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THR Spangles' Recovery Thread

Ava J

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That's great to hear Ava. Must have been daunting being only 33 and having to have bilateral. You sound like you're doing really well too.
A little. But I had issues with anesthesia as a child, so that was more of a concern. Turned out, everything was peachy. So into my second hip I wasn't worried at all. More like, "here we go, hobble fest round 2."
Just chanting the whole, "up to a year of full healing" every day to myself now.
 

Greg555

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You're 33. You're too young for this."
I find that extremely insensitive, thoughtless and rude. Why can’t people take the time to consider what those comments may feel like on the receiving end. I know there is enough mental anguish in realizing you need to replace your natural hip with a prosthetic. I say this because it was difficult for me to come to terms with needing a THR at age 60 since my parents, each had both hips replaced in their 70’s and one at 80. I felt a little cheated mine didn’t last as long...but thankfully there is a solution and great advancements in that it’s a possibility that even at 33, it may last your lifetime.

I will add that at age 58, when I was initially diagnosed the surgeon told me I was at the average age for hip replacement. Possibly average age to them is “whatever age you are” when they diagnose you need a new one. :rotfl:
I can totally relate to all you say. Thanks for your nice message. I still don't feel like it's 'me' having this implant. I guess I will learn to accept it...have a peaceful evening too.
I’ve taken the opportunity to research advances in the materials used for the ball and polyethylene liner. Wear rates for the polyethylene liner were .75 to 1mm per year for implants used during the “80’s and “90’s. The polyethylene liner used today wears at a rate of .022 mm per year. That is an amazing advancement. The material used in the poly liner is extremely advanced and the surface of ceramic or metal balls are micro polished at levels that were unheard of 10 and 20years ago. There’s a good possibility that these new materials will last much longer than a lifetime. It’s also important because the wear particles from the polyethylene is often responsible for aseptic loosening of the implant. Less material wear means far less chance of implant loosening.
 
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SwimHip

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Let me weigh in on the age thing. I was 62 before I knew what had been ailing me. I knew so little about hip replacements, I too thought they were for “older” people. My apologies to anyone more “seasoned” than I.
 

Hip4life

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I relate to all of this, too. Good observations and sharing from all. At one point I also saw the whole event in my mind and it really felt like I was watching it happen to someone else. I even kidded with my OS that I wanted to lead the post op visit with “Gee, doc, I just don’t feel like myself. I feel like there’s a part of me missing...” He didn’t miss a beat and dead-panned back: “You do.” Then he smiled, with a look that said “I understand.” It felt good to put a humorous spin to it or is it “humerus,” in ortho-speak? Lol. If I ever need another joint done (heaven forbid) I get the feeling it might be a totally different experience than this one.
 

Ava J

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@Greg555 That is amazing! Really gives me hope for a prolonged use of this awesome advantage without having to get my next one any time soon. I have had several people tell me before the surgery that they had family members who got knees replaced or such twenty-five years ago and were still doing just as well as at first. So I'm praying for a lifetime use out of these implants.
 

Greg555

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@Greg555 That is amazing! Really gives me hope for a prolonged use of this awesome advantage without having to get my next one any time soon. I have had several people tell me before the surgery that they had family members who got knees replaced or such twenty-five years ago and were still doing just as well as at first. So I'm praying for a lifetime use out of these implants.
The research on new materials is always on going. The development of the polyethylene liner has to strike a balance between hardness (brittle) and pliability (softness). Some of the approaches they take on this stuff is like science fiction. It’s come along way from the first implants that were were made of ivory. Poor elephants.
 
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Spangles

Spangles

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@Greg555 thanks also for your post. Makes me feel so much more optimistic!
I was also wondering if I will ever be able to exercise again as I was worried of wearing the new hip out. I enjoyed teaching fitness classes on top of my main job, and worried that that would be over after the operation.
 

Celle

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Yes, you will be able to exercise again, and go back to teaching classes, but don't rush into it. Remember that,even though everything may look healed on the outside, there will still be healing going on beneath the surface for about a year.

Try to avoid high-impact exercises, but other exercises should be all right, once your hip has healed enough.

To encourage you, have a look a this thread:
Dancing after THR: 4 months pics THR

We recently had an update from shugaplum and she is still doing well.
Here's a link to her update:
https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/guess-who.59035/
 

Joeml430

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I’ve taken the opportunity to research advances in the materials used for the ball and polyethylene liner. Wear rates for the polyethylene liner were .75 to 1mm per year for implants used during the “80’s and “90’s. The polyethylene liner used today wears at a rate of .022 mm per year. That is an amazing advancement. The material used in the poly liner is extremely advanced and the surface of ceramic or metal balls are micro polished at levels that were unheard of 10 and 20years ago. There’s a good possibility that these new materials will last much longer than a lifetime. It’s also important because the wear particles from the polyethylene is often responsible for aseptic loosening of the implant. Less material wear means far less chance of implant loosening.
@Greg555 - those are encouraging data. Can you provide the reference?

Thanks
 

Greg555

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I’ve taken the opportunity to research advances in the materials used for the ball and polyethylene liner. Wear rates for the polyethylene liner were .75 to 1mm per year for implants used during the “80’s and “90’s. The polyethylene liner used today wears at a rate of .022 mm per year. That is an amazing advancement. The material used in the poly liner is extremely advanced and the surface of ceramic or metal balls are micro polished at levels that were unheard of 10 and 20years ago. There’s a good possibility that these new materials will last much longer than a lifetime. It’s also important because the wear particles from the polyethylene is often responsible for aseptic loosening of the implant. Less material wear means far less chance of implant loosening.
@Greg555 - those are encouraging data. Can you provide the reference?

Thanks
 
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Spangles

Spangles

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I just remembered another younger woman who had a THR at 27 yrs of age. I’ll attach her thread as you may find her story interesting.
I believe she was pretty active and physically fit going into surgery and also rebounded quickly afterward.

https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/when-can-i-get-back-to-the-gym.53193/
Thanks for that Layla. I read it with interest.
I think because of the covid situation, I am in no hurry to return to the gym or my fitness instructing. However, I do have some questions:

I work as a ful time school teacher and am wondering if 12 weeks is when people generally return to work? That would be at the end of Sep for me, not the beginning which is when schools open in the UK. Is 8 weeks generally too early to go back?

I turned accidentally onto my operated side in bed (only done it the once) and I've felt pain since. I felt it might have impeded the healing. I'm now back on one crutch when I go outside.

I am feeling very down, lethargic and fit for nothing at the moment. Exercise was a way that helped me deal with stress, and obviously I don't have that at the moment. I'm never depressed or stressed out, but right now I am snapping at my kids and husband and isolate myself in my bedroom a lot of the time. This is not like me.

I'm into week 5 of my recovery now and realising that a major op like this is not something you get over as quickly as I'd have hoped!!
 
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Layla

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Hello Spangles,
A Phased Return at Twelve Weeks is what we normally recommend. I’ll leave an article below that helps explain why - http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/phased-return-to-work.5696/

You may be able to return at work if you’re doing really well. The problem most often is fatigue and lack of stamina and I’ve even heard concentration can be an issue. Also, if you did return at eight weeks, by the time you arrived back home, you’d probably be exhausted and want / need to rest for the remainder of the evening. I’ll also leave a current thread from the Hip pre-op side that a few teachers weighed in on. If you feel you‘d be interested further commentary from any of them, please tag them as I’m sure they’d happily weigh in. https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/return-to-teaching-how-soon-after-thr.60898/unread

As far as turning on your side, I’m sorry you’re hurting and found it necessary to use an assistive device again. It is the right thing to do as long as it offers the support you need right now. I’m sure you disturbed some healing soft tissue. What I’d do is ICE several times a day, for no less than 45-60 minutes each time you ice. There are instructions on ICE in the Recovery Guidelines if you need a point of reference. Take OTC pain relievers for a time if needed. I’m guessing it will ease soon with rest and some dedicated icing.

Post Op Blues is very common at this point in recovery. You’re feeling a bit better, but lose patience and want your life back NOW. Any setback, like the turning in bed incident, feels magnified and you begin to think...What Next?!! Trust me, it will get better. Here is an article in case you haven’t made it through the Recovery Guidelines -

You feel lethargic because your body recently went through a “controlled” trauma and you’re healing. Your body is using energy first for healing, not leaving much for anything else. So take the fatigue and lethargy as a sign of healing and fall into it...literally :yawn::sleep:
Our body does its best healing while we’re sleeping - http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/energy-drain-for-thrs.12415/

Here is a reminder of the reality of recovery -



I’ll bet you can relate to that little drawing. :yes:
Sending a hug and wishes for brighter days. They’re coming! :happydance:
@Spangles
 

zauberflöte

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@Spangles sounds like you may have a case of the post-op blues. It's normal, it's no fun, it will go away. Your hip pain is likely your hip just reminding you not to do that again soon please.

Patience is what the patient needs, and I often found mine in short supply. I want to be all better NOW!-- you know? It will happen, yes it will! :ice: :flwrysmile:
 
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Spangles

Spangles

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Thank you so much @Layla. I am so grateful for your amazing advice and helpful links. It's so supportive. I will try explaining to my children, who don't really understand, and I can't wholly expect them too. They don't understand why I am largely ignoring them, and why even watching a movie with them or holding a lengthy conversation are too exhausting for me.

I can understand why the post op. blues takes hold now! I hate feeling so trapped; we are kind of out of coronavirus lockdown in London, but things are very far from normal out and about anyway, so being in recovery compounds issues. I related to all of the points mentioned in the post op blues link!

I appear to have aged overnight as well. I looked quite youthful pre op, and I am now quite gaunt and haggard. I am so keen to get out and about to get to feel better, and actually need to put a few pounds on as I am now too thin. It looks awful. My parents were horrified when they saw me for the first time last week. I am not at all a patient person so being forced to be patient is hellish! I am so bored!!! I knew recovery wouldn't be easy which is why I postponed this surgery twice.
I won't be able to go on holiday in our Campervan either so will be alone for a few weeks after next week. I am going stir crazy! Hopefully it will be better when I have the confidence to drive. I am having a phone chat with my surgeon on 14th August due to the covid situation and am rather disappointed I won't see him face to face. Oddly the same day the physiotherapist is seeing me at the same hospital face to face, but the surgeon is not. I guess I won't get an X-ray or anything because of the coronavirus situation, Let's see what the surgeon says in any event.

Thank you also @zauberflöte. It's really great to have the support of this online community as my immediate family and friends have no idea what this is really like.
 

Schaargi

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Hi Spangles,

I also work in a school, as a teacher-librarian but because of covid they are pulling me out of the library to teach. I am at 8 weeks now. I was doing pretty well until 6 weeks and my recovery has gone a bit backward in the past 2 weeks. I had a little fall (more of a crumple) and felt the effects of that on the soft tissue, so thats probably what you are feeling with your injury. Then, my hip flexors and glutes are trying to take over, so I have overworked them (not on purpose!) and am having more pain.

At any rate, I thought I would be ready to go back by now but I'm still exhausted and in pain. I have a followup with my surgeon at 10 weeks, right before the kids come to school, but am not feeling that I will be ready.

So, I think that the 12 weeks with the phased-in start will work for me (fingers crossed) but who knows? When you are teaching, you have to be mentally alert as well as physically energetic, so it's a bigger deal than most people think.

It will get better. I totally understand the thing about trying to be patient!
 
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leejaa

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@Spangles, oh the patience muscle that must be exercised practically constantly during recovery. The fatigue is real and mental tiredness after this major operation. Sometimes it is easy to forget how big of an operation it is since we go home so quickly (I like this part actually) and we are walking and can move around. Our bodies, however, know and remember what they went through and need time. There is a saying that time heals all wounds and it is definitely true for hips and or knees that are replaced.

I retired early after my first hip and not because of the hip but because the time was right for me and I timed it so it would happen then. However, I went back to work after each of my knees at 6 weeks with limited hours and days. It was hard and I was exhausted when I got home and that is with an administrative job where I had my own office and could move around or sit and ice as needed. Give your body a chance to be further on the recovery road before returning to work.

You stated you had lost weight. If your appetite is affected maybe you could look into nutritional supplements as a way to boost your calorie intake and give your body a lift from the extra vitamins and minerals.

I hope you have a peaceful evening.
 

Greg555

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@Greg555 thanks also for your post. Makes me feel so much more optimistic!
I was also wondering if I will ever be able to exercise again as I was worried of wearing the new hip out. I enjoyed teaching fitness classes on top of my main job, and worried that that would be over after the operation.
You’re most welcome. I hear your struggle. My surgery was 6/29. Left hip replacement. I was active in the fitness world until OS of the hip slowed the entire journey to a halt. I’m currently at the 5th week. Every time I think that I’m on the mend a new pain pops up. Then I worry that something catastrophic is happening. My head becomes a bigger obstacle than my hip. I’ve kept a journal of progress. I reflect on it. That helps me recognize progress. I came into this surgery having had a fairly significant loss in my life about a year before. Then after the surgery I had one thing after another go wrong. Dog got sick. Sump pump quit in the basement and it flooded. The upstairs patio door was left open and that area flooded. Then of course the radiator on my van sprung a leak. This entire experience got my mind off the loss and back to taking care of me. This experience has really taught me the importance of digging deep and taking care of myself. I’ve had to consolidate my energy and use it wisely. I really haven’t had the energy to take care of anyone but me. At the end of the day I’m exhausted. I try to hang onto the idea that this trial of body and mind will allow some major room for growth. It’s so hard being in pain and vulnerable. But I think that’s where some new understandings about self happen. Coming out the other side with some new awareness.
 

Layla

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You’re welcome! We are here for you, we understand and as difficult as this adjustment can be, you will make it through to brighter days.

It’s easy for our appearance to be altered when we’re exhausted, anxious, feeling blue, possibly not eating well. This will all turn around. You need rest / sleep for healing as well as a healthy diet. If your appetite isn’t up to par, my colleague leejaa often suggests Ensure, or any other meal replacement drink containing vitamins and minerals. Or you could sip on a Protein shake full of ingredients that appeal to you. Once you’re feeling better physically and emotionally, I’m sure your appetite will return and you’ll be back to looking like your normal self.

I’m guessing you should be able to drive soon and regaining that feeling of independence was a mood booster for me. While it’s sad you’ll miss the family vacation, you may end up enjoying the peace, quiet and ability to catch up on some well deserved rest without the guilt of caring for your family, while it temporarily feels like a drain. Hopefully you can plan a few easy outings while your family is away. Lunch with a friend, or maybe invite someone in for a visit over coffee and dessert, OR just schlep around in your pajamas all day watching movies and eating ice cream, :heehee: Hey...there ya go, that will help you put on a pound...or five! I can’t tell you how many ice cream discussions I’ve read here, it must be the indulgence of choice during recovery. Here’s to a few scoops of your favorite flavor and happier days! :) I hope your weekend is a good one.
@Spangles
 

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