Stopping painkillers after THR surgery

I realize everyone is different on when is the best time to stop painkillers after a THR surgery. I'm nearly 4 weeks in recovery and walking quite normally using crutches now and again for pain relief. I'm prescribed codamol (30mg codeine + 500mg paracetamol), the last time I requested a refill was 2 weeks ago, the doctor sounded pissed about it, but sent the prescription anyway. Should I not be using painkillers 4 weeks after surgery?


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724
    edited 28. Jun 2021, 16:42

    I was on 30/500 cocodamol and naproxen 500 prior to surgery, but I modified the cocodamol dosage depending on what I was doing/had been doing that day. Usually 3 or 4 a day on less active days, or 6-8 during the day if I was on my feet more. Since surgery, in the initial few horrendous weeks I was on separate codiene and oramorph just to manage flares, but otherwise just paracetamol. Even with the many ongoing pain issues I've had, I'm till only taking the occasional paracetamol, up to around 3 or 4 a day max. Sometimes none at all.

    Everyone's experience of pain and surgery is different so I'm not going to comment on whether you still need such strong meds. My digestive system hated codeine so much I was happy to see the back of it asap. I don't expect to be entirely pain free now, maybe the last year has increased my tolerance to pain, but the paracetamol is enough to keep it to bearable levels while my body rebuilds itself.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724

    Sorry, I would also add I was told to keep using crutches for 6 weeks post op to allow the boney aspects of the surgery to bed in and to aid soft tissue repair. I don't know if that's different for your type of surgery though. I was down to mainly one crutch by the time I had my 6 week review, when my surgeon said I was ok to come off them or go onto sticks as soon as I felt ready.

  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 29

    Thankyou @Lilymary , i'm trying my hardest to wean myself off the painkillers, they make me so sleepy, so ive restricted myself to just 2 in morning and 2 at night to help sleep. Found myself quite active last weekend, walked in town with my partner, so very hard getting use to crowds of people again! Tried to attempt my first hill on sunday, a baby hill, but the heavy downpour put a stop to that! Your question about when to ditch crutches has me questioning too, both physiotherapists' i spoke too said I had no restrictions in movement and crutches were to aid pain. My surgeon suggested I'd listen to my body and go at my own pace, it seemed he was careful not to suggest guidelines. I'm still questioning the bone bits, i do know mine were not cemented, this is usual for the more active patients.Still, Im very grateful for having this op. everyday there's improvements, nearly 5 weeks since surgery and im walking without crutches in the flat!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724
    edited 5. Jul 2021, 17:19

    I can’t help wondering whether you would still be experiencing some degree of post op pain during the healing process, which would be alerting you to the need to proceed with caution while your body healed, but this is being masked by continued use of strong painkillers? It’s difficult to listen to your body when what it might be telling you is stifled by codeine.

    However, I don’t know how recovery differs with your type of surgery, and I don’t know your body, your physios do, but it might be worth discussing with them whether the codeine might be masking the need for greater care while your body adjusts around the new implant. But it’s great that you are feeling so much better and with so little pain that you feel ready to tackle a proper walk again.

    I was down to one crutch in the house at about 5 weeks, and ditched them altogether for a stick at 7weeks. I don’t use a stick at all in the house and garden (unless my hip has a grouchy day), but it keeps me going for longer, “faster” and less wonky when on the street. Longing to tackle hills, but energy is what holds me back right now.