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Having bilateral hip replacement

Ski Gal

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Hi. I am new to this site. I am 58 yoa and I am in the process of getting scheduled for bilateral hip replacement. My hips are shot due to arthritis. I will have the anterior method. It sounds like I will get on the schedule sometime in June. I am so grateful that this is an option!(vs the old way). Still, pretty nervous about having both at the same time. I've done a lot of reading about pre-op, the surgery and post-op. I'm wondering if anyone out there has had both hips at once and do you have any advice or tricks that worked for you after you were home? Was there anything that you did not anticipate? I live alone, but will have either a friend or sister stay with me for the first 10-14 days.
Thanks in advance!
 

djklaugh

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@Ski Gal Welcome to BoneSmart :welome: You've come to the best place to get support and great information about joint replacements. YES there are quite a few of us here who have had bilateral hip replacements -- mine are 7.5 years old and I am VERY glad I did it that way :yes!: One of our lovely, helpful admins will be along shortly to give you some suggestions for reading here. You can also go over to the recovery side and look for green bilateral tags - click on any such tag and you'll get a list of all the bilateral threads. Feel free to read any/all! Link to my threads in my signature though it is old and has not been updated in quite a while.

It's good you are going to have some one stay with you for a while after surgery - I had my cousin with me for about 10 days and that worked well. I did manage just fine once she left. Be sure to ask your surgeon if there will be hip precautions after surgery (those usually only apply for 6-8 weeks - some surgeons do insist on them, others do not).

Prepare before surgery - stock up on comfort food, easy to fix meals, snacks, etc. Get grabbers as you will probably not be able to (hip precautions) or want to (stiffness and incision pain) bend over for a while. Practice getting into bed and car by lifting both legs at the same time -- I did that a lot before surgery as it hurt less than doing one at a time and it really helped afterwards.

If you have the space and resources it might be helpful to rent a hospital bed for a while - I rented one for about 3n months and it was great! Made it super easy to elevate legs, get into and out of bed, and was not too expensive (about $75/month as I recall). Or get a reclining chair if you do not already have one - though ones you have to close the foot rest by shutting with your legs would not be a good idea! Get one with either electric controls or a lever on the side to open/close it.

The first time you stand after BTHR will be a revelation!!! Arthritis pain is gone :yes!: BUT hips and legs will probably feel like each weighs about 100lbs and are made of concrete -- aka "log legs". Don't worry - this sensation goes away fairly quickly. Hospital staff will make sure you can manage most routine activities before you go home - including climbing stairs, getting into and out of car, getting dressed, managing hygiene, etc. AND they will make sure your pain management routine is working properly. These days most folks only stay in hospital for a day or 2 - though some stay a bit longer.

Best of luck to you with your upcoming BTHR :loveshwr:
 

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@Ski Gal welcome to the group and if you do have surgery in June you'll be part of the June Sunbeams! I'm scheduled to have my right hip done (t) 24 Jun so can't add much about BTHR but we do have plenty of folks that have been in your shows and they'll be along to give you support, answers and whatever else you may need. This is a great place with lots of great answers, ideas, suggestions and again, support!
:meow:
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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Thank you for all the information! I read about getting a reacher and a friend told me about a sock donner from amazon that helps you put on TED hose. I DID NOT know about the feeling of "log legs" - I'm glad to be aware of that ahead of time. Did you have to keep your legs somewhat elevated when you slept? I get very nauseated from pain pills, so I'm kind of concerned about that. I've read however, that some people can get away with only taking Aleve. I hope I am one of those people! Thank you again for your kind advice and support <3
 

Mojo333

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:wave: and welcome to the
Both at Once!?! Club
I had BTHR 2 years ago at age 53.
I am sensitive to anything with codeine as it makes me horribly nauseous..so I had an alternative pain killer. I feel some narcotics will be necessary at least for the first few weeks, though I took for longer.
I don't recommend NSAIDS for recovery
Our Nurse director Josephine told me early on in my recovery Tylenol was a better choice.
I am constantly reading confirmations through research that NSAIDS are not a good choice for recovering hip patients.

FYI - an excerpt:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0300060517732697
Postoperative drugs
Painkillers are frequently used by patients with hip osteoarthritis. In our experience, most of these drugs are represented by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are the least safe of painkillers in terms of osseointegration. NSAIDs impair the osseointegration process of titanium implants by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2. This results in decreased levels of prostaglandins, which are important in promoting inflammation and supply of bone-formation cells. Therefore, we suggest choosing acetaminophen (paracetamol) for mild to moderate pain and opioids for severe pain in patients following total hip replacement.
In all honesty, I was kind of hating life for the first week, and then the amazing realization that this was definitely a "Cure" and all temporary ..
And certainly nothing like the bone on bone OA pain I dealt with prior to surgery..came about and I have not regretted it a day since!:tada:
Got my life back:yahoo:
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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@Mojo333 Thanks for the info on NSAIDS. I would not have known that and I want to do everything to ensure positive results. And thanks for being up front about how your first week went. I've heard a lot of people say they have had minimal pain. I would rather expect pain and be pleasantly surprised if it were minimal, verses the other way around!
 

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@Ski Gal
I had my THR 8 weeks ago & only used paracetamol.. it was very effective.
The first week or so is a bit trying... getting comfy in bed or chair... but once that’s over it’s just great... I’m back to normal already & my new hip is amazing..
You must check out @JennyLynne she is recovering from BTHR & is doing amazing after only 4 weeks...
Good luck xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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Thank you Hoppy Nanny! I am not very techie, so I am not sure how exactly to find other people's posts (like JennyLynne) to be able to see how their surgery/recovery went. Kinda embarrassed about that. Do I need to "follow" them?
 
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Ski Gal

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Yes! I am having the anterior approach. Do you know how they are doing yours? I have a slight toothache so I am getting it checked out this Wednesday to make sure it's nothing before I proceed with the BTHR. I really hope it's nothing, because it will delay my surgery by about 8 weeks. It would be tough getting through the next two months as the pain in my hips is just getting worse! If it's a go, my surgery date is June 13. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I hope it goes well for you and you have smooth sailing! Keep me posted when you are feeling up to doing so. Good luck!
 

Mojo333

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:fingersx::fingersx: Double fingers crossed there will be no delay.
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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Well, I finally have a date for surgery - June 13th. I wanted to make sure everything was ok with the dentist and luckily it is. Only minor stuff that I will have done 6 months down the road. So now to psych myself up for the big day. Tomorrow I take a 3 hour pre-op class. Has anyone else had to do this? I imagine it will be good information. I have my sister and a good friend that will help me out when I get home and my brother and daughter will be there for the surgery. My brother is a Physical therapist and my sister is a nurse, so I have bases covered! I'm not gonna lie and say I'm not nervous about this, but everyone here has been over-the-top positive so I'm going with that. I am SO ready to take my life back! I'm a hiker, skier, biker (pedal), and grandma to 6 grandkids that I want to be able to play with again, the way I used to! Does anyone have any issues with not being able to do certain things still? My biggest fear is waking up and finding that the surgery helped with some pain, but it didn't fix everything. Probably normal thoughts, right?
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Ski Gal
Glad all is a go for June 13 so you CAN get your life back.
All sorts of thoughts cycled through my brain for the weeks before my surgery...but the one I held on to was the thought that this WAS going to give me my life back. And it has!:happydance:
All Temporary became my recovery mantra - through the tough first days, and in short order I realized my hip pain was gone and given the proper time..all the post op issues would indeed be all temporary. Some things, like incisions, healing up amazingly quickly...others like muscles, tendons -taking time and patience.
You sound like you are very healthy (other than lousy hips...which was my case, too) and my guess is your biggest challenge will be having to take things slow and easy for the first months and not need to feel the need to jump back into activities too quickly. I was so happy to see how great my new hips felt, I had a hard time figuring out how to be patient in recovery.
This site was certainly an amazing support resource for me and helped allay alot of the concerns I had post op.

I am ever so glad to have had this surgery.:yes:
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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Thanks Mojo333! Yes, I think your right on the having to be patient part. I do tend to try to do "just one more" or "just a little longer", so I will remember your words! My Doc said I will go home the day after surgery - which seems so crazy! What was your biggest challenge? Steps? Sleeping? Riding in a car?
 

Hip4life

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Hello, @Ski Gal. I had RTHR 12 weeks ago today. My biggest challenges were swelling and not being able to sleep. Those were unexpected since that part gets missed in my OS patient handbook and I didn’t find this site until a month post op. Elevation and icing, repeat frequently, I learned here more than info from Ortho staff.
Not sleeping is pretty common for many reasons including not usual sleep positions and just trying to get comfy. Like so many others, I pretty much used my recliner most nights. I eventually asked my OS at 6week check for a sleeping aid. I felt not sleeping (only 2-3 hours of restful) was hindering my recovery and was not taking prescription pain meds at the time. I am NOT saying that everyone should do that because they can have side effects that could outweigh benefits. That’s between you and your OS. It helped me immensely and I was “reset” after a couple of weeks.
I am a big fan of not going home from hospital too soon if you’re not ready. I was approved for 2 nights and so glad I stayed the extra. So was my husband.
At 12 weeks, I still have some stiffness and soreness but minimal. Also normal for a while. But most importantly, NO joint pain from day 1!! I look at it as all good things take time but I’ve gotten my life back and able to do things I couldn’t a year ago. Life is big and full of possibilities. What a blessing. :angel:
 

djklaugh

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@Ski Gal Pre-op classes are now pretty standard for US hospitals that do a lot of joint replacements -- and, as I recall, are informative - mine included info about checking in for surgery, immediate pre-op procedures, post op structure and how things were done at my hospital (meals, PT/OT, etc) plus tips on managing at home.

While each person's journey through BTHR and recovery is different, you most likely will be able to return to your favorite activities .... eventually. Depending on how long you've had dysfunctional hip joints, you may need some PT to get muscles back to proper functionality. The hips them selves don't need much PT - walking is the best exercise! But, just for example, it took me 3 months to get left foot up on to right knee and 7-8 months to get right foot onto left knee! And that was with diligent PT and doing their exercises every day! Though the forward/back motions of walking were quite fine once the "log leg" effects went away. The key is to be very patient with yourself, follow your surgeon's instructions, follow the BoneSmart mantra - Rest, Ice, Elevate, Medications (as directed by your surgeon), and seriously avoid joining the "Over-Did-It" club!!
 
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Ski Gal

Ski Gal

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Thanks for the information everyone! It gives me a little more insight as to what to expect. I've done lots of reading, watched lots of you tube videos, and have gone through the pre-op class so I feel like I know at least a little of what to expect.

I've been exercising all along, although it's mostly been cardio, just to try to stay in shape for this. I think I'm going to find that my quad muscles and hamstrings are a lot weaker than I think. I will do what they suggest to get built up again.

My Doc said nothing for a month other than the few PT exercises they send you home with. Then, he said he really doesn't prescribe PT unless I am not where I want to be in 6 weeks. I guess I'll have to see what 6 weeks brings and what he thinks.

Thanks everyone! and have a great holiday weekend for those of you in the US!
 

Mojo333

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My Doc said I will go home the day after surgery - which seems so crazy! What was your biggest challenge? Steps? Sleeping? Riding in a car?
I came out of recovery into my room around 5 pm and spent two nights...going home early morning.
I was really anxious I was being sent home too early. Not sure I could manage!
With the right pain management, I was able to get much more comfortable at home.
Riding in a car was uncomfortable but not big challenge. Steps tough for a bit, but I have fairly good upper body strength so with handrails could manage in a few weeks...just not easy. Sleeping was :nah:for quite awhile. I napped in recliner ALOT
All resolved with TIME not work.
I think I'm going to find that my quad muscles and hamstrings are a lot weaker than I think.
They will be injured and sore and will want you to baby them, not work on them while they heal. Toning and strengthening can be done much later in the game.
 

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