THR What were your pre-op symptoms?

Jamie

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It's official. My right hip that has bothered me off and on for almost 10 years finally is bad enough that my surgeon says it needs to be replaced. My surgery is August 23, 2022.

I noticed my right hip was "different" from the left one almost 15 years ago. When my personal trainer had me doing side steps around the track, I didn't have the flexibility with my right hip that I did with the left. And if I really worked at those side steps, my hip would actually hurt for a few days afterwards. But it would go away and the hip worked okay.

Fast forward to 2014. My right hip was hurting in the groin area and I made a visit to my orthopedic surgeon for an x-ray. Nothing looked that bad and I went home thinking I had just injured some soft tissue. Life got busy after that. When my hip would hurt (usually after doing something really strenuous), I'd just use heat and rest for a few days and things would be pretty much okay again. There was always some pain in the hip and I noticed a gradual loss of range of motion in it. The loss of range of motion eventually started impacting my stride and I had to walk a little slower because of it. But I could still do all the things I wanted to do and was quite active taking care of two houses and an ill husband.

But this past year, things have gotten worse. The pain in my groin is pretty much a constant 2-3 level that can go up to and 8 or so at night when trying to sleep if I've been especially active during the day. I had a bunch of landscaping done in the back yard and this Spring was busy getting things planted and arranged. I toted bags of rock and dirt, put planter boxes together, moved yard items and furniture all over the place, and just generally did a lot of work that involved the hip. Maybe all that work kind of helped it along. By the time I got to the surgeon to have it x-rayed, it was clear there was some narrowing in at least one spot on the cup. It wasn't quite bone on bone, but definitely getting there. And he confirmed it was the source of my pain. So it will be replaced now before it gets any worse.

I'm lucky, I suppose, that I still can walk up and down stairs (just more slowly). I can lift and carry heavy items with no problem. But I cannot rotate my leg backwards or out to the side very much and it hurts to do that. Plus sleeping has become a real challenge because of the groin pain. At times when I walk I get a feeling of weakness in that hip compared to the left one and it can sometimes feel like the joint is going to give way. My gait is definitely not what it should be and my balance is suffering from the feeling that my right leg is weaker than the left.

I'm in preparation mode now.....getting the items I will need for recovery but don't have, prepping the house, making and freezing meals, doctor appointments, schedule the puppy to be boarded for a few weeks, lining up friends to help with transportation and errands....all that stuff that a person should do to get ready for being somewhat limited in activity for at least 6 weeks.
 

Mojo333

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@Jamie
The "bad hip" pain manifestations you describe bring me back to pre-op days...
No comfortable way to sit, sleep, walk, bend... went from annoying to extremely uncomfortable to depressingly chronic pain.
I'm sorry you are looking at another surgery/recovery but you know you have a plethora of support and encouragement here!
:friends:
 

Pumpkin

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Welcome to Hip Pre Op!

Just in case you could use a few reminders:

Vintage BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

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

I know you will do great and be back in your garden in no time, if only to pick a few tomatoes.
 
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Jaycey

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Welcome to the hippie side Jamie! You're going to love that new titanium hip!
 

Layla

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Sorry you have to go through the whole shebang, Jamie, but just think how good you’ll be feeling by Christmas time with that shiny new hip, minus the pain. :banana-santa:
 

djklaugh

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@Jamie I am sorry you have to go through another surgery and sincerely hope your recuperation is smooth and soon completed. Be sure to ask any questions you might have ... you know we have your back!
 

benne68

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The pain in my groin is pretty much a constant 2-3 level that can go up to and 8 or so at night when trying to sleep if I've been especially active during the day.
Oh, how I remember that groin pain! FWIW, I found the recovery from my THR much easier (and faster) than from my TKR. The fact that you are still able to be so active should help.

We're here to do what ever we can to help!
 
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Jamie

Jamie

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I'm amazed that I'm experiencing some of the same concerns our new BoneSmart members often get about....do I really need this surgery? My hip was not bone on bone and the last couple of days it's been feeling fairly good. I've been working with BoneSmart for almost 15 years and I still am doubting my decision! My logic says just do it and move on. My emotion says maybe it's not really all that bad.

Time to list out the limiting things my hip is causing in my life. I suspect it's not quite as painful right now because I've not been doing as much heavy work out in the yard the past week or so. I still do have to watch how and where I walk because it just feels "off." Is this a feeling others have had?

Even though I've been with BoneSmart all this time, my experience has been with knees and my shoulder. So I'm really lacking in the subtle symptoms of a bad hip. Maybe some of you all can share your pre-op experiences with me.
 

Jaycey

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Yes you can wait until things get worse. But remember that hips can go from tolerable to horrid literally overnight. I had no choice with my first THR. The hip just collapsed because I tried to ignore it for too long.

With my second hip, my experience was similar to yours. Nagging groin pain and sleep issues. But this round I decided to get the THR done and get on with living. My recovery was SO much easier not having limped around for years.

You are so lucky to have a surgery date. Many people here in the UK have years to wait. It's a bit of inconvenience now for a lifetime of doing all the things you love!
 

Ocean

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I wish I could go back and give myself a talking to about trying to convince myself that I didn’t really need the surgery. I could barely walk, had hip and lower back pain, I was getting very irritable and I couldn’t get comfortable sitting, standing or lying down.
My other leg was suffering and became just as painful in different places, everything hurt and both sides would feel unstable and would jerk as if I was going to fall.

I gradually became unable to properly do the housework and everything took an effort and a long time.

I only had the surgery a week ago but I’m so happy I could cry. It’s uncomfortable and a bit boring but I know I’m getting better.


Good luck with your surgery when the time comes.
 

subie2021

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My symptoms were pain, pain, and more pain. At the time, I thought it was manageable. But looking back, I realize that was because I let it manage me. As in passing on outings with friends because car trips of even an hour were too painful. And being relieved that Covid precautions got me off the hook for hosting family for Thanksgiving dinner and not having them with us for the first time in 45 years. And scheduling life around good days and bad days.
I hope, Jamie, that you find peace with your decision to have your hip fixed. I hope that you don't spend one day longer than necessary altering your life to accommodate the pain.
Best to you!
 
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Jamie

Jamie

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Thank you all so much for the personal experiences. It's so strange to "know" these things from working on the forum, but then to still doubt just like everyone does. Your comments have made me feel better about my decision. Although my groin pain is not horrible most of the time, it is still always there. I know it will never get better...only worse with time.

Yesterday as I was working in the yard outside, I felt it and wondered what it will be like to have a right hip that doesn't hurt like that. My left hip is okay and I never even think about it. Those type of thoughts help me know I'm making the right choice. I did the same with my second knee...got the replacement at the first sign of trouble and I've never regretted it. I suspect this hip will be the same.
 

Going4fun

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Deciding on surgery is not just an intellectual process. It's an emotional process as well. So it's normal that you "know" all the markers about the right time for surgery and still you have mixed feelings about going forward with surgery.

Totally normal.

I think hip surgeons go through the same process when they have to have surgery. They have years of experience as providers, but they are beginners (like everyone) when it comes to going through the process of surgery as a patient.

There are people who came here for one surgery, went through the process and they now need surgery on the other side and they go through the emotional rollercoaster again.

My "other" hip has been acting up for the past couple of weeks, more than it ever has before. The cartilage has been shrinking on that side, though not as bad as on the operated side before surgery. I have promised myself that when the early symptoms appear I would not delay surgery this time. I will probably call my surgeon or a local sports doc I know to take updated X-rays on the "good" hip.
 
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Jamie

Jamie

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Interesting thoughts, @Going4fun and I absolutely agree with them. I think you're right to get your second hip fixed before it becomes too much of a problem. Or at least get an image and see where you are.

I'm still having a tough time realizing that I'm really going to have a hip replacement. But I know it's the right choice. It bothers me most nights when trying to sleep and I think it's impacting my gait big time. That's making my knees and feet hurt. All dem bones are connected!
 

zauberflöte

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@Jamie welcome to the hip side! Your description of how long you've had pain has caused me to wonder just how long my little niggles were actually caused by my hip going bad-- all the time I spent thinking I was doing something wrong in my jogging but never dreamed of arthritis!
I'm so glad you've set a date! Next spring you'll be back out in that beautiful yard. But do beware! I discovered that it's still easy to overdo the heavy weight lifting even at eight or nine months out! :umm::whistle:
 

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I think I was the Queen of self doubts. I agree with Goin4fun, it's an emotional decision, also.

I remember feeling a sense of relief after making the surgery appointment. Still had doubts and days where I could convince myself a THR wasn't needed but then... those last few weeks were agony!

BTW- maybe you've tried them, but ice packs were super helpful for me. I seemed to be icing constantly but boy did it help.
With my last guided injection to buy me some time, the doctor commented on the edema in my bone marrow! No wonder that hip was so painful. So that's when the idea came to ice it like it was my job.
 

Going4fun

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To answer your headline question more specifically Jamie, I just scheduled an appointment with my sports medicine doctor. She's been treating my knee that has a sprained ligament. But she also treats hips nonsurgically.

I'm having trouble--having tightness in my inner thigh--in my good hip when I tie my shoe on that side. I remember that from operated-on hip last time. I don't like it. So part of my calculation will be do I have the energy to put up with this soreness I'm feeling. Last time I got tired of asking myself, "is it time for surgery." I delayed seven years.

Won't delay like that this time. We'll see how I feel and what the X-ray reveals when I see the doctor in 10 days. But I find the whole process of thinking about surgery to be emotionally exhausting. And I don't want to go through that exhaustion again. But this is me and my quirky thinking and my own quirky emotional life.

I get that others would put up with the pain and soreness a lot longer than me before asking for the surgery.
 
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newguy

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I could not walk any distance without pain, like to the mailbox. I was furniture surfing in the house so I would not fall. Was a runner for 50 years and could barely walk by the date of my surgery 7 months ago. Oh man what a great surgery!! I am walking upwards of 10 miles a day and even jogging up to 2 miles a day now. Not any pain. Take time to heal. Its great.
 

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For me, it was intermittent groin pain, hip pain and back pain, I unknowingly attributed my back pain to my back, not my hip. I did not resort to using an assistive device pre-op, because I didn’t need one. I took OTC meds on occasion only, because I don’t like them. As my surgery neared, I also experienced pain in the front of my thigh extending down to my knee. The biggest thing for me was the realization my world was shrinking. I was circling the parking lot, looking for the closest place to the door, declining invitations based on steps I may need to climb, or distances I may need to walk. I was leaning heavily on my shopping cart while at the store for support and less stress on my hip. I couldn’t even leisurely shop, it became In & Out, necessities only. No leisurely shopping…that’s where I draw the line!!! :heehee: In reality, it was time, there were a lot of silent tears, anxiety and all of the emotional stuff that most of us need to work through before scheduling surgery.
 
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Jamie

Jamie

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I appreciate everyone’s input. It is amazingly helpful to hear details from you all who have been through this process of deciding to have surgery. The process is emotionally draining! I am feeling a lot more confident this is the right decision even though I still can walk without a lot of pain. I’m hoping this will help my lower back pain as well. I know it can sometimes.
 

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