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[BILATERAL THRs] JR 2 Hip's Recovery thread<

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by JR 2 Hips, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Klassy

    Klassy senior

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    I know it is hard not to compare, but the funny thing is, compared to many of us, you are doing fine. Except that you are doing too much.

    I used crutches to go to my 6 week follow up. I was ashamed to be so backward ( I thought). Surgeon said it was nothing to worry about, this was not a hip for 6 weeks or a year, it was a hip for life.

    Remember, I only had one hip done, I don’t have osteoporosis. But I still used 1 crutch intermittently past 3 months. In fact, I may take one with me to go to London on Saturday. There is no shame in it, and it gets me space and a seat on the tube. Otherwise, 4 months out, I’m walking fine.

    Please please please don’t let your physio push you. If you can’t say no (I can’t), cancel the appointment. There’s a lot of highly infectious vomiting bugs around, aren’t there?!

    If your leg gives way and you fall, you could wreck your leg forever.
     
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  2. HertsHippy

    HertsHippy member

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    Yes I do love the lakes and hope to go up for a few days later this month to test out my new hip. At 6 months I hope to be able to do some slightly harder walks. A year and a half pre-op I really struggled doing a Helvellyn and Dollywagon circuit from Thirlmere - I hope I would find it better (although still hardy) now.

    14% is a very steep incline for so early on - but should be excellent for later on in the recovery. I have found walking with some inclines to be much better than most of the PT exercises.

    There is lots of discussion about communicating recovery expectations. I guess it is difficult as recoveries are so different depending on the severity of the underlying condition, age, weight, fitness, general health etc so it is not possible to generalise. However perhaps literature could be more explicit about the variations. The other difference people have, which is evident from reading people's threads here, is that different people have different expectations about what being "back to normal" really is. For me and possibly you it seems to be a very much higher bar than many others.

    Generally I found communications from my hospital to be pretty good with the exception of describing the longer recovery. I suspect the NHS in my region is doing better on orthopaedics than some others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  3. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    You can find the instructions in here How to tag another member
    It's actually just fluid retention in the whole of the tissues in the leg around where the surgery took place. It's a reaction to trauma, just like your ankle would swell if you twisted it.
    Not at all. What causes the weakness is the trauma of the surgery which is not insignificant. You are, after all, only 5 weeks out which is very early in your recovery.
    Probably because you're not walking well, imbalanced in fact.
    Perhaps you could show the site of this pain (not the others) by using this chart

    aa hip-references-horz.jpg


    After that, I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
     
  4. JR 2 Hips

    JR 2 Hips junior member
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    Thanks Josephine - as near as I can judge the pain it's in L2B S and T. There is a lump there which is the source of the pain and it feels like a knotted muscle such as I get in my shoulder. I find it's worse when I try to straighten my left leg completely and am wondering if my right leg is shorter than it used to be?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer this as this pain is cutting into my sleep and general ability to walk.
     
  5. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Which is exactly what I expect it is. Have you considered visiting a chiropractor to get some Acupressure massage which would relieve your pain.
     
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  6. JR 2 Hips

    JR 2 Hips junior member
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    I've been reading hbl's very thorough recovery timeline and feel a bit guilty that mine is all over the place!

    Her recovery has mostly mirrored my own with the same 'saddlebags' at the hips and swelling round one of the knees in particular. The positions of various aches, pains, stiffness and severity of pain appears, however, to be unique to the individual so I thought if I shared my experience of pains etc. then it may add to the collective understanding of what to expect and what is and isn't 'normal'.

    Following the operation I was left with badly bruised tissue surrounding both knees, at the back of the knees and immediately below the incision lines - deep purple bruises. The general swelling has been mostly around the thighs which initially were about twice their usual size and also in the tissue surrounding the scars (at least 60mm in all directions around the wounds) which has been persistent and very solid. The swelling in the thighs has diminished dramatically thanks largely I expect to having brought in a riser recliner allowing me to have ankles raised higher than my hips so the fluid could then drain back into the lymphatic system and be flushed out. Swelling isn't always a constant and it's easy to overdo excercises which often results in increased swelling.

    The bruises have taken 5 weeks to disappear entirely but the outside of the thighs and all around the knees still feel tender to the touch and if I put fingertip pressure under my right knee it will leave an indentation in the swelling for a little while - oedema. Obviously the area surrounding the wounds is painful if any pressure is applied (massaging Bio-Oil in etc.) and it's a peculiar sensation rubbing firmly into a damaged area that my head would rather not think about.

    Initially I couldn't get much of a bend at the knee when lifting the foot backwards at the knee as it felt like someone had sandwiched balloons just behind my knees. This is improving slowly.

    As for the hips themselves - the right has gone through stages of feeling loose as though not quite attached, to internal pain deep inside with stiffness and pain in the groin, glutes, hamstring and to be honest every other leg muscle I used to have! Different pains come and go - it is not always constant. The left leg started off feeling almost no pain anywhere - but three weeks in it began feeling weak, stiff, painful, generally as though it was in the wrong position and putting pressure on the outside of the hip joint when I tried to walk. It has continued to be difficult causing pain to the rear of my pelvis and in my left knee. I think after the 41 days it has now been since the operation this left leg has finally started to improve but I won't be convinced of that until my surgeon checks the X-rays at my follow-up on the 18th.

    I cannot climb stairs forwards yet but that's improving a little each week with increased stretching of muscles and tendons. To put this in perspective for the previous 2 years I had been climbing stairs sideways by bending my knee, placing the ball of that foot sideways onto the step and effectively hopping up with the other leg while spinning round to face forward. A sight to behold and not somehing I would dare to do with replacement hips! But this has left me with no real functioning mechanics inside my leg to allow me to climb stairs forwrds - at least not yet.

    In general though I have not been in enough pain since the day of the operation to require any more than just 1 paracetemol in the morning to get me through the day. I don't think this is normal but I believe I had just become so accustomed to pain for 10 years that I have built up a tolerance to pain. Sleeping is still difficult as if I don't prop my right calf up on a pillow the top of my thigh will go completely numb and consequently wakes me up. But like every other bi-lateral I long to sleep on my side again.

    The poor state of my hips and muscles due to prolonged and extensive OA and osteporosis will mean it could take many, many months to get back to anywhere near the movement I used to have but then it's taken 10years of degeneration to get to where I was so a couple of years recovery should really be viewed as a good result. I just wish I could convince myself of that!

    Jo
     
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  7. hbl

    hbl junior member

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    You and I have exchanged off line emails as well as through BoneSmart, Am 2 weeks ahead of you in recovery with my bilaterals and have gone through so much of what you have experienced but nearly 8 weeks out am coming through to the 'other side'. I think it's amazing you've been dealing with all this on just one paracetemol. I have 8 a day, 2 every 6 hours and if I forget which I have done, my body certainly tells me. So not sure what BoneSmart would tell you but I think you should up your painkillers to take you through a lot of the pain and discomfort you're feeling.

    The other thing to confirm is that when muscles haven't been used for years it's also going to take a LONG TIME for them to not just get us back to where we were but to progress beyond these points. I've been told by my physio that my abductor muscles are like concrete (i.e. rigid not strong!).

    As so often said by so many of us I just wish it was clearer in all the literature given (and it seems Stateside/Canada too) as well as the UK that the advice given should be much clearer in terms of what to expect and how long the road to recovery is. I, for one, would have been much more mentally prepared for this journey.

    And if one more person tells me of someone they know who was running a marathon within 6 weeks of a hip replacement I will not be responsible for my actions (that is if I could move faster of course.)
     
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  8. JR 2 Hips

    JR 2 Hips junior member
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    New developments over the last week as I have developed numbness, tingling and pain in my front right thigh. I checked it online and it seems to be compression of the Femoral nerve which is odd given that I didn't have an Anterior approach. When I received the spinal injection I had a pain shoot down that leg and on awaking that section of thigh remained numb until they took the epidural out 3 days later.

    I've had moments of numbness over the last 6 weeks but it's definitely getting worse.

    Thae other thing is that my nails are really poor, my hair looks dull and my skin is dry. Anyone else had these problems or know how to fix them please?

    Thanks - Jo
     
  9. hbl

    hbl junior member

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    Hi there, me again. I've had this numbing and tingliness pretty much from day 1. It gets worse after exercise but am now nearly week 8 and it has got marginally better BUT I am on Gabepentin which works for this nerve type pain so maybe I'm kidding myself as it may be masking things. Re taking the epidural out I think you meant three hours not DAYS???!!!
    I wouldn't worry too much over poor skin and nails. The body has gone through major trauma and it's bound to have an effect on all sorts of things. In my case my skin has got oilier (spots at 65!) nd have had a bit of increased hair loss. To improve things I would suggest you try Nourkin, I've used it for years and it really helps strong nails and hair. Happy Easter all.
     
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  10. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi, Both at Once friends.
    I experienced numbness, tingling and tightness and soreness in quads and groin for many months post op.
    I thought some of the numbness and zips and zaps might be collateral damage from surgery, but like all of the uncomfortable sensations...it too went away...eventually.
    Most were more prominent as I got more active...and it took balancing the activity with equal amounts of resting and icing.
    Yes, still.
    Lots of improvement to come so keep the faith!
     
  11. JR 2 Hips

    JR 2 Hips junior member
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    Thanks for the replies. I did mean 3 days for the epidural as I had a spinal, an epidural AND a general. They left the epidural in from Monday evening until Thursday morning as they were using it for pain relief. It was only after it came out that I got any sensation at all back in this thigh. Thanks - I will try Nourkin for the nails etc. and it does help that the nerve issues are not unique but if Gabepentin just masks the nerve pain (which is good) then has your surgeon told you the nerves will recover eventually?

    I can't say my thigh is causing me pain just a sensation of tiny pins and needles with total numbness that seems to be through the first 1cm of flesh. I'm not in the pain you must be hbl - so sorry for you.

    As I'll be at the end of week 7 tomorrow (just over 2 weeks behind you hbl) I would have hopes we'd both be at least relatively pain free if not climbing mountians yet. I do feel a bit superficial worrying about my hair, nails and skin but it's just adding insult to injury when I already feel frumpy with the swelling plus it's yet another thing not mentioned beforehand.

    Thanks for the feedback - Jo
     
  12. hbl

    hbl junior member

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    I realised that I am 8 weeks 5 days not 7.5 … how time flies when you're having fun!

    Gosh that epidural sounds like a whammie. I just had oral pain relief and the epidural was just for the length of the op. Surgeon says tingling etc all normal as Mojo33 says and eventually should all disappear. Still, would like it to go NOW. Right hip (and knee) still much weaker than left and swelling just the same. However, getting much more mobile in many ways. For me the end of week 6 was a turning point which also coincided with the surgeon giving the all clear - I think I needed to have that in order to push myself forward and sit on normal chairs, sofas and loos.

    Hope your visit to the surgeon this week goes well.
     
  13. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Happy Two Month Anniversary!
    I hope things are settling for you. Wondering about the numbness and pins and needles sensation?
    With any luck its easing.

    If you're still troubled by thinning hair, cracked nails and dry skin, consider a good Hair, Skin and Nails vitamin supplement until you notice the desired improvement. I've found it beneficial. All three, hair-skin-nails basically require the same nutrients to grow healthy. Fatty fish, Nuts, Avocados, Eggs, Berries and a variety of Veggies including Leafy Greens are all a good start.

    Leave us an update when you have the time. We'd love to hear how you're doing.
    A great week to you!
    @JR 2 Hips
     

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