Lounge Doctor

THR Muscle Stiffness

ChuckYeager

new member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
9
Age
62
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Glad to find this site.. I had total replacement 10.01. Doing pretty well.. stopped the serious meds on 10.05 and now just tylenol.

My concerns are two.. the swelling doesn't seem to be diminishing.. but that's doable.. worse, is when I'm inactive (sitting or resting, or even worse get up after sleeping, the leg muscles are extremely tight.. to the point that the pain causes me to stand for a minute or two and stretch them out.

After that, and taking a dozen steps (with cane), it seems to be fine.

I'm doing the regular prescribed rehab, and walking 3 times a day, for 15 minutes.

Just wondering if anyone else has the problem with muscle tigntening.

Thanks
 

FCBayern

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
2,160
Age
62
Location
Roatan
Gender
Male
Country
Honduras Honduras
Hello and :welome: to BoneSmart! Swelling and tight muscles are very common during this recovery. Ice and elevation will help both symptoms quite a bit. I will leave you our recovery guidelines below, you might want to start with the ice and elevation links.

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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
elevate
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
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital

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.
 

FCBayern

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
2,160
Age
62
Location
Roatan
Gender
Male
Country
Honduras Honduras
Also can you tell us which hip was replaced? We will add it to your signature, it's helpful for staff to provide appropriate guidance.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
27,069
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
As far as the swelling goes, it can last for months. Doesn’t mean it will, but it can. If you’re not already, please begin icing / elevating as suggested by FCBayern above. It will help with pain and swelling. I’m wondering if some of the tightness from the swelling may be what you’re describing as muscle tightness. You can also try some “gentle” stretching. You’re in the very early days of a recovery that can last a full year, even longer for some. I think both the swelling and tightness will ease as more time passes. Please continue to update, we’d love to follow your progress and support you as you continue healing.
A great day and week to you!
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,556
Age
66
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Everything you describe sounds like what most of us has been through. Ice is the best thing for swelling and pain. I didn't rush to stop using pain medication if necessary but when I did I just used ice. Don't know what your prescribed rehab is but some of that could be adding to your swelling and any pains and stiffness. Reading the guidelines and timelines on here and others threads will be helpfull.
 

Magsmom

junior member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
56
Age
62
Location
New Jersey
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@ChuckYeager YES! I had ( and still have ) stiffness in various parts of my leg including quad, glute and IT band. Sometimes down to my ankle too. Standing and taking a few steps gets the blood moving and helps.
My LTHR is 5 weeks tomorrow and is the same leg that had a difficult TKR in Oct 2019. I feel like my entire leg has been impacted by this.

But I’m walking relatively comfortably and anxious to see my surgeon for first follow up on Weds.

Good luck!
 

Sportsider65

junior member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
41
Age
65
Gender
Male
Country
Canada Canada
Welcome to the club.
I had my R THR on Oct 4, so pretty close to yours.
This was my 2nd. L THR 2years ago. Its strong and pain free now. I'm 65, male.
I've had to go a bit slower to start this time. My quadriceps muscle has been much tighter than last time. Guessing a more aggressive operation or possibly they had to lengthen the leg a smidgen, which would make that muscle tighter?
In the last couple days that muscle has decided to relax or has stretched a bit. Feeling much better and stronger too.
For the swelling in my knee and foot, I didn't see much progress until around day 10. I was icing and laying flat on back when resting. Once I ELEVATED the leg on pillows with ice while resting, the swelling disappeared!
I am taking the slow, don't take any steps backward approach, same as my first THR. I have been doing a few circuits around the house with walker up until today. Today I progressed from walking with walker like a cane to actually taking full even steps with about 80% weight bearing.( day 13)
I hope to be up to a few steps with full weight bearing sometime in this next week.
For me, slow and steady won the race on first go around.

All the best to you.
 
OP
OP
ChuckYeager

ChuckYeager

new member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
9
Age
62
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
HI guys.. thanks for sharing your experiences.. (encouraging) .. I suspect I pushed the envelope and then got surprised.

For awhile, I was concerned that I had a problem.. but temp, BP and heart rate have been consistent.

Your sharing has been good for my attitude.. :)

I'm seeing doc today, and have been doing more intense stretching .. which has helped..

CVY
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
27,069
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Best wishes for your appointment today. Let us know how it goes, if you care to share.
Happy Monday to you!
@ChuckYeager
 
OP
OP
ChuckYeager

ChuckYeager

new member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
9
Age
62
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Doc appt. went very well.. apparently I'm doing exactly what he wants me to do.. so, was given a total green light..

As per the counsel I've received from several folks here, the muscle stiffness is normal, and something I have to tolerate until healing progresses.

So, just knowing that, reduces my concerns.. often the unknown is a greater fear than what's actually happening.

One question.. has anyone tried heat to alleviate the muscles? .. I find that after a hot shower, I feel much better.. just a question?

Thanks

CVY
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
27,069
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Good Morning :wave: Its good to hear your appointment went well.
Having a good visit with the surgeon is always a reassurance and mood lifter in these early days of recovery. Regarding heat - we advise against using heat at this point as it can increase / enhance pain and swelling. Whereas cold reduces inflammation and swelling, often relieving pain.
I hope you have a great day and rest of the week. Thanks for the update!
@ChuckYeager
 

Going4fun

graduate
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
866
Age
59
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
That stiffness for many people will continue for weeks and even months. (You just have major major surgery.) Mine lasted in various forms for six months and then like a switch, disappeared.

Generally the recommendation here is to use ice on sore muscles or for pain. Icing is excellent. Icing should really be your close friend at this point.
 

Sportsider65

junior member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
41
Age
65
Gender
Male
Country
Canada Canada
What works for my tight Quad, is to walk a bit with the walker until the bloods flowing. Then I sit in a kitchen chair, slide my foot back along the floor until I feel a bit of tension in the quad muscle. This wasn't much bend at the knee at all last week. Now at day 15, I would guess my knee is bent 60 or 70 degrees before it tightens up. While it's got a tiny bit of tension, I use both hands and massage that muscle for as long as it takes to feel loose. Then bend knee a couple more degrees until quad gets snug, then another slow, deep massage. Then off to the couch, elevate, ice, grab the clicker and relax.
Works for me.
 
OP
OP
ChuckYeager

ChuckYeager

new member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
9
Age
62
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Thanks to all for the feedback.. very encouraging..

Two questions:

How long before sleeping on your side?... and any tricks to make that easier?

Second, any thoughts on PT.. I've been doing the simple exercises every day, and intentionally walking 4 times a day for 15-20 minutes..

Otherwise, not sure what to do next? ..

Thanks

CVY
 

CricketHip

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
5,208
Age
66
Location
PA.
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Sleeping on your side can be tricky at first. When I started I would get maybe 2-3 hours, then needed to adjust back to my back. What is most helpful is pillows.. a large pillow that runs between your knees and down to your ankles can give the much needed support to your new hip.

Some members use a body pillow, I was able to manage with a firm king sized pillow.

The simple exercises and walking is just what you need. No heroics are needed at this point. You are doing great!
 

Magsmom

junior member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
56
Age
62
Location
New Jersey
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Ditto. Kingsize pillow works great and I’m tall w very long legs.

I’m 5.5 weeks post op (Sept 13) snd am pretty ok (finally) sleeping on my non-surgery side for up to ~2 hours.

The surgery side is another story and, for me anyway, will def take a while. I’ve been trying it w the pillow, but don’t last more than 10 min so I decided to just let it go and try again next week.

In these first weeks, I've found I’m most comfortable in a recliner chair with my op leg propped up a bit. I start the night out there and can usually get 3-4 hours before I move back into bed. Ive resigned myself to just sleeping in “installments” for a while.
It’s still Kind of hard for me to concentrate on reading (I miss it!) so podcasts and audiobooks to the rescue.

I had my first follow up yesterday and surgeon was really pleased. He wants me to do PT and was very specific in the Rx re what to/not to do. He wanted to know where/who I would go to and was happy with who I’ve chosen. I was given the ok to ride the bike and/or get on the Precor. No rower for another month-6 weeks.

I’ve also broken my walking up into smaller, more frequent chunks. It still all adds up! Somewhere around 3 mi/day total.

Good luck w sleeping and PT!
 

Sportsider65

junior member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
41
Age
65
Gender
Male
Country
Canada Canada
I couldn't lie on my unoperated side until day 11 or 12.
The long pillow that went all the way from my groin to my foot was a must.
Once I could lift my operated leg a few inches off the bed, my roll to the side became possible.
Starting on my back with pillow between legs, I lift my operated leg a couple inches and then slow roll onto unoperated side, keeping both legs even. Either straight or slightly bent.
At first this only worked for a few minutes due to tightness of my hip. 5 or 6 days later I get an hour or so sleep on my side before rolling to my back.
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
36,552
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
How long before sleeping on your side?... and any tricks to make that easier?
Use a pillow as others have suggested. But plan on not being able to stay in that position for too long at first. You will need to build up the time spent side sleeping. It doesn't take long - but you need a bit of patience.
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,556
Age
66
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Pillows are the trick for side sleeping. I used one between my legs and sometimes another to stop me from rolling on my stomach. At first I couldn't stay on my non op side long as I got and odd feeling like my leg was pulling too hard on the joint. It got easier with time.
PT for me was going for a walk. I found that walking on good flat ground like the walking track at the park was best. I figured out that time speed and distance didn't matter, what mattered most was form. Walking slowly with good posture did more for me than counting speed and distance or steps walked. I did a few of the lying in bed exercises just to make sure I could do them. I had log leg with my right and it was quite some time before I could even lift it to get in or out of bed.
 

New

OneStep App

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
57,673
Messages
1,471,266
BoneSmarties
35,391
Latest member
irving95
Recent bookmarks
0

Top Bottom