THR Recovery---Ups and Downs to be Expected?

Ruth123

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Surgery August 1st.

I have pain threshold of a 2 year old, so I 'felt' pain longer than my husband who had his replacement in February.

3 weeks ago my discomfort near incision (which was at 2 to 3 on my pain scale) disappeared entirely other than some thigh pain, very mild from time to time.

Last week my discomfort returned, again mild at a 2 to 3 scale.

I may have overdone it when my pain went away totally...for sure I upped my walks from 1 mile to 2 and at a stronger faster pace.

Is it normal to have mild discomfort/pain after having no pain for 2 weeks, for someone only 2 1/2 months post-surgery?
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Yes, still having pain at this point is very normal. It‘s true that as we feel better, we do more, and our new joint reminds us that it is still healing. Whenever this happens, cut your activities back for a while, then gradually add it back in. Keep in mind, this recovery does take an average of a full year.

I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

Just keep in mind all people are different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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

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:
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. Here is a week-by-week guide
Activity progression for THRs

6. Access to these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Closure

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 the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
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Ruth123

Ruth123

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Thanks for the replies!

My husband whose THR was Feb. 1st this year, set a very high bar...he literally walked out of hospital with no cane or walker! He was pain and discomfort free in a few weeks.

I have a history of medical anxiety. We are leaving on a 2 week vacation next week and it's our first long distance post-pandemic travel, so that's adding to my anxieties. We live in Mexico and are flying to Spain.

My doctor is a sweetheart; I called this morning and he'll see me this afternoon. Hoping all I need is his re-assurance.
 

Jockette

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You’re right, your husband had an exceptional recovery. Many don’t feel that good, that soon.

Be prepared to take your vacation slower than you expected. You are still in the early healing stages. Take time to rest and elevate each day, and ice if you have swelling.
 
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Ruth123

Ruth123

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Back from my ortho. Everything is fine. He poked around, found the sore spot fast, and said it's my gluteus maximus, agitated from over-doing it with power walks. Told me rest a bit before we fly to EU, ice it especially evenings.

We've been so happy with our hip surgeries here in Mexico! Many of our Canadian and US friends have or are coming down for surgery here as their wait times are too long in their home countries.
 

djklaugh

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@Ruth123 You asked this on another member's thread but I wanted to answer you here on your thread :

"As politely as he can, he postulates that since I have more fatty tissue in that area, the surgery disturbed more soft tissue, hence my healing process is different than his.
Anyone feel the same way?"

No two joint replacement stories are the same! The history of getting to the point of needing a THR, the surgery, the recuperation - all that is different for each person. While women do tend to carry more weight in hips and thighs than men do (they carry more weight in chest and shoulders), it does not automatically make recuperation from THR more difficult or mean that more soft tissue was traumatized during surgery. There are so many different factors that it is impossible to truly compare one person's experience to any other person's experience.

While it's lovely that your husband had an easy time of it with his hip replacement, please do not compare your experience to his. You are doing fine and need only compare yourself to you - are you doing a bit better than last week? Are you feeling stronger and in less discomfort? That is all that matters.
 

SweetV

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Back from my ortho. Everything is fine. He poked around, found the sore spot fast, and said it's my gluteus maximus, agitated from over-doing it with power walks. Told me rest a bit before we fly to EU, ice it especially evenings.

We've been so happy with our hip surgeries here in Mexico! Many of our Canadian and US friends have or are coming down for surgery here as their wait times are too long in their home countries.
@Ruth123 my glutes and realistically all the surrounding muscles are still weak from not being able to exercise prior to my hip replacement. (My THR was Aug 22nd) I start questioning everything when I have a pain and tend to worry or let it discourage me. I have an amazing physical therapist, who along with the lovely people in this group, encourage me to have patience with myself. The first big lesson that I learned was that comparing my healing journey to anyone else's is a path to disappointment and unrealistic. In other words, "You do YOU girl!" LOL Thanks for sharing your story. It always helps others. :)
 

MsRenay

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You said it yourself, "you do you". And it never gets old hearing everyone's recovery is different and that is the God's honest truth! I'm coming up on 11 months post surgery and I can honestly say the first six or seven months I still had a lot of lingering pain but the more I got back into my normal routine and walking and trying to go to the gym and help strengthen my very fatigued and out of shape muscles, I've been feeling better little by little and I'm so glad I had the surgery and my doctor told me the recovery can be as long as 2 years before I'm completely pain free but I'm in a much stated better state than I was before I went into the surgery. It can be a fast process for some it could be a slow process for some but eventually you will get there. Keep moving and taking advantage of good physical therapy and good luck to you!!
 
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Ruth123

Ruth123

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Our first flight since both our THR's (mine in August, my husband's in February). We weren't sure if the implant would set off the metal detector since they are titanium. They did. The woman at Guadalajara airport thought it was funny we both had implants in same left hip. Quick wand scan for each of us.

In Madrid, changing planes, after the alarm we each got the full pat down.

Does yours set off airport detection?
 

myglasshalffull

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I've flown twice since my surgery and didn't set off alarm.
Just reading your post this AM, you are still very early in recovery so take it slow and easy.
And don't feel like you are in a race with your husband to improve faster. This is your recovery.
Enjoy your vacation.
 

djklaugh

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@Ruth123 Some airports have walk through scanners that look for metal outside of the body and ignore anything buried under skin/body tissue. When you first check in tell person that you have medical implants and ask for that kind of scanner - most big airports have them while small airpprts might not have them. I've flown a number of times since getting new hips and the new kind of scanners are a blessing!
 

beachgal

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@Ruth123 After my first THR eight years ago, I was fearful that I’d set off alarm at airport. I had a copy of my hip X-ray and a card from my OS. I did set off the alarm but it wasn’t my hip! Can’t wait to travel again with new hip #2!
 
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Ruth123

Ruth123

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Strange but true....I'm almost 3 months post THR.

On vacation in Spain; after my shower, getting dressed I feel a bit of snag on my undies. Lo and behold, a piece of stitch. Mi esposo dipped tweezers in alcohol gel then pulled it out. Literally a mm in length.
 

Layla

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Happy Four Month Anniversary, Ruth!
Hope you enjoyed your vacation in Spain.
Wishing you a lovely holiday season and all the best in the New Year!
@Ruth123
 
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Ruth123

Ruth123

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Thanks @Layla

Wonderful 2 weeks in Spain, with not a hint of hip pain, walking 3 or 4 miles a day.

I tripped but did not fall, over a store's uneven threshold and set off tendonitis in foot (luckily on last day of vacation). Saw my Ortho when I returned to MX and he advised rest for a few weeks. It's less painful now, and frankly I needed a rest after such a whirlwind trip with 5 flights and 2 train trips.

Mi esposo who had his THR on Feb. 1st this year did equally well.

We celebrated our 70th and 71st birthdays and our 51st anniversary (all within a 4 days period).
 

Layla

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Thankfully tripping didn't lead to a fall! Whew:xmark:
A belated Happy Birthday to both of you and Happy 51st anniversary...that's wonderful!
Definitely worth celebrating. :yes:
@Ruth123
 

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