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THR Trying to understand recovery from anterior hip replacement

brez

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Hi.. I'm 68 years old and had an anterior hip replacement on 11/20. I sort of had the feeling that I read the brochure and drank the kool aid expecting a faster recovery, particularly even walking, after three months. While I'm pain free and still rehabbing, walking distances is tough and my gait is anything but normal. My surgeon and physical therapist suggest I'm doing o.k. but i thought, based on what i read about the procedure, that walking and over coming de conditioning would have been much easier and much further along.
So the reason I've joined this forum, is in a sense, to compare notes and find out how others have done at the three month point.. and why??
I'm working at it but my gait is not right, my foot striking is awkward and I'm wondering, when and if this changes.... please let me know your thoughts

thank you
 

Pumpkln

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@brez
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us! :welome:
Sounds like you are on the slow train to recovery. Everyone recovers at their own pace, you cannot compare yourself to others, or even the other hip on the same person.

Your will notice I have added you to the November Nimbles recovery team, there you will find others who had surgery around the same time as you. November Nimbles

I'm working at it but my gait is not right, my foot striking is awkward and I'm wondering,
Have you purchased new shoes, you old wear pattern may impact your gait with old shoes.

Here are the Hip Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

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 these pages on the website


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 the 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 the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Layla

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Hello @brez Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
Even though you’re tempted to compare recoveries, please try not to. We each recover at our own pace for a variety of reasons. We all arrive at surgery with our hip in varying degrees of deterioration. Some limping and using assistive devices for long periods of time, others exercising and engaging in activity right up until their surgery date. Certainly wasn’t my story, but not an unfamiliar one here.

I'm pain free
This is wonderful! I recall when I was disappointed with the inability to do something as quickly as I wanted post op, I’d promptly remind myself that the pain was GONE and if this is as good as it gets, I’m okay with it. Please don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a year long recovery and some continue to notice progress way beyond their first year.

I’m wondering if you’ve tried heel-toe walking for the limp? If not, here’s a tip -
Try heel-toe walking when you're limping.
This involves striking the ground with your heel first, then rolling through your heel to your toe, and pushing out of the step with your toe.
It takes a concentrated effort, but I believe you'll notice a difference. Give it a try.

Also, trust the reassurance you’ve received for both your surgeon and PT. If they feel you’re progressing as you should try to have confidence in that since they have patients to draw on for comparison sake. Hang in there, you’ll get there! :)
 

Eman85

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Both of mine were posterior so I can't say anything about anterior but it seems it's all the same except my scar is in the back. As far as walking goes it took some time for me to figure out that slow with good form was more important than fast and long distance. I did no PT aside from some lying in bed leg movements and walking. Early on I'd drive to the walking track at my local park as it was paved and flat. I'd have to really concentrate on posture and heel toe strides. Very early on my walking was done at Walmart using a shopping cart as a walker and concentrating on form.
 
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brez

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thank you... again... bring on any experiences etc..... with covid isolation and this recovery its gets old fast.... then again, I have the time to recover... no one can say there's lots of outside distractin
 

Going4fun

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Just to piggyback on the wisdom of others.

How far can you walk?

Are you using a walker or a cane or walking without an assistive device?

Finally can't you do that you think you were supposed to do at this point?

And yes, there is a lot of hype about the anterior approach. Lay people tend to forget that the approach is an outline of how a surgeon will cut. It's the skill of the surgeon that really matters. Translation: there are excellent anterior approach surgeons and mediocre anterior approach surgeons--and everything in between--just as there are with the other approaches.
 

FCBayern

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thank you... again... bring on any experiences etc..... with covid isolation and this recovery its gets old fast.... then again, I have the time to recover... no one can say there's lots of outside distraction
I was actually pretty pleased to have my hip recovery during the winter when I wasn't really missing much anyway @brez. Covid is one more reason. Hopefully by the time you feel up to activities the world will be open again (fingers crossed). Concentrate on heel toe walking and I'm sure you will continue to see positive improvement.
 

ForumUser

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My experience - when I first began walking, even with a cane I forced myself to almost march and to stand tall ... then, when walking outside I asked my wife drop back and yell at me if I wasn’t straight ... just kept at this approach.
 

Eman85

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Having both of mine done in winter months was my choice and worked out well for me. My first in Feb. was actually too late in winter as spring weather started and I was anxious and found myself overdoing pretty often. The Nov. date worked out well especially for the holidays. I dodged Covid with recovery and we're home bodies so it really isn't that big of a deal. Having the time to recover and not push to get back to work makes for the best recovery.
 

Celle

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Hip replacement is a major surgery and its not one you can recover from in just a few weeks. For many people, it can take a full year before they're completely back to normal.

In other words, if you think of it as a race, it's a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to pace yourself and use lots of patience.

You probably walked with an abnormal gait before your surgery, as you were trying to take weight off your bad hip. Now, you need to learn a new habit, of walking correctly.
Try to walk with a heel to toe gait, as the image shows. Sometimes it helps if you can watch yourself in a mirror.
heel-toe-gait.jpg
 
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brez

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all good advice.. thank you... keep em coming... these comments really matter.....
 

FCBayern

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Glad you are finding the forum helpful @brez, I know it helped me through both TKR and THR.
 

Merrytaylor

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I’m 12 weeks since my anterior surgery on December 1st of last year. I’m walking normally and distances - about a mile. The heel to toe helped a lot in the early days.
 

Pants

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Hi.. I'm 68 years old and had an anterior hip replacement on 11/20. I sort of had the feeling that I read the brochure and drank the kool aid expecting a faster recovery, particularly even walking, after three months. While I'm pain free and still rehabbing, walking distances is tough and my gait is anything but normal. My surgeon and physical therapist suggest I'm doing o.k. but i thought, based on what i read about the procedure, that walking and over coming de conditioning would have been much easier and much further along.
So the reason I've joined this forum, is in a sense, to compare notes and find out how others have done at the three month point.. and why??
I'm working at it but my gait is not right, my foot striking is awkward and I'm wondering, when and if this changes.... please let me know your thoughts

thank you
I had my surgery 12/21 and still have a hard time when I first get up from sitting. I was like you and thought I could feel nothing after. WRONG. my back is a big issue but hopefully that will lesson . I guess we need to go slow and easy , which is hard
 

Jamie

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@brez and @Pants ..... both of you are great candidates for our pilot program we are conducting with OneStep. You should have received a personal message (PM) from me with an invitation to participate, but perhaps you missed it. I'll send it to you both again.

The OneStep pilot is an easy-to-use app that bases its physical therapy program on gait training analysis. You have a personalized program and your own therapist available at no cost to you during the pilot. Please consider participating, as I think it could help both of you with recovery.
 
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brez

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your pilot program says 3 weeks pre or post op.. i'm three months.. that still good?
 

Layla

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Hi @brez
Let’s tag @Jamie to make sure she sees your question.

I hope your weekend is a good one!
 

Jamie

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Yep, it's okay.....check the rest of that sentence and you'll see that we have flexibility to expand those dates based on a person's need for gait analysis.
 
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brez

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I;m actually struggling to figure out how to keep messaging.. Again,daily struggle with new hip, now 3 3/4 months out.. I'm walking without a cane.. but still hobbling a bit... also stiffness in hip joint seems endless.... with this ultimately go away with work?? p/t ??
 

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