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[BILATERAL THRs] Husband of a late-August BTHR, looking for support.

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by TangoGunn, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. TangoGunn

    TangoGunn new member
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    As a recap - My wife, Cristina is a 60 year old gym-rat female; 5'0", 124 lbs - who had a simultaneous Bilateral Total Hip Replacement (BTHR), (due to a battle with Osteoarthritis from the past 3-5 years) this past Tuesday, 8/27. Both of her points of entry were from the front (anterior).

    She stayed in the hospital from Tuesday (surgery day) until noon on Friday 8/30, when we brought her home. She did fantastic in the hospital. Complained very very little, in the hospital - The only complication from surgery, is a small vertical bone fracture on her right-side (outside) femur, non load bearing, and above the joint. Doctor says he not concerned - it should heal over time, but no full weight on that leg, for 3-4 weeks. That's more frustrating than anything else, because it's just one more thing we have to focus on, during recovery. Other than that, she's had persistent low blood pressure for as long as I've known her, but Doctors didn't want to give her too much pain meds, with a really low blood pressure. She gets 1 Tramadol as needed, and the rest is Tylenol and a stool softener/laxative.

    In the hospital, she rested on Tuesday, but was at her PT classes (via wheelchair) on Wednesday, walked (via a walker) to her class on Thur and Friday morning (wheelchair'ed it back from class). Did all her exercises in PT and we took a lap around the halls of the hospital, each day - on Thursday, we did a morning and afternoon lap. Friday morning, she walked (via a walker) to and from her PT morning session, before we were released.

    And so home therapy began on 8/31. We're doing 2 rounds of exercises per day, minimum - 3 maximum (hint: we're in no danger of bumping up against the maximum yet). She good about doing her exercises in bed. We haven't done any of the standing exercises yet. We're going to try and tackle those this week. She brushes her teeth every time she uses the bathroom. (a small obsession that makes her feel good from being in bed/chair, all day). She also walks out in the garage with her walker, at least 2 times per day - She's very self-motivated (doesn't need me nagging her), but this morning, she started crying (out of frustration) during her morning walk - I think because she assumes it gets easier each day, and this morning must have felt like a big step backwards. We fought through it, and completed the morning routine. She's in bed now. Anyhow, it reminded me of 2 things - (first) we probably haven't been icing her thighs enough - I only have two pair of large ice pads, and rotating two pair, two at a time, isn't the constant that we probably want, and may be contributing to her difficulty. She seems to have more "power" when she's been iced properly and when she's on a Tramadol and (second) that we have a great group of people in this forum that have already been through this.
     
  2. julesglass

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    Good morning @TangoGunn! It's so good to hear from you two! Sounds like Cristina is doing good getting around. The icing is a must in the healing. Just the pain from the muscles healing is enough add to that the inflammation it can be unbearable. I set up three ice packs before hand and found it wasn't enough to keep up with just one leg. I would suggest having three for each leg to insure one is always ready. I think I would ice for an hour and then half hour off and repeat. Don't let that "gym rat" get out of hand and scurry off doing too much. :heehee: resting the body and as much sleep as one can get these very early days. Plenty of time to get up and moving. Say hello to Cristina :wave:
     
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  3. julesglass

    julesglass graduate

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    Three per leg..... maybe not enough. You'll figure out how many to have two ready at all times.
     
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  4. mainegirl1

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    That gym rat is already training!! Its too early.. I think you need Mojo's graph of recovery.. Its not linear ; its full of loops and tangles..

    Off with you to get a hold of more ice packs. Ice is IMO the best painkiller.

    I think your wife's biggest hurdle is her mindset as she probably always has been competitive and the gym is part of her psyche.. It is healing time now and not training time.. That is later. Patience may be a hard thing for her to learn.

    I noticed you said Tylenol and Tramadol as needed.. Please check with your surgeon for an appropriate dosing schedule and stick to it even if it seems unnecessary. Pain is very hard to deal with once it flares up.

    Watch overdoing that PT..I have a sheet of exercises to do from my OS but they are very basic and take about ten minutes each sesssion.. At the top of each page is a warning not to do them if it hurts. He forbids any other formal PT for six weeks..

    This is NOT NoPain NoGain time.
     
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  5. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member

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    Oh, my! So sorry to hear about your wife’s distress! Be assured these are the rough days and all you can do is elevate, ice (incorporate Zip-lock bags, frozen veggies if you have to) and take what pain meds she is allowed REGULARLY. It is probably VERY distressing for you because all you can do is support her but that is HUGE for her. You can ask my hubby. I remember those first couple of weeks as something to forget and I only had one hip done. There were times when I cried and walked because there was nothing left to do for the frustration and discomfort. After getting on the forum, I realized that I wasn’t icing often enough or long enough or elevating high enough. Getting the pain under control and keeping on top of it was a major hurdle. After doing the above, if pain continues to be an issue, now that you’re a bit post-op, you might want to contact your OS and see if they are willing to have your wife maybe take something more for pain. It never hurts to let them know and see. I’m sure there will be others weighing in here. Just know we can certainly empathize having lived through this and are here to support you. Keep the faith and your terrific support. Keep us posted. :console2: :ice: ❤️
     
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  6. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Welcome to Recovery, Cristina :welome: Congrats on your new hips!

    Early days can be rough, but keep in mind it's only temporary. Ice often for no less than 40-60 minutes, each time you ice. I iced continually if I was sitting or laying down, which in the early days was often.

    I'm sure you've read here by now that no exercises are necessary. At least not at this point. It's a personal choice but many do suffer set-backs sidelining their recovery. Please notice the BIG TIP from the Recovery Guidelines below. All you really need to be doing at this point is taking a 5 minute walk every hour or so. A trip to the bathroom, or to the kitchen to get a snack or drink, usually accomplishes that.

    Post Op Blues are common and often come out of nowhere, but it's usually short lived. There is an article below that may interest you.

    Please consider joining us by posting yourself. While we love hubs and appreciate his devotion to you, we'd love to hear from you, giving you something to to do while sitting / laying around, also affording hubby a break as he concentrates on caring for you. We'd really like to get to know you better.

    I'm sorry you have to follow non weight bearing restrictions for the fracture. Hopefully the 3-4 weeks move more quickly than you're anticipating.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access to these pages on the website

    Pain management and the pain chart
    Healing: how long does it take?
    Chart representation of THR recovery

    Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
    Energy drain for THRs
    Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    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.

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
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  7. TangoGunn

    TangoGunn new member
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    Hello everyone, you are right, it should be me writing, Tom is great and tries to help me as much as possible...as you know already, I made it back home Friday and it has been tough. The pain is there, I am not screaming yet, I wish everything was easier... when I left the hospital, the orthopedic nurse suggested to find a place close to home and take a couple-three PT classes to see what exercises will be most beneficial. As Tom mentioned, I do two sets a day, nothing crazy, most stretching and also I try to walk some at least twice three times a day in connection with the bathroom stops. I am not sure when to remove the bandages, the same nurse said anywhere between 7 to 10 days after the surgery. This is all I have for now... many thanks to all of you for the great advice and support ...Cristina
     
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  8. mainegirl1

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    :welome: Cristina! And you do have a special hubby.. Do you have direct connection with your OS office? They are the ones to advise you re the bandages..

    And the mommy in me says don' t try to tough it out.. Send Tom out for ice gel packs if necessary..

    I am curious if your surgeon sent you home with a list of gentle exercises to do in the early weeks. I got a list along with a timetable as to when to add new ones.. And never to do anything that hurts.

    Don't get us wrong.. We are not about being perpetual couch potatoes but allow healing to start. Rest is a form of healing exercise.. The PT ROM and strengthening comes later. If you watch You Tube videos of THR's you will understand why ( every patient does not want to watch those however).. An injured muscle or tissue cannot strengthen till it is healed and it takes a few weeks..

    My OS (so this applies to me maybe not to you) said no PT for 6 weeks.. At that time I think I will be released to the bike gods and exercise class gods.. I think the reason he said that is there is a tendency for PT's to hold to no pain no gain and cause more distress to you in the long run.. There are still those out there though the thinking seems to be moderating toward "work smarter, not harder"

    Over time recovery will be better but the first two weeks or three are just the pits.. Recovery looks like a tangled ball of yarn . It isn't linear.
     
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  9. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi Cristina, its so nice to hear from you! Welcome to the forum and thanks for officially joining us.
    I'm sorry you're having a rough start. I'm in agreement with (mainegirl1) above in checking with the office of your OS this week about the bandage to be sure you're following your surgeon's instruction and timeline for removal.

    If any of the reps you're engaging in begin causing you discomfort, please stop immediately. It may be beneficial to ice prevantativly after each exercise session also.

    We're here day or night, if you have questions, or you're seeking advice, support or encouragement. If you ever feel the need to vent, you're welcome to do so here. If anyone "gets it" we do.
    A peaceful afternoon to you. Stay in touch!
    @TangoGunn
     
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  10. Debru4

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    Like many on the forum, I was sent home from the hospital with a super simple, super easy set of gentle exercises. I did them, with no ill effects, and once I was able to walk better and get around a bit more, I gradually stopped doing them. I did no PT during my first year, and truly believe it was best for me. Daily activities, lots of walking, and staying busy and moving were all I needed during that space of time to rehab my hip.

    Some people do PT, and have positive experiences. Many people do it and wish they hadn't, as the hip is a whole different breed of cat, and the setbacks they suffer can add weeks, or even months onto their recovery. So be especially careful, and remember that for your hip to recover all movements should be gentle, with no pain. As has been noted, those who are accustomed to structured exercising via gym or classes tend to have a hard time being patient---but it's worth it. It might be better to give yourself a few weeks to ice, rest, and increase your ability to do your daily activities without risking further injury. Just remember that having 2 hips done means you have 2 opportunities to heal well----or to mess one or both up if you overdo.

    One last comment---I was not prepared for the level of pain/discomfort I felt the first 4-5 days. I had issues with pain medications and really struggled, physically and emotionally at first. I was a mess. Around day 5 when I was able to clear all of the heavy duty meds out of my system and transition to acetaminophen/occasional Tramadol, everything improved, and my recovery truly began. Good luck to you:)
     
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  11. julesglass

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    It is so good to hear from you, Cristina. As others have said keeping that pain under control which includes icing is a must. I will start PT tomorrow being 9 weeks in recovery. I'm going to get the muscles and tendons to loosen up for my job. I haven't done anything else up to now other than walking. You take it easy for now and rest. This is the best place to be for emotional support as we journey together. :SUNsmile:
     
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  12. Layla

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    Happy One Week Anniversary, Cristina!
    I hope you had a good night's sleep.
    With any luck you'll have a better week this week, than last.
    A tip - Try not to gauge progress by days, but weeks instead. Otherwise it seems you don't notice the headway you're making. Have a great day! :wave:
    @TangoGunn
     
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  13. mikeycat

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    1 week post-op. On your way to recovery and a better quality of life. Sorry about the pain and i read you are unable to take pain med due to low bp--hope the icing helps. You,ll eventually progress perhaps not by leaps and bounds but baby steps but it will be worth it.And you have a great husband as I do helping you. You're gonna make it.
     
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  14. Elf1

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    @TangoGunn glad you've joined us here at Bone Smart. The folks here are great, always helpful and sympathetic. It's great to be able to chat with someone who has been the same place you are and know you're not alone in this. I've and elevation are definitely your friends at this point in time. Know it's really hard, especially once you start to feel a little better, but take it slow and steady, this is not a race. Happy One Week Anniversary Cristina!
    :friends::wave:
     
  15. Layla

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    Hi Cristina,
    I hope you're having a good week so far. Early days can be rough. Don't forget we're here for you if you need us. A peaceful evening to you!
    @TangoGunn
     
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  16. Mojo333

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    Hi @TangoGunn, a new "Both at Once???!!!" Double hippy pal!:friends:
    These first weeks are definitely jarring, so keeping iced up, calm as possible, and medicated will slide you through.
    Lots of trauma settling and it is All Temporary.
    About this time in my recovery, I was experiencing a tad of Buyer's Remorse...um, what did I do this for?
    But memories of the ever increasing pain and limits to mobility quickly shook me out of this.
    You will get your life back and will be happier and healthier.:yes:
    I am still so amazed that I got through it and am better than I could've imagined. :happydance:
    Here is the aforementioned recovery chart Recovery chart drawn.jpg It can certainly ebb and flow...

    Nothing required now but short walks, lots of ice, and a hopeful spirit.
    You've got this.:ok:
     
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  17. TangoGunn

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    Happy weekend everyone and once again many thanks for being here with advise and information... And support...Today is day 12, very hard to believe so much time passed by already. Made some progress, it is not moving fast enough, I assume I need to learn to be patient. Tom and I decided on a strategy, walk, exercise today and rest tomorrow. It works pretty good so far, we will see. Tomorrow is a new challenge, climbing stairs and working my way to the main floor. There are 17 stairs, no joke, we will see how far I will be able to get. The first attempt was easier, 6 stairs up, than, of course, down, Easier coming down than going up, this also was the case prior to surgery. Maybe a car trip somewhere tomorrow as well, this will be my reward for doing my 'chores' . I will let you how everything goes. Have a great weekend!!!!
     
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  18. Mojo333

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    :hi: @TangoGunn
    Not quite two weeks from double hip replacement...I think you sound to be doing very well!:ok:
    Glad you have a routine...my suggestion is dont push it hard on your "exercise days" and as your stamina slowly returns, daily short walks several times per day is better than pushing it as far as you can on one day.
    Dont know about you, but getting up and moving about was almost a "have to" with two restless healing legs...just couldn't last long...:unsure:

    Yes, that is ALOT of stairs:dubious:
    I had five to get down to go outside with no railings so I had to have support up and down for quite a while. Those quads are weak and sore and untrustworthy.
    Take your car ride reward first...so when you are able to get up all those stairs...you can just stay there for some days.
    Time will be the great healer here.
    All temporary and all well worth it.
    Keep the faith friend.:roseshwr:
     
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  19. TangoGunn

    TangoGunn new member
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    Hi guys... this is the husband, Tom, checking in again... How many days do you go with the ice? Today is the 14th full day since Post-Op. We've been iced down, more or less, continuously (reality is more like iced until she gets up again (which could be a few hours), then re-ice. But I'm not sure for how long this goes on; Is ice a "weeks" thing or a "months" thing?

    Cristina's doing great by the way. We made one trip up the 17 steps to the main level, Sunday. Did a car drive, too on Sunday, but then rested for most of yesterday. We did laps in the driveway and a few excercises today, also. I'm taking MoJoe333's advice and on "work days" we're really NOT over-doing it. A typical work day now 2 weeks out includes: 2 laps around the driveway, 2 times per day, PT excercises, 2 times per day, and a stair climb might take the place of one of those previous things.
     
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  20. Mojo333

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    Hi Tom.
    I did what I could...not nearly as regimented perhaps and incrementally felt stronger.
    She sounds to be doing very well.
    It will start getting better weekly and there is an ebb and flow kind of dance that should not be of great concern.
    Here is my favorite recovery chart.
    Recovery chart drawn.jpg
    Guessing her quads are super sore, zips and zaps out of nowhere at times, but hopefully lack of hip joint pain.:thumb:
    Far as the icing...I went back to work half days way too early and iced any time I was not up, just like you said.
    Just felt so doggone good!:ice:
    Stamina is kind of pitiful at this stage, but is not indicative if how good it will get...eventually.
    Sounds just right to me.:tada:
     
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