My hip is done

I had my hip operation on the 1st Feb. I was first on the list. Reading all your comments helped me a lot and the staff were wonderful. I had the freeze spray, then anaesthetic injection followed by the epidural. I didn't feel much until I got a shower of electrical pulses in my leg and foot (they had hit the right spot in my spine). I don't remember anything after they started putting the equipment in place as they gave me the promised sedative. I woke up as they were wheeling me into recovery. Everything had gone well. I shared a ham sandwich with my husband at lunchtime and they got me up in the afternoon for the bathroom. Physios came round just to check on me and did a little exercise on the bed.

The next day I got washed and dressed with minimal help. Physios took me for a walk and tried the stairs which were fine. They were not as deep as our steps so I was a bit nervous about climbing at home. I came home around teatime and I did manage our stairs, it just took me longer.

We had to get the OT to have a bed rail fitted because there was nothing to help me to get up and out of bed.. I also got a bed ladder to help me sit up safely. They have been a godsend.

I struggled badly at first with sleeping on my back even with the U shaped pillow and others. We ended up getting a memory foam topper which helped a lot. I also need my feet elevated as I'm prone to swelling anyway. My husband has been a big help with these things. He even manages to sleep with the U pillow next to him :)

I managed a few aisles in home bargains yesterday so I think walking around stores will become one of my bits of exercise for a while as they make the walk more interesting and many have quite long aisles. I don't have to worry about rain or snow either.

All in all I am doing remarkably well.

Many thanks to those who spoke about their own experience because it really helped me.

I would say to anyone who is hesitant to just get it done. The old pain and crunching went immediately and the hospital were so good about regular pain relief that I can't say I suffered at all.

I asked a lot of questions beforehand and told the consultant and anesthetist about my fears and they answered every one so I wasn't really afraid either.

Next hurdle is getting the 33 staples taken out next week.


  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    I'm so happy to read your good experience with the surgery. It'll help people who are frightened waiting for their surgery.

    Like you, my stairs are very steep and the steps are narrow and very high. It was very scary at the beginning. When I came back from the hospital, I climbed up to my bedroom and I spent two days there, waiting fo feel better before attempting climbing down 😅

    The first time I went to a shop was to the Home Bargains next to my home 😂 strangely, I missed it a lot

    I hope you can keep us updated.

    Take care and Good luck. X

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @alwayssewing It's so good to read this and you are indeed doing remarkably well - it's only ten days - amazing!

    I can empathise with the stairs taking longer - I used to stand at the bottom and feel daunted. Standing at the top I felt terrified of falling but at eight weeks today I don't even think about it.

    I found it really interesting to read you called OT to get a bed rail and bed ladder - I had to Google to find out what a bed ladder is. I could really have used these. I would say my biggest problem, apart from sleeping on my back, was getting in and out of bed for the first few days. I tried every which way but it took forever and was scary and painful.

    Well done for finding somewhere safe to walk - if you feel confident it will really help, although I have, reluctantly, had to accept that two or three smaller walks a day cause fewer aches than trying a longer, doing it all in one, walk.

    And isn't it wonderful when the old pain and crunching goes? I did find the numbness and aches of the first few days were so much more bearable than I had thought they would be. Nothing paracetamol didn't cope with.

    You're right to ask all your questions of the experts before-hand - it does make it so much less scary - I kept reminding myself it is major surgery but very common, which helped to stop the worry but let me allow myself time to recover.

    Please keep on updating us and wishing you all the best, x

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146


    Your stairs do sound scary. Mine are quite narrow too. But my physio really approved of stairs and said negotiating them was a real aid on the road to recovery. In fact she told me about a client who was going to set up a bed downstairs and had been strongly discouraged!

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    @swimmer60 I think the struggle with my stairs is the cause of my speedy recovery. Everyday day was a little bit easier and I thought that If I could climb up and down my stairs I was unstoppable! 😂

  • Denis68
    Denis68 Member Posts: 53

    @alwayssewing glad your op went well and it seems like your recovery is going well too. Progress happens fairly quickly, I'm 8 weeks post Op tomorrow and have just had a full week back at work. My main issue now is remembering I've had a major operation and there are some things I can't or probably shouldn't do yet.

    Hope you're recovery continues going well

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @Denis68 you've made me laugh as I am finding as my life returns to 'normal' I'm forgetting I've had my surgery too and keep thinking 'oops' maybe I shouldn't have done that. No serious damage as yet though!

    @Nurina @swimmer60 @alwayssewing definitely my hospital's physios are all of the opinion that stairs are great for recovery. One of them told me if a patient has a toilet upstairs and one downstairs she always recommends they go to the one furthest away for the extra exercise!

    And talking of toilets I was initially a bit concerned as my hospital doesn't have, or give, raised toilet seats saying it's better to get used to a normal one. I suppose looking back it was more awkward initially but now when I read about people having to get used to not using a raised seat, or worrying about going out and whether they'll manage the toilets, I am grateful I was thrown in at the deep end.

    Take care all, x

  • Thanks for your lovely comments and encouragement.

    @Nurina Before the Op. I Had considered staying upstairs for a few days afterward but I was so surprised at how little pain there was when going up and down the stairs, especially down which was awful before I had it done. Needless to say I continued to go up and down and each day my other leg has got a bit stronger. My husband helps me put my legs and feet on a pillow and cushion as I'm prone to swelling.

    @Janlyn I bought the bed ladder From the big south American river shop and the OT was a bit concerned about it till I showed her how I used it, I only pull myself to sitting with it, No twisting or anything that could hurt. She agreed I needed the hand rail when she watched me struggling getting in and especially out of bed.

    I was finding the toilet more and more difficult to use before the operation so I am very grateful for the seat. Once the other hip is healed I will probably be fine again to do without the seat. The OT asked if she should bring another commode for downstairs but I declined it as there is nowhere private and my 24 year old son doesn't need to walk in on that !

    I phoned for an appointment at the doctors yesterday and was told "oh no you have to contact the treatment room direct" and she gave me the number. I called and it said "please leave your name, phone number and message after the tone". I heard absolutely nothing back so went to the surgery this morning. I got "oh no you need to book direct." How do I do that if they don't answer their messages?. "Its the desk that you pass on the way in" We have a large building with multiple GP surgeries, Dentist and other nhs clinics. Last time I used that desk it was for booking hospital appointments, I booked a minor surgery for a cyst on my eyelid to be removed years ago. Why are we not told these things. I avoid going to the doctors as much as possible and I'm not a mind reader .

    The upshot was I have an appointment for Thursday morning to get the staples taken out.

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    @alwayssewing I don't like my stairs. They are too steep and narrow, like the ones in Dutch houses. I'm a size 4 and my foot doesn't fit on the step. My bathroom and my bedroom are upstairs and the first two days I had to drink a lot of water to eliminate the anaesthetic. Everything was much easier for my family and myself if I stayed upstairs.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @alwayssewing as I live alone I had been terrified of being home alone and had checked out local care homes and hotels with accessible rooms, just in case I was too scared to go home. I'm so glad I had only looked and not arranged anything as although he steps were daunting and I was very slow they were manageable, and got easier very quickly. I wish I'd had someone to put m legs and feet on a pillow - I really struggled with the initial numbness and weakness to do anything like that.

    I've no idea why I didn't think of a bed rail as the very hardest thing I did for the first couple of days was struggle to get in and out of bed - it took me so long. Eventually I found a workaround and slowly it got easier but how much better a rail would have been and a ladder the icing on the cake.

    I smiled and agree you don't want a commode downstairs for your 24 year old son to walk in on!

    It's always the mind-reading isn't it? What's day to day practice in doctors' surgeries and hospitals is so confusing to us but good to hear your staples are being taken out on Thursday. Sounds like progress!

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 146


    How blankety blank frustrating! 🙄

    Like HRS advice, GP experience is so variable too.

  • The staples were taken out and mostly it was painless. I had a couple that felt like a pin prick but the nurse said it was where it was thinner so I felt it more.

    The scar looks good and I had my first shower yesterday. I was so very afraid though. I did watch a video of a nurse showing how to get in a bath with a high side so that it was possible to shower which was helpful. Her transfer chair wasn't like my electric bath lift though so I worried that I wouldn't be able to lift my leg safely and I cried telling myself I can't do this. Very slowly and carefully with the aid of a leg lifter I did it. I soap the seat so I can slide onto the seat and round into the bath. We ordered a slider turntable for the bath lift after this so I won't need soap to turn and some more grab bars for the other wall as there is nothing but the shower rail on there, hopefully it will be safer.

    Each day I am getting a bit stronger. I am trying to get off the codeine and onto paracetamol but I think I am trying to do it too quickly as I dropped it to just two when I go to bed but have not slept well after waking in the early hours so I will go back to taking one when I wake for now. My knees are playing up as I stopped the Naproxen several weeks ago and don't want to go back on it. I am using a little voltarol on them a couple of times a day and so far I've only had a little head pain with it that doesn't last long. I also use deep heat type cream as well as lavender oil or olbas oil as I need.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 209

    @alwayssewing you've taken me back. I remember how good it felt to have my dressing off (I had soluble stitches so nothing to take out) and to have that first shower. It was scary though for me working out how to get in the shower and out again. And to be scared of slipping in the shower - the good news is that now - six weeks ahead of you - I don't even think about it. Slowly what was difficult does get easier, and as you say every day you get a bit stronger.

    Good luck with the codeine. I admit I only took one once home as they made me so nauseous I couldn't eat and felt that eating well was more important. I envy you that you've been having sleep though - at your stage I was dozing, uncomfortably, between 1.00am and 5.00am and then getting up - it was exhausting. If codeine helps you sleep it seems to be worthwhile for you.

    You're doing well - take care and let us know how you go on - it's a time when progress can seem to happen quickly!

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 185

    @alwayssewing at your stage everything is very scary but you'll see how fast it'll pass. I had thirtysomething staples too. The staple marks were very red for weeks but they dissappeared three days after stopping the blood thinner.

    Everyday you'll be able to do things that maybe the day before you couldn't do. One day you'll find out you can walk with one crutch only, another day maybe you will no use any of them at home. One day you'll be shocked because you'll can get in and out of your bed without aids. It looks slow but if you look back, it's incredibly fast.

    About medication, allow yourself to take what you need to control the pain if it helps you to sleep. If you can't sleep well at night try to do a nap during the day. Good luck!

  • @Nurina thanks for the info about the marks. I have a couple of scabby bits but they should go soon. I'm using bio oil but not on the scar at the moment, just massaging the area near it. I am back to codeine with some paracetamol as my knees are unbearable without. They are even worse than my hips and had it for longer but somehow I have kept going.

    @Janlyn I am very fortunate that codeine doesn't make me feel sick but it does make me tired and muddle headed. I do nap most days as it offsets the effects of the codeine a bit.

    I managed to clean most of our tiny bathroom today, I just have the mirror and glass shelves tomorrow. I couldn't do any more today. I bought tools to help a couple of weeks before I went in. The flash mop thing with either a cloth or floor wipes is good for walls as well as floor. The tiles over the bath and the bath itself I just spray astonish bathroom cleaner all over and leave it while I do something else then spray it all with the shower head. I also got a fluffy duster thing with a longish handle from Sainsbury's (it looks like fleece and is double sided.) and used it for anything else that I can reach both wet and dry. I feel happy that I can do something myself.