A question about confidence. And possible dislocation

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maggiemuppet
maggiemuppet Member Posts: 7
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:08 in Living with arthritis

It's 14 weeks since my hip replacement and overall I've progressed well and made a good recovery. My problem is my head, my mindset. I'm so cautious, so scared of falling.

In particular I'm worried about dislocation - undoing all the good work. I read somewhere that 2 in 100 hip replacements end this way. Anyone had personal experience of this?

I want to get on with my life but this is holding me back.

Any advice would be welcome. Will I always have to avoid low chairs? Am I allowed to kneel on the floor, sitting back on my haunches? Can I weed the flowerbeds? All the information I've read is so general.

How do I improve my thought processes and be more positive rather than worrying about the "What Ifs"

Your comments would be appreciated.

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  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,668
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    Hi @maggiemuppet welcome to the Online community.

    Congratulations on your new hip I am very pleased you have had your surgery and can quite understand your anxieties about falling and potential dislocation. I hope some reassurance from our members and time is what will ease your fears about the 'what ifs'.

    We have had quite a few members who have had their hips replaced fairly recently who will I am sure be happy to share their experience. I am attaching a link to a thread which most of them have participated in:

    In addition this link does tell you a fair bit about surgery including information about post surgery:

    Best wishes

    Ellen.

  • Fif
    Fif Member Posts: 115
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    I had a THR in November 2020 and like you was anxious about doing damage to the new joint. My surgeon's advice was to do as much as I felt comfortable with and there were no specific rules about bending, height of chairs etc. I think the advice was sound as until your muscles are strong enough there will be things you don't feel comfortable with, but little by little you go a bit further and by the end of the first year I didn't think much about the hip at all. I could do all the yoga moves I did before the operation, including child's pose which is kneeling down and back onto your heels. By the way the replacement was due to a fracture rather than arthritis, but I shouldn't think it makes much difference in terms of recovery. I've since been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis which has set me back a bit in terms of what I can do, but the hip is the least of my problems! I'm sure as time goes on you'll be back doing everything you did before the operation and more! Good luck!

  • maggiemuppet
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    Thanks Fif: reassurance if ever I needed it.

    Common sense seems to be the name of the game, and any small progress should be clocked up as an achievement.

    One or two friends have said they rarely remember they've even had the operation.

    Love the fact you can do some yoga moves, that's something I used to enjoy. Not seriously, but enough to know I'd done it. Perhaps a longer-term aim for me is to go back to classes - once I've mastered the art of gettting on and off the ground elegantly. lol.


    Sorry to read you've now got rheumatoid arthritis and how it has set you back.

    Thanks for responding to me.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I do sympathise. I was particularly anxious about dislocation post THR as I’d actually seen one happen and had a friend who dislocated hers 3 times. She later admitted it was because she kept falling over from pushing herself too hard walking on uneven ground. I read all the stories about “never cross your legs, don't bend down, don’t twist from the hips” etc etc and was careful to avoid these in the early months post op, as it did feel very iffy and wobbly. Even now I still have odd “oo-errr, don't do that again” moment. But when I mentioned this to my surgeon at 6 months he said that shouldn’t always be the case.

    Nearly a year post op, I still have a lot of muscle weakness and some pains, but I’m starting to feel I can do quite a few of my pilates movements and often do “banned” movements without thinking and without consequence. I’m not ready to go back to classes yet, as there are still quite a lot of basic moves I can’t do.

    My advice (although others with better recovery rates may feel differently) would be to take it carefully but don’t let this small risk of dislocation paralyse you with fear. I found gardening challenged me to get into odd positions without thinking about it, till I suddenly realised I was doing it safely. Walking on uneven ground, once my balance was improving, (still using a stick) also helped my confidence grow, but there are still some things I’m not ready for due to muscle weakness and associated balance issues. On the other hand , I have friends who were back salsa dancing, rock climbing and skiing within 6 months post THR. I’ve even heard of people who were horse riding within 2 months!!

    Everyone’s different, I’m on the “slow recovery path” 🙄😅, but really just listen to your body. If something feels wobbly and unstable at the moment, carry on being careful, but even I’m finding my stability and range of movement is slowly improving, so it must give hope to others! You will probably eventually find your range of movement improving without you noticing.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131
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    could you ask to be refered for more physio? a good physio would be able to guide you through the movements you want to do and show you how to build up strength to do ones you aren't yet strong enough for .

  • maggiemuppet
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    Thanks for all the responses; since I posted I've had a more positive approach, including going birdwatching with my husband - something we both like but which I was worried about due to being out in the countryside.

    Today I gingerly got down onto the floor - not done that in I-don't-know-how-long. I need to do the bridging exercise down there as doing it on a bed just isn't the same. Both mattresses we have are soft and I didn't feel I was getting into the right pose.

    Husband was on hand to help me get up again if need be - but I was pleased to do it myself. Another step to independence.

    The suggestion of getting a physio opinion, although sound, wouldn't work in my area. My operation was 16th Dec, saw the physio team in hospital before I came home on 18th. My out-patients appointment was 10th January and I was checked that I could walk with 2 sticks. And then signed off completely!

    It's good to hear from everyone on here, personal experiences really help. Thanks again.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    All hospital physios do is make sure you’re ok to send home. Longer term physio will help affected muscles rebuild, which will also support your new joint. I gave up with NHS physios years ago - it’s hopelessly inadequate for such major surgery (the level of trauma from which I’ve heard being described as an anaesthetised car crash).. My private Registered Physiotherapist is really not that expensive, and you don’t need to see them frequently. Mine usually does an assessment of where I’m up to in the clinic and gives me an exercise regime to work on, then we do a review and update the exercises after a few months. And you can use them for as long as you feel you need them.