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THR Return to work?

Magster2

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I am 5 weeks post THR on the left, posterior approach. My doctor said I should be able to go back to work in 6 weeks, but I took off 8 weeks. I have three weeks to go to return to work, but am having doubts about my stamina. I work in a hospital and have to walk a lot. During a typical day, I walk 4,000 to 6,000 steps. I finally got to 1200 steps yesterday, and feel like it would be a miracle to work up to 4,000 steps in the next 3 weeks. My physical therapist says I 'may be' ready to return to work in 3 weeks. I have the ability to take 3 additional weeks off for leave, but feel so guilty. They are really hurting without me. When have you been able to return to a high walk demand job after surgery?
 

Layla

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Hi, Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us and congrats on the new hip.

It is recomended here that you do a Phased Return To Work, if you're able -
http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/phased-return-to-work.5696/
If you're able to take the time, please don't feel guilty. It's in your best interest after recovering from a major surgery.

Please read the Recovery Guidelines below and pay special attention to Energy Drain. The steps you're trying to incorporate into your daily activity feel a bit ambitious. Your body is healing from some serious trauma. Please take it slow. We can't rush our recovery.

Stop back often, we'd love to follow your journey and offer support and encouragement along the way.
A great week to you!


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
5. Here is a week-by-week guide to

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. @Magster2
 

Celle

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Hello @Magster2 - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your hip replacement, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

We usually recommend taking about 12 weeks off work, especially if you have a job that is physically demanding, as yours seems to be.
 

Jaycey

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@Magster2 Given your active job I would highly recommend taking at least 10-12 weeks off and then a phased return. Going back too early will only set you back in your recovery. There is also the energy drain (see the article in the list Layla left for you). Energy drain post THR is real and you just can't fight it.
 
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Magster2

Magster2

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Hello @Magster2 - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your hip replacement, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.
:flwrysmile:

My full date of hip surgery was December 17, 2018. Thank you for your kind welcome.

I work in health care, but have learned so much from this surgery. Being a patient isn't easy. I am still somewhat shell shocked at how much this hurt (first week) and how much energy it takes to recover. Everybody tells me 'You'll do fine!' I have done fine, but, wow, recovery is not easy. Hopefully, this replacement will let me work at least a couple more years, which is why I had it to begin with.

Thanks again for all the support.
 

Jaycey

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Everybody tells me 'You'll do fine!'
Most of the well meaning friend and family who say this have no idea what this recovery is about. Then there are the many surgeons who don't set realistic expectations. Patience is a bit part of this journey.
 

Eman85

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I find it surprising your Dr said 6 weeks, he must not understand what your job is. Going to a desk job at 6 weeks is pushing it for most. 3 mos is the recommendation from my OS and that included restrictions. Your co-workers might be "hurting" in a way but you will be hurting in other ways if you push it and return early.
I can tell you from experience that at 3 mos I pushed it and set myself back a long way. It took 3 weeks of icing and sitting to get me back to where I was.
 

Layla

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I will add that I've read here more than once that...Once you're back, you're back.
Well intentioned co-workers may expect you to be able to manage your normal work load because you're back, no matter what they express in advance of your return. Just something to keep in mind...
@Magster2
 
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Magster2

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Thank you all for your wisdom. As it stands now, I will probably opt for more time off. Haven't told the bosses yet, but some co-workers know I feel I may not be able to return as planned. The surgeon KNOWS what I do for a living! I am kind of disappointed with his recommendation. On the other hand, he is not me, and IS a skilled surgeon. I always gripe re: surgeons not knowing the recovery side, but I have to balance that with my desire to have the best surgeon possible. Who doesn't want that?
 

Carriemay60

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I would err on the side of caution for sure if in your shoes. I agree with Layla that you may feel pressure to work at 100% because you are a warm body there. As a side note, I'm sure you know all too well how hard those floors can be on someone 1/2 your age with no issues.
I wonder if your surgeon has ever recovered from this surgery? I agree, I want a very skilled surgeon but they are not all empathetic.
:flwrysmile:
 

gld2pan

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I work a desk job and my doctor wouldn't budge on anything past the 6 weeks. For me 10 weeks is when I actually starting to feel like being at work. I'd recommend taking more time if circumstances allow it.
 

desertrat

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@Magster2 Thanks for posting this - tomorrow is my 6 week "hipversary" and I'm debating whether or not to go back to work Sunday. I originally got 6 weeks off but this thread is convincing me to take a couple of more weeks. I also walk a lot at work. It sounds like you should take the 8 weeks - especially since you already have it arranged. If you overdo it and set yourself back, you could end up needing even more time off. :bignono::)
 

LdnFizz

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I had the lead surgeon and he and his team really are the experts in surgery not recovery- they know I need to work on building my strength, stamina and letting my body recover- they can't say how long it will take. It really is personal. But I think if your work are supportive it can only help to use the maximum time to assist your recovery which will help in the long run. And if we've put our bodies through the surgery I think most of us want the best possible outcome. I started working from home after about 9 weeks on my first hip- and I think that was a little too soon (which is what the occupational health person at my work said too). I was able to do some of my work- but it took me so much longer to do and read things and take them in- for some time- plus it made me tired enough that I didn't manage to practise walking in the pool and doing hydrotherapy as much as I could have done otherwise.

I went back then, not because my work were pressuring me- but I felt I ought to be working. This time I am determined to maximise my opportunity to recover- which in the longer run will hopefully be of benefit to my work as well as myself. It feels weird sometimes when I think to myself I could do some work today- but then I go to the pool or go for a walk and realise afterwards how tired I am- and that I am still limping and can tell how weak some of my muscles are.

I spent years self employed and I have friends who don't have supportive employers- so I know not everyone has this opportunity- but if you have the chance to allow yourself to recover (even when you don't feel incapable like you did at the start)- I say- go for it!
 

SurreyGirl

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I went back after 8 weeks on a phased return and it still felt a little early. It is not just your actual working hours and being on your feet, it is the washing, dressing, driving etc thst have to be done to a timetable which also adds up. For the first two months when back at work I was exhausted at home and went to bed very early after icing for two hours!

The energy drain is real
And took me by surprise!

You owe it to yourself to try to get more time. You will be much better for it!
 

goblue61

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As we all know, a lot of healing can happen in a matter of 3 weeks but a job that requires you to be on your feet the whole time and the duties that come with it as Surrygirl has stated above probably will be tough at 8 weeks from what I have learned on this site. Darn, its probably tough on two good hips!
I have a few friends that are nurses and know how much they are exhausted and stressed after long shifts which seems normal in that field of work.

Any way to return part time initially?

If you overdo it and set yourself back, you could end up needing even more time off.
Thought this needed repeated
 
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Magster2

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Well, I got my courage together, and have asked to be off work until March 4, which is better than February 11. I hope I can make significant progress in this time.

I am discouraged this week. I am very SORE (buttocks, thigh), as I have tried to ramp up my walking to 1200 steps a day. I need at least 4000 to 6000 steps a day to work! I feel I have made progress every week except this one. I have physical therapy today, and I will see what they say. Seems like my muscle pain started to increase with two new exercises - bridge and un-assisted stand/sit off an elevated surface. I am only doing this 5 to 10 times a day. Possibly my effort to increase my step count also has added to this. I realize the muscles are weak and struggling to come back. I also realize recovery is an up/down type of thing, but this is my first 'stall' in terms of recovery. Patience...….
 

Layla

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Good news! Have they responded to your request?
I'll bet you make great progress by then. Depending upon how taxing your job is and how you're feeling at that point, possibly they'll let you phase back in that first week with shorter hours. During recovery you will have setbacks and days you're feeling like you're not making progress. Try to gauge progress by weekends, looking back to the previous weekend, rather than looking at daily progress. You'll feel less pressure and disappointment. You may be flirting with the ODIC (Over Did It Club) and might want to consider laying off the steps and exercise for a few days. Your body, your recovery but please keep the following in mind -

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.

Wishing you comfort. I hope you have a great day and are feeling back on track soon.
@Magster2
 

Dobbo

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:loll:Hi I went back to work after 6 weeks , which was a bit soon as I’m on my feet all day too !! The hip was great it was my thigh bone that hurt and it still does a little...I had my right hip done 8th sept 2018, I went to see my surgeon last week the hip is perfect it’s the muscle I need to strengthen so I want to start excersise but I don’t know what to do that will help, but if I was you I’d stay off a little longer I’m just strong minded x:happydance:
 

SurreyGirl

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Bridges were very bad for me and pulled my muscles. Only now doing them and very gently. Hope you get your phased return!
 

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