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[THR] Wonkyhipoy Recovery<<

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by wonkyhipoy, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi @wonkyhipoy
    Nice update, thanks! It sounds like you're doing well for the most part.
    My surgeon is one that recomended I wait three months before taking a bath, using a hot tub, pool, lake etc. I followed his instruction without question. I came to find he was a stickler on many things that I noticed other OS's weren't in reading here. I figured since it was all short term, I'd abide by his instruction. If I hadn't and something went wrong, I'd kick myself.

    You're right, recovery isn't black and white and that's why we're not to compare. Easier said than done, I understand. But...we all come to the party in different stages of deterioration, possible pre-existing health conditions in some, different pain thresholds etc. As long as you're making steady progress, I wouldn't be concerned.

    I have to agree, the book on pain that you mentioned sounds interesting.
    Keep up the great work and enjoy the week!
     
  2. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    um...here it is https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/grateful-double-hippy.41215/
    but no tee-hees about how big of a whiner I was:boohoo:
    Hey, that might be exactly right...lets shoot for that!:egypdance:
     
  3. wonkyhipoy

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    Hi @Josephine,

    I had a couple of questions that I thought your expertise could answer for me. I seem to keep tweaking something and feeling pain in the front of my hip (can’t find the pain diagram you use, but it is right in the hip crease, dead center of the leg). No pain unless bearing weight, and more painful when taking weight off the leg than with bearing weight. Pretty sure it is the recurs femorus or psoas based on your previous feedback.

    When I left the hospital I was told not to twist (body or legs) when turning while walking. Instead, I was told to take tiny steps to avoid twisting the operative leg. Most of my restrictions were removed at week 6 (I am 8 1/2 weeks out now), with the exception of the 90 degrees limitation and external rotation with knee bent. But I was not given any specific instructions on walking again. I find that when walking or standing, I twist to turn instead of taking the small steps. This is what seems to tweak things.

    So, here are the questions I am hoping you can answer:

    1. How long should one continue to take small steps to turn?
    2. Is it the muscle I am tweaking when twisting, or am I disturbing the hip capsule, or something else.
    3. At eight weeks, how should I be turning when walking (I can find very little guidance from the hospital pamphlets on this)?

    Any light you can shed on these questions would be most appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  4. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Happy Two Month Anniversary!
    Wishing you the best as you continue on your healing journey.
    A great week to you!
    @wonkyhipoy
     
  5. wonkyhipoy

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  6. Barbaraj

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    Oh, boy @wonkyhipoy, I think a lot of folks can relate to your frustration of wanting stuff spelled out with precision; this whole "every recovery is individual" stuff is truly maddening! When left to our drug addled minds, assuming a person is still taking narcotics, it's hard to make judicious decisions about one's pain medication schedule, amount of activity vs lounging, how much icing, how much elevating, etc. I felt so muddled that first week or so. I'm currently not taking any narcotics (stopped a day or two ago, but had only been taking them at night) and I'm currently taking 1000 mg Tylenol when I first get up when I'm pretty stiff, and also right before bed in the evening as well. I think the dose I'll cut back next when it feels reasonable is the second night time dose. And I am also willing to accept (although not without a bit of argument and petulance if it happens) that I might have a downturn at some point and need to take more Tylenol and/or take Tramadol or even the oxy again. None of us really knows how recovery will go, and trying not to get frustrated (yeah, easier said than done) with ourselves when we slide back a bit. As I continually remind myself, we are ALL going to get there (pain free hips and no brainer walking) eventually. Hang in there!
     
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  7. Lski

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    Hi! I’m in week 12 of recovery and still don’t know what is too much or not enough. Details are what I like to have but detailed instructions on how to get back to “normal” activity and wean off meds are not to be found yet. I’m persistent and see you are also questioning the recovery timeline. Hoping @Josephine can assist. I seem to be having a similar pain in the same location and find if I go up stairs leading with the new hip it increases the pain, so back to using 2 feet per step rather than one until I’m stronger.
     
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  8. wonkyhipoy

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    @Lski, when do you feel the pain. On lifting the leg, or on weight bearing. My massage therapist believes that for me, I have strained my rectus femoris as I have a number of sore points near where it originates on the hip. If the pain were on lifting, he said it would likely be the hip flexors (he did a psaos massage, but I felt no pain).

    @Barbaraj et al - Regarding activity, here is something I learned that absolutely shocked me. I got an Apple Watch for my Birthday from my wife on Friday. Went to work yesterday, doing my usual routine, though trying to not do as much as I normally do. I have a desk job, so I figured my activity level would be pretty low, certainly lower than when I was at home doing my walks. So last night I opened up the Health App on my phone, which collects data from the watch. Well here was my surprise... I managed to walk 4 KM yesterday... a full KM more than my days at home with deliberate walks. Not deliberately setting out on short walks... just moving around the office, walking to and from the office, grabbing a coffee downstairs, etc. So here is the lesson I just learned... even with a desk job, the simple act of working is a ton of activity... specifically walking. No wonder we are tired and sore after work. So, my advice to any out there who are thinking about heading back to work at 5 weeks like I did, if you have trouble walking 2-3 KM (in a day) when at home, you are not ready for work just yet.

    Cheers
     
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  9. Jaycey

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    @wonkyhipoy you have discovered what we always try to warn about. Even a desk job has a level of activity that is bound to be more than recovering at home. Then there is the stress of getting up early and the travel to and from work. It all adds up quickly. Factor in no "down time" and you can hit that fatigue brick wall pretty quickly. Returning to work at only 5 weeks out is pretty aggressive. I hope you can get some rest every evening.
     
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  10. Barbaraj

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    I have a fitness watch, a Withings Activite, which I have worn for a couple of years now, @wonkyhipoy, and it is was admittedly depressing the last few year to see my daily step count drop lower and lower due to the need to limit my activity because I didn’t want to deal with the onset of pain. I did pretty well at striking a balance between staying fairly active but not overdoing it. The last two weeks my step counter is downright laughable, and I worry I am not doing enough. But then a walk through Costco has me huffing and puffing and I realize I am doing what I can and slowing way down is the “new normal” for awhile. I am impressed you have had the energy to return to work at such an early date, and agree with @Jaycey that I hope at least when you return home at the end of the work day you give yourself the luxury of collapsing and recovering. I know there is probably a “high” associated with returning to the real world again but the energy drain must hit like a smart slap upside the head at times!
     
  11. wonkyhipoy

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    @Jaycey and @Barbaraj, thanks for your comments. I am now almost 9 weeks, so the energy drain isn't there like it was. I did a gradual return and now work a full 5 days (starting this week), with two of those days remotely. Sadly, there is no collapsing and resting at the end of the day as I have four year old. But I am getting on pretty good. That said, I do not get tired all that much (really haven't since week three). I kept a fairly active lifestyle prior to surgery, and while I put on about 10 lbs over the last couple of years, I still managed to exercise pretty vigorously at least three days a week (more during the summer leading up to the replacement). That said, the hip muscles do get very tired in and of themselves. Walking really tires them out... a sort of "good for 700 meters to a kilometer and then I needs to take 5(or 30 :)). This is much further than where I was only a few weeks ago, but not nearly as far as I wish it was, which just highlights my impatience.

    Cheers
     
  12. Lski

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    Your doing great. I am in week 13 and still experiencing energy drain due to lack of sleep & stressful job that I started on PT work at home basis at week 5. Now working 3 full days at home& 2 half day at the office with water therapy right afterwards. Exhausted by mid afternoon most days.
     
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  13. Lski

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    I never answered your question about when I feel pain. Currently pain is constant. I had noticed yesterday it increased when I stepped up with the operated leg. Today that's not happening anymore, but when I was sitting and stretched my operated leg forward to slide on my flip flop I experienced a sharp pain again. This recovery has so much unexpected pains pings, zings, crackles etc. What a journey, we shall endure and struggle through until the pain is gone and we forget we ever had a hip replacement.
     
  14. Mojo333

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    :wave:Hope you are getting some rest this weekend @wonkyhipoy
    Pop in and update us when you can!
     
  15. wonkyhipoy

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    Hi all,

    Well I am coming up on 11 weeks, and thought I would give an update. I was going to give an update last Thursday as everything looked to be going really well, but then I had a bit of a depressing set back, and didn't feel like posting much. But I have some time today, so I thought I would give everyone an update on how I am progressing.

    My strength seems to be really improving. I can navigate stairs pretty well both up and down and my ROM has definitely improved. It is nice to walk without a forward leaning limp like I used (could not eve stand straight up on my op leg prior to surgery), so that is a huge win. Two weekends ago I took my wife to Cirque. Went for a 2 KM walk with my little one in the morning and then out and about in the afternoon and evening. The Apple Watch told me I walked 7.7 KM total hat day. Sunday was much the same... walk in the AM with the little one (not as far mind you) pushing my little on around on the swing with my even younger niece. All good... all without pain... some evening soreness, but nothing really painful.

    The following week was pretty good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with planned walks of 1.3 - 1.5 km, and totally about 4.5 KM per day (this includes any walking... around the house, at the office, grabbing lunch, etc.). Everything was going really well. I had some start up pain when getting out of my chair, but after a number of steps it went away.

    Then Thursday hit. Thursday around noon, I was working remotely, so I took the dog for a walk... about 1.7 KM. This walk however went up a fairly steep hill, and back down a steep hill on the other side. I started feeling pain in the front of my hip/groin area. The pain was not there when resting or sitting or even standing... only when walking. The exact location is difficult to pin point, but it would shoot down into the top of my knee. So, I rested Friday. While the pain that shoots down my leg into the knee subsided, I am again experience sharp pain in the front of my hip/groin area.

    I am going to take a moment to describe the pain in more detail here as I have done a fairly exhaustive search of the forums, and I cannot find any posts with people experiencing similar pain. The pain is a sharp piercing pain that occurs seemingly when I am walking and turning right (I had a left THR), or when I am transferring weight to my op leg with my toe pointed inwards). There is zero pain when sitting, resting, laying down, or just standing as describe above. Additionally, I can raise my up leg (both with a bent knee and straight knee) without any pain at all. I find that I can walk slowly and deliberately for fairly long distances (800 meter - 1.2 KM... which takes 10 - 12 minutes or longer), but if I pick up the pace, this same pain occurs when my leg is extended and my heal is hitting the ground (the heal part of heal toe walking). The pain is surprisingly sharp, and on the weekend that just past (the Saturday) I had a very difficult time just walking around. I am seeing my PT today to see if he can help identify which muscle it is. Based on the pain pattern, the psaos muscle seems unlikely... also, my MT massaged my psoas and I barely felt anything... only pressure. I am wondering if one of my adductors is the issue, or one of the quad muscles. Hopefully the PT will be able to identify the issue because it has been almost 5 days, and while the pain has subsided a little, one wrong step and it is right back.

    As I said, I searched the forum and did not find any similar descriptions of upper thigh/groin pain (most of the posts indicated a deep ache and sharp pain on lifting the leg), but if anyone experienced this, I would love to hear tips on how to get through it.

    The other somewhat scary issue for me is an inability to rotate my op leg when bent. Let me describe this. If I sit with legs hanging of the bed (in a seated position, hip and leg both bent to 90 degrees, like in a chair but legs on touching the ground) and try to rotate my leg so my heal of the dangling foot crosses my mid-line, there is almost no movement. If I lie down, and raise my leg with my knee and hip both bent to 90 degrees and try the same move, only no resistance from gravity, I do get more movement, but very weak. So what I am wondering is, is this normal for 10 weeks post of of the posterior lateral approach?

    Would love to get some feedback from all of you on these two issues.

    The other thing I wanted to add is that I promised a review of the pain book I bought recently. I will post a review in the coming days, but I did find the book very helpful for explaining the nerve pain I was feeling... which is completely gone for the most part! I will again post the name of the book when I post the review, but I am really glad I bought it.

    Anyway, that's all for now. I still think my recovery is going fairly, though I have to admit that it is difficult to stay positive when I have these setbacks... especially considering how far post op I am. I cannot imagine how some people are golfing and playing doubles tennis at 3 months out. Seems like statistical outliers to me. But every time I read some hospital site say "most people recover in 6-12 weeks", I feel like I was sold a bill of goods. Based on peoples feedback on this site, and other forums... the average recovery is more like 6-12 months.

    Okay, I want to end on a positive note, because as I said, I do think my recovery is still improving, and am optimistic for the future. So, one more piece of good news about my recovery... I can sleep on my side! Not my op side... though I have not tried that yet... but all night on my non op side. This may seem minor for most, but I have not been able to sleep on either side for the better part of two years without waking up with horrible nerve pain shooting down the front of my leg to the shin. So now that I can sleep on my non op side (which is my dominant side anyway), I am pain free. Hooray!

    Cheers
     
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  16. lovesstars

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    Hi there @wonkyhipoy ! I, for one, am happy that you have posted. You are a couple of weeks ahead of me and I have really appreciated hearing how you are doing.

    I have not had the precise pain you are talking about but I have experienced the achiness moving down to the knee which is telling me it is time to ice up and stop what I am doing.

    In terms of the movement you cannot yet do....I cannot yet do that either. I hope that I will be able to do that with time. Yesterday at the OS office I asked him when I would be able to tie my shoes. He said to me “you are there already” and directed me to move my leg into a position that I was actually not able to get into. He told me “well, then, I guess you can’t do it”. I replied that I hoped I would be able to do in a few weeks and he said nothing.

    As such, I will be REALLY INTERESTED to hear what your PT says (even though my OS says that “PT is for Psychological problems only...) because I would guess that he has a better sense of the big picture - and all these little small movements we don’t have back yet I hope we will be able to get back.

    I am delighted that so many things have improved for you. I hope that you are no longer sleeping downstairs away from everyone and are once again with your loved ones.
    Let us know what the PT says....okay?
     
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  17. wonkyhipoy

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    Hey @lovesstars ,

    PT appointment went well. Put me through a bunch of tests for the iliapsoas, all normal there from his perspective. Did a couple more and believes the problem to be with the adductors... specifically the adductor brevis, though he said it could be a couple of these muscles as I had a number of pain points. Basically told to do nothing to aggravate it (no more uphill or down hill walks) for the next 3 weeks. And to use the quarter turn when walking.

    Unfortunately my ROM is not where he thinks it should be for this far out. I am still on restrictions (had some lifted, but the 90 degree and bent external rotation are in place for two more weeks... the bent external rotation is for life though). As such, I can only stretch to 90 degrees (tieing my shoes is out for now... though I wear slip-one anyway). PT was surprised the restrictions were still in place. It was the fellow and not the OS that told me about the restrictions, so I might call and clarify... but PT does not want me to push it until the restrictions are removed. What’s two more weeks. So no exercises (not doing any exercises anyway), but lots of gentle stretching, self massage, and heat on the groin (or alternating heat and ice since I still ice the hip daily).

    The other thing I forgot to mention is my distance without needing a rest is not where I want it, but quite possibly where it should be. I can go for about 1 KM before needing to stop for 30 seconds or so. And 2 KMs total is my max at one time... at which point I need to rest for a good couple of hours.

    Cheers
     
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  18. Barbaraj

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    Oh, not much fun to be hitting a wall, @wonkyhipoy, but it sounds like you're taking it in stride and doing what you know you should, resting up, taking it easy, icing/heating and trying to be patient with yourself. I agree with your frustration about being sold this foolish bill of goods by some websites which cheerily suggest you'll be all healed and your old self within 6 to 12 weeks. I think it may be true that you'll have a lot of your "old self" back, but to say you are completely healed and able to do whatever you want, that's simply not true--false advertising completely!

    But, congrats on the side sleeping! I had an anterior approach and was able to sleep on my non-operated side from the start, but certainly have read many, many groaning posts from folks who are normally side sleepers who've been forced to sleep on their backs. I was grateful for that, and although my sleep isn't always grand, being able to sleep on my side is a huge relief for me. So, being to sleep pain free on your side--big step!
     
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  19. wonkyhipoy

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    Okay all... just watched this You Tube video... a guy runs a obstacle course marathon...

    He has no legs!

    Suddenly my hip recovery issues seem far less challenging now.

     
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  20. Lski

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    Side sleeping is wonderful. I am able to sleep on my left side, I can roll onto my right but can't stay there long & sleep. I also hit a wall a few weeks ago, I awoke from a nap in pain like only 3 weeks out, but on the verge of 3 months. It subsided this weekend, I may have had an infection. I took antibiotics on Friday morning before my dentist appointment, then rested Saturday and felt better Sunday. Seeing my OS today to learn more.
     

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