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THR Total Hip on Nov 4

subie2021

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When I first found this site, I read a lot of the recovery threads to see how it went for others. Although some folks have had problems, most have fairly smooth sailing through recovery. The best tip I picked up was to not overdo any kind of activity post surgery, just go slow and easy.

I prepared for surgery and downtime by doing what PT exercises for hip and core that I had learned over the past couple of years. I don't know that they helped, but I'm pretty sure they didn't set me back. I spent the two weeks before surgery doing what is normally fall housecleaning, just because I'm picky and wouldn't be able to tolerate knowing things were left undone. We stocked the cupboard and freezer with fixings for easy but healthful meals.

I bought a hip kit from Amazon; it had a couple of reachers, a leg lifter, long shoehorn, dressing hook, and a "sock machine"; a shower transfer bench because my tub has extra high sides; and a raised toilet seat with handles. I already had a cane, but I wish I had the kind that stands up by itself.

The toilet seat has been indispensable. I would recommend having a reacher in every room. I hooker one to my walker but after I ditched the walker for a cane, found that a reacher nearby wherever I am makes life easier.

I have two recovery nests. One in the living room at a nice recliner with a side table that holds remotes, phone, ipad, and anything else I need. The other is in the bedroom where DH and I switched sides of the bed. Plenty of pillows nearby, and a spot to hang or set daily clothes.

I was home within 4 or 5 hours of coming out of surgery and am still surprised at how well things are going and how much I can do on my own. The first two days took a little adjustment due to needing meds changed, but other than that it's not been bad at all.

Best wishes for a great outcome!
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Puppyluvr and :welome:

@subie2021 has given you lots of great information, and first hand knowledge from Those who really Know is the beauty of this forum.
Here are some other pre-op articles you may find informative.

Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home

Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Jaycey

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@Puppyluvr Welcome to BoneSmart! Which hip are you having replaced? We will put the information in your signature for you.
 

58hippain

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You will find a lot of great information, resources, and advice on this page. I had left hip done Aug 16 and getting right done November 18. I found this site by accident searching for what to expect. Subies advice was spot on for some things you might want to get. Its a nervous time but try and relax. My left hip went amazing and being pain free is incredible. Now when I walk my left hip feels good and all my pain is on right complete opposite of pre surgery. Best of luck you will do great. Questions the search tool on here always has someone that experienced what your going through.
 

Puggles

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@Puppyluvr ---I love your user name! My profile pic is our sweet, 11-year-old pug we
adopted last year. I'm glad you found this site! I have learned so much valuable info here ( haven't had surgery---yet!)

I also read the post-op board, and am on about page 12 now. So much
great info and tips for recovery!

You will also find much encouragement! That has
helped me immensely, because I'm terrified to have my much needed hip
replacement(s). :yikes:
 
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Puppyluvr

Puppyluvr

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Hi Puggles and fellow Hipsters!
My surgery date has been moved up to next week, Oct 28th. Long story short, my company did a big layoff yesterday and I’m no longer employed. My surgery was Nov 4 but my medical insurance only pays thru Oct 31st then I can go on COBRA. I know very little about cobra other than the premiums are ridiculously high, and I’m not going to blindly trust that they will pay as much as my insurance for the surgery. Last thing I need is a bill in the tens of thousands. Luckily my surgeon had a last minute cancellation for next Thursday so I can get my surgery while I’m still insured!! Yay
(Unfortunately I’m still gonna need to find a job after I recover).
The stress of all of this, my layoff, finances, surgery, is getting to me.
I’m not ready, I’m not ready and now I’m panicking. Hoping this list will help:
1. Buy Hip kit items on Amazon
2. Get a walker
3. Get an elevated toilet.
4. But a 2nd Grabber
5. Get house cleaned
6. Shop for food/frozen stuff
7. Do laundry
8. Set up resting area in family room
(Maybe a tall chair, pillow, table, crossword puzzles, tv remote, hand sanitizer)??

Anyone have other things I should add to my list? I’m feeling a little better already. Thank you
 

djklaugh

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@Puppyluvr I am so sorry to hear of your employment mess! But it is very fortunate that you were able to move the surgery up and that it will be covered by the insurance! Keep in mind that while the insurance will cover the surgery it probably will not cover any post-op visits or PT (if you need any). Yes COBRA is expensive but if you can afford it it might be your best short term option. Other thoughts ... do you have a spouse who could add you to their insurance? Or does your state have a health insurance program? Or there is the federal government plan https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/plan-information/plans/ The draw back to those last 3 options might be that you could not continue to receive care from your current provider(s)

Your list of things to have looks comprehensive. You could also check to see if your area has any Senior Services Centers - where I live those programs have equipment that they loan out - like walkers, bath benches, bed side commodes (that can be used to go around a toilet to provide an elevated seat), etc.
As for the resting area - it would be better to have a recliner (if you have one) or a comfortable bed or couch so you can elevate your leg.

And while I know job hunting is going to be very important to you, you will not feel like doing much of anything right after surgery ... and for nearly everyone it is recommended that you not return to work for 12 weeks at least. That does depend a lot on the kind of work you do - work that can be done at home via computer and phone might be doable sooner.

Best of luck to you! And to keep us informed of your progress. We do like to help.
 

Eman85

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I didn't buy a hip kit. I went to local thrift store and filled just about everything I needed. There is tons of this stuff just sitting around. Borrowed a walker from a friend that had it sitting around.
 
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Sulliy

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Puppyluvr
Welcome, so sorry to read about your job.
Hopefully you will have your hip replacement done in time - fingers crossed. I can see you’ve had great advice already. My friend advised me to get a recliner chair, ice packs and omg they saved my life... and bigger pants because of the swelling. It really does help! Slippers are a good one too as my feet got cold when I was sat for a while.

You need stuff to do because for a while I didn’t sleep much or eat lots. Your body doesn’t need so much food or sleep because your not moving as much.
Netflix was a big help for me and books!

Bonesmart was most of all the best thing I did before and after as there are so many kind ,lovely people here to help.
You need to make sure you move! Do your exercises to the book and keep the painkillers topped up.

I was so scared but it was so worth it as I’m nearly 2 years in now and pain free.

My life was just a misery I was in so much pain I didn’t care about anything. I just waited until I could take my next lot of painkillers which didn’t really work! As I’m sure you know.

Now I don’t take painkillers at all, good luck I hope I helped as I was very lucky I had brilliant support.
 
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Puppyluvr

Puppyluvr

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Thank you all for the excellent tips!
Question: I’d assumed the Ortho office would provide ice machines and/or hip ice packs. Seems like an impt tool for recovery.
Do most Drs provide them post op? Do most insurances cover them?
Thanks,
 

CricketHip

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I was able to be fitted with a walker and a portable commode that could also fit over my toilet. This was done before they discharged me from the hospital and took them with me when going home and was covered by my insurance. You may want to ask if you will get one or both, also?
I wasn't given any ice packs, though. I stocked up on some large ones and would recommend having at least 4 so you never go without when in need.

I am so sorry about your work situation. I hope you can allow yourself time to heal and to re-group before tackling a new position.

Setting up your recovery space is so therapeutic, it helped my nervousness and helped me feel like I was taking positive action. Do you happen to have a recliner? Some members were able to place risers under theirs and made it much easier to get in and out of. I opted for renting an electric lift recliner, which made my recovery so much easier all the way around. You can research this through a home health supply store. They are great to sleep in, too.

Good luck, you are going to do just fine.
 

Going4fun

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Very smart to go forward with the surgery. Just a piece of information I learned from a friend. COBRA is retroactive. One, it takes time for the government or your company to send you the forms to fill out and so on. You don't get those forms the day after your end your employment.

And as long as you pay your bill (which again comes weeks after you end employment), the coverage you had while working remains in effect. COBRA is retroactive. But COBRA is very expensive because your employer is no longer contributing to your health insurance plan. You pick up ALL of that.

Anyway I think your made a good decision to move up surgery so that you don't even have to THINK about all of that.

Just know that you have like 30 to 45 days or something like that to make your first COBRA payment. Any care you received in the interim (between end of employment and first COBRA period) is covered exactly as if you had continued your employment with your company.
 

subie2021

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Puppyluvr,
Perhaps contact your surgeon's office -
My surgeon's office has a patient advocate that went over all sorts of things before my surgery, including what is needed and where to get it and who is responsible for paying for it. I hadn't purchased a walker because I wasn't sure which type to get, and the advocate had the proper one magically appear at my bedside at discharge time :0)
She also told me that I didn't have a co-pay for post op visits because they're covered under some sort of umbrella thing for the surgery. Your mileage may cary on that one, but it's something else to ask about.
Good luck! How fab that you were able to get a closer date!
 

Eman85

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My surgery and hospital stay came with the parting gift of an ice machine. I guess it was part of the compete package deal and as my OS said for my first THR stay as long as you like in the hospital you've met your deductible.
Sorry to hear about your employment/ health insurance situation. I had a different type of situation and instead of COBRA I went through the Market Place/ Affordable Care Act plans and found better insurance than I had when I worked much cheaper than COBRA.
 

Schaargi

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Hi @Puppyluvr!

1. COBRA is seamless. Do you have paperwork? It just continues as it would while you were getting it through your employer. (Except now YOU pay the premiums.)

2. What approach are you having? Anterior, posterior, antero-lateral, lateral? I didn't pay attention to which approach I was having and it caused me some confusion, as I was listening to a bunch of concerns that had to do with other approaches. The approach doesn't matter in the long run, but it helps to know so that you can figure out what you can and can't safely do in the weeks after your surgery.

3. Dogs are the BEST!

4. I'm right behind you with my surgery on Nov. 2. We can keep track of each other!
 

Layla

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I’d assumed the Ortho office would provide ice machines and/or hip ice packs. Seems like an impt tool for recovery.
Do most Drs provide them post op?
Call and ask.
My surgeon provided what turned out to be my favorite ice pack as it contained two large pockets, sewn down the middle separating them. The ice packs were held inside each pocket with a simple Velcro closure and could be easily removed to re-freeze. What I loved about it was that it held two hefty ice packs. I could fold it in half so one ice pack was on top of the other, or open it wide to cover a much larger area. I also had several other smaller ones so I was assured to never be without. I was an icing fanatic. :ice: :yes:
 

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