THR Merrimay's Hip Replacement Adventure Begins

Merrimay

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Greetings from the US. My first pre-op appointment with my surgeon is scheduled for Friday, July 29th, 2022. Terrified, of course, but mind made up. As a retired teacher, I'm also an obsessive planner. Decided my first order of business is to practice sleeping on my back because I'm a restless sleeper on the best of nights (my dog will sometimes give up and head to the living room couch, poor thing). I flop from side to side and throw my covers in an effort to get temperature-controlled and comfortable. The next morning my room looks like a war zone. So the idea of having to stay in one position all night-- on my back no less -- feels unattainable and I live in fear of dislocation. I've spent the past week trying to train myself...and wake up on my side or with such a sore back it makes my bad left hip almost feel good.
Anyone else here who has dealt with this who might have suggestions? Must say I'm delighted to have found bonesmart!
 

Layla

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Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us! I will leave you some pre-op reading that may benefit you along the way. Hope to hear from you often. :wave:

HIP PRE-OP

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Layla

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Anyone else here who has dealt with this who might have suggestions?
Pillows worked for me. Lots of bed pillows of different degrees of firmness. It was comforting to rest an arm on one, a leg on another, simply surrounding myself with them was rather soothing, like being in a fort, lol or enwrapped like a baby. One of my faves, and I still use it nightly five years post op is a Bed Pillow from Target for approx $10. It comes in handy and is comfortable to place between legs once you begin side sleeping. I’ll leave an article on side sleeping post op HERE

Let us know when you get you’re surgery scheduled and we’ll create a signature for you and add you to the monthly team thread where you can follow others having surgery and recovering right along with you. I wish you comfort as you’re waiting.
Have a great day!
 

Eman85

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I was never a back sleeper, with 2 bad hips for decades I tried everything and every position possible to sleep. Once I had the first THR I just accepted that it's the way it's going to be for a while. Pillow to block you rolling and a pillow between your legs helps. trust me you're not going to roll in your sleep immediately post-op. Even when I could roll on my non op side it wasn't comfortable for a while.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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Eman85,
I live in KY. Nice to know you're a "neighbor." Thank you for the advice and reassurance about "not being able to roll." Crazy that the whole sleep-thing has me so worried, but it does, and I appreciate your response.
 

beachgal

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@Merrimay, totally agree on the mass of pillows. Walmart sells cheap "travel pillows" that are a regular standard size but not quite so fluffy that I invested in. They also have some inexpensive pillowcases, too, so they're soft and cool. I will say, though, that my first two weeks were spent in my recliner.

Another factor that will work in your favor is that you are going to be exhausted all the time for a while. Combine the fatigue from surgery with your limited amount of PT and you may find that sleeping comes easier, but not necessarily your usual sleep times. Put away your calendar and the clock and sleep when you can. It will sort itself out in a week or two.

Congrats on taking that first step toward a much happier and pain-free future. It's a small price to pay to have such a life-changing outcome!
 

Eman85

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Eman85,
I live in KY. Nice to know you're a "neighbor." Thank you for the advice and reassurance about "not being able to roll." Crazy that the whole sleep-thing has me so worried, but it does, and I appreciate your response.
It's a funny thing but all of the worry stuff isn't anything to worry about. People are so worried about restrictions post-op, it's no big deal as you can't do most of the things that are restricted anyway. And the few that you could do it's no big deal to avoid them and allow a good recovery, it's just common sense. The old story when you're tired enough you could sleep hanging upside down.
If you're in W KY you've been having the storms and crazy humidity we've had lately.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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Thanks for the common sense warning against letting the "worry stuff" take over. I'll be honest: just hooking up with all the good folks at bonesmart is helping a lot! I live in eastern KY bordering VA and TN. Storms and humidity bad here, but nothing like in western KY. Bet you can't wait for August.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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@Merrimay, totally agree on the mass of pillows. Walmart sells cheap "travel pillows" that are a regular standard size but not quite so fluffy that I invested in. They also have some inexpensive pillowcases, too, so they're soft and cool. I will say, though, that my first two weeks were spent in my recliner.

Another factor that will work in your favor is that you are going to be exhausted all the time for a while. Combine the fatigue from surgery with your limited amount of PT and you may find that sleeping comes easier, but not necessarily your usual sleep times. Put away your calendar and the clock and sleep when you can. It will sort itself out in a week or two.

Congrats on taking that first step toward a much happier and pain-free future. It's a small price to pay to have such a life-changing outcome!
Love the Walmart travel pillow idea, beach gal. I didn't know that the idea of post-op exhaustion could relieve me of my sleep worries, but it does!

Let me ask you: was the recliner you used immediately after surgery one you rented from a medical supply place? I've got a recliner, but it lacks power and is hard to get out of even when my bum hip is less symptomatic. I've also read some advice online (not at bonesmart, tho) that recliners are a no-no for a few weeks?

They want you sitting in a high-backed chair that looks very uncomfortable.

Thanks again!
 

beachgal

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Let me ask you: was the recliner you used immediately after surgery one you rented from a medical supply place? I've got a recliner, but it lacks power and is hard to get out of even when my bum hip is less symptomatic.
Heck, no! It was just a regular recliner, the platform that would hold my feet had two “levels” and on the higher one, my feel were elevated enough to work. Once the platform was down and tucked into place, I could use my walker to help me stand up. It took a little practice but much easier than lifting off the bed. That chair saved me. It was just wide enough that I could tuck my ice pack into the corner next to my hip and it stayed right in place. Save your money from renting a chair from a medical supply place for a new pair of hiking boots! :loll:
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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Wahoo! I have two regular recliners and will test which works best tonight. So much easier to sleep on my back in a recliner with nowhere to toss and turn.

Not sure why there's all this advice to stay out of recliners the first few weeks. I think using one will save me, too.

thanks, beachgal!
 

Eman85

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With the recliner one with a lever works better, it's hard to kick the button type closed post-op. Rocking recliners don't work either. Be sure you can get out of it using your arms to lift yourself out.
You're not far from me Middlesboro is about 1 hr, I meant to type E KY.
 

subie2021

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Before you decide, try out your recliner using one leg and applying any restrictions your OS might impose regarding his surgical approach. Stick your to be operated leg out and see if you can use your arms to push yourself to a standing position.
My soft and comfy rocker recliner was a total no go...it takes two men and a boy to extricate me. The other stiffer button recliner worked great for me. I could get it upright with one leg and the arms are firm and give plenty of support to arise.
We modified it a little pre op, by setting it on pieces of two by fours to raise the seat. And I brought my firm wedge cushion in from the car to add a little bit more height and to bring down the cushy factor.
Good luck with your surgery!
 

Mojo333

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I used a regular recliner also, but as @subie2021 describes, you don't want to use your hips/legs to lower early days.
I had BTHR but thankfully had good upper body strength.
I was able to manually push the lever down and shift my weight to lower the leg support.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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Thank you for sharing your recliner experience, Subie. I do have one cushy rocker-recliner that I know won't work, but I'll do the "test run" you suggest in my firmer, non-rocking one today. I have a leg lifter I've been using to get in and out of bed, and I'll use it during my recliner test as well. Sadly, I won't have two strong men to rescue me! Just my sister . . . who has a bad back. I'll definitely need to figure how to get up and out by myself! Again, thank you.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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I appreciate your advice, Mojo. While I'm only having one hip done this time, my other hip is not in great shape. So I may have to forego the recliner early on. I've gotten a big wedge cushion like Subie@2021 recommended, so between that and the leg-lifter it may work, though I definitely will take my OS's instructions, even if he orders me to sleep on a bed of nails. That said, I sure would love to use a recliner!
Loving bonesmart. You all have been such a help. Can't wait until I'm a hip replacement veteran and can offer similar comfort to those preparing for the procedure or going through rehab. Take good care.
 

Ocean

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I posted a similar thread a few months ago before my surgery. I was very unhappy with the idea of sleeping on my back. I followed the advice I got on here about pillows and got lots of different shapes and sizes.

After surgery it became clear to me that anything other than sleeping on my back was unattainable. The first few nights were fitful and uncomfortable but then I found the right mix of pillows in the right places for me and it became easier. I’m looking forward to when I can turn on my side but will manage for now.

Good luck with your surgery.
 
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Merrimay

Merrimay

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Thank you, Ocean. I'm slowly waking up to the fact that the realities of post op will be what are . . . no point fretting now when I may find that back-sleeping feels best for me. Last night I made a nest in my non-rocking recliner. Probably slept four hours on my back with no problem. Once upon a time, that would have been impossible! Life is change, as they say. But I know I'll love the day I get to flop onto my left side again.

How many weeks post-surgery are you now? Good luck with your rehab!

I have my first appointment with my surgeon tomorrow. FIngers crossed.
 

Ocean

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@Merrimay, it’ll be three weeks next Monday that I had my op. So far so good with recovery, I think reading the recovery stories on here made me realise that anything could happen and that it’ll all be good in the end. That’s what I’m choosing to believe anyway.

You are great trying to get used to sleeping on your back and I’m pleased that you got some sleep on your recliner, it’ll give you a bit of confidence maybe. I was much too fed up at the idea to give it a go before surgery LOL.
 

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