THR New Here- THR 8/22/22- Muscle Atrophy (maybe)

SweetV

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I am so relieved to have found this group! I am 4 weeks post surgery and this is probably one of the hardest things that I have done in my life. I am reading through a lot of threads and I am finding that most of what I am feeling is "normal". I was fortunate enough to stay with a relative the first 3 weeks after surgery. I am back at home and now everything is difficult. I am a single parent and there are things that I have to do. (cook dinner, clean etc.) I am constantly being told by other people that their relative had a hip replacement and they were back to normal at 3 weeks and I am going to be great...but honestly, I am still walking with a cane because my muscles are super weak. I have Osteoarthritis, and my right hip was bone on bone for at least 6 months. Prior to surgery, I wasn't able to do much. The first few weeks after surgery weren't so bad, but now my leg muscles burn and when I put total pressure on my right leg, it hurts. (not excruciating pain, but not comfortable) I also have a weird clicking or popping sensation when I walk. That scares me, but I did just read that could be normal. I am in PT and have my second appointment this evening. I felt good after the last session, so I am hoping the same for today.
I was down so long before this surgery, I am anxious to be able to do things again...but feeling a bit discouraged because of the pains that I get in my muscles. I keep having the thoughts , "Will I ever be normal again?", "Did this help?". There are days when I feel like I am walking just like I did before surgery...and that is overwhelming.
I look forward to reading about everyone's journey and sharing mine.
Thank you so much,
V
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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@cold_brew ...again I am new here, can you please elaborate on what sounds dubious or unusual? :)
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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@cold_brew - I think I didn't see the "Back to normal at 3 weeks" part. Yes, agreed and about 4 friends have said this and its discouraging because they are comparing me to entirely different situations.
Thank you for realizing that!
 

Jaycey

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@SweetV First, my condolences that your "friends" are spouting all that rubbish. They obviously have no clue about this recovery.

Having to limp around for at least 6 months (or longer I imagine) takes it toll on so many other areas of the body. Yes, muscles atrophy, strength goes. It will take some time to build up strength and stamina. I'm afraid the best prescription is patience.

Four weeks out is very early days. I started seeing marked progress at about 6 weeks out. Ditched the cane and got the approval to drive again. But we are all different and literally every THR recovery is different - even on the same person.

Here is some reading for you:

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

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
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 this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
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.
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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@Jaycey Thank you so much. I am working on having "Patience". (it's always been a struggle with certain things) :heehee:
I was cleared to drive at 3 weeks and I am thinking that may not have been the best decision.
 

Holiday

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Hello sweetV
Firstly congratulations on your surgery. I’m 13 weeks post total right hip surgery. This is a great site for help and reassurance. You had a tough time before your surgery as did I. I was walking with two canes for about 2 months. It is upsetting when ‘people’ tell you you will practically be running at 6 weeks!! It’s different for everyone and I have realised that this is going to take a long time particularly because of the way of walking before the op. I have had ups and downs and only this week I am having pain in my groin which makes me worry. What we aren’t prepared for I think is the mental thoughts and worries along with the physical stuff. You are very early in your recovery and if you have a good physiotherapist who has advised you well then I’m sure all will be good. One day at a time, it will happen, but try to be positive and patient, and you’ll realise you are doing more each week. Wishing you all the best with everything x
 

Eman85

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Ahhh the 3 week wonder stories! They are out there but the true ones are very few and far between, most are more like fishing tales. Everyone on here has had the experience of having 1 or more THR's and few were "normal" at 3 weeks most of us weren't there at 3 mos.
I doubt your muscles are atrophied what they are is strained and sore from the procedure. To perform the surgery we are dislocated and the muscles stretched, they don't like that. As you do more the muscles will protest and if you do too much they will really let you know. The hard part of the first 3 mos is finding the balance of not over doing. I see you also have the clicking feeling. I had it with both hips and they were both different when it happened. my left did it when I walked, my right only did it if I was on my back in bed and did a heel slide. It's just muscles and tendons moving and they will settle down as they tone back into place, or they did for me.
 

subie2021

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In my experience normal at 3-4 weeks meant sitting in the recliner and clicking the remote; hobbling to the kitchen and rinsing out my coffee mug; dumping some frozen fries and a couple of hot dogs into the air fryer and calling it dinner; getting into and out of the shower without involving EMS; and being able to use the grabber with the precision and finesse of a brain surgeon.
'Normal' will change for you over time, so don't stress over exaggerated claims of nameless faceless recoveries.
Your muscles might be weak from all the pre op work they did or didn't do, that they couldn't or shouldn't have been doing as well all the surgical trauma. Again, over time they'll regain strength and function. Just be careful not to push too much or else they'll complain!
Be kind and patient with yourself. Best wishes!
 

cold_brew

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Yes my ‘dubious’ comment referred to full-ish recovery at 3 weeks
 

Going4fun

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It's amazing that friends who know absolutely nothing about hip arthritis or hip pain and the surgery itself have somehow picked up that people are back to normal at 3 weeks.

Hang in there.
 

llurbs

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Hi SweetV!
I had my right hip done on July 13 so almost 10 weeks in. I had a good cry this weekend that I'm "not back to normal". It's really sad and scary to go go through something so traumatic and not feel the relief you hear about from everyone else. I started to dread people asking me how I'm doing. This is what I have realized for me, my actual hip joint is better but the muscles around it still can't figure out what's going on. I was having a lot of glute and groin pain still. My PT confirmed(as I suspected) that my muscles are extremely weak from compensating for so long(my left hip is also being replaced in December) So its just going to take tiiiimmmeee(for me anyway) Now this is going to sound really weird and "woo woo" but that's the kind of girl I am lol. I did a meditation on "releasing pain from the body". At one point it asks you to ask your body what's causing this pain? I "heard" a resounding "FEAR". I then made an intention to release fear and I'm not kidding you, my pain has gone down about 50%. You are going to be great!! It's so early. I cried when I read you are a single mom. Toughest job in the world. I know you want to be 100% if not for yourself, for your child/children. Take care.
P.S. we are just about the same age:)
 

Hip4life

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@SweetV Contrary to the stories people tell, 4 weeks is still early in this recovery. I lived the longer recovery timeline as well. I wasn't back to work until 14 weeks, 8 weeks longer than what I had anticipated. Expect random aches and pains along with varying sounds or sensations as all those soft tissues heal and settle. They were operating outside of normal parameters for at least six months. They are not just going to be able to spring back into normal action AND they have been traumatized by surgery.

As trite as it might sound, time and patience are your friends. As a single mom (God bless you) I know you want to be 100% and feel the need to rush things. The danger here is that if you overdo, you could delay the healing and that won't help your situation. Walk and not to excess, continue to ice regularly (with a cloth between your skin and the ice bag) and go easy on the PT. This is NOT a "no pain, no gain" situation. You cannot rush this. I am reminded of my kind surgeon's words when I expressed my disappointment in my recovery timeline: "it just takes the time it takes." That hip is in charge and you might as well go with it or it will not so kindly remind you. It will happen and this "delay" really will be fairly short in the scheme of things. Then you'll have a very long time to enjoy the results. Hang in there. We're here for you.
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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@Hip4life Thank you so very much! I actually believe that the "no pain, no gain" theory is toxic. If there is pain..there is a reason and we should listen to our bodies. After joining here, I already feel better about this whole thing. A huge difference than yesterday. I am actually on my way out the door to therapy, and so glad I can approach it from a better perspective.
Again....Thank you!
 

Layla

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:hi: Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us, we're glad you're here!

this is probably one of the hardest things that I have done in my life
Yep, its major surgery.

I am constantly being told by other people that their relative had a hip replacement and they were back to normal at 3 weeks
Plug your ears, close your eyes and make sounds so they muzzle it. :heehee:
Seriously though, its just plain inconsiderate for people to do this. I would tell them that your surgeon is satisfied with your progress and that's all you care about. Case Closed. HERE is a thread created on this very topic for a few laughs. We can always use some humor during our recovery. Enjoy!

I also have a weird clicking or popping sensation when I walk
Some members complain about clicking, clunking and popping sounds. It is natural to be concerned and wonder if something is wrong. It seems more often than not that noises aren’t indication of a problem. It takes time for the soft tissue surrounding the implant to heal and settle in with the implant and begin working smoothly. If it continues occurring it’s worth discussion with your surgeon, especially if accompanied with swelling or pain, but if not over time it will most likely stop.

I was down so long before this surgery, I am anxious to be able to do things again...but feeling a bit discouraged because of the pains that I get in my muscles. I keep having the thoughts , "Will I ever be normal again?",
At not even one month post op its such early days. Check out the Activity Progression For THR and see how you feel about your progress, but keep in mind, it's a rough gauge, some excel, some lag behind. You may read it and feel pleasantly surprised by your progress. Activity Progression for THR

Stay in touch and let us follow your recovery journey and support you along the way.
I hope you have a good week! :)
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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Wow! This is so nice to have people that understand and have gone through or are going through something similar. It's definitely helped my mood.
Thank you all for being so welcoming. I will look forward to checking in with everyone everyday.
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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Question: I am reading my post op notes and there are notes that say, " There is air in the soft tissues adjacent to the hip, compatible with surgery"
Can anyone explain this? Is this normal..and okay?

I appreciate it! I hope everyone is having a great day
 

djklaugh

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@SweetV Yes that is normal and the air will be absorbed. If you think about it - hip capsule being opened by surgery when it normally stays sealed -- it's to be expected that air would get into that space. Air where it is not normally seen shows up on x-rays.
 

danelady

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@SweetV Hi! It's all so new, isn't it? Don't believe all the other people comparing your recovery to someone else's simply because you don't really know what to expect right now, just pay attention to YOU! I totally understand about muscle weakness! I had my SECOND revision 6 weeks ago after not walking for a YEAR! I had been pretty active then suddenly last September my life took an unexpected turn and I was no longer able to walk, turning the muscles in my bad leg to mush. My surgery was a success but now I have to work to not only strengthen them but to relearn the act of walking properly. I am grateful for this chance to heal and no matter how much time it takes to achieve this goal it will be time well spent.

Best of luck and wishing you a speedy recovery.
 
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SweetV

SweetV

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@danelady - WOW! You certainly understand. So far therapy has been going well. I like the place that I go. They challenge me without pushing to over do it. It's quite strange...having to learn how to use these muscles again. However, it is much better that the pain I was in prior to surgery.
 

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