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[THR] My new left hip

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by vern748, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Let me tell you a little about myself and my journey to this fateful event, a THR of the left hip, Anterior approach. Oh, maybe 17 years ago I threw myself off my race bike at Sears Point, Sonoma CA. As a 35 year old guy, you can bounce back pretty well. Not quite as well as an 18 year old, but not too bad. Dusted myself off, pushed the bike onto the salvage cart, popped some Advil and called it a day.

    Got home, 2 hr trip, and the hip was swelling pretty bad. The next day was painful, the left hip was severally swollen and bruised. The wife made me go to the hospital. The Dr. said,

    "Wow, too bad you weren't taller then you may have broken the leg and not damaged the hip as bad."

    Fast forward 17 years and its now time to get the hip replaced. The indicator was that the hip started to lock up more and more. Once a year, 3 time in a year, every other month, and then too often for comfort. The nature of the injury left the hip very damaged but usable. I run a mile a day ( treadmill, road running really hurts), and am an avid CrossFitter. If you didn't know me, you wouldn't know that I had a severe hip injury. I had a slight limp which progressed as the day gets closer to dusk, but when it locked up, it was painful.

    As I set the date for the surgery, a year or so out, I started taking steps to be ready. I got myself a trainer and we trained and trained as if there wasn't a tomorrow. I increased my training for 1 or 2 times a week to every other day and the weekends. My goal was to be ready for this day.

    I consider myself lucky or luckier than most. I was not racked with pain from the injury, I could still run and jump and dance....at times. Yes, the pain was constantly there, like a burning knife ready to inflict pain if I turned too fast or stepped into a pothole or something else I did stupid. It just did not slow me down any...well maybe I could not bowl, but who bowls anymore anyway. I used my hip for all it would give me up until its last day.

    OP - Feb 6th. Dr. Lee leaned over me, after the surgery. I am just coming out of sedation;
    "Vern, that was really ugly, but we got it done." The femoral head was 40mm larger than what it should have been. Bone had been growing on the head, been ground down and grown some more. The trauma of its environment produced an ugly piece of anatomy. I, unlike most hip replacement patients, was shorter after the operation.

    OP+22
    I am up and walking unassisted. My pills are ;
    2 aspirin a day
    2 Motrin a day
    We kicked off the Tylenol and the Tramadol within the first week or so, with the Dr. permission with the assurance that we/I would use them if we had pain of 4 and up.
    So far, my longest walk is to the general store and coffee shop in town...a mile away, and back. Longgg break at the coffee shop. Did that a few days ago....too much. Rested for a few days and did it again....much better.

    I do have some pain in the t-band, running the length. Feels like I have a wallet full of 1's in my front pocket. A bit of dull pain in the groin area. The incision area is still slightly numb, but that may or may not come back. Ah, my glute, its still round and swollen just a bit. Will be a few months before its back to its normal self.

    Overall, I am pretty happy with were I am. I do have more pain now than I had before the surgery, but that should not last...I hope. I'm taking it slow or slowly. All I can do now until week 6 is do more harm than good.

    As my Dr. said,
    "Vern, don't muck it up."
     
  2. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi Vern :wave:
    Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us! That's quite the story. You definitely got some wear out of your hip since the biking accident. It sounds as though you were physically fit going into surgery and you seem to be doing pretty well. Please take it slow. You're in the very early days of recovery and there is still a lot of healing to happen.

    Stop by often, we'd love to support and encourage you as you continue healing.
    A great weekend to 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 discomfo
    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 to 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. @vern748
     
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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  3. Debru4

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    Hi Vern---I have heard similar stories to yours about folks who had some type of accident when they were younger that they managed to work through for many years......until they couldn't;) Sounds like you timed that surgery just right based on the nasty piece they cut out, and the condition of the hip. Good for you---waiting much longer may have made things worse. Sounds like you are being really smart about your recovery as well.

    I had kind of an opposite experience. I had hip pain that came on quickly. When I first went to my doctor with hip pain I expected him to tell me I needed to do PT or something similar. Instead he said it was bone on bone and nothing but surgery would help. I ended up waiting almost 6 months due to planned trips, a new grand baby, and other commitments, so I did "get" to suffer quite a bit, but not for years. After my surgery, he told me what a mess it was in there---far worse than he typically saw.
    Just amazing the variation in people, in hips, and in recoveries!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  4. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    I have a friend with a similar story. Wrecked his bike at Road Atlanta and broke his pelvis. Took him about 5 years to need the hip done. Just keep your OS's advice in mind with everything you do.
     
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  5. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi @vern748 and :welome:

    Great to hear you got that bad hip fixed and you are on your way to healthy and happy.
    Please forgive me if I see your run-up to THR as a potential cautionary tale.

    Hey, hindsight is always 20-20.:yes:

    The body is trying keep up with what we throw at it. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. We want to be healthy...immune system in tact...strong muscles etc...but it sounds like you are lucky you didn't break off some of those spurs or cause your hip to collapse .:scare:

    Please say that this surgery and the subsequent recovery will.:beg:

    I can only imagine this is likely from trying to continue "as usual" with the damaged hip.

    Great news is it sounds like your body is strong, resilient, and can heal itself if you let it.
    Your aforementioned pains are common After-THR complaints, but your admirable "determined to not less this stop me" nature might make the premise that LESS is MORE these early days the most difficult aspect of your recovery.
    Work smarter, not harder ..
    works for recovery.:yes:
    Yep.
    Your body has this first part of recovery handled, if you let it.
    Have a restful weekend...all temporary and the payoff is amazing.
     
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  6. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    My bilateral surgery was performed via anterior also and the numbness was prominent for months.
    I also thought might be collateral damage but it slowly but surely dissipated.
    All normal now!:tada:
     
  7. Debru4

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    Vern---I totally agree with Mojo333, and hope you will remember that slow and steady wins this race, or as a good friend of mine always says, "Go Slow to Go Fast".

    As an observer on this forum, it seems to me that recovery is especially challenging for people who are used to being very active and want to push fast to get back into the gym or resume their previous exercise regime.

    It helps if you can think of other things to do that perhaps you haven't had time for previously---recovery is a great time to catch up on some reading, Sudoko or other puzzles, some TV/movies, visits with friends, etc. Pretty tame, but an opportunity to stretch a bit also;)
     
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  8. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Complete understand. In the motorcycle world, there is a saying similar to "Go slow to go Fast". Its my mantra now.

    I had the discussion with my Dr a few years ago. Told him my plan on physical fitness. His response was that it was so bad that whatever I did to it through exercising was inconsequential. Might have sped up the timeline by a year or so. Either way, it needed to be replaced. In fact, several Dr prior to Dr. Lee said they would not do it since i was not in enough pain. :scratch:

    So, I am told the week of the 4 -6th are the most important. Per the Dr. They drill the femur shaft 1mm smaller than the prosthesis. The bone reacts to this by expanding the area of the shaft slightly, natural wound response. So, at week 1 you have a good friction fit, but by week 3-4 the expansion has loosed the fit slightly. Within this period, one can cause the relationship of the joint to the ball and the rest of the leg to be incorrectly indexed. By week 6 there should be sufficient bone growth to make the connection reasonable secure. And then another few months to make it completely healed. In a perfect scenario.

    So, since I am on week 3 +2 days, it all about going slow.

    PS. Thank you everyone for the feedback and the support. What a great forum.
    Cheers.

    PSS. No alcohol.
     
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  9. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    :)Glad to hear it...it will be so great to get through this...and get on with life in a big way!
    I bet you'll be golden this summer!:SUNsmile:
     
  10. Debru4

    Debru4 graduate

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    Interesting info about the femur shaft and prothesis. Nice to meet someone else familiar with the "go slow to go fast" saying....typically when I say it, people say, "huh????":chinstroke:
     
  11. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Yea,
    "Smooth is Fast, start Slow to be Smooth"

    OP+24 - Did a nice long mile walk into town yesterday. Rested and had a nice longggg coffee break. Walked back home. Maybe a mile in all. Today all is feeling good. No stiffness beyond the usual morning stiff.
     
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  12. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    hip-Day25.jpg
    Day 26

    All is looking good. You can still see the water seal, some of it is coming off. The black stuff is the magic marker. Dr. did a good job of marking things up.

    Did a long walk today, really good to get some movement into the hip. The front of the thigh, right of the incision, is sore. Good and bad, it means its no longer as numb, now its really tight. Still feels like I have a wallet full of 1's in my front pocket.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  13. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    All sounds good...yes those lovely quads sure stay sore for quite a bit.
    I said it felt like they hung me up and used my quads for punching bags:dubious:

    You sound very well...onward and upward:egypdance:
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  14. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi Vern,
    Sounds like you're doing well. Your incision looks good.
    You're one month post op already tomorrow. Happy One Month Anniversary! :happydance:
    It's a satisfying milestone....at least I thought so.
    Have a great Tuesday!
    @vern748
     
  15. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Thank you so much. You all are the best. Great to get the support.

    Cheers
    Vern
     
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  16. skopg

    skopg junior member

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    You are a week behind me. I am 40 and an active power lifter. I walk a couple miles a day during the work day. I take it nice and slow as I rebuild my stamina. I also have been back in the gym the past 2 weeks doing light upper body workouts. Being able to get back to a normal routine has been awesome for me mentally. My hip broke down from dysplasia a month before Christmas. It started with groin pain and got worse everyday till I couldn’t walk. Today I feel like a new man.
     
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  17. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Thanks skopg,
    Like you, I am also gym rat. For me, its now a matter of getting back into a comfortable routine, and not really a "workout". Like you, it puts me into a good place. It's going to be many a month before I'm ready to do Kettle Bells, hex squats and box pushed. Doing 30 minutes on the recumbent bike at minimal resistance. Another 30 on an upper body exercise machine. It gets me out of the house, it gets me moving.

    When I started at the gym a few years ago, my trainer asked me my training goals.
    "Be ready for the day I get my hip replaced"
    Took her aback for a bit, but she was a trooper, and I was more prepared than I expected.
     
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  18. skopg

    skopg junior member

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    I recenty purchased 2 skierg machines for the weight room at the school I work/coach at. Those things have been an amazing way to get my cardio going. As I progress through my recovery I find myself reevaluating my training goals. It’s all been lift heavy, now I just can’t see the sense in that. Functional fitness is the new goal
     
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  19. S00zd

    S00zd junior member

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    Hi @vern748 and welcome here. I found the forum at about 8 weeks post replacement on right and wish I'd found it much sooner! Apart from the motorbike bit (although I do love them but have always been pillion apart from a few years on a scooter) you sound like me. Go at life fast and furious, do everything to excess, especially exercise. Don't slow down, not for anyone, no sir. So....instead of walking up the stairs from the beach to the prom like any normal sane 60+ person would do, I leapt. And misjudged the height. And snapped the head off the femur.
    Anyway, like you, what's done is done.
    There are so many experienced long-time, short-time, medium time hippies here and it's such a massive help to listen to other viewpoints and advice. I was going mad with pain, although completely continuing to hobble around as fast as possible as that's how I am. Then I came and listened. And slooooowed down. 9 weeks post thr and, touch wood, taking only paracetamol twice per day.
    It's so great to read other people's stories and share the varied experiences. look forward to hearing more from you and hoping you have a speedy yet gentle recovery, if that makes sense. I do think being super-fit to start with has got to help. :hog::vespa:
     
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  20. vern748

    vern748 junior member
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    Hi S00zd,

    It's all about life and enjoying it while your here. I just had some shirts made with;
    "You can add years to your life or life to your years."
    Some may ask, whats that? It's all about quality and not quantity.

    Hang in there and you'll be back to yourself in no time.
     
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