THR Made it to the other side


junior member
Jul 31, 2023
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had my op late Monday afternoon, All went very well. I was very tired and hungry as I ‘d had nothing to eat since 3am. My pain score was high initially but medication brought that under control. My biggest problem was exhaustion - I kept falling asleep when staff were to me. Stiffness and pain slowly easing now but it still feels as if I have a long road ahead
Welcome to the other side! Don't fight the exhaustion! Your body has been through major trauma. Sleep when you can.

Your main priority now is to work with staff to get that pain managed. Don't be afraid to tell them if something is not right. One size does not always work for everyone.

I'll leave your recovery guidelines here for you.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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:
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 this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
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 a 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 history before providing advice.
Hi Jaycey
Thanks for the post and advice. Walking is definitely my planned exercise. Meanwhile, I’ve just returned from a second stint in hospital. Bit of a conflict between my blood thinning meds and my wounds desire to heal!
Now fitted with a suction dressing that seems to have resolved the issue.
Just been checking out the links you sent me and they all look helpful.
I’m looking forward to beginning my recovery now.
Sorry you hit a bump in the recovery road. Glad you got this quickly sorted. Onward and upward!
Thanks SurreyGirl
I hope all’s going well for you. The change to a suction wound dressing seems to be working and my pain levels are down. My biggest problem is sleeping at night. I’ve been a side sleeper all my life -sleeping on my back is so difficult for me
It will be over soon I hope but these small things grow out of all proportion at a time like this
Hi @Hopalong Cassid, I'm a side sleeper too and like everything else it does get better over time. In the meantime I would suggest pillows, pillows and more pillows as suggested by @Layla - it worked for me along with icing in bed if necessary plus keeping painkillers on schedule. Best wishes.
Thanks that’s good advice. My issue though is not pain, but fear of dislocation. All the staff at the hospital kept saying “on your back for the first four weeks” because of dislocation risk. I have to find a way through out I’ll become a zombie!
@Hopalong Cassid Try sleeping on your non-op side with a pillow between your legs. The pillow prevents the op leg from falling forward as you sleep. You probably won't be able to do this for too long at first. But just keep trying.

Another option is a body pillow. My colleague @Layla used one during recovery. I've tagged her in case she has any tips for you.
@Hopalong Cassid It is my understanding that dislocation is not so common now that surgical techniques and implant designs have improved. I had no restrictions after my hip surgeries except 'if it hurts stop'! Even trying to move into a half-side sleeping position on the non-operated side was painful during the first few weeks so I didn't do it (you can feels muscles objecting to the pulling sensations). The pillows worked as barricades!

Apparently there is increased risk if your muscles are weak and if you move the operated leg over the midline i.e. push the hip joint out to the side (even on your back!)

It may help to read this:
Thread 'Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule'
All the staff at the hospital kept saying “on your back for the first four weeks” because of dislocation risk. I have to find a way through out I’ll become a zombie!
Welcome to recovery and congrats on your new hip!

I was not a back sleeper either, I found it difficult, if not impossible. My simple fix was Pillows! I will share a post I left elsewhere over the past few days -

Lots of bed pillows did the trick for me. Soft squishy pillows, pillows that are a little more firm and also a couple of Body Pillows which can be purchased at any department store that sells bedding. You can find them on Amazon also.
I surrounded myself with them, and found it comforting to rest an arm, leg, hip etc on one if I'm feeling restless. I still do this 6+ yrs post op. Early on I created what felt like a pillow fort and I felt swaddled in a sense which was comforting in the early weeks and months while healing. Gather up some pillows from around the house and see if it helps you catch some Z's. :sleep: Most of us likely have extras laying around our homes, so consider giving it a try. I hope it helps! :fingersx:
Glad it is going ok… do line your hip with ice (through a cloth or a tea towel) or with an icepack at night. I’ve also used this under my buttock where the tight muscles are. Im
Usually a side sleeper too but can sleep on my back in short bursts. I then get up to go to the loo and walk the stiffness off and then back to bed.

However, the curse of the physio struck today and I am going to mention this on my recovery thread. Later as I have just doses myself up and having an early evening.
Thanks, i tried this last night and it helped a great deal. I was a bit sore this morning but a good nights sleep really helped. Wound dressing change tomorrow!
A little update. It’s a fine sunny late summer morning. My wife and I just went for a short stroll in our community - my first outing since my op. It felt so good!
We didn’t go far, probably no more than a 200 metre round trip but after a week of walls and windows it showed me the path ahead. So much of recovery seems to be about the social aspects.
I plan to walk outside each day now, gradually extending my range. I know the physical benefits will be good, but I suspect the mental health benefits will be even better
@Hopalong Cassid Yes, getting outdoors in the fresh air is very good for mental and physical health. Just a tip - go half the distance you think you can do for the day. If there are no problems, then extend the distance just a bit. It's still very early days for you.
Extending your range is good but remember you always have to get back. I extended my range down my road in early days and ended up leaning on a fence post for quite some time before I could make it back home.
I had my suction dressing removed today - wound is healed and has a shiny new dressing in place. Clips are scheduled to come out on the 23rd.
Every day something improves by an increment right now. Nothing spectacular but I can begin to feel the change,
My head’s down today. After a good outcome when the original dressing was removed, I now have ooze coming from the wound. It seems to be associated with the blood thinning meds I’m taking (now on a reduced dose)
I am worrying about this. There doesn’t seem to be an easy fix
@Hopalong Cassid is the wound discharge clear? Is the area warm at all? If you are worried call the NHS helpline (111) to get advice.

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