Post total hip replacement

Lisbeth Member Posts: 46
edited 20. Dec 2022, 14:58 in Living with arthritis


i was fortunate to undergo a total hip replacement just one week ago. I was admitted on Monday 5th at 5pm, the procedure was performed about 6.30pm. I was back home on Wednesday 7th which at the time I was convinced I had recovered well enough to be discharged.

I don’t know why my anxiety levels are through the roof every evening, I seem to be in more pain as the day progresses. I should be over the moon as I’ve had a long wait to get this operation.

I live alone, my daughter is calling each day to see me and I’m so grateful for her care but I thought I could manage in my own, I’m angry with myself because I feel really lonely.

Are these feelings natural or am I being a drama queen? I certainly don’t feel good about myself. I should be full of gratitude, feel lucky to have had this amazing opportunity to restart my life, yet I feel like an ungrateful failure.

Any advice would be most appreciated.x



  • TLee
    TLee Member Posts: 80

    I truly believe that this is a very NORMAL reaction to the trauma of surgery. I've never had major surgery, but I am also on that long road toward hip replacement. I have had minor procedures that caused me quite a bit of pain (in my opinion anyway!), and I felt all of what you describe. Mad at myself for making what I thought was the wrong decision, mad at the doctor who I was sure had somehow botched the procedure, really sorry for myself for the pain I was experiencing & the fact that my family didn't seem to really care... All normal, but not pleasant, feelings. Try and keep in mind that things will get better fairly quickly (from all I've seen here), but don't beat yourself up for what you feel now. Take care & feel better soon!

  • Hi @Lisbeth

    Thank you for posting on the online community. I am glad to hear that you have had your hip replaced and wish you a speedy recovery. I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing such high levels of anxiety in the evenings, and I hear what you say about feeling that you should be ‘over the moon’.

    It sounds as if your being quite hard on yourself, your surgery is so recent and it takes time, so your feelings sound normal. It is not easy to recover from surgery when you are living on your own, though I am glad to hear that your daughter is calling you every day.

    On some level you are full of gratitude, but on other levels it can be tough going through the early days of recovery, please be kind to yourself and take great care.

    It might also be worth speaking to your local council about getting an occupational therapist visit, and/or a physio visit through the GP just for your own reassurance.

    You might like to look at some mindfulness or meditation which may help your anxiety, and please speak to your GP who too may be able to advise further.

    For more responses please re post on the living with arthritis forum, where more people can share their experiences with you and offer support.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor




  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,600

    @Lisbeth , I have had two hip replacements and so has my husband and, far from being a drama queen, I think you are amazing to be coping alone so soon after surgery, albeit with daughter's visits.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,600

    Sorry, I hadn't finished😊

    I think post op depression is quite a normal thing. I blame anaesthetics (though I wouldn't be without thèm!) I also think it's normal to feel more pain as they day goes on and night approaches but I do wondee if, being alone, you're doing too much. Exercìses and rest are the important things. Leave other things, if possibĺe, to your daughter.

    You really will get to that wonderful land of post-op nirvana bur don't push it and PLEÀSE don't be so hard on yourseĺf. You're doing well. ☺

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I’d echo @stickywicket , to feel vulnerable and in pain at this stage is very normal. I also found my pain levels got worse towards the evening and overnight, there’s probably a physiological reason for this but for the life of me I can’t remember what it is. Do try not to sit still for more than an hour, even if it’s just walking to the kitchen and back. And do what little exercises you can just to get your leg used to moving about again. I found I coped ok on my own when my husband was out, but was enormously grateful that he was doing the cooking, washing up etc, and was on hand if I dropped anything that my grabber couldn’t cope with, or just for moral support. So to be dealing with all this on your own most of the time is frankly heroic. Feel proud of yourself. But if it really is getting too much, don't be afraid to ask for a bit more help from friends or family. Remind them this is a very big operation, and your body has a lot of recovery to do. You’ve had someone cut through the biggest and most loadbearing bone in your body, and some of the biggest muscles too. This isn’t small beer.

    I remember hurling my crutches on more than one occasion out of sheer frustration. I wouldn’t recommend this, as you then have to work out how to get them back, without said crutches to help you get to them. 🙄😅 but I mention it to show how tough nuts like me can find this pretty gruelling. It will get better, this is the worst bit, but it’s going to take a while, so ask for all the help you need.

  • Hi @Lisbeth

    If you'd like a chat about how it's going and how you are feeling you would be very welcome to ring us here at the Helpline on 0800 5200 520.

    We are here 9am-6pm Mon-Fri Get help | Helpline, online community, arthritis virtual assistant (

    All the best


  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Thank you all so much for your wonderfully supportive responses to my post.

    You have all made suggestions and advice that I assume to be the same as I would give to someone who had written a similar post as I.

    It’s never easy to trust my own advice regarding my personal experiences, I am eternally grateful for your help and support.

    I need to build my confidence to a place where I can be patient and still be able to focus on my end goals which are probably quite achievable yet more risky if I misjudge how far I push myself too far, to quickly.

    It’s now been ten full days since the operation and mornings I feel strong, as the day progresses I feel weaker and find the pain increases. However the pain seems to lessen in comparison to even four days ago.

    Im optimistic that as the days pass, the swelling and discomfort will certainly ease.

    I am so very grateful to each of you for your kind words and encouragement. Bless you all and those waiting for this or any other replacement surgery, once completed, small time pain, long term gain.

    love and best wishes to everyone.xx

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Hi Lisbeth, I am on day 7 and I agree with everything you say especially about it being good during the day and pain and discomfort comes on during the evening. What is that about?

    Also wanted to say how brave you are being on your own. I would never had coped like you have.

    Hope you keep progressing xx

  • Hi@Dianes1

    If you are particularly interested in hearing the experiences of other people with arthritis, do post on the Living with arthritis forum

    all the best

    Guy - Helpline team

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Thank you

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hiya Diane’s 1

    I am so happy to hear that you have had your surgery, it’s not easy to be aware that your hip pain has been taken away, yet your pain is still all too real. Albeit a different pain, nevertheless it’s pain. On the positive side, this new pain will in time be gone, as in any surgical wound. Something to look forward to hey😊

    Im really not brave, I chose many years ago to live alone, I’m not always happy with my situation but maybe it’s toughened me up. Don’t think that you couldn’t do this on your own, believe me, if I can do it, anyone could.

    I hope you find the pain subsides a little every day but please don’t make the same mistake as I have. Yesterday I thought I was super woman, I was unstoppable but by 7pm last night…. Superwoman had abandoned me and left “wobbly woman” my own fault entirely, today I feel so drained and angry that I plan on spending the day in my chair surrounded by hot water bottles. I find they are more effective than pain killers.

    You have offered me very kind and supportive words, thank you so much for being so thoughtful. I am sending you my very best wishes for a complete recovery, a wonderful Christmas and a much healthier new year.x

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Thank you

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Merry Christmas Lizbeth. Hope we can keep in touch.

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300

    Hi Lisbeth, the first two weeks post op are the worse. We get used to the pain of OA, but the pain after surgery is different and unfamiliar and because after surgery we are limited in what we can do - we are have more time to notice and to worry. You are best to keep taking the pain killers at regular intervals for a little longer - they work best if you take them regularly, it's easier to manage pain that way rather than just taking them when the pain becomes unbearable. I found heat helped too, but if you are still bruised - ice is better. If you are still swollen, a row of pillows under the foot of the mattress really helps.

    I have done the whole living alone thing after my first THR. After my second one, I was caring also for S who has autism and a related learning disability.

    I appreciate there is only so many books, so many TV programmes etc you can occupy yourself with and I found my concentration was poor until the anaesthetic was truly out of my system .... but being absorbed in something is a good antidote to pain also.

    You will get through this.

    Have you thought of writing a diary as an outlet or starting a blog?


    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    I think that’s a great idea speedalong, to keep track of my daily experiences would help me to monitor my up days and down days. There’s just one problem, I tend to get carried away and what ideally should be akin to bullet points, my writing gallops off with me, I end up scribbling essays, any tips on how to condense would be grateful received lol.

    It must have been exhausting caring for someone whilst having your second hip replacement, I believe that we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, you are a super hero💪

    I would like very much to keep in touch too, dianes1. I’m afraid that over the years I’ve managed to isolate myself, thinking that pain and depression are topics of conversation that can put pressure on friendships. I guess I would rather avoid talking about it, but it’s hard work trying not to when people ask how you are. Does that make sense? Or Maybe I’m just not very sociable which is probably more accurate.

    This is a very good example of my earlier comment about a few words turning into an essay haha!! Sorry guys, I get my rambling boots on and off I go🤭🤐.

    I cannot believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve, this month has absolutely flown. I am sending love to everyone for a happy Christmas, pain free would be wonderful, wishful thinking even but as free of pain as possible is the best we can hope for. Stay safe and take good care of yourselves.♥️

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300

    Hi Lisbeth,

    I don't think there is anything wrong in writing realms in a diary/log and on here is fine too. It's good to have an outlet and better than keeping it all in your head.

    Re friendships - remember they are a two way thing, and as well as you telling someone how you are, you will be listening to them too - so it works both ways.

    I remember a work colleague coming to visit me in her lunch break after my second hip replacement and she offloaded about all that was going on in her life. She suddenly noticed she needed to go, she was so apologetic as she had hardly asked me how I was, I reassured her that actually it was lovely to be listening to her and she had totally taken my mind off my own worries for awhile (and I meant it.) Anyone who visited/text/emailed etc asked how I was doing - without really understanding (- the forum was better for those sorts of conversations!) and it was lovely to talk about something else.

    Thank you for your good wishes - I hope you feel noticeably better this Christmas.


    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Hi Lizbeth, let me first say you certainly don't sound unsociable. I know what you mean though about keeping problems to yourself. I have always been the one saying "I'm fine" whilst feeling wretched inside.

    My dressing was looked at and taken off today and I was allowed to shower. Absolute bliss. Had to attend a Christmas family gathering. I loaded myself with painkillers and I managed to enjoy it and actually thought I had turned a corner, but now at 3.30 in the morning I am aching a lot. Hope I haven't overdone it.

    As speedalong said, the forum is the best place to offload. Friends and family we spent the day with obviously asked how I was, but soon went off the subject. As I said earlier I normally want to cover up any illness but today I actually wanted to talk about it longer and felt flat and lonely that others didn't. It was like oh well its over now so let's move on. Don't know why I was attention seeking, so unlike me, but this whole episode has really shaken me up and not recognising myself at moment.

    Trying to read to take my mind off the pain and can't wait for morning to come. Nighttime is my worst time. Also panicking as daughter and grandchildren are coming to stay all over Christmas and I have got to cheer myself up. Sorry for ranting.

    Hope you and everyone have a lovely Christmas and 2023 is better for us.

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300

    Hi Diane,

    sorry to read you had a tough night. I hope you managed to nod off again eventually and didn't wake up too early.

    I agree the forum is the one place where people do understand what pain is like and the challenges arthritis brings. I can remember being in school and limping into school and the deputy head saying, "Morning, how are you?" in a bright cheerful voice and me saying, '"Fine thank you," as I knew there was no point in saying how I really felt and that the thought of lugging my classes' exercise books all the way down the corridor and an active day in class was the last thing my body wanted to do that day.

    You'll be fine with your visitors as long as they appreciate you are getting over major surgery and that this year they need to be waiting on your and that you might sneak off occasionally to lie on your bed for a bit.

    When I had my second hip operation and was caring for S, I showed him my scar so he would understand. "Ooh sore, poor you," he said but it meant he was gentle and careful if we were having a hug and he was happy to lift and carry for me etc Just an idea.


    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • Blondie
    Blondie Member Posts: 5

    Hi Lisbeth I think you are doing amazing well, I had my left hip replaced a year ago, I am 76 and live in my own, I was dreading it and worried about how I would cope. I did have help from my daughter for the first few days but I remember crying with frustration when she had to help me have a shower (I had a waterproof dressing). Surgery and anaesthetics do make you feel depressed for a while I think. My leg felt so heavy and the effort of just getting to the loo wore me out but I found having a nap in the afternoon helped. I started walking just a few yards outside, and would make the next lamppost my goal the next day, I was exhausted when I got home but I gradually built up my strength. A year on I have no pain, the feeling that my operated on leg was longer has gone, I have been a holiday abroad and am generally living the life that was taken away by the awful pain of an arthritic hip. Take it one day at a time, ask for help if you need it and rest when you can and it will all be worth it

  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 826

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • MaureenB
    MaureenB Member Posts: 29

    Hi Lisbeth I think you are amazing managing post op on your own. The pain in the first two weeks is pretty bad, I kept up the regular routine of painkillers and then found myself topping up with codeine in the middle of the night. What is interesting is that, having had two replacements, in both cases in week 3 it is as if the pain has been greatly dialled down to something more bearable. Your body is healing and needs rest so afternoon naps are a great thing. My first hip was done after 4 years of severe osteo arthritis and I had excellent physio but also my hip's physical recovery took longer and was more complicated. And I had more weird pains in my leg etc. Got there in the end and was climbing big hills 5 months later. The second hip had been severe for about 6 months ( but I also had back problems on the same side). The physio was a lot more generic but my recovery has been much quicker and after 2 months I feel like a normal woman again! I have still got a way to go and need to keep up my exercises to get back to full fitness. It has not all been plain sailing as my metatarsalgia in my foot has come back and I have overdone the walking and got tendonitis so I am currently taking it slow and using lots of ice packs.

    I hope you and Dianes1 are enjoying less pain and easier movement by now.

  • Glenman
    Glenman Member Posts: 2

    I have had both hips replaced, in December 2019 and September 2020. I agree that the operations were painful; hip replacement is a major surgery as my consultant emphasised. However the pain afterwards I could treat as being different to the pain of osteoarthritis itself for it was a healing pain and would pass. It did and whilst I am certainly not as limber as my pre-arthritic self and cannot/do not walk very far, I now walk without a stick. I live a fairly active life with lots of outings to sports grounds –in the early days when I still needed support I once dropped my stick and it went bouncing down the terraces but somebody brought it back to me. I even manage my allotment without problems so long as I have devised a strategy to get myself back on my feet from kneeling.

    I found my recovery had thresholds and once I passed the threshold I did not go back:

    ditching the zimmer frame for crutches, then the crutches for a stick, then progressing to walking without any aid;

    ascending stairs with only one foot on each tread;

    sleeping on my side rather than my back;

    putting my shoes on myself;

    cutting my own toenails. This was a big advance – my wife is blind and neither of us wanted her near my feet with a sharp instrument so I used to get children or grandchildren to cut them, which I found humiliating despite their kind willingness to wield the scissors.

    So, patience, things improve. Osteoarthritis of the hips is horrible; living with hip replacements is infinitely better, no matter the short term difficulties.

  • JustMe123
    JustMe123 Member Posts: 3

    I understand you completely, just the way I feel. I have noon, just a daughter who had a historectomy about a month ago but she goes back to work in a week. She does not drive and she never has time to herself. Never has time for me yet do anything for me. Noone in this apartment complex even talks to anyone. So there is no one!!! ust me. I went and bought myself a shower chair, a shower sponge with a long handle, a toilet riser and with handles and a chair for the living room because i cannot sit in my recliner or love seat. Oh, tonight I ordered online a leg raiser or it is called a leg lifter. Now I got to worry about my bed and about a shower bar. Maybe my landlord will be nice and buy one and install it and will pay them. Then getting in bed, the thought. How the hell do you do it? I am so scared of being by myself. What do I do all day? Can I cry more? I better stop writing this because my eyes are really starting to water up. If no towel bar, then no shower. Besides a dirty body, a dirty head of hair because it will not get washed!! Gee, I am so scared!!!!! Help, how the heck do you get in bed? Thanks for any comments!!!😓

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    Hi @JustMe123 Providing your bed is a reasonable height getting into bed shouldn't pose much of a problem. These might help:

    I didn't need any strap to lift me leg. For lots more free videos containing helpful and reassuring advice check:

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hi @JustMe123

    Sorry, I have only just read your post. Please don’t be scared, we don’t know how resilient we are until we have to face whatever it is that causes us so much anxiety.

    Having such a major procedure like a hip replacement will enhance your life greatly, short term pain, long term gain and believe me I’m now seven and a half weeks post op and today I walked over two miles in a field, herding a sheep that had been left behind when the flock had been moved. I could not have dreamed that would be possible eight weeks ago. It was tough and depressing in the two or three weeks after the operation, I had a roller coaster of emotions but getting through the initial pain that any operation causes I can honestly say that my life has been enhanced times one hundred.

    My physiotherapist has said he will see me on February 28th for the final time, I plan to get back on my horse on March 1st (weather permitting) I’ve not ridden in three and a half years because of my poorly hip. Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled to bits.

    Take care of you, be strong and please let us know how you are getting along on your journey to enhancing your life.

    here is my beautiful horse who has become an ornament in the field for far too long.

    I wish you all the best and a better quality of life in the post op years.🙂