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THR Pre-Op Anxiety - Hips easier than knees?

Polarbear1965

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Hello All, I haven’t been on this forum for quite awhile, but had PKR done in 2013, TKR done in 2020, and now I need both hips done…lol
Both knees have done very well so far with no dramatic issues, I’m 56 now, so I’m very optimistic that hips will improve life for me as well…!
I’ve been dealing with the hip issues for over a year now, (they began giving me problems almost immediately after last knee rehab in 2020) Original hip replacement surgery was scheduled for Nov. 2, 2021, but hospital scratched my surgery due to local number of COVID cases. New surgery date is Dec. 29, 2021. If all goes well I will have the other one done 3 months later. I’ve been using crutches and a walker for almost a year now. Pain is being managed sufficiently with a combination of ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Hydrocodone.
My questions/concerns are as follows;
I understand that hip pain often presents as groin muscle pain, and it feels like a lot of my discomfort is from muscle soreness, and I fear that just rehabbing the muscles is going to be hard after letting them deteriorate for close to a year now, and I’m wondering if anybody can tell me how much pain relief to expect post-op? I expect the hip joints themselves will have much less pain (being artificial), but how difficult and how long to get those muscles back into shape??? This stuff really gets old and frustrating doesn’t it…?
Any comments are welcome…Thanks
 

Coddfish

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Hi @Polarbear1965 I didn’t experience a lot of pain, but what I had was mostly in the groin area, probably from my hip adductor. As for rehabbing muscles, all you can do is take it a day at a time. I was lucky enough to be able to maintain a reasonable level of fitness prior to surgery, which definitely helped afterwards. Even so, it’s been a case of letting fitness rebuild afterwards by taking incremental steps. You are correct that you shouldn’t feel any pain around the joint itself. As for pain relief, you probably have a good idea as to what works best for you from the previous surgeries. Ice will be your friend.

Make sure you have prepared your home for afterwards, no loose mats, things within reach. You will need a dressing gown belt or similar (I used a large loop resistance band as I have several) to help lift your leg on and off the bed. Of all the tools and gadgets I bought, I found the raised toilet seat with handles, and a sock aid to help me put on / take off socks, the most useful. Think about how you will shower. I am lucky to have a large walk in shower, but if you only have a shower over a bath, you will need a bath board or similar to help you get in / out.

Walking is the best thing you can do. I found physio helpful but it’s clear from this site that many don’t find it helpful. If you can swim / have access to a pool, then that’s a good exercise to start once your wound is fully healed, they generally recommend front crawl and backstroke only to start with. Static cycling is also straight forward once you are past those first few weeks. At 12 weeks post-surgery I am largely back to normal, just waiting a little longer before getting back to running. I get the sense my recovery has been exceptionally smooth and easy compared with many other posters. I do feel it has helped to have a basic expectation that everything will be ok, rather than worrying about every twinge.

All the best.
 

Jaycey

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@Polarbear1965 Welcome back! Sorry it's due to more surgery.
I’m wondering if anybody can tell me how much pain relief to expect post-op?
That first step post op is amazing. No more bone on bone pain. Yes, there is discomfort from the trauma of the procedure. But it is controlled.

Ice, elevate, meds, repeat. Short walks around your home in the first few weeks. I have not had knees replaced but our members who have had both knees and hips done usually say recovery from THR is easier. I've changed your thread title so that members can come and give you input.
 

Bodie’sMom

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Hi @Polarbear1965
I don’t think you will have any problem. You have still been moving and have been able to manage your pain.

I couldn’t manage my pain and besides the groin pain, there was, the associated shooting knee pain, which was worst than anything and various other pains, that were due to my bad hip. I was convinced, there were numerous things, going on with me, that a THR wasn’t going to fix.

Happy to say, I was wrong! Relief was immediate, after surgery. Sure, I ached, but I stayed on top of my meds, iced and was comfortable. The problem knee, took, about a week, but they had it, in an awkward position, during surgery.

I think you will be, pleasantly surprised. You aren’t going to do much, the first few weeks, it will be like, starting over anyway, as you get used to your new hip. The worst was trying to sleep the first 2 weeks and you’ve already been through that, so you will do great :)
 
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Polarbear1965

Polarbear1965

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I’m catching little crumbs of information from these comments that are putting my mind at ease a little bit…lol
“Shooting pains down the to the knee area” etc…are telling me that some of what I’m experiencing must be common…
I’ve had at least a dozen people tell me that hips are an easier recovery than a knee, and I’ve already had both knees done with no issues, so I hope that’s true…Thanks for the comments…
 

Eman85

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No experience with knees aside from a cartilage operation years back on one knee. I don't know what pain you experience with your hips now. Mine were bad for decades and I experienced shooting sharp pains in the joint like someone stuck an ice pick in there. Also deep aches the length of my legs. Then the horrid deep joint ache that prevented sleep. Also the joint locking in position when sitting then releasing with an audible pop and pain. I can tell you that all of those pains I experienced were gone immediately.
I never stopped doing anything and was always active but I did have limited ROM so my muscles went to territory they hadn't visited for 50 years. Recovery is a slow go and not much can be done to speed it up. Your body will recover and the best recovery exercise once you get past the first couple of months is walking.
 
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Polarbear1965

Polarbear1965

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like someone stuck an ice pick in there. Also deep aches the length of my legs. Then the horrid deep joint ache that prevented sleep. Also the joint locking in position when sitting then releasing with an audible pop and pain.
Yup, feelin all of that…lol
 

Hopper

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Hi @Polarbear1965 I remember your name from 2013. Had my first knee then too. Then other in 2015 and now THR six weeks ago.
I've my six week checks and x-rays today.
The hip has definitely been easier pain wise than knees. :)

I know pain levels are different for everyone but you have done the ice, rest, elevate stuff in the past and will again I'm sure. I think you will find a THR ok.

Like you I went from being very active to being unable to function for quite a number of months - I was also nursing my mum day and night, so I was very static. This year has been hard.
But I am on my feet, walking ok albeit slower than usual.
I know the muscles are ok and strengthening slowly but surely.
Each week they really improve so take heart!
I had physio after both knees and it was great. But I've not really felt the need this time with my hip. I've done all the exercises given in the booklet from my surgeon each day and walked daily.
I will go soon to have my gait checked and probably get some physio too.
I've taken it steadily, listened to my body and all seems ok.
The horrible pain has gone and progress is good.
Before you know it you will be heading towards spring time with a new spring in your step too and hopefully that walker and those meds will be long gone and your muscles reviving slowly but surely.
Good luck with it all and Im sure your knee experience will stand you in good stead.
 

djklaugh

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@Polarbear1965 I can't compare hips to knees having not had to have knees replaced but IMO having hips replaced was (20/20 hind sight here) not so bad. I did both hips at once and was traveling across country 6 months later. Before the surgery my hips were so bad the bones fused so everything hurt. If I found one sort of comfortable position to sit in I stayed that way for as long as I could. So it wasn't only groin pain - it was back pain, and thigh pain, and deep hip pain too.

After surgery the walking and climbing stairs was fairly easy but it took months of PT to recondition muscles to get feet onto opposing knees. So for you it will depend on just how out of condition the muscles around the hip are. Since you apparently have not been having hip problems for a really long time, you may find that just walking is enough to get things feeling great again.
 

CatchAll

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@Polarbear1965 The recovery from your replacement will likely depend on how good the surgeon is, what approach the surgeon takes, and your muscle strength before the surgery. Everyone has a different experience. The joint pain relief should be immediate. I had my right hip done by Dr. Barrett in Renton in February. Before Covid he was doing 500 joint replacements per year and only does hips and knees. He is very good. He does hips with the anterior approach on an outpatient basis. I checked into the surgery center at 5:30am and was in the car on my way home by 11:30am that morning. I walked in the front door of my house on my own power. For most of his patients with the anterior approach the incision is only 4 or so inches and no major muscles or tendons are severed so the recovery process is easier than the posterior approach. He said it is a lot easier than knee replacement. My incision is a couple inches longer than average because I had extra muscle mass he had to work around. Before the surgery I was in constant pain and taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen every day. I could see that my leg muscles were getting smaller over time as I worked them less and less.

The first week after surgery I was on oxycodone. I took a pretty good dose for the first couple days then started tapering off of the oxy. I was completely off of it by day 7. I took ibuprofen and acetaminophen for a little while after that. After years of joint pain I think my tolerance for pain is pretty high so I didn't have much trouble getting off the pain meds quickly. The pain after the surgery felt more like a pulled muscle or a bad bruise compared to that sharp pain from the old bone on bone hip.

As for getting your strength back, you may be surprised how quickly your muscles will recovery. I started walking right away and doing air squats as soon as it was comfortable. After a few weeks I found a trail near my home that has a smooth gravel surface and started climbing that a few mornings per week with increasing distance and speed.
 

PolarIce

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Hello All, I haven’t been on this forum for quite awhile, but had PKR done in 2013, TKR done in 2020, and now I need both hips done…lol
Both knees have done very well so far with no dramatic issues, I’m 56 now, so I’m very optimistic that hips will improve life for me as well…!
I’ve been dealing with the hip issues for over a year now, (they began giving me problems almost immediately after last knee rehab in 2020) Original hip replacement surgery was scheduled for Nov. 2, 2021, but hospital scratched my surgery due to local number of COVID cases. New surgery date is Dec. 29, 2021. If all goes well I will have the other one done 3 months later. I’ve been using crutches and a walker for almost a year now. Pain is being managed sufficiently with a combination of ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Hydrocodone.
My questions/concerns are as follows;
I understand that hip pain often presents as groin muscle pain, and it feels like a lot of my discomfort is from muscle soreness, and I fear that just rehabbing the muscles is going to be hard after letting them deteriorate for close to a year now, and I’m wondering if anybody can tell me how much pain relief to expect post-op? I expect the hip joints themselves will have much less pain (being artificial), but how difficult and how long to get those muscles back into shape??? This stuff really gets old and frustrating doesn’t it…?
Any comments are welcome…Thanks
Welcome back to the forum! I think you are going to feel so relieved pain wise, that the main thing you will need to contend with is the surgical site pain which is manageable after all the pain you have had to deal with. Really excited for you for tomorrow! such an exciting set of news to know that you will be on your way to recover from this awful chronic pain(I'm a bit jealous! mine is in just over a month and I'm hoping they don't cancel me as the covid cases are getting worst and worst).

Chin up, you've got this! you've been through so much pain and trauma, already-you totally have this. Take it one day at a time during the first couple of days, follow the instructions they gave you and remember that the light at the end of the tunnel is now within reach! super excited for you!
 

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