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THR one week post-op, 39 years old

ravenina

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Last Tuesday the 23 I had a THR on my left hip, after being diagnosed with advanced osteoarthrisis a few years ago and not being able to stand the pain any longer. I'm feeling better but there is still pain - healing pain, I think, as it's not the arthritic pain I experienced before. I have read that after about two weeks most of the pain will be gone.

I'm in Spain (though I'm an American) as I have been living here for the past five and a half years, and the process seems to be a big different - I didn't see an OT, and the aftercare instructions I received were to just walk as much as possible, avoid soft surfaces, take my meds.

I'm doing OK, though I'm worried my mattress is too soft. I wake up at night with some pain (though it's not as bad as it was before), and because I can't buy a new mattress, I'm considering buying a firm mat to sleep on. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not.

I have a follow-up visit with my surgeon in August. I'm getting around fine with crutches, and my staples are being taken out today.

I am overweight and am worried this will hurt my recovery. I try to walk as much as possible but get tired quickly and I'm worried I'm not walking enough.

Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed (pun NOT intended) but if anyone has any words of wisdom or experience to share, that would be great!

Thank you!
 

Sara61

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@ravenina :welome: to BoneSmart. Congratulations on your new hip.

I live across the border in Portugal and yes protocols are different from the States although I can't fault the aftercare and follow up treatment offered by our local hospital, I had my knee replaced, in 2019, unfortunately you have had the surgery in these unsettled times in terms of "aftercare" but I think fortunate enought to have been operated as in Portugal surgeries are still on hold in many regions.

Have your shops not yet opened?
Maybe buying a "topper" online could be a good option ?
One of the more experienced BoneSmart hip advisors will be along shortly to best advise you on hip questions meanwhile I will leave you your guidelines for recovery.

Please read the guidelines, then we're ready for specific questions

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
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
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital9
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

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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Mojo333

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:wave:@ravenina and welcome to the Healing Side of Bonesmart.:) :-) (:
These are Early Days, my friend and getting comfy for anywhere for very long after my hip replacements was quite the trick.

I'm feeling better but there is still pain - healing pain, I think, as it's not the arthritic pain I experienced before. I have read that after about two weeks most of the pain will be gone.
It is healing pain...this was a major surgery ..all temporary and taking this recovery slow and easy will get you back to healthy and happy and hip pain free.:egypdance:
Don't know where you read that after 2 weeks most of the surgical pain would be gone, but that certainly is Not True.:scratch:
Quite alot of soft tissue was disturbed so please check out the articles Sara61 left you as I think it should comfort you.
I didn't see an OT, and the aftercare instructions I received were to just walk as much as possible, avoid soft surfaces, take my meds.
Glad your OT doesn't having you doing any ridiculous exercises, but I would beg to differ. Two weeks out of major surgery, walking But Not To Excess is all that is necessary.
Icing and resting and short jaunts to restroom, kitchen, or up and down the hall when you are tired of sitting are really all that is required. It is too hard to tell if a soft bed is the culprit behind being uncomfortable and sore, in my opinion and I never had any caution about soft surfaces.
I got a firmer mattress after my BTHR, still not that great until some time and healing went by...:nah:

Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed (pun NOT intended)
:heehee:Sorry, I wish you had intended this pun.. quite funny and a sense of humor and a boat load of patience along with major icing will get you through this.:ice:
Keep the faith, it will get better and better.:tada:
 

Hipster-2

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Ravenina - we had surgery the same day. I am very sorry about the sleeping - it absolutely sucks to not be able to get a good night’s sleep when you are in pain, so I hope you can find a solution.

Don’t worry that you are not being active enough - just do what you can manage as pain permits. I am not walking much yet other than around the house - focusing on maintaining good posture and gait. No aids needed at this point but I walk slowly and with a short stride. I still have plenty of pain around the anterior incision, though the deep bone and butt pain has resolved. Taking Celebrex and Tylenol, doing some cold laser on the surgical site just because I have one at home. I noticed that with all the reclining and sitting, the incision wants to get tighter and tighter. So I really need to focus on standing straight and walking correctly to ensure this stretches properly. I had some soft tissue complications with my first THR so I am going really easy with this one. NOT doing PT exercises yet, but I do some glute clenches while lying around because it helps with butt and leg cramps. I walked up and down the driveway twice today, after which the painful incision sent me back into the house - outdoors my body wants to revert to a normal walking stride and right now that is too much!
 
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Jaycey

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I have read that after about two weeks most of the pain will be gone.
I'm not sure where you read this but it is simply not true. Yes, things get better everyday. But there is no timeline for this recovery. Read the articles Sara left for you (above).
I wake up at night with some pain (though it's not as bad as it was before)
Unfortunately sleep problems are a part of this process. See the article on Sleep deprivation (above).
I am overweight and am worried this will hurt my recovery. I try to walk as much as possible but get tired quickly and I'm worried I'm not walking enough.
Please don't stress about walking. Start slow and build up your distance. It's best to only go half as far as you think you can. Then if you are feeling good the next day try a bit further.

Listen to that new hip. It will quickly tell you when you have done too much.
 
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ravenina

ravenina

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Thank you, Sara! Where are you in Portugal, if you don't mind me asking? I've been to Lisbon and Porto. One of these days I'll get back there.

Shops are open and things have returned to normal, as long as we're all wearing masks.

I had my revision yesterday to check on my staples, the nurse was an orthopedic nurse, I wound up asking her all kinds of questions as I was/am very frustrated with aftercare. She resolved my issues - my soft bed likely isn't hurting my new hip, my staples look fine and I'll be getting some of them out next week, if not all of them, at my local health center. I have to keep in mind that during these times all medical staff are overextended and we all need to have patience - a newly pregnant friend had a check-up the day before yesterday, at her hospital in Madrid, and received similar treatment - these are the times we're living in. My surgeon told me they started doing surgeries again a few weeks ago, I got the COVID test before the surgery and I got a date for the surgery way sooner than expected because they're not operating on high-risk individuals, and there are also patients who are postponing the operation because of the pandemic situation.

I'll read the articles you shared - thank you so much for the help! I'm organized and like to be on a schedule so it's a bit different this way having to listen to my body and go by what it's telling me.

I look forward to interacting with all of you!
 
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ravenina

ravenina

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Thank you everyone for your replies and encouragement - I have a lot to read and educate myself on - I know everyone's case is unique and I'm feeling much better especially after my revision appointment yesterday to get my staples checked out, the orthopedic nurse listened to my concerns and calmed me down. Time and patience and walking is all it takes. My dad had this surgery in the States a few years ago and is constantly flabbergasted at how conservative they are here with recovery times and when I should be able to do what.

One of the biggest differences is that while I was given an epidural I wasn't given a general anesthetic due to the risks. It made the experience... interesting, to say the least. Luckily I have an interest in the human body and science so listening to the drilling and hammering was maybe a bit unsettling but also interesting to know what was happening.
 

Jaycey

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It made the experience... interesting
Didn't they give you sedation along with the spinal? Not good! I woke up during my LTHR and didn't like it one bit. Trouble is you can't exactly walk out if you don't like what's going on. :heehee:
 

Hipster-2

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Ye gods - the idea of waking up in the middle of this surgery is horrifying!
I had general anesthetic because that is what my surgeon prefers (he believes he gets more muscle relaxation that way). I suspect my recovery would have been far easier with the spinal and sedation - I felt sick and weak for a full week afterward. But at least I didn’t have to hear the bone saw!
 

Sara61

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@ravenina I live in the south of Portugal in the Algarve, although we have a holiday home near Braga, North of Portugal near Geres in the National Park.
Like Spain we are open for buisiness as usual with the mandatory use of masks etc, today I believe they opened the borders between our two countries.
Here in Portugal I too had the spinal so I can relate to all the noises, my surgeon even sang throughout the procedure much to the amusement of his colleagues, I was too freaked out to enjoy eventually they gave me a sedative to relax :heehee:
Wishing you continued healing with your new hip, I'll pop on hip side from time to time to see your progress. Melhoras e Beijinhos Sara xx
 

leejaa

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Welcome to bonesmart. You are so early in the healing stage that some pain is normal. I actually slept on the softest mattress bed in the house instead of my bed for both of my hip recoveries. It actually made me feel better and more supported on my back with a bit of give. Walking is really all you need and even that in moderation at this stage. The only exercises I ever really did besides my walks around the house were ankle pumps, butt squeezes and quad tightening when laying down. Recovery takes patience but it does improve daily we are just too close to it to see it. Now at 7m I can pretty much do anything I want though I do get a tight feeling if I overdo on my newest hip but the other 4yo does not notice.

Also, I was quite heavy for my first hip and still quite overweight for my second. I am working on losing weight but it did not seem to impact my recoveries at all. Continue listening to your body and hip and remember to ice and elevate.
 

zauberflöte

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Hi @ravenina ! Sounds like you are doing well indeed! I will bet the "soft surfaces" to be avoided would mean walking on uneven ground, or sand, or the like. Conquering my bumpy yard was quite a milestone for me both times. Also inadvertently walking into small sinkholes in the street pavement at night-- I knew I was "all better" when I stopped being afraid of that!

I needed the softest possible bed. Support, but very soft topping. First hip was a water bed, which was pretty good. Next one was a camping air mattress 9" high, with 2" of soft memory foam on top. That was even better.
Keep up the cheerful good work! :SUNsmile: :flwrysmile:
 
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ravenina

ravenina

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They gave me a sedative, but not enough of one! It was OK. I managed to miss hearing the bone saw but heard the hammering and the drilling of the screws - I tried to count the staples as they were being done to me but couldn't concentrate on account of the drugs.

It made the experience... interesting
Didn't they give you sedation along with the spinal? Not good! I woke up during my LTHR and didn't like it one bit. Trouble is you can't exactly walk out if you don't like what's going on. :heehee:
 
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ravenina

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I have heard good things about Algarve - I hope to visit one day.

Yes the border between Spain and Portugal opened yesterday I think!

I feel like I would have loved it if my surgeon sang! Although maybe I would have been freaked out and thought that he wasn't paying attention to what he was doing!

Gracias y hasta pronto!

@ravenina I live in the south of Portugal in the Algarve, although we have a holiday home near Braga, North of Portugal near Geres in the National Park.
Like Spain we are open for buisiness as usual with the mandatory use of masks etc, today I believe they opened the borders between our two countries.
Here in Portugal I too had the spinal so I can relate to all the noises, my surgeon even sang throughout the procedure much to the amusement of his colleagues, I was too freaked out to enjoy eventually they gave me a sedative to relax :heehee:
Wishing you continued healing with your new hip, I'll pop on hip side from time to time to see your progress. Melhoras e Beijinhos Sara xx
 
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ravenina

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Thank you! This is exactly what I'm doing - quad/butt flexes and ankle pumps and walking. I know I'll have to get my other hip done eventually, it's already showing signs of wear, but I've got a few years yet and my surgeon doesn't want to rush it- I don't either!

Thanks again for your response and best of luck on your continued recovery!

Welcome to bonesmart. You are so early in the healing stage that some pain is normal. I actually slept on the softest mattress bed in the house instead of my bed for both of my hip recoveries. It actually made me feel better and more supported on my back with a bit of give. Walking is really all you need and even that in moderation at this stage. The only exercises I ever really did besides my walks around the house were ankle pumps, butt squeezes and quad tightening when laying down. Recovery takes patience but it does improve daily we are just too close to it to see it. Now at 7m I can pretty much do anything I want though I do get a tight feeling if I overdo on my newest hip but the other 4yo does not notice.

Also, I was quite heavy for my first hip and still quite overweight for my second. I am working on losing weight but it did not seem to impact my recoveries at all. Continue listening to your body and hip and remember to ice and elevate.
 
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ravenina

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Thank you - the soft surfaces were specifically chairs and sofas, especially low ones. My bed is memory foam, with a soft topper. Luckily the nurse I saw yesterday said my bed was fine and that I could even lie on my operated side, but not the non-operated side - I'm still a bit nervous to try this.

I live in Madrid city center with a lot of uneven sidewalk, so once I have lost my fear of this, I know I'm all better!

Hi @ravenina ! Sounds like you are doing well indeed! I will bet the "soft surfaces" to be avoided would mean walking on uneven ground, or sand, or the like. Conquering my bumpy yard was quite a milestone for me both times. Also inadvertently walking into small sinkholes in the street pavement at night-- I knew I was "all better" when I stopped being afraid of that!

I needed the softest possible bed. Support, but very soft topping. First hip was a water bed, which was pretty good. Next one was a camping air mattress 9" high, with 2" of soft memory foam on top. That was even better.
Keep up the cheerful good work! :SUNsmile: :flwrysmile:
 

Jaycey

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They gave me a sedative, but not enough of one!
That's exactly what happened to me. When I had my second THR I had a long talk with the anaesthetist before the op. I said I didn't want to see or hear anything. He said he couldn't guarantee but he would watch very carefully. Thank goodness it worked that time. I don't remember a thing.
 

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@ravenina no soft chairs? I'll bet that's to keep you from sinking below that 90 degrees. I needed soft seating but had no 90 degree precaution, as I had anterior.

Uneven sidewalks, yes! How about cobblestones? We have a few remnant cobbled sidewalks, and an area of bumpy brick ones-- I used to walk to work and had to give up my wooden clogs lol
 
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ravenina

ravenina

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yes, no soft chairs/no sofa is due to the 90 degree limit - though I know I've already bent less than 90 degrees and I've felt fine - I'm grateful I have maintained the flexibility I've had from before.

Uneven sidewalks and cobblestones aplenty. Luckily most of the footwear I choose is sturdy - doc martens and birkenstocks with chuck taylors thrown in.

@ravenina no soft chairs? I'll bet that's to keep you from sinking below that 90 degrees. I needed soft seating but had no 90 degree precaution, as I had anterior.

Uneven sidewalks, yes! How about cobblestones? We have a few remnant cobbled sidewalks, and an area of bumpy brick ones-- I used to walk to work and had to give up my wooden clogs lol
 

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I bought a 4" stiff foam cushion on Amazon that they sell for wheel chairs (comes with a removeable cover) that I used on my easy chair and hard wood chairs during recovery. I put it under the chair cushion and it made life much better for a change of scenery and it was a godsend for hard dining room chairs as it brought me up higher and also was softer since sitting on hard wood was ouchy. I also took it with me to restaurants once I ventured out (pre Covid) and used it to bring myself up higher so easier to sit and eat and not break any restrictions plus comfy sitting. A lot of times sitting at tables it was the leaning forward to eat that I was trying to avoid as it definitely broke the 90 degree rule even when I could sit down OK.
 

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