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THR So far, so good, knock wood

DancerHips

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I had my LTHR yesterday in a surgery center. Got a spinal with pretty light sedation so I could hear bits and pieces of conversation between naps. It was great because they were waking me up and letting me know it was done as they did the dressing. The other really nice thing is that despite covid, my husband got to stay with me. That was very comforting and helpful.

Returned home early this morning and the pain and stiffness have increased some. I had completely gone off sugar about 3 weeks before surgery since it's inflammatory, and that had dropped my pain level significantly. Then this morning they gave me mirilax in sweetened cranberry juice plus a large OJ so I'm hoping getting back on the wagon will help. I have stronger narcotics, but am working hard to balance grogginess and pain control.

My biggest fear now is dislocation. it feels pretty stable at 90 degrees but even the slightest inward motion feels like it shifta things. So I'm definitely going to take it easy to start.

It's been great having this forum to help expectations. I normally err on the side of guilt and pushing things and you guys have inserted a nice dose of reality
 

Celle

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Hello @DancerHips - and :welome: to recovery.

It sounds as if thing are going well.

Here are our Recovery Guidelines - lots of short, but informative, articles to help you:
Hip Recovery: The Guidelines

People are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help, but YOU are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

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. Try to follow this

6. Access 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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Mersada

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Congrats on your new hip. Nice that they let your hubby stay. My hospital only allowed drop.offs.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
 

Schaargi

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Yay, @DancerHips !

I'm glad you are on the other side. What approach did your surgeon use?

I was absolutely terrified I would dislocate, even after 6 weeks. My surgeon put the fear of God in me about dislocation. I know how stressful that feels. Hang in there. You will do great.
 
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DancerHips

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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Pain is actually worse today. I got the Exparel in surgery and guessing that is wearing off. I haven't done my breakthrough stronger narcotics but I may later on. @Schaargi the approach was lateral and it's when the leg turns in even slightly that it feels unstable. What was yours and did the feeling go away eventually? Other problem I am developing is heartburn even though the head of my bed is raised--I don't recall seeing that here, but if anyone has any suggestions...
 

Jaycey

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My biggest fear now is dislocation.
Please don't worry. Dislocation is very rare. Just listen to that hip. It will tell you when it's not ready to move in a particular direction.
the approach was lateral and it's when the leg turns in even slightly that it feels unstable
My RTHR was lateral. I can't remember have any unstable feeling. Lots of traumatised soft tissues are inflamed. Ice and elevate as much as you can.
Other problem I am developing is heartburn even though the head of my bed is raised
Could be a reaction to your pain medication. Mention this to staff. They might have something to ease it.
 
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DancerHips

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@Jaycey This morning I made sure to have somethiing substantial in my stomach when I took my pills and that seemed to take care of the heartburn. I am getting better at knowing whtn the unstable feeling hits (esp when getting back into bed and bringing the leg up, so I think I'll have my husband help me in for a bit) and hope that helps. Thanks!
 

Jaycey

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Sounds like what we call "log leg". Your brain says move the leg and it just won't go. This eases fairly quickly but it is a bit unnerving. Use a belt or bathrobe tie as a leg lifter if needed.
 

HipMom143

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the approach was lateral and it's when the leg turns in even slightly that it feels unstable. What was yours and did the feeling go away eventually?
@DancerHips i had lateral approach and my restrictions included not turning my foot inward and not abducting my op leg. I clearly remember that unstable feeling especially in the hospital when I was first learning how to get in and out of bed. At 5 weeks, it has gone away for the most part or I’ve gotten better at avoiding the movements that caused it. I initially used my good leg to assist my op leg into bed but don’t have to do that anymore
 
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DancerHips

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@HipMom143 That's great to hear. Before this, I didn't think I ever turned my legs in since I danced and that's all about turning them out. Alas now, even a very little is too much. Hopefully mine goes away like yours. Thanks!
 

Schaargi

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the approach was lateral and it's when the leg turns in even slightly that it feels unstable. What was yours and did the feeling go away eventually?
Hi @DancerHips

My approach was anterior, and, honestly, I didn't even try to do anything unusual because I was so afraid of dislocation! I also had a complication with my femoral nerve that overshadowed any issues I had otherwise. So I spent several weeks following restrictions to a T and not trying ANYTHING that might be beyond that. My PT talked me down several times by trying to explain how dislocations happen but I was so scared! I was an anxious mess. Don't be like me. :umm:So I agree with Jaycey - just listen to your body.

As for heartburn, mine was my medication. I had to make sure that I had food and sat up for a while after taking my meds. That fixed it.
 

Eman85

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I took aspirin as a blood thinner and was instructed to take Famotidine with it to protect my stomach. Don't know if it might help with your heartburn but I didn't have any. I was very aware and very careful about turning my legs or pivoting on the operated leg. That feeling lasts for a while but like most of this it goes away over time. When I first tried sleeping on my non-op side it gave me a real odd sensation like the joint was going to pull apart, it too passed.
 
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DancerHips

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@Eman85 I'll keep the Famotidine in mind if eating with the meds doesn't work. An aspirin (plus TED socks) is my blood clot regimen too... And yes, I find I am pivoting on my good leg which is helping--but can't even imagine sleeping on my side at this point! Thanks!
 
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DancerHips

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Since it's been a week since I've updated I thought I'd post again today. Will be good to look back on and I sure love reading everyone else's accounts.

I am Day 11 if "1" is the day after surgery. We've had some nicer weather so I've taken the walker outside and gone up and down the driveway a few times. Off all narcotics and pain is minimal (at the short distances at least) but walking really doesn't feel normal. I definitely have the "leg is too long" feeling that I know is usually (knock wood) temporary. Anyone know how long that takes to go away?

The incision seems to feel more sore so anxious to see what that looks like after my 2-week post op next Thursday. My sleep is most disappointing since it is very fitful and I don't know if I'm allowed to sleep on my side (well, I'm too scared to anyway)

Things to note on the recovery... I did develop terrible constipation. I was using Miralax (an osmotic laxative) and with no success so on day 4 took the maximum dose of dulcolax (a stimulant laxative). Happily the change seemed to fix the problem--and permanently. I had been doing sponge baths and washing my hair but on day 8, decided to brave the stairs (with my husband right by me per friendly warnings here) and shower (somehow I had visions of the wound dressing washing away too which didn't happen). My daughter had a good innovation on all my power cords that kept falling on the floor--she taped them loosely to the glass topped end table (I am sleeping in the family room on a cheap hospital bed) and now I can always reach them.

I've done some light cooking and learned that hamburgers are terrible to make because you need to wash your hands so often and don't want to slime the walker moving back and forth to the sink! Thanks to everyone here--I know I've avoided pitfalls by following your advice.
 

BellaMac

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Thank you for sharing - my greatest concern was dislocation as well, it helps to hear I am "normal." My surgeon called my surgery a mini posterior approach. I am only 17 days post-op.
 
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DancerHips

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@BellaMac Isn't it interesting how neurotic most of use get with this! I suppose that's protective in the end--we aren't out taking chances! Does mini-posterior mean a smaller incision? Mine looks huge though still under wraps so I haven't actually seen it... Not that I'm complaining--my bikini days are long gone ;-)
 
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DancerHips

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Just a quick note to say I learned something NOT to do. I cooked dinner last night (couldn't resist trying a new recipe) and was on my feet for an hour. I thought it would be okay because it wasn't actually a lot of movement (e.g. stand and grate cheese) but apparently just being on my feet caused a dramatic increase in swelling. I had been very careful to stay withing guidelines (e.g. week 2, 5-10 minute stroll, only basic PT ex) but plan to spend most of the day in bed on ice with my legs up.
 

Ric A

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Yep. Been there. It's the gravity and constant weight wearing down in the hip joints.

Not a good combination for an early hippy. We can stand on the spot but only for a short amount of time, maybe 15 mins and then build it up exactly same as walking.
 

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