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Old 12-12-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Hip replacement recovery and stairs

Question? How long after hip replacement surgery can I climb the stairs. I live in a tri-level house and am worried how I'm going to do it? Should I plan on staying downstairs in the living room for a few weeks or will I have enough strenght to go upstairs (about 12 stairs) worried :0(
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by magaco View Post
Question? How long after hip replacement surgery can I climb the stairs. I live in a tri-level house and am worried how I'm going to do it? Should I plan on staying downstairs in the living room for a few weeks or will I have enough strenght to go upstairs (about 12 stairs) worried :0(
Dear magaco:
I have had two hip replacements, one each hip.

At that time, I lived in a condo with an elevator, laundry in my unit, and no stairs at all to climb. (I have since moved to live with my daughter and we have a house with an entrance for me with no steps - why have steps if not necessary?)

In my opinion it would be a great idea for you to move your bed and dresser etc. downstairs for a while until you have worked with climbing stairs - and that very gradually too. 12 steps is a lot I think. Why rush things? Why be a hero? You only get one recovery and I think it is wise to be very careful not to overdo anything.

I hope you have a bathroom downstairs? And I hope you will obtain every dressing aid and have a toilet riser with arms. For sitting at your computer, a very sturdy chair with arms. A bed rail at the top of the bed on the side you usually sleep on is also a very big help. I had one and wouldn't have given it up for millions! That is how helpful it was. If you get all the aids you can be very independent and not have to have help with dressing, toileting, getting in and out of bed. This raises the morale of not only you but the rest of the people living in your home (if there are others.)

Shirley H.
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Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:30 AM   #3
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

Thanks I do have a bathroom downstairs, but to get to the kitchen i have 4 steps up and to get to the shower I have to go all the way upstairs. . You mentioned having your hips replaced one year apart. My doctor mentioned he had patients have them as soon as 3 months after the first surgery. I work at an elementary school as a secretary and I don't want to return to work for 3-4 months after surgery then go out again for the other. Im considering doing the other leg asap, but not sure if its realistic. What do you think? I'm 40 years old and hope my recovery is quick but I'm going to not be stubborn and I want to give my body time to heal. I only get one shot at recovery so I want to be careful.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

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Originally Posted by magaco View Post
Thanks I do have a bathroom downstairs, but to get to the kitchen i have 4 steps up and to get to the shower I have to go all the way upstairs. . You mentioned having your hips replaced one year apart. My doctor mentioned he had patients have them as soon as 3 months after the first surgery. I work at an elementary school as a secretary and I don't want to return to work for 3-4 months after surgery then go out again for the other. Im considering doing the other leg asap, but not sure if its realistic. What do you think? I'm 40 years old and hope my recovery is quick but I'm going to not be stubborn and I want to give my body time to heal. I only get one shot at recovery so I want to be careful.
Hi magaco:
I think it would be a wise plan to have one hip done and see how that goes. That would be the best way to decide when to have the other hip replaced.
There is no predicting how your recovery will go, and my experience is that each one is different.

I know how you wish to plan ahead what with your job and all. I wonder if the doctor who talked about some patients replacing the next hip in 3 months would do if he were to do it himself?

Looking back, I think I was wise to wait for a year before doing the second hip. Of course age might have something to do with that since I am about 40plus years older than you! It took that long for me to feel really back to normal. Other readers here may have had a different experience.

Shirley H.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

A quick "howdy" to Silver Swan. I know she posted when I went through my hip replacement. Fortunately it looks like I'll only need one hip replaced.

Quick history: A backpacker and runner my entire life I began to have severe hip pain at age 46. Diagnosis was right hip dysplasia as my left hip continues to look and feel great. I had my right hip replaced at age 48. Just had my two year check up and everything looks great.

Now back to your question about stairs. I was only in the hospital about 48 hours. But one thing they wanted me to be able to do was to climb stairs before I was released. So I guess you'd have to define "climb stairs". I would step up with my non-operative leg, place my cane on the stair, drag my operative leg up. At this point I was unable to even get into or out of a car by myself, but I was able, at 2 days, to "climb" 15 stairs to my bedroom and bathroom. It took me a month to be able to tie my shoe on my operative leg. But I was able to drive at about 2 weeks and went back to work in 16 days. I agree with Silver Swan. One hip at a time.........definitely! There are different ways of doing these operations these days, but mine included completely detaching 3 muscles from the bone and the reattaching them with sutures. So, the problem was not the hip, but I had no muscle strength. I had my replacement at Mayo in Rochester, MN. Those boys know their stuff. I just finished my first marathon since the replacement this past October. The more I use my hip the better it feels. Best wishes. Keep us informed!

 
Old 12-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

Ps. toilet seat riser and "sock helper" are musts. You just can't bend down that far after the surgery.

 
Old 12-19-2011, 02:02 PM   #7
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

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Originally Posted by Squaretop View Post
Ps. toilet seat riser and "sock helper" are musts. You just can't bend down that far after the surgery.

Hi Squaretop:
Yes, the toilet seat riser is a must and I had one with arms which was a lifesaver, and so is the "sock helper". I also had a long handled shoe horn and a grabber which helped me with the socks and shoes.

You were quite a hero(ine) climbing those 15 stairs. It seems that all hospitals teach one to climb stairs before they will let you go home.

You say you have run a marathon since the hip replacement. I was warned about "high impact" exercises. Of course even when young and with great hips I was not inclined toward running - much less marathons! Just not my thing but I did mow a huge suburban lawn and shovel a two car garage driveway in MN and we always had tons of snow.

Is it OK with your hip surgeon for you to do running?

So good to hear about your good results!

Shirley H.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:56 AM   #8
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

He remarked that my cortical bone has responded well to the prosthesis and is now thicker than the contra-lateral side. No, he's not thrilled. But he mentioned many other things I could do that in my opinion put a lot more stress on the hip like tennis, racket ball, big time backpacking with 50lb loads, downhill skiing(with a risk of wipe out). He just won't get on board with running and encougages walking and cycling the most. And he's right. I plan only one more marathon, next year, and then I'll have to stop it. As I've said before, it the hip lasts 28 years instead of 30 because I ran a couple of marathons, then I can live with that. If it lasts ten, then I've made a huge mistake that I will regret and will be forced to live with. But it actually feels better when I use it. If I've been off for a few weeks it feels a bit stiff.

 
Old 12-20-2011, 06:11 AM   #9
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squaretop View Post
He remarked that my cortical bone has responded well to the prosthesis and is now thicker than the contra-lateral side. No, he's not thrilled. But he mentioned many other things I could do that in my opinion put a lot more stress on the hip like tennis, racket ball, big time backpacking with 50lb loads, downhill skiing(with a risk of wipe out). He just won't get on board with running and encougages walking and cycling the most. And he's right. I plan only one more marathon, next year, and then I'll have to stop it. As I've said before, it the hip lasts 28 years instead of 30 because I ran a couple of marathons, then I can live with that. If it lasts ten, then I've made a huge mistake that I will regret and will be forced to live with. But it actually feels better when I use it. If I've been off for a few weeks it feels a bit stiff.
Hi Squaretop:
Please - quit with the marathons! I agree with you that the activities your surgeon suggested as OK seem very stressful, but they don't last as long at one time as a marathon.

I worry about your hip replacement. After going through it all it would be such a shame to cause some damage and need further surgery to repair that damage.

But of course, it is up to you to decide what is best for you.

I do think that walking and cycling are excellent exercises for those with hip replacements, and also for others with their original hips. We were designed to walk. Use it or lose it to coin a phrase.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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Re: Hip replacement recovery and stairs

They won't let you out of the hospital untill you can climb stairs, its slow going,but don't worry you can do it. Up with the good and down with the bad. I have had 3 hip replacments, my house is 3 levels with bedroom upstairs,the biggest pain is having extra canes or walkers or whatever once you reach the floor you want.

 
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