm reading, is going to be impossible to do. I'm seven weeks from my surgery date. I'd like to be confident about things before I do this. Maybe that's asking way too much, huh? Cutter
hi cutter, I'm a knee folk also like nursepair and Jamie, not hip, but I want you to know that all your questions and fears are normal and OK. And somehow, it all works out, You'll adjust, deal and if nothing else, get over it. Best to you and your new hip. Jennifer
Hey Cutter,

I had surgery on Feb. 13 (the anterior approach) where they go in from the front and do not cut any muscles. I am 59 yrs. old and I could walk without a cane by week 3 and 3 days. Not long walks but across the room walks. I did rehab every day (twice a day most days) and recovery has been a roller coaster with good days and bad days as far as mobility. Pain was never an issue. I only had 2 pain pills after surgery. I am a dance teacher (ballet, tap, jazz, etc.) and I went back to the studio at 6 weeks. I was using a cane and not dancing but on my feet for several hours. At 8 weeks I started teaching dance again but not full time. I am not at my old speed yet and I still have a slight limp but dancing never the less. I do better when I am up and moving. Sitting makes me stiff and takes me longer to warm up. Everyone heals differently so it would be hard to predict when you can work again. This is major surgery and fatigue is a problem for awhile. I would suggest you go back to work part time for a few hours at a time (maybe at 6 weeks). I really recommend this anterior approach because there is almost no pain and no restrictions afterwards. There is a website that tells which doctors do it and can help you find a surgeon in your area. I was scheduled for the traditional approach and canceled after talking with a surgeon who does this approach. I am so thankful I went this route. Don't be afraid of the surgery. It is over before you know it and you will walk better almost immediately. I walked with a walker right after returning from the recovery room. Good Luck!
Thanks so much for the info beachlover. I found the website, but it's not in my area. I WILL discuss it with my doctor. God bless you in your healing...sounds like you're doing fantastic!!
Hi Cutter,

I have a somewhat similar situation to yours. I was 53 yrs with an in home boarding/grooming business. So I do doggie hair :). However, most of my grooms take at least an hour, often more, depending on dog. I also have to get some good size dogs into a tub, bath and blow dry as well as whatever clipping.

I had simultaneous bilateral THR the end of May '05. I purposely scheduled my surgery for when my college son (Animal Science major) was home from school and able to cover my business. However, with his help, I was back to working at least a few dogs a week and the boarding kennel daily by 4 weeks. By the time he had to go back to school the end of August I was completely back on my own.

However, there is no way to know how each person will recover. Every surgery, patient, surgeon is different. A lot of how quickly you recover will depend a lot on your physical condition before surgery and how hard you work at your rehab. The skill of your surgeon, more than the type, is of utmost importance. Just for the record, I had posterior MIS, no muscles cut, outstanding surgeon. Home in 2 days, and often forgetting to use my crutches going room to room after 4 days home. This is not the norm, but shows what is possible.

I had 2 months lead time for my surgery. I was already in very good physical condition, but at that point I backed off my cardio workouts and concentrated on doing strength training. I went into surgery as lean and strong as I had ever been in my life and I know that made a HUGE difference in how fast I recovered. I truly believe that any little bit of strength training you can do pre surgery will help big time. However, you can expect the first week to be pretty darn tough, you will be sore and exhausted. The lovely drugs they give you take care of the surgical pain and you will be just delighted that the hip pain is just plain gone, but you will need at lot of help, so make sure your DH is firmly on board.

I am almost 3 yrs post now. For the most part, unless I am on one of the hip boards, I hardly ever even think about my hips. Getting my new hips was the best thing I ever did for myself. If I had to do it over, the only thing I would change would be to not wait so long. I spent a good portion of 3 yrs trying every alternative in the book to relive the pain in my hips. It sounds to me like you are ready. Think positive and get strong. New hips are wonderful!!

Hey Cutter,

In reply to your email, if you have a Y membership, this is a great time to use it! If you have access to a pool, that can be a wonderful way to workout without causing any more wear or pain in your hips. You can 'pool run' with a belt for cardio and fat burning and you can do lots of water resistance exercise to strengthen muscles. I would also take advantage of free weights if available. Is there a trainer there? Whatever you can do, really take the time and effort now, more than ever.

I did total body strength training since I knew I would want strong leg muscles for recovery after I healed, needed strong upper body to cover while my legs were out of commision and you always need a strong core.

Since your legs are pretty strong, work more on your upper body and core. I too have arthritis just about top to bottom. My back is a mess with spondololythisis in L4-5. Keeping a strong core is vital to keeping back pain at check. However, before my hip surgery it was a toss up amoung my surgeons which surgery to do first, back or hips. Thankfully hips won out and my back improved greatly after the hips surgery. At this point I have no need to even think about back surgery although there are times I still get that nasty sciatic zing. But is easily managable.

As far as when did I KNOW I needed my hips done? was actually when I found the surgeon that won my and my DH's complete trust and confindence told me both hips would need to be replaced within the year. He was the 3rd OS I had seen. I had spent 3 yrs trying alternatives from acupuncture to cortisone injections in back and hips. This surgeon took one look at my MRI's and gave us his opinion. At first I was in huge shock and scared. but once we accepted the inevitable, we both took a very postive outlook that this would be the right thing to do and I was going to do it the best I could. I have a wonderful, supportive DH who is also my training partner so he was a huge asset. My surgeon does more than 360 THR/yr with an outstanding reputation, listens and talks to us like humans and on top of that, he is a real Dr McDreamie, just an extra perk. There are 2 major hospitals closer to us than the one he is at, but it was well worth the little extra travel. I think a postive mental outlook is so very important, I can't explain it, but I truly believe in a mind/body connection. Your customers will thank you in the long run too!

Hi again Andrea,
It was your success that inspired me to finally schedule.:)
Any way I have seen a number of posts that talk about people having to relearn how to walk. Is this a problem also when you have simultaneous Bi laterals done? Just curious. My right is worse than my left so I have a more restricted range on the right but I assume when I come out with shinny new hips the only issue would be maybe some ligament/muscle shorting to re stretch and deal with? Does that make sense?

Hi Donna,

For me, with 2 bad hips, I had developed a terrible gait to compensate for the pain. I realized it when I would walk by a long panel of windows or mirrors, but could not really change it cause it hurt. I had walked and run like that for years so it was ingrained muscle memory. After my surgery even with no pain, my body wanted to move the same way it always did. My surgeon did do a little straightening out of my hips as my arthritis and bad hips were cause by congenital antiversion, so I did move differently. That caused my back and knees to get angry.

Luckily, I had been working for some time with a great PT who I went back to post surgery. I had read an article in Runners World about a new method of gait training and asked him what he thought about using that for me. Turns out, he had been doing some training with that method and thought it may be great to straighten my gait out. The gait training method was developed to improve a runners gait, but the basics are the same for walking. It worked wonders for me. I was video taped walking on a treadmill at the start of the program. My feet looked like eggbeaters and my hips were held way back. Very short choppy strides. After a month, my stride was long, straight, smooth and flowing, my core is straight, my hips centered and they swing freely along with my arms and shoulders. Knees and back were much happier.

Any how, the long aswer is YES, it is a BIG issue even with bilats. YOu will first need to heal, then there will be plenty of stretching and strengthening, but it is well worth finding an experienced PT who can really bring you along. See if this link gets you to the article. Then maybe you can find someone near you that uses it.,7120,s6-238-267--8163-1-1X2X3-4,00.html

Thanx Andrea,
I printed the article out and will bring it into my PT. I have only been doing the "Penguin" walk for about a year, not years, so hopefully I will not have too much to do. We shall see.;)

Best wishes,
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