Bilateral hip replacement

pmas
pmas Member Posts: 36
edited 2. Nov 2021, 10:28 in Say Hello

Hello, I wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a staged bilateral hip replacement who could give me some tips. I have severe bone on bone, as well as AVN (avascular necrosis). This has happened very quickly and both hips are the same. I’ve been prioritised by the consultant to have the first surgery within 12 weeks, followed by the second surgery no more than 12 weeks later.

Unfortunately the waiting list for the first surgery is 72 weeks.

Currently I can’t weightbear and use walkers and handrails round the house. For the last week I’ve been unable to lift each foot off the ground more than maybe an inch. If anyone has any experience of how you can recover from the first op, while you still have a hip waiting for an op, I’d be really pleased to hear from you. Thank you.

Comments

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,661

    Hi @pmas

    Have you seen this? It's an old thread but worth a read?


    Not sure whether anyone had their's 'staged or whether it was actually bilateral in the sense of 'at the same time'.

    BTW my youngest daughter has AVN due to cancer treatment at 16 so I know how painful it is you have my sympathy.

    Take care and keep posting!

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    Frogmorton thank you so much for the links. Wildway seems to have had a terrible time - I hope things are much improved for her now!

    oh your poor daughter, I feel for her. I haven’t had chemo, or any of the other things that can cause AVN so they’re calling it ideopathic - or don’t know why.

    My hips will be done with 3 months in between. Just curious really to see how I can do physio etc on the operated hip when the other one is still in agony - hopefully the physio will have some ideas. Thanks again for your reply.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,661

    Hi @pmas

    Ah yes idiopathic - no known cause just out of the blue for you that's pretty awful. My daughter got away with core decompression left hip (at 18) and shoulder replacement Rt shoulder (at 19).

    She also has AVN in her long bones in her legs, but that's ok as there's a blood supply coming from other areas there, but not in the femoral or humeral heads sadly hence it's often those areas which cause the most trouble with AVN or seem to. A few of the kids got it in one area Lucy managed two due to the treatment🙄

    have you seen the avascular necrosis group


    Might be worth a look?

    Take care and I'd love to hear how you get on.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    I had my right hip replaced almost 8 weeks ago. Fortunately I don’t need the other hip replaced but would feel sufficiently recovered to go through it if I had needed it. All the best.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    Toni, so kind of you to send the AVC link, I’ll have a look now. My GP assures me that the waiting list is assessed on clinical need and not just length of time on the list, so hopefully I won’t be waiting 72 weeks for the first surgery. I do hope your daughter is improving, she’s had a very tough time. Patx

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    Coldfish, thank you for your reply and I’m pleased that your surgery has gone well. Can I just ask how you would have coped post surgery, doing the physio and basically getting through each day, if your left hip was as bad as the right hip had been and still needed surgery?

    The consultant has said that the second hip must be done 12 weeks after the first so that it doesn’t impede the recovery of the first. Maybe I should just be patient and wait and see how it works out!

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 123

    Hi @pmas I had my left hip replaced five weeks ago but I have no experience of AVN and fortunately I only have mild osteoarthritis in my right hip. So these are just my guesses at how you will fare with the exercises between your first and second ops.

    Five of the ten of my exercises are done lying on the bed and only really involve the operated leg. Therefore, I'd guess you'd be OK with these with only a little more difficulty than if your other hip was hunky-dory. I don't think you'd be able to tackle one of my standing exercises. But I think if you supported yourself leaning on a kitchen work surface or similar you could have a fair go at my other four standing exercises.

    However, everyone is different and every surgeon and physiotherapist have different ideas. I'd urge you to contact your physiotherapist as soon as possible and ask for a copy of their exercise sheet.

    Before my op I practiced my post op exercises and created a tick chart for each exercise and each day. The practice was useful because I realised that a plastic bag would help slid the foot of my operated leg on the bed for some of the exercises. Also doing the exercises is very tedious and my mind is apt to wander so to help keep count of the number of repetitions I'd done of each exercise, I bought a £5 electronic tally counter from eBay. The tick chart helps a little with keeping motivated.

    Partly because walking is an important part of rehabilitation and building up the muscles around the hip I can well understand your consultant's reason for saying:

    the second hip must be done 12 weeks after the first so that it doesn’t impede the recovery of the first. 

    I'm a little older than @Coddfish and wasn't so physically fit and active so my recovery is slower than hers. During the six months before my op I wasn't able to walk or stand for more than about ten or fifteen minutes whereas just five weeks after my op I'm already doing two walks on most days of 40 minutes, 1.17 miles each although only at a slow 1.7mph with a crutch. With luck your operations will also result in a dramatic improvement.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    That is so helpful RogerBill! The problem with me is that I'm not a very 'patient' patient. But I'll to do what's right for my body and not try to overthink things. I'll re-read your post careful and try and apply the things you found helpful. Thanks Again.

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 123

    @pmas Glad to help.

    One key tip: If your hip operations are posterior I would strongly recommend getting a raised toilet seat with frame. The basic raised toilet seat the hospital gave me was an instrument of torture! By using the arm rests on the frame you can reduce the weight on the bruised area of the operation. Much more comfortable and easier to get on and off. Again because everyone is different it's possible that I found this more of a problem than others.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Hi @pmas I am not sure how much recovery would have been impacted if my second hip had been a problem. One of the things that was immediately obvious after surgery was that the new hip worked perfectly, I just had to allow the various things that had been cut to heal. I think you can therefore fairly quickly start to rely on the new hip, favouring it over the other one. Most of the exercises you do are about range of motion so are fairly independent of the other hip.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    RogerBill and Coldfish, thank you again for useful advice. I have been using raised toilet seat for 4 months but am finding I have to use my walker to ease myself down, I’ll have a look at the framed toilet seats now.

    Good news too about favouring the new hip fairly quickly. At present I can’t weightbear on either leg/hip. I really look forward to being able to stand independently again.

    I had been putting off the idea of joining a forum because I thought it would be full of people moaning, but I’ve found it very uplifting and so helpful to read advice from real people. x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,541
    edited 1. Nov 2021, 19:03

    Hi, I had my left hip done 6 months ago, but I was a slow recoverer for some reason that even my surgeon can't work out. I had a lot of soft tissue and muscular pain post surgery, so my self-grown hip was doing a lot of work, and for a long time. I think it's safe to say most people's recoveries are smoother than mine, but I was grateful to have one working hip while the new one sorted itself out.

    However, after 12 weeks even I was managing pretty well, so hopefully, and going by your surgeon's experience of most people's recoveries, this should be a workable timescale between your surgeries. How people cope with having both done at the same time is beyond me.

    I hope you get an early date for your surgery, it sounds for you hard to deal with at the moment. You have my sympathy.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    I’m glad you’re recovery is going well Lilymary and I hope that in time I’ll be able to show support for new posters. My GP is trying me on a new pain regime as I have a lot of nerve pain shooting down to my feet. It’s a neurotransmitter so alters the way the brain reacts to the pain. I’ve been on it (Pregabalin) for a week now and it’s certainly made a difference at night. Hopefully I’ll notice a difference in the daytime pain soon - that will certainly help my poor husband!!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,661

    Ah yes pregablin I tried the older version gabapentin for nerve pain (didn't work for me unfortunately) I think they were originally epilepsy meds.

    @pmas I am so pleased they are helping you! ☺️

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    I’m really pleased to say that my consultant has just been informed that they can start elective surgery again on 1 Feb - and I’m booked in on 3 Feb. I had my pre-op yesterday which was very thorough. All staff were absolutely lovely and they allowed my husband to come in as he helps me to transfer from wheelchair to bed etc.

    I now have a pile of leaflets and paperwork to read through and digest. I’m still anxious about my recovery, as the second op won’t be for about 12 weeks, but the consultant assured me that I would be weight bearing on the new hip four hours post-op!

    Hopefully, this time next week I’ll be in the recovery room. Thank you NHS. Patx

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    That’s really good news @pmas All the best for next week.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    So I’m now nearly four weeks post op. I had a spinal and sedative, op took about two hours and I didn’t hear a thing! When I got back to the ward I messaged my husband and kids to let them know that it was done and that I felt great. A few hours later my BP, core temperature and SATS fell drastically and I was put on 15 minute obs. For the next three days I was on oxygen and felt pretty rough. Fortunately I was catheterised and so getting out of bed was not needed.

    The most amazing thing was that the dreadful nerve pains that had been shooting down my leg had all disappeared. The only pain I had was in the unoperated hip which is due to be ‘done’ in seven week’s time.

    The physios were very patient with me and although I couldn’t move my leg at all when they showed me the first two bed exercises, they slowly moved my leg a couple of times and then I had a go - it worked! I think all the nerves, muscles etc just needed waking up.

    I was in hospital (NHS) for six days and was discharged with oromorph and cocodomol. These two drugs, which I had not taken before, had the usual effect, constipation, nausea and feeling generally awful. I decided to stop taking them after a few days. My own GP has prescribed diclofenac and paracetemol for the hip that will be done in a few weeks. The new hip is pain free. There was no bruising and the 27 staples came out without any problems. I will have to continue using a Zimmer frame until the second hip is replaced as I can’t weightbear on that side at all and obviously that impacts on the recovery of the new hip.

    The thought of doing it all over again so soon sometimes fills me with dread, but I’m doing my best to keep those feelings of panic under control and trying to focus on being four weeks post second op!

    Thankyou to those who replied to my initial post and who have posted in the past about their own THRs. My task today is to find (online) some knickers that won’t dig into my scar - Sloggi do a ‘boy cut’ short style which look as though they’ll do the job!

  • Feebus
    Feebus Member Posts: 6

    Hi Pmas….good to hear your op has gone well….did you find some knickers ????!.I have OA in both hips but the left one is worse..Pain is getting worse weekly, and after resisting painkillers, they are now very necessary 😞Going to make an appointment to see my Dr tomorrow to discuss my next move. Hope your recovery is going well, are the exercises helping ? Rosie.

    .

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,541

    I found high keg knickers avoided the scar. Sorry to hear it was a rough ride immediately post op but it sounds like you’re making great progress, keep it up! I hope the second op goes smoothly.

  • Peppercorn
    Peppercorn Member Posts: 18

    Hello lovely, I’ve only had the one done (you have all my sympathy for the pain and life interruption!) but there were two people in my hospital when I was there who had bilateral. They were in longer and I think early recovery was harder, but they both did very well as the weeks progressed. You’ll be great!

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    The ‘boy leg’ Sloggi knickers are great - though quite expensive. I justified the cost because I’ll be having scars on both hips!

    The inability to weightbear on the unoperated hip has meant that the exercises for the new hip have had to be limited to lying down or seated. The new hip feels so strong and PAINFREE that I’m sure I’ll to catch up once the other op is done - which will be in 19 days time. Not that I’m counting!! So I’ll have two new hips in the space of 11 weeks.

    Good luck with your GP appointment Rosie, the sooner you have X-rays and/or MRI the better. @Lilymary I hope your recovery continues - different thread - now you know what’s going on. Pat x

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    I’ve only just seen your post @Peppercorn - thank you for the encouragement! It’s so good to hear about the two ‘double hippies’ and their progress. There isn’t much information out there for those who need both hips doing at the same time. Mine were equally as bad and we only decided on the day of surgery which one to do first. The funny thing is that I progressed from mild arthritis to severe bone on bone plus Avascular Necrosis in a year. Roll on a year from now …..

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