THR Lori's Recovery Thread

Akblueloon

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1 week and 1 day post op for my left THR, superior approach.
My first one was done 5 years ago, anterior approach. I guess it's probably a good thing to not carry the memory of the first week with me, because, honestly, I really just remembered how quickly I recovered from that one, NOT the pain and discomfort of the first week especially.

I'm doing pretty well, I think, though it's really hard to know what's "normal," and I think I'm probably normal in questioning where every new tingle, ache, twinge or pain is coming from.

I had a lot of buttock pain before surgery, in addition to the hip pain, so have wondered all along whether that was a different issue or part of the same. I still don't know, as it's hard right now to distinguish one ache/pain from another and it's source!

I am not taking any hardcore pain meds anymore (personal choice, I just don't do well physically or emotionally with ANY opioids), and my pain seems quite well managed with my ibuprofen 800 and Tylenol.

I live in a 3 story house with the living area on the top, bedrooms in the middle, so doing stairs several-many times a day is a must, and I am doing okay with that. I get outside to walk around the garden and around the house and driveway a couple of times a day with my walker.

I have my ups and downs, physically, and emotionally, but am trying hard to acknowledge each day that this is only day ___, and I'm doing better than I was yesterday.

My doctor's office has not been much of a help---or rather, with the change in their staffing due to Covid etc, it's so difficult to actually get a conversation with the doctor or MA without going three multiple channels, that, unless I feel it's an emergency, I will find answers on my own.

Since this isn't my first rodeo(I also had my right hip and left knee replaced), I know that the couple weeks are the hardest and it gradually gets better in most cases, so I just need to be patient, take it easy, move, walk as much as is comfortable, and see what the doc says when I go in next week!

Glad to be a part of this forum. It's always good to know we are not alone!
 

Celle

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Hello @Akblueloon - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full dates of both your hip replacements, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

Here are the BoneSmart Recovery Guidelines for you - lots of helpful information:
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
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 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 the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 
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Akblueloon

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05/15/2015 Right total hip replacement anterior approach
05/27/2020 Left total hip replacement superior approach
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
If you’d like to leave the date of your knee surgery we can add that to your signature
also. :) Your recovery sounds very normal at this point.

Please consider icing as an additional form of pain relief. We recommend icing several times per day (any / all) areas of discomfort, for 45 minutes, no less, each time you ice. There is an article on ICE in the Recovery Guidelines if you haven‘t had a chance to read it yet. There is also one on Post Op Blues which many experience, so you’re not alone. Cold comfort when you’re feeling blue, but know that it will pass and we’ll be here for you if you’re needing a little encouragement or support. If you have general questions, please post them here and we’ll do our best to advise.
Wishing you comfort and a peaceful evening. Stay in touch, we’d love to follow your journey!
@Akblueloon
 
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Akblueloon

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Oh yes, ice is a must! I was hurting a bit more today since I have lowered my pain med dose but it was still very manageable especially with ice! Thanks for your support.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Akblueloon :wave: and welcome to the forum and double hippydom.:) :-) (:
First weeks are definitely tough, were for me.
Were you in the three story house for your first recovery?
I know stairs this early on definitely increased my glute pain so if possible you could try to get nested on one floor as much as possible or at least just have to go down and back up to bed? Right now just walking when you have to is likely more than plenty until things settle more.
I have my ups and downs, physically, and emotionally, but am trying hard to acknowledge each day that this is only day ___, and I'm doing better than I was yesterday.
Good for you, the only way really.
Layla has a great suggestion to members, as recovery rolls on, to try and mark progress at weeks end.
So much ebb and flow in recovery it can definitely make one anxious if you have a worse day.
Chilling is great as it IS great pain relief and also makes us be still.:ice::ice:

Healing vibes coming your way.
 
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Akblueloon

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Thanks for all the encouragement everyone. I am 18 days post surgery now. I had my 2 week post op visit to my OS last week, and the bandage came off...no staples just glue I guess so the only pain was getting the bandage off. For about the past 4-5 days I have only been using a walking stick and that has been sufficient, though at night I still use a crutch to help getting to and from the bathroom. I am mostly using ibuprofen 800 at night and 400 during the day if needed. I think the hardest thing for me is knowing if what I am feeling at different times is "normal" for THR recovery or if it is something else not related. I had a lot of tightness/pain in my glutes before surgery so there was some concern that I was also dealing with sciatica or something else? I still have that pain, but it's not as bad, I don't think. I have some mild pain tightness still in the groin area and around the wound, which I assume is normal as my body is healing. The sensation that bugs me the most is tingling and some numbness and aching in my feet and up to about my knee during the night. This goes away if I get up and walk around, but keeps me from sleeping. Has anyone else experienced this in recovery from THR?
I have my first outpatient PT appt tomorrow. I have been walking around outside in my garden and up and down the driveway 1-2 times a day with my walking stick and that seems to be going well. I think I'm pretty stopping before I do too much. It just feels so good to get out in the sunshine and walk.
I hope everyone else is taking good care of yourselves, feeling positive and seeing some progress every day!
 

Jaycey

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@Akblueloon everything you are describing sounds like normal post op discomfort. This recovery does not happen in a straight line. Some days you will feel like you made progress. Others will feel like progress has stalled.

Are you icing and elevating? Ice will ease that tightness. Early days for you!
 

Hip4life

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Yes @Akblueloon sounds pretty normal at your stage of recovery. The awful joint pain was gone post-op but the aches and pains of the surrounding tissues followed me into the recovery stage as well. Some of those were even more so after the manipulation in the OR. Tissues and nerves healing with unexpected manifestations sometimes. I’ve learned it’s mostly treat yourself with all your recovery tools (including the p word: patience, lol) and monitor. That’s what so great about being here. Your fellow hipsters are going to help keep your imagination from running away with you, no matter how many rodeos you’ve been part of because each one is a new one. Blessings for continued good healing. Keep us posted. ❤
 

Layla

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Happy One Month Anniversary!
I hope all is going well with PT and you’re enjoying the steady progress of recovery.
Stay in touch, we’d love to follow your journey.
Wishing you a nice weekend.:wave:
@Akblueloon
 

zauberflöte

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@Akblueloon how are you by now? I had a severe glute pain in the right side, and also something that I figured was sciatica except my then-PCP said that sciatica was on the left usually. These pains preceded any severe hip pain by as much as 10 years. I finally learned right here what that "pain in the butt" is! It's called Piriformis Syndrome, and there's a great article here in the library about it. Having the right hip done did not resolve it, sadly. Having the left done did! I think my pelvis was re-balanced by having LTHR, so the piriformis mostly shuts up these past 3 years. My right S-I joint, on the other hand, just keeps getting worse. I don't even want to contemplate that :shocked: Anyway, if you feel like you're sitting on a golf ball, it might be your piriformis.
 
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Akblueloon

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Well, it's been an interesting, and long 2 months since my TLHR surgery on May 27. I had superior approach surgery on this hip which has a been a very different, and longer recovery than my anterior approach THR on the right side. Here at almost 9 weeks post op, I am getting around very well, walking as often as I can, and usually 2 miles but even did a 4 mile walk/hike (pretty level terrain) a week ago. This week I was even able to plop myself fairly comfortable into my inflatable kayak and get around our favorite kayaking lake for an hour or so. I am going to PT, and feel good about what they are doing/recommending. Although superior approach surgery generally doesn't require any restrictions on movement, my doctor recommended typical posterior approach restrictions for 3 months because of a little instability he observed after surgery (?)I will see him this week and get an xray and further recommendations then. I sleep pretty well, though I still can't sleep well on my operated side. My questions and concerns just have to do with whether it is still typical/normal to have certain discomfort...with my right hip, I was 90% back to normal by 8 weeks. With this one, I still have a lot of aching (I wouldn't call it pain) in my glutes/periformis, and on the back side of my hip. I am still quite tender and sore (more like the feeling of a bruise) on and around the 4-5" incision which is on the left upper part of my left butt cheek. I go up and down stairs multiple times every day since our living area and kitchen are on the 3rd floor of our house. I can easily go down foot over foot, but going up that way is still sometimes a challenge and I'm not sure how much to push myself. Due to the restrictions regarding bending, crossing midline, etc, I am not able to do much stretching, and I feel like this has caused a lot of tightening up of the muscles in my left hip/thigh/lower back. I normally do yoga to help with this but am not able to due to the restrictions. My right side seems to be feeling the effects too and after walking or being active, I am experiencing some lower back and knee pain on the right side. I have a feeling all of these things are fairly typical and "normal" but I am just checking to see if anyone else who is at about 8 weeks out is experiencing some of these things as well. I am good about backing off if I feel like I've done enough/too much, but I don't want to ignore it if I "Should" be making more progress. My biggest concern is the aching in the right side around the incision and in my glutes/periformis. Any suggestions, thoughts or insight would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance, fellow hipsters.
 

Hip4life

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Even though your r hip was replaced, the soft tissues had to pull an extra load with the bad one. As you heal: 1) those tissues have to relearn again what is normal 2) As you do more normal things, you’ll be using those muscles (and others) in ways they haven’t done in a while. Remember, you’re still healing and still fairly early in a process that can take a year or more to fully complete. I can speak on that point from personal experience. Some of what you’re describing I can relate to even now. Be kind to yourself, don’t overdo, ice and monitor. If you continue to have issues, touch base with your OS team for advice. Hang in there. I’m just jealous I couldn’t comfortably go kayaking at the same stage of the game. Lol. :)
 

Layla

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Hello and a Happy Sunday to you!
It seems you’re doing fairly well considering you’re only nine weeks post op into a recovery than can take a year, even longer for some. I’m wondering if any of your activity, like the four mile walk, or kayaking is causing you some discomfort? These are questions you can run by your surgeon along with PT recommendations and his thoughts on your Right hip bothering you. My guess is your body is readjusting due to surgery and your right hip may be suffering due to some favoring of your left. Something you may not even be aware you’re doing.

I sleep pretty well, though I still can't sleep well on my operated side.
Wait a bit then try again. I suggest you also place a pillow between your legs while side sleeping and see if you find it more comfortable.

it is still typical/normal to have certain discomfort...with my right hip,
Definitely a question for your surgeon. Something my surgeons PA reminded me early on was that a prosthetic will never match our natural hip, but gets pretty close.

I am still quite tender and sore (more like the feeling of a bruise) on and around the 4-5" incision
Not sure about you the first time around, but this took several months to dissipate for me.

Wishing you the best at your appointment this week, let us know how it goes. I hope you gain the reassurance you’re seeking! :)
 

leejaa

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I am sorry you are still having discomfort. Our hips seem to have their own schedule for recovery and no two hips are alike. At 8 weeks it is still quite early in the recovery journey. You mentioned walking 2-4 miles. Are you still using a cane and practicing walking without a limp with a heel/toe heel/toe step? When I started walking more I found that hiking poles gave me great positioning of my body which stopped any lower back aches and they also helped me maintain a good gait. They also provide some upper arm exercise as well which never hurts. When I used a cane on my treks I tended to lean to one side more no matter how I adjusted it but the trekking poles were great. I bought mine on Amazon and actually picked up a nice adjustable but quite cheap set (around $20 3 yrs ago) to try out and never replaced them.
 

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Hi @Akblueloon,

I am at 7 1/2 weeks (anterior approach) and have many similar aches and pains. The area around my incision is a little tender; oddly, the area around the drain wound is much more tender. I have some pain in my hip flexors, my glutes, and lower back.

I have the additional complication of a damaged nerve, so I still do stairs one leg at a time and have some stability issues, but I just wanted to let you know that your post resonated with me, and it made me feel better that someone else has similar symptoms.

Hang in there!
 

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