Scared newbie... Hip is shot. What if it doesn't work!!??

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Apr 27, 2013
South Florida
United States United States
Hello from a very nervous newbie to this site although I’ve been lurking for months. Need to vent and desperately in need of support and encouragement which I see are the name of the game here.

I’d like to tell you my story and will be as brief as I can: I had a TKR, right knee, at the end of February after suffering for years, getting progressively more disabled. Old story. I was scared out of my mind like many of you, but I did well, spent 5 weeks in a rehab, only about 3½ of which really counted since I had some setbacks: low hemoglobin, the transfusion in hospital,hematoma at about two weeks in, resuturing, and eventually another surgery to correct the problem, requiring a 3-day stay.

I did well in the rehab. Anyway, I came home to bursitis on that leg which resolved with ice, rest and steroids, and just when I thought I was out of the woods and on my way to a new life, my LEFT butt started to hurt. Interestingly enough, throughout the knee issue, I never had a real problem with the opposite hip! The home PT thought it might be a piriformis problem, worked on that, but the pain got progressively worse, even after about 8 sessions. I’ve also had 10 out-patient PT, but no improvement. Pain is in my left butt and down the front/groin area of that leg. I can hear/feel all sorts of interesting snaps and clicks upon certain movement.

To make matters worse, that leg is shorter than the operated leg, so I’m dipping and have had to use heel lifts to try to even me out. Even so, I’m in awful pain & using a walker; local ortho has confirmed my OA in that hip as well as the right hip, which comes as no surprise since knee surgeon had informed me of this initially. I have made an appointment with a hip surgeon – possibly one of several I’ll consult – and I kind of feel like this is hopeless…

Am I the only one who feels this bad and is so debilitated? Rationally, of course, I know the answer to that, but I’m getting crazy. Believe it or not, I’m a licensed psychotherapist… isn’t that funny? Heal thyself? Hah!!

My hip is so painful now I just can’t imagine the post-op stuff. How do you move? I’ve watched videos of getting in/out of bed… been practicing, but boy! I’m 69, in otherwise decent health, but totally sedentary… need to knock off some weight if I can before this ordeal; I’m sure it would be helpful and safer.

Anyway… I understand I’ve been rambling. Forgive me… it’s just comforting knowing that’s you’re all out there sharing. Would love to hear from you. Just hope I can figure out how to find responses. Thanks for listening. ;>)
shrinkette First of all, WELCOME! You have come to the right place. The people on this forum are very kind and supportive, sympathetic, helpful and good listeners. This is a place you don't have to be afraid to talk about your fears or screech about your frustrations. The folks on here understand, they really do, and they want to support you in your journey. I would never have gotten the courage together to go forward with getting the hip surgwery if it weren't for this great group. And I would probably have been in a nice rubber room by now if it weren't for them. I do not do fear well.

I completekly understand how you feel. I haven't had my surgery yet (both hips, not at the same time), I am in a walker and have horrible pain all the time. I HATE the walker and I hate the immobility. My surgery is scheduled for next Monday and I am scared -- a lot -- but a lot better than I was when I first found this forum. I have the weird noises in my left hip as well -- clunks and pops, and other people can hear them, too! The right is pretty bad, too, just not so noisy. When I get the clunks, it feels like something is moving in there -- creepy, to say the least, not to mention painful. I think everyone feels the fear and anxiety, but it seems to have hit me extra hard. I am a card carrying coward where all medical stuff is involved. And to top it all off my KNEE is hurting, too. Doc says it will probably improve after the hips are fixed.

I understand your feeling of will this never end. I sure don't want to have to mess with a knee after going thru getting both hips fixed. My world has shrunk very small, because I can't walk at all with out a walker. So there isn't much I can do anymore. Believe me, you are not alone in this journey. There's a whole bunch of us out here. And there'a a whole buncha folks doing just great after their hip surgery. I understand from this forum that hip surgery is easier to recover from than knee surgery, so if you've gone thru the knee already, you'll probably breeze through. I haven't had any surgery AT ALL since I was 5, some 62 years ago. I imagine things have changed a bit.

Pretty soon a moderator will come along and tell you how to find articles in the library, and how to use the forum.

I just wanted to say welcome and that you are NOT alone in this.

Peace and love to you.
Am I the only one who feels this bad and is so debilitated?
Believe it or not, I’m a licensed psychotherapist… isn’t that funny? Heal thyself? Hah!!
Psychotherapist or not - just goes to prove you are, like the rest of us, human!
My hip is so painful now I just can’t imagine the post-op stuff. How do you move? I’ve watched videos of getting in/out of bed… been practicing, but boy!
Well, there's no point in practising is now! Your hip is full of arthritis and it won't be when you get to doing it for real! True your leg will probably feel like a tree trunk so you'll value the use of a device like a leg lifter (or 'invisible dog lead' as some call them!). I used one when I had my knee done and it was the best bit of kit I had!

leg lifter.jpg

Other than that, read this thread and find out all the neat things you can get to help you out Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home.
Butterfly.... Thanks so much for your kind and supportive response to my long-winded whiny ramble. I was also terrified prior to my knee surgery, but like most other things, it's never as bad as you think it'll be. I'm at the point where I'm slowly working myself up to a LTHR, but have a long way to go. You, on the other hand, are about to embark on your surgical journey on Monday. Try not to be too afraid -- based on what we've read here and what we know, you're gonna be fine. I, too, know about shrinking worlds since I'm living in one. Yours will expand very soon and I can't wait to hear about it. Please let me/us know how your surgery goes. Warmest best wishes.
"and I kind of feel like this is hopeless…Am I the only one who feels this bad and is so debilitated?"

Hi shrinkette. Welcome to Bonesmart! I can totally understand your comment, and as well, others on this site have commented on how the pain and lack of mobility can really do something to your head. I think that this site has helped me take my eyes off my surroundings and instead start to see the possibilities that lie ahead My mom is 89 and until last summer when she got sick she was enjoying life to the max, bought a new house at 85 and drives a sporty car. So God willing you have every reason to have many more years to enjoy your new hip. So I am not discounting your feelings. Believe me I have had them too but when i changed my focus it helped. Stick with us and you will find what you need here.
That made me smile when you talked about practising getting out of bed because i did the same thing after watching a youtube video. It showed how you were supposed to use your arms to push yourself up from behind. I couldn't do it either. The fact is though that all we need to do is diligently follow some exercises to strengthen our upper bodies and we will see progress. We can do it!!
Welcome!!!! I'm so glad you joined us!!! We're here for you and we don't mind rambling posts at all!!! It just helps us get to know you better. Since you've already been doing reading on the forum, you know that it's helpful to find out how others coped with what you're facing. What I CAN tell you is that normally THR recovery is a lot easier on you than a TKR. So I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well you do this time following surgery.

Just like with your TKR, you will be shown how to get around in the hospital before you are allowed to leave to go home or to a rehab center. You will be up and around quickly after surgery and you'll feel none of the awful arthritis pain you are experiencing now. The pain from surgery is much different and people instinctively know it's a pain that will lessen with time. Some even refer to it as a "healing pain" because they know it's part of the body's natural healing process.

As with your TKR, proper pain management will be a key factor, so be sure you have lots of communication with your medical team about the status of your pain both in the hospital and once you leave.

You're going to do fine. You're a BoneSmartie now and you have all of us to lean on when you need us!!!
shrinkette How are you doing? Have you made the appointment to see an ortho? One thing I didn't realize before I made my first appointment was how very long the wait was before you could even get it to see the doc! I had to wait well over a month, maybe closer to two, to see him the first time and then two and a half months more to get to the surgery. So you could make the appointment and then have plenty of time to fully decide how your feel about it. The decline in my quality of life from the time I made the appointment until now has been drastic, even though the problem was there and sort of just dragged along for a long, long time before I made the appointment. I hope you don't allow yourself to get as messed up as I am before you go ahead. My next step would be a wheelchair, and I am not far from that now. I am glad I've made all the arrangements to go forward with getting my hips replaced. By Christmas I hope to be feeling much,much better.

Please stay in touch with us.

Peace and love to you.
Hi, guys! Feeling a little down and grumpy as I wait for my ortho appts, and was wondering if everybody feels so exhausted from coping with the pain and attendant disability a very arthritic hip (or two) engenders. Everything takes longer, of course, and hurts while I'm doing it, like WALKING... I take acetaminophen only (and very carefully!), and am lucky enough to have a husband who can't do enough for me, a single-level home with one step at the front door,and not too many other worries. I just wanted to know whether this emotional and physical tiredness is sort of normal because I'm otherwise OK. I can't tell you how glad I am that I found you folks. Thanks, Mr. Google!!
So normal that absolutely everybody experiences it! Even me!
Josephine... Thanks for normalizing this for me. It's often easy to fall into the is-it-just-me trap, which then evolves into a pity party, which culminates into hopelessness. A strange, but possibly common dichotomy going on here, too: I irrationally worry I'm not "fixable", then worry that if I am, how will it work out for me. I have to stay positive, that I know. Thanks so much for all you do here. :)
You're most welcome. And I know that round and round in circles dichotomy - experienced that too! I remember when sitting in pre-op in my gown and paper hat waiting to go inside. The surgeon came to get me consented and mark my leg and in a kind of pretend jollity, I remarked "I don't suppose this knee is the worst you've ever done. It doesn't really needs doing, does it?" I think I was kind of hoping he'd say "Nah, not really - why don't you go home and we'll wait and see"! Instead - sweetheart that he is - he just patted my hand, winked and said "Well, let's just say it's not going to get any better"!
shrinkette I experienced exactly what you were mentioning -- the horrible tiredness, and the physical inability and emotional inability to do much of anything. The wanting the surgery/fearing the surgery so much I hoped I couldn't have it. The experience had an enormous emotional component for me -- sort of a deep depression about everything. I felt on one level that my life was over and I was just waiting in line to die. And my antidepressant didn't help much. It was just overwhelming. My sleep patterns got all messed up, and so did my appetite patterns. It was just awful. BUT, at least I was able to put one foot in front of the other (well, sort of) and I got the first one done this Monday.

The surgery wasn't so bad at all. I was very well treated at the hospital. I got to come home yesterday afternoon and my wonderful daughter-in-law is staying with me for a while to help me. My pain level is a lot less than it has been in months, even with the surgical pain. I have good pain control and I actually woke up this morning with a feeling of bright hope for the future. The horrible knee pain I felt on the operated side knee is gone. The hip hurts a bit from the surgery, but not so bad. The other side hip still hurts a lot, but I have good hope for it being better after the second surgery in November. I already feel like I have a second chance in life and a making plans again. In short, I feel like a whole different woman. I know I have a bit of a difficult row to hoe ahead, but I believe I can manage it.

I feel I'll never be able to repay the patient loving kindness of my daughter in law and son and grandsons. And the help and support and patient love of the folks on this forum.

There IS hope, don't give up, and don't lose heart. The Belleruth Napperstek CD's (relaxation, preparing for surgery, and helping depression ones really helped me "get through the night." They are very calming and life-affirming.

If I (the great chickenheart) can get through this (and there were times I didn't think I could or would), you can, too. I'm nowhere near completely through it, of course, but I now have true hope that I can make it. And I feel that for me, that is one of the most important components of healing.

Sorry to ramble so, but I wanted you to know that there are others out there that know exactly how you feel and you are never alone with this. Stick with this forum through the dark days and feel the love and support and acceptance, and you will get through.

Peace and love to you,

Hi shrinkette. Grumpy pretty well describes it. I'm looking forward to having surgeries behind me, but all the appointments and tests are annoying. My husband does everything too. I'm sick of only having one hand free with a cane in the other and dropping the stupid cane and not being able to pick it up...just sick of it all. So you fit right in here. It will be better on the other side.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk now Free
Greetings, jeanius... Wow!! Your big day is approaching. Re the annoying cane issue: I bought a cane tip that will allow the cane to stand by itself AND if it does fall, you can pop it up by yourself. Hopefully, you will soon not care about this anyway. Let's share the "grumpies" -- maybe it's good to have a kindred spirit. Our husbands could probably form their own support group! I keep telling myself to keep my chin -- or should I say CHINS -- up
Butterfly... A quickie just to say how much I appreciated your very empathetic response... You nailed it! And, of course, to say how thrilled I am to know that 'so far, so EXCELLENT'! I will be thrilled to emerge as you did at this point. I will be hanging on your every word. One down, kiddo.
I'm having trouble posting. Preview doesn't seem to be working and apparently the actual post isn't actually posting.

shrinkette I know there are canes that stand on their own, but I went the practical route and ordered a set of 3 canes from Costco in different colors/designs to go with any outfit. One is blue metal flake, another has a celestial design...stars, moons, etc. And the last is a red/fuschia/blue floral. Can,t wait to trash them all.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2, in reading "all of these" posts, ya all make me feel very assured that I will come out of my "right hip surgery" on 12/13/13/ just fine. (I've been suffering for well over 2 years now and I hope it's not too late to "fix things.") It really gives me great comfort in reading all of your trials and tribulations....I really feel much better when I come into this forum, I have more than two months to go before my surgery, and I try not to give it much thought right now; I'll worry when it gets closer to "thee date." I, too, have a very high level of pain/discomfort every day, it is a voluminous task in itself just to put my right sock on let alone putting on my sneaker and then my attempt to "tie my own" shoe. I am "up and adam" early each morning, make my bed, and then start my day. I work in my outside "yards" all day long, raking, cutting, lifting, walking, using the wheel-barrow,etc. , all while limping around and "twisting inside" from the pain....but I "keep on truckin".....everything I hear and read says to keep moving, try to exercise, etc. ....I hope (or should I say am "hoping" to be back to my "normal self" for the coming new year.....perhaps, maybe even a little "bionic"......I look forward to waking up and having no pain/discomfort while performing just the simplest of tasks at hand.....thanks for listening and I wish you all thee very best and God Bless you all.....
Hey there, ststyle59... Happy to hear from you. You must have a helluva pain tolerance to do all that you describe! Yikes -- I can't tie my sneakers, & just about walk where I have to, using a walker, because I'm tipping so far to my left since that leg shortened after my knee surgery on the opposite leg for reasons unknown. Anyway, I wish I were as active as you are, but no can do. Anxious to hear what first hip guy has to say next Thursday. You sound like you have a great attitude. Bionic sounds good to ME!! I wanna be "normal" so badly I can taste it. You're giving yourself a terrific Xmas present...
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