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THR Not sure if I overdid it

WashingtonHiker

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I am a little over 6 weeks since a THR on my right side, anterior approach. I can walk without a cane now, but I have a limp. I can walk about half a mile continuously, and did a second walk day before yesterday and wound up really hurting and limping yesterday. With a cane I was walking about a mile and a half. Before the onset of the pain from the arthritis, I was an avid hiker. I am feeling frustrated that I am six weeks out and cannot go very far. I do push myself until I feel uncomfortable and am wondering if I am pushing too hard. I so want to get back to hiking.,
 

Spex10

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Sounds like you really are pushing it too far! I just walk around the neighbourhood. Nothing I'd call a 'hike'. The steps mount up each day. I've noticed that, if I have a day when I do slightly less, the day after that I can do more and feel better somehow. Take it easy. Festina lente - hasten slowly!
 
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WashingtonHiker

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Thanks. I am taking it easy today, just sticking around the house and walking in the house.
 

58hippain

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I am only two weeks out today but that sounds a bit aggressive at six weeks. Like anything else just listen to your body. I have been accused of overdoing things as well so I can relate to your desire to get back out there.
 
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WashingtonHiker

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Oh boy, that is a bit discouraging. Patience is not one of my virtues. I was in pretty good shape before the surgery too.
 

chopper72

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So what is more discouraging that my wife could walk a couple of miles at 4 weeks and can walk endlessly now at 7 weeks, or that it took me many months to get past a mile? You see you are danged either way. Only solution is to accept you are who you are and your recovery will be unique. The good news is that we will be pain free and active at the end of our recovery.
 

CricketHip

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@WashingtonHiker hello and :welome: to BoneSmart!
Can you give me the surgery date of your Right THR and a moderator will give you a signature with your surgery info. This is helpful for members who want to reply to any of your questions or comments. They will also add you to the July Sparklers recovery group.

It sounds like you may be overdoing it a bit. I'd love to leave some of our Recovery tips for you to read, I think it will help you to put your recovery into perspective..

HIP
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:

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:

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:


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
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

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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CricketHip

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I am a little over 6 weeks since a THR on my right side, anterior approach. I can walk without a cane now, but I have a limp.
If you are limping when walking without a cane or other support device then you really should continue using the cane. There's no set time frame for when to ditch the aids, but it's so much better to use it and focus on walking smoothly and evenly. Like with a normal "heel toe" gait.
This is where you step out with your foot and land on your heel, then rolling your foot forward onto the ball of your foot. Hopefully that makes sense?

Another thing that might help, are you using an older pair of hiking shoes? Or older sneakers? Our shoes tend to break down and wear differently due to our limitations with an arthritic hip. Now that you have your new hip, it might be a good idea to get a new pair of good fitting/supportive shoes.

You will get there, many of us were chomping at the bit and wanting to get back to normal, whatever that is.. just take a step back and rest,ice and elevate and take things easy for a week or so and see how you are feeling. :flwrysmile:
 

Starmarie

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I’m day 29/week 5 post-THR. I have gone to the cane, then back to the walker for a few days, back to the cane, then to no cane and now I need the cane today. Why? Because I overdid it. I overdid it not by going outside for a purposeful walk, but instead just by doing stuff around the house. I have found that lifting anything causes me pain afterward. I have not yet been able to go out for a real walk. Its still too much for me.
Like you, my expectations after surgery were completely inflated. Honestly, my OS said I’d be up and going after 3 weeks. Bull!

It’s just something we have to accept. I’d rather take more time to heal, go back to the cane or even the walker if it means that long-term I’ll be in better shape. This is not about my ego or comparing myself to where someone else is in their recovery. I read something that resonated with me, it said that a THR is literally an amputation of your femoral head and placement of a prosthesis that your body then has to accept and heal with. Its a trauma and then some.

I also read that it takes 4-6 weeks for a bone to heal with a prosthesis and until this happens you will not be able to put full weight on your surgical side without some sort of pain. My experience thus far seems to give some truth to this fact.

I gauge my gait to determine what I need. If I start limping, I start using my supportive gear. One step back so I can move forward in a day or 2.

If you are limping you are not healed ( and there is no way at 6 weeks you are healed) or you are hurting your hip flexors and continued activity may result in tendonitis which is a very real threat and extremely difficult to get rid of.

I was an avid hiker too! Lord, I miss it so much. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to the aggressive uphill hiking I was accustomed to, especially because I fear my good hip will need to be replaced. I have had to rethink my past activities because, I have to be honest with myself, my activities led to the injuries in my hip which ultimately led to the deterioration of my labral tear and subchondral bone and then to bone on bone, very rapidly too, within the course of 6 months.

I think the fact that you are questioning if you overdid it, then you already know you did.

The good news is that you WILL be able to hike again. You WILL. Be patient, be gentle, be kind to yourself. Rest, rest, rest and then rest again. 6 weeks post is so early. Remember this is a marathon that takes a FULL year to completely heal from. As much as you probably don’t want to (I get it), find yourself a new show on Netflix or Hulu and put your legs up, relax and enjoy the process. I’m telling you this as I am, myself, learning to do the same thing.
 

Eman85

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The good news is in time you'll be able to hike to your hearts content. Now the bad news is it's not going to happen for a while, but it will happen. 6 weeks is a big milestone in the recovery process and we usually get feeling pretty good, that's another good and bad thing. We all seem to feel good so we think the recovery is over and we can do a lot more, the bad is the depression of the reality that it ain't over.
Rest and ice is the fastest way to recover from the over did its.
 

Jaycey

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@WashingtonHiker Welcome to the other side. Sounds like your surgeon did not set realistic expectations for this recovery. Unfortunately this is something we see all the time!

Recovery from THR can take 12 months or longer depending on how long you limped around pre-op. It's good you were in share pre-op. But unfortunately that does not really impact the healing that must take place.

I would stop focussing on distance at this point. In fact, I recommend walking about half as far as you think you can walk. If your hip does not complain about that distance, slowly build up. If your hip does complain, rest, ice and elevate and try it again in a day or two.
 

Starmarie

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I would stop focussing on distance at this point. In fact, I recommend walking about half as far as you think you can walk. If your hip does not complain about that distance, slowly build up. If your hip does complain, rest, ice and elevate and try it again in a day or two.
I think this is fantastic advice. I was just thinking today that I should half what my expectation is and then I will not be less likely to hurt myself.
 
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WashingtonHiker

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Well, I have really backed off. I am trying not to get frustrated with not being able to do all the things I did before my hip started getting bad. I am worried that I am not walking enough. I walk around the house all day and I also try to go for a short intentional walk once a day. Is that enough? I find if I walk more than a half a mile my operative leg starts having pains and feeling weak. When I get home from the walk I immediately elevate and ice. Does all the walking to do your normal activities, bathe, go to the toilet, dress, eat, do whatever chores count towards the walking which is supposed to be the best thing for recovery? Or do I need to try to take more short walks? I have found now that I can go down the stairs the normal way, but going up the stairs the normal way is way too painful at this point.
 

Layla

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I am trying not to get frustrated with not being able to do all the things I did before my hip started getting bad
You are still in the early days / weeks of recovery in the entire scheme of things with a lot of healing to happen before you get to the point of your hip functioning as it did before it began deteriorating. My surgeons PA reminded me early on that a prosthetic hip can get pretty close to, but will never match our natural hip.
Does all the walking to do your normal activities, bathe, go to the toilet, dress, eat, do whatever chores count towards the walking which is supposed to be the best thing for recovery?
Yes, it counts.

As far as walks go, try walking for 30 minutes. Fifteen minutes one way, turn around and go back. If that’s too much, walk for 20 minutes total. If you feel you can do it more than once a day, go for it. If not, don’t. Unfortunately you can’t rush this recovery. It will take a full year and takes even longer for some. Patience is key. Ascending stairs the normal way will come with time. Try to relax your timeline. Take it slow and easy and you’ll get there.
Have a nice Labor Day Weekend!
 

Sindy

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I understand the frustration and impatience. I had my surgery 29th July, 5 weeks 3 days ago. I thought I'd be flying it by now, still have pain, although this seems to move around, knees one day, thigh the next, groin. My surgeon said it's all part of it, everything is adjusting. My operated leg was a few cms shorter than the other, and it's longer now so everything has to adjust to that. I alternate between using a crutch, and going without it. If I'm sore or limping, I use the crutch again. I suppose we have to Just listen to our own body and take the time to let healing happen. Frustrating as that it.
 

TomT

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You'll definitely get back to waking and hiking just going to take a lot longer than six weeks. I think at 6 weeks in I was doing short half mile walks or shorter but several of them a day and icing in between
 
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WashingtonHiker

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My pain moves around too. Sometimes it's my thigh, sometimes it's uncomfortable in the hip or the groin and then sometimes my knee or lower leg hurts. My surgeon told me that because I am small (short), they had to move things around a little bit more to do what was needed, so he expected me to have a bit more pain than average. He told me the pain and swelling would travel down my leg and that is exactly what happened. The swelling is almost gone now. Only the very upper part of my thigh and around the incision is swollen. I just keep icing and elevating.

Thanks for all the replies. It helps to get feedback.
 

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