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THR I'm Back at home!

Layla

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I progressed to not using the cane in the house, and I am practicing not waddling when I walk. I feel like a one year old - relearning to walk the right way,
I‘m not sure if this was ever mentioned, but here is a tip -
Try heel-toe walking when you're limping.
This involves striking the ground with your heel first, then rolling through your heel to your toe, and pushing out of the step with your toe.
It takes a concentrated effort, but I believe you'll notice a difference. Give it a try.

Hope this helps. Happy Tuesday, you’re doing great! :)
 
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bjkasz

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Thanks! It is SO odd to have to concentrate on how you are walking, when it has second nature for 60 plus years. I am walking on the treadmill at the PT, even strides, standing straight, slowly at this point. Balance work is included too - and I am happy to say that I have always practiced that (super important not to fall - for EVERYONE, not just us joint replacement patients!), and so that comes easily for me. Recovery is definitely up and down - still not sleeping well, still in pain, still mostly bed-ridden. Just waiting for time to pass, and hoping that by the time May comes, I will be able to do more!
 

FCBayern

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Thanks! It is SO odd to have to concentrate on how you are walking, when it has second nature for 60 plus years.
I completely understand what you are saying @bjkasz, but if you are anything like me your gait slowly got worse and a limp became my norm, muscle memory if you like. I had to retrain muscles that were used to limping to walk normally again. It comes with time, and when you realize you are walking normally again the sun seems brighter, everything tastes better, and the world seems new again. The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, hang in there, it does get better!
 
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bjkasz

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I walked 8 minutes on the treadmill at a slow (1.2 MPH) pace at PT. Using the pilot PT program app that was recommended to me on this forum (thanks so much - it's great!), I had a 4% discrepancy in stride between right and left leg, which is ok, I guess. Trying to get it down to 0! This way I am not favoring it. I absolutely LOVE the feedback on the app, it helps me to walk better, and my zoom calls with my PT through this program really help. It is a wonderful addendum to the in person PT I do locally.

I can run an errand or two - but standing in line at the store is a problem if it is more than 2-3 minutes. My lower back begins to hurt. Bending to clean (I just can't take the dirt any longer!) is also making me get into the ODIC (overdid it club). The bursitis is subsiding with Gabapentin and being able to sleep on my side.

My next task is to walk to the corner and back now that the snow has melted! I will do that sometime this week (it's about 600 feet or so).
 

Sheila-Seattle

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@bjkasz I ran across your thread and we are both from the same time in January. Mine was anterior so I imagine that's a big difference from yours. You haven't written in a while and I wondered how you're doing now? It's definitely 2 steps forward and one back but overall I feel like I'm making good progress. I hope you are too. Let us know if you're able to walk without that limp and without needing pain meds anymore. Hope so.
 
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bjkasz

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Haven't been on in a while - selling my parents' home, taking care of my Dad, and back at work. But house is sold, and Dad is with my brother out of state now.

Glad to be back at work, but still recovery is not great. 4 months out and still no better. Pre-surgery, I was very active, and I am at a good weight, have good balance, and was in overall good health before!

My surgery impacted my entire skeleton from my back, which had scoliosis due to my leg length discrepancy, to my other perfectly fine hip, to my sacro-liliac joints which have severe arthritis.
All of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles were disturbed.

PT is not helping, and my condition is so much worse still than before the surgery.

There is so much of my life that I have given up for this. I can no longer squat, so gardening, painting, home repair, playing with my grandkids is over, and the surgeon says this is permanent.

Trying to stay positive, and my surgeon and PT says I need to wait at least a year tp see if things get better.

My PT says that for most patients, especially those my age, they are content walking from the bed, to the bath, to the kitchen to the couch, and nothing more. This is so disappointing! It seems as though I should have researched more what my personal outcome would be given my physical condition pre-surgery.

Limping and shuffling around so much more than before the surgery, and no progress. Just wish the pain would be better, so I could sleep more than a couple of hours a night. Sorry to be such a downer, but I thought that at least I could walk more than 100 feet without pain by now.
 

Layla

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Hello, I’m sorry you’re struggling and feeling disappointed. :console2:
Caring for an aging parent and getting a home ready for sale can demand a lot of time and attention. It sounds like you had the strength and stamina to carry you through which is a good thing! Now you’re back at work and it seems you’re happy about that.

Since your surgery was only four months ago and your overall health is good, I think you need to give it more time. It can take a full year to recover from this surgery and even longer for some. You also mentioned you’re dealing with scoliosis and severely arthritic sacro-liliac joints so its understandable you’re feeling unhappy with your progress.

If PT isn‘t helping, you may want to consider stepping away for a time and see if you notice any difference.
I can no longer squat, so gardening, painting, home repair, playing with my grandkids is over, and the surgeon says this is permanent.
Maybe you will be able to squat once more time passes. There are ways you can garden without squatting and bending. There is always container gardening and planting at a height that is comfortable for you. I’m sure there are many things you’ll be able to do in regard to home repair and you can find alternate / many ways to engage with and enjoy your grandkids. You may have to make some adjustments, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
I should have researched more what my personal outcome would be given my physical condition pre-surgery.
No one really knows what their outcome will be. Some times we take a chance in life with hopes of a brighter future. I do believe you can still have a good outcome and happy ending, patience is key though.

If you haven’t already, possibly you should speak with your OS or PCP about a way to manage your pain for awhile longer so you’re able to get the restorative rest your healing body needs.

Wishing you comfort and the strength to persevere in anticipation of better days ahead.
I hope you have a good week!
 

Celle

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Glad to be back at work, but still recovery is not great. 4 months out and still no better. Pre-surgery, I was very active, and I am at a good weight, have good balance, and was in overall good health before!
This is a long recovery. You're only 4 months into a 12-month process. Where you are now is not where you're going to end up. Healing is still happening and it will continue for many more months.
There's still plenty of time for thing to improve.

At this early stage of recovery, you're expecting too much of your body.
Joint replacement isn't like other surgeries, where you can bounce back after just a few weeks. It's a pity no one warned you of that before you had the surgery.

My surgery impacted my entire skeleton from my back, which had scoliosis due to my leg length discrepancy, to my other perfectly fine hip, to my sacro-liliac joints which have severe arthritis.
All of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles were disturbed.
Yes, that's all completely true, and to be expected. All your joints and soft tissues have to adjust, and that takes time.

There is so much of my life that I have given up for this. I can no longer squat, so gardening, painting, home repair, playing with my grandkids is over, and the surgeon says this is permanent.
I think your surgeon is being unnecessarily negative this early in recovery.
What you've given up for now isn't necessarily permanent. Take the long-term view and realise that, given time, you will be able to do some of these things again. Even if you can't squat, you can sit on a chair or stool to do gardening - I do that after two knee replacements.
And you will be able to play with your grandchildren again, even if you have to modify some of the b
games.

Trying to stay positive, and my surgeon and PT says I need to wait at least a year tp see if things get better.
Well there he is right. 4 months post-op is much too early to decide that things are permanent. You're only one third into this recovery. You still have two thirds left, for improvement.

My PT says that for most patients, especially those my age, they are content walking from the bed, to the bath, to the kitchen to the couch, and nothing more. This is so disappointing! It seems as though I should have researched more what my personal outcome would be given my physical condition pre-surgery.
Forgive me for being frank, but what your PT said is rubbish. You're only 65, not 105.

You had this surgery so you could be active again, not just shuffle around the house.
I'll be 80 next birthday and I wouldn't be content with that. I still garden (with some adaptations), do all my own housework, play with my grandchildren, and (when not prevented by Covid) travel from New Zealand to England and back every year, to visit my daughter and her family.

If your PT is really as negative as that, I think you should find another PT - or stop going to PT at all.
Remember this, from the Recovery Guidelines:
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.

Layla gave you good advice, above.
 
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bjkasz

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Thanks so much for the hopeful responses! I know that I am only 1/3 of the way through, but I am not feeling at all better than I did 2 months ago, and in many ways my physical condition is worse. I try to remember that helpful graph I saw on this site about recovery and it not being in a straight line! Just asked my manager for an accommodation not to lift a heavy object from the floor (this is a new situation since I have been back at work). Hopefully this will work out, as I am working by myself. At this point work is keeping me sane in many respects, and keeps me from dwelling on my recovery! Also trying to step back into my social life with friends, as we are all vaccinated now. Right now I am watching Finding Nemo with my granddaughter - and as Dory says "just keep swimming", so that is what I will do for the time being. Seeing my PCP next week and I will let you know what he says. Thanks again!
 
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bjkasz

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Here I am again - 3 months later. Now I am 7 months through this process, and I have to say, no progress, which is very upsetting. Saw my OS and he is puzzled as to why pain with walking, sitting, bending, etc is worse than it was before, since the hip itself looks great on the x-ray. My OS sent my to a physiatrist, who specializes in the physiology and function of the musculoskeletal system and pain. My thinking is that because it was such a complex surgery, it re-adjusted my entire skeletal system, spine, knees, sacro-iliac joints, etc. and my body is not able to make this adjustment. The pain and lack of function is so much worse than before I had the surgery - and I had a 75% dislocated hip. As of this point there are no answers, and no path forward. My appointment is not until September (I am going to call and see if they have any cancellations), but as of now, my life is completely disrupted, and I am pretty much disabled. I go to work, come home, and that is all I am able to do. No gardening, no walking, no social life - nothing. And I am in pain 24 hours a day. I have tried everything I can think of to help the pain, but nothing works - pain meds, meditation, stretching, ice, heat, THC, Voltaran - nothing helps. Just hoping that the physiatrist will have some answers. I have forgotten the name of the functionality test that I have repeatedly taken, but out of a score of 80, I am at a 16, which is far worse than a year ago.
 

Spex10

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So sorry to hear this. I hope you can expedite that appointment.
 

Layla

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I’m sorry you’re struggling and dealing with so much pain. I hope the physiatrist is able to help you obtain some relief. Please stay in touch, we’re here for you. :console2:
@bjkasz
 

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