Hip operation is BMI dependent!

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After many years of pain, failing mobility and Dr's telling me my hip x-rays were fine, I now have severe hip arthritis and have been told that it's so severe that they're on the verge of collapse!!!

I was told that I would probably get my first op in 6 months [whereas I thought it could take years] but my BMI had to be below 43. I've lost a stone already but I am so worried about it. Has anyone else had the op whilst being overweight? If so, do you know if this could complicate recovery or the operation itself?

Also, I have been told my options would be limited, given my age and severity of arthritis, but this has left me with more questions and anxiety. I know that I can't expect to gain the same mobility back as before, but would like to know what range of movement I could expect, as I was previously very flexible. I wanted my adventure body back but frightened that I could break something.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought my research was sufficient, until I had my first appointment.

Comments

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,424
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    Hi @Zimmer yes we know that operations are BMI dependant there are so many people who come here who have to lose weight prior to their surgery.

    I should imagine that BMI affects not only the operation (safety for you as a patient and difficulty for the surgeon) but probably also recovery as it will be harder for you to mobilise.

    I am very impressed at your 1 stone weight loss already well done that's fantastic. You have such incentive as you must be in an awful lot of pain with your hip.

    There are some people here who have had hip ops @Nurina @alwayssewing @JPT @swimmer60 @Janlyn to name a few who I am sure will hop on to your thread and give you any information they have

    Take care and lovely to meet you

    Toni x

  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 754
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    Welcome @Zimmer to the online community,

    It is good to have you join us and I see you have already had a response from @frogmorton (thank you). This is what the community is all about , offering information, support and friendship.

    You have been told to lose some weight before your hip replacement operation and have already achieved 1 stone weight loss which is great going. This is a frequent point of discussion among community members who help each other with diet and exercise tips to help reduce their weight. So do look at some of the hip op diaries and join in with your own experiences so far.

    I attach some links which I hope you will find helpful

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/surgery/hip-replacement-surgery/

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/news/2021/april/ways-to-manage-your-pain-while-waiting-for-surgery/

    Louise's story gives a great example of how she has been able to regain her mobility after her hip replacements. I too found that I can manage all of the activities I did before my hip replacement, I draw a line on football with my energetic grandsons!

    Do look round the community and join us again soon.

    Best wishes

    Poppyjane

    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 334
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    Well done @Zimmer for losing a stone already, that's brilliant, especially as you must be in so much pain exercise isn't possible. How have you managed to lose the stone? It sounds as though you have a winning formula but I did manage to lose a little and keep it off with intermittent fasting. I really didn't think it would work but it did - I did the 14:10 where I could eat and drink anything I wanted for ten hours but then only water, black tea of coffee for the other 14. I actually felt less hungry than I had in years and much more alert and happy, amazingly. As I'd had to stop exercising I had worried I would quickly put weight on.

    As @frogmorton says with weight loss the surgery is safer and recovery quicker and easier.

    I had my THR just over three months ago and I have been told by my physio that I could get my full mobility back but as I was very active I'm not sure I want to put myself through the pressure of running and cycling, although I'm told I can if I want. I'm told it will take time as my muscles were very weak and I'd been compensating for years and so although I can now walk painlessly I do find I can't go for long walks/walk fast yet without getting sore - but that I will get there. Of course, we are all different and it could be useful for you to ask these questions, and maybe call the helpline, as it is so much easier to relax once we know a little more about what to expect.

    Take care.

  • alwayssewing
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    @zimmer well done on the weight loss, it isn't easy.

    I am having my second hip replacement operation on 15th of April so there will be just over ten weeks between the two.

    My left hip was painless straight after the operation and has pretty much remained so apart from me overdoing things. I am looking forward to this next one as the pain is getting worse in the right hip. I can walk without crutches for a short time now and mostly use just one. If we go out and it entails a lot of walking I use both crutches.

    Ask lots of questions both here and at the hospital because it helps to know what you can expect.

  • alwayssewing
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    Not the 15th, the 13th April. it has been changed twice so I get confused.

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Thanks for the support and advice everyone, it means a lot, being as I don't know anyone to talk about this with.

    I note that some of you have mentioned activities the specialist advised me against after the hip op, namely running, so wonder if this is this person specific; being as I was told that I would have to have mine cemented in cos of my age and severity. I told the specialist that I wanted my adventure body back so wanted as much hip mobility as possible you see.

    Also, did you all have your ops done on the NHS, rather than private, as I was told at least 6 months in between each op. Just wanted a comparison of age/severity and fitness if you can.

    I have lost weight thanks to dropping processed and sugary foods, and attending Good Boost classes in the pool. I haven't been able to find any exercises that gravity would let me do, being as even chair exercises require you to lift your legs etc.

    I have read some of your op diaries and will check more out, so thank you foe putting yourselves out there, xx.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,424
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    Zimmer incredible how many calories must be in processed foods and sugary stuff.

    Have you read @alwayssewing's thread? She is about to have her 2nd hip done and will be best placed to tell you about the gap between each one.

    I hope you'll keep in touch with us all and let us know how you get on.

    Toni x

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,713
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    I think the type of implant is / can be 'person specific' so do ask your consultant about this.

    I've had all my ops (hips and knees) on NHS. when I had my first TKRs in 1981 I was told they'd do the second knee as soon as the first one was properly healed (to avoid infection). It was about two months but I was much younger then(!) and I suspect my healing powers were stronger.

    Exercises? Some can be done on the bed. In fact any / most that suggest the floor can be done on the bed or on a very accommodating recliner.-/ sliding the leg (foot on a plastic bag to enable it) up slowly towards the hip and back down again, buttock squeezes, dropping the knee slowly towards the bed and back from a position where leg is bent up towards buttock, sitting on side of bed (hip well supported) and slowly raising the lower leg. As you gain strength you'll find you can, briefly, lift your leg off the floor then more is available. It's amazing how much can be gained from how little. Good luck.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • alwayssewing
    alwayssewing Member Posts: 28
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    I just looked at my last comment here. The date is 15th for my op and I've double checked with my husband this time and checked the calendar. 😕

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    I have been reading @alwayssewing thread regarding the op and it brought me nearly to tears. I have been in excruciating pain for approximately 10 years and the thought of even being able to walk within a year, is music to my ears. I bet your second op can't come quick enough eh? Please let us know how that goes xx.

    I complained about pain in my hips for years and my xrays showed "normal" results, but after referring myself to a physio the resulting xrays finally pinpointed the culprit of my pain. Whilst it upset me that I had yet another thing wrong with me, I was also relieved to know the source of my pain at the same time and that something would be done about it.

    I had been trying to do exercises, even the ones that @stickywicket advised; as they helped in the past, but the pain stopped me in my tracks. I found my happy place in the pool, when starting a class called Good Boost, and have noticed a gain in strength; if you don't count the times when I'm dragging myself out of the pool 😆. So I'll continue with that, cos there are a couple of ladies there who mentioned they wish they'd have known about that class pre-op.

    I didn't realise that you have to sleep on your back afterwards tho, which is something I've NEVER done, or is it a case of the pain won't let you lie on the other side? Sounds like I'm getting the Upillow.

    But the length of time it's taken to find out what's wrong actually gave me the time to learn things I ordinarily wouldn't have looked into; like nutrition and supplements. Yep I'm a glass half full kinda gal. Not getting the nutrition your body NEEDS means it will always be hungry, but eating all your daily vit & mineral requirements, your body will be sated, so you actually eat less. But yeah @frogmorton there are loads of calories in our food, sugar being the most, you don't realise how many products have sugar in them, until you start reading the ingredients, incredible and totally unnecessary but that's a whole new other story 😃.

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    I have found myself worrying today; my anxiety stirring up the what ifs, that I put behind me. What if the bed is too painful, what if I can't wipe after going to the toilet, etc and I haven’t even been given a date yet.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,713
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    @zimmer, the bed won't be 'too painful'. You'll be on strong pain meds, remember.

    As for bottom wiping - the nurses are very practised in it. Several have practised on mine😉 Though you will be encouraged in DIY😁 Relax. All will be well.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Think I've just read too much into everything as my home is far from ready, making me feel anxious as to how I will cope you know. But, as @stickywicket said, relax. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it xx

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,424
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    You will @Zimmer you will.

    Main thing is being able to use the loo (raised toilet seat) comfy chair at the right height and I LOVED @alwayssewing 's tip with the jump leads for pulling up 'bottom half' clothing! Wow what a great idea.

    You'll get there you really will just imagine that awful grinding pain gone😊

    Toni x

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Thanks @frogmorton , I know, I know, I suppose it's just fear of the unknown innit. I really don't know what to do about the chair though as I haven't got any in the house, nor a sofa for that matter, as I sleep downstairs now and crawl up the stairs to sit/lie on the bed and watch tv with my partner. I have a hospital bed downstairs which can be elevated with a remote so hoping that'll be comfy enough, what do you think?

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 334
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    @Zimmer please try not to worry, impossible I know, but it will all fall into place and remember there's only a few difficult days in the beginning then it does get easier and the painkillers take the pain away so you can cope. You do soon find techniques to deal with the bottom-wiping, sitting, laying down. Much will be easier than you thought and the rest you will find a way, even if it isn't too conventional.

    Side-sleeping is banned for at least the first two/three weeks for safety reasons and maybe six weeks, and back sleeping is best if you are propped up and something soft under your heels. But I really didn't sleep properly and if I went through it again would sleep propped up in a chair. Please just ask for help/advice in hospital regarding what to do and believe when you get home that you will manage bit by bit. Most things can be left or adapted.

    Take care, x

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Thanks for that @janlyn. What makes it so uncomfortable to sleep in bed, apart from sleeping on your back; which I think I'll opt for sleeping propped up, cos I'll never manage that lols.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 334
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    @Zimmer For me I found that staying still was the most uncomfortable bit. I'm used to tossing and turning and sleeping on both sides so to know I had to stay still and not risk twisting, turning or bending was difficult. My operated leg wouldn't lay flat for the first couple of weeks (it will now) so I had a pillow under my knee to keep it in place. My heels very quickly became very sore as they rested on the bed so I did solve that to some extent by putting a high, soft pillow under my ankles so my heels dangled in the air. Initially I found it awkward to try to move the cushions/pillows/bedding but all that is history now. I went to bed late hoping I would sleep but after only slightly dozing I would get up after four hours, make a coffee and immediately fall into a deep sleep in my chair, despite the coffee! This sleep was blissful and I repeated it a couple of times during the day and resigned myself to getting my sleep (so important to recovery) this way. Once allowed to sleep on my side I found that just being able to move, and rest, not sleep, on my side every time I woke up helped me sleep on my back until I became more confident to sleep on my side. My sleep pattern has never been good but is now back to as good as it's ever been, something I doubted I would see again.

    I think the lesson I have learned, so far, is that whatever problem I have seems insurmountable but then a few days later it's sorted, it's just remembering that in the middle of the night when life feels difficult!

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Thanks @Janlyn I just wanted to know what to expect and try to prepare for 🥰

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    How many of you found it more comfortable to sit in a chair, rather than lie in bed please? I'm having a really bad day today and the only thing that's helping is the, taboo, lie on your side technique since I don't have a hair to sit on. So tearful, haven't had a daytime this for a while

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 334
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    @Zimmer if you're talking about which is most comfortable after surgery then I found a chair much more comfortable. I could stretch out, put a pillow behind my neck and get comfortable and actually sleep. I do think some people have found sitting more uncomfortable though so I do suppose it all depends on our own circumstances/surgeons techniques.

    So sorry to hear you are having a bad day, take care

  • alwayssewing
    alwayssewing Member Posts: 28
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    Sorry I haven't seen any of the latest posts on here for a few days, they just didn't show up.

    Do different areas deal with equipment from the occupational therapy department differently ?

    I have had all the equipment I need brought to me by local companies after a visit from the OT including a chair, all free and all but the chair non returnable. Unfortunately it was not comfortable and I couldn't sit still on it. We found an armchair for free on Facebook and the OT came to inspect it and ordered some risers to make it the right height. They came the same afternoon to fit them. I have contacted them recently to ask about moving the bed rail to the other side of the bed, I had a visit and now the fitter will come and move it the day I come out of hospital.

    Zimmer please don't worry too much. You will be amazed at the difference once the operation is done, I know I was.

    I did get used to lying on my back and after about four weeks I found I could lie on my side for a short time which increased over the next couple of weeks till i didn't hurt at all. I did have a pillow between my legs which helped when lying on my side as it keeps the hips in the right position so relieving any mild discomfort.

    Having a hospital bed should be more comfortable for you, I found the one in hospital was wonderful for me as everything seemed adjustable and the nurses placed my pillows in a way that was very comfy for me.

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    Thank you @alwayssewing

    The OT visits you before the surgery! Oh, hopefully that'll be in my area too but won't hold my breath. Out of curiosity though, at what stage did this occur? Was it just before your surgery date?

  • alwayssewing
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    @zimmer It was just before the surgery around a week or so. It is part of the NHS so they should operate in all areas . They had a grab bar put up at the front door, ordered a commode, gave me a pack of useful small aids such as a grab stick, sock aid, long shoe horn and I can't remember what else was in it. Also a toilet seat to the correct height you need , they measure you leg for that and the chair for the living room. I also requested a bed rail to help me get in and out because it was difficult for me.

  • Zimmer
    Zimmer Member Posts: 36
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    OOoh, now that's brilliant, thanks for letting me know......was there a chef in the bag too cos that would be awesome lols