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[THR] Steve’s Recovery Thread

Somsteve

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After years of pain with osteoarthritis in both hips I finally had my right hip replaced in August and am waiting for the left one to be done in ten to twelve weeks. My surgeon assures me that everything is fine but I am concerned that I still have a lot of pain in my operated hip. Exercise does not come easily and I’ve had trouble balancing the need for exercise with trying not to overdo things. I am taking Paracetamol but it doesn’t seem to help, particularly at night when the pain often wakes me. I’m told that I’m only eight weeks post op and the pain is quite normal and will eventually go but then I read that people are often pain free much sooner. I stopped taking opioids at six weeks and really don’t want to go back on them due to the side effects. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I’m really getting quite depressed and starting to dread the next operation.
 

midouri

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Hi Steve,
Sorry to hear you’re in pain and getting depressed.
I’m no expert but my LTHR was a lot easier than my most recent RTHR so not everyone is pain free... think it’s just so individual. You are still early days though... I remember with my LTHR I had on and off soreness for a few months ... I hope it settles for you. You’ll get loads of great advice on here from the experts! Chin up x.
 

Trudijane

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I had a total right hip replacement in April, 2019. Everyone is different as far as pain levels and time. If I remember correctly, I was still taking a oxycodone pills at 12 weeks post-op because of the pain. My surgeon also told me that some day this could happen to my left hip. The thought of that depresses me as well.

For me, I cannot imagine getting the 2nd one done until you feel you are fairly stable with your right hip. But, I don’t know how much pain you are in (you left hip). How would you compare the pain that you had in your right hip with that of your left hip pre-op?

For me, it would be important to have one hip recuperate as much as possible before I had the 2nd hip done - IF you can deal with pain in your left hip. But, if you have adequate care (which I was short of); it also would be great to get it over with - and not let it get to you too much.
 
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Somsteve

Somsteve

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Thanks midouri and Trudijane for your replies, it’s good to talk. It‘s hard to be sure but I think the pain in my right (operated) hip is worse than it was pre-op and sometimes worse than my left (unoperated). Hopefully by the time I get my left hip done the right one will be much improved. I really want to get it over and done with!
 

VSlowLife

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I am sure one of the moderators will come by and offer you good suggestions.
Sorry you are still so uncomfortable.
 

Trudijane

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Steve, is it the same kind of pain that you had pre-op - or a different kind of pain. Trying too figure this out. I had SO much pain in my right hip, that I had to walk with a cane, and 3 months of Physical Therapy did not help; I knew that I had no choice but to replace it although I was so scared to do that at first. I had never had an operation before and did not know what to expect. BUT even 6 months later, I’m working out the kinks (there are some, but there is no pain for which I am very happy about).

Although I was in so much pain post-op, but it was a different kind of pain - the kind of pain that comes with healing. That in itself was painful, but not nearly as painful as pre-op. It has been very hard to be patient - I discovered this forum a little later, and everyone was so helpful with my expectations, etc.

This is just my opinion, but I think you should do one hip at a time. Can you describe the kind of pain you had pre-op vs. post-op? I had pain for 3 months or so but it was a different kind of pain.
 

julesglass

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Afternoon @Somsteve. Every THR is different even with the same person. My right THR 3 years ago was smoother than my left THR just 3 months ago. I still have soreness in my left knee and thigh. I still take oxycodone one or two a day depending on what I'm doing. Getting the pain under control, icing with legs elevated, just walking at home is important at this point.This is the best community to be with for info and support as we each walk out our recovery.
 

ForumUser

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Steve,

Did you discuss whether/if you are elevating and icing, or exercising or doing formal PT?

At 8 weeks, IMO you should be off narcotics and walking comfortably ...
 
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Somsteve

Somsteve

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Thanks for all your replies. The pain in my operated hip seems worse than it was pre-op but is a similar sort of pain, mainly in my buttock and under the incision. It’s also similar to the pain in my unoperated left hip. I’m sure that things will improve with time but I’m still unsure as to how much and what sort of exercise I should be taking.
 

ForumUser

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Steve,

Did you discuss whether/if you are elevating and icing, or exercising or doing formal PT? Can you answer, please?
 
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Somsteve

Somsteve

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Hi, I have not been advised to elevate. I have iced in the past but didn’t find it particularly helpful. I have been given exercises to do (heel slides etc.) and attend formal physio every two weeks or so. The regime here in the UK seems to be very different to the US with far less emphasis on icing and elevating. I am booked to attend a gym session with my physio next week which I believe will involve static bike exercises etc.
 

midouri

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Hopefully the advisors will be on here soon to give advice but... how often are you doing those heal slides? I followed josephine’s advice with my LTHR and did virtually no PT and was back to work and pain free within 3 months. All the exercise I did was walking and not to excess.
is there a lot of swelling? Have you rested your leg at all or are u doing a lot of PT?
 

Mojo333

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:wave: Hi @Somsteve and welcome to the forum.
Sorry this recovery has been hard on you and making you anxious for your upcoming surgery.
Exercise does not come easily and I’ve had trouble balancing the need for exercise with trying not to overdo things.
This is an oft bemoaned conundrum. Easy does it stretches and just walking are all that is necessary, in my opinion, and if you have been overdoing things...it may take some time to get back on track.
Icing and elevating are important parts of this even though it is:bored:
I am taking Paracetamol but it doesn’t seem to help, particularly at night when the pain often wakes me
Are you taking the maximum dose recommended...regularly?
1000mg 4 X per day not to exceed 4000mg in a 24 hour period.

I’m told that I’m only eight weeks post op and the pain is quite normal and will eventually go but then I read that people are often pain free much sooner
Some. But not most and it may depend on how much they were doing early days. I certainly had discomfort at 2 months and there is lots of healing still happening.
This recovery business can certainly be an ebb and flow, trial and error dance.
Here is my favorite Revovery chart
Recovery chart drawn.jpg

Lots of good advice and support here.
You are also trying to recover with one bad hip still, so that can be difficult.
Our gait and posture affect so many muscles...two good hips should certainly get you back to your life!
Leaving you some recovery guidelines and great articles below.
Take an easy does it day and check it out:ice:
 

Mojo333

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Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
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

6. Access to these pages on the website


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.
 

Jaycey

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@Somsteve How long are your icing sessions? Ice for at least 45-60 minutes several times per day.

Part of your problem is that bad hip. You are still walking all wrong trying to stay off it. That is bound to impact progress on your replaced hip. Many of our members comment on how much better they feel when both hips are done and the body can finally balance again.

BTW - heel slides do nothing for hips. That is an exercise for patients who have had knees replaced. Do read the guidelines Mojo posted for you. Hips don't really need PT - walking is the best rehab and then not to excess.
 

Layla

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Hello,
Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!

Exercise does not come easily and I’ve had trouble balancing the need for exercise with trying not to overdo things
As Jaycey mentioned above...you don't need to exercise right now aside from walking. In case you haven't had time to read through the Recovery Guidelines, following is some valuable advice -
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.

Mojo333 questioned your dosage of Paracetamol and whether you're taking the maximum dose. Depending upon your dose and schedule, taking 1000 mg every six hrs, not to exceed 4000 in any 24 hr period, will be most effective since most meds only remain effective in your system for 4-5 hrs, no matter the dose. So if you're taking a lesser amount and taking it less frequently you may be going many hrs with no medication in your system, giving pain time to build and the next dose longer to take effect. Something to consider...

Please try some dedicated icing for the period of time, Jaycey, mentioned above and cut out all exercise aside from walking for a couple weeks and see if you notice an improvement with the pain.
Stay in touch, we're here for the journey if you don't mind sharing your progress. :wave:
@Somsteve
 

kfisher119

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My OS does not recommend any exercise or therapy post op at all. I am 5 weeks post op tomorrow and just saw him today for follow-up. All he wants me to do is walk and then not to the point of pain. It’s hard, I’m impatient about getting better but every time I’ve tried to push forward the pain knocks my back. Ice an elevation have worked well for me. Have you tried sleeping in a recliner instead of in bed? I get more comfortable in a recliner and am able to get quality rest. Wishing you good progress.
 

Eman85

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Reading through many posts over time I've seen where for some reason other countries don't do much of the icing thing. I have no idea why, someone related that many don't have as large of refrigerators with ice machines like many Americans do. I found that icing was the far better than any pain killers and I was given an icing machine when I left the hospital. I used it constantly if I was sitting or lying down. be careful not to fall into the it hurts after you exercise so you take pain pills so you can do more exercise. The exercise doesn't heal the damaged muscles.
 

SurreyGirl

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Hi, I had similar pain to you and it was definitely aggravated by the physio. Icing and elevating really helped me as did gentle walking concentrating on heel toe and keeping my back straight.
Physio three months out did start to help but it was the stretching and walking that did the trick. The paracetamol regime taking at regular intervals really helped with stiffness after I was back at work and driving a lot.

hope you pain eases off soon!
 

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