New member with OA

Nurina Member Posts: 53
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis


I'm 55 diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when I was 5 years old. I've had a normal life, with movement limitations and some pains here and there, but in general, I was ok. Around 5 years ago I started with stiffness in hips and difficulties walking, and other symptoms. My mum had the same condition and she had her two hips replaced at 50. I thought I would never reach that point because I do a lot of exercise. But sadly, my condition has worsened and now I live as a disabled. I can barely walk even using a cane. I went to my GP and, after xray, she confirmed a severe OA in both hips and I'd need an urgent hip replacement. I didn't know that "Urgent" means 2 years of waiting list. I visited a private doctor and he suggested to have both hips done simultaneously because they are really bad and I'm young and strong enough to cope with the op. He offered me the surgery in February.

I've been researching online every article, wstching every video. I have questions and I can't find answers. I only find testimonies of people that were perfect, even athletes, and then they started having pain and got the hips done. But what happens after a hip surgery when you've never been ok? Will I be able to sit cross-legged for example? Will I be able to sit on the floor and get up without help? Will I be able to paint my toe nails or do yoga exercises?

Thanks for listening.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,485

    Hi @Nurina welcome to the online community.

    There are definitely members here who have had an inflammatory form of arthritis similar to yourself who have later gone on to develop Osteoarthritis and needed surgery. I am thinking of two in particular @stickywicket and @lindalegs although I know there are many others. They are the very best people to tell you about recovery after surgery if 'you've never been ok'.

    I have to say your commitment to exercise and keeping fit is very likely to stand you in good stead as far as recovery is concerned.

    I did a quick search for you about double hp replacements:

    and this thread by Rogerbill is absolutely worth a read:

    Best wishes


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  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,378

    Hello @Nurina,

    I've had rheumatoid for 37 years and although I haven't had my hips replaced I've had both my knees done in the same operation in 2000. I was 42 at the time and as both my knees were shot and I was relatively young my surgeon performed bi-lateral TKRs. It was my first major surgery and I didn't know any different. In those Halycon days I was given physio and hydrotherapy before and after surgery.

    I don't think it's recommended that you sit cross legged after hip replacements but times are different now and perhaps you'll be told it's okay. No one can answer whether you'll be able to get down and up from the floor/bath and it might depend if you can do it now and if you can then your muscle strength will still be good. As for your toenails, if your reach is good and also your knee bend I can't see why that would be a problem. (Mr Legs has the task of sorting out my toenails when I'm in need of a pedicure because my reach is rubbish due to my impaired elbow and shoulder mobility. What a lucky man Mr Legs is!)

    If there's anything else you need answering please post and we will be glad to try and help.

    Love, Legs x

    PS thank you @Ellen for getting in touch

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 53

    Thanks for your reply @lindalegs . My knees probably will go after the hips. I don't know what to expect from the surgery, honestly. My mum had her hips done but she never talked about it. I remember she was in bed for many days and sleeping with a triangle cushion between the legs for months. I'd need some hope. I have to pay for the surgery privately and recover from both hips at the same time. I'll rephrase my original question: will it be worth? I don't want running Marathons or climb the Everest. I only want to go to Tesco without pain. X

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 35

    Hi Nurina! After two years of chronic pain and buckets of pain killers every day, I had one hip replaced nearly four weeks ago. I am now without joint pain. Sure there was some pain in my hip and discomfort in my calf, but nothing like!

    I can now walk without pain. It's wonderful.

    Yes, was told to sleep with a pillow between my legs on my back, which was difficult and meant many sleepless nights, but that rule has been relaxed and I can now sleep on my side, again with the pillow between my legs.

    Don't cross your legs was another, don't know how long that one will last, don't twist at your hips and my surgeon said, don't touch your feet. It's all about not stressing/displacing your new joint, which makes sense. Of course I've very, very occasionally forgotten and had an OMG moment!

    Good luck, hope this helps. Its been so worth it, I feel I've got my life back.

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 53

    Thanks @swimmer60 Your experience is very helpful to me. X

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    Hi @Nurina One of the physiotherapists I saw said that she thought sitting cross-legged was a bad idea for everyone. But I know some with replacement hips who do so without any obvious problems. I had my hip replaced two years ago and choose to avoid crossing my legs. Although I don't have your long history of arthritis, you are over 15 years younger than me so you might be more flexible (especially if you used to do yoga) but for what it's worth I can say that I can easily get up from the floor without any aid and cut my own toe nails. After the operation I firmly believe it's important to be patient, not to rush the recovery, gradually build up the exercises and abide by the rules. In this way you should find the operation is life transformational.

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 53

    Thanks @RogerBill Your nice words give me a lot of hope. I'm doing seated strength and cardio exercises to be as fit as possible during the recovery. X

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 35

    My pleasure, Nurina.

  • Fif
    Fif Member Posts: 107

    I had a hip replacement after falling off my bike and breaking it. My surgeon just said do what you feel comfortable with and so I did. Like you, although I'm quite a bit older, I was pretty fit, did a lot of walking, cycling and yoga before the operation and after a period of recovery was able to do all those things again. It takes time and perseverance but it's perfectly possible. Since then, I've been diagnosed with RA and have recently managed to break my leg both of which have set me back a bit, but I'm determined to get back to being as fit as I can be. My advice would be to see your hip replacements as an opportunity rather than a threat. Good luck.

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 53

    Thanks @Fif I think getting strenght to hold our bones is vital for us. I can't do regular exercise, not even walk. I used to do a lot of exercise, spinning, weightlifting so without burning calories I'm gaining a lot of weight that it's making things worse. After the shock of the bad news and the depression, I have to move on. I'm doing seated exercises of strenght and cardio and surprisingly, I'm enjoying them. That's good to hear you are determined to get fit because autoimmune diseases are very related to emotions. X