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[THR] Hip Replacement Rehab Film

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Gmanclimbs, May 9, 2019.

  1. Gmanclimbs

    Gmanclimbs new member
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    Firstly, thanks to all for contributing to such a great resource. This forum has been one of my go-to places both leading up to, and following, my total hip replacement in February this year.

    I've put together a short film detailing my rehab following the procedure which I hope may be helpful to others.

     
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2019
  2. HertsHippy

    HertsHippy member

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    @Gmanclimbs That’s a great and inspiring film. Most will be in awe of your recovery but then most of us are older and not nearly as fit! I thought I did well climbing Scafell Pike (the easiest route) in the rain at 6 months but that seems very modest compared with using ropes within 3. Well done.
     
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  3. SarahBee

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    Congratulations! I couldn't do that when I was young and healthy so very much doubt it's in the cards now. Carry on!
    :hiking:
     
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  4. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for sharing. It's great you came out of the shadows.

    After watching the video of your amazing journey, I'm not sure what we offer here that made it one of your
    go-to places to visit leading up to and following your surgery. You appear to be in great physical condition and I'm sure that was a huge asset going into THR and recovery. While we don't recommend a recovery as aggressive as yours, it obviously worked well for you, but is far from the norm.
    May your new hip serve you well, in health and happiness, for many years to come!
    @Gmanclimbs
     
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  5. Gmanclimbs

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    @HertsHippy Scafell Pike is a long day whichever way you do it. Much tougher than scooting up a 15m route at a climbing wall. I know I wouldn't be up to it just yet so don't undersell your achievement after only 6 months. Glad you liked the video.
     
  6. Gmanclimbs

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  7. Gmanclimbs

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    @Layla Yes, I've been lurking for quite a while now and only signed up today.

    In terms of what's offered on the forums, there's absolutely tons of stuff that was, and is, relevant to me. There were a bunch of threads on practicing Brazilian Jui Jutsu following THR that were particularly interesting.

    The accepted wisdom is that existing physical fitness is extremely beneficial for recovery from THR. The truth of the matter in my case, is that restricted mobility and increased pain over the last couple of years had significantly reduced my capacity to maintain fitness. Hence, the decision to go through with the surgery. Having said that, I accept that we're talking in relative terms here.

    Thanks for your good wishes. Thanks even more so for the work you do in helping maintain this terrific resource.
     
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  8. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    I'm glad to hear that BoneSmart was helpful for you and your video will offer inspiration to many of our members who want to get back to an active lifestyle. Of course, we wouldn't recommend your recovery approach to everyone, but it's obvious it worked for you. I'm going to assume that you practiced a measured approach to your exercises so early in recovery and introduced new activity gradually to ensure that you didn't experience swelling and pain afterwards. That is really the key to a successful recovery regimen.....know your own body, work up slowly and see if each new activity causes any problems. That would be the sign your body is not quite ready yet for that particular activity.

    I think even non-athletic people are heartened to see someone able to come back to active sports as you did. We may not all want to do those things, but it is certainly inspiring to see individuals who, by virtue of joint replacement surgery, are able to reach their goals. Good for you!

    I know that your video ends with a note to "message you," but I'll ask that anyone who wants to correspond or ask questions do so by posting here in your thread so that everyone may read the comments. After all, that's what BoneSmart is all about.....sharing our individual recovery journeys.
     
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  9. alexthecat

    alexthecat MODERATOR Administrator

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    Nice film. Thanks for sharing that and best wishes to you going forward. I hope you'll continue to keep us updated.

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8504F using Tapatalk
     
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  10. LAbabymama

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    This is very inspiring - especially for someone like me who used to love hiking and hopes to get back to it. I do have a couple questions... in the first few weeks were you doing your exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist? Did you push yourself harder than they recommended? And if so, did you experience a lot of pain and swelling after your exercises?
     
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  11. alexthecat

    alexthecat MODERATOR Administrator

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    @LAbabymama my THR has taken me on many hikes, mostly in the western US. If you start slow and listen to your body, I think you'll find that you progress quite rapidly. I started out hiking a trail near my home once a week. Every week, I was able to climb higher and go farther. It was quite encouraging.
     
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  12. orange

    orange junior member

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    Really inspiring video and puts a lot of us to shame, when you did the excercises or went down to one crutch were you in extra pain from over doing it? What about when you started walking unaided did your muscles ache more or stiffen up?
     
  13. Gmanclimbs

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    Dear all. Apologies for not replying sooner. I'm out and about at the moment and want to use a desktop to compose a considered response to the various points raised. I'll post something tomorrow.
     
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  14. Gmanclimbs

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    @LAbabymama Thanks for the questions. I’ll try and give a bit of a breakdown of the various stages of my rehab so far.

    I looked back at my film again after reading the earlier comments on the thread. Perhaps the film does give the impression that I was extremely active virtually from day 1. This was not the case. I had lots of bad days when I could barely get out of bed, particularly when trying to reduce and eventually eliminate my reliance on prescribed pain medication. I thought I was mentally prepared for this but was still surprised how paralysing the post-op blues could be at times.

    What I did do religiously every day though, was force myself to get up, wash, get dressed and go outside for a walk. Initially, I walked to the end of the road and back (about 100 yards). My surgeon told me to be as active as I could comfortably manage, so during the day I never sat for longer than an hour without moving. I’d get out of my chair and walk into the kitchen or go up and down the stairs. Anything really to stay mobile. In reality though, most hours of my days over the first six weeks consisted of sitting in a chair!

    After a few days I started to increase the distance of my morning walk. I walked the same route every day and, using a Fitbit, extended my walk by an extra hundred steps each day. Always returning the same way (combined daily increase of 200 steps). After about six days, I went down to one crutch, and then no crutches after 11 days (much to my wife’s concern). In response to @orange, I don’t think I was in any extra pain when going down to one and then no crutches. I could feel the stabilising muscles were very weak, so just tried to walk slowly and steadily in the belief that this would strengthen everything.

    After 6 weeks, the daily walk had gradually increased to about three miles and was taking an hour or more to complete. When I went back to see the surgeon after 6 weeks, I was told I could start increasing the distance a bit more each day so over the next week I got up to 5 miles. After that, I started doing some easy hiking in the hills local to where I live. I kept everything as lightweight as possible. For instance, I used trainers rather than heavy walking boots, carried minimal equipment, and used two trekking poles for added stability. Over the course of the next two weeks, I felt pretty good and gradually increased the distance to around 10 miles. Getting back into the hills was probably the most enjoyable part of my recovery to date. All the routes I hiked were very familiar to me so there was minimal chance of getting in trouble due to navigational errors. LAbabymama, aside from your hip, I don’t know your current general physical condition but I can’t see why you won’t be able to return to hiking. As @alexthecat says, starting slowly with gradual increases seems to be the key.

    In terms of supervised physiotherapy, I was given three exercises by the hospital. These were all done from a seated position and, although not shown on the film, I did these movements multiple times every day over the course of the first twelve weeks. I still do them, but less often now. The exercises shown in the early stages of the video (lifting knee, leg out to side etc.) were found on YouTube and were not prescribed. I never pushed any of these exercises to the point where I felt any unusual pain, so although @Layla described my recovery as aggressive, it didn’t feel that way to me.

    In terms of other activities shown on the video, the upper body exercises (pull-ups, dips etc) were started after two weeks once my staples had been removed. I’m not sure these had any particular impact on my hip other than perhaps an indirect benefit from general whole body strength and conditioning. I’ve been injured many times over the course of my 52 years and have always tried to train around injured areas. It could be argued that, anecdotally, my experience supports a common hypothesis that training other parts of the body helps speed up the recovery in injured areas. Any thoughts?

    I followed the 90° hip precaution rule very strictly during the initial stages. By the end of week 5, the depth of the squatting movements I was practicing had reached the point where I was starting to break this rule (shown on the video). As squat depth was achieved very gradually over a period of time, the depth reached in the video felt perfectly natural and comfortable.

    At my six week check-up, I was specifically told not to weight train, climb or run until after the full twelve weeks. I adhered fully to this recommendation and have only re-commenced these activities in the last couple of weeks. I was permitted to start swimming after six weeks but not to perform a frog kick until after the twelve week period. Again, I followed this instruction rigorously. When I did resume weight training, this was on machines only. This was something of a novelty for me as I previously trained using heavy barbell squats, deadlifts, cleans etc. Maybe I’ll return to this type of exercise one day, but for now this is out of the question. When I finally got back to doing some easy climbing at the local wall, rediscovering the movements without the pain I’d had previously was an absolute joy!

    @LAbabymama. You asked if I pushed myself harder than was recommended. Possibly the mileage I walked eventually ended up exceeding the initial recommendation but, as detailed above, this was built up very gradually in much the way @Jamie describes. With the strength/mobility exercises, I did what felt right for me. If I’m honest, I probably did do too much occasionally, and would pay for it in terms of tiredness over the next day or so.

    In terms of pain, like everybody else, I had lots of it. This all seemed to be soft tissue related and I never really felt anything that suggested a major issues with the bone/joint. Having said that, hip replacements do really hurt, and a certain acceptance of that fact is necessary I believe. Every two or three days, another area would start hurting and I’d then commence a lengthy internet search, trying to see if this was a normal part of the process. The pains, and particularly the stiffness, gradually reduced over the weeks and months and is virtually non-existent now. I just need to keep working on increasing strength and mobility.

    In conclusion, I really think that a positive mental attitude was very important for my recovery. I am self-employed and found myself staring down the barrel of several months with no income coming into the house. Although I had planned financially for this, my savings were not inexhaustible so there was a massive incentive to recover efficiently to enable a quick return to work. I approached my rehab almost like a project, and tried to keep focussing on the positives during the (many) dark days.

    Lastly, I am delighted that some people have found some inspiration from the film. At the same time, I am also concerned in case it inadvertently encourages somebody to do too much. I would strongly second the recommendations from @Layla and @Jamie in encouraging conservativeness and to build up activity levels gradually.

    Thanks again for the responses.
     
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  15. SurreyGirl

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    Truly inspiring.... I am very interested in your return to scuba diving as it is a passion of mine. I am back to swimming now and building up leg muscles and will be practising with fins shortly. Also doing a lot of climbing up and down pool ladders in order to practise for boat ladders. Have you had any advice re giant strides off boats? I am a bit worried about dislocating! Please do keep posting and sharing information on here. Thanks!
     
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  16. Gmanclimbs

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    @SurreyGirl I did two days of drysuit diving a couple of weeks ago and found the whole experience a vast improvement. I'm now frog kicking and back kicking, both of which are much better (and less painful) than pre-op due to increased range of motion. Note - I use RK3 fins in large size. I didn't do a giant stride in any of these dives but really can't see it being an issue and will not hesitate do do one when required. All the best.
     
  17. SurreyGirl

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    Thanks! I am more of a recreational diver and somewhat older and less fit than you but am really looking forward to sailing and diving again. I impressed myself with my backstroke swimming the other day which was faster than I expected. I don’t think I have kicked properly for years. Let me know how your first giant stride goes :)
     
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  18. Gmanclimbs

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    @SurreyGirl Congrats on the back stroke. Will let you know about the giant stride as and when. You're not that much older than me! Hahaha
     
  19. SurreyGirl

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    Well having seen your video, there is no way I would be climbing. I winced when I saw how you were twisting going up that wall. Mind you the OS said I had to ditch my mx5. Nope! Hubby told me to be patient and wait until I felt confident and so I did. I can get in and out without twisting and am driving fine. The grin I had on my face the first time I was back in it post op probably lit up most of Surrey! The reason I practised squats was to be able to get in and out of it. I was very cautious though.
     
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  20. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @Gmanclimbs thanks very much for posting your background information. It really put everything into perspective. Being fit before surgery does mean recovery can be easier. But all of it is certainly work and effort. Well done for sticking to your "project" and working through what I know can be a dark place (post op blues). Yes, your recovery methods are not for everyone. But your point about staying focused and positive will definitely help many members.
     
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