Discussions that mention tylenol

Knee & Hip Problems board

I've had both of my hips replaced in separate surgeries. The experiences were quite different from each other. I had a pretty typical experience for the first hip. Several months later I had the second hip done (same surgeon, hospital, PT, surgical approach, and prosthesis) and I was totally amazed at how fast I was back on my feet. So you can't necessarily draw reliable conclusions based on your first experience. Nevertheless, for me and I imagine for you, the first surgery was the opportunity to learn - what to do and what not to do. I did some things differently for the 2nd based on my experience with hip #1. Also there was some advantage in learning "the drill". I even skipped OT (at my request) in the hospital.

While I didn't have the anterior approach, I do know how it differs from the kind I had. One big difference is in the immediate post-op restrictions. This is why the surgeon that you mention can claim that his patients can tie their own shoe the next day. Anterior approach (antero-lateral) surgery makes this possible. The approach to the hip is made obliquely from the front. The patient is lying supine on the operation table. In this position (theoretically) the surgeon may assess and compare leg lengths during the surgery.

Two disadvantages of this approach are:

a risk of damage to the many small nerves that cross this area close to the skin.
the surgeon must cut partially into the tendon of the middle gluteus muscle which results in a longer period of postoperative limp.

Minimal incision surgery, for those who qualify, may work fine. But the smaller the incision, the harder it is for the surgeon to see what he's doing in there. The risk of fracture of the femur is higher in so-called mini-incision or MIS. However the notion of a smaller incision is attractive to patients, for cosmetic reasons and is being hyped by the companies who make the special surgical tools that are necessary to do this. Also there is more than one method of doing MIS and not everyone qualifies for the procedure. There is an MIS that uses two VERY small incisions. There are also incisions that, while they are considerable shorter than the conventional lengths (mine are 11" long!), are a single incision of about 4" or so. This is also called mini-incision.

After 4 years, my 11" incisions have almost disappeared.

The 6 week hiatus from driving would not be unusual and is sort of standard. I had this although I felt ready at 5 weeks and just phoned the Dr. and asked if he'd give me the ok. He did. One reason for this is that they don't want you driving while you still take any kind of med that would impair judgment, such as pain pills.

Which brings me to a factor that I think made a big difference in my recoveries for the 2 surgeries, and that was related to using pain meds after I got home. I was given a Rx for Tylenol3 but discovered that it made me: drowsy so I wanted to sleep all day; eventually nauseated so I didn't want to eat. Result was I didn't sleep well at night (because I slept most of the day). So after hip #2, I didn't even fill the Rx and took the max doses of OTC Tylenol and Tylenol PM at night. The result was that I stayed awake during the day and was tired enough at night to get a little bit of sleep. Also I wasn't nauseated and so could enjoy eating. I was on a single crutch in about a month.

As to your work, of course you can't predict how you will do. It also depends on the nature of your job which you'll have to assess for yourself. I think the best job to return to early would be one that allows you to spend some time sitting, standing, walking and changing position, but doesn't require you to lift and carry much of anything. This kind of job would be the easiest to return to early.

I'd also like to give you a link to a website that was developed by a Swedish ortho surgeon as a service to patients. It contains a lot of good, reliable information about the issues you have raised (and a lot more) . It is in English translation (slightly fractured). It is accredited and conforms to the HONcode standard for reliable health information.

Good luck on your next surgery.