Should I tell her?

knuckleduster Member Posts: 551
edited 26. Mar 2014, 03:47 in Living with Arthritis archive
An acquaintance of mine is having a THR in April. Her surgeon has told her that after six weeks she will be "back to normal and working in her garden" as he will use a bit more glue to make it stronger (whatever that may mean).

She lives for her gardening, so should I tell her that it may be a bit longer before she can carry on as before?

I'm three years post op and am still waiting to be "back to normal".

Best wishes to everyone.

Janet xx


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Surgeons - they do make light of it all, don't they? They do their bit so as far as they're concerned that's it! In your shoes I would gently warn her that it may not be quite so rapid as that - everyone is different in how they fit they are before surgery, how they cope with the surgery itself and then all the ensuing nonsense of physio and recuperation etc: she may be one of the lucky ones but seeing as how none of us can see into the future it's best to be a little prepared for setbacks. They do, alas, happen. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Sarah01
    Sarah01 Member Posts: 192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janet,

    I had my THR 10.5 weeks ago and I am not back to normal. Still on 1 crutch and having problems with mobility due to swelling in the knee as well.

    I would err on the side of caution telling your friend that she could be back to normal within 6 weeks. Everyone heals at a different rate. My surgeon told me that I would be up and about within 6 weeks and completely pain free and off my crutches. He said this was due to my age and fitness. I'm 42 years old. People I know who had THRs told me they were up and about within weeks and they were in their 70s when they had theirs done. All I heard was you are young and you will be up and about in no time. I felt even more down as each week went by past the 6 weeks mark and I wasn't getting any better.

    I'm still on one crutch and in pain. My GP told me this morning that I still cannot drive. I can't walk unaided and I am now having physio to help the muscles in my hip and thigh and also my knee. Although I can do small jobs around the house, I still have to ask my son to put my socks on :oops:

    Your friend could make a speedy recovery or it may take her a bit longer. Her surgeon and her physio will assess her recovery as she goes along. If it was me I wouldn't say anything and just be there for her once she has the op.

    Sarah x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janet

    Don't these surgeons make you laugh with what they spout forth sometimes. :roll: :wink: Surgeons are also so good at moving the goal posts when you see them post op and things are perhaps not going by "the book" or you are getting impatient with the speed of recovery.They have an answer for most scenarios, so I have found.

    Perhaps you should see how your friend goes on post op and drop a few hints if she gets despondent. We are all different and no one can predict how one will be come week 6. It can only be a very general guideline. She could be gently pottering in her garden earlier - it all depends what she is thinking of doing out there by week 6.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • knuckleduster
    knuckleduster Member Posts: 551
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your kind replies.

    The garden in question is huge and I don't think "gentle pottering" will come into it. More like getting "stuck in", particularly as she hasn't been able to do much lately. I sadly feel she may be in for a bit of a shock.

    I must say, my surgeon was very realistic about recovery. He took great pains to say that I wouldn't be walking properly for about a year, certain movements I wouldn't be able to make and the replacement hip wouldn't be as strong as my own hip.

  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you need to bring her gently down to earth, I have had two kinds of hand surgery, recent one I am 4 months post and I am still attending physio so can't imagine what it would take for a hip.

    There are a lot of charity/organisations out there that get grants to employ youngsters to help in the community, maybe if you could find out if there is anything in your area if they could do the work and let her supervise, it may soften the blow a bit...............good luck...................Marie x
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I never could work out how Wayne Sleep carried on with his dance and ballet after a THR!

    I was told 12 weeks care with reaching down (hand should not go below the knee) and always sit higher on a chair by using a cushion. I still worry 4 and a half years after my op.

    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Maybe it was because the likes of Wayne and Craig Revel-H were generally fitter than the average person, and had them done privately so they were arranged to suit them, not the needs of the surgeon. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • knuckleduster
    knuckleduster Member Posts: 551
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well, I don't know about Wayne Sleep, but I do know that Craig Revel H
    had hip resurfacing, which I believe is quicker to recover from and especially if you have access to intensive physio.

    My hubby recently met up with an old friend who said he had a hip replacement a couple of years ago. On further questioning, he admitted he had also had resurfacing and it didn't affect his work as a builder.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Many people claim to have had 'a hip replacement' when they've only had resurfacing. It's not the same thing. The man who built our extension claimed a hip replacement. He regularly went rock climbing. I think not.

    I've said it many times on here amd I'll say it again. There are two ways of ruining a new replacement joint in the early weeks. One is by not doing enough exercises and the other is by doing far too much. Evem if you get it right you have to be very careful when bending or taking the knee above hip level as dislocation can be an ongoing possibility. I've never had a problem with mine but I know them well and just how far I can push them.

    I'd say tell her the facts, Janet. Gentle gardening fine: digging and bending, forget it. And, if she decides she doesn't want a new hipmon those terms, lucky her for having the choice. I'd have had any of my replacements at any price.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janet,
    You have a fairly unique surgeon I think........telling you how it is.
    I wouldn't advise that from you to your friend. I would be with her all the way through the post op stages gently telling her that everyone is different and heals at different rates :wink:

    I know my first many people that told me about their friend/sister etc who had had one and was a new person :shock: So it made me feel I wasn't progressing fast enough. :o

    The 2nd one ...9 weeks felt different after it was done and I didn't think I was progressing as much BUT I thought, same person, same op, same surgeon different outcome...what did you expect H.? :roll:
    Then 4 weeks into post op.....through no fault of mine.....doing one of their exercises. Standing on one leg and abducting the other, CRAAACCCKKK!!!!!!!!! I was taken into hospital by ambulance and apparently have fractured a bone The Greater Trochanter {Sp} so that's me ,back worse than I was before they started the op. So all sorts can happen....I've been told the 90 degree angle should last for life with me when I do eventually get off 2 crutches.
    So basically say nothing at the beginning if she is havening it. Just be there to gently encourage her all the way afterwards.
    Good Luck