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[THR] Two New Hips in Six Weeks

EL11

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Hi everyone—

I was on my third round of PT at a local hospital, to try and deal with the pain in my arthritic hips, when the therapist read me the riot act for not going to see an orthopedic surgeon. I was trying to put off the surgery, thinking I would be incapacitated for a long time. I am in the music business and have an unusually late-blooming career, also was about to move in with my boyfriend, into a house with stairs. The therapist convinced me I would be so much better off getting this done soon, and after a visit to the surgeon, I knew she was right. The surgeon told me I could have my other hip done 6 weeks after the first, so I booked both.

The operation, the anterior method, took 90 minutes. I opted for an epidural. I was not aware of any pain or of the surgery itself. I came home the next day.

I used a walker for a few days, then graduated to crutches, then one crutch after week 2. My pain has been pretty minimal, and I was able to climb our 15 stairs one at a time quite soon. I think that in another week at most, I will be walking unaided, at which point it will be almost time for operation #2. I already feel so much better than I did. I wish everyone here the very best.
 

Layla

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Hi! Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
Congratulations on the new hip. It sounds like you're doing well.

Check out the Recovery Guidlines below which contains many articles full of useful information.
Stop by often as you're healing. We'd love to offer encouragement and support along the journey.
I hope you have a nice week.


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
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

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. @EL11
 

Layla

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Please provide the date for your second surgery and which hip it will be.
The info for both hips will be added as your signature.
Thanks in advance.
@EL11
 
OP
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EL11

EL11

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Hi Layla,

I put both operations, past and scheduled, in my signature.
 

SurreyGirl

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All sounds very positive. The anterior approach seems to be better for a faster recovery. Interested in your “late” career as a musician. I play too so best of luck with it all.
 

Lski

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Welcome:) Glad your PT encouraged you to get some new hips sooner rather than later. I'm sure it will be worth it. You sound good with hip #1, well wishes for hip #2.
 
OP
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EL11

EL11

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It has indeed been positive; the pain is manageable and knowing it will pass makes it psychologically less bothersome than the arthritis pain. Waking up every day with that inflamed feeling in both hips was so fatiguing.

I think I overdid it yesterday with the unaided walking. I woke up in the middle of the night with more pain than I've had the last few days. Took another pain pill but it still hurt too much for me to sleep. I wanted my blue ice cushions but I'm sleeping upstairs now and didn't feel like going downstairs to the freezer, plus I worry about falling asleep with them. I also was without the memory foam wedge I'd left downstairs to elevate my legs. I wound up putting some pillows under my legs. It was like a miracle and I fell asleep right away.
 

Mojo333

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:welome: and shook happy to hear that your recovery is progressing and though you have another surgery to get through...a life without the horrid bone crunching hip pain is on the horizon!:tada:
Hope today is a good day!:SUNsmile:
 

EricNH

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Hi, I also had RTHR on 7/30/18 so 4 weeks today. I used the walker 3 days then moved to a cane for a week more moving to unaided at 10 days. Walking well doing PT twice a week and have two more weeks off from work. No real pain just numbness down front of leg and around my knee. It gets a little better each day and you will be going great it just takes time. Best of luck to you in your recovery and your upcoming surgery.
 
OP
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EL11

EL11

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That's great, Eric. Best of luck to you too.

In my follow-up appointment, I told the doctor that as a longtime exerciser, it felt so counter-intuitive not to be able to stretch after the strengthening exercises. He asked what stretches I meant, and I said for example where you sit and put your ankle over your knee and press the other knee backward. "No-o-o-o, don't do THATt!" he said. Naturally I won't, ha. It will be such a gift to be able to work out again.
 

Layla

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Hi @EL11
Please don't worry about falling asleep with the ice packs as long as you have a covering over them, or a pj
pant on. Something between your skin and the ice. I fell asleep with an oversized one on my incision nightly, when I'd wake 3-4 hrs after sleeping to use the bathroom, I'd grab a fresh one and fall back asleep. It worked wonders for me.
Wishing you a great week as you continue healing.
 
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EL11

EL11

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Hey Layla, thanks for the advice.

I need some kind of insulated bag for when I am upstairs, to put the second ice pillow in.

Wishing you a great week too.
 

Layla

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Happy One Month Anniversary!
I hope you're doing well.
Only eighteen days until Hip 2 is a match.
Wishing you comfort as you wait. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
@EL11
 
OP
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EL11

EL11

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Thanks, @Layla, wishing you the same.

Yep, eighteen days, amazing.

My friend told me that his neighbor, who is in her 80s, had a THR and three weeks later he saw her almost power-walking to the mailbox. But everyone, obviously, is different. I'm on and off the crutch today. And I sure am sleeping a lot.
 

Layla

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Hahaha! My mom was like that. She had her second THR at 81, 5 months ago. She came walking into her house (where I was waiting to spend the night with her) the evening of her second day, post surgery with only a cane! Made me nervous and I cautioned her to use the walker. She begrudgingly did until Day 9 when she was walking unassisted. She's very independent and extremely stubborn and said the walker got in her way! :heehee: She maintains she felt more sure footed without it. She did move slowly, thankfully.
I've since heard that the elderly may not feel pain in the same way as those younger? Not sure but interesting
if so. I borrowed her my lift recliner and she didn't like it. She said she didn't need a chair to catapult her.
Yep, catapult is the word she chose to use :doh:
@EL11
 
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EL11

EL11

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Catapult, ha.

There are so many factors. My roommate at the hospital might have been around my age, or younger for all I know—it's so hard to tell—but had numerous health problems. It was tough for her to make it to the loo and back.

I finally went and got my hair done on Saturday, bringing my single crutch, and I swear I must have talked to five people who'd had a joint replacement or knew a lot about it ("Knees are tougher than hips," said the Uber driver). Everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic.
 

lovesstars

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Your recovery sounds so smooth! I am so happy for you! Is it similarly smooth for other Anterior folks? Are Posteriors a bit slower...like watching paint dry?
 
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EL11

EL11

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The physical therapist came over to give me my release questionnaire and look at how I was doing, and said all was good and signed off.

I know we are reminded here that PT is not necessary for hips, but personally I have been glad to have a task aimed at strengthening my new one. The therapist gave me only one additional exercise, which was gently/repeatedly pushing off on the surgical side from the bottom stair of my 15 that go to the second floor. Remember, he said, in 2 1/2 weeks this will be your "good leg." My plan is to be very aware, not overdo, and ice/elevate more often, whether I feel that I need to or not.

I am on and off the one crutch. Limp a bit. He noticed that I had a little scoliosis, which the original therapist had mentioned last year, and that he could see my right leg was now a little longer. I have heard different comments about that, that it may or may not be temporary, but he said his mom actually did gain an inch (I didn't ask if she'd had both hips done).

I asked him about what exercises I could do when this is all over, and he said the surgeon would be most qualified to answer that because he'd know what was going on under the surface, literally, with my new hips. H said there were no restrictions basically but sometimes people who had done a lot of yoga were thinking they'd be able to put their foot behind their ear ...;-)
 

Jaycey

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H said there were no restrictions basically but sometimes people who had done a lot of yoga were thinking they'd be able to put their foot behind their ear
:yikes: Yikes!
 

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