Total hip replacement experience / recovery
Day 3, back at home following total a total hip replacement operation & wondered if there any others with any experience of THR & getting back on your feet / bike.
I’m 47 & the osteoarthritis diagnosis to operation was around 8 weeks & was a bit of a surprise. Looking back now I did have tell tale symptoms for quite a while, a snowboard trip just before lockdown finished me off & there has been very little proper activity since.
My wife’s amazing & a taskmaster when it comes to sticking to physio so I’m sure it will all be OK but despite feeling really good post-op last night was pretty uncomfortable, painful & I was up every hour or 2 for a pee. I guess the good drugs have worn offPosted 1 month ago
The simple key is do your physio. Religiously. Then do a bit more.
My mother at 83 had both hips done one summer. she did her physio and she got back to walking 5 miles a day – a fantastic recovery for someone her age.
Do take your painkillers so you can do the physioPosted 1 month ago
My wife had hers replaced a couple of years ago. I remember having to put blocks of wood under the sofa etc to raise it so the new hip would not over flex when sitting/standing, and having to put a raised seat on the loo. Getting her in and out the car was a bit tough at first so initial exercise was just up and down the drive like captain Tom, then further and further bit by bit. Yes there was lots of initial pain (no surprise given what is done) but this did pass as the mobility returned. I was surprised how quickly she was able to make it up the stairs. As said above keep doing your physio/exercise. I was very surprised how little scarring there was for such a big op, hats off to the surgeon.
Healing vibes OP.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks TJ / Andy
5 miles at 83 following 2 replacements in a short space of time is some achievement.
My wife’s got the painkillers organised too & raised toilet seat, which I’m really looking forward to trying out 😉
The surgeon said the hip pain would be gone instantly, which it has but it would feel like I’d been kicked in the arse by a horse. Having never been kicked in the arse by a horse I didn’t really know what to expect but I will make sure I stay well clear of them in future!Posted 1 month ago
Sending healing vibes OP. What did the Dr say about sport afterwards? Back to normal?
I am fully expecting at some point to have to go through the same. Suffering from perthes in my left hip, I can feel it deteriorating, so will definitely need a new hip, I am 35.
My mum had one a few years back, and is as active as ever. Her hip has been great, she had her knee done at the same time and the healing with that took far longer.Posted 1 month ago
There was a physio I used to work with that had one done in her 40s. within 6 months she was back playing tennis.Posted 1 month ago
I had THR on my right hip at the age of 54. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
The “kicked by a horse” feeling is the bruising from the surgery itself, it fades similarly to any other heavy bruising.
For me the worst part was having to sleep on my back, it’s just not something I do. There was some discomfort once I finished the course of painkillers I’d left hospital with. Presumably you are still self-injecting with the anti-DVT drugs?
Here’s some blog posts about my experiences – http://bobwightman.blogspot.com/search/label/hip%20replacement Further to that I was walking a couple of miles by the third week and would have been on the turbo about then but my wife wouldn’t let me until the surgeon had given the go-ahead at the six week consultation.
Generally I pushed things as much as I could until the point it started to become painful. Obviously took it easy when I got on the bike outdoors but after six months or so the mental holding back had mostly gone.Posted 1 month ago
Thank you Mr Whyte
He said it should be back to normal within about 6 months & no reason why I wouldn’t make a full recovery. I made sure I kept as mobile/active as I could pre-op which he said would be really beneficial in recovery.
The physio was great, she snowboards & has a hip problem which will need replacing too. She was very positive about getting back on a board although I think I’d be a little cautious on the slopes.
I think I probably had symptoms mid 30’s, I did have a pretty big crash & assumed it down to that. Hopefully you’ll be able hang on a while.
I coach my son’s football team & realised it was something more serious about 12 months ago when I couldn’t kick a ball anymore so you’ll know when the time is right.
Good luck!Posted 1 month ago
Good luck Hoff, but it will be worth it. My Mum had both hers done in her 50’s (2 year apart) and the first few weeks are pretty tricky (she had added complications of a genetic blood issue that did limit the drugs she could take). The bruising takes a couple of weeks to go down (I looked after her after the first one as my Dad had to rush 250 miles down the country to care for my grandfather as my grandmother got taken into hospital – it was fun times – they also had all the windows in their house replaced at the same time!!!). From her experience, you need to balance rest (bed is best to keep you flat) and also just keep moving. Find a super flat piece of road (kerbs aren’t great) and walk slowly up and down it as much as you can/as directed.
My Mum was back on her bike in a couple months or so I think. She can now walk 12 miles, cycle 30-40 and is doing great. Her big issue was the muscle loss in the quads and glutes and it has never really come back (also more tricky for a women in her 60’s anyway) – once you are fully mobile (several months down the line) work with a physio to make sure you get strong again.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks Bob, I’ll have a read through your blog today.
I know what you mean about sleeping on your back, something I struggle with too.
I’m on a months course of blood thinning tablets, touch wood there won’t be any problems there. My Dad’s had blood clots following surgery in the past but he was a smoker until he turned 60.
How much were you walking straight after your op? I was expecting a 3 night stay in hospital but was discharged after 1 night which was a welcome surprise but I’m conscious of things settling down initially & don’t want to overdo it.Posted 1 month ago
My wife’s having her hip replaced on Saturday (assuming the pre-op COVID test comes back negative) so this thread is very timely. Thanks to all for the very useful info.Posted 1 month ago
Thank you Ahsat appreciate the response
Bob/Whitestone – We’ve met before on a couple of the Bearbones rides & Lakes Jennride, unfortunately not really said much more than hello…will introduce myself on the next one.Posted 1 month ago
Our local hospital send you home once you can show you can walk with crutches and negotiate stairs. I had my op at the end of November so outside walks were somewhat weather restricted. I’ll have been walking outside with two crutches within a week, I could take a step or two without crutches at that time as well. Within three to four weeks I’d have worked up to a couple of miles – we are in a hilly rural area so quite awkward going especially in December. Once back at work I’d “use” two crutches when I only needed one and one when I really needed none to keep people away from me when commuting.
Try and differentiate between discomfort and pain. You’ll have the former for a while so it’s figuring out when that becomes actual pain so you can push to that point.
The artificial socket is much shallower than the natural one so until your muscles have built back up and stabilised things the joint can dislocate – it’s why the notes say don’t cross your legs with the operated leg on top and things like that.Posted 1 month ago
My wife had a total hip replacement a few years ago,together with 2 knee replacements( not at the same time ).Posted 1 month ago
Her hip replacement caused her constant pain. The surgeon said that normally he cuts a tendon that rides over the hip but didn’t in my wife’s case and this caused constant inflammation. The best way she found of improving this was swimming. She does still get hip pain now and again but really only after a more strenuous walk.
I had my right hip replaced in April 2017, I was 46 at the time. I stuck to everything I was told to do. The physio had me on an exercise bike after about 8 weeks and I was riding canal paths after about 12 weeks. It is so much better now, it took a year or so to feel normal but still get strange sensations around the hip area. I’m waiting for a date for a new knee now, the joys of arthritis. Do as your told but push yourself and you’ll be good as new soon.Posted 1 month ago
Currently waiting for bi lateral, I stupidly put it off and now have a 12month wait. Sleeping on your back sounds crap, my wife may have to tie me down 😁Posted 1 month ago
My consultant said the left is one of the knarliest joints he’s seen.
The crazy thing is I can barely walk but can squat 1.5 X my bodyweight without pain, the reason I put it off is because you can’t squat below parallel with artificial joints, looks like I’ll be joining the half squat brigade.🤣
I’ll be loading up on pain relief and giving it some wellie when it’s sorted.
Thanks for info people and speedy recovery Hoff. 😊
I had one at 32….
Broke my pelvis and had it bolted together at 25 and was a mess for years. Couldn’t walk put socks on etc. Had narcosis of the femoral head.
Replaced 4th December, bought a mtb and got back on a bike in the 1st time in 7 years in January. Was on rivvy pike by the 18th.
Took me a while to get used to the idea that I was wearing it out/its fragile.
Certain things still freak me out riding wise as it’s always there on my mind but it’s not holding me back, ride the Alps lakes torridon etc
It’s about 95% as good as my good leg which is more than I expected, still have some back issues but that’s a fall out due to the length of time I waited for my replacement.
Happy to have a proper chat over it if you want.
Ps don’t cross your legs😀Posted 1 month ago
Meant to say, 2 years on and my wife still comments that sometimes when she is sitting down it feels like she is sitting on a wooden bench. Dunno if this is just her or a sensation others feelPosted 1 month ago
Had an acetabular impingement diagnosed when I was 49 and after a visit to an osteopath in Harrogate received the news that it was too far gone to benefit from surgery to sweep the joint and shave the neck of the femur, so needed to manage the pain and elect a THR when it got too bad to manage.
Fast forward a few years of codeine and paracetamol and I’m at the point of asking for a replacement….but fell off my bike and set off a lesion over the hip that needed to heal before the local guy could operate. I was by this time taking 60mg codeine four times a day, and basically spent the next 18 months off my tits. My right hip was bone on bone and deteriorating fast, and eventually I had to take early retirement on medical grounds.
Finally in 2017 the lesion had reduced enough and the surgeon took advice on cutting through it. I had the operation in February, aged 52. I was told I would be discharged as soon as I could walk with crutches and negotiate stairs, but was given oromorph which didn’t touch the pain, so lost a day before they put me back on codeine. Once the pain was under control I could get up and about, so left after 48 hours.
Advice is that for 12 weeks you can’t sit with your legs bent more than 90 degrees, and you can’t bend down to put on socks or whatever. The toilet riser is just nasty to use…..more so because the codeine concrete demanded a forceps delivery after more than a week of inertia…. but you get used to it.
Recovery is as fast as you let it be. I discarded one crutch after a couple of days, and by the end of the first week had done half a mile albeit at a slow pace without either. By the end of week two I was walking on flat tracks with the dog for up to an hour.
DO the exercises religiously. They are as much about building the muscles and ligaments back to full movement.
Within a couple of months I was more mobile than I had been for 5 years, and within 6 months I was at the point where I’d more or less forgotten I’d had the op. Nowadays it’s completely forgotten unless I spend the night lying on my right side when the whole area twinges a bit. Happy days, except the left hip is now just starting to show symptoms of the impingement, so I expect I’ll go back for round two before I become a pillhead again.Posted 1 month ago
Had mine done last year.Posted 1 month ago
The first two weeks were tough, but I was back on the bike after a month albeit on easy stuff and being super careful not to crash!
I suffer from Hip Impingement, with arthritis in the joint and the issue is mechanical, i.e. bone on bone.
Pain is rough when it’s full on, but not really taking anything yet, Covid has messed up getting an injection, but got a consultation to set that up prior to getting an op, so hopefully that works, anything to delay a little bit i guess.
I do think my mindset now is go for the op, it’s been 2 years of reduction, first i had to give up golf, no running, shorter walks, biking being limited due to recovery from anything too harsh, i find that i struggle with push up stuff more than riding up, just wish i could ride up stuff but the power’s not there nowadays due to this.Posted 1 month ago
My Mum had hers done about 18months ago. She is mid-70s and had been reduced from being very active with gardening and regular walks to barely being able to get 10mins down the road for a paper.
She is now whizzing around all over the place. She was only in hospital after the op for a couple of days and was religious with her physio.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks all for the info & good luck to those that are waiting for an op.
Hasn’t been too bad tonight, slept from 10:00 to 3:30 but was much more active yesterday & was pretty knackered, everything takes a lot of effort.
Argee – I had to stop running a few years ago due to other injuries but never put 2 & 2 together that my hip could be the cause, now my gait has been corrected I’m hoping I might back to running at a later stage. Riding tailed off too, took a week to recover from a Sat/Sun ride. Walking has been OK though & was still trying to do 5 to 10 miles a day with the dog up until the op.
I’ll need the left side doing at some point too, hoping it’s a few years off & will be doing what I can to prolong it.Posted 1 month ago
Hey there. Had my replacement in Dec 2017 at 46. By August I was back sprinting, racing beach flags (think musical chairs in the sand). Take it easy, do your walking and physio and when you get to 3 months find yourself a proper strength and conditioning coach. I joined up with James who works as the Cambridge University Rugby SandC coach running all their individual programs. I sat down with him and talked through where I wanted to get to. I wanted to be sprinting on the beach. Racing in surf lifesaving competitions, board and surf ski racing as well as the sprints was due to be going to the World Champs this Sept aiming for a gold in Beach Flags. James took me through an amazing progression, twice a week. He built up movement patterns, strength and explosiveness. He built layer on layer. I’m now at 150kg deadlift and 130kg squat (bw 72kg). Im also jump squatting 70kg with 1.40 acceleration. There is no way I’d be where I am now without him.
I’m lucky my surgeon also competes and knew what I was doing and wanting to continue. He is very positive and is planning to organise a World Implant Games down here in Cornwall. He is that confident in the operation.
If nights are difficult use Diazepam. If you are well muscled you will be more sore than someone without much muscle. I made sure I took the full 3 months I was given off by work. I walked everyday building up to stomping miles up and down the dunes. One day I over did it and that set me back a few weeks.
Message me if you want to see the kind of thing I did with James. Looking back at the early stuff I cannot believe how limited I was!!
It’ll all work out.
RhysPosted 1 month ago
I am fully expecting at some point to have to go through the same.
Suffering from perthes in my left hip, I can feel it deteriorating, so will definitely need a new hip,
I am 35.
Well now it’s just getting weird. Me too.Posted 1 month ago
A work colleague had THR and has recovered well. He had to switch hobby from running to road cycling.
When I suffered perthes as a youngster it was cycling that I turned to for exercise with little hip impact, it did me a lot of good.
Healing vibes to the OP.
Anybody who is fairly young and having hip problems should consider a hip resurfacing rather than a complete replacement as it is longer lasting than a full replacement and if you do need it doing again in later life you have your femur intact so can then have a replacement . The resurfacing has had some bad press over the years but it has many benefits over a regular total hip replacement . Andy Murray seems to be getting on well with his resurfacing and I had mine done 3 years ago and am back to doing everything that I could do before my hip became a problem .Posted 1 month ago
Hi OP, My Mum has had 2 THP one in 1996 and one last year at 87 both on different sides.The hip joint now has improved a lot since the first one was done or so we were told. Due to being of advanced years she had a spinal sedation and they did it whilst she was awake!.She could hear the sawing and hammering etc.Posted 1 month ago
Anyway she was up on her feet and walking a step the next day and home within the week.She can walk a good mile but needs a stick for extra support.
I’m shocked to hear about all the young people on this thread having a hip replacement!.I thought it was mainly older people that had it. Hope your all doing well.
Something to add is that they always say you’ll know when you need it doing. It’s true!! I still have the text I sent my surgeon one night when I made the decision.Posted 1 month ago
It was the day to day that got me, I was on 8 zapain in a day and seeing the kids in my class staring when I grimaced sitting down or standing up helped convince me. Strange thing was I could still make myself compete.
Cheers all! Got a list of stuff to do & questions to ask the consultant/ physio…maybe I should have posted this pre-op!
Day 5 & so far so good. Managed +7 hours sleep, did have an hour in between 2x 3.5hrs but was quite comfortable reading. I’m settling into a routine of physio, resting etc. which is really helping.
The thought that I’m ‘wearing out’ is at the back of mind – Rhys & Duncancallum thank you for the offer offers for additional advice, I might well take you up on that in the next few weeks.
I’m going to speak to the surgeon about options for the left hip & see if resurfacing is a viable option.
Murray – If you read this I hope all went well with your wife’s op yesterdayPosted 1 month ago
I know someone who had a hip replacement in his mid 30s and someone else who broke his femur near the hip ball and had a giant titanium rod put in to hold it all together.
Both are doing what they were able to do before (squash, road biking, MTB, hiking, running). As others have said, physio is key, do everything you’re told to. If you’re able to and the physio says it’s okay then do more. One of the guys I mentioned found a wobble board really helpful, especially for MTB balance.Posted 1 month ago
Anybody who is fairly young and having hip problems should consider a hip resurfacing rather than a complete replacement as it is longer lasting than a full replacement and if you do need it doing again in later life you have your femur intact so can then have a replacement .
When I started down this rabbit hole I had an x-ray of my hip, the doctor (a locum) said “It’s severe arthritis but you are too young to be considered for surgery.“, I was 52 at the time. A year later the pain was so bad – I was nearly passing out with it – I arranged another appointment, the doctor (another locum) stated: “Why were you told no surgery? It’s the primary option for severe arthritis which is what you have.” I was referred to the surgeon whose first words were “You are very young“, “Uh, oh” I thought “Here we go, years of managing pain“. His next sentence was: “Your hip is so bad, I’ll do it right away.“.Posted 1 month ago
@hoff – thanks, operation went well, surgeon thinks she might be able to come home on Monday. Glad to hear it’s going well for you.Posted 1 month ago
Picked my wife up from hospital today – looks like she got the operation just in time before “Lockdown 2” shuts the hospitals for elective surgery again. I hate sequels – so glad they didn’t make one for The Matrix.
I was surprised how mobile she is – in pain, moving slowly but able to get out of the car on her own and slowly go up the stairs. 2 weeks of self isolation now, then physio.Posted 1 month ago
My consultant didn’t like resurfacing as the failure rate is high. It’s a better job but with a bigger risk and shorter life span.Posted 1 month ago
I had one replaced very end of Dec 2017 at 43, previously had an athroscopy about 3 years before that.Posted 1 month ago
Went skiing Easter 2018. All pretty good although glute still weaker than other one due to it being sliced through, and a little but if tendon or ligament pain but this is also due to prior leg length discrepancy and pelvis rotation that is sorting out slowly along with a tight central bit of quad. Back fell running, biking etc at same fitness level as before, still get an ache in there that I don’t get so much in other one sometimes but much better than I was pre op
My wife’s back from 2nd hydrotherapy session after hip replacement. First physio was very positive, this one told her that she’ll never run again, never be able to swim breastroke and have to give up work as she has a desk job. Reduced her to tears.
Does this sound right to those of you who’ve had it done?Posted 1 week ago
Nope not at all. Mrs NBT had a hip replacement and (prior to covid) would swim regularly and MTBs / skis as though nothing happened. Sounds like the physio needs talking to – some physios have a very negative attitude to anything that might possibly cause any future injury (don’t ride bikes, you might fall off and hurt yourself! etc), some are much better and know that exercise is not only good for rebulding the necessary musculature it’s also very positive for mental healthPosted 1 week ago
@Murray – not in my experience. There’s a period of settling in whilst the muscle builds back to support the joint but after that you are good to go. Does your wife have another appointment with her surgeon? I think I had six weeks and one at a year, there may have been one in the interim. He/she should have a better idea of how the op has gone and what your wife can do.
The restriction on breaststroke might be linked to the advice about not bending the hip past 90deg while it’s healing but I know people who’ve got back to rock climbing after THR so it’s just a matter of time.
Some people just don’t get why you want to go back to being active.Posted 1 week ago
Does this sound right to those of you who’ve had it done?
Nope – I know a woman in her late 40s who had a hip replacement for osteoarthritis and was playing tennis within 6 monthsPosted 1 week ago
Thanks all, she has an appointment with the surgeon in 4 weeks (6 weeks after the op) and will be trying to make sure she gets a different physio.Posted 1 week ago
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