THR Moosehead's Recovery

Gonna get a scolding, but here it is, 3 days post-op.
Ok, I'll scold.:heehee:
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

If it gave you some encouragement that your new hip actually works, I can give you that.

However, in my opinion, the energy that walk took should have been going toward healing... and pushing your body so early out is really not helpful.
It may seem like you are doing nothing, but your body's energy stores are busy doing things like making and restoring lost blood, repairing soft tissue damage, and beginning the process of producing the important building blocks to insuring proper bone growth into your new prosthesis so it can be solid and not loosen.
Shorter walks will be more helpful these early days.
The trick is to be aware that the pain of overdoing it often doesn't occur during the walk--it often appears a day or two later. If and when you get that (it's almost impossible not to overdo it at some point)
Very true!

Certainly when I had my BTHR, I saw members who were overly ambitious who didn't seem to suffer any long-term consequences, but even though I am kind of known for somewhat risky adventurous behavior...I wanted to make sure my new hips had all the healing time possible.
These early days are crucial.

All only because I worry!:friends:
:wave: @Moosehead
Hope you are doing well and having an easy does it Sunday!:SUNsmile:
Cheers Mojo, thanks for the good words.

I’ve been quoting you: “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.

Or a similar version: “if it feels good, don’t do it!”.

All good, chillin out on a long weekend. Feeling very fortunate and grateful.
Or a similar version: “if it feels good, don’t do it!”.
Well, I officially feel like a Debbie Downer.:) :-) (:

Someone left this for me when I was recovering...

When you are icing and elevating and watching telly you are not 'dossing around' you are 'engaging a carefully considered proactively designed heuristically programmed dynamically structured recovery programme'.
Week 1 Summary: I am so lucky and grateful.

Dr. Dennis Chang and his team and Rose Hospital Denver did a remarkable job with the anterior THR. Meanwhile, other than a bad back, I have thus far no other compounding health challenges as many others seem to carry.

Key for me at least is balancing tons of rest with mild motion and proper PT that is neither overkill or babied. My surgeon wanted me up and moving with pain being the governor to not overdo anything.

Have been icing at least once every 1-3 hours with elevated legs majority of the day. Have been slowly walking one block around the neighborhood daily since day 3 post op. PT had me on a stationary bike light resistance for 2.5 miles/10 minutes this AM - day 7. Pain immediately post op was max 4 but mostly 1-2 with some tightness around anterior incision, it had been 6+ pre op. Hip flexor is weakest and only slightly painful area all from incision, taking it very slow here as putting on shorts is biggest physical challenge. Other hurdle was sleeping first few nights, but that is improving rapidly.

Most critical recovery tools week 1: Good ice packs, gym shorts, Offos flip flops, Lounge Doctor Pillow, slightly elevated toilet seats with hand rails.

As meatheaded as it sounds, have not used crutches since day 3.

Much appreciate all the knowledge and care here on the forum.
As meatheaded as it sounds, have not used crutches since day 3.
In my opinion that's awesome. Your new hip will support you. For many there is some apprehension involved, understandably so. I also feel if a member is having any BP fluctuations or fainting spells initially they should use a walker or crutches for awhile. Assistive devices are also extra security in regard to balance. With that said, you obviously felt confident enough to set them aside and its worked well for you and that's fantastic!
Great update, thanks for sharing. It's inspirational for all of those following behind.
Go Meathead...I mean Moosehead. :wink: JK...couldn't resist. YOU set that one up for me.:heehee:
Two week update. Got staples removed this AM, xrays look good, walking 1 mile daily sometimes twice, proper PT progressing. Get tired easily but very lucky and grateful. Butt gets sore from sitting around so much.

Still tough sleeping at night, but it makes napping during the day common and that helps keep leg elevated during the day along with icing. I overdid two days of a long car ride and watching my son’s away tennis match and the operated leg swelled up like a balloon. A day of ice and the Lounge Doctor did the trick. As BoneSmart guidelines recommend, get the operated leg elevated above your heart as much as possible.

Much appreciate this community. Cheers all.
Thanks for the update, you're doing well, Moosehead.
I overdid two days of a long car ride and watching my son’s away tennis match and the operated leg swelled up like a balloon
Our body does a pretty good job of letting us know we've done too much. Glad you're listening. Ice and "toes above nose" really works. :yes: Happy Two Week Anniversary!
:wave:Two weeks down.
Glad you got rid of the staples and x-rays were good.
When I saw my X-rays and my new hardware it was rather Surreal.
Really can't feel my "artificial" hips.

I survived with power naps for quite a while too...a full night Sleep was one of my biggest aspirations as I was so sleep deprived prior to surgery.
It all finally worked itself out.

Hope the rest of your week is restful, @Moosehead :ok:
At four weeks able to walk up and down stairs both legs, which is a bit of a miracle. Riding a cruiser bike at slow to moderate speed 5 miles on flat terrain, which is more for range of motion than strength. Walking 2 miles daily. Lots of PT balance exercises, leg bands, some very mild abductor/adductor movements. Sleep starting to improve, can sleep on either side, stomach, and back. Down to Tylenol as needed.

Pain largely after sleeping and sitting, some soreness after new PT exercises. Both mitigated with walking.

Surgeon thinks I can get back in the swimming pool in another week or so, but wants to wait to let me get back down onto the floor (and back up) to do some mild back stretches.

Ice, elevation, patience, and mild walking are your friends, as is this incredible BoneSmart board of kind, knowledgeable folks. Much gratitude.
Aww, such kind words about the forum! I am happy you're doing so well. This second chance does feel like a miracle after struggling with a deteriorating joint. May your new hip serve you well for many years to come.
Happy Autumn!
At 6 weeks post op am able to get down and up off the floor for some mild stretching! Cleared to get back into the pool for laps. Hallelujah!

Surgeon said to go ahead and put my operated leg ankle up on opposite knee. Just looked at him like he was nuts. He said I not only can do it but needed to allowing the operated joint to stretch. I might have said something to the effect of NFW. He said yes, way.

So I did. Crossed my legs, operated leg over other leg! Can get socks and shoes on now. Holy smokes.

Then he said without asking that I could go alpine skiing later this winter and recommended blue cruising runs on soft snow. As in 6 months after THR. Again, I looked at him like he had three heads.

Not making up any of the above.
That is great to read, @Moosehead - what a terrific recovery. You must feel amazing. I want to be just like you.

Can I ask what surgical approach you had? I’m just over three weeks from my posterior LTHR and although I am getting stronger every day, and making progress on mobility, I am SO stiff. The day I am told I can start some gentle stretching will be a very happy one indeed.
Go Moosehead! :egypdance:
All good news. Thanks for sharing an update.
A great rest of the week to you. :)
@Tuppence71, best wishes to your fast and successful recovery and return to normal life over time. As BoneSmart correctly recommends, patience, time, icing, elevation, and mild walking are your friends. You also have youth on your side.

On my most recent left THR it was anterior approach which as I understand it has a bit faster healing given less tissue cutting and manipulation, as well as less dislocation exposure. My now 20 year old right hip resurfacing was a posterior approach and much larger incision, regardless have been lucky there too with no dislocation despite alpine skiing, watersports, and biking.

Even at 6 weeks post op, I am still stiff after waking up in the morning and after sitting. It usually takes a good two to three strides to get the motor running properly and into a proper gait. The incision area is still stiff and nerves are not fully healed and therefore still somewhat numb.
Hey just curious why you chose hip replacement rather than another resurfacing.


@ljpviper, I was definitely biased towards another resurfacing given my great experience with my first hip; however, the following convinced me to go with anterior THR:

1) My prior resurfacing was done by Amstutz/Smalzreid in Los Angeles, but they had seemingly shut down their practice and had some sort of diffculty with certain failed procedures and/or medical devices, not sure exactly. 20 years ago when they pioneered the resurfacing procedure, I was an early pre-FDA approved test case.

2) While many other hip surgeons had since taken up resurfacing, it had fallen out of favor the past 5+ years to a large degree as compared to advancements in anterior THR.

3) I was examined by at least 4 hip surgeons prior to choosing Dr. Dennis Chang. All recommended anterior despite my prior resurfacing success. All commented that I was lucky not to have any problems with resurfacing as the femoral neck (before the ball) is the least strong bone component of the femur and required both strong bone and a well executed ball mount installation due to tight tolerances. All suggested the anterior procedure avoided muscular cuts, larger incision, and the least amount of tissue stretching therefore allowing faster recovery, lesser dislocation exposure, and better surgery outcome with less bleeding.

4) Resurfacing is largely metal on metal and there is the risk of metal particulates over time and wear entering the bloodstream and causing weakness of bone/metal adhesion along with other health risks. This is the case for one resurfacing, but two would create much higher risk and potential concentration of metal particulates.

5) Most anterior THR surgeons suggested the latest technology would last 20+ years. That was not the case 20 years ago, and even resurfacing was hoped to last 10+ years back then if one was lucky. At 40 years old despite resurfacing being early days, I almost felt as if there was no choice back then given I would likely need at least one revision of the resurfacing and wanted to preserve as much bone as possible. At 60 and with expected longevity of anteior THR, I felt more comfortable with modern anterior THR.

6) My biggest mental block to anterior THR was the notion of a femoral stem inserted into the hollow femur struck me as something of a “log splitter” and I feared bone fracture at my activity and larger size. All the anterior surgeons stated my larger, stronger bone structure was ideal for anterior THR and that risk of fracture in my case was 1% or less.

Sorry for the long response, and some of it may be countered by those with more recent resurfacing success. Obviously, Andy Murray’s resurfacing success is remarkable and can certainly provide a great alternative especially to younger candidates.
7 weeks post op. Mellow mountain bike ride! All double and smooth single track so no fall exposure.


Wow, that's amazing, I'd be terrified of falling off the bike! LOL!
The scenery is quite stunning, I would imagine you just get lost riding in that serene setting.
I've been doing about 3 miles a day around here and enjoying the foliage. Probably last week for any great color here, wind and rain expected.
Thanks for sharing.

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