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what to do prior to surgery?

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team roper

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Jun 8, 2006
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Iam due to have hip replacement surgery on the 26th of this month. I would like to have any suggestions as to how to prepare for the surgery. Would you suggest exercise? Rest?

thank you
 

JGosse

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Jan 8, 2007
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The biggest point my doctors made was to stay healthy and avoid infection. Wash your hands a lot. They told me to get any needed dental work out of the way and to avoid falls (duh) and overexertion.

I also read in the AARP Magazine that showering with Chlorhexidene soap before you go to the hospital can get rid of germs on your skin that can cause infections in incisions. You can buy it at the drug store.

I've had blood tests, X-rays, EKG, checkups, surgery class...boy are they thorough! I appreciate that. THR in one week!

Judy
 

shanvey

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Oct 28, 2006
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My husband had his right hip replaced on 11/29/06. His doctor gave him a booklet of exercises to do. He recommended getting a recumbent bicycle and riding it 30 minutes every other day pre surgery and continuing after surgery. He started back riding the bike 5 days after his surgery. Other exercises he did was standing against a wall or door frame and squatting and holding the squat for 10 seconds and releasing for 10 seconds--he worked up to a set of 30 twice a day, lie flat and use your muscle to press your thigh down and hold for a count of 10, ankle pumps. The better your muscles are before the surgery, the better you will do recovering.
 

JGosse

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I think if I could squat like that I wouldn't need a hip replacement! My doctor did say that losing as much weight as possible (in a healthy way) was good. Knowing my weight was hurting my joints I started losing 6 months ago, then found out I needed the surgery in November. My doc is very happy I have lost 50 pounds. He also told me NOT to use a stationery bike because my hips are bone on bone and can be damaged further from repetitive motion. I think its important to ask your doctor about what exercise would be good for you.
 

shanvey

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Oct 28, 2006
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Judy,
My husband's "squat" was not much of a squat, but it was a slight squat and holding it. It helps to strengthen the muscles which will be needed to help with the recovery. He has bilateral avascular necrosis. The right femur head had totally collapsed and was bone on bone. He was in intense pain the last month before surgery. He is 6ft 2inches and weighed 220 pounds. The doctor recommended that he lose 20 pounds to help the new hips last longer. He has lost 22 pounds since October 2006. I am not sure why you were advised against the bike. Perhaps your OS's approach is different or has different beliefs. I am only telling what our OS recommended and has seemed to work for us. He was able to drive after the first week. He has got to have his left hip replaced also. We have that scheduled for late spring.
Good luck with your surgery and congratulations on your weight loss!
Sandy
 

JGosse

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Jan 8, 2007
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Yesterday I went to my pre-surgery class. We met with nurses, physical therapists and pharmacists. We were told that making your leg muscles strong was important. I was told again that repetitive motion excercise such as the bike were not advised. They recommended isometric muscle exercise to strengthen the thigh and calf muscles as well as ankle lifts. I do think that different doctors have quite different opinions of what is good for prep, materials and recovery. I hope your husband's surgery goes well. I'll be back on here after my surgery next week.
 

hipsearching

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Nov 26, 2006
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Dear Team Roper

I am going to give you a short answer now but can answer in more detail if you want. First of all, I agree with those who talked about getting yourself physically prepared before the surgery. Stretching, some mild weight lifting, some aerobic exercise to strengthen your legs all help. I could not run, could not even walk, but I could for some reason use an elliptical trainer. I did 40 minutes a day. My legs got stronger. You can see many postings about what people did before surgery that addresses the physical side of the preparation.

What I have not seen discussed in this forum is the mental/emotional/spiritual preparation. A friend of mine gave me the book, Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston. It helped me unbelieveably. It, and its accompanying cassette tape, lead me through guided meditation, visualization of the healing process, emotional connection to how the hip problem may be psychologically related to some unresolved areas of your life, developing a support system, and having the doctors read "Healing Statements" while you are unconscious in surgery. I can't believe the results. I just had the surgery on Jan 16 (this past Tuesday) and was pronounced well enough to go home Jan 18. This hospital normally keeps the patient 3 of 4 post operation days. I have not had to take ANY painkiller of any kind, not out of macho attitude but because I really did not feel the need. I was clear headed within hours after the surgery. The added benefit of no painkiller in your system is that the doc removed all tubes going into my body including the Foley catheter the day after surgery.

I am home now, into the work of rehab. I am stiff, swollen, but feel I am where I need to be. I do a rehab routine 3 times a day. It does tire me out, but it's okay because it does feel productive. I want to add that my doc was skeptical about the "healing statements" part but was open to giving it a try. When I left the hospital last night, he smiled and said, "There must be something to that stuff. You are way ahead of the curve." Incidentally, it was the anesthesiologist who read the statements. I think he is in the best position to see when you are unconscious. The doctor's original doubts were based on he did not think I would hear them because I was unconscious. When I told him that many hypnotized patients could recall verbatim what was said during surgery, he opened himself to it.

I still have a hard time believing that I am on the road to recovery so easily. I am not saying that the rehab is easy, it's just that my mental frame is so relaxed about this and seems to guide me on what to do. YOu can get details, if you are interested by reading the book. If you have any questions, just get back to me. Good luck on your travels.
 

JGosse

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Jan 8, 2007
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Thanks for the tips. I am certain that attitude and a strong desire to heal will put you ahead of the curve. I believe in "imaging" and have seen it work in sports as well as in healing. The patients who just sit back and wait for the doctors to make it all better are in for a more difficult recovery. My first surgery is tomorrow morning...think good thoughts!
 
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