THR New to forum and having surgery on 7/8

Joe33426

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Hi-

Wow! I stumbled across these forums by accident last night and I'm so glad I did. It's been kind of a lonely journey so far, so it's refreshing to read the pre- and post-op threads about what to expect. I've also enjoyed the discussions about selecting a surgeon, which has been a rollercoaster for me. But, I'm finally scheduled for RTHR on 7/8 at Doctors Hospital in Miami. I was thinking of having surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL but ultimately decided on Miami.

One thing I'm still struggling with is the recliner v. no recliner issue. My couch is kind of low (not terribly low) and I'm a little concerned about post-op. It's a heavy thing with electric foot rests so I don't know about putting the entire couch on a riser or if that would be safe. I can get up from the couch now, so maybe if I just set some firm 3" cushions or something. I've been searching high and low for some type of grab bar. I found something on Amazon, but I think it requires a normal sized ceiling height which I don't have.

The other thing I'm wondering about, and it would be great to get some feedback is about my discharge plan. The hospital is about 70 miles from where I live and is driving into Miami. So, on a good day with no traffic, it's a solid hour, but with traffic the trip is probably about 1 hour 45 minutes (that's how long it took me the other morning for an appointment). But, I could imagine a solid 2 hours in rush hour. My plan is to stay at a hotel about 2 miles from the hospital with my girlfriend the night before my surgery and the day of the surgery. The OS is thinking at this point I'm a candidate for same-day discharge. I would discharge myself to the hotel rather than drive home. What I'm reading online is that same-day discharge is usually between 4 and 8 hours after surgery. We would get up the next morning, let rush hour traffic pass and then make the trip around 10 a.m. the day after release. What I am envisioning happening is getting released at 4 or 5 p.m. in south Miami and spending 2 or more hours in stop-and-go traffic. That sounds like a nightmare to me. On the other hand, after surgery, there's probably no where that I'd rather be than home.

Thanks for any input!

Joe
 
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Layla

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Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us. I do understand the “lonely” part of prepping for surgery. It’s difficult for friends and loved ones to relate if they haven’t experienced it themselves. Well…now you have all of us and I believe you’ll love the advice, support and encouragement you’ll receive here, so stick with us, we won’t disappoint.

To address some of your questions / concerns -
I had a lift recliner and I can not imagine my recovery without it. I didn’t want it, because I don’t like the look of them, but hubs talked me into it and I’m so happy he did. I figured I may be able to use it again at a later date and also borrowed it to SIL for knee replacement and my mom for THR, so money well spent even though I shoved it downstairs, out of sight. :heehee: You need something firm to sit on, not cushy and not too low either. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with a heavy sofa on risers either. Some people have rented recliners, from medical supply stores I believe, so that’s something you may want to look into, if it interests you.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with spending the night of your surgery at a hotel, but I also think if you waited until after rush hour, you could handle the drive home with leg outstretched and a “out of the car” break halfway through to stretch and walk for five minutes before finishing the trek. I’d ice the entire time also. You can purchase or bring a small cooler and have extra gel ice packs ready to go. It may sound like a lot and a car is a little more confining than a bed, but all you’d be doing at a surgery site, or hotel is laying in a bed and taking a break to walk or use the bathroom. You will be much more comfortable at home.

I’ll leave some pre-op reading material. Let us know if you have any questions. Wishing you comfort as you await your surgery date.

HIP PRE-OP

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

JoeKnows

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Hey other Joe,

I was definitely grateful for my recliner post-surgery. It's not one of those electric lift ones, but I was able to get in and out of it without violating my restrictions. If I remember correctly, I'd swing my walker in front of it and use that and my good leg to get up while keeping my replaced hip mostly extended. I imagine it helped that my good leg was quite strong from babying my bad leg for so long, haha.

I don't see any problem staying in the hotel, but something else to consider is leaving after the traffic rush on the same night - that way you still have the strong post-op pain meds in your system and can wake up in your own bed the next day. Definitely have ice packs available. On another practical note, I'd bring something to pee into (and probably put a towel down on the seat in case there are... complications using said container).
 
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Joe33426

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Hi Layla,

Thanks for the reply and the great information! I hadn't thought about waiting until after rush hour to make the trek home. That might work. We could definitely wait and see how I felt and monitor the traffic.

I'm going to have to think about the recliner. I don't have a basement or other place to store, but I'll probably have my left hip done in a couple of years, so maybe I could be creative on where to put the recliner meantime.

Thanks again for the warm welcome!

Joe
 
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Joe33426

Joe33426

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Hey Joe!

Nice to "meet" you and thanks for the reply. I'm definitely going to have to rethinking the recliner issue. I've heard about delays in furniture delivery, but could probably find something in stock somewhere....

I like the idea of waking up in my own bed the next day, so maybe just using the hotel as a place to crash for a couple of hours and then going home is the way to go.

Thanks again,

Joe

Hey other Joe,

I was definitely grateful for my recliner post-surgery. It's not one of those electric lift ones, but I was able to get in and out of it without violating my restrictions. If I remember correctly, I'd swing my walker in front of it and use that and my good leg to get up while keeping my replaced hip mostly extended. I imagine it helped that my good leg was quite strong from babying my bad leg for so long, haha.

I don't see any problem staying in the hotel, but something else to consider is leaving after the traffic rush on the same night - that way you still have the strong post-op pain meds in your system and can wake up in your own bed the next day. Definitely have ice packs available. On another practical note, I'd bring something to pee into (and probably put a towel down on the seat in case there are... complications using said container).
 

PolarIce

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The recliner is a great thing to have if you have use for it afterwards and have a place to put it. I myself did without and quite honestly for the first 2 weeks bed and treks to the washroom is all I did. I would have had no interest in a recliner. Once I got passed the initial surgery soreness, the couch was just fine.

You have to remember that if you have a anterior approach, you will more than likely not have the 90 degree rule to adhere to which makes the whole recliner debate not a factor. Like I said its a bonus, but you definitely don't need it to recover. As for the equipment, if you look up "hip kit" on amazon, you can get all the things you need for $30 or less(grabber, sponge for showers, sock applicator aid).

The one thing I didn't see you mention was in regards to your shower set up. THAT is something you need to take care of. If you have to step over the tub, a transfer shower bench will be something you want to rent or buy. Something to sit on during the initial shower stage is definitely something to look at. You may not feel super well and would feel safer SITTING down to shower vs standing when you are in pain etc. A shower bench serves both purposes at once. Gives you something to transfer yourself and sit on during your shower.

Super excited for you. I am 3 months post op with mine, and feel amazing. Some aches and pains from the muscles in my body still adjusting to my new hip, but feels amazing. I have a few years to go before going in to go get my right hip done.
 
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Joe33426

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Hi PolarIce,

Thanks for the message and tips! I just went on Amazon and ordered a hip kit. My OS uses the anterior approach and I’m just learning about the different types of restrictions.

I’m really torn about the recliner. My couch already has a built in recliner, so if I could make that work with a cushion or something, that really would be better. But I looked on Amazon and there are TONS of affordable standalone recliners and some look nice. Not sure about quality.

My shower is walk-in, but really more of a walk-done (4” step-down) with a bench inside. The problem with that is something I didn’t mention in my first post…. I’m 6’4” tall. So, normal sized couches and shower benches are really low for me.

Do you think I should still get a shower chair? I’m not sure how much higher a chair would be than my bench.

Thanks again,

Joe
 

PolarIce

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Unless you want another recliner, I honestly wouldn’t worry about getting one. Your shower is perfect. Shower stools can be adjusted as well, so if you wanted something to sit on that is higher than the built in, that would be an option.
 

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@Joe33426 :wave:and welcome to the forum. I see you've already gotten some great advice. 8 July is an awesome day to have surgery done, will be my 3 year hipaversary! :snork:

I see @PolarIce beat me to the punch on the recliner and shower chair. I agree that you could always adjust the shower chair, it should tell you how high it will go.

And since you already have recliners built into your couch I wouldn't get another. Look into using a sturdy pillow that you could place on the seat or some other such cushion. I believe if you go to Amazon you can find cushions for office chairs and other types that you could probably work with. I believe you mentioned something about part of the recliner being electrical? You'll want to consider an option to get out of the chair if the power fails. Sounds silly but we did actually have one of our male members get stuck in his.

Get an extra grabber, can be used to pick up the one that comes with your hip kit when you drop it! It happens! And definitely get some good ice/gel packs, multiples. You'll want to always have some chilling while you're using others. You may find that you'll need to ice more than one area at a time.

Glad you've joined us and we're here to support you through the process.
 

Layla

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Joe,
Experiment with different thicknesses of cushions and find one that is firm enough and high enough, but make sure you won’t be sitting too tall that it’s uncomfortable for your back. If it is, you’ll be miserable while sitting.

Because you’re feeling unsure about a recliner, consider checking out sofa risers on Amazon or stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, read reviews and if the reviews are favorable and the description confirms it will hold the weight of your sofa, that may be your best bet. More economical also.

I didn’t need / use a shower bench and you really don’t need one in my opinion. I’m sure others will chime in on whether they found sitting in the shower necessary early on. My initial couple of showers were quicker than normal until I became more comfortable. Crazy as it sounds I actually took my walker into the shower with me for the first two or three showers just because it gave me a sense of security that it was there. After about my third shower my husband got tired of wiping up the floor from the water it leaked and put the kibosh on that. What I would recommend is having someone within earshot for your first few showers at least. You will be surprised at how quickly you adapt and figure out a routine that works best for you.
 

Layla

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Just looked on Amazon. Look up “heavy duty” sofa and bed risers. One set indicates it hold up to 6,800 lbs and another 10,000. Your sofa can’t weigh that much! :heehee:
 
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Joe33426

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@Joe33426 :wave:and welcome to the forum. I see you've already gotten some great advice. 8 July is an awesome day to have surgery done, will be my 3 year hipaversary! :snork:

Hi Elf1, thanks for the welcome. And happy 3 year hipaversary! I was just reading your recovery thread and that’s crazy about the surgery being cancelled at the last minute, but that led to you having surgery on 7/8. The number 8 is the luckiest number in Chinese numerology. I’m not Chinese, but I’ll take all the luck I can get. Thanks again for the kind welcome.


Just looked on Amazon. Look up “heavy duty” sofa and bed risers. One set indicates it hold up to 6,800 lbs and another 10,000. Your sofa can’t weigh that much! :heehee:

Hi Layla,

I think that these risers are the way to go. I definitely don’t think my couch weighs that much, even with me on it :rotfl: Thanks for the heads up about these. Elf1 brought up a great point about how I would get off the couch if the recliner is out and we lose power. That would be crazy, but we’ll be in hurricane season by my surgery date, so definitely not out the realm of possibilities. I have a little backup power supply thing that I think might solve the issue.

Thanks for all the great advice. I’m so glad there is a place like this.

Joe
 

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I'm going to have to think about the recliner. I don't have a basement or other place to store, but I'll probably have my left hip done in a couple of years, so maybe I could be creative on where to put the recliner meantime.
I'll add this little tidbit to the mix about a recliner. I rented one! Home health supply stores rent them out, they have a vinyl covering so they are easily wiped down in case you are worried about germs, etc.
Best thing I ever did.. I had the anterior approach--the main issue I had was trying to lie flat in bed-- the lift recliner kept that problem at bay.. yes, the recliners that you rent are electric lift. Bonus!
Renting eliminated the need to store it somewhere. When the day came that I was tired of it, I made a phone call and had it carted away.

Welcome to the forum! Many of us found it just the way you did. It became a valuable part of my surgery planning. @Joe33426
 

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My recovery was similar to polarice, I just laid in my bed in between trips to the restroom, dinner table and walking laps in my living room. I do remember I bought some kind of toilet seat attachment that made it taller. After a week or so I started sitting on the couch
 
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hhhooray

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If not already mentioned, you may want to be sure you have shoes that are easy to get on and off and are comfortable and also loose clothing that is easy to get on and off. I bought several pairs of "recovery" (side snap) pants and was glad I did. Also, I recommend practice with the sock thing a few times... I didn't and it was a bit frustrating figuring it out when I was in pain.... the compression stockings were difficult but doable with extreme patience.
 

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@Joe33426 If you purchase a firm cushion to use with your existing recliner you should be fine. That eliminates the worry about low and soft furnishings.

Welcome to BoneSmart!
 
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Joe33426

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@Joe33426 If you purchase a firm cushion to use with your existing recliner you should be fine. That eliminates the worry about low and soft furnishings.

Welcome to BoneSmart!

Thanks Jaycey! I have a firm cushion in my amazon cart and may just pull the trigger. It's either going to be the cushion or the risers. Both are relatively inexpensive solutions.


I'll add this little tidbit to the mix about a recliner. I rented one! Home health supply stores rent them out, they have a vinyl covering so they are easily wiped down in case you are worried about germs, etc.
Best thing I ever did.. I had the anterior approach--the main issue I had was trying to lie flat in bed-- the lift recliner kept that problem at bay.. yes, the recliners that you rent are electric lift. Bonus!
Renting eliminated the need to store it somewhere. When the day came that I was tired of it, I made a phone call and had it carted away.

Welcome to the forum! Many of us found it just the way you did. It became a valuable part of my surgery planning. @Joe33426

Hi CricketHip! I'm also a little concerned about trying to lie flat in bed. I just can't imagine. I've slept on my right "bad" hip all my life and have tried to sleep on my left side over the last six months and always wake up on my right hip. Also, there is no way that my legs won't cross when I'm sleeping. I bought a knee pillow this week and woke up this morning with it under my neck. I woke up with no recollection of how the pillow got there, but it must have been me :heehee: I've been wondering if there is some kind of strapping mechanism to keep me in place, or at least keep my legs from crossing.

How long was the restriction to lie flat in bed? Sleeping in a recliner for several weeks doesn't sound so good.
 

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My couch has a recliner, didn't work out as the arm rest on one side wouldn't allow me to easily get up. I was shopping for a recliner on a walker, not recommended. We bought a low end Ashley electric that worked well. It's lived through 2 THR's and it's a good comfortable chair.
I had to travel and had the option of same day or overnight stay in the hospital with my second. I chose overnight stay in the hospital. We went the night before and stayed in a motel near the hospital as I was in early and it made it easier. I'm a big fan of easier! The ride home on the same day as surgery might not be as bad since they usually give your leg a good dose of pain medicine. All I can say is take the pain medicine they prescribe and stop along th way to move and keep the blood flowing.
Trust me, you'll lie flat on your back in bed, put the pillow between your legs. I never slept in my recliner, I went to bed every night with my icing machine. There is no timeline for back sleeping. When I first tried on my non op side it was so uncomfortable there was no doubt I wasn't ready.
 

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Actually the rental lift recliner that I had was like a zero gravity chair.. You are almost on your back when fully extended.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to think that lying on your back was a restriction.. it just didn't feel good to me.. for about 2 or so weeks.

I am still laughing over your knee pillow... ending up under your neck!! :rotfl:
 

Layla

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How long was the restriction to lie flat in bed? Sleeping in a recliner for several weeks doesn't sound so good.
My sleeping habit sounds the same as yours. I always fell asleep on my right side and I had my right hip replaced. I was a scaredy cat to try side sleeping on my surgical side and waited longer than many. I’m guessing it was at least a couple months before I even attempted it. Initially, I doubt you’ll cross your legs in your sleep post op. I’m not saying it can’t unconsciously happen, but it’s doubtful as you’re simply not moving as effortlessly as you were before your natural hip began deteriorating. There is this option as a guarantee you won’t cross you legs >
212964CF-F1CF-4F0A-B411-DA56622DD450.jpeg
but, umm, no thanks. At least I couldn’t. I’d feel trapped with that contraption between my legs.

My best advice that I often share is to surround yourself with bed pillows, various degrees of firmness from soft to more firm. Sounds crazy, but almost fort like, as though you’re swaddling yourself. I really found comfort in doing this as I was not a back sleeper. You can use them for arm rest, non op leg rest, whatever! I’m also a big proponent of the Body Pillow. I’m talking and inexpensive $10 one you can get from Target, at least that’s where I got mine. It comes in handy once you begin side sleeping because you have more to work with as far as positioning between your legs for side sleeping because it’s longer and you can still wrap an arm around it if you like unless your mega tall. I still use mine to this day…ever since my THR. I certainly hope we’re not overwhelming you with ideas.
Here is a article on side sleeping from the BoneSmart Library -
http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/thr-laying-on-my-back-when-can-this-be-done.32099/
Hope you have a nice weekend!
 

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