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[THR] My journey, if only I had known<

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Hip4life, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    I wish I had found this site sooner in my hip replacement journey which started roughly 18 months ago (what?! Exactly my OS reaction.) I was treated off and on by my PCP for arthritis, various muscle syndromes with various drugs and exercises which helped to various degrees until they didn’t. I sort of gave up thinking there was nothing left to try. I was definitely an orthopedic virgin. Lol. This January, when it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to work (3 shifts of 12 hours on my feet as a respiratory therapist) I became desperate and went back to my PCP.
    “Did we ever take an X-ray?” No. There it was in plain black and white. I could see it from across the room. The source of my agony and the vision of my future.
    My doc scheduled an ortho consult (a highly recommended OS at our local medical center) but it wouldn’t be until April. I started to cry. There was no way I could make it until then. My husband told me not to give up just yet. I was blessed that he works with many physicians at the medical center. He personally contacted an OS who graciously arranged to see me sooner: the following week and my right THR surgery was scheduled and performed Feb. 28, 2019. The 2 biggest issues I’ve had are a lot of swelling in my thigh made worse by compression stockings (resolved by POD 6 but maybe sooner if I had known about this site) and ongoing insomnia. The one thing I was looking forward to was finally getting a decent night’s sleep without agonizing pain. No one mentioned that pre or post op. Well, the pain/discomfort is better but sleep can still be elusive. I think it is finally starting to get better as for 2 nights I haven’t had to retreat to the living room so hubby can sleep.
    This forum has helped me with so much information and support from a professional and personal perspective especially post op blues/depression and being patient with your recovery- it takes as long as YOUR hip takes. I had to call my boss yesterday and tell her to push back my return date. She’s the best and with a new tentative date and starting me back at half shifts (another invaluable tip from this site.) I will see the OS next Tuesday for my 6week check. I’ll keep you posted (good pun!) Thanks for “listening.”
     
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  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Hip4life - and :welome:

    I'm glad BoneSmart has already been helpful.

    Here is the post-op reading we give to everyone with a new hip:
    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
    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 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.
     
  3. Hoppy Nanny

    Hoppy Nanny Sr Bonesmartie

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    I felt very much the same as didn’t find BS until I was 7/8 weeks post op on my first THR 6 years ago.... it provides some much info & support. Gives so much peace of mind ! I had to ditch the TED stockings last time as they caused my knee to swell... this time I’ve no problems.

    Glad your work are being helpful ... it so helps not having that stress too.

    I’m 2 weeks out from 2nd THR & find that if I wake up in the night (which I do at about 2am & 6am)
    I ‘break state’ ... Get up walk about to shift the stiffness, make a chamomile tea & a hot water bottle... spend 30 minutes out of bed & then take myself back to bed with a meditation app for 3/4 mins & then I doze off again...

    Since I had my last THR my hubby and I have separate bedrooms as I fidget so much & kept him awake...I snuggle up with one of my doggies & the other one sleeps with him... everyone happy!!!

    Have a good weekend xx




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  4. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    I am another one who now has separate bedrooms. With 2 hip replacements last year and one TKR this year sleep is hard to come by.
    How I envy those people who say they get 7 or 8 hours sleep.
     
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  5. beachlily

    beachlily senior

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    I’m lucky if I’m getting 2 hours between bathroom trips;)
     
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  6. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    @beachlily
    The bathroom trips get less frequent as the days go on, thank goodness.
     
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  7. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    That is true! My husband an I felt like we were back taking care of newborns. Lol. We also had some of our funniest moments due to sleep deprivation. It helps to try and see the lighter side, sometimes. :)
     
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  8. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    That was the moment when I was really happy about my THR. The first night I slept straight through without waking from hip pain was great. The many trips to the bathroom went on for a while post op. I kept well hydrated and it was a thing of every time I woke I had to go.
     
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  9. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    :flwrysmile: Hi Hip4life! Separate bedrooms since I broke my leg and hip 5 years ago. If I wake, I'm in my nest and can keep myself entertained until I doze off again. Between his pee breaks and CPAP, my pee breaks, pain and sleeplessness, we would get less than we had 4 little kids and a newborn!
     
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  10. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    good report
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  11. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    Update: appointment with OS for 6 week f/u. Excellent physician: took as much time as I needed: listening to and answering all of my questions. He was very good about encouraging me for how well I’ve done (even though I’m still using a cane, not driving, or ready to head back to work) but very clear that it was just going to take time and not to rush things. He re-iterated what’s been said here: your body will let you know what it’s ready for. He left my return back to work totally in my hands: when I felt I was ready, he would write the date and clear me. What a relief. I feel so blessed to be so compassionately cared for. There are no words for the gratitude I feel for this man who has given me my life back and the joy of being able to plan for the future again.
     
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  12. SarahBee

    SarahBee graduate

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    Bless your heart, @Hip4life . And I mean that in the very best southern tradition. It is wonderful to have someone who listens and answers your questions. I am happy for you.
     
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  13. Chappyd

    Chappyd member

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    When I was in the question phase of exploring options I asked my Surgeon, how will I sleep? (Meaning on my back, side, etc) He looked at me without missing a beat and simply said "you won't". He then went on to tell me that his patients tell him that they don't sleep much if at all. I didn't pursue it beyond that. I had insomnia once before a long time ago after a divorce, I don't think I slept a wink for 3 months. So be it, it is what it is. I want to be able to just walk out the door someday with my dog's leash in hand, and go for hours, like it used to be. This is the road that will get me there. From other surgeries I know it will be a long time before it's just a memory. Good luck to you going forward Hip4life, I'll be following your footsteps shortly!
     
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  14. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    Today is my 7 week anniversary. I see steady progress but am sometimes discouraged at how much (sometimes 2 steps forward 1 step back.) I’ve gone back to icing and elevation especially when it seems I inadvertently do too much, like on Monday. I’m still dealing with insomnia for which my OS prescribed something (it is helping and the first of any of THR prescription meds with which I have NOT experienced side effects, which blew my mind.) Here are my issues/questions that I could use some insight on, especially since I need to go back to work sometime:
    1. Am I supposed to expect to not have pain/soreness/stiffness before I return to work? I’m on my feet most of a 12 hour shift.
    2. When is it appropriate to stop using the cane? I can walk short distances, mostly around the house but need it for longer distances due to pain/stiffness (which cause me to start limping again.)
    3. Does having been bone on bone for months before surgery affect recovery time?
    4. The pain/soreness/stiffness is from top front and wraps around to the side of RTHR thigh downward to and sometimes including the knee. Also lower R back across and down into buttocks. All mostly with activity. Using ice, ibuprofen, Tylenol. Any other suggestions?
    I appreciate any of your insights, advice, and encouragement. I expect aches and pains and I know it will get better but I’ve dealt with this so long (meaning pre-op) I’m not sure what normal is any more. Thanks.
     
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  15. SE Florida

    SE Florida post-grad

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    Happy anniversary @Hip4life ! Your surgery was the same day as mine. I'm sure you'll receive plenty of answers and support here with your questions. Someone more qualified than me will be checking your post soon. Icing and elevating isn't unusual during this point of recovery. Don't be discouraged (easier said than done) but each day does get better. And if you think back to how bad our bone-on-bone pain was 7 weeks ago, we are doing really good! :flwrysmile:
     
  16. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    You will have discomfort when you first return to work - especially if you have such a long shift. Can you do a phased return to work? You will set yourself back in terms of recovery if you attempt such a long shift.
    There is no "appropriate" time. When you can walk without any walking aid and no discomfort - it's time. Meanwhile do not feel rushed into ditching the cane. You need it to continue to increase your mobility.
    Definitely! Limping around pre-op has a major impact on recovery. I limped around for 3 years pre-op LTHR and my recovery took over one year.
    What kind of activities are you doing currently? Sounds like that new hip is telling you to back off a bit. All this is post op discomfort. How long are you icing and elevating?
     
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  17. Whoknew

    Whoknew member

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    @Hip4life whT you’re describing sounds very normal! I still have pain and stiffness 5 months out although Tylenol and keeping moving helps a lot ( gym and housework). It’s gonna heal in its own time. Expect almost no sleep, lots of peeing (was so glad to reAd it wasn’t just me!) and some days good and others yucky. Hoping it goes smoothly for you! Susan
     
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  18. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    If you wait to have no soreness or stiffness I don't think you will ever return to work. I still have stiffness and soreness, just no deep hip pain just muscle soreness and stiffness.
    I can't remember when I ditched the cane completely but I did take it with me a lot past 6 weeks especially if I was going anywhere with a lot of walking. I know at 12 weeks I was done with it.
    Bone on bone might have prevented you from doing things and weakened the muscles by non use. Now you have full ROM so it will tax your muscles in ways they haven't been used in a while. They will protest.
    Yep, the pain and soreness follows the path of the muscles, if you look at a diagram of the muscles that were manipulated you'll see that's where they all go. Of course they don't like activity, they were traumatized and are still angry over it. Ice is the real deal and not hurting the muscles is the only thing that makes them stop hurting besides time.
     
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  19. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    Thanks, all, for your encouragement and support. Helps me keep a perspective. @Jaycey I’m doing some light chores, PT exercises from post op, and walking. I usually do one longer walk (still with rests) a day, usually outside, try to get up and do short walks regularly throughout day and evening, and the post op hospital PT exercises about 3-4 times per day, and an occasional short outing. Elevation I do most of the time when not up and about but especially after extended activity. I hadn’t been icing so much until recent difficulties intensified but usually about 45 mins per site. And yes, my boss is amenable to phasing in work which is very unusual in most healthcare settings, so I’m blessed that way. Maybe I should just relax more and worry less but it’s hard to avoid pressures from “reality.”
     
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  20. Hip4life

    Hip4life junior member
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    Happy anniversary to you. Thank you and you are so right. It’s important to keep things in perspective. We WILL get there and it’s very nice to have like-minded, supportive people to accompany us on the journey. ❤️
     
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