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Total Hip Replacement recovery

Moderator: Tonton

12 Mar 2010 15:07

I thought I would kinda blog through the procedures here to give an inside look at this thing. I like the fact that they use these anti-infection sheets to wipe down after the last shower before the operation. After reading the hospital infection article in the new york times the other day, I will remind everybody to wash their hands. There's another article, NYT, about problems with metal on metal prosthetics leaching ions into the body. I am getting the old metal on plastic one. I have drafted lots of medical powers of attorney, but never had one for myself until now. I guess that's when you find out who your friends are [insert tongue in cheel icon smiley here].:rolleyes:
User avatar daviel
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16 Mar 2010 18:02

I had a pre-operation exam and the ecg showed a blip that, to my Dr., looked like a silent heart attack. I was sent to a cardiac specialist for a stress test. Since I can't treadmill, I got the chemical stress test. They inject a drug to simulate exercise - expands the arteries and veins. The drug has your heart thinking it's exercising, and they take before and after pictures. Made me sleepy. I will know the test results in a couple of days, but frankly, that heart attack must have been really silent. I am thinking it's caffeine. I defer to the experts. At least if I have to have any arteries reamed out, I will know it. Surgery Monday if I passed the stress test.
User avatar daviel
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17 Mar 2010 20:41

Cardiologist called and I passed the stress test. No heart trouble. Cleared for takeoff...
User avatar daviel
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30 Mar 2010 03:50

Surgery took 2 hours on March 22. Discharged from the hospital on March 26. I woke up in my hospital room. They do a good job of having you move and do exercises (in bed) to get your equipment moving. Not much at first, I could not get out of bed to reach a walker without help. Then the activity increased a little each day until I was doing a lap and a half around the nurses' station on 3-26. The surprise for me was how much my left leg expanded - swelled up. Looking at the scar and staples, I should not be surprised. I used all the morphine they let me have, and some norcor, for pain. None of the opiates/pain drugs are recreational when you're in pain - go figure! I stayed in left field most of my hospital stay. I never knew how I felt when my blood levels were out of whack, hemoglobin, red cells, whatever. Now I do. I feel 'sick' and 2 units of blood were used to solve that problem. I can walk short distances with a walker. No stomach trouble, just rest and do the exercised. The normal swelling with the surgery just limits movement. I am using compression stockings and some self-administered-by-shot drug to stave off blood clots. Tomorrow physical therapy starts. In all, I have been too optimistic about how hard this is going to be. More pain than I expected and harder to get to functional than I thought. I am ready to get back in the gym tomorrow and want to hit it as hard as possible. I am shooting for some May distance rides. Back to the Doc on April 6th.
User avatar daviel
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01 Apr 2010 03:00

PT was at the place I'm a member, so at least I was familar with the layout. My therapist interviewed me and then set me on an aerobics machine that does not weight down nor twist the legs. Just 8 min @ 100/ min. Then ran through a 15-20 rep set of adductor, toe lifts (lying down), heel slides, quad tightening, and then 20 min. ice on the swollen left leg. slept great. tomorrow at 1 pm. starts over. I'm down to tylenol for pain. This is harder than I expected and slower. at my age it takes a while to undo the damage!
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02 Apr 2010 01:54

Second trip to the rehab center. Next week it's M-W-F. About an hour with aerobic warmup on the stationary machine, then specific left leg (some right) on a table, then 20 min ice. I like it. I did a tour through you-tube on this stuff and I guess I am about in the middle on pain, speed of recovery, etc. I have the right hip coming up if as and when it starts hurting, so at least I will know the rehab routine.
User avatar daviel
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02 Apr 2010 07:51

daviel wrote:PT was at the place I'm a member, so at least I was familar with the layout. My therapist interviewed me and then set me on an aerobics machine that does not weight down nor twist the legs. Just 8 min @ 100/ min. Then ran through a 15-20 rep set of adductor, toe lifts (lying down), heel slides, quad tightening, and then 20 min. ice on the swollen left leg. slept great. tomorrow at 1 pm. starts over. I'm down to tylenol for pain. This is harder than I expected and slower. at my age it takes a while to undo the damage!


Hi Daviel,
I had a total hip replacement for my left hip only in August 2009, by the best specialists in Brisbane, who does up to ten a week. It went perfectly with no acute pain. I discharged from hospital after 5 days and was driving my car within a couple of days. (Short trips, automatic: getting in and out was the hardest part.) I saw a physiotherapist once a week for about five weeks and did all the exercises and some 40 minute walks. After that I hooked up my road bike to a computrainer and yes the power difference was significant, (About 70% right leg and 30% left leg. I did this for a while, trying to focus on leveling out the power to strengthen up the left leg.

Within a few months I was back in the gym and doing 5 sets each on the leg extension, leg curl, leg press and calf machines, with reasonably heavy loading. (NO squats!). Also back doing Hung Gar Kung Fu twice a week.

Today I did my FIRST road ride since the op. Why so long? Well my surgeon scared me. He said NO bike and NO ladders for six months as a fall could cause me pain I could not dream of if the new hip popped out!

It was only a 30k, hilly circuit, but I enjoyed it and the "new" leg worked better than pre-op, just a bit down on power.

So, go for it Daniel, but make sure you don't fall on your new hips; at least until the surrounding muscles have fully healed.

I am 60 years old. Very happy I had the op done.
Offtheback
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02 Apr 2010 18:27

Thank you so much for the input, Offtheback. That must be where I have seen you before (:D). Yes I am taking it easy so far as rehab. The PT increases me gradually and I have been putting all I have into it. They have stressed NO activity that might dislocate the joint. I am really enjoying the project of rebuilding the hip. I can't wait to get back to riding. Did you do any speed classes or stationary trainer stuff?
User avatar daviel
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05 Apr 2010 02:21

Tomorrow starts M-W-F of rehab. I spent all day today in the rack. It's like the hardest part of this thing is getting the incision to heal.
User avatar daviel
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06 Apr 2010 17:44

Staples out today. Dr said the scar looks good. Back on April 27th for an exam and x-ray. It's rehab until then, but I can go every day if I want. That's probably what I'll do. I have a scheduled rehab visit tomorrow - concentrating on the left leg. Some of the exercises include adduction 2 sets of 20 (probably 3 tomorrow); bridge/glute squeeze 2x15 last session; warm-up on a linear machine - no twisting, quadricep squeeze and press down to the mat 2x20. Quad stretch with a cable (just like the soccer quad stretch where you reach back and pull up your foot behind stretching the quad - just limited motion. some more quad raises with knees on towel covered cylinders to get my knee higher 2x20. There are a couple of side ways lifting moves that my left leg will not do - weird sensation - difficult 2x15. 20 min cold pak. The muscles in my left leg have been compensating for the weakness in the joint probably for years. Then they got cut during the surgery. Hope this will get me back to sea-level! real challenge, but tons better than watching TV. I'd really like to go back to work, but I can't drive and I got no stamina!
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07 Apr 2010 21:16

Another hour of re-hab. warm-up on the linear machine 13 min. concentration on the left leg with slight differences in the exercises - enough to keep tem fresh for the muscles looking for the easy way out. Still the quad stretch (heel behind the upper leg pulled tight with a cord around the foot - hold for 20 sec.) - my favorite - was rough - also the left leg adduction exercises are still hard. pretty wiped out this afternoon. I am going to go in tomorrow on my own.
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09 Apr 2010 16:48

I only did about 20 minutes on a stationary bike Thursday, but at home I did lots of moving around. Friday was just more of the same. We are concentrating more on the adduction and quad raise exercises. I have a manual transmission and the muscle that lifts the leg to use the clutch is the weakest of the set. I have been driving some to work it out. It is amazing how the Physical Therapist can pinpoint just the right exercises and resistance. I hope that by the 4-27 doctor visit I am pretty much out of the woods.
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10 Apr 2010 21:15

Got some sleep last night finally - the tightness in the left leg keeps me awake. Did 30 min. on the linear recumbent sta bike. Felt good. Today is the first day I have felt like I have some energy. Still on a cane. On the advice of my MD brother I am taking ibuprophen, up to Rx strength - 800 mg., instead of tylenol. He's right; it works better. I think in 2 weeks I'll be back in the saddle.
User avatar daviel
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12 Apr 2010 17:34

4-12-2010 PT was good today. Same exercises; more sets. The leg is finally feeling stronger. I am on a cane now and can drive the manual transmission car. Stretching the left quad is important to keep my mechanics right, says the PT. This week I am going to stretch and cycle (stationary/recumbent) on off days.
User avatar daviel
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14 Apr 2010 17:23

4-14-2010- did 30 minutes on the linear pedaling machine yesterday. Today another round of the same exercises but added partial squats. I can feel the improvement now - it is kicking in.
User avatar daviel
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15 Apr 2010 18:55

4-15-2010: 30 min. on the linear recumbent machine, stretching, and ice.
User avatar daviel
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16 Apr 2010 20:53

4-16: Quad raises, front and side Leg raises, adduction, bridge/glute exercise, squats<90 degrees, side stepping to a 4" step - all about 20 reps X2 with a 15 min warm-up. I am really starting to feel stronger and it is very encouraging. I forgot my cane walking in the house and it surprised me! Did some stretching. Three more sessions next week - tomorrow I'm going in for 30-45 min of aerobics. Surgery was March 22nd - so I am 25 days out.
User avatar daviel
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17 Apr 2010 13:38

Slept better last night. One problem I have been having is a tightness or discomfort - not really pain - in the left leg (the replacement leg) and it has made my whole sleep pattern nuts. That is getting better. I can walk without the cane now, but I am still using the cane anyway just in case. The leg is slowly getting better. Today I am going up to the rehab center and do some aerobics on one of their recumbent machines. Then tomorrow will be a rest day.

One bit of explanation. The reason I am posting so much and going day by day is because I got some bad information on how the recovery went from a couple of people I know - not from this forum, and not from my doctor - he really did not say much about it except sleep with a pillow between the legs, don't pass 90 degrees on raising the left leg and don't cross your legs - he said I'd know it if the device dislocated. One former patient who is in no kind of shape - has diabetes and is morbidly obese, said he was back appearing in court about a week after he got out of the hospital. I did not think the guy was joking - but I do now. Maybe he was in a wheelchair. I don't think my brain was really cleared out by then. Anyway I bought it. Bogus! So I thought I'd just detail my experience as a discipline and to help anybody else who is going into the hip replacement arena to know what I had to do. I hope your experience is better/quicker than mine! All I want to do now is start riding again, and get back to swimming laps.:)
User avatar daviel
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19 Apr 2010 22:21

Monday, 4-19 - Sunday was a rest day. Felt better and went into work for the first time since surgery for about 3 hours. Had another rehab session: 20 min bike warmup, adduction 2x20, leg raises2x20, quad raise w/ 5lb. weight 2x20, bridging 1x25, toelifts 1x25, half squats 2x20, stepping on to and off a 6" block 2x25. Ice pack for about 10 minutes. Going back into the office tomorrow and back to the gym for my day of freelance rehab on my own - probably just a lot of aero.
User avatar daviel
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20 Apr 2010 20:09

freelance rehab - an hour on a stationary recumbent bike. If you recline the backrest enough your upper leg does not approach 90 degrees, so no danger of dislocating the hip joint. Funny but it seems to have helped the tightness and I slept better. I have rehab tomorrow and I may do some extra recumbent bike to get the aerobics up to an hour+. I want to be gasping as little as possible when I get back in the pool.
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