Sleeping after THR


I had my second THR yesterday and it was worlds apart from my first one, which was done early in the morning, allowing me to be up walking in the afternoon and discharged in the evening. The pain was managed really well while I was in, starting with oycodone as soon as I was recovery.

Yesterday I wasn't taken until 4pm, I wasn't given any pain medication in recovery and when I got back to the ward at 7, I was given paracetamol. Given how late it was, I didn't see the physio until today, and I wasn't up walking yesterday at all. I had a horrific night with major stiffness and terrible muscle pain and I just couldn't cope with the pain. The nurse said she'd been reluctant to give me morphine because I looked pale, but she did eventually give me some because I just didn't know where to put myself.

I got home this afternoon and I'm still struggling to get comfy tonight with the muscle pain and stiffness but at least I can get up and walk about - although getting out of bed is interesting due to the stiffness, which is in my back too.

Does anyone please have any tips for how to get comfy enough to get a bit of sleep? I'm just so exhausted- this is night 3 of not sleeping because I was too scared and couldn't stop thinking about what was ahead!

Hope you're all doing well. Many thanks in advance for any help you're able to give.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    What lies ahead is recovery. It will take some effort and determination but you know that from your previous THR. Did you lie awake worrying then? If not, what's the difference?

    I do hope today has been better. Progress does tend to go in fits and starts but we do get there in the end, as you know. My way, and my husband's, was just to to the exercises regularly and rest in between. Pain relief when necessary but I find the trouble is the strong stuff makes me drowsy and sleeping during the day isn't conducive to a good night's sleep. So I always tried to delay it during the day and do anything to take my mind off the pain.

    Keep plugging away. It'll get better.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 43

    Hi @Limpingandinpain, so pleased you’ve had your second hip op. We’ve spoken before, I had my RTHR in Feb and LTHR in Apr. Both recoveries were completely different, partly because with the second I didn’t want to take such strong pain relief as the first time.

    Sleeping involved an arrangement of cushions and pillows to find a reasonably comfortable position. Also a small step to help me get into bed!

    The first couple of weeks are a bit grim, but it DOES get better. It’s hard having two hip replacements in less than three months. Physio is hard too, as you haven’t really got a good leg to rely on! Five months after the second op I feel I’ve finally ‘turned the corner’ - you’ll feel like that soon, I promise!

    Good luck with your recovery - you’ll get there.


  • Thank you both. The huge difference this time is the back pain. I didn't have that last time, and was able to sleep on my non operated side from about the 3rd night last time (the hospital said that was ok). This time, the back pain is just awful, right along my lower back. It's incredibly stiff as well and it takes me such a long time to try to sit up to get out of bed. Last night I was just lying there thinking "I don't know how I'm going to do this" - while desperate for a wee! At some point during the night my back was spasming right along the sore bit, and my husband said it's really bruised.

    If it wasn't for the back issues, I'd be coping just fine with the thigh/hip pain - it really improves once I get going.

    The spinal didn't seem to go quite as smoothly this time, they couldn't get it in to begin with, they said it was bleeding quite a bit and it took ages to do. That part was really very unpleasant!

    Stickywicket- it was the night before the surgery that I lay awake worrying- about the surgery. Since then I could easily have slept if the pain had let me!

    I just really need some sleep and can't find anywhere comfy to lie with the back pain.

    Pmas - 2 hip replacements in under 3 months! You were very brave! I know what you mean about the exercises because I really struggled with them last time due to my other hip being so very bad. I wasn't able to stand on that leg for the exercises. They're so much easier this time - what a difference it makes having a good hip on the other side!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I was unable to sleep on my side immediately post THR - the new hip felt too unstable, so I slept on my back on a long line of soft pillows from shoulder to knee, with my feet propped up on a knee pillow to stop pressure sores on my heels. I didn't get much sleep, and was stiff as a board in the morning, but it soon eased once I was up.

    I'm really surprised at them not offering pain meds - my pain levels were off the chart post op. My backside felt like a football at the end of a Cup Final and the pain in my groin was horrific. They were more than happy to give me morphine and codeine, and sent me home with the same. I really needed it too, but only at night. I avoided the codeine as I was so fed up with the attendant constipation.

    I would have begged for mercy or tied myself to my bed if they threatened to send me home on Day 1! I almost passed out on the first night and was still on intravenous pain meds until they discharged me after 3 nights, as were we all on that ward. I only needed the morphine every now and then at night for the first week or so. The pain was much less when I was up and about during the day, like you, just the odd paracetamol, but night time was another thing entirely!

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    I'm wondering if the problem could be to do with the ßpiinal difficulty. If you were bleeding perhaps you bled a little internally too. That bruising might account for pain when you're lying on it. Sorry, that wouldn't do anything to make it better but maybe if you ring your GP they might be able to suggest something.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright