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bossygirl 04-28-2009 10:18 AM

When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
I had THR almost 5 weeks ago and am progressing well, but the pain, stiffness and discomfort at and around the surgery site is really causing me problems. I am doing my exercises, maybe too much up and on my feet all day, and am trying to stay away from the pain meds as much as I can. Does anyone have experience or advise to offer me? How long does it take to feel normal again without that pain? When do I get off the crutches to walk just with cane? When is normal return to work time(sitting at computer all day long)? Feeling a bit discouraged today but having some info. and input will help me to guage where I am in my recovery and what to expect. Any advice or insight is appreciated.

Holly

Silver Swan 04-28-2009 12:59 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
[QUOTE=bossygirl;3969185]I had THR almost 5 weeks ago and am progressing well, but the pain, stiffness and discomfort at and around the surgery site is really causing me problems. I am doing my exercises, maybe too much up and on my feet all day, and am trying to stay away from the pain meds as much as I can. Does anyone have experience or advise to offer me? How long does it take to feel normal again without that pain? When do I get off the crutches to walk just with cane? When is normal return to work time(sitting at computer all day long)? Feeling a bit discouraged today but having some info. and input will help me to guage where I am in my recovery and what to expect. Any advice or insight is appreciated.

Holly[/QUOTE]


My dear bossygirl:

Only 5 weeks after your hip replacement is, in my opinion, as the people in the UK, say, "very early days". Not only that - you may be overdoing the exercising. The Physical Therapists at the rehab facility told me to not do more than one set of each of the on-the-bed thigh exercises per day when I got home, when I had commented that I would do them often. They said once a day was enough. (I was surprised.) Walking could be done endlessly according to them - in fact, walking a lot is the best exercise after a hip replacement! So take it easy with those exercises. You are probably tiring yourself. Any time I overdid anything I really felt it the next day and was sorry.

Being on your feet all day definitely sounds like too much. If you are at home - alternate walking, sitting, lying on the bed - being in one position for too long leads to stiffness when you get up. That does go away, but why put yourself through that? Vary your activities and positions but not so much of any one kind. Do plenty of lying down and resting. Hip replacement is MAJOR SURGERY.

It sounds to me like you are very impatient! Please stop going at things so hard. I found that worked well for me. Everything I say is of course based on my own experience. I found that improvements came just about every day. Slow but sure, girl. ;)

Shirley H.

bossygirl 04-28-2009 03:31 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Hi Shirley,
Thanks for your input and advice. I think you are right that I have been overdoing it, and I am an impatient person at the best of times, not used to staying still. I am only 50 so pretty active and finding it hard. I have been going out on my crutches and walking to the subway and going downtown for a bit this week as I don't drive a car, but by the time I get home, am beat and pains in my shoulders and everywhere from using the crutches so much.

I need to relax and take it easy. My family doctor even gave me some clonozopam to help me calm down as I am a bit high strung(but I am not taking it). I think I figured it's better to do too much instead of not enough but it has been taking a toll and I think I now have some swelling around the scar.

I think rest is the key, I will try.

Silver Swan 04-29-2009 04:37 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Hi again bossygirl:

I have always been very active, too, mowing a large suburban lawn, shoveling a double garage driveway for decades - but then I started getting osteoarthritis in my hips - unknown to me for a while, but it kept getting worse.

We moved from the suburbs so now I have no lawn work to do. Good thing! I miss it though. Right now my left hip osteoarthritis keeps me from going for walks. Replaced right hip is perfect!

I too find it hard to be inactive. But the more I would walk, the more I ache. There was a period of time - weeks - where I could not sleep at night because of pain in both legs and did not realize it was from my hips. There was no med that covered the pain until my doctor prescribed Percocet. I finally was able to sleep for four nights and that made the pain go away.

Spine doctor finally said your hips are terribly arthritic. That was when I decided to have the hip replacement. Doctor said that right hip was 100 times worse than the left hip, but both needed replacing.

The more one exercises with bad hip arthritis, the worse the pain gets. At least that is my experience.

So, bossygirl, make yourself slow down and listen to your body. When something hurts, you are doing too much! Take meds to take off the edge, if necessary. Right now I find extra strength acetaminophen does it for me. When I get this other hip replaced I hope to be off that completely.

Shirley H.

bossygirl 04-30-2009 04:42 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Thanks again for your input. You are right in all you say. I know I have overdone it and now have to pay the price. My hands are numb and getting callouses from using the crutches too much, my tailbone and left shoulder aches so I know I have been doing too much. Time to slow down and relax about it all. The physiotherapist is coming today so I will discuss with her.
Do the majority of people that have hip replacement often need the other one done also? My left hip had moderate arthritis but with overcompensating to the left side, sometimes now I have left hip pain too...scary...

liverpool sue 04-30-2009 05:20 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
hello bossygirl (are you bossy??;) ). i would agree with just about everything shirley has said, and would certainly repeat - it IS very early days in your recovery. the recovery period isn't a race, it's far better to take whatever time we each need to recover to our fullest possible potential after a hip replacement, or indeed any major surgery. i was 51 (6 years ago) when i had both mine resurfaced, 10 months apart, and was on crutches for 6 weeks with each, then 2 sticks (canes) for another 6 weeks, then down to one. the worst part for me, being a mum and housewife, was accepting the very necessary help i needed while recovering, and to learn to sit back and not fret - to watch my husband take 2 hours to do the ironing which would have taken me about 30 minutes was extremely frustrating!
hip replacement ops are so common that we all tend to forget that it's still major surgery, and we need to be kind to ourselves, slow down and just accept we're going to take as long as it takes to get properly fit again.
don't be afraid of pain meds either, they really do have their place in these early days. better to be pain free and able to relax and recover, than worry about taking something.
you'll get there in the end. good luck,
sue

WindieOne 04-30-2009 05:59 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Hi Bossygirl,

I too just had a hip done, my surgery was on 3/30/09. Like you I also am having discomfort along the incision. Although the hip is coming right along and the incision has healed real nicely, most of my pain is now inside and around the scar. There was a lot of tissue in the leg that was seriously disturbed during the surgery so I assume that the pain is just a reminder that there is still a lot of healing going on in there even though everything looks fine on the outside. Just my two cents... ;)

WindieOne 04-30-2009 01:46 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Bossygirl,

I asked my physical therapist this morning about the pain along the incision. Her thought is that I'm building scar tissue under the incision and that gentle massage along the incision could help break that scar tissue down. That makes since to me because, sometimes when I sit it feels like I'm sitting on a rolled up newspaper or something.

Good luck with your recovery. :wave:

bossygirl 05-01-2009 05:41 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Thanks ladies,
My physiotherapist was here yesterday also and she massaged the scar area for me and down the outside of my leg, hurt like heck that part but as you said, there is alot of disturbed tissue in there. I took it really easy yesterday and have alot less pain today. That is kind of cute about the husband and the ironing, we must all be patient I guess and take it slow. Every day we will be closer to full recovery and pain free walking and better quality of life!
A question also-sometimes when I get out of bed and sit on the edge, I feel a funny pain like in my butt(same side as surgery), just comes and then is gone. Did anyone else have that?

Larimergirl 05-01-2009 09:02 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
I had lots of sensitivity around the scar area and got some twinges when sitting on edge of bed, etc for a while. Most of it just goes away gradually. However, was getting a massage the other day and the massage therapist was a little too aggressive in the scar area and I felt it for a few hours, but no harm done. I'm just going to remind subsequent therapists to be gentler in the scar area. But, I think massage has helped the underlying tissue. On May 4 I'll hit my official 9 month anniversary. I find that I'm almost good as new on the operated side. Any restrictions in bending, or moving, come from the non-operated side which will have to be replaced at some point. I'm just not ready for a second surgery yet. Anyway, everyone heals at a different pace and some of the aches and pains you notice now, will gradually subside.

WindieOne 05-02-2009 06:38 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Larimergirl,

How soon after your hip surgery did you feel healed enough to start having the scar area massaged?

Larimergirl 05-02-2009 10:27 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
I had some lymphatic massage (very gentle) after three weeks, but avoided the scar area. Probably didn't do anything near scar until 4-6 months. Generally I just remind therapist to be careful around the scar. She doesn't do deep massage in the area, but I've found i can tolerate a somewhat moderate pressure now.

memaple 05-04-2009 09:34 AM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Hi everyone. I had my LTHR 4 days ago. I was able to leave the hospital 22 hours after surgery. I used a walker when I first came home but today, I found that using a cane was easier. I went back to the hospital today to have my clotting level of my blood checked since my surgeon puts patients on coumadin for 2 weeks. I was able to walk very well with the cane. I was allergic to all the opiate pain meds and now I am just on Tramadol, which is very mild and doesn't give me the heaves. I am scheduledd to go for PT tomorrow and have been doing some exercise already. I have pain at the site of the incision, but nothing compared to what I suffered for the last 4 years.
My leg is stiff but if you remember what was done to it in surgery, it is easy to understand why!!!!
I am so happy that this is over and I only have to remember to take care during the next six weeks. Life is so much better already!!!!
You have to have patience with yourself, and every day, things will get better.

Kathy

bluesman357 08-22-2011 01:25 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
Hi bossygirl.
I had my hip done before the past holiday season, I was able to do away with the crutches a week later, but here it is August and I still have issues, but keep in mind that I have had both knees replaced as well, and they still give me some issues as well. I tell all my friends "if I was a horse they would have put me down a long time ago", but I just try and keep my head held up and truck on every day. I know my post probably didn't help you none, as the person who posted earlier said, just take your time at it, this wasn't like a hang nail, so be patient ok..It will come in time.

Silver Swan 08-22-2011 01:48 PM

Re: When Does The Pain and Stiffness Go After THR?
 
[QUOTE=WindieOne;3973478]Larimergirl,

How soon after your hip surgery did you feel healed enough to start having the scar area massaged?[/QUOTE]

Hi Everyone:
I know this massage question is 2 years old, but having seen scar massage referred to several times on this forum, I would like to say that I never felt a need to have either of the scars massaged from my 2 hip replacements. The last replacement's incision closing had a couple bumpy spots from the beginning after the surgery, but now almost 2 years later the bumps are going down and I think I will end up with a smooth scar line. The first scar was never lumpy and using a mirror to look at it, I see the scar fading. I am not concerned about the appearance of either scar since I am 82 and not going to be in a bikini any time soon - and couldn't care less about scars! But I do understand the concern of other people about having smooth scar lines. :cool:

Shirley H.


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