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THR Swelling at 10 weeks

NH2020

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Hi all. I'm hoping I can get some advice off those who have had posterior approach. I had my surgery TRHR on July 19th in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am 52, super fit before surgery, hiking, dancing, swimming etc. I had a torn labrum and a crack in my acetabular. Severe pain for years waiting on our own health system here in the Republic of Ireland. I went private and was so happy to get a date as Covid seemed to be under control. Sent home with codeine and paracetamol. Told to walk and only do PT if I feel I need it.
I foolishly thought after listening to other people's experiences that I would be throwing the crutches away at 2 weeks and have no pain at 6 weeks. I had a horrendous first 2 weeks, severe swelling , pain and stiffness and then it started slowly getting better. Off the crutches at 5 weeks with minimal pain but still a lot of stiffness. I went back to work at 6 weeks...I had no choice, I work in a school and we have been closed for nearly 6 months and I didnt inform anyone at the school as I want to leave my sick leave intact...we get 90 days in fours years...in case I have to get the other done and I'll be sure to take the 12 weeks off then:elevate: I have had some good days and some really bad painful days and know I went back to work too early.
I am a very impatient person wanting to be on the go all the time.
I've also done some other things that I know have not helped like small hikes and long car journeys.
So this week I am swollen again on the operated leg and in a lot of pain. Because Covid cases are on the rise big time here again I have not had my post op. I dont believe anything is wrong with the joint nor do I believe I have an infection.
Can those of you who have had posterior please advise if you have experienced similar and give advice to me. I am beginning to regret having it done at all now
I ice quite a bit and it does help. Thank you in advance and I only found this site a week after my surgery and wished I found it before.
I still cannot tie my right shoe, put on my sock without helper either but that's not important to me right now. I just want the pain and swelling to stop.
 

Elf1

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:wave: @NH2020 and welcome to Bone Smart. While you're surgery was approximately two months ago, you're still very early in a recovery that usually takes a year, sometimes more depending on your condition before surgery.

Going to leave you our Recovery Guidelines, lots of great info that might answer most of your questions. Please note The Big Tip towards the bottom of the rules.

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.
 

Pumpkln

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NH2020,
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us! :welome:
Sorry to hear you are having continuing challenges with your THR, we all heal at different rates, and you are on the slow train to recovery, but you will get there.
You are still early in this yearlong+ recovery, when you are not working, spend as much time as you can resting, icing, and elevating to get the inflammation and swelling down. For swelling you may want to seek out a lymphatic therapist, can be a massage therapist, PT or an OT, be sure they have been certified by one of the lymphatic education providers.
You can also try this gentle ex sequence for your swelling, it works for some.
In bed or on your back in a comfortable position. 5 relaxation breathing breaths, 5 gentle qluteal sets (squeeze your rear), 5-10 ankle pumps, ending with 5 quad sets (press your knees into the bed)
All should be gentle. It may feel better to do each ankle and knee one at a time vs at the same time.

Good luck, you will get there.

Where are you in THR recovery??
 

Elf1

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Ok, let me try to give you some answers from my experience though I didn't have posterior approach. At this point in recovery I don't really think it matters much what approach you had.

Agree that your expectations of how quickly you'd be up and running around were way off. Especially those first two weeks, they usually seem to be a bear! :groan:

You said you've been doing some icing, can I ask how much and how long? We recommend you ice for a good 45-60 minutes at a time for a good four times a day if possible, at least early on. It's still worth icing at your point in recovery, especially after doing activities that may be too much for your still recovering hip. You've had major surgery done and they worked you over pretty good, that takes time, and patience, to heal. Icing helps with pain, it helps with swelling that causes pain. Also elevate when you can.

One of my fellow hippies ha has always reminded folks that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. You might want to hold off on long car trips and hikes for a while longer.

Patience is the muscle you are going to need to exercise the most! Your body is running this recovery and you need to listen to it. Check over the guidelines and let us know if you have other questions, we're here to support you!
 
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NH2020

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Pumpkin and Elf1( I dont know how to highlight your names?) thank you for your replies. I iced a lot in the beginning when I was home recuperating. Now I will do it in the evenings after work. I will try your exercises Elf1. I didn't realise how much I'd be on my feet at work, I suppose you forget this when you are pre surgery. My biggest fear before this surgery was that the surgery would not take the pain away and I am still fearful of that now. I was hoping to get back to swimming and walking in pool but our leisure centre has closed temporarily. I do not compare myself to anyone now after reading through the posts but I am hoping to hear from those who have had posterior approach and their experiences and what they remember. I am so grateful for this website. It got me through the 1st few weeks. No ice was suggested in the hospital but after reading here I tried it and it really helped. I will deform hold off on the hiking and long journeys for now. Thanks again
 

Elf1

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@NH2020 if you want to get a particular members attention you can tag them by putting an @ before the member's user name like so: @Elf1 . You'll usually see a drop down menu with choices you can click on before you type the full name.
 

Eman85

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I had 2 done posterior approach. The one thing I knew going in was I was going to be laid up for 3 mos. And I took it easy wanting to get healed up and get the recovery over with. With my first I learned that the calendar telling me it's 3 mos didn't mean much to my hip as that's when I overdid it and ended up doing a lot of sitting and a lot of icing. I did do a lot of ankle pumps and the exercises Pumpkin told you about.
With my first at around 6 weeks I was able to slowly reach my feet and tie my shoes. With my second it took longer to tie my shoes and even when I could it was a pulling sensation in the back of my leg to my butt. I took quite some time for it to slowly ease.
 

Dublingal

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@NH2020 .. Hello from PA and welcome bet ya can't guess where I'm from ? I'm curious.. What part of Ireland are you from and do you drive an automatic? If you don't drive an automatic then I'd say part of your problems arise from the repeated foot work your right leg is producing when you're changing gears. I'm 8 wks from a RTHR posterior approach and drive an automatic in USA but even at that it causes lots of discomfort and swelling. On top of that I only drive 20 mins tops a couple of times a week. Do you have any leg length difference? That can also play a part in making the driving cause more discomfort in my experience. Can you sit more at work? There are some good lymph / PT folks in Dublin if that's any use to you I can send you some info? Either way... Hope you're having a good night sleep right now
 
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NH2020

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@Eman85 thank you. If I had found this forum before surgery I wouldn't have been so hung up on the 6 week thing and in hindsight I'd have taken 3 months off.
@Dublingal thank you. I lived in the US for 20 years and in PA for the last 10! I am from the Midlands and drive a manual. I dont have any leg discrepancies although in the beginning I thought my right leg was 6 inches longer :heehee: but that sorted itself. I try to sit at work but I work with special needs children so it's hard to do. I do intend on seeing my PT when this settles a bit. Right now I dont want anyone touching the leg. It's nice to hear from someone who had theirs done around the same time. How has your recovery been so far?
 

Eman85

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Best I can tell you is sit and elevate every chance you get and bring ice packs with you where ever you go. Many have iced while driving and working. I used an icing machine so I was even able to sleep with it on. For me the only thing that worked was doing nothing but allowing the muscles to rest.
 

melquist

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One of the most important things that I learned at this website is my concept that I was going to have a speedy recovery with minimal pain like so many say they have had isn't the case for many people. I was so upset at how much I was struggling. Well you know what, we are all different. The timeline of recovery is unique to each of us. Those who had a speedy recovery, wonderful for them, but for those of us who things go slower, that is okay. It takes time. The healing process can't be sped up, manipulated, cajoled or ignored. It demands patience and kindness to our bodies. The articles on this website are gold; they map out a course of action. These articles are as important as the surgery itself. Hope you feel better everyday. Happy healing from a fellow hipster.
 
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NH2020

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@Eman85 and @melquist thank you so much for your replies. Icing does help me lots. Yes I had a very unrealistic expectation about recovery. I have a friend who had both hips done in 2011 and had zero pain after so I was hoping for the same. I hope I never have to have the other done but if I do I have learned a lot from this one and i will not push myself. I woke up this morning and wasnt too bad but by the time I finished work I was swollen pretty bad again so I will continue icing. On the very big plus side...pre op I could never get a good nights sleep...post op I am really sleeping very well. This has been the best part for me
 

leejaa

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I am glad that the icing is helping. Is there a way you can take ice with you to work and try to ice on any breaks as well as getting your legs up on something - somewhat elevating.

I had two posterior replacements as you can see from my signature. I took it very easy and slow and steady with lots of ice/elevation and had good recoveries. As you said, you have learned lots if you need the other hip done. For now, keep taking it slower and resting more and you will get to that pain free life.
 

Layla

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:wave: Happy Three Month Anniversary!
Hopefully you’re enjoying steady progress. We’d love to hear from you as time allows.
Stay safe and well! :)
 

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