THR Progress Reports

Newhip_Pol

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Greetings,
I've completed 7 weeks post-op and all seems to be going well. Able to walk without crutches (about a mile), drive (for about an hour) and swim (about 10x 20m lengths) but not all at once and I still get very tired!
Limiting factors with pain now seem to be left ankle - scarring from fracture over 20 years ago - and right hip which will need replaced at some point.
How is everyone else doing?
 

GrannyC

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It’s good to hear you are doing so well. Are you using a cane when you walk or walking unassisted? I was told to use an aid until my gait was smooth and no limp. Hopefully you don’t still have a limp as that would negatively affect your other hip. It sounds like you are very active for 7 weeks and recovering at a good rate. Sending well wishes for your continued recovery. Keep us posted on your progress and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have. There is usually someone available who can help or offer support.
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Thanks @GrannyC,
I've been using one elbow crutch or walking pole whilst outdoors until this weekend but am now unassisted outdoors as well as in. I intend to revert to using a support if I get too tired and start to limp. Most of the time I can go up and downstairs as normal (holding banister) but when tired go back to both feet on every step.
 

tallguy79

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I'm 4 days behind you and I am only walking about 4/10 of a mile with a cane once a day on average. I just started keeping track of my steps yesterday and I was right at 2000 which is one mile of walking thru out the day. That was a fairly active day for me. Monday I go back to work part time on light duty. That may increase my step count whether I like it or not. Still have pain most of the time. I have been able to do stairs normally for a couple weeks. I do use the railing but no cane or crutch. You seem to be doing better than me but it's not a competition.
 

Layla

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Hi! Welcome to BoneSmart and Recovery.
Because you're only 7 weeks post op I'm leaving the Recovery Article as some may still apply.
Please take a look at it as well as our Library under the blue bar at the top of the page.
Lots of useful info there also.

We're happy you joined us. I hope you have a great day!


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
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

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
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

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. @Newhip_Pol
 

Layla

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A tip -
Try heel-toe walking when / if you're limping. Let your heel hit the ground first followed by toes.
It takes a concentrated effort but I believe you'll notice a difference. Give it a try.
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Hi @tallguy79 - As you say it's not a competition but we do have an awful tendency to compare ourselves with others - at least I know I do! I'm only exercising as described once a day (at most) - plus a little bit of muscle clenching, side leg raises etc in-between times.
I was doing beginner's Pilates with a personal trainer every two weeks before the op and every week since - I've heard others say it helps and I'm sure it has helped me too.
Interesting to see/hear differences with PT/OT here in UK and in US. I had 'hip class' with OT pre-op and brief contact with PTs & OTs whilst on ward post-op but nothing since - and no leaflet of instructions or exercises when discharged.
Conflicting advice re hip precautions including comment from some OTs that some surgeons have abandoned all precautions with no resulting increase in dislocation!
So I have followed OS advice which was 'Go careful for the first six weeks - then you can do what you like'!!
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Hi @Layla - I do try to walk heel - toe but that is when my scarred left ankle objects because I seem to have restricted dorsi-flexion. Seems full ROM when flexing and rotating whilst sitting but not when flexing whilst standing (e.g. mini squats result in heel coming off floor)
 
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Newhip_Pol

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@tallguy79
PS - Sorry to hear you are still in pain. Take it easy going back to work - it's still early days.
 

Layla

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Hi @Newhip_Pol
I'm sorry that's too bad. Sadly you have that ankle working against you it seems.

I didn't have any restrictions and found it odd. I imposed them on myself because I figured if it was good
for some it should be good for all. I've read how painful dislocation is and
didn't want to learn that, myself. I was told to move slowly and carefully and if it hurt, STOP.

I hope you can work with PT to figure out how to work around the ankle issue.
I wish you the best moving forward.
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Thanks @Layla - thinking of getting in touch with woman who does sports massage - she helped previously with the tight quads, IT band and everything else linked to the hip arthritis!
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Hello everyone - I have two questions
1. Biking/Cycling
I don't much like walking - never have - so realising I had to do something, a few months before the op I became a tentative 'older returner' to cycling with help from a local charity. There the volunteers taught me how to get on the bike by lying it on the ground! Once on it was great and I loved it - lots of safe cycling paths in local parks and along the canals.
My question is when do you think I should try again? Does anyone have experience of returning to leisure cycling after THR?
...../
 
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Newhip_Pol

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..../
Question 2. Swivel chairs
I have read that it is not advisable to use these after THR.
Does anyone have any experience? When did you start using an office chair again?
Thanks.
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Hello again,
I will be 8 weeks post op tomorrow (LTHR, posterior approach, cemented stem, ceramic head and polyethylene lined cup).
Had a rest day yesterday (watching Wimbledon on tv) and felt more uncomfortable at the end of the day than in the few days previously.
Decided to try the gym today - looking for variety and motivation to keep me exercising. Tried 5min on recumbent cycle and 5min on elliptical cross trainer (since both machines seem to be recommended for joint problems).
The bike was no problem. The cross trainer was difficult, not because of the new hip but because of restricted movement and pain in my left ankle (previous scarring) and the restricted movement and pain in my right hip due to osteoarthritis - not to mention the general lack if fitness!
Seems I will need to persevere.
 

Eman85

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I'm sure cycling is OK, of course the big warning is don't fall especially on the op side. There is no place near me to ride safely, but I have a friend that had THR and he used his bicycle a lot in recovery.
 

Harryn1

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Hello everyone - I have two questions
1. Biking/Cycling
I don't much like walking - never have - so realising I had to do something, a few months before the op I became a tentative 'older returner' to cycling with help from a local charity. There the volunteers taught me how to get on the bike by lying it on the ground! Once on it was great and I loved it - lots of safe cycling paths in local parks and along the canals.
My question is when do you think I should try again? Does anyone have experience of returning to leisure cycling after THR?
...../

I love to cycle, and it was one of the first things I asked the OS in my initial consult. He does not want me back on the bike for 4 months, and i am going to keep to that. A minor fall can be a major setback, so I am going to wait before risking it.

I have bike mounted on a home trainer, and have been spending a bit of time on it already, just turning the pedals, not putting down any watts. Easy does it - but I have backed off from doing even that in the last week, but I plan to get back to it slowly increasing my time, incrementally - i guess the secret it to listen to ones body. And to acknowledge that its in a vulnerable state.

As to your question on swivel chairs. I brought 2 home from the office and been living in them since being discharged. I can’t see what the issue with them would be.
 
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Newhip_Pol

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Hi @Harryn1 , thanks for your comments. My thoughts on the office chairs are similar to yours!
As to cycling, I think I will need to bide my time at least until after my 3m review and concentrate instead on building strength & fitness with the fixed bikes at the gym.
 

Layla

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Happy 8 weeks! I'll bet time is flying. I found it did more than I expected it would.
Sounds like you're doing well. Too bad your ankle and other hip are hindering you a bit.
I think your plan to use the gym until your 3 month appt is wise. Take it slow.
Hope you have a nice end to the week!
@Newhip_Pol
 

SurreyGirl

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Good luck and hope you get cycling soon. I found the comment about the office chair interesting. I am moving to the ground floor of my house for the recovery period 2 weeks after the op. My office is becoming my bedroom, I will have an office chair in the kitchen to be able to eat at the correct angle but it doesn't have any arms and the seat is a bit soft. Any advice on that? I have a walk in shower but not a lot of room between toilet and shower to move around so will have to be careful with that. My recently-deceased and lovely father in law had a grabber, small wheelable walking frame, table tray for the TV and a high armchair. I am going to pinch the lot!
 

Cassidy

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My PT said swivel chairs would be out of the question, which is a pain, as I have an L shaped desk and turn from one part to the other. A fixed chair would mean standing up and turning it round. I suppose it's partly because it might scoot back on sitting, partly because I use the leg to propel me back and sideways without thinking about it and partly because ....
 

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