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THR Reclaiming my Future after THR


junior member
Mar 25, 2024
United States United States
Went in around 7:30 am and came home around 5ish. My OS came back to visit me for an hour late afternoon, so that held things up. He's a talker. Said obviously the joint was totally destroyed and my abductor was severely atrophied from years of compensating. He's confident he can get most of it back with PT.
Guess I watched too many of those SuperPath videos with people raising their cane in the air triumphantly because silly me sure as heck didn't see herself on a walker with pain on the side and front. And my aching butt!!!!! I'm in my recliner, just took a half a Norco and hoping that this does indeed get better. He said tomorrow may be worse than today, but then should improve. Tomorrow I start the Lovenox injections too....
It had to be done, but I sure didn't expect the pain afterwards! Had the shakes coming out of anesthesia pretty bad and I'm still a little nauseous and shaky. I suppose it's the fear and pain. Hope I can get some rest tonight.
Welcome to recovery!

Nausea is pretty common. Make sure to have fluids as tolerated - warm is better than cold! - sip some broths for nutrition, a little ginger tea with or without honey can help the nausea. Eat lightly! The traditional BRAT diet for nausea is banana, rice, applesauce, toast. Some folks like a soft boiled egg.
If it persists or gets worse , call the doc as some people do need a prescription med.

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.

If you want to use something to assist with healing and scar management, BoneSmart recommends hypochlorous solution. Members in the US can purchase ACTIVE Antimicrobial Hydrogel through BoneSmart at a discount. Similar products should be available in the UK and other countries.

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
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs

The recovery articles
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.
Wow...drive thru THR! In at 7:30 and at home by 5:00. You're lucky you had a visit with your OS "on the day".
I didn't see mine until I was three months post op, only saw the PA. I hope you were able to get some sleep last evening, the nausea eased and you're doing okay this morning. Hopefully aside from staying adequately hydrated which will help rid your body if the effects of anesthesia, you're able to get some nutrition. Go with your gut, whatever sounds appealing to you. Many reputable medical organizations no longer recommend the BRAT diet due to lack of scientific evidence to support it. It is a restrictive diet lacking in essential nutrients. Hopefully you're feeling better today and you're able to keep pain at a minimum and remain comfortably mobile.
Best Wishes, proffrench!
@Layla I tried half a Norco last night because of the butt pain mostly, but I didn't like the way ot made me feel. I can't tell what is aftereffects of general anesthesia-- the shakes and racing heart-- but I think I'll just try tylenol today. I did not anticipate the pain-- and my arms are aching from using the walker. Please just reassure me that each day will get better.
Please just reassure me that each day will get better.
The first few days are really up and down says the lady who just did this twice in 2 months - left hip then right. Surgery and anesthesia knocks me flat so even without pain your body has to deal with after effects of anxiety, sleeplessness, fluid overload, and being wrestled into various positions in the surgery. Add to that additional medications, swelling and the drain from healing- you are going to need to just eat, sleep, and take short walks. But for me those short walks made it all worthwhile because I no longer had the grinding hip pain. You are past the scary part. I’m so happy for you.
Well, you've summed that up pretty nicely. I'm still not sure if I'm icing the correct spot, but visiting nurse is coming this afternoon so I'll ask her. To add to my story-- I didn't say this before-- I'm also recovering from an anal fistulotomy done 2.5 weeks ago. Many, many years ago I had a horrible case of food poisoning that left me so infected "down there" that I formed a fistula. It came back about a year and a half ago, saw a surgeon who overdid it with the antibiotics and I ended up in the hospital with CDiff. Eventually that was cleared up by a great infectious disease doctor from University of Chicago. Well, the surgery from November '22 to repair the fistula must not have healed correctly so this time I saw a great colorectal surgeon from the University of Chicago. It will take many more weeks to slowly heal from the inside out. However, because I had CDiff once before, I have to be very careful around antibiotics because they could make it come back. So now I have to wait it out, take my probiotics and cross my fingers. So I'm juggling several things at once and it's getting to me.
Please just reassure me that each day will get better.
Ugh...I am so sorry, I want to tell you each day will get better, but these next few may be rough, I can't lie. I will add that I somehow lucked out on the Day Three and Day Four discomfort / pain that many deal with and I attribute it to a high pain threshold, constant icing, the non-opioid analgesic injected into my surgical area before closing that gradually wore off over a period of 72 hours. Check in with your surgeons office or care team for reassurance re: the GA aftereffects of shaking and racing heart. I am sorry to read you're dealing with the concern of C.Diff returning also.

Try to stay as hydrated as possible. Doing so will increase the need to use the bathroom more frequently, but that movement is also good every hour or two for about five minutes.

Hopefully you're able to eat something for strength, even if it's just a protein smoothie, unless that sounds unappealing.

I tried to track progress by the week. Noting on the same day of the week, each week, the progress I made since the week before. Early on it can be difficult to see progress and it helps to have something to reflect back on and realize you are moving forward.

Aching arms from the walker is a common complaint. The walker should be tall enough that you can grip it with a bend in your elbow, but short enough that your shoulders can be relaxed. Try to put less weight on the walker while walking and see if it helps ease your aching arms. You can also purchase inexpensive hand grips from Amazon, or other online sources, which can aid in minimizing shock to hands arms and upper body. It may be worth a try since they're pretty affordable.

I hope you feel better as the day goes on. Please know that we're here for support always, Lights never go out and there's usually someone around. Best wishes and big hugs for a 'tolerable" day. :console2:
Sorry you're having post-op problems from anesthesia, I had that with GA and other operations. My THR's were done with spinals and no side effects and felt great afterwards. The pain will get better, but it will take a while, the first 2 weeks can be rough. The hardest part is getting comfortable and reminding yourself not to do anything but walk to the bathroom and bed.
Sorry to hear about your issues on top of the hip replacement.
First few weeks are tough for sure.
We are here to "virtually" get you through it I hope!
Day 3 post op questions:
Slept in my bed last night, but I couldn't fall asleep until after 3am. My right upper arm hurt so bad--guessing from the walker. I have the lounge doctor pillow which I used at 3 am and then I was able to sleep a bit. Am I supposed to be using this to sleep at night? I'm having so much trouble sleeping on my back! I tried to lay on the good side with a pillow between my legs, but it felt weird in my hip so I quickly went back on my back. This lack of sleep is driving me nuts!
My OS called me again last evening to see how I was doing. He wants me walking more during the day--not just trips to the bathroom and little circuits around the kitchen and living room. He wants my husband to take a video of me walking outside so he can see my gait. I feel guilty? that day 1 and 2 I didn't walk enough, so I'll try to push it a little farther today. It's just hard when you're going on 3-4 hours of poor sleep.
Sounds like you're really pushing on the walker, is it adjustable? Try changing the height of it and see if it's more comfortable. Sleeping on my back was not natural for me but I figured out how to just accept that it was what it was and not to fight it. It's a temporary situation, it will get better. Sounds surprising your OS wants you to walk more and wants to see your gait 3 days in. Just a warning that getting in the "need to push" mindset usually ends up with a painful ending.
In my experience many people who aren't fitted for cane, walker, or crutches tend to adjust them too high, so their elbows are bent and it's a strain on the arms. Optimal walker or cane height is with your elbows not quite straight, but at a very gentle bend. When you stand at the walker and relax your arms, the top of the handle should be level with your inner wrist crease.

Sleeping with the Lounge Doctor... I sure did after my knee replacement! It was the only position I could fall asleep in. After a few hours I would switch to side lying with lots of pillows!
Thanks so much for the advice! I'm trying to be more active today, but I have to balance that with some rest that I'm not getting at night. I did my PT exercises last night in bed and then again this morning. PT wants them done 2x a day. The hard one is sliding the leg to the side because my abductor is severely atrophied from years of compensating. I feel like I'm doing the best I can right now without being a big baby about this. Oh-- and the weird swellings on my thigh and side! Wasn't expecting the side just above my hip to look like I have a saddlebag there! It hurts inside that area too. I feel like a punching bag.
Aww…No reason to feel guilty.

All you really need to do right now is be up on your feet several times a day.
A 5-6 minute walk every hour or two hours is sufficient.
Spend most of the time resting, elevating and icing.
Walks around the home - trips to the bathroom and kitchen to get a snack / drink count.

It is not necessary to exercise your injured hip to promote healing. The controlled trauma sustained through THR will heal on its own. Often though, we're impatient and want to move the process along. In doing so we run the risk of struggling with pain and setbacks stalling the healing process. The best therapy for recovery is walking, but not to excess. Start slowly increasing time and distance incrementally in an effort not to overdo it. Give yourself the TLC you deserve and reap the benefits of a successful recovery.

Pillows certainly help me get comfortable in bed, making it easier to drift off.
In those early weeks, I practically created a pillow fort with a variety of sizes and degrees of firmness. You may find pillows comforting to rest an arm or leg on, or just to feel somewhat swaddled.

I suggest making up the bed with your most comfortable bedding. Try to block out the light if it's daytime. Minimize noise unless you feel listening to calming relaxation music, a fan, or white noise may help lull you to sleep. Make sure the room temperature is not too hot or too cold. Try to disconnect from the devices at least an hour before the targeted nap or bed time, so it's easier to wind down. Limit caffeine throughout the day and consider natural sleep aids such as Valerian, Chamomile or, Magnesium, my personal favorite, which can assist in muscle relaxation and nerves and promote healthy sleep (falling asleep and staying asleep)
and by all means use the Lounge Doctor whenever you want to.

An article on Magnesium from our Library -

Most large grocers carry a variety of teas such as Celestial Seasonings - Sleepytime Herb Tea, Yogi Teas, Bedtime, Bigelow Cozy Chamomile, all of which may help you relax...at least worth a try.

Wishing you some restorative rest this weekend!
I agree with @Layla - many of our members report pain doing those formal exercises, while our staff and members who have avoided PT (either entirely, or seek it much later in the healing process to address a specific issue) have done wonderfully.

It takes 6 - 8 weeks to heal a basic sprain or strain enough to work on strengthening. Your traumatized hip deserves the same TLC and respect.
A tip for the Leg slides (abduction/adduction)

You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier. Works well for the heel slides also. :wink:
You all are the best--really and truly. You get it. My 85 yr old mom (both hips, both knees and 1 knee revision) told me today that she was proud of me. And that meant the world to me. I don't care how old you are, you still need your mom. We've both been through so much together. She lost my brother at age 3 when i was 12 yrs old, my sister at 45 and my dad 1 year ago tomorrow. And her granddaughter, my daughter. She's not the warm and cuddly type, but she's always there for me as I am for her. Going to rest now with my swollen leg (yikes!) and ice.
Sounds like you want to do the hard recovery, many do it and I tried it with my first. Then after enough pain and suffering I did a lot better on my second. Everyone on this board has had at least 1 THR and can speak from experience, some not so good experiences, and you can avoid the bad ones. Sitting, icing, resting is really all we need to do in the first weeks, it's tough enough to get comfortable. Doing ankle pumps and butt squeezes is easy enough. A few heel slides just to move the leg around is usually no big deal, and can come in handy for pulling socks up the rest of the way when you can't reach your feet yet.
The big question, ..what exercises do they want you to do?
If icing be sure to ice long enough, longer is better than too short and have spare ice packs.

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