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THR Recovery from June 11th LTHR surgery

Kevininnc

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This is my experience only but I genuinely have a very high pain threshold so I thought my perspective would be worth sharing for others who also have a high pain threshold or think they do. Mine has gotten me in a lot of trouble absent the warning system most people have.

So, 10 days post out patient surgery LTHR on Friday 11th. 5 in home visits post surgery so far with 2 more to go.

Started back at work remotely (IT work) today. Thought I'd only be up for 2-3 hours but ended up putting in 6 (Good news because I'm self employed). Surgery is already expensive without losing additional income.

I'm still on the walker but switching between it and the cane. Little to no discomfort but again, "pain threshold" so I'm being conservative because I've been told that the 2-6 week period is when you can be fooled into thinking it is ok to do something stupid that pain would tell you not to do otherwise.

I hated sleeping in the recliner initially because maintaining the position on my back got old. I moved to trying the bed (2 different ones) on day 7 and 8. It made me very nervous to the point of waking me up in fear of turning over and popping my replacement. I very happily moved back to the comfort of my recliner last night and slept like a baby.

I took the heavy duty pain killers on a half dose every 4 hours for the first 2 days, then only at night for sleeping...and then by day 6 I was only taking Tylenol.

Takeaways:
  1. This is a big surgery and will hit you like a truck so plan for the most conservative recovery period. If you do better great. If not, great. Use the recovery time.
  2. Listen to your body - your body will let you know you are overdoing it - you'll feel awful and want to sleep.
  3. Be ready for a period of disinterest - you won't care for a while and consider it part of the process of healing. Consider I'm posting this thread here 10 days post surgery. There are reasons that is the case.
  4. Make sure you have help. I still couldn't get through this without my wife today on day 10.
  5. We have dogs, you have to be ultra conscious of the damage they could do when you are a fall risk.
  6. Easy things will be hard. you don't realize how much walking you are having to do when grilling and not having to think about it while using a walker and carrying stuff .... :heehee:
  7. When showering, you're also showering your walker...lol..at least in my case.
  8. Ice is definitely your friend but can also be your enemy if you do not use correctly.
  9. Be prepared for complications and the unexpected whether on the day of surgery or afterwards and follow all instructions given to you by your surgical team.
    1. Yes, I had complications on the day of surgery which I will go in to below.
I was in the out patient center at 5:50 am, in preop by 6:30, wheeled to surgery at 7:30. Next thing I know I am awake post surgery around 9:30am with my wife present.
They told me before surgery to hydrate really well which I have been told for the other 2 surgeries I had experienced where I had zero issues. So the day before, I had drank around 3 liters of water. Then in preop they put another liter into me via IV and then when I came out of surgery they encouraged me to drink more water which I did, another 2 liters. You see where this might be leading right?

So, you have to pee..but you can't and the bladder is one of the last organs to wake up after anesthesia.

Around 10:30, I was speedy gonzales walking around the ward with my walker with no thought of any impact on my left hip. Did it 2 or 3 times. Then when I tried to pee..nada.. followed by a spontaneous eruption of water out of my mouth due to sudden nausea around 10 seconds after giving up on trying to urinate.

Needless to say, that was a slow and dejected (but not painful) walk back to the bed.

They let me continue to try to pee over the next 90 minutes with multiple instances of nausea until they finally got that perhaps I should not be drinking more water. I was put on a drip for nausea and they scanned my bladder to see if it was full and of course it was. Little did I know what was coming.

The medicine used as part of the surgery is a slow release (I don't know much about it) but they told me it could not be mixed with lidocaine and other medications used for numbing or it would release 100% into the body in one instant instead of across 4 days.

So, full bladder, in pain now because I can't pee and I'm told they have to use a catheter and by the way, my urethra etc is tight because of the fact I need to pee so bad.

2 minutes later, I'm groaning and trying to stay calm through the closest I can imagine I have ever experienced coming to the fairer sex giving birth. Needless to say, I NEVER, EVER want to feel that again. Maybe others have had better experiences but OMG.

1.5 liters later in a bag, a couple of spontaneous eruptions into bags with nausea and I'm at least relieved of the pain and then that damn thing has to come out which honestly was nothing close to going in. Just unpleasant.

And I still have not peed by myself which I have to do to be able to leave.

So fluid only through the IV going forward and the surgeon and anesthesiologist worriedly coming in and out and asking me if I had ever experienced this in the past which of course I had not.

Doc says, you have to pee at least once or I have to send you home with a catheter and you need to see a urologist. Oh boy..now that's some motivation right there.

I peed the first time at 4:45. The they called the doc because he has already left and he says he wants me to do it again....huh..ok

Another IV and thankfully I went again at 5:50.

We went through 2 shifts of nurses and the on call folks were out processing me. We left at 6:15pm when typically people are done by 2-3pm.

Wondering if others have had similar experiences. I have my first appt follow up on Wednesday and while the surgery was fantastic and the recovery has been so far too, that Friday was hell.
 

Elf1

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@Kevininnc :wave: welcome to the healing side, glad you decided to post an update. Wow, you have some very good points and they should serve you well if you continue to follow through.

So sorry to hear about the bladder issues, can't blame you for not wanting to go there again.
 

Pumpkin

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Here are the Hip Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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
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

6. Access these pages on the website


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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Eman85

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Sounds like you had a lot more going on than I did post op. I peed enough for 5 people post-op. it got real old taking those booties to keep blood flowing off and on every trip I made to the bathroom all night long. I iced continuously with a machine and it was always friendly. It sounds like you know you're just beginning recovery.
 

Mojo333

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:wave:@Kevininnc
I'm sorry you had to go through that horrid sounding "catheter incident" just out of surgery.:flabber:
Thanks for sharing your take aways...
This IS a major surgery but I am ever so grateful for getting my life back.
Sending healing vibes your way.
 
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Kevininnc

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So I'm in week 4 (Day 25) of recovery now. It has been fine so far. I typically heal fast but the pace of progress on this has still shocked both my wife and I. I'm just using the cane now but its tough trying to find out exactly how much walking/exercise I should be doing at this point. Yesterday I did around 4k steps in total for the day which is a lot more than I had been doing. This includes all trips around the house interior including 2 walks around a short block which is close to 1k steps a circuit. I don't find the default thread/link here as to what you should expect to be able to do post recovery very helpful.

One point of interest. The step count on my watch didn't work on the hand I use for the cane. I had to switch the hand I wear my garmin on mid week last week.

I'm sleeping in bed. I sleep 6 hours straight with Tylenol PM which typically lasts arounds 6 hours and my last 2 hours of sleep are broken in the morning and not the best but I feel like I'm getting ok sleep. I can sit down and stand with ease. I can walk a little without the cane but I walk better with the cane. No limp etc. 10:49 am here on Monday July 5th and I already have 1580 steps in. I'm just cautious because I don't want to be over doing it but at the same time I want to make sure my progress continues which I know requires exercise.

I only missed one week of work in all of this (working remotely of course and I'm in IT)

If anyone either remembers where they were at this point in recovery or are close to where I am or just past it, I'd appreciate any insights you can give so I could have some basis for comparison.

Thanks so much
 

Going4fun

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I would back off a day after you set a new walking record. Hips scream on a delayed basis. So to find out how much is too much ... well .... unfortunately for most people you only find out a day later or even two days later.

So just be aware of the delayed reaction. If ever your hip screams in real time, stop and slow down. Pain is not gain in this case.

Increase things gradually, no major jumps. That's when I had my backlashes.

Exercise and walking is great, but you don't have to push it ... your soft tissue has to recover from the surgery, and pushing exercise doesn't speed up the healing of the soft tissue. You sound like a naturally active person. Just relax and walk. Just go with that and you'll be fine.
 
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Kevininnc

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I would back off a day after you set a new walking record. Hips scream on a delayed basis. So to find out how much is too much ... well .... unfortunately for most people you only find out a day later or even two days later.

So just be aware of the delayed reaction. If ever your hip screams in real time, stop and slow down. Pain is not gain in this case.

Increase things gradually, no major jumps. That's when I had my backlashes.

Exercise and walking is great, but you don't have to push it ... your soft tissue has to recover from the surgery, and pushing exercise doesn't speed up the healing of the soft tissue. You sound like a naturally active person. Just relax and walk. Just go with that and you'll be fine.
Thanks so much. I just spent an hour or so checking out the progress of folks that had surgery the same month as me and I can tell I have been lucky to date with this. So lesson learned, I'm going to continue to be very careful going forward. We have about 300 lbs of dogs in the house which forces me to be careful getting around but there is also some pressure because the wife can't walk the bigger dogs. So the dogs won't get walks outside until I get to the point where I can walk them. They do have a back yard, so that will have to suffice for a few more weeks. Yes, I'm naturally active and this was great advice. Thank you.
 

LChippie

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Hello, thanks for your posts. I am 6 weeks out, and frustrated about perceived lack of walking progress. I'm 44 years old, and healthy person, thought I would be much further along. I can walk about 30 seconds without crutch or cane. Then it's time to ice and rest. Crutches help me move without causing too much pain or inflammation. I keep going back and forth between "something is wrong with implant " and " it's a long journey that requires patience "
Best of luck to ya!
 

Celle

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@LChippie , I've copied your post, above, and used it to start a recovery thread for you, here:
LChippie's Recovery Thread

Your new thread is where you should write about your recovery and ask any questions you may have. We'll be able to advise you there.
 
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Kevininnc

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Ended up over 5k steps yesterday and did a longer walk in one go versus the 2 walks I did the day before. Took extra strength Tylenol PM as usual before bed and found myself having to take Tylenol again around 3:30am. So pain is telling me that it looks like 4k steps is the sweet spot right now. I consider myself very fortunate, I'm not having to ice or anything and I'm not dealing with any swelling. I was a 10k steps plus a day walker before surgery even with hip issues because of dog walking etc. so that has probably stood to me. Work day today, so more sitting and I'll be a little less active so we will see.

One note: I did catch myself almost turned over on to my replacement hip last night in bed for the first time and it was through turning over on my tummy so clockwise. Surprised I felt no pain in the process but I very quickly checked myself and reverted to the other side.
 

Layla

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So pain is telling me that it looks like 4k steps is the sweet spot right now.
It’s good to read you’re listening to your body and not pushing it. Good luck with work. Hopefully you can break up the sitting with some walks to avoid stiffness.
Happy Tuesday!
 

Raftin21

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Now having gone thru 2 hip replacements for me (everyone is so different), each week it seems I go up around 1k steps a week and by about week 10 I was around 10k steps. I try to make my walks a bit further each week, while still listening to pain. It’s definitely a gradual process! It sounds like you are doing it right and finding that sweet spot is key!
 
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Kevininnc

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Thanks everyone. I actually backed off a bit and I'm much more conscious of my hip this week versus prior weeks. Been averaging 2k steps since mid week last week but based on some of the input I've gotten here (while recognizing it is a very individual response), I'm going to start ramping up again. This is a bit confusing and difficult because now I feel like I am not doing enough and that's what's potentially causing me issues. :) Originally thought I was doing too much so I backed off and now I am not doing enough..
 

Elf1

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If you're going to ramp up please take it slow. It probably would try 2.5K for a week or so to see how that feels. We all tend to feel like we're not doing enough, and it usually is what gets us in trouble! :heehee:
 

Layla

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A belated Happy One Month Anniversary!
Please Go Slow…you’re only weeks removed from major surgery. Don’t want to see you stall your recovery.
I hope you have a good week!
@Kevininnc
 
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Kevininnc

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If you're going to ramp up please take it slow. It probably would try 2.5K for a week or so to see how that feels. We all tend to feel like we're not doing enough, and it usually is what gets us in trouble! :heehee:
Thank you Elf1. That is very good advice. My plan is to get to 3k steps this week and then only increase by 500 steps a week going forward and of course incorporate any feed back my body gives me in terms of pain. I'm no hero :thankyou:
 
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Kevininnc

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A belated Happy One Month Anniversary!
Please Go Slow…you’re only weeks removed from major surgery. Don’t want to see you stall your recovery.
I hope you have a good week!
@Kevininnc
Thanks so much Layla. Hard to believe it has been almost 5 weeks already.
 

Eman85

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Doing a little more at a time would be good, but we all tend to bite off too much too soon. I was a slow learner but one thing I did figure out was that quality was more important than quantity. Doing anything we label as PT whether it be walking or any other movements concentrate on form. I called it learning to walk again and since I considered it starting from scratch why not do it right. A new pair of shoes was important too for a good start with a clean slate. Shoes with a wear pattern will effect your walking. I constantly had to remind myself to slow down and stand up straight.
 

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