Lounge Doctor

THR I'm Back at home!

OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
So here's a question - in general, how long does it take for there to be less pain/discomfort AFTER the surgery than you had before it? In other words, when will you feel as though you feel better, than you were before you had THR? I had heard a wide range of timelines, from when you wake up from surgery you are pain free (sounds like an urban legend to me!), to years later. Only 3 weeks in, so not expecting much, but so much for people saying "Wow - I wish I had done this a long time ago!" Not feeling that way right now. Think I will keep my eye on July for being able to walk with less pain than before the surgery - that will be 6 months, and I think that I will not be disappointed if the pain does not subside before then.

Last PT is tomorrow - I am independent for most daily living - but get super tired just getting a sandwich for myself, showering, etc. Continuing home exercises that do not hurt, and moving around in short spurts. Walking up and down the stairs twice per day. Going to put off out patient PT.

I am trying to put off others' expectations, though well-meaning, that I should be "better". Told family that it is a long road, but I am getting the impression that they think other wise. It's not even 3 weeks! My husband feels the need to tell them that I am getting better - but I am not at this point. I keep telling him to say "about the same". Sure wish that the myth of this major surgery being no big deal would go away...it puts undo expectations on those of us - the majority of patients - who have difficult outcomes, complications, etc.
 

ljpviper

member
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
142
Age
50
Location
Florida
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
I think that is a loaded question. There are so many variables age,surgical method, etc. Everyone heals different. You also have the ODIC club which is quite common. You rarely see a textbook recovery if that even exists.

The surgeons are not the best in setting expectations. I have had 4 hip surgeries total all have had different recovery time lines. I am at week 6 of my recent hip replacement and feel good overall. I can walk without aides, but I still have some surgical pain and swelling. This is the third surgery on that right hip so I cannot expect it to heal as if it was the first surgery.

Good luck,

Larry
 

djklaugh

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
2,739
Age
74
Location
Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@bjkasz You are only 3 weeks out from having major surgery! And recovery from hip replacement does take quite a bit of time. As I recall it took me about 3 months to feel better than before surgery. But I did appreciate that the bone-on-bone pain of before surgery was totally gone. What pain I had was healing incisions, healing bones, and muscles getting use to moving in new and more functional ways. The fatigue associated with such healing, sigh, well that went on longer. It really take a LOT of energy to heal from this kind of operation and your body will keep telling you to rest for as long as you need those reminders. Again my recollection is afternoon "nap attacks" (as I called them) lasted for about 6 months.

Patience, a very good skill to learn. It does sound from your report that you actually are doing fairly well. Keep up the good work :friends:
 

Hippielife

senior
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
319
Age
71
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
There are two basic recovery periods.

The first six - ten weeks is short term recovery. Then long term recovery is a year or more. Everyone heals and recovers differently. This is not a walk in the park... but it is a new life with diseased bone and joints removed replacement with metal or ceramic components leading to a pleasant walk eventually. Time and patience . Nobody gets thru THR without many learning experiences and recovery questions.

Your not the first to have family and friends think joint replacement is no big deal. This is not the bionic land of recovery. This is real tissue mussels and bone and it’s a major surgery and a major recovery period in our life.

Just ask anyone who has experienced THR. While it’s not to be minimized as in many cases by the lack of a support system for the patients leaving little comfort and understanding for what we hippies go thru. Especially in the first few stages after surgery. Initially this site has filled many THR cases with understanding , medical support and encouragement. This forum had filled the need for a support system that has been missing for years thru surgeons. This forum has helped patients understand what they are going thru and also understand each of the achievements thru the healing process. I think there needs to be more communication between the surgeon and the family members. I have heard so many hippies state how grateful they are to have found this forum...over and over throughout the years.

Been thru three and each one was different. In time long term hip replacement recovery leads to less pain and a better life. However long term issues is a lifetime experience and it’s important to take care of these new hips . In many cases the hip components last over many years . One of my hips is over 30 years old where as the other hip had been revised after primary hip failed in less than 2 years.

If I had a crystal ball I could never foresee the future of OA causing three THR surgeries in my case .
THR surgery is a great alternative and once the initial surgery recovery has complete, life can resume . Of course the are many adjustments along the way that teach us just how strong we hippies really are. Hip replacement certainly isn’t for sissies.... we hippies stick together because we have been thru this together and because we know we can help our fellow new hippies thru a difficult challenging time in life. It will get better soon.....keep sharing your experiences it helps with the healing Process.

Sending healing blessings your way.
 

Aline

member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
125
Age
59
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@bjkasz Hello I too had so many questions and concerns I had my left done in May 2019 and three weeks later my right replaced
I too heard all the stories and thought “ oh I should be doing more” I would go out between 11-2 and do my errands I remember Layla telling me I should be resting and getting ready to go back to work and not do too much... in the long run six months later in November I had to get my left IT Band released minor surgery and issue with my kneecap in November
In December our AP Team was doing a fund raiser buying for 4 children they lost thier home in a fire..I agreed to organize our wrapping party... in the lunch room separating all the gifts and devising teams for each child, all of sudden I broke out in sweat thinking I was going to pass out turning white to the point my director grabbed me helped me to a booth ... six months later and here I was getting ready to pass out
Over the last year I was in much pain and had a revision a few weeks ago.. I now know there is no hurry up anything.. I know there will be good days and bad.. and I know I will be ok
Wishing you the best hang in there it took my left hip well over a year to get to where I forgot about it and no reminders of twinges.. muscles.. pin needles
You will get through it on your body’s schedule
This is a very supportive place to come
Ailene
 

FCBayern

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
2,019
Age
61
Location
Roatan
Gender
Male
Country
Honduras Honduras
As others have already stated there is no one answer for that @bjkasz . However, based on how your recovery is going so far, it you don't try to do too much too soon, I think you will realize before too long that the pain you are experiencing is healing pain, and it's less than the daily grinding pain. Then you finish healing and pain is a memory, and life opens up again.
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thanks for all of your advice! IT does seem each day there is a new ache in a different spot, and I know that it is all part of the healing process. Top of foot on operated side cramps a lot lately, and right shoulder where I lean on the cane is achy (not much upper body strength). My nephew is a PT, so he will come over occasionally just to check on my progress - this way I do not have to go to a PT center.

This is such an individual recovery process - which I never realized before now! Because I am uncomfortable with the unknown, it is disconcerting for me. What others view as an "adventure", I view as terrifying. So no sky diving, travel to exotic countries, motorcycles - I have too much anxiety for that. But - interestingly enough, I have a kid who thinks these activities are GREAT! Definitely doesn't take after me.

So being comfortable being uncomfortable for now will have to suffice for now. All I need to know is what to watch out for to ensure safety, and health. Other than that - keep on moving forward, and trusting in the process, and getting the incredible support from these forums, will be my mantra.
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,421
Age
65
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
You asked about feeling less pain after surgery than before. The pains I had before surgery were all in the joint, since they removed the joint those pains were gone immediately. Post surgery the pains were all soft tissue pains. Immediately post surgery I could tell I had improved ROM as my hips were limited in the physical ROM they had. I still have muscle pains at times in both hips, not debilitating but it's there. I can do anything and everything I want to do including sleep without deep pain. The one thing my OS told me not to do was fall down.
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
So interesting about your experience! I have incredible ROM - too flexible! But not much strength. My pain is in the joint, lower back, butt, - same exact as before surgery. It is so wonderful that you are feeling better - I think it will happen for me too, but take a bit (only been 3 weeks). Thanks for the advice - and you are exactly right about falling - that would be a catastrophe.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
26,517
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
IT does seem each day there is a new ache in a different spot, and I know that it is all part of the healing process.
Yes there is. I recall this very well. One odd sensation replaced by another, over and over.
While healing you may experience sensations of tingling, pins and needles, itching, burning and even the feeling of a minor electrical shock. These are usually good signs that the nerves are spontaneously firing through the regeneration process.

Because I am uncomfortable with the unknown, it is disconcerting for me. What others view as an "adventure", I view as terrifying.
Joint replacement surgery is one of the most prevelant surgeries performed world wide. The outcomes of these surgeries have become excellent based on a number of techniques changing over the years. The implants are durable and long lasting, with longevity much greater than before, offering an increase in the likelihood you’ll never have to experience this procedure again. Encouraging thoughts! I hope it puts your mind at ease.

Happy Healing! Wishing you a peaceful weekend. :)
@bjkasz
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Having a bad day - much more pain, and ice and elevation does not help. Still cannot sit in a chair for more than 3-4 minutes without a lot pf pain. Recliner works for about 20 minutes, then pain. The only way that I am comfortable is in bed, and even then, not able to sleep, even with the opioids and tylenol. I feel as though - 4 weeks out, there in no progress. Still 98% bedridden. The first week I was able to shower, brush teeth and dress - those are my only accomplishments to date. No change. Walking around for a few minutes only makes it worse. I remember on these boards seeing a graphic about recovery not being a straight line - and I guess that is what I am experiencing now. Supposed to go back to work (standing for 2 -4 hours straight) in 4 weeks, and at this point there is no way I see that happening. When will this get any better - even a little bit?
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
35,948
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
@bjkasz You are at what I called the one month slump. At four weeks out it seems like everything slows down. But that's completely wrong. Still tons of healing going on. Soft tissues and muscles are waking up and probably being asked to work more than they have in awhile.

I predict you will see a big difference between now and 6 weeks out.
Supposed to go back to work (standing for 2 -4 hours straight) in 4 weeks, and at this point there is no way I see that happening.
The recommended time off work is 10-12 weeks and then a phased return.
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,421
Age
65
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
The ups and downs of recovery can be rough. Are you doing any PT? Getting comfortable can be tough sometimes. Are you icing as described in the guidelines? Did you contact your OS at all?
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thanks so much for the advice - it is so hard to imagine that things will improve at any appreciable rate from here for the next few weeks. I am going to ask my surgeon what he thinks - he has me out for 12 weeks, so I can certainly ask the disability insurance folks to extend it beyond 8 weeks.

I am not doing PT - in home ended, and I am only doing very limited exercises - nothing that hurts, no leg swinging, etc. I will not go to a PT place with other patients working out right next to me - too many high touch areas, huffing and puffing of other patients on treadmills, etc.

OS is cutting me off pain meds; I only have enough for night time for the next 5 or so nights. They are so afraid on addiction, and liability that now it has swung in the other direction. Icing only helps a bit at this point. I guess I thought that I would be able to eat meals with my family and watch a little TV with them -maybe that is unrealistic.
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,421
Age
65
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
What limited exercises are you doing? The simplest of certain movements would trigger pain in my recovery. Surprised ice isn't helping, I found it to be the best thing.
 

FCBayern

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
2,019
Age
61
Location
Roatan
Gender
Male
Country
Honduras Honduras
How long are you icing for @bjkasz? A minimum of 45-60 minutes is what is required for surgical pain relief rather than the suggested 20 minutes when rehabbing an injury. You are only 3 weeks into a 12 month recovery, things will get better.
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I am icing for hours at a time, and most of overnight. At this point, I am going to ask the Surgeon's office to have someone meet me at the curb for my follow up in 2 weeks with a wheelchair. I am unable to walk more than about 50 feet, and in constant pain, and no one is allowed into the hospital due to COVID. Is this normal after 6 weeks not to be able to walk?
 

Pumpkin

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
26,794
Location
United States, West
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Bjkasz
You should have been able to walk short distances the day of or the day after surgery.
You should be able to walk around your house and go for short walks at this point, with an assertive device.

Most hospitals will allow someone to come with you for your appointments if you need someone to push a wheel chair. If not call and ask for someone to meet you and take you to your appointment.

Suggest you write down all your symptoms and questions before your appointment so do not forget anything.
 
OP
OP
B

bjkasz

junior member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
37
Age
65
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
My nephew and his girlfriend are coming over tonight - both PTs - to give me advice, and assess if there are any problems that need to be addressed, so that is good news. I also signed up for the OneStep program through this website, for gait analysis, thinking that may be the cause of some of my problems.

I do not think that HSS will allow anyone on property other than patients at this point due to COVID, but I am sure that someone will meet me at the door to take me to xray and then to my doctor's appointment, but of course I will ask.

Struggling to be positive at this point - I did not realize that I would be losing a year of my life to recovery. My understanding is that it would be a LOT better within 6-8 weeks, and then the final 10-15% would take several months to a year. I understand now that it is a little tiny bit at a time, up to and beyond a year. Missing out on so much for a whole year is so upsetting.
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
35,948
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Missing out on so much for a whole year is so upsetting.
Unfortunately we see many members who did not have realistic expectations set before surgery. Maybe it's because the surgeons don't really see patients that much post op. I had a colleague who is a top orthopaedic surgeon. He said he had no idea how complex recovery from joint replacement was until he nursed his Dad after knee replacement. The experience totally changed the way he discussed surgery with his patients.

Don't think too far ahead in this process. It's actually a very short space of time for a lifetime of no more hip pain.
 

New

OneStep App

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
56,788
Messages
1,458,298
BoneSmarties
34,969
Latest member
Caidly
Recent bookmarks
1

Top Bottom