THR Recovery thoughts and fizzy feet post RTHR

Ginamore

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I had my RTHR under spinal anaesthetic on the 12th July 23. The procedure was uncomplicated but the first few days post-op were unexpectedly choppy.
Things I've learned that I didn't know before surgery:
1. Ask for pain relief in between your prescribed regular pain relief in the first few days especially when you start to mobilise
2. My blood pressure was really low for 6 days post op and it was hard to mobilise without fainting. It improved when I stopped the opiate based analgesia and stuck to codeine and paracetamol
3. Ask your physio to show you how to use a tie or dressing gown cord under the sole of the operated foot to help you to control the operated leg when you get out of bed-game changer!!
4. I was unprepared for the high temp that I ran for the first 5 days...I was worried it was sepsis but it turned out to be a strong inflammatory response to the surgery-icing with packs of frozen peas really helped
5. I didn't realise that I'd have to learn to walk again-where I've been limping pre surgery my muscles are out of balance and I have to retrain myself to walk without a limp.
6. Take pain meds regularly rather than when the pain starts. In the end you need a lot less and are a lot more comfortable to mobilise. I tried cutting them down too soon and ended up not sleeping and not able to do my exercises.

Has anyone else had 'fizzy feet'-it feels as if the soles of my feet are constantly hot, cold, itchy, restless. It drove me mad initially but has got a bit better in the last few days-anyone know what this is or how to relieve it?
 
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@Ginamore Congratulations on your new hip! I suspect the odd feelings in your feet are from nerves being traumatized by the surgery and having to reorder them selves. Not just healing from the surgery but also getting use to yu walking, sitting, lying down in "new" ways from what you were doing before the surgery. These should fade away with time - it is good you have already noticed this getting better.

Here are the recovery articles and helpful suggestions:


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
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital

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.
 
Happy One Month Anniversary!
How has your recovery been going? Let us know when you have time, we'd love to hear and support you on the journey.
@Ginamore
 
Hey @Layla thank you for remembering my monthaversary .

After a very dodgy start in the first week (low BP, anaemia, high temp) I've been making slow but steady progress.

My biggest challenge is to lose my limp-I didn't expect to have to learn to walk again. I'm managing a total of 3 500/4000 steps (one stick) a including my daily walk and moving around the house. The PT has given me 3 different exercises to activate my glutes and my quads and I have to do as many reps as I can daily building up to 12 by week 6. These seem to be giving me strength and balance.

I haven't been able to have a shower for a month as I don't have a walk in shower. I scoured the internet and finally found this baby (see picture). It has a swivel seat so, with a bit of help, I had my first shower yesterday which has been great for my mental health and well as my personal hygeine-there's only so far a strip wash will take you!

20230812_182231.jpg
I'm still taking paracetamoland codeine x 3 daily which is working well. My surgeon doesn't believe in post op restrictions so I'm on an 'if it hurts don't do it regimen'. The first night sleeping on my un-operated side with a pillow between my knees was bliss! I can now also lie on the operated side for short periods of time. I'm still having to find creative ways to put my shoes on, plug things into the electrical socket and feed the cat. Any tips for how to change the litter tray would be a great help!

My mental health has had good and bad days. I think probably due to tiredness, slowness of my recovery and having to rely on other people. Since my arthritis got bad over lockdown life hasn't really been 'normal' for quite a while and I'm wondering what it's going to be like returning to the world with a new hip and a new set of expectations. It's exciting and a bit scary at the same time! I'm starting a phased return to work from home next Monday to see if having some structure and some mental stimulation helps.

I've made the Bonesmart forum part of my recovery and it's interesting to hear about other people's experiences. Have to say I've read and read the post op information especially when I need a bit of reassurance that it's all going okay. I am also quite bemused by how many things I drop onto the floor-I'm sure I never dropped so many things before the op!!!

G xxx
 
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Hi Gina,
Thanks for the update! I want to address the limp first since you mentioned it is your greatest challenge.
Here’s a tip -
Try heel-toe walking when you're limping.
This involves striking the ground with your heel first, then rolling through your heel to your toe, and pushing out of the step with your toe.
It takes a concentrated effort, but I believe you'll notice a difference. Give it a try.

Great to read of your progress. That shower bench looks very useful. I can only imagine how you loved that shower! Soon enough you will no longer need to rely on others. I think you’ll adjust well as pain will no longer enter in. You’ll be well rested and able to take on the world! :wink:
I wish you the best next week as you begin your phased return to work. Please let us know how it goes.
Have a lovely weekend!
@Ginamore
 
I can't believe that I'm 7 weeks post op-time is going so fast!

Immediately after my last update I joined the ODIC big time and by accident. I ended up giving myself a temperature as well as having to return to full time ice and elevation for 4 days. I couldn't walk, sit or stand-it and needed to go back to regular painkillers. was a hard way to learn a lesson and set me back for a week.

Thankfully that little episode is over and I returned to work for 2 hours a day from home at 4 weeks post op. I'm gradually and slowly increasing my time but sitting for more than 30 mins at a go is a challenge. I'm still tired by the afternoon and need to nap-the energy drain is really real!
I drove for the first time today-it was so nice to feel independent again. I'm walking better and am weaning myself off the stick. I'm getting runs of pain that start suddenly, last a few days then disappear. I've been experiencing deep buttock pain for the last week which has suddenly settled but now my back is playing up. I'm also finding that as I'm moving more I'm getting random drops in blood sugar which is a bit off-putting. I did think that I'd be one of those people who'd be driving at 3 weeks, be able to walk 5 miles a day by 4 weeks and back in the boxing gym by 6 weeks. But sadly this is not to be . I'm learning to be patient and kind to myself, philosophical about the random pains, carry a granola bar and accept that it's part of the recovery journey and won't last forever.

Now that I can drive my next goal is to treat myself to a haircut, a root tint and a pedicure. I'm bored with seeing the same colour nail polish everyday and those greys have got to go!

Gx
 
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What you describe is completely normal for less than two months into this year long recovery!

I've been experiencing deep buttock pain for the last week which has suddenly settled but now my back is playing up.
I know 7 weeks seems like a long time, but you are still very early days in this year-long recovery, and discomfort up and down the leg -- even into the buttocks and back -- is very normal at this stage of recovery. Remember that all of the soft tissue in your leg was traumatized by the surgical procedure and it takes time to heal from that.

What's more, it's very likely that you were favoring the bad hip prior to surgery, putting the rest of your body out of alignment. It takes time -- and some aches and pains -- for our back and legs to adjust to the new alignment created by the surgery.
 
Hi @Layla just a quick update on the limp. Thank you for the previous advice. I saw the physio this week and the the good news is that I'm now walking beautifully, no sticks and the limp has gone.
My main focus now is strengthening both legs and becoming more flexible-I'm stiff as a board where I haven't been able to move for a couple of years and it's affecting my ADL's. I'm not on any hip precautions and I've been advised to start yoga ‍for flexibility. Not going to lie, yoga looks pretty scary right now. Are there any yogis here that can advise/reassure or is there another way to loosen up that doesn't involve a downward dog? Thanks G x
 
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I have attended a yoga class or two total in my life. The teachers have asked if anyone had health issues or joint concerns. I know both teachers are also RNs during the day. Please keep us posted about your yoga experience!
 
Are there any yogis here that can advise/reassure or is there another way to loosen up that doesn't involve a downward dog?
I am someone who loves my yoga class and truly believe it helped with my recovery -- not just flexibility, but also balance. Although I personally enjoy downward dog, I can assure you that yoga has a LOT of different movements that don't require inversions (putting your head below your heart)!

Also, there are several different types of yoga -- and, if you haven't done it before, you want to start out with a gentle yoga approach (like Kripalu yoga). . If you google "gentle yoga", you will find lots of YouTube videos.

My suggestion is try a couple of different ones so you can see what postures and movements works best for you. Remember, you can also modify or leave out certain movements -- you don't have to do anything that doesn't feel good.

Let us know how it goes! :flwrysmile:
 
No matter whether if you had joint replacement or not the thing with yoga is don't force a movement or stretch.
 
Glad to read the limp is gone. I hope you find Yoga helpful. Please keep us posted.
Happy Two Month Anniversary! Have a great rest of the week!
@Ginamore
 
Hi @benne68, @Eman85 , @Hippie Chick @Layla thank you all for your thoughts and yoga advice. Your comments gave me confidence to think about getting back on my yoga mat. (I've been a devotee of Hot Yoga for the last 10 years. I stopped around 4 years ago when covid happened and the studio I was going to tried to 'bend' (pardon the pun) the covid rules. Subsequently my hip deteriorated to the point I couldn't go back).
I looked out Gentle Yoga-it's not that common over here in the UK. There were no classes near me so I took out an introductory membership to a different yoga studio. In my first class I felt (and looked) like a broken pretzel. The good news is that 6 classes later I'm feeling mentally much more positive and physically stronger and a bit more flexible. I did actually manage a respectable downward dog however yoga flow classes are beyond my reach right now so I'm sticking with hot yoga which I'm finding more relaxing. I'm shocked at the toll the hip arthritis has taken on my body. Muscles doing funny things, lack of general strength and my confidence-do things loosen up eventually?
I'm off to Amsterdam this weekend and am looking forward to being somewhere different for a few days.....I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the hip will be up to the task G x
 
Hello Ginamore, Thanks for the update above.
Happy Three Month Anniversary!
I hope you enjoyed your getaway to Amsterdam and your hip held out well.
A great weekend to you!
@Ginamore
 
I tried cutting them down too soon and not able to do my exercises.
That's not a good reason for pain meds, shouldn't be doing anything that would hurt.
I was advised opposite, take the meds allows you to move, moving is so important. But I agree go in lightly with physio, walking or whatever it is you do.
 
Glad yoga has been nice for you! Amsterdam sounds lovely!
Hi @Hippie Chick, Amsterdam was a great experience. Our hotel was outside the city centre so there was quite a lot of walking to get anywhere. I averaged about 23 000 steps most days with and went to a music gig at the Ziggerdome. Most worrying part was boarding a boat for a canal tour-the prospect of slipping was unappealling . The homebound flight was the worst part with broken down escalators, a suitcase, a 26 minute walk to the gate and a 3 hour delay. The hip did well.....some muscle pain and and residual weakness from where I've limped for so long but nothing got in the way. I felt almost back to 'normal' and my friends also stopped treating me like an invalid which was a total bonus
20230929_231419.jpg
 
Hi @Layla This is my 16 week check-in and I'm reflecting on my THR journey in the hope that it might help someone else who is early in the recovery and wondering about what's possible.

I went back to work on a phased return, from home at 4 weeks post op. I increased my hours until I was able to work full days by about 8/9 weeks but still needed an afternoon nap. I went back to the office on public transport at week 10-I still can't manage 5 days in the office but alternate days is fine.

I had my post op review with the physio at 12 weeks and he happily discharged me. I'm no longer limping and I've got function and mobility back in my hip above what it was pre-op. All restrictions have been removed and I'm free to do anything that I want with my new hip. (I went back to my first kick boxing class in 2 years at week 13. It was a rather refined and lady like boxing experience as I'm taking it very easy )

i had a phone appointment with the surgeon at week 15 and I'm now discharged! He told me that my hip joint had fully collapsed and warned me to get the left sorted out more quickly when the time comes. My main question was when I would be back to normal movement and he explained that the longer I limped before surgery the longer it would take to regain the muscle mass post surgery. Apparently we lose 10% of muscle mass every month we are immobile and only gain it back at a rate of 6%. It's going to take me at least 18 months to get back to where i want to be so my daily challenge is to keep moving forward.

Feedback from family, friends and work colleagues about how good it is to see me moving around more easily and having greater mental energy now I have less pain keeps me going on the bad days.. My next challenge is to try and lose the 2 stones I put on when I could barely move.

I appreciate my recovery has been a lot more straightforward than others but hope that my experience might reassure anyone whose wondering whether or not to have the op.....my best advice is do it...don't let your joint collapse like I did...life is too short to be in pain.

G x
 

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