October 7, 2009 I had my surgery in the Bronovo Hospital in Den Haag, Netherlands on 2 October 2009. Components were Zimmer 56 mm Femoral Component into a 62 mm Acetabular component on my left hip, they look huge on the x-ray!
Post surgery my Dr (Hr Steenmeyer) described what he had found; it seems that my hip had developed incorrectly following childhood trauma and had effectively been going bad for 39 years. The trauma I suspect was doing a Full Back-Layout somersault over a car after it struck me in the small of my back when I was 9 years old. At the point of my operation, when both knees were bent, my left knee would be 15-20 cm left of center. Watching the path it would take when I cycle was hypnotic to say the least.
I think for the above reasons, in common with most people having a hip operation, all the muscles, ligaments and tendons in my left leg are now looking for their proper place to live under the new regime.
Day 1 Observations. I stayed in bed all day and was not visited by the physio. I did sit up, I did use the hospital bed to find comfortable positions and I did carry out exercises such as pressing my knee into the bed, pulling my toes towards my hip and clenching my buttocks. I had very little feeling of pain (Drugs helping).
Day 2 Observations. I stayed in bed the majority of the day. I did sit up in bed to eat my lunch, however, after 30 minutes i felt very dizzy, blood pressure dropped and I had a rapid sweat drenching me. I lay down again. Exercises continued as for day 1. The major area of weakness for me was a total inability to prevent my left knee falling inwards, the muscles and ligaments to do this having been dormant for many years. Pain Killers were paracetomol and deflenic (sp), although I did manage to get a morphine injection in the middle of the night (Probably not needed but wow, it was good!)
Day 3 Observations. The day started as had the others, but I took lunch sitting at the table, having got there using a walking frame. I was ok moving around using the frame during the day, and only found getting in and out of bed to be a struggle. (I discovered that placing a plastic bag on the bed to ist on allowed me to spin into place much more easily!)
Day 4 Observations. The volunteer from Physio was not around so I walked (with Fram) myself down to physio, was switched to saome crutches and walked my self back up to the ward.
WARNING At this point I was feeling good, little pain, fair degree of mobility. Do not let this fool you, it is fair to say that I did to much that morning and paid for it
When I saw the physio at 3pm he pointed this out to me and told me to slow down, but that I could go home then, or in the morning. Given his warning I decided to await the morning. Pain Killers Paracetomol, less frequent deflenic.
Day 5 Observations. I was stiff when I woke, although woke is relative as I did not sleep much. My leg was more swollen than on previous days. I did a last session with the Physio who took me through the exercise regime once more and I was discharged from the hospital. I think I did a little too much on my trip home and settling in which combined with the work of the previous few days meant my leg was definitely swollen by bed time. Getting into bed at hoime was a breeze, my wife replaced the plastic bag with a silky quilty thing I have, with plenty of handholds around I was able to extend the left leg fully and lower myself onto it then slide effortlessly into position. Pain Killer Paracetomol.
Day 6 Observations. Today!
Getting out of bed is a breeze. I sit up, slide myself over the end of the bed, left leg bending to the floor then sliding until I am sitting at the end of the bed and can use the bed and chest of drawers to stand erect. (Ergopnomics working in my favour here). The swelling in my legs has reduced significantly but I will take it very easy today.
I will have 1000mg of Paracetomol 3/4 times a day for a while.
I took a shower today with the wound wrapped in cling film, the bandage stayed completely dry and I feel a lot better. we changed the bandage after and the wound looks clean and dry. I am blessed that my wife is with me full time and is helping in every way she can. Our 26th wedding anniversary is tomorrow and will probably be spent at home, but I will be making it up to her big time in November.
I am fairly sure I have not anticipated everything ahead so I will scour this forum for information and anything I discover formyself I will post in this thread. However, I am hate reinventing the wheel so will gratefully accept all hints and tips to speed recovery. I do find setting myself goals helps me, so I am planning a round of golf or two in the new year. Until then my goals will be more nearsighted.
October 8, 2009 7 days out of surgery I am feeling good, taking it slow, some swelling in leg and some muscular discomfort, I will be increasing my amount of walking (2 crutches) from tomorrow.
October 15, 2009 Progress has been good over the last week. I am amazed at the difference a few long walks can make. I started Monday, at +9 days, and in just three days I have found an astonishing improvement. I can honestly say there is next to no pain in my left hip area, even the wound hurts insignificantly. I was taking Paracetomol for pain but have effectively stopped that now. Last night lying in bed I felt so good it made me laugh, I am hoping the smile on my face is here to stay!
I can get by comfortably with one crutch, but take two for walks currently and probably will until Sunday when I intend to move to one for a whiled before considering walking unaided for any length of time.
October 29, 2009 4 weeks post op and I am walking, albeit with a limp. I can get by comfortably with one critch, but when I am out walking I make sure I do stretcheds of 100 meters plus with the crutch off of the ground. I notice that my left foot has its some tendency to flick inwards a little. I do have some small discomfort in my lower back after extended walks, but all in all I am feeling ok. I expect the limp to slowly fade away over the next few weeks and hopefully the left foot issue will disappear in time also.
Whilst the strength is returning throughout the leg I do still see areas of weakness, although in no case has there been no improvement in a particualr area. The weakest area is still the lateral balance at the knee. I hope to get ito the pool over the next few weeks to help with recovery still further.