Total Hip Replacement Surgery with Spinal Anaesthesia / Epidural - My Experience



  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 67

    Hi @C1955J Thanks again for continuing to reassure me about the hip replacement procedure! It's good to know once sedated, that you felt and saw nothing that was going on. I can only assume that it must be almost identical to a general anaesthetic, but you recover more quickly? Thanks again for helping to keep me from becoming anxious and frightened x

  • Ali_W
    Ali_W Member Posts: 5

    Thank you all for posting about your experiences. It's really helpful and reassuring to be forewarned of what lies ahead. Had not heard about spinal vs general. I'm 58 and last summer finally put on a waiting list for right hip replacement that may happen this autumn/winter. Deteriorated since to bone on bone & too painful to walk far now (& find a stick hinders) with Paracetamol before trips out & nightly. Left hip worsening to compensate. Menopause symptoms still too. Keep moving & cheerful anyway.

  • Izzypeach
    Izzypeach Member Posts: 5

    Hi @Whiskey26 you are not a wimp, or a baby or ridiculous or any of the other words we think we shouldn't be with something that terrifies us so much. I've just been put on the hip list and I am absolutely mortified to have surgery and keep telling myself I'm a 50-year-old baby and I shouldn't. I bet you didn't cry all the way through your orthopaedic assessment.....erm, I did!!!

    I'm really pleased to read about these good experiences but my question is this, I just don't have the b**ls to have a spinal with sedative, I feel like I need to have a full general. I don't want to hear anything, I just want to go sleep and wake up when it's done, one of you mentioned you weren't given that option or did I read that wrong? That terrifies me even more. 😐️

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 39

    Hi @Whiskey26, I has my right hip replaced on 3 Feb and left hip replaced on 22 Apr, this year. Both were done with spinal and sedative. With the first, I was out like a light and woke up in the Recovery Room afterwards.

    With the second, they altered the ‘recipe’ slightly as my BP was very low for a few days after the first op. It took a little longer for the spinal to work and I woke up 2 or 3 times during the op, spoke a few words with the anaesthetist, couldn’t feel a thing or hear anything awful!

    Let the anaesthetist know your worries, they will do their absolute best for you and don’t want you to be anxious. Good luck.

  • C1955J
    C1955J Member Posts: 20

    Hi @Izzypeach I appreciate how worrying it is venturing into the unknown regarding anaesthesia. I too was extremely anxious about it.

    The hospital where I had my hip replacement surgery usually use spinal anaesthesia but will offer a general anaesthetic if you state it as your preference.

    Initially, I was exactly like you and preferred a general go to sleep and wake up when it's done, but having heard that with a spinal anaesthetic with sedation that is exactly what happens.....only you come around from sedation much quicker, feel less groggy and are less likely to feel nauseous.

    Hi @Whiskey26 I hope you continue to be reassured about your forthcoming surgery. Think ahead to how life changing this surgery is. I could barely walk 25 metres with a stick prior to surgery......and now some six weeks later I am able to walk without a stick around the house and went for a 3 mile walk yesterday (with a stick) but no hip pain whatsoever.

    Hi@Ali_W I too had a long wait for my right hip replacement where it was bone on bone for over a year. I feel my left hip has deteriorated too due to compensating for the right one. I'm going to see my Consultant next week for my post op check up so am going to ask about the state of my left hip. I wish you luck and hope you get your surgery soon. Above all, stay positive.....hopefully not too much longer to wait.

  • Fergie7
    Fergie7 Member Posts: 4

    Hi there,

    To those who have had a hip replacement, what sort of levels of activity are possible after the surgery? Would it be possible to play football again for instance? I know that it was a very recent operation for some, so not everyone will be able to answer that yet

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 67

    Hi @Ali_W I haven't yet had a discussion with anyone regarding a hip replacement operation, but like you, I'm almost 58 and find walking more and more difficult. I have a stick, which, for me, does help, but my left side is getting fed up of compensating for my right side and at times, is more painful. With menopausal aches and pains added in to the mix, most days are bearable at best, but I keep smiling and refuse to let any of this get me down. I do, however, keep saying 'why me?', which is selfish, because it's not just me , but sometimes the pain just takes over.

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 67

    Hi @Izzypeach I haven't had an orthopaedic assessment yet, but like you, I have no doubt that I will spend the whole appointment in tears. Fear of the unknown I guess. I don't fancy a general anaesthetic and therefore, I'll probably ask for the epidural and also, to be very heavily sedated. Don't get me wrong, this scares me as much as a general anaesthetic, but my way of thinking is, I've had two epidurals when I had both of my daughter's and I felt nothing, so it can't be any worse, can it????? I'm just trying to get my head round that when the time comes, I just need to focus on the hope that I will be pain free eventually and my dream is to walk without a stick.

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 67

    Hi @C1955J Great to hear you've managed to do a three mile walk and that you are walking around indoors with no stick! You must be so proud of yourself! I really hope if I ever have to have a hip replacement and I'm sure I will, that I too can abandon my stick. Everywhere I go at the moment, I feel like I'm slowing everyone down and I'm a hindrance. One thing I've never thought to ask, is what your hip looks like, post op? Is there a big wound? Lots of stitches? Are they dissolvable ones? How do you care for the wound? ie: dressings etc. Apologies for all the questions, but if I don't ask, then my mind works overtime and I get very anxious.

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 67

    Hi@pmas thanks so much for explaining your experience. It's fear of the unknown for me, having never been in hospital for anything other than childbirth. I will need heavy sedation I think, just to make sure I can't hear or see anything. Whenever my time comes (I'm not on the list yet) I will just have try and think that the outcome will be so much better than my quality of life right now.

  • C1955J
    C1955J Member Posts: 20

    Hi @Whiskey26 Apologies for not replying sooner. I've been away for a few days to Robin Hood's Bay. Regarding walking, I don't think I could have chosen anywhere steeper....but I've managed! I have had to use one walking stick on the steep slopes.

    It's now 9 weeks since my surgery and I feel I'm starting to get my life back on track.....and it's a fantastic feeling! I'm sure, given time you'll get there too.

    I had an interview for a part time job last week and heard today that I've been successful. My confidence in myself is slowly returning. My only wish is that I could have had my hip replacement sooner.

    Post op, I had a dressing covering my wound which was about 2-3 inches wide and around 8 inches long. This dressing stayed on for the duration of two weeks. There was no bruising at all but my hip was swollen and ached for a couple of weeks. I wore looser fitting clothing during this time as it was more comfortable (No tight jeans!)

    My stitches were dissolvable and after two weeks my wound had healed sufficiently to have the dressing removed and I was allowed to shower too.

    I can't believe how well the wound has healed. There is just a fine line where the skin has healed. I'm delighted to say that it's not really that noticeable.

    I hope this helps....and if you need to know anything else about my experience....please just ask.

  • Harrymca
    Harrymca Member Posts: 2

    Glad you got sorted out in 3 months I’ll be waiting 4yrs on a hip so it gives me a bit of hope seeing others get there hip done.

  • Tom
    Tom Moderator Posts: 456

    Welcome to the forum, @Harrymca . That must indeed be frustrating to wait four years for a hip operation.

    Here is some information from our website on this topic:

    We hope that your wait will soon be over.

    Tom, Moderator.

  • Lindaa
    Lindaa Member Posts: 8

    Going in for left hip replacement on 30th july, golden wedding anniversary! So family party not happening. Had right one done10 years ago and been very successful. I did all the exercises as prescribed and followed instructions rigidly.

    To those anxious about epidurals/ procedure I would say think about long term gain in quality of life. You already know that everyone is a bit different. Think positive.

    I would suggest remember not everyone has a speedy recovery. Dont push yourself to keep up with what you hear othets have been able to do. Your surgeon, physios and your own body should be your guide. As for driving- I could not drive for about 3 months. It is vital to be able to do an emergency stop and if you do have an insurance claim driving when jot properly fit to do so can invalidate it.

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