THR Surgery in 3 days' time... Thank you for this forum

Boofit

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Hello everyone,

I live in Hong Kong and my left THR is scheduled to take place in 3 days' time (on 2 June). Ever since January this year when I knew I would be having this surgery I have started preparing for it both mentally and physically. Finding this forum has been so VERY helpful in my preparations, and I am truly thankful!! I have joined this forum in the hope that I may also share my experiences (e.g. drugs taken, pre-op preparation, post-op experiences etc).

A bit about me and my condition. I am an "average" person. Not too fit, but not terribly unfit either. Of average height and average weight. In the year 2000 I decided to challenge myself and train for a full marathon (I have never been a runner though and everyone thought I was nuts to do it). Started training in April for a December marathon and around September started having sharp pain in my left hip. Decided to take painkillers and continued with my training and eventually completed the full marathon (and have not run since:) :-) (:). Silly, right? But I have no regrets and am happy to have done it. But since then, I have had on and off pain in my left hip. Had MRIs and X rays and these showed acetabular labral tears, cysts and osteoarthritic degenerative changes. I had good days and bad days and the good days were more than the bad days originally.

Since many years ago, the pain has been increasing. It had always seemed to be a very slow process, and I always thought I could make my hip “last for a few more years” before I needed the replacement. That said, in recent years, this process seemed to speed up in deterioration and in the last year or so the pain has increased almost exponentially, catching me totally off guard and causing my other joints (knee, shoulder, other hip and back) to be affected as well. Since last year, the Xrays show that my left hip joint is "bone on bone" with moderate to severe OA changes. My quality of life had reduced significantly and these days I walk with a severe limp and in pain unless I load up on NSAIDs (e.g. celebrex, naproxen) and sometimes on Tramadol first. Where necessary, I also add on 1000mg Paracetamol (max 3 times a day).

My surgery date is 2 June. My surgeon initially said I should do it in March but because of my volunteer work commitments, I told him the earliest I could do it would be in June. Since January, I have been trying to keep in shape as much as I can in preparation for my surgery and recovery. I walk 4 to 5 times a week for about an hour each time, and try to do simple yoga stretching and simple strengthening exercises for my gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, quadriceps and calves around 5 times a week (for 30 to 45 minutes each time). I started trying to lose weight and have shed around 18lbs (not an easy task at all, as I love food, especially chocolates and cake). My BMI is around 22 (but I am pretty certain that after the surgery it is going to shoot up!!). My upper arms are not in good shape though, especially my right shoulder. Whenever I use a stick for walking I end up with inflammation of my right shoulder muscles (rotator cuff syndrome) and have to take additional painkillers..

So, I am looking forward to this operation but not without some trepidation. From reading the many posts on this forum I know the recovery process can be rollercoaster-esque and that everyone's recovery experience will be different. This is most helpful because I will be reminding myself that I must not compare my recovery process to anyone else's.

I am lucky to have met with some excellent and caring doctors and will be having the operation in a public teaching hospital.
I am told that the approach is likely to be antero-lateral (and that the gluteus medius and minimus will be cut).
I have had my pre-op tests and assessments (urine, blood, plain x-rays and 3D x-rays and MRSA tests). I have had a detailed interview with my anesthesiologist.
On 1 June I need to submit my Covid tests. Two days before my operation on 2 June I need to shower with special soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
I have attended pre-operative physio classes.
I will check-in for my operation at 7am on 2 June. I am told I will probably be staying in hospital for 4 to 5 days.

I have bought the following items:
  • raised toilet seat with side rails
  • walker with shower seat
  • crutches
  • stick
  • large ice gel packs
  • instant ice packs (because in Hong Kong where I am, ice is not provided at the hospital for hip surgeries I am told, so I will be bringing my own into hospital)
  • heel protectors
  • maternity pillows (for placing under the waist/back as I understand I may need to sleep in a supine position for some time post op)
  • wedge shaped elevation foam
  • grabbers
  • shoe horn
  • back scratcher
  • larger sized easy slip on shoes (in anticipation of swollen feet)
  • firm cushions to raise the level of my chairs
  • boxer shorts
  • hospital cup with flexible straws
  • prunes and dissolvable Vit C !!:yes!:

This forum is GREAT, it contains a wealth of information and is a place where people are able to post their success stories, their fears and their set backs. It is so good to read posts where some fellow-being has done well and achieved some progress, be it big or small, and also good to know about what difficulties people encounter on their journey. I am so thankful to everyone who has shared their experiences here and also thankful to the forum staff and administrators who have been there to guide and encourage people along the way.
 
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Ocean

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Gosh! You have got yourself ready and prepared for anything. I am trying to do the same for my turn in July.

It is great to have this forum to read what might be ahead of us and to cheer on those who are recovering.

I’ll be looking forward to reading all about your recovery and I will be thinking of you on the 2nd June.
 

Klassy

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Welcome! Wow, you are so organised and well prepared. Congrats on the weight loss, that’s an achievement up there with the marathon. Congrats on that too, and don’t spend any time wondering if that caused the arthritis. It may have revealed an underlying tendency, but I am sure that there are umpteen folk like me showing off their fancy new titanium hips who never got near a marathon ( well, I did stand and cheer from the sidelines once).

See you on the happy side soon!
 

Layla

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Wow…you are well prepared! Only a few days to go and you’ll be on the healing side. I will look forward to following your recovery. Wishing you comfort and all the best on Thursday.
@Boofit
 
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Boofit

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Thanks Ocean, Klassy and Layla. I note that both Ocean and Klassy are in the UK, and I have been following the practices in the UK because Hong Kong adopts a lot of such practices and in fact my surgeon was trained in the UK! Interesting to note that both UK and HK do not encourage post op icing, whereas in North America icing is widely adopted. I am a firm believer in icing for pain management, and have used ice frequently for various musculoskeletal issues.

Am in quite a lot of pain these couple of days. My doctors have said I do not need to stop the NSAIDS, but I have decided to do so and have stopped these since Sunday. Am now relying on Paracetamol (Tylenol in the US) 1gm 4 times a day and icing. My lower left leg is in constant pins and needles and my left hip and left lower back won't let me relax... Have a TENS device and may try that later as well.

Just finished packing for my hospital admission - that was tiring! I need a bottle of Diet Coke every day so have also packed 5 bottles:heehee:. Given the Covid restrictions, I am told patients will not be allowed to venture out of the Ward/Room, so am thinking I might not be able to get my "daily fix". Am also waiting to see if I get lucky and manage to get a private room. Was told the private wards in public hospitals were converted for other uses due to the Covid situation, but now some private wards are beginning to re-open as such, but that demand is high.

Klassy, I'd like to say I enjoyed reading your posts about your recovery journey. Read it once a couple of months ago, but am reading it again!
 
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Boofit

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Just received a call from one of the doctors on the team saying that I will be the first case tomorrow morning...

Feeling excited that this is finally happening. Am praying that all goes well..
 

Layla

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Yay! It’s the eve of your big day. Happy to read you’re excited. I’ll lift a prayer for an uneventful surgery and recovery. Will look forward to following your journey on the flip side. All the best!
@Boofit
 

Hip4life

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Wishing you blessings for a smooth surgery and a good recovery. I'll leave you with our hip recovery guidelines for you to peruse as you await your date to join us on the healing side.

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
elevate
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
BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website
Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital

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.
 

CricketHip

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Just received a call from one of the doctors on the team saying that I will be the first case tomorrow morning...

Feeling excited that this is finally happening. Am praying that all goes well..
Oh my gosh, I am excited for you! I remember, very well, the day before my surgeries. I think you will find that it zips past quickly.
Good for you for bringing some instant ice packs. they don't stay cold very long but will be helpful and better than none at all.

Looking forward to your Recovery reports and wishing you the best!
 

Ocean

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Sending positive thoughts your way for a great surgery and recover.
 
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Boofit

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Layla, yes, I am excited, fingers crossed that I have an uneventful surgery today. It is now almost 4:30am in Hong Kong, and I will be setting off around 5:45am. The drive to the hospital will be about 30 to 40 minutes at this time of day I reckon, so I should be in my hospital bed before 7am!

Hip4life, CricketHip and Ocean, thank you. I will try find out how to start a new Post-op recovery thread and report on my experiences. I have benefitted from reading so many other hipsters' experiences, am truly thankful for this forum. See you all soon!!!
 

djklaugh

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@Boofit Best wishes to you! You can go over to the recovery side and start your recovery thread now if you want to. At the top of that area on the right is a yellow button marked "Post thread" use that to start your recovery journey.
 

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