THR surgery confirmed but would love some practical advice ahead of time please



  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 202

    Frogmella, hope you are doing well.

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,111

    Well I can’t believe how well I feel! I haven’t taken any opioids since the recovery room where I suspect they were administered while I was still out of it! I don’t like the effects of them at all. I had a brilliant anaesthetist who tailored everything to try and prevent the vomiting that has followed all my previous surgery. She did such a good job I was only sick once! She gave me a local anaesthetic in my groin while I was still under to help with post op pain and the surgeon put some around the wound too. She also doubled up on the antiemetics. I’m really glad I was so clear with her about my previous experiences.

    I’ve found the pain not too bad really. I don’t think it was ever any worse than the nerve pain I’d been suffering pre op and I’m pretty sure now I’m in less pain than I’ve been for months!

    I'll be honest the first day when the physio came and I could barely move my leg did worry me a lot and I was disappointed that I was unable to get any further than sitting on the edge of the bed on the first day due to nearly passing out! They kept saying it wasn’t failure, not a race etc but I’m pretty tough on myself. Now though I can see that they were totally right! I’m moving round the house on my crutches really well, can move my leg easily and pretty much pain free. Now I just need to invent a Time Machine to go back and reassure myself the night before! 😀

    I hope everyone else is feeling as positive as I am.

    Helen x

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 202

    Glad you are feeling so positive and almost pain free. Take care and don't run before you can walk! Literal and metaphorical advice!

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hey @frogmella glad all went OK. Although I'm still in pain from the surgery, I can't believe the difference already! I've got my wound check on Monday so will get a better idea of how big the scar is under the dressings. Had a shower today whilst partly wrapped in clingfilm, which was interesting lol. I'm mostly just doing my physio, pottering around and resting at the moment. I'm sleeping well but the getting in /out of bed is still tricky.

    How about you? xx

    How are you doing @Janlyn, any further news on your bloods? xx

  • Pammie22
    Pammie22 Member Posts: 2

    Hi all, just thought I’d share some tips from my experiences. After a two year wait with the NHS I had my right hip replaced 9 months ago at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow. It’s an amazing hospital and the staff are wonderful. I wanted a general anaesthetic to knock me out but went for the spinal with sedation in the end on the advice from my surgeon and I’m glad I did. It was painless and I slept right through. I was fully awake straight after my op but still pain free. They get you moving quite quickly after the op and due to the bad weather forecast in Scotland I decided to travel the 4 hours home by car the following day. Not an ideal journey but it was lovely to be home again. My recovery went very well with no major problems and I did my exercises daily as instructed. I had a couple of follow up calls from the ward and physio but that was it. I didn’t need my sticks indoors after two weeks and I could get around fine. Walking outside was done in stages and I must admit I over did it a few times which slowed me down and I had to remind myself I was still recovering!

    Apts we’re made to have my dressing changed and checked at my local GP surgery. I’m now waiting to have my left hip done hopefully after Xmas but that will be done closer to home this time so I’m hoping my hospital stay will be as good as the last one. The aids I found the best were the toilet frame, walking sticks, long handed grabber, sock helper (which I still use) a step for the shower and a grab rail at the front door. As I work from home i have a desk riser which helps as I can stand every now and again instead of sitting all day. Also my daughters who looked after me and my dogs after the op. I was off work for two months as sitting at my desk was too painful. I then had a phased return with an OT assessment to check I was ok to work. I’m now 62 years young and I’m hoping that my next op will allow me to fully get back to normal. I still walk my dogs daily but not as far as I used to. Like many of you I found sleeping on my back difficult but eventually was able to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees without pain.

    I’m on Tramadol for pain and I know my next challenge will be to come off them as they are very addictive but with help from my GP I’m sure I’ll manage it. But that’s not till I’ve had my next op. Life is so much better now even with the bad left hip. My right hip feels like normal I would recommend the op to everyone who’s feeling unsure about it. I’ve got a new lease of life and looking forward to living it to the full!

  • Naomi33
    Naomi33 Moderator Posts: 253

    Hello @Pammie22

    Thank you for your post full of encouraging words and experiences ❤

    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure others will connect with you soon.

    With best wishes


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

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 263

    @Pammie22 Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm having my surgery on February and reading your experiences here makes me so happy. The only idea of being able to walk without pain even with sticks gives me a lot of hope. It'll be a miracle. I'd like to ask you in what stage you were when you were put in the waiting list. I'm in end stage of OA and I've been referred as urgent but that is around 8 months for the first referral and another year for the surgery. X

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 325

    Good to hear you are doing so well @Jojo72. I can't believe you've had a shower already. I've been told it'll be at least two weeks for me. Good to hear you are sleeping well though albeit it difficult getting in and out of bed. I've been dreading that bit - I struggle now. My new date is 16 December, five weeks today. It seems a long way off but they want to check my bloods after four weeks of iron so I suppose it can't be much sooner.

    @frogmella it's good to hear you're back home and sound to be managing really well. Moving your leg easily and pretty much pain free sounds wonderful.

    @Pammie22 thank you for sharing your tips. I'm amazed you managed a four hour journey home the day after your op but I suppose once home it was well worth it. Thank you too for your thoughts on the best aids. I'll admit my sock helper is my best friend even now since the weather has turned colder. Hoping you get a date and get your other hip sorted and can get back to a full life as soon as possible, take care.

    Janet, x

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi all

    @frogmella sorry I have no idea how I missed your post then went on to post after it to ask how you were.....I'll blame the meds! Lol. Glad that you're doing well and feel better now you're at home.

    I'm struggling with knowing how much / what I should or shouldn't be doing, as seem to have been given some conflicting advice. I've been doing my physio exercises every day and y'day went out for a quick walk (well, I say quick, it seemed to take bloomin ages, I actually mean short) but then that was me wiped out for the rest of day.

    I've found that I need a couple of hours nap most afternoons followed by an early night at about 9.30pm in order to function. I've never felt so tired.

    If you google 'how much walking should I be doing x days after THR' the advice can range from 5 mins a day to 20-30 mins several times a day!! So I think I need to double check when I'm at my follow up appointment tomorrow.

    How are you finding things?

    @Janlyn you must be so frustrated having to wait again having got so close to having it done..... but 16 December will be here before you know it. The waiting part is definitely the hardest bit though. So I can totally understand any frustration.

    Getting in and out of bed is definitely getting easier ....just not necessarily any more graceful! (Think flailing beetle on its back!) 😂

    Hi @Pammie22 thanks for sharing. Sounds like your first hip replacement was a really positive experience. I hope you get a date for your next one soon and it's equally as positive. I work from home and have an electric stand up desk which I'm hoping to get more use out of when back at work. I've added some annual leave onto my 4 week's sick so am not due back to work until the new year.

    I'm currently on 2 codeine and 2 paracetamol every 6 hours during the day which I'm pleased with but thinking of reducing down to 1 codeine if I can, purely because the side effects from it are driving me mad.

    I use my crutches to get around the house when downstairs and my walker when I'm upstairs. As I say, I’ve had a bit of conflicting advice so not sure if I'm doing ok or am ahead/behind schedule ...... and I'm the type of person that needs to be able to see a clear path rather than just see how it goes .... I like a plan! Lol

    Hopefully I'll get some answers tomorrow 🤞

    Well done everyone if you've managed to read this far without nodding off 😂 hope everyone stays positive, happy and healthy and thanks again for your encouragement and support. This community is fantastic. Thank you xxx

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,111

    Hi @Jojo72

    My physio told me to advance as I could really. Be guided by how I feel. I’m afraid there probably won’t be a set guide because we are all different.

    As an example he said I’d probably be 2 or 3 weeks in before I could use just one crutch but I’m finding once I’m loosened off I can actually use just one correctly. By correctly I mean without a limp! However I haven’t been outdoors yet…

    I am pretty tired too but I expected that. Many contributing factors like not sleeping well in run up, only sleeping in sections of time rather than a solid night, someone sawing my leg in half! I was told getting rest was as important as the exercises so don’t worry about that!

    You sound like you are doing well to me. Keep at it, hopefully by Christmas this period will be difficult to remember! 😀

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 202

    Just wanted to say we're all different and so much depends on age, level of fitness going into the op. etc.

    Yesterday, 4 weeks after op. I did my longest walk, over 2 hours with a break in the middle for a coffee at a caff. Found the seat very low and uncomfortable, ended up sitting on my coat. It was a lovely day so didn't need it. Took a crutch but mainly in case large dogs came bounding up! Only needed it towards the end of the walk, going up hill

    Was exhausted in the afternoon and went to bed!

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 325

    @Jojo72 you've made my day, getting in and out of bed gracefully may be my long-term aim but it I can even manage it more easily after less than a week I'll be happy. You sound to be doing really well, albeit I can understand you wanting to know how much walking you should be doing. Hoping you have a good follow-up appointment tomorrow and get answers to your questions.

    Take care, Janet, x

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi guys, how's everyone doing?

    I've had my first physio appointment and have a much better idea of what I should/shouldn't be doing, which is helpful. Have been given the go ahead for up to 3 short walks per day (5-15 mins each) and some additional exercises.

    My operated leg is quite swollen but not hot or red so I'm not overly concerned but will keep a close eye on it.

    Clips are hopefully coming out on Monday. Not looking forward to them actually being taken out but am hoping it will result in no longer feeling like I'm sitting on a rock.

    Where are other people's scars BTW? My surgeon has done posterior so starts at the side of thigh and goes right across my bum cheek.

    Hope you're all doing ok

    Jo x

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,111

    My scar is in a similar place to yours and I’m now finding sitting on it very uncomfortable!

    I’be been out for three little walks now: yesterday one of about 5 minutes I think and today two ten minute jobs! I’d had enough of being in. My watch says I did 2000 steps today. It’s amazing how much you feel it. I hope I recover my endurance soon, I miss my dog walks.

    I can see a certain amount of muscle loss when I look at my legs when I’m in a relaxed sitting position. I’m making a lot of effort with the exercises so that I can minimise the damage!

    I swim a lot (like 10 miles or so a week)and I can’t wait to get back in the pool. And then into the open water again next spring!

    It sounds like you are doing well. I had clips after my spinal fusion last time. It wasn’t as bad having them out as I’d thought it would be. I think maybe one was a bit sore but after the surgical pain I think you probably won’t feel it! I’ve a feeling the rock feeling is from the muscle below not the skin as I feel that too and have soluble stitches, sorry to disappoint you. I did read somewhere that essentially you have to keep sitting on it to decrease the sensitivity. But that’s probably been written by someone who hadn’t had to do it! 😂

    Good luck on Monday!

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 325

    @Jojo72 Good to hear your update and that you can have three short walks a day and extra physio. I suppose a swollen leg is quite understandable after all you've been through - it's not even two weeks yet.

    Ouch, clips coming out - I hope it's easier than it sounds. I have been told I'll have soluble stitches which I think I prefer the sound of.

    Thank you for talking about your scar. I know I've been told mine will be posterior and I was wondering where the scar was. It sounds perfectly understandable you feel you're sitting on a rock if that's where the scar is. Thanks for sharing and take care, Janet, x

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi @frogmella

    Good work with the walks. Sounds like you're doing great.

    I think in the grand scheme of things, I can cope with the sitting on a rock feeling for a bit. It's uncomfortable but not unbearable. If you hear of any remedies though, please give me a shout, and vice versa! 😊

    I don't know about you but nobody prepared me for the emotional overwhelm I'd feel. All in a good way ... but when you've lost mobility and been in pain for such a long time, then essentially someone gives you that mobility back and rids you of pain in the process, it has a huge emotional impact. I just feel so incredibly grateful and lucky to be in this position! And I'm also in awe at how amazing our bodies actually are. Every day I'm amazed by how much I can do with minimal pain. It's completely blown my mind.

    Have they said how soon you'll be able to get back in the pool?

    Thanks for the info re your clips, I'll let you know how I get on tomorrow.

    Take care xx

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi @Janlyn

    Thanks for your reply. Yeah soluble stitches sounds way more fun than clips .... if I'd had the option I'd definitely have gone for those. Just can't wait to get these out now.

    I don't know why I was surprised by the swelling 😄 when you think what we're having done!

    I've since googled it and it's normal to have swelling for up to 6 months apparently! I've been sleeping with my legs elevated which seems to do the trick.

    I'm finding that sleeping on my back isn't half as bad as I thought it would be either but then I find I'm so tired by bed time I'm out like a light and only wake up for a loo trip!

    Your date will be here before you know it. If you have any questions in the meantime though that we could maybe help with (I had about a million) ....please just ask away.

    Take care xx

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 263

    @Jojo72 I'm concerned about the emotional overwhelm in my case. I've never been able to do many things because of the stiffness of my hips. I've suffering the slow degeneration of my hips for 50 years. Now it's the pain and absolute lack of movement. What is going to happen after my hips replacements? Will I be a new person? Will I still suffer from the cronical stiffness? Is it true I could walk without pain? I don't know and I didn't believe it but I read your comments here and I'm starting to believe. My Dr says he only can guarantee that my pain will dissapear and about the rest, nobody knows.

  • Hi I’m waiting for a hip replacement and knee surgery pretty scared

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 325

    @Jojo72 I'd never heard/thought of emotional overwhelm but I'm glad it sounds positive! I think I've spent the last few weeks switching off from emotions and just getting through each day the best I can. I think if I'm lucky enough to wake up pain-free and able to walk then I can imagine I could feel the same. I'm not daring to believe it just now though.

    It does make sense that the swelling will last for some months, and good to hear sleeping on your back isn't too bad. I keep trying to practice but I don't get too far. I'm finding it a struggle to find a balance with exercise. Too much and I am in pain and struggle to sleep, not enough and I am too stiff to move around. I imagine it might take me some time to rebuild my muscles afterwards.

    Thank you - I am sure as the time approaches I will have questions, and thank you for sharing your journey - it is really helpful.

    Take care, Janet, xx

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi @Nurina

    Obviously I can only speak from my own experience and everyone is different but I kept being told this would give me a new lease of life, and whilst I very much hoped that would be the case, I didn't dare to think about it too much in case that didn't happen for me.

    It's still very early days for me ... and I don't want to count my chickens just yet .... but so far I've been amazed by how different I feel, not just in my hips and back but in general too, without that nagging pain that wears you down!

    I hope you experience an improvement in your symptoms too.

    hi @Keeley261994

    I was so very nervous too but the hospital staff were amazing and really helped put my mind at ease. If there's anything specific that you're worried about, please speak to them. Every person I've come into contact with on my hip-op journey has been absolutely lovely and reassuring. They understand we're anxious and genuinely want to help us feel better.

    Hi @Janlyn no I'd not thought about the overwhelm before either and I was exactly the same as you .... didn't dare to believe it but it's been such a positive experience. I also found that the closer I got to surgery the less pre-hab I could do due to pain and stiffness, it's a bit of a balancing act isn't it. I found the hip exercise videos on this site really helpful.

    I've had my clips out today which didn't hurt at all. Nurse was happy with how the scar is looking and how I was walking etc. Mentioned the leg swelling and she confirmed that it's normal (but just to keep an eye out re dvt). Advice going forward is to keep up with physio and walking, but with plenty of rest in between. Move often and elevate legs when resting.

    How are you doing @frogmella?

    Take care all xx

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,111

    Hey @Jojo72 I’m glad having the clips out didn’t hurt, the anticipation is worse than the event in my experience!

    I am doing well I think! The past two days I’ve managed 3000 steps in total. I think that’s pretty good for not quite two weeks out. Today I’ve skipped one of my paracetamol doses. I am starting to get a little bored/restless now. I need to think of some things to do that will feel like I’m achieving something rather than just killing time! Mind you I do have quite a big to be read pile so maybe making a dent in that is an achievement in itself!

    I get what you mean about emotions. I find myself crying quite often. Not really in a sad way just in a can’t believe it’s over way. It’s amazing how little pain there is compared to before the operation. Yes, I’m fed up that I can’t quite get comfortable in bed and certain sitting positions aren’t that comfortable but I can definitely see improvement every day, sometimes within the day.

    I don’t know if anyone else had/has bad nerve pain with the arthritis. I had it from hip to ankle and it was terrible in my knee. Happily that pain disappeared straight away. To be honest it was that pain that was the main reason I had the surgery and I am very glad I did!

  • Jojo72
    Jojo72 Member Posts: 31

    Hi @frogmella

    Sounds like you're doing great. I'm glad you mentioned your steps, I've been doing about the same too so am pleased with that.

    What meds are you on? I've been having 2 codeine and 2 paracetamol 3x per day but have just dropped one of the 1 codeine with no ill effects so will give it another few days then drop the other codeine. I'm really not keen on their side effects!!

    How are your energy levels? You mention feeling restless but are you tired in-between times? I've never slept as much! I'm getting a full 7 hrs at night but also having to have an afternoon nap!

    Daytime TV is awful and I can see myself getting bored pretty quickly. I've just taken up an amazon prime kindle deal so like you, might get stuck into that. And of course, there's always online Christmas shopping to do! Lol

    Take care xx

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,111

    Hi again @Jojo72

    I didn’t take any opioids once I left recovery so I’ve only been on paracetamol apart from a very few doses of naproxen, I don’t do well on the hard things and I think I’ve quite a high pain tolerance. Today I’ve only had one dose of paracetamol.

    My friend took me to the supermarket today. My first proper outing!

    I am tired but I’d been tending to need a nap pre op too because I wasn’t sleeping well with the nerve pain! I think I’m now sleeping better although I’m not all that comfortable! I’m on limited restriction so am allowed to sleep on my side. Obviously my usual side is the operated side which is too painful to lie on. It’s ok on the other side now but I sort of get a bit stuck, I’m aware of not letting my operated leg cross the midline which makes rolling back to my back interesting!

    Today I’ve also been trying to focus on not using the frame on my raised toilet seat and getting up and down only using my legs. I try to give myself a challenge each day! My squats are actually coming along quite nicely but I’m conscious that my good leg is doing more of the heavy lifting so I’m trying to stop that!

    Glad you are also doing well. X

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 202


    OMG! You are doing so well!

    Me personally, I think I've done a bit too much too quickly, as operated side is aching, presumably my muscles are protesting! Also doing some calf muscle stretches and was shocked at how tight my muscles have become over the 6 weeks.

    One thing that's happened, I've not seen mentioned, is that one of the sutures tried to escape from the wound and had to be clipped off, still not quite right. Apparently this is common and nothing to worry about unless it becomes infected, but I hadn't read about it anywhere.

    Keep up the good work, you're doing grand!