THR Sheila-Seattle's Recovery Story

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Sheila-Seattle

Sheila-Seattle

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Yesterday was a walking day and I walked 4500 steps including some hills (see above). Today was PT. I started with 10 minutes at level 5 resistance on our spinning bike for warm up. Did all my assigned PT and then explored the stretches from Mayo Clinic and a few more I found online. I'm putting together the stretches my body needs that feel OK and will run them by my PT tomorrow when he comes. Mostly stuff that stretches the groin area and IT band.
 
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FCBayern

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As long as you are reacting well to your new activities, it sounds like you have found the right approach for you!
 

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:hi: Hi @Sheila-Seattle
Sounds like you’re doing well. Take it slow and easy. I’d hate to seee you mess up the good thing you have going.
Happy Friday...enjoy the weekend! :SUNsmile:
 
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Sheila-Seattle

Sheila-Seattle

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Yesterday marked two months since my hip surgery. I celebrated with a massage. I walked there and back with my husband which felt so "normal". It took me to my new step high of 6000. Goal is to return to the full 10K within this month. My scar is still improving with the lump dwindling in size. Today was my final in-home PT so I've graduated. With the sunshine recently our thoughts are turning to tandeming. Hopefully we'll be out riding by April sometime. It feels like great progress and very exciting.
 

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Happy Two Month Anniversary!
What a wonderful update. It sounds like you’re really making great progress and back enjoying life without the pain. May it only get better. Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Thanks for sharing the uplifting progress report. :)
@Sheila-Seattle
 
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Sheila-Seattle

Sheila-Seattle

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I'm always posted positive reports. I just realized I haven't shared my challenges. I'd love some input on both issues but particularly the "lump". I've been searching and reading on the forum but really don't have any idea if I should be worried and/or how long this might take to resolve.

One issue is a lump under my scar which is slowly lessening but not great. the other is what I would term like shin splints.

My shins are not great. My DH massages both calves and shins nightly as well as rubbing Vit E in my scar and stimulating it. I would say these are the areas of any pain I have. Last night I took an ibuprofen for the shins. The area around the scar is definitely getting better all the time. But the remaining small lump and bruising is still slightly painful. Maybe just a 2-3 but it's what I notice. I wish I understood the cause of the shin pain. I think it was there all along but it's worse as I've been walking more the last few weeks. It's not the shoes. I have new ones (so they're not worn) but the same size/model I've been happily wearing previously. I'd welcome clues there. it's like there are tight ropes in there and the right one in particular is nervy, meaning when rubbed it produces brief unpleasant tingling. My massage therapist sent me home with cups to put on but I've only done them a couple of times so far. I do think her lymph drainage work is helping the lump a lot.

I've attached an image of my scar at 2 months, then one with the lump outlined. It's pretty difficult to see in the image but it's a fairly hard lump. The doctor saw it when it was larger and said fluids or maybe hemotoma and as long as it was getting smaller, no worries. It is getting smaller. But I worry that it feels hard and seems deep. You can see that it's bruised. So I'm thinking it's still damage from the "man-handling" in the surgery. Hopefully it's nothing to worry about but as I steadily increase my walking I want everything else to also improve!

My OneStep PT suggested silicone strips but they seem to me to be about appearance and not the lump underneath. Any input?

Also suggested compression stockings, but again, not clear if I need them.

Looking for input.... anyone? @Layla @Pumpkln
 

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Sheila-Seattle

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... compression stockings. I wore them consistently for at least the first several weeks.

After my incision was healed I used scar strips. They made me feel more secure under clothing, and hid my scar when I was in the locker room at the gym. I have no idea if the helped me have a better scar sooner; 6 years later it's a fine line.

I found your thread and was looking to learn more about both compression stockings and the silicone strips too. While I'm a lot older than you are, like you, I was very fit and active going in. I'm at 2+ months and mostly doing very well. I have two issues, if you will. My shins hurt and the One Step PT suggested the stockings. I'm a bit hesitant and haven't found much about what they do for you or how much to wear them (only for walking or all day?) and for how many weeks/months. And while I'm not at all concerned with how my scar looks, I'm a little concerned that I have a somewhat hard lump that is slowly going away but seems like it should be gone by now. Will the strips help with that? They sound like they're more for making it less visible. And same question about wearing... how long/often, etc. THANKS for sharing your stories and I hope you'll have some thoughts to share on these items.
 
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Hello Sheila, Happy Tuesday!

The area around the scar is definitely getting better all the time. But the remaining small lump and bruising is still slightly painful.

As far as the lump goes and as long as it’s getting smaller, as your OS mentioned, try not to worry about it. The incision area may be tender and numb for months to come. I experienced sensitivity and a gradual shrinking of numbness until I realized one day it was gone. I don’t see anything on your incision that looks alarming, but the image isn’t crystal clear and I’m not a medical professional.

Personally, I’d ask a member of my surgeons care team about cupping. I don’t know that much about it other than it supposedly creates blood flow to the targeted area. I find it unappealing and would rather let nature take its course, but that just me.

In regard to Compression Stockings, most find them a uncomfortable nuisance and I certainly wouldn’t advise wearing them if they weren’t prescribed by your surgeon as part of his recovery protocol.

Your shins - I honestly don’t know. It’s not something I experienced, nor can I think of an instance I’ve read here. Please don’t hesitate to contact the office of your surgeon for reassurance, which I’m sure you‘ll receive after they pose a few questions.

You seem to be doing well, may it only get better! :)
 

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@Sheila-Seattle regarding shin splints I believe the main cause is too much activity. And in my experience the only remedy was rest and ice. You may be ramping up your steps too quickly - especially if you limped around pre-op for any length of time. Cut down on the walking and see if this eases. Then build up slowly.

Another suggestion - I found a good podiatrist when I had shin splints. It turned out I needed orthotics. Really helped.

It's very hard to tell what is going on with that lump using the images you posted. It does not look bad - but I realise since I'm not the one dealing with it, it's easy for me to say. Can you call your PCP and perhaps have a Zoom consultation? If only just to ease your mind.
 
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Sheila-Seattle

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Thanks Jaycey. I didn't have pre-op limp as I was not bone-on-bone. I thought I was ramping up gradually. sigh... It doesn't hurt to walk. I have no idea how much to cut back and when/how to ramp back up gradually. I'm doing the OneStep PT every day for last 4 days (just got the assignment).

I talked to my OS yesterday (no Zoom but the same images I posted here). He doesn't seem concerned about the lump as it is getting smaller. More patience...

I'm not hearing either of you recommending the silicone scar sheets OR the compression stockings. Just backing off. Roger that. thanks.
 
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I have an icing question. I've read what I could find in the BS library about icing. I understand that for joint replacement BS recommends icing for 45 minutes despite the conventional recommendation of 20 minutes.

I'm now working on getting rid of my shin splints. I've stopped any intentional walks. Just the normal around the house walking for now. And I'm doing my daily OneStep PT. I decided I'd take ibuprofen regularly and ice regularly. Since this is NOT on my joint I'm thinking that the 45 minutes is a bit much. I was going for maybe 25-30 minutes 4xday. Input welcome. Thanks.
 
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Good afternoon! Hope you're having a good day so far.

This is what I’ve found through my research on icing -
Icing for up to twenty minutes only is what most of us have heard or been advised to do following an injury. Following joint replacement, ice is a critical part of pain management and should be used not only on the joint, but any surrounding areas of discomfort for as often and as long as you're comfortable doing so. Icing helps bring relief from the soft tissue trauma and internal swelling. Icing is a great natural pain reliever and best of all, it's free. While some care providers do put a maximum time on icing, others suggest you ice as often as you see fit.

Icing after therapy, exercises, or prolonged activity that challenge ROM and endurance should help ease any discomfort, or preventively keep pain at bay. You may find relief through icing for weeks to months post op.

Ice your shins for the suggested time you mentioned in your post above, or even try 20 mins, several times a day and see if it brings you relief. As you know, I am not a medical professional, but that’s what I would try.
@Sheila-Seattle
 

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Hi @Sheila-Seattle !

I'm so glad your recovery is going well. Remember, you are still early in your recovery. The difference between 2 months and 3 months and 4 months is huge.

Compression socks are a general fitness item. Some surgeons recommend them to reduce the likelihood of a blood clot in the legs (I think you are well past the high risk time for a clot), and to reduce swelling. Some distance runners wear them to help reduce leg fatigue on long runs. I have these rather industrial looking white ones that they gave me at the hospital -- but my surgeon's office recommends fun ones from, say, Amazon. I am not sure if they will help with your shin pain, but it really can't hurt. I suggest that you try wearing them (during the day? as much as they feel good?) for a week and see if they help. I hope your shins feel better soon. You might try new walking shoes too ...

And ... shin splints, like any overused or healing up muscle ... ice probably helps. :ice:

The scar strips I used religiously with my left hip. This time, with Righty, I wore the tape from about 6 weeks to 3 months. It should be on there all the time except when you are in the shower/bath/pool. I definitely had lumps and bumps at 2 months that are now all gone. So ... a couple notes. The cheaper silicone tape seemed to work just as well as ScarAway. I also did some gentle massage with lanolin (but not with the tape, that has to be on freshly washed no lotion skin or it won't stick properly). I continued with the lanolin after I gave up on the tape. I am not sure that any of this makes any difference, or if it's just the passage of time.

All the best for continued healing and good health.
 

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Compression socks are a general fitness item. Some surgeons recommend them to reduce the likelihood of a blood clot in the legs (I think you are well past the high risk time for a clot), and to reduce swelling. Some distance runners wear them to help reduce leg fatigue on long runs. I have these rather industrial looking white ones that they gave me at the hospital -- but my surgeon's office recommends fun ones from, say, Amazon.
There is a difference between the TEDS-type hose used to prevent blood clots post-op and the compression stockings some people use, to reduce swelling during their daily lives. The white, hospital-issue type are not really suitable for everyday use, but the everyday ones, which offer lighter compression, are suitable.

The scar strips I used religiously with my left hip. This time, with Righty, I wore the tape from about 6 weeks to 3 months. It should be on there all the time except when you are in the shower/bath/pool. I definitely had lumps and bumps at 2 months that are now all gone. So ... a couple notes. The cheaper silicone tape seemed to work just as well as ScarAway.
I don't think it's necessary to use anything on your scar, except possibly a moisturiser once the skin has healed fully. It's better to leave it open to the air.
The lumps and bumps will disappear gradually, without any action on your part. Some of them are caused by dissolvable sutures used beneath the skin that haven't finished dissolving yet.
Remember that complete recovery takes a long time, and that applies to your scar as well.

As recovery progresses, your scar will flatten out and it will fade gradually from deep pink to a pale silvery colour, whether you put anything on it, or not.
 

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Over-the-counter compression stockings can make your legs feel better. You can buy "generic" ones that won't hurt you to wear. But they may not help either. If that's the route you want to go, I suggest you contact Ames Walker company, who has been in the business of fitting and selling compression products for many years. They are the same company who we partner with for the Lounge Doctor and they are a trusted resource. You can describe your problem and the staff will connect you with the best product for your particular needs. Not all compression products are created equal.

That said, shin splints are usually the result of doing too much activity. If you haven't advised your OneStep therapist about that pain, you need to. My suggestion is going to be to stop all activity except just your general walking about the house for at least a few days until the shin pain goes away. Icing and ibuprofen are good too. Rest and elevate when you can. Also, be sure you are wearing good, sturdy shoes during the day when you're up. If the shoes are not new, you need to replace them, as they likely have old wear patterns related to your bad hip. New hip - new shoes.
 

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Thanks, @Celle for your response and for copying my post over here. After answering @Sheila-Seattle 's questions on my preop thread I thought I should have found this thread and read it before posting, instead of replying first and reading afterwards. :sorry:. So ... a few follow up comments.
This is such an awesome site. :loveshwr: The reference to Ames Walker for compression socks is just sooo helpful, and that sounds like a much faster route than just ... buying random socks off Amazon to see what helps.

After your shins quit hurting there are some stretches but I've always found that early stretching just makes recovery take longer (not specific to the hip or postsurgical recovery.
 
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Yesterday was a walking day and I walked 4500 steps including some hills (see above). Today was PT. I started with 10 minutes at level 5 resistance on our spinning bike for warm up. Did all my assigned PT and then explored the stretches from Mayo Clinic and a few more I found online.
Using the bike for warm up is great, but it's best to set the bike so it has no resistance. You're only doing it for mobility; it's too early in recovery to be doing it for strengthening.
@Sheila-Seattle regarding shin splints I believe the main cause is too much activity.
I agree. You are still very early in this year-long recovery. The soft tissues that were traumatized by your hip surgery need all that time and you can't speed up their healing by exercising.
I'm now working on getting rid of my shin splints. I've stopped any intentional walks. Just the normal around the house walking for now. And I'm doing my daily OneStep PT.
Hips really don't need a lot of exercise to recover and doing too much, too soon, can slow down your recovery.
So do give those shin splints plenty of time to heal.
 
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Time for a 3 month update. I continue to be doing mostly very well. I'm walking without a limp and sleeping very well. I'm wearing the compression stockings but not convinced they're doing anything. I was using the silicone tape for 2 weeks and then stopped. Again, not convinced it was doing anything.

I've spent the last 2+ weeks not walking and doing the icing/moist heat rotation 3xday. I'm doing my daily PT which includes a lot of stretching via OneStep. And I've been getting massage and now am starting acupuncture. I think the shin splints are quite a bit better but not yet gone. My plan is to continue resting for another week and then start very gently walking on April 1. I figure I'll start with brief 10 minute walks and only up it by 5 minutes every few days. And specifically no hills which is challenging where I live and possibly the precipitating cause of the shin issue. My lump under my scar is still there but shrinking with time and massage with vitamin E oil.

Overall I feel quite positive and optimistic. I've finally been able to fall asleep on my preferred surgical side. I was able to sit cross-legged to meditate, with usual props, for 10 minutes. Will work back up to 30 minutes. I'm noticing new minor aches & pains which I suspect were there all along but are now noticeable because others have receded. So my groin and upper thigh for instance and the point of my hip bone feels bruised. I'm guessing these are all leftover aches from the "manhandling" necessary for the surgery. I'm confident these too will recede over time.

Onward...
 

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Sounds like you are doing well, hoping those shin splints clear up soon.
Keep in mind this is a marathon and it takes a full year to recover 100%, though most feel better around 3-4 months as you have found.
Hopefully with time all those aches and pain wlll disappear and you will have your life back.
 

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Hi Sheila, It’s good to read the shin splints are easing. It sounds like you’re taking it slow and progressing as you should. I hope you enjoy the walking program you mentioned you’ll begin on April 1st. You’ll have to update us and let us know how it’s working for you.
Enjoy the rest of the week! :SUNsmile:
@Sheila-Seattle
 

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