• SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE. BoneSmart will be unavailable from 8:00am - 10:00am CDT on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 due to required systems maintenance and upgrade.

    If you are unable to log in, please check back later and the maintenance should be completed.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

THR Slow recovery

zoemonelle1977

new member
Joined
Feb 26, 2023
Messages
6
Age
47
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Gender
Female
Hi everybody hope you’re all doing well. I had a hip replacement 10 weeks and 2 days ago and my recovery has been extremely slow. Everything still feels very tight and sore. Today I got into my car to try to drive for the first time and it was far too tight and painful, the seating position, getting my foot to the brake etc. I really want to stop relying on people to get to physio and other appointments and I want to drive myself but I just can’t yet and I’m struggling to see how I ever will. Did anyone else experience this?
 
Hello and welcome to recovery! Congrats on your new hip.
Please leave your exact surgery date and which hip was replaced and we'll create a signature for you.

You are only two and a half months into a recovery that can last a full year, with many still enjoying progress into the second and even third years post op. You mention "tight" and "sore", if you're not still icing and elevating for this, I suggest you begin again as I believe it will help. You also mentioned physio and I am wondering if you'd share some specifics, such as -
How long have you been attending PT and how many times per week?
What are you doing in a typical session?
Are you also exercising at home?
Wondering because at this point PT may be causing you more pain than it's worth if you're constantly aggravating soft tissue.

I will leave our Recovery Guidelines below as much of the information is still beneficial at this point. I'm sure if you step back from PT for a time, dedicate some time to rest, icing / elevating and engaging in the activities of daily living, plus walking, but not to excess, you will notice improvement.


It is not necessary to exercise your injured hip to promote healing. The controlled trauma sustained through THR will heal on its own. Often though, we're impatient and want to move the process along. In doing so we run the risk of struggling with pain and setbacks stalling the healing process. The best therapy for recovery is walking, but not to excess. Start slowly increasing time and distance incrementally in an effort not to overdo it. Give yourself the TLC you deserve and reap the benefits of a successful recovery.

I wish you all the best as you continue healing. Thanks for joining us!
 
HIP RECOVERY GUIDELINES

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The recovery articles
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.
 
As everyone will post and tell you it's still early in recovery even at 10 weeks and 2 days. If you're still counting days it's early.
You mention physio, that's always a red flag for continuing pain. How long have you been doing PT and what exactly are you doing? Most that do PT too early or at too high a level experience continued pain, many times with no benefit.
 
Hello Thankyou for your response . I had my right hip replaced and the date of my hip op was 29th of Dec 2022. I have been waddling also in which I had an x ray and my consultant told me that my pelvis isn’t straight and it should correct itself in time . Although this is very frustrating as I can’t get a stride with my walking which makes walking difficult and tiring at least I know now what has caused the waddling . I have been doing physio 3x a day at home , and I have also seen a physio a couple of times at the hospital . I am going into the gym at the hospital tomorrow with a different physio so we will see how that goes . The muscles at the top of my leg and around my wound are so tight . I was told that I have scar tissue around the round and that I have to massage it firmly to try and loosen it but I can’t see any difference yet . So frustrating. I am supposed to be going back to work at three months but I know that isn’t happening . I’m very disappointed with that and a bit fed up .
 
How long have you been doing physio and what are you doing?
I am not in any way a healthcare professional or claim to be. I do know from my experiences of having 2 thr's that doing too much led to pain and limitations. My mobility was my primary goal post-op which included walking without a limp or pain. I tried doing PT at home and walking too much with my first THR which got me nowhere. With my second I took more of a take it easy and let it heal approach. If I wanted to walk without a limp that is what I did in short walks and didn't force it. I didn't do any PT at home or outside. I walked slowly and with good form and stopped if I felt I was getting sloppy.
 
@zoemonelle1977 I had hard scar tissue around my first hip wound and I had to massage it really firmly, it took quite a while but it all evened out and now I can lay on that side. The hard tissue was making it very painful to turn on that side. It didn’t happen with my second scar though.
 
My Right THP was Jan 31 with a setback on Feb 8, dislocation. They was able to put me back together without surgery. As I mention in my post, have numbness in toes. I share your flustration on driving. admit I have been driving short distances, 30 minutes or so. Best of luck in your recovery.
 
I have been doing physio 3x a day at home , and I have also seen a physio a couple of times at the hospital .
It is not necessary to do physio 3 times per day. This is total overkill. Walking is the best exercise for a new hip. You are not in training - you are healing.
I was told that I have scar tissue around the round and that I have to massage it firmly to try and loosen it but I can’t see any difference yet
You are only 10 weeks out of this surgery. No you don't have scar tissue. Please don't massage your scar. All that does is inflame the soft tissues that are trying to heal.
 
The physio was strongly recommended as for the first few weeks I wasn’t able to bend my leg and had lots of swelling because of it still have a little swelling around my knee . Also because of my muscles being really tight around my hip area , top of leg . I was also prescribed diazepam to relax me to help relax the muscles but I chose not to take them as they can make you sleepy and I didn’t want to risk me falling or tripping . My back is also very tight and that was part of the problem trying to sit in my car today . Everything is just so tight . So frustrating .
 
Awwww @zoemonelle1977 I know exactly how all that tension feels, and I also understand the reluctance to take diazepam. How does a warm bath (or shower if you can't bathe yet) affect you (setting aside the hip for a moment)? Would it relax you? How about a heating pad on its lowest heat for your back? My body is all connected, so that if for example my right S-I joint hurts, I have pain and tension from above my waist down to my toes on that side. Or, putting my feet in a bucket of warm water relaxes all of me.

I'm glad you can bend your knee again-- but that's actually pretty common on here-- our legs get swollen and painful simply from the trauma they've endured. The swelling goes down in its own good time, which may be too slowly for our taste. Ice and elevation are very good for reducing swelling, but it seems possible that excessive activity of a limb such as the leg will cause swelling post-THR just as it might if one stood on her feet and worked hard or hiked the mountain trails all day. Have you had a day off in the past two months? If you took one and felt less tense and tight, that would be nice! How about a very short walk? A hundred feet? Is the weather conducive to sticking your nose outside for relaxation instead of pushing yourself so hard?

My personal PT testimony: first hip, did my (fairly benign) exercises three times a day for over a week, maybe almost three weeks. Then they were such a drag that I let them slide. Second hip I did no PT except the "ankle pumps" to aid circulation. When I went in at two weeks for first followup, I told the PA I hadn't done any PT. She said, walking is the best PT anyway. Where had I heard that before? Right here! And then when my hips were 5 and 1, I started in on a very difficult exercise class. Both hips served me equally well, and continue to do so!
 
The physio was strongly recommended as for the first few weeks I wasn’t able to bend my leg and had lots of swelling because of it still have a little swelling around my knee. Also because of my muscles being really tight around my hip area, top of leg. I was also prescribed diazepam to relax me to help relax the muscles but I chose not to take them as they can make you sleepy and I didn’t want to risk me falling or tripping. My back is also very tight and that was part of the problem trying to sit in my car today. Everything is just so tight. So frustrating no I
 
Thank you for your tips. They are very much appreciated. Everyone I know who has had their hip replaced have recovered well and quickly. Because I am so young active, fit and healthy I thought I would be the same. Everyone said you are young and fit and it hasn’t been that way at all. I’m at the point where I would have been going back to work in a couple of weeks but that won’t be happening. Especially as I still can’t drive. I am so annoyed, gutted, frustrated with the whole thing. I think I will cut down on my physio. It’s getting so boring too. Really fed up with it now.
 
I'd take a deep breath and relax, you will recover, you are taking more time than you thought you would but I think many of us enter this hip surgery with same expectations.
I'm not young but also extremely active and it took me some time to get back to day to day activities.
The key is patience and listening to your body.
I hope you have a relaxing Monday.
 
I am so annoyed, gutted, frustrated with the whole thing. I think I will cut down on my physio. It’s getting so boring too. Really fed up with it now.
Just my opinion but I think this is a good idea. You can always go back to it later. Rest and ice for a couple of days and see what happens, you might see results from doing nothing.
No 2 people and no 2 hips have the same exact results so doing comparisons is tough. When we feel like we're getting behind in recovery then we have the added anxiety.
 
@zoemonelle1977 - sucks to hear your story. Clearly, if the physio was beneficial, you would have seen some benefits from it by now. While most of us here aren’t doctors, we’ve all had one or more hip replacements, which gives us some perspective. I never did any therapy beyond the little anti-blood-clotting exercises they give you on day 1. Other than that it was walking and then a slow ramp-up to full activity over time. Too aggressive with physical therapy, too early, can result in set-backs or at least a slower recovery sometimes due to tweaking things that aren’t ready to tweak.

I would take this moment to ”forgive yourself” for not healing faster, and just start over, going nice and easy, using ice and appropriate pain meds. Just walk when you can and rest when you can’t.
 
Hi, @zoemonelle1977 , big hug for what you're going through. The others here have given you good support and advice. I'd just like to chime in on the "you're too young" meme.

I'm 68, for crying out loud. And my uncles, both in their 90s, won't shut up about how "too young" I am to have had THR. Even my peers tell me I'm too young. So I remind them that truly young people suffer from OA or other severe hip problems and that No One is Too Young for hip replacement.

Now I want to confess something: I didn't feel too young for THR, but I assumed I'd cross the recovery line before everyone else, my age or younger. Or not, as these past 5 months have taught me. I've also learned that I'm way too old to still be comparing myself with others.

But you ARE young, and it's natural to want to compare and compete at your age. It's called youth for a reason. How hard it must be to hear all the crowing from those who share their stories in part to covertly criticize you.

But please try to ignore these asses. If you're "behind" them, it's because you've been unfairly assigned a longer path and one with more obstacles than those whose recoveries have been short and straightforward.

Keep on going. It may mean a lot of false starts and back-tracking, trying new routes and methods. But you will get there! I did, and my race has not been pretty, but I have finally crossed some major lines. I'm back living my life and my pain is minimal. (Knock on wood.)

Now when others regale me about their miracle recoveries, I I say, "It's wonderful that you had it so easy. I had to work hard to get where you got quickly. But I did it and learned a lot." The looks on their faces are priceless! (Ok, I guess I'm still a little competitive :wink:)

Hang in, my young friend. In the meantime, you have good friends of all ages at bonesmart. We know you're not too young, and we know you're a champion. :yes!:
 
@zoemonelle1977 , @Merrimay is an impossible act to follow, but I remembered today something I often do for my back when it's feeling like it wants relaxing, specifically the lower back. I do this lying in bed or sitting in a chair, and even while driving! It's just a small, slow, very gentle tilt forward and back of the tailbone, never going beyond (literal) comfort zone. If I'm lying down, it almost feels like I imagine traction might feel-- relaxing. Like a mini "cat and cow" but just the lower back, and not extreme.
 
Thank you so much. Wonderful messages of support and understanding. It helps to know that I am not the only person whose recovery is a long one. It fascinates me how some bodies recover quickly and others don’t even when You are a very strong, able person. It has really helped me to join this forum as I really felt as though I was on my own in how I was recovering. I will keep going, Thank you.
 
Thanks for joining us! I hope you're doing well, zoemonelle.
Please let us know when you have the time.
Until then, stay safe and enjoy your new hip. :SUNsmile: Happy Three Month Anniversary!
@zoemonelle1977
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Pumpkin
    Staff member since March 26, 2015
  • mendogal
    Staff member since November 10, 2023

Forum statistics

Threads
65,722
Messages
1,604,396
BoneSmarties
39,689
Latest member
Riveralex
Recent bookmarks
0
Back
Top Bottom