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THP: Post-surgery--things they don't tell you!

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Old 07-18-2008, 08:26 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Topsfield, MA USA
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juliesul HB User
THP: Post-surgery--things they don't tell you!

Hi everyone!

I am 4 weeks post-surgery from a total hip replacement. Am doing great and am down to just two painkillers a day. Once I'm off the blood thinners I hope to move just to ibuprofen. My sister had this same surgery 2 years ago, and gave me some helpful hints--just wanted to pass them along!

1. Bed sores--I started to develop these rather quickly on my heels and elbows. I'd suggest you (1) wear socks in bed, (2) roll up a towel or put a small pillow under your ankles so your heels don't touch the bed, and (3) have neosporin, etc. on hand to rub on them. For elbows, I cut a pair of tube socks and wore them. After 2-3 weeks I was much more mobile so sores were no longer a problem.

2. Constipation--the pain meds really bind you up. I went home with a prescription stool softener, but found I still needed a laxative for the first 2-3 weeks. You may want to get an OTC version before surgery just to have on hand.

3. Car rides--I bought a triangular wedge pillow at Babies R Us before my surgery, and put it in the passenger seat. It keeps my bottom raised above my knees, and makes for a more comfortable ride. I wrapped it in a trash bag, and put another bag over the entire seat so I can slide in and out easily (don't do this if you're wearing shorts, however).

4. Walker vs crutches--You can opt for a walker post-surgery, especially if like me you have knee problems (arthritis, torn cartilage). I used crutches only for the stairs and found the walker much easier to use (and it's not so hard on the upper body and under arms). I've now graduated to a cane, but use the walker later in the day when I'm tired.

5. Equipment--Be sure you have a "grabber"--I use it to help with laundry, and most importantly, getting dressed (it's great for pulling up pants!). I have been sleeping in a hospital bed on the first floor, I assumed I'd rent it only for a month, but plan to keep it for one more. It's great to have when I want to rest or take a nap.

Good luck everyone! Despite my knee problems, my gait is better now than before my surgery. Each week I feel stronger, and hope to gain more flexibility with continued PT and lessening of the precautions.

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Old 08-06-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: tulsa, OK,USA
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michamouse1 HB User
Re: THP: Post-surgery--things they don't tell you!

Thanks for all the tips. I go in for THR next week and am trying to predict what I might need. You didn't mention clothing though. Did you find certain articles of clothing more comfortable than others? Like pajama bottoms vs. nightgown?

Old 08-07-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: THP: Post-surgery--things they don't tell you!

hi michamouse1:

Any time I have been in a hospital I found it most comfortable to just use the hospital gowns. They will provide a robe if asked, I think, or give you two gowns, one to tie in front and the other tie in back for complete coverage. For getting up out of bed you won't want PJ pants bottoms I think.

If you are going into a rehab facility, you can still use the gowns they provide, or bring a nightgown/s from home. Need shoes and street clothes for the physical therapy which usually happens in another room with other patients present. Comfy clothes like slacks and tee shirts or sweat shirts are good for the therapy sessions.

At first we ladies all just wore the sockies with the non slip stuff on the bottom, then graduated to socks and shoes a little later. Used a wheelchair to get to and from dining room and therapy room for just a few days, then went to a walker and could wear the sockies or shoes.

Take enough changes of underwear and socks, tops and bottoms, for however many days you will be at the rehab facility if that is where you are going after a couple days in the hospital. When I got home after the two weeks in the rehab place, I wore a duster day and night and no underwear. Saves time and energy.

Shirley H.

Old 08-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington
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SallyG HB User
Re: THP: Post-surgery--things they don't tell you!

Re: clothing/sleeping wear... you won't really want pants. Nightgowns or I found that big oversized boxer shorts worked well for underwear/sleeping wear. They gave me some cool cheapo disposable mesh underwear that were loose and perfect for fitting over the incision without pain for use in the hospital.

I think you're well prepared!
Best wishes.

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