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THR on March 6th, 4 mos. after spinal surgery

Jenniferj

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I gotta say, the back surgery was a cake walk when it was all said and done. I wasn't at all nervous, I just wanted to walk upright again (stenosis had the L4/L5 down to less than 5mm - doc said there was nearly no room left).

But this, the hip thing, which has been bothering me to some degree for probably the last 20 years (started with just "catching" at times, being very painful - until I moved just right and it went completely away - till the next time). I am a grown woman and should not be scared - not after having bone cut out of my back, but I am. My mother has had both of hers replaced and said it's nothing to worry about - but I do. I've been walking and working in pain for over two years, and I'm tired. My body, my emotions and my soul are weary of this journey.

I'm normally a very active person, a two time cancer survivor (breast and early stage esophageal) but these last two years have really packed on the pounds - and I think that's what makes me the most nervous. I'm also the caretaker of my mother and our house/yard and work full time.

So, my question is this - for those that are, or have had a THR, and are overweight - I'm talking like 80-100lbs - how did it work for you?
Has your doctor advised certain things because of your weight?
I've been told that to avoid any risk of fracture - I can't put more than 25lbs of weight on it. How the heck do they even figure that, when at best you've got at least 100lbs on your frame from the torso up?
Crutches were suggested by the pre-op staff, but PT folks don't think it's a good idea (imagine a giraffe on stilts) I honestly don't know what to think at this point except that something needs to be done.

I've become a regular for the electric carts at Walmart, even sitting on a bench waiting for one, if I have to and it usually takes me longer to get the groceries IN the house than it did for me to buy them.
And the way I'm walking and favoring it now has my back hurting again. I'm only good for about 20 or so steps before I have to stop, about 30-45 minutes of activity before I have to sit down, and only a couple hours before it hurts to sit. (usually it starts to burn)

So, that's most of my story, in a rather large nutshell... Anyone have any advice, suggestions - other than to take the weight off, fully intend to do that when I can move without pain - or just a similar situation or fears?

Glad I found you all - I'm hoping this as well as the back surgery.

Jennifer
 

Jaycey

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Welcome to BoneSmart!
I gotta say, the back surgery was a cake walk when it was all said and done.
Well my friend if you spinal surgery was easy then you will sail through THR recovery. Although my spinal surgery was a bit more complex than a laminectomy I found that recovery just SO difficult. I was also terrified before my LTHR and recovery seemed totally daunting. Quite honestly - it wasn't. Sure there are temporary restrictions. But my hip just didn't want to move that way so they were very easy to follow.
I'm also the caretaker of my mother and our house/yard and work full time.
First and foremost - you will need help with this. Your focus in the first weeks must be on recovery. Trying to juggle any other activity with recovery will only lengthen the time and may impact the result.
Crutches were suggested by the pre-op staff
I would take their suggestion. You can not be partially weight bearing without walking aides. A walker is another option - but you will need something to help you move about.

Take things slow and steady. Ice, elevate and take your pain medication around the clock, as prescribed. Do come back and ask all your questions here. We have all been there and understand your concerns.
 
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Jenniferj

Jenniferj

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Thanks for the kind words Jaycey. I'm determined to make this work well, regardless of anything. The hospital staff is aware of my situation and if I have to, I'll find a way to pay for some help. Mom has too much retirement income to get much help at all (she brings home more than I do and I work full time). What I'm most concerned about, and what has made me just go for it, is the nerves in my legs. With my hip messed up I can't tell what issues are from the hip and what are residual from the back. I hope that in end you back surgery did you well... mine did - I had been walking bent over for months (doc didn't think the MRI showed it as being that bad so he put me off) I'm leery of the meds... my body gets nauseous on barbituates and opiods, severely, unless I just sleep them off. I have the crutches already (was prepared to use them even before surgery) and a nice walker that I'd bought my mom while going through chemo. I just SO want the pain in my hip and legs to go away.
 

Jaycey

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I'm determined to make this work well, regardless of anything.
Good - it will work. THR is a fantastic success rate. It is literally life changing surgery.
What I'm most concerned about, and what has made me just go for it, is the nerves in my legs. With my hip messed up I can't tell what issues are from the hip and what are residual from the back.
This is a tough one. My back surgery was unsuccessful so for years what was actually a failing hip was diagnosed as lower back issues. You are walking all wrong trying to stay off that sore hip. In most cases all this settles post THR. Just give it time.
I'm leery of the meds... my body gets nauseous on barbituates and opiods, severely, unless I just sleep them off.
I can't take any of the opioids. But there are plenty of alternatives. Discuss this with your surgeon. There are also anti-nausea meds.
 

Josephine

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I am a grown woman and should not be scared
Age is no barrier to nerves!
for those that are, or have had a THR, and are overweight - I'm talking like 80-100lbs - how did it work for you?
Never paid much attention to it actually. I weigh a lot more than that and I had two knees done!
I once nursed a patient who had her knee done with a BMI of 63 (400lbs) and she did very well.
Has your doctor advised certain things because of your weight?
He'd better not even try!
I've been told that to avoid any risk of fracture - I can't put more than 25lbs of weight on it. How the heck do they even figure that
Just what I was thinking! That;s like telling someone setting off on a drive to be careful not to have an accident!
Somewhat pointless, I'd say!
Crutches were suggested by the pre-op staff, but PT folks don't think it's a good idea
I don't see why. If you need aids to get about then use them. Much better than walking in agony.
I've become a regular for the electric carts at Walmart
Me too! I think they're great things and they can turn on a sixpence!
it usually takes me longer to get the groceries IN the house than it did for me to buy them.
Me also but would you like to know how I got around that? I bought one of these CLAX trolleys! Wasn't cheap but it's highly maneuverable and easy to fold. Worth every penny!

crax 1-horz.jpg
 

sharonslp

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Jennifer, hello. Pretty soon it will be time for concrete action instead of worrying about what lies ahead. I was 50 pounds overweight before I had my two THRs. They restored my mobility and subsequently I was able to take off the extra weight.

Jaycey is right; recovery takes center stage. This is the time to put yourself first. I know...doesn't seem right. But it's what they tell parents on planes...put on your own oxygen first; then tend to your child. Give yourself the gift of a bunch of weeks to hire out whatever absolutely can't wait. Yard work....some teen nearby needs the money. Helping your mom....hire someone. Getting groceries...do you live in an area that now has a grocery delivery service like Shipt? Defiinitely worth checking into.

Pain control is important. How did you manage after the spinal surgery? And if the strong stuff knocks you out, that's not a bad thing. Sleep is incredibly healing. Perhaps reserve the opioids for bedtime, and get by during the day on whatever else you use.

That trolley that Jo shows in her post....I have a wagon like that! I've had it for over 20 years, and it comes in handy for so many things. I use mine regularly to take trash out to the dumpster in my apartment complex.

Anyway....just know you aren't alone. People are here day and night to coach you through all this. In a few months or so, when the worst of the surgery pain has subsided, I think you'll be delighted to see your strength and stamina start to return.
 

Layla

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Hi @Jenniferj
Wishing you all the best tomorrow.
We'll look forward to your first update on the Recovery side.
I believe you're going to love the result :flwrysmile:
 

Carriemay60

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I will be thinking of you today and looking for you on the recovery forum.
:flwrysmile:
 

Mojo333

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See you on the healing side...we are rooting for you!:yes!:
 

Lola115

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You've got this! Wishing you all the best today :flwrysmile:
 

Jaycey

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See you on the recovery side soon! All the best today!
 

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