THR Opposite side!


junior member
Jul 27, 2017
Nottinghamshire, UK
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hi all - I'm 76, and 3 days post THR on the right side. I had the surgery on Friday afternoon, was home by 8pm. I did not want the opioid pain reliever I was offered - I have diverticular disease & didn't want to risk constipation- a big issue for me. So I just had paracetamol & ibuprofen in alternate doses, which wasn't enough. So I'm now taking co-codamol to replace two of the paracetamol doses, and it's helped. My worry is that I now have a very painful LEFT hip - not responding to pain relief. I feel it's something to do with lying on my left side, which I'm not accustomed to - but obviously can't lie on my right side for a while and am not comfortable sleeping on my back. (Maybe also due to my posture changing due to my right leg now being longer, but I'm not yet walking much.) It started the night before last (2nd night after surgery), I'd fallen asleep on my left side and woke up in pain. Is this normal/common? Is there anything I can do to help? Will it eventually go on its own? I wasn't expecting this - it's so disheartening. Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
Hi CherryRed :wave:and welcome to the Hip Recovery Area. I'm fairly new to this myself having had my right hip replaced only 12 days ago but I'm sure someone with more experience will be along soon to help put your mind at rest.
Hi Esmeralda- nice to meet you. Hope your recovery's going well. Where in the UK are you?
Hi! I have a sensitive bowel- laxatives of any type will send me racing/running for the restroom. I could hear noises in my GI system so I knew things were waking up. I ate applesauce frequently and did not have any issues. This may also be the case for you. I hope they can get your meds straight so you are not in so much pain. Welcome to the group it has been a true lifesaver.
:wave: @CherryRed
:welome: to Bonesmart!
I'm sorry you have limited options for pain meds, but hope that Icing is at the top of your list for pain relief and inflammation.:ice:

I'm assuming your surgeon didn't give you any restrictions about side sleeping early days, but you will need to use pillows to keep legs in proper position and will likely help you stay more comfortable.
This article has a good graphic on what this looks like. Click on the link.

Maybe also due to my posture changing due to my right leg now being longer, but I'm not yet walking much
Most hippies feel their op leg seems longer.
Angry soft tissue and swelling leads to a "perceived" leg length differential but almost all settle in a few months.
Here is our article on LLD

All Temporary became my Recovery try not to worry, Rest and Ice and short walks are all that is necessary right now.
I will leave you our recovery guidelines below.
Healing Hugs, my new hippy pal.:flwrysmile:
Here you are...

Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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
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 to these pages on the website

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.
Thank you SO MUCH, everyone. Best, most helpful (and reassuring) advice I've had so far - I'm very, very grateful. No one's mentioned ice till now - I will get onto that. Thank you - I will keep checking back. I feel I've made a whole new group of friends. :loveshwr:
Ice was the best pain relief for me. I used an icing machine and kept it on constantly. When you ice be sure to do it long enough, there's no such thing as too long.
Hi Esmeralda- nice to meet you. Hope your recovery's going well. Where in the UK are you?
I'm down on the South Coast in Hampshire. Whereabouts are you ?

I'm having a few ups and downs in my recovery but it's early days and I'm adjusting my expectations accordingly :) :-) (:
I'm up in the East Midlands - Nottinghamshire. It's a really good reminder to hear you say it's early days for you - which of course it is. I'm very impatient - I was with my knee replacements too - and I need to relax a bit. I hope your recovery continues smoothly. Xx
I'm up in the East Midlands - Nottinghamshire. It's a really good reminder to hear you say it's early days for you - which of course it is. I'm very impatient - I was with my knee replacements too - and I need to relax a bit. I hope your recovery continues smoothly. Xx
My youngest son went to Uni in Nottingham, I use to enjoy our visits to that area.

Patience isn't one of my strong points either unfortunately. Even though the Osteoarthritis in my hip has only been causing me problems for just over 2 years, I'm just so impatient to get my life back !
Me too - I'm 76, and want to keep reasonably active as long as I can. Having arthritis everywhere doesn't help. I've had both knees replaced and two spinal decompressions at 4 different vertebrae - my friends call me "Bionic Ronne" I'm hoping this THR is my last surgery for a while, but I suspect I'll be completing the full set before long.
Hi @CherryRed wow you have certainly had a lot of joints replaced!

I am 13 days post op now for right side, I actually developed left sided hip pain around 6 weeks pre surgery, top of thigh which the physio put down to hip flexors and compensation. So it may be compensation for you when walking, are you fully weight bearing? You may be putting much more weight down left side as you’ll be tentative doing so on op leg. Do you have a Zimmer or crutches?

I’m in the UK also and I’m surprised you were out same day! I needed 2 nights for the pain relief. I’m also still now 13 days later needing pain relief. If you are sore it will impact your rehab so it might be good to chat to the GP. Oramorph is quite gentle over all the opioids on the bowel and is a good pain relief.
Thanks, Clairebella. I can't take anything morphine based - makes me very sick - so I'm sort of rotating co-codamol, ibuprofen & paracetamol. Better than just ibuprofen & paracetamol on their own.

I was surprised they gave me the option of going home same day - they made a big fuss about having a special pre op drink that would help speed recovery. The ward was unbearably hot, and nobody could find a working fan - so I couldn't wait to come home. I think I was expecting this to be a breeze compared to my TKRs - everyone says hips are so much "easier" - but I'm finding it more difficult - partly because I'm that much older now, I guess. Moving around seems more awkward and difficult - and painful - but maybe that's selective memory. I have to keep reminding myself it's early days, early days...
@CherryRed Very early days for you! Unfortunately no joint replacement is breeze. All recoveries take time and tons of patience. All temporary!
Cherry Red I think the surgery comparisons are bogus! No surgery where one struggles to walk is easy! You seem to have a great zest for life! Hang in there!
Welcome! Ice and rest, you had knees done so you should be an expert at joint replacements!
We've all had hip surgery so if you have questions or concerns ask away, someone I'm sure can help.
I just wanted to post a very heartfelt thank you to everyone here for the wonderful, compassionate, understanding support you all provide. I discovered this site when I was recovering from my 2nd TKR in 2017. I'm now 5 days post op from my first THR, and I am so glad you are all here.

I have a tendency to be a bit harsh and impatient with myself - not helped by the many people who assured me, pre op, that recovery from a HR is "so much easier" than from a KR, that I'll be up and about "before you know it," etc etc etc. I know they mean well with these upbeat predictions - but I am finding them the opposite of helpful. I am frustrated by the pain, by depending on my long-suffering husband (who has been beside me for all my previous surgeries - both knees, two spinal decompressions, not to mention a C-section, hysterectomy, gall bladder removal, bladder repair... I'm probably leaving something out! ) for everything (other than washing, dressing, going to the loo - I'm immensely grateful I can do those for myself).

At the moment I don't have the energy for anything more than the above, doing the very gentle exercises the physio at the hospital gave me, and sitting up in bed reading, watching TV, and playing Words With Friends on my iPad. I knew I wouldn't be up and doing the laundry or walking to the shops at this stage, but I think I expected to be ready for more. (I've been overlooking the fact that I'm 76, and have already been partially disabled for 2 yrs by nerve damage in my left leg and foot (opposite my operated hip) due to spinal stenosis.)

I did not intend for this post to turn into an extended moan. The opposite, in fact. Unlike the well-meaning but unhelpful upbeat, go get 'em messages I've been getting elsewhere, everyone on this forum is so empathetic and understanding of the challenges, and the emphasis on compassionate self-care is so helpful and reassuring. I cannot overstate how grateful I am that you are all here, and because you've all been - and are! - on this path too, your messages come from a place of knowledge and understanding. There is so much valuable information here, so much realistic advice - I feel really lucky and privileged to have found you all.
So - from the bottom of my heart - thank you, one and all. ❤️
@CherryRed So glad you found us and happy that the information here has helped. Here's to continued improvement!
I felt the same when I found this board after my hip replacement.
Go easy on yourself, it's a bit of a journey but you will get there, right now what you are doing is enough.
Use bathroom, grab a snack, wash up then back to ice and relax.
I wish you well.

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