Lounge Doctor

THR Rellimarual's LTHR anterior recovery thread

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
60-year-old female. I'm on day 4 after the surgery (11/12), which went very well. I have almost no pain and have not taken the opioids given to me since getting home, just the anti-inflammatory and nerve blocker. No swelling that I can see either. I haven't been icing, I confess, and I was only given one compression stocking on discharge (it was placed on the nonoperative leg before the surgery and the discharging nurse did not mention that I needed to go on wearing it or wear one on each leg. I hate these stockings and would rather just do ankle pumps continuously while lying down. Am I tempting fate? The on-call doc I spoke with about this said my surgeon likes patients to wear them, but another she works with doesn't require them.

I live alone but have a friend staying with me. I'm trying to walk around the ground floor of the house hourly with the walker. I'd like to switch to the cane soon and wonder how soon other folks with this surgery made the switch. I would like to walk outside soon, as well, but I live in country and the ground is not always flat, although not too bad where I live.

The discomfort I've had (I would barely call it pain, compared to the pain of an arthritis flare up) seems to be of three kinds. The main one is sore muscles, the muscles pushed out of the way for the surgery. Some of these are whacked out by the experience, but I'm now able to, say, swing my legs up and onto the bed without too much difficulty. (It was impossible the first day home.) One of the prescribed exercises I haven't been able to do at all is moving the whole leg outward to the side while lying down. It's cold in Maine right now, and my bedclothes are flannel and I'm wearing fleece sweats: too much friction there. So I'm doing that one standing up.

The other pain is an occasional stinging sensation from the incision area that I get when trying to, say, drag my legs across the surface of the bed, or reach for something. I assume this is because I'm pulling on the skin around the incision. Trying to avoid that, as my dressing already has some big blood spots (not yet saturated to the edges).

Lastly the joint itself just feels kind of weird most of the time. I can see how if I walked or stood on it continuously it might start to ache, but most of the time it's fine.

I work a pretty sedentary job at home, so I'm starting to work again today. I can do basic household tasks like emptying the dishwasher, feeding the cat, making a pot of oatmeal, etc., with some accommodations while using the walker, though it's hard to carry anything. I gotta say, I'm already getting restless and probably need to not push things, but I feel quite good and really have less pain now than I did from my old hip. Unfortunately the right hip has advanced OA and is not super happy with the current regimen.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
:welome:Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery! Please start with the Recovery Guidelines and I’ll type more below.

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. Here is a week-by-week guide

6. Access to 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 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.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Thanks for joining us! It sounds like you’re off to a good start. Wonderful to read that your pain is minimal and you aren’t noticing any swelling. Please let us know which hip was replaced so we can apply that info as your signature along with your November 12th surgery date. Thanks in advance.

I am wondering if the doctor on call understood you’re wearing only one TED and that it’s on the non-op leg? Personally, I’d call the surgeons office during business hours and deal with a member of your own surgeon’s care team on the matter. I’m sure they’ll call you back within a reasonable amount of time.

I‘d give the walker a bit more time for the support and balance it provides. I believe I began transitioning around eleven days post op, some use the cane longer and others for shorter periods. It’s up to you and another question you may want to run by your surgeon’s care team if you make a call to inquire about the TED’S. I would avoid walks outdoors on uneven terrain for now also.

One of the prescribed exercises I haven't been able to do at all is moving the whole leg outward to the side while lying down.
You can use a plastic garbage bag under the leg if you wish to do this exercise while on your bed.

I do think the stinging sensations, especially if fleeting are what you’re thinking. You’ll most likely experience many different zings, stings, zips and zaps as you’re healing and nerves are regenerating. No cause for alarm.
my dressing already has some big blood spots (not yet saturated to the edges).
I would ask about this also...Are you supposed to change the dressing, or wait until your first post op exam?

Lastly the joint itself just feels kind of weird most of the time. I can see how if I walked or stood on it continuously it might start to ache, but most of the time it's fine.
This may be due to inflammation. Please consider icing the area in an effort to stay comfortably mobile.

I gotta say, I'm already getting restless and probably need to not push things,
Yes, you’re right, please don’t get overly ambitious and push your recovery. This is major surgery and your body needs time to recover s-l-o-w-l-y. I‘d hate to see you suffer a set-back sidelining your recovery. Check out the Activity Progression for THR under the Recovery Guidelines. Consider it as a rough gauge to stay in check and not end up in the
ODIC (Over Did It Club) as we refer to it here.

Wishing you the best as you begin healing. Hope your day is a peaceful one!
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
It’s my left hip, although the right is almost as bad.

I finally realized that the odd sensation in the hip itself is just strength. I’m not used to the joint feeling like it can be depended upon.

However, a try out with the cane this morning convinced me that I’m not ready to make that my primary support yet. It’s the Walker for me for a while yet. My arms are very used to compensating for my bad hips and are fairly strong. My right leg can’t handle the added weight.

As for the dressing, it’s quite thin and I was told to expect blood spotting and not to be concerned unless it reaches the edges of the dressing. It seems to have stabilized. It’s also supposed to be waterproof enough for me to shower in it, but I’m not planning to try that. I can tell the incision is healing, but dragging myself across the bed does not help. One thing I hadn’t considered is the importance of a bed you can get into with the nonoperative leg first.

I did speak to the on call doctor at the joint clinic Saturday and yes, she knows I had only one stocking and was puzzled by this as well as the fact that it was on the nonoperative leg (I switched it to the operative leg on her instructions), but didn’t seem to think it was cause for concern. Apparently not all doctors require them. I’ll call them back tomorrow. If I have to get another one and put them back on, I hope they’re available in regular drug stores, as the clinic is 3 hours away.

I was pretty active before the surgery and I’m just going to have to resign myself to being laid up for a few weeks. It’s lockdown and winter anyway, so I won’t be missing much! I’ll just have to circle the dining table instead of going out.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
It's cold in Maine right now, and my bedclothes are flannel and I'm wearing fleece sweats: too much friction there.
As for the dressing, it’s quite thin and I was told to expect blood spotting and not to be concerned unless it reaches the edges of the dressing. It seems to have stabilized. It’s also supposed to be waterproof enough for me to shower in it, but I’m not planning to try that. I can tell the incision is healing, but dragging myself across the bed does not help.
Just as a garbage bag will afford you the ability to do the exercise you mentioned you’re unable to do in bed, it will serve the same purpose helping you get into bed.
Sit on a garbage bag, at the edge of the bed, then swivel into place before pulling the garbage bag out from under your rear. Doing so will eliminate the problem of friction caused by your fleece pj’s against flannel sheets. Try it!
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
The plastic bag tip is a winner! I took the last of my prescription antinflamatory and nerve blocker, so I’ve got to rely on Tylenol from now on. I would like to be able to return to my second floor bedroom by the time the friend caring for me heads back home in two days. That will mean using the cane for short distances while upstairs, since I can’t see getting the walker up there. The hospital PT did tell me to practice a bit on stairs every day.

Im using ice and elevation now routinely, since they seem to work so well for people here, even though I don’t have much pain or swelling. Mainly sore muscles and now my nonoperative hip is complaining about all the extra work.
 

ForumUser

senior
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
341
Location
Florida, United States
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
You should absolutely be elevating and icing.

Most report this as a major component if successful recoveries.

And, yes, Tylenol is your friend - up to 4G/day.
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Day 6. I completed the course of Lyrica and Celebrex they gave me at the hospital yesterday morning, and felt my first real discomfort last night. I ended up taking an oxycodone to get to sleep, as Tylenol wasn’t cutting it. I also climbed a flight of stairs and walked around a bit up there with the cane yesterday, so I could be achy from that.

With icing: I‘ve just been applying the pack to my incision area, as there isn’t an obvious other spot. Is that the idea? I can be achy in the groin, but icing there feels uncomfortable!
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hello @Rellimarual
Use ice anywhere you’re hurting, always placing fabric between bare skin and the ice source. Woohoo...you can celebrate one week post op already tomorrow. That was my first milestone. I hope you have a peaceful Wednesday! :)
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,080
Age
65
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Icing always felt great and I would move it to wherever I had any discomfort. With an icing machine I could run it for hours at a time and it felt great. Most users of ice packs tend to not ice long enough to get the full benefit of it. I'd say the aches you felt last night were a peak inside the door of the over did it club, you'll find it's real easy to join! I hope you've read the recovery timeline and don't push too hard.
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I’m at my one week Mark, and while I have little pain or swelling and sense that my incision is healing well, I‘m still frustrated at how little I can do for myself. The friend who’s been staying with me leaves tomorrow morning, so I’ll be on my own. I’d like to go back to sleeping in my second floor bedroom, and I can get up and down the stairs OK. I just didn’t anticipate how easily I’d get tired. I can wash the dishes, but if I want to go upstairs after that, I need to rest. Even with my arthritis I was up and down all day. I think the blues are from the realization that while I have less pain in my left leg, I also have a lot less strength.
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
My one really vexing symptom is cramping in the inside back of the operative leg—basically Charley horses when I make certain movements. I had a Charley horse the night before the surgery too, on account of having to stop taking magnesium supplements the preceding week. I’m trying to get back on the magnesium, but this is a lot of cramping all the same, more than I had before I started taking the supplement.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hello @Rellimarual
I’m sorry you’re dealing with the muscle spasms. I’m sure they’ll slowly ease, but if they are making you miserable, speak with someone on your surgeon’s care team and they may prescribe something temporarily.
Happy One Week Anniversary! :)
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
24,903
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I just didn’t anticipate how easily I’d get tired. I can wash the dishes, but if I want to go upstairs after that, I need to rest. Even with my arthritis I was up and down all day. I think the blues are from the realization that while I have less pain in my left leg, I also have a lot less strength.
Energy Drain is real. Check out the article in the Recovery Guidelines and understand that
our body's energy supply isn't limitless. So when we're in healing mode after major surgery our energy will be used for healing first, not leaving a great reserve for all the other activity of daily life. It is completely normal to feel tired for quite some time. How long....most likely relates to your body's rate of healing. Making our best effort to get adequate sleep and rest is beneficial. Our body does it's best healing while we're sleeping.

If you‘re feeling a little blue...you're not alone, it’s fairly common to varying degrees.
There is an article on that also titled Post Op Blues.

You will feel stronger and steadier week by week. Just don’t count on daily progress this early on or you’ll be disappointed. Pick a day of the week, and each week on that same day, reflect back and you’ll realize you are moving forward. :walking:

Have a great Thursday and weekend!
@Rellimarual
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Sound advice. I am much better today than I was when freshly wheeled out of surgery last week for sure.

I’m also getting the dreaded insomnia. Don’t feel anxious but just don’t feel sleepy either. I think it’s the same restlessness and desire to get back to my old routine. I just have to keep reminding myself that while I can’t do some of the things I used to do right now, i will soon, and right now I also have much, much less pain with the arthritis gone.
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Maybe I’ve had a little setback? I was walking around with a cane yesterday, and I had a little slip. The tip of the cane just moved slightly over the floor, maybe an inch or two, no big deal, but causing the muscles in my operative leg to respond. This gave me a pulling sensation in the groin. I slept very well last night, but my leg muscles are pretty sore and I had a very unpleasant general boney ache around the joint despite ice and elevation and Tylenol. So I finally took a tab of oxy and felt pretty good just chillin on the sofa with feet elevated. Still, when I move around it feels disappointingly like the first 2 or 3 days after the surgery.
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
34,621
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
In my experience sudden twists or jerking motion post THR really aggravated my new hip. Ice and elevation eased this in most cases. Your body is still very much in recovery mode.
 
OP
OP
R

Rellimarual

junior member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
28
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Two weeks post op and I am using the cane about half the time, the Walker the rest. I would be using the cane more but the one I’ve got now is too tall and not adjustable, so I’m waiting for a new one to be delivered. I was able to go over to a friends house for Thanksgiving using the cane and an occasional assist.

My main question has to do with sitting. When can I hope to be able to sit in a basic chair for more than 15 minutes without discomfort? I can get up and walk a bit for a break and the friends I visited were fine for me to lie down on their sofa with my feet elevated, but in regular chairs I keep finding myself rolling onto my right hip to let up the pressure on my new hip. When did each of you find normal sitting comfortable again?
 

Eman85

supremo
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,080
Age
65
Location
E Tennesee
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Everyone and every hip is different, my left was fine sitting in chairs. My right was literally a pain in the butt for a while. But like all of this time and patience makes it better.
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
54,385
Messages
1,422,389
BoneSmarties
33,769
Latest member
Gasoline19
Recent bookmarks
1

Top Bottom