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THR My Summer Recovery in California

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ShellKay13

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I know there will be lots of various aches and pains after surgery. Has anyone else noticed their opposite foot, mainly my big toe joint, hurting?? I'm sure its how I'm walking but man lately its bothering me. It worries me as I know my mom has arthritis in her big toe joint and just hope that isn't already flaring up in me!
 

leejaa

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Try hiking poles instead of the cane. I found I walked more normally and my hand did not hurt from using it. It really helped me get my walking down and balanced between the two legs instead of leaning to one side - some of this is the new hip and some the habit from pre op.
 
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ShellKay13

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Just a quick update....I'm now at 6 1/2 weeks. The last few days I've pretty much completely gotten off the cane. I limp slightly when I first start to walk but after a few steps its pretty darn good. I did a ton of walking Sunday as we went up to a local amusement park, Santa's Village (so cute!) I used my cane since I would be on my feet all day, but did great and was not sore after, YAY! I did however stay off the zip-line and climbing wall LOL (but I DID do the tomahawk throwing!) :eyebrows:

I've been back to the gym, doing the bike with tension added and the elliptical. Felt great, and the only thing that was sore afterwards was my left non-surgical hip which will need a THR at some future point. My total workout time has been just between 30-40 min right now.

I saw my OS today. I'm happy to report that he cleared me to get pedicures ;) He also confirmed that I can skip formal PT. Since I am self-motivated and back in the gym on my own he said its fine. I'm glad, because I did not enjoy PT before....felt like they pushed me beyond what my body could handle and it always took days to recover. He said there are no specific exercises or stretches needed, just continue to work to regain strength in my surgical leg. He also looked at my incision and said its ok to be in a pool at this point as well. The scar is a bit hard so he said to rub it some and it will soften over time. I do have just a bit of pain still in my knee on the surgical side, as well as my foot on the other side. I hope those pains subside over time as my gait continues to improve.

Anyway, I know its not an exciting update but I just wanted to maybe give some hope to those a few weeks behind me that are perhaps frustrated. It seems just in the last few days my leg/hip is returning to normal function in huge leaps and bounds. And, like I said, other than the few PT sessions at home, I haven't done much, just normal activities, using my stairs, nothing special. The one thing I will definitely wait on though is walking my dog (he's not small!). Every once in awhile he pulls me pretty good and I definitely don't want to twist or fall.


  • :flwrysmile::egypdance:
 

Calgal

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Fabulous news! Ahhhh, Santa's village! I remember going up there when I was a little girl, can't believe it's still there. But there was certainly no zipline back then!! Great to hear you getting out and enjoying the summer. Its amazing the difference a week makes. :wow:
 
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ShellKay13

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Hi! So I’m just over 4 months and the surgical hip is doing well, scar is still purple and just when I sit a long time it takes me a few steps to kinda straighten out and walk normal but for the most part all is good.

I’ve started working out again, mainly walking, spin class once a week and just added in Pilates which I thought would be great. Well, it feels too difficult and now my other hip (which I knew was not in great shape) is starting to exhibit signs of failing :’(. I was REALLY REALLY REALLY hoping to put off a second hip surgery for 4-5 years but now this hip seems to be where my surgical hip was just about a year ago. I’m going to stop Pilates.... I didn’t think that would accelerate the deterioration and thought it would be good for my surgical hip to build the muscle and get back in shape.... but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It reminds me of when I was first trying to do PT to avoid surgery. All PT seemed to do was hurt me and I would take days to recover.

I’m just sad, really wanting to get back to normal and not focus of medical issues and surgery and was not prepared to have to start dealing with hip pain again so soon on my other side. My surgeon said it would likely be anywhere between 1-6 years before needing surgery on left side, so naturally I was hoping for 6 years!

Who has gone thru this? Maybe I can delay surgery with a few years of cortisone shots?? Ugh, this was such a miserable summer with recovery, I was hoping to look forward to a tropical vacation next summer, not surgery :(
 

ceezee

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I had the same thing happen but even quicker. I think the stress of having to take over for the hip that had the surgery really does a job on the other hip. It degraded so fast I ended up getting the second one done within 3 months of the first. I was shocked.

On the positive side, you get them done and taken care of and no more hip worries.

I had tried cortisone on the first hip and it did nothing. Then you have to wait 3+ months before you can have surgery. So that’s a downside. For the second hip I didn’t even try it. Every case is different so it may work for you. My OS wasn’t very convinced it would help and it didn’t.

It’s great to hear your four month hip is doing so well!
 

Jaycey

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Who has gone thru this?
Me! The first thing I asked when they did the x-ray after my LTHR was how did the right one look. All good, no issues. Fast forward a bit and yes, the right one started complaining. I decided to get that THR as soon as possible and it did pay off. Having a hip replaced before there is significant damage is a much easier recovery.
Maybe I can delay surgery with a few years of cortisone shots??
I would not go this route. Delaying will only add to the damage - including the impact to other areas.

It's tough when you have to face it all again. But the good news is once the second one is done you can get on with living again. Pilates here we come!
 

ceezee

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Hi again @ShellKay13,

You mentioned a trip next summer. One other thing played into my decision making about when to have the second surgery. I really wanted it all done with this year so I could definitely plan a long trip next year back to Norway and the fjords. I didn’t want to struggle with it and put up with it and end up having to cancel that vacation.

I ran into tons of trip scheduling problems this year. As it turned out for me, when the cortisone shot didn’t work on the first hip and it went downhill fast I had to wait the 3 months for the surgery. This forced me to cancel a long planned trip I was going to take this year to Ireland. After this, I went ahead with the second hip as soon as I could as it was crashing as well. There was nothing to be gained by waiting.

It’s a lot to consider. But as everyone tells me....no one ever says they wish they’d waited longer to have the hip replacement surgery.
 

CricketHip

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@ShellKay13 Darn, I'm sorry to read about your other hip. I guess you have 2 options.

1) Get the other hip replaced and move on with your life
2) Delay the other hip and only do activities that won't flare up that other hip.

Maybe mull that over and see which one is more desirable to you.

I wish in hindsight, that I had addressed the second hip sooner. I thought I did address it sooner than the first hip, but in retrospect, I should have acted more quickly. It wasn't as horrible as the first hip (pre op) but I see now that it curtailed a lot of my activities.

I can imagine just how frustrated and blue you must be feeling.. and am so sorry you have to deal with this. :console2:
 

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Hi,
I never mentioned this to the forum because I don’t even want to think about it; but after reading your post, I now remember what my surgeon told me ... which is...that my left hip is constructed very much like my right one was, meaning that the joint space was narrow to begin with and he said he would not be surprised if I had to have my left one replaced as well!!!

I'm still working on dealing with the getting my right hip well - it's 6 months now - I am amazed at how much you are doing after just 4 months. 2 months ago, I still could not put on my socks or shoes w/o a prop. And now, I'm sort of learning to walk again.

Like many, I hope this does not happen for years down the line - since I could not imagine going through what I did these past 6 months. But, if I were in the same pain I was in when it was time to replace my right hip - I probably wouldn't wait - I would just want to get it over with. As it was, I tried to get a cortisone shot to help the pain in my hip and avoid surgery, but that did not work for me - and I also had to put off surgery for 3 more months because of the risk of infection (after the cortisone shot).

I'm really sorry you have do deal with this also. I may have to deal with this too some day - and I'm dreading it!!
 

Debru4

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10 years ago I had cortisone shots for my back, and last year for my hip. The first one each time helped a lot---for several weeks, the second one for a shorter amount of time, and for my back, the 3rd one only a couple of days. Having the shots helped me in the short term, but the quick deterioration convinced me that I was not that one in a one hundred person who found long term relief from the injections. In retrospect, i don't regret getting the shots to get me through the short term, BUT I also wish I had done both the back and the hip surgeries sooner. I recovered from both far quicker than I expected to, and it wouldn't have mattered what else I did, both needed surgery to correct the issues. If/when my 2nd hip starts complaining, I will take care of it more quickly than I did the first. It stinks for you to have the 2nd one failing while you are still recovering from your first replacement. Hopefully, as the new hip settles down, the "old" one will as well, and a 2nd replacement won't be needed so soon. But if not, try to focus on how nice it will be to have them taken care of, so you won't have issues in the future:).
 

ForumUser

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SK,

I used corticosteroid shots in the hip most recently replaced for over two years - 1st one was incredible and absolutely normal for 4 plus months, 2nd was great for same period, 3rd fine for four months, 4th meh for four months and 5th didnt do anything, so had it replaced two months later.

You’re doing fine on recovery - my answer on establishing non limping gait is to have anyone you walk with slow behind you and watch, then yell at you when you show a limp . My wife loved this part!
 
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ShellKay13

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Thank you everyone for your responses. There is definitely an upside to doing the second hip sooner rather than later....I'm hating living in fear, wondering if vacations I plan, etc can actually happen or if I will be in pain and have to cancel. Same with pilates.....I was excited to be back to "feeling normal" and building strength back up but now I'm having to go back to restrictions and limitations, whereas if I was on the other side of having both hips replaced I wouldn't be worrying about the restrictions and limitations.

I only had one cortisone shot before surgery and it actually lasted a good 5-6 months, might have lasted longer but I went ahead and had the replacement because having younger kids, summer was just the best time for me and I didn't want the cortisone to wear off in the middle of the school year when it would be extremely difficult for me to have the surgery. My oldest son will be getting his driver's license soon so that will be helpful when I need a second replacement.

Also, when my right hip was really going bad it caused my back to go out as well all the time on top of the hip pain. My back is not great now, but since getting the replacement my back has not went out once, I just have to be careful :) I don't want to repeat that again by waiting too long to get the left side done.

Now, I know some of it is fear.....my left side isn't hurting that much, its more like now I know all the tell-tale signs and understand what the feelings really are, whereas when my right side was going bad, I really had NO IDEA what was going on....I just thought I tore something excersizing. I mean, I'm in my 40's, NO WAY would I need a hip replacement right?!?!? Well, now I know better.

I will keep checking in....this is the only place where I feel like people actually understand what I'm going thru. Everyone "in real life" is compassionate, but I do get sooo tired of people asking me WHY this is happening to me. I get tired of explaining that my darn body is just deteriorating and really don't know why arthritis is hitting me so hard so young. Just lucky I guess.
 

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@Marvin L - I had a major peg leg walk that has turned into a minor peg leg walk. I had to chuckle when I saw that you used the term peg leg. I thought I was the only person using that phrase.
I am in PT and have requested gait training. Even though my gait is better I still have work to do. I also feel like I have a wad of metal in my body. I know it will take time for my operative (right side) leg and hip to feel normal again . But now it feels so foreign. Any tips on how I can improve my gait? I noticed in another of your post that you said you had improved. Hope you continue to improve in leaps and bounds. Thx
 
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ForumUser

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SK,

My recent replacement was May 14, 2019 ... first was 20 years ago. Both resulted in near normal mobility with 8 weeks.

Three week trip to Colorado at 8 weeks, drove three days each direction, walked hills, hiked a bit, etc.

Week long trip to Canada fishing at 12 weeks, with airline flight, on and off little boats, etc.

At the end of three week trip to Europe now ... massive walking, drove for several days, ferries, luggage up and down countless stairs, flights, etc.

If I can do this, anyone can.

You’re gonna be great ... ask for critiques of your walking and keep walking to fix any little things others notice.

BTW - no PT in either circumstance. Sure, I did my own stretching starting at about 8 weeks, but key is to walk, walk, walk.
 
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