I got my surgery date!

Limpingandinpain Member Posts: 34
edited 21. Dec 2021, 12:04 in Living with arthritis

Whether or not it'll go ahead with whatever happens with Covid in the new year is another matter, but I had a call on Friday afternoon to say I can get my first hip replacement on the 17th of January - that's just 4 weeks today and I'm utterly terrified! At the same time though, I'm in so much pain all of the time and it's so hard to be a proper mum. My husband is brilliant at doing loads to help but he's also working full time, and my 11 year old is doing far more for me than I'd choose for her to be doing, she's a little star. The little sweetie asked me today if I would like to try one of her Panadol tablets that she takes for her migraines, and then asked if it would be OK to take one when I'd had morphine, and then she went and got me one ❤

How is everyone? I'm massively struggling to get ready for Christmas and we are hosting for 10 plus potentially 3 dogs!



  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,529

    Fabulous news!

    I am so pleased for you. Now you must be brave and think of your daughter and husband and most of all yourself. My youngest had her shoulder replaced at the beginning of January when she was 19 it was a bit of a rush, but oh so worth it and i know you will be glad you had it done.

    Enjoy your daughter at this age she sounds lovely.

    Good luck for Christmas i hope you have a lovely one and just think - the last with that dodgy hip!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724

    That’s great news! Try not to overthink it. I decided to just put my trust in the medics and surrender myself to them to do what they do best. It worked a great. It’s a big op, but it’s also routine these days, and over very quickly. They're quite used to people being nervous, and will say and do all the right things to calm your nerves. The reward is being free of that awful grinding pain pretty much immediately, then you just have to be kind to yourself, and your body, while it sets about healing. It’s great that your family are already helping you, your daughter sounds a real sweetie.

    Fingers crossed they can keep to the date. Don’t focus on the hospital bit, focus on how good you’ll feel thereafter! Onwards and upwards 😊

  • Mini
    Mini Member Posts: 33
    edited 22. Dec 2021, 11:07

    Hope it all goes through 4 you I know what your going through & feeling I’m waiting to been 38 weeks now for My 3rd knee replacement and 40 for my spinal op I have had my other knee replaced 2 and hip your be ok yes it’s painful but meds are there and I believe take the meds in hospital the sooner Im able to move the quicker the recovery just annoyed me sleeping on my back after and having my long grabber to pick things up fun getting your knickers on 😂😂

    its so 💕ly your daughter is helping you & I did have 2 springers spaniels when I had my 1st replacements but what I found fascinating they hold back and calmed right down as they knew I wasn’t good amazing that was

    Have a wonderful Xmas & New year 🎄💕🎅

    Did a bit of tidying up for you @Mini , hope that was OK Yx Admin

  • Pingu
    Pingu Member Posts: 7

    Congratulations :) I had my hip replaced in October. I actually did have some complications (lucky me!) but they've cleared up beautifully and yes, I’d do it again if I needed. If you want to chat, please let me know. You’ll do really well.

  • Thank you all for the replies and I'm sorry I've taken so long to come back but I read and appreciated them all. It's been a busy couple of weeks with family etc. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and happy new year to everyone.

    So...2 weeks today, provided it goes ahead. My pre op is on Friday, then a PCR the following Friday then self isolating until the Monday. I'm still feeling really scared - I think it's just with the letters that keep coming through telling me things, it's making it all suddenly real. I have to be in the hospital an hour and a half away for 7.30am so I'm dreading the early start - it takes me so long now to have a shower and get dressed.

    I feel so overwhelmed at the thought of being in hospital, and just not knowing what it's going to be like. I have major issues with the whole undignified side of it all, especially if they do an ECG at the pre op. I know that's absolutely ridiculous, and they see it all every day. I know I'm being stupid, but I really do have issues around that. I know I'll have to just get on with it, but I'm going to be beyond uncomfortable. If I thought I could at least be covered I'd be happier. I hate the thought of anyone helping me get dressed or anything like that as well. I hope you don't think I'm stupid for being like this. It IS ridiculous, it's all in a day's work for the staff. I wish I could feel different.

    I'm worried too about what the recovery will be like. We only have a shower over the bath, so I've no idea how that's going to work. My parents have a walk in shower and have said I'm more than welcome to use that any time I want so I do at least have that option.

    Pingu- what sort of complications did you have, if you don't mind me asking? I glad you've recovered well.

    What did everyone do in terms of sedation/GA?

    I'm sorry to offload all my worries- I guess it's just quite overwhelming when you don't fully know what it's going to be like.

    Thank you in advance.

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 192

    Hi @Limpingandinpain Check this short video on getting in and out of a bath for a shower after a hip replacement: https://youtu.be/kC7o7wg5tOM

    I had a general anaesthetic for my hip replacement as this was the preferred choice of the anaesthetist, not sure why but possibly because I've a history of some back problems and I've some family history of ankylosing spondylitis. While I could have challenged this decision I was happy to fall inline with the preference of the experts even though I understand most hip replacement operations are done with regional anaesthetic plus sedatives.

    I was in hospital for two nights. The first morning after my operation I was able to shower myself and only needed a little assistance with getting dressed, mainly with the compression stockings. After getting home I managed showering and dressing just with the aid of an easy grabber and a sock puller. I didn't have to wear compression stockings as I did the anti-blood clotting self injections.

    Remember hip replacement is a very common operation. According to the National Joint Registry hip replacements have been performed in the UK since the 1960s and in England and Wales there are approximately 80,000 total hip replacement procedures performed each year. I had my hip replaced in late September and, like most, I had no major problems and I'm now in much better shape than I was before the operation. I concentrate on helping myself by doing the exercises before and after the operation.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    regarding being exposed- when you go talk to them and tell them you are embaressed and I am sure they will try and find someway of draping a bit of cloth to cover you a little. They are nice and won't want you upset so will try. Most women feel exactly the same so its not an issue they won't have had to help with before .

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Hi @Limpingandinpain I am guessing you have had your pre-op by now so this may be too late. I did have an ECG at my pre-op. I was in a room with 2 female nurses and the door was locked. I had to unbutton my blouse but I didn’t have to take off my bra. Electrodes are placed in various areas and it’s over very quickly. Other than blood tests they also needed a swab from inside my mouth and one from my groin, the latter they asked me to take myself. Nothing else was invasive

    For the operation itself, I was wearing a standard hospital gown which covers all of your front. I had a spinal anaesthetic plus light sedation. I walked to theatre (at this point also wearing a dressing gown). I sat on the edge of the operating table and the anaesthetist put a cannula in my hand. Uncomfortable but not painful. They then got me to lean forward. One assistant held me rock steady from in front and another from behind. Then they applied a bit of local anaesthetic onto my back and then put in the spinal. Unlike an epidural, it’s a few seconds and then the needle is back out. You feel a bit of pushing and shoving while they are putting it in, but that’s it. Then your legs start to go warm and heavy and they roll you into position for surgery. They can vary the amount of sedation through the cannula depending on how out of it you want to be. I stayed a little but present, but appreciate that’s not everyone’s choice. I would definitely recommend a spinal rather than a general anaesthetic. The instant they stop the sedative you are fully alert, and there’s no nausea. The spinal keeps you paralysed from the waist down for a few hours so there’s no immediate post-surgery pain.

    My surgeon wanted me to use compression stockings but not blood thinners - surgeons vary in what they prescribe. You will be probably be offered opioid pain relief at first. They tried me on Oxycodone first but I didn’t get on with it - hallucinations and vomiting. I then tried codeine but I didn’t like how it left me feeling spaced out, so it was paracetamol and ibuprofen only for me. I was ok - off all of it with 2-3 weeks.

    I do have a walk in shower and was grateful for it. I don’t think I could have got over the bath sides in the early days, especially as I have a large free standing tub. I needed to stand on yoga blocks to get into it prior to surgery.

    Good luck. Please try not to worry, they have seen it all before. All of the nurses who dealt with me in hospital were lovely and caring, and it was always a woman when anything sensitive was involved. For example you will need help with dressing whilst in hospital. I had a 2 night stay, the first male nurse I saw was the person who discharged me.

  • @Coddfish thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I had my pre op yesterday. It was absolutely fine but I was so so nervous, I was actually shaking! It was actually a man doing all the tests, including the ECG, but he was truly lovely and preserved my dignity at all times. I didn't have to take anything off for the ECG, just had to pull my top up and he fitted the leads around my bra then pulled my top back down. For the swabs, I did them myself and he went the other side of the curtain.

    The next nurse who did all the medical history was so lovely too. She had all the time in the world to talk about all my worries too. She'd had her own hip replaced in that hospital so she was an excellent person to talk to! I told her about my 2 very unpleasant hospital experiences from the past, one when I had swine flu and one after I'd had my daughter - both left me feeling humiliated and scared to go into hospital again. She said that should NEVER have happened and won't happen in that hospital. If there is anything making me massively uncomfortable, I've to ask to speak to someone higher up.

    I'm already on oramorph, tramadol and cocodamol, using whichever is appropriate for that day so I'm not using the strongest if I don't need it, but those days are over now anyway, I'd been just taking the oramorph because that was the only thing that was touching the pain but even that was hardly doing anything. She explained yesterday the best way to use the painkillers and I've tried that today and it's worked so much better. I just wish I had known this before!

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    well done :) so pleased it went well for you

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Good luck for Monday

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,529

    Thinking of you @Limpingandinpain all is going well so far.

    If there's a secret to pain meds that I don't know I'd love to hear it please if it's postable?

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724

    Good luck @Limpingandinpain , just surrender your body to their loving care, they've seen it all before, they'll be very reassuring, and they'll take good care of you. And you'll be surprised at how well you cope when you get home. LM x

  • Thank you everybody, I'm very nervous about Monday but trying to accept that when I get there I'll just have to be happy that the waiting is over and put all my trust in them. I'm scared about what the pain will be like after though.

    @frogmorton the nurse said firstly to make sure I have something with paracetamol in it every 4 hours - she said a lot of people think paracetamol doesn't work, but it does if you take it very regularly. She also said I'm allowed to take my prescription cocodamol along with the oramorph, which I didn't know. I didn't think that would be allowed at all. She said the oramorph is fast working but wears off after an hour or two but if I take the cocodamol too, that will cover me for longer and probably mean I need the oramorph less often.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,724

    Hi @Limpingandinpain , you’ll find the arthritis pain in your hip will be gone (hooray!) but you may have some soft tissue pain while everything knits itself back together. I’m not a typical case as my body went full drama-queen on me, but assuming I AM an atypical case, I found I only needed the oramorph on about 5 occasions at night in the first week or so after I got home (warning - it’s more runny and sticky than you’d expect!) and paracetamol, and I was surprised at how quickly I could stop taking those during the day. For me the nights were worst, so I took a few paracetamol before going to bed and only took oramorph if the pain really kicked off in the night to help me get back to sleep. Several of my hip-py friends have found all they ever needed was a few paracetamol every now and then.

    Personally I’d be reluctant to take codeine and oramorph at the same time, specially during the day, as they’re both strong opiates, but see how you feel. Presumably you know not to take paracetamol AND cocodamol, as you’ll be doubling up on the paracetamol dose if you do.

    But hobbling about during the day actually seemed to help and was less uncomfortable than sitting down. It will also help the healing process, but listen to your body and don't overdo it. I didn’t need the codeine at all, which was a relief as the constipation it caused was awful. Sitting or lying on soft pillows dealt with the rest.

    Top tip, sit on a lovely soft pillow in the car on your journey home, and if the car seat is built up a bit at the sides, pack it up with a cushion under the pillow, as the edge of the car seat may press on the incision, which will be a bit tender. My husband got fed up with me saying “Are we nearly home yet” through gritted teeth!

    Try not to worry this weekend, once you’re in the hospital they’ll take over and get you sorted, you won’t have time to worry, and it will soon be done before you know it.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Hi @Limpingandinpain Do you know what kind of anaesthetic you are having? If they offer you a spinal, take it. In my case it lasted for several hours after the operation (operation was at 2pm and it fully wore off by about 10pm, so it gets you through the first few hours. Once you have had the operation, the pain you had in your joint will be instantly gone, so what you are dealing with is the aftermath of being cut open and manhandled around. The extent of the pain from that is going to depend on how the surgeon approached the job and the ease with which the operation proceeded. I was extremely lucky. 50 minutes in and out, no bruising or swelling in the aftermath. People told me I would feel like I had been hit by a bus on day 3, but I didn’t. Sure, the soft tissues were uncomfortable, but it was never more than that. Let’s hope it’s similar for you.

    On pain meds, the hospital will have a schedule of things they give you whilst you are there, and you will go home with a couple of weeks supply of what you need. After that it’s your GP or over the counter, depending on what you need. I do recommend using ice - as I can’t tolerate opioids I found an ice pack in the groin area was probably the most effective for of pain relief.

    Try to look forward to being on the other side. It won’t be long in the grand scheme of things until you are feeling a lot better than you do today.

  • Hi,try not too worry about the pain afterwards. As others have said, my hip and lower back pain stopped immediately after the surgery, and the soreness and bruising was nothing compared to the previous pain. The hospital gave me a combination of paracetamol and codeine and after 4 days I just took them at night, until 7 days. I am now 4 weeks on, and have done my exercises daily and gradually increased my daily walks so I m now doing a mile most days, with no pain whatsoever in the operated hip. It's a long time since I could do that!

    Try not to worry and do let us know how you get on next week

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,529

    Thank you @Limpingandinpain

    I am very very much thinking about you this weekend all will be well I am so pleased you are getting your surgery and soon it will be all over with.

    I am sure you feel sick with worry, but they all know now that you have had a bad time in the past and should be looking after you extra well ((()))

    Take care and I can't wait to hear your recovery story too.

  • Thank you everybody! I feel weirdly calm at the moment- I'm not sure if it's because I've been in so much horrific pain the last few days, I just can't wait to get it dealt with, or because I know that once Monday comes, the nervous waiting is over, I will be there by 7.30am and I just have to put all my trust in the professionals. Of course this may change, and I might find that come Monday morning, they will be glad to sedate me 😂

    As far as I know, I'll be having a spinal and sedation.

    We realised on Wednesday night that I hadn't heard anything from the occupational therapist about aids for the house. The nurse at my pre op said they'd phone me during the week to discuss what our house is like what I'd need, the height of our bed, chairs, bath, toilet etc. I phoned them on Thursday and the woman said someone would talk to me after the surgery but given that we live 1.5 hours from that hospital and the nurse at my pre op said they would try to find out if they could get it locally for me so it sounded as if it might take time and we were worried it might not be organised for me getting home. I phoned again yesterday and got someone different who said I wasn't on their system at all so they hadn't known I'd need things! Someone phoned me back and did an assessment over the phone so I'm getting the thing fir the toilet, a stool for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. I told her I was a bit worried about showers because our shower is over the bath. She said they could give me a bath board, but I said I already have one, and because both hips are completely knackered, I don't have enough movement in them to lift my legs high enough to get them over the side of the bath. So at that point she said rather than having showers, she'd give me a stool to sit at the sink and have an all over wash! I don't like the sound of that for too long, so I hope I can get into the shower in the not too distant future. Also I'll want to wash my hair!

    It's very reassuring to hear all your stories of the aftermath. @Lilymary thank you for the tip about the car, ours does have slightly raised sides. I'm not looking forward to the journey home. It takes so long because we don't have any dual carriageway for a lot of it and always end up stuck behind lorries for miles and miles! I do know not to take paracetamol with cocodamol, but thank you for checking. I tried the cocodamol with the oramorph a couple of times when it's been horrifically bad the last few days, and it actually works much better. I seem to be good tolerating strong painkillers. My mum was given tramadol after her hip replacement and couldn't tolerate it at all. All along, I've been taking the weakest painkiller I could cope with and just deciding day by day, but the last week, the pain has been worse than it's been yet.

    Is there anyone who needed both hips done? I'd love to hear about how much difference it made having the first one done.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Suggest getting a couple of yoga blocks or similar to stand on and help give you more leg swinging room over the bath.

    only had 1 hip done, the other is still ok, I hope it stays that way.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 41

    Hello Limpingandinpain - good luck with your op. I need to have both hips replaced and will be interested to follow your progress. I saw my surgeon on Friday and he had just been informed that they can start elective surgery on 1st February. He hopes to do my first hip end Feb/early March and the second one 12 weeks later.

    l’d been worrying about how I would cope after the first surgery with the other hip still needing to be done. He said that I would be able to weightbear on the newly operated hip FOUR hours after surgery! I was very reassured by this because at the moment I can’t weightbear on either hip!

    As Coddfish says, a step to help you get you onto the bath board will help. Like you, I can’t lift my legs, separately or together, so have a step to help me get into bed. I’ve found that approaching the step backwards helps, then you can lift your lower leg and foot back by bending the knee. I’m not sure if I’ve explained that very well!

    I’ll be thinking of you this week.


  • JaneS
    JaneS Member Posts: 2

    Thank you all for your posts. It is reassuring to know I am not on my own.

  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 570
    edited 18. Jan 2022, 14:36

    Hi @JaneS

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    When joining the forum it’s usual to use your first post to introduce yourself, sharing, for example, what brings you to the forum and what you hope to gain from joining. If you’d be happy to do this in a follow up post that would be great.

    In case you’ve not visited our main website, here’s the link:

    I would encourage you to participate in as many forum discussions as you feel appropriate in order to get the most out of the forum.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)