Author Topic: How long will I need a Walker  (Read 2649 times)

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How long will I need a Walker
« on: April 25, 2008, 10:50:48 AM »
Hi Pat,

Your reply to encinas raises a question for me. I'm 4 months post op from my right hip resurface and doing great. I work out on the elliptical machine 30 minutes or so until the left hip kills me then I stop. I'm going in for my thrashed left hip May 6th because I can hardly walk anymore. My right hip was my surgeon's 15th BHR and he acknowledged that he was conservative about my recovery and that's why he had me on a walker for a month. He told me a couple weeks ago that, assuming everything goes well, he would let me walk without the walker a couple weeks sooner so I figure as he gets more experience he is moving more towards the norm.  I assume he's worried about fractured heads. I guess there probably isn't a question in here after all, I was going to ask if you thought I could start walking even sooner but what's another week. Thanks for the site. It was a big help for me the first time through and I figure sharing our experiences helps others too.


Pat Walter

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Re: How long will I need a Walker
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 11:59:32 AM »

I gave you your own topic, hope you don't mind.

You really need to do what your surgeon wants you to do because you are under their care.

Most of the experienced surgeons and certainly overseas - don't even use walkers.  They use elbow crutches. Much easier to use.  The crutch is really for balance more than anything since you are normally 100% weight bearing after surgery.  Of course, it takes a few days to actually put all your weight on the operated let - but it happens very quickly.

The complete hip device - cup and cap - must be placed exactly right to prevent problems.  If there is any variations, it can cause more problems and the doctors are much more conservative.

It is just the differece betwen the newer doctors and more experienced.  I would have had a fit to be on a walker a long time.  I was on one crutch at 4 days. Didn't need anything else.  I often forgot the crutch after a week or so. I would get up and forget it.  Go back and get it.  It is pretty much the skill of the surgeons that allows you to have the quicker recoveries - normally.  They does far less damage to the surrounding areas during surgery.  I think my doctor and some others also put special numbing medicine in as they close the layers. 

The US doctors are very afraid of being sued and don't want any bad marks against their records. So they are very conservative.  Don't blame them.

I actually took a cane with me for a couple weeks when I stopped using the one crutch at 4 weeks in case I got tired on my walks.  Then I could use the cane for a little support.  Normally I just did not need anything after that time.

I think you just need to go with what your individual doctor wants.  I would never tell anyone to do anything different.  That is one reason that we all share our stories though - so people can see how the different doctors post op procols compare.

Normally if you want to be off and running as quickly as possible - go to the really experienced surgeons if you can - they are the ones that have done 500- 1000 or 3000+ resurfacings.  Fortunately we are getting some really experienced ones here in the US doing the BHR.  We have always had Dr. Gross with over 1300, Dr. Amstuz and a few others before the FDA approval.

But ALWAYS listen to your surgeon.  You have choosen him/her to do your surgery and must trust their recovery protocol.

Good Luck.  I hpe your seond hip goes well for you.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: How long will I need a Walker
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 10:13:17 PM »
Hi Pat,

I think the inexperience part and "far less damage" piece applies to me in that the only discomfort I presently have in my new hip is what I keep calling incision pain at the lower third part of the incision- like the muscle or bone got whacked pretty good and is still tender- or that there is scar tissue in there and when I sit too long it feels lumpy so I kind of smooth it out and then it feels better. Thanks for the positive thoughts.



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Re: How long will I need a Walker
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2008, 12:31:12 PM »

I am 3 weeks out from my post surgery today.  I was off any support the first week.  As pain would allow.  The biggest thing for me was not the joint but the muscle tenderness and building it up.  The scare tissue is another area that is still tender and gives me pain when I sit.  Once I get up from sittng a long period of time (45 min) I limp a bit until the Quad and Glut relaxes and then I walk without real pain.  Still feel the charlie horse in my glut from the surgery tramma....  Besides that all is good.  I had my surgery done in the Seattle area by a very skilled doc.... has done 1000+ resurfaces and has given me no restrictions on rehab.  Just what the pain will allow.  So, I have been walking un-aided since early in the second week post surgery.  I do about .5 to a mile a day to build it up.  I am a bit sore after my walks... more tired than sore... due to muscle conditioning vs joint pain.  I had the BHR joint installed.  Glued to the femur head. 


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Re: How long will I need a Walker
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 12:21:23 PM »
I only used a walker the 1st couple of days in the hospital, then went to 2 crutches.  I used 2 crutches for about 3 weeks, then went to one for a short time, then a cane.  I stopped using the cane about 5-6 weeks after surgery.  My ortho. surgeon has done many, many THR's, but only a few hip resurfacings, but he felt very confident and so far, so good!  The only time I'm "sore" is after I've sat too long and get up to walk.  I'm stiff for a couple of minutes, then once all is stretched out from walking, I'm fine.  The scar is still tender, but I can at least sleep on my right side now.  I can get my sock on by myself now, but it's still tight getting there, and a little incomfortable.  I have been exercising on my recumbent exercise bike and there's been no problems.  Not having the arthritic pain has been a godsend!  It's nice to walk and go up and down stairs and get in and out of the car without pain.  And just to stand "normally" from a chair has been awesome!  Getting up off the floor is still a challenge, but at least I can get there and back up again.  I will be planting my garden here in a week or two, so we'll see how that goes.  Good luck with your left hip! 



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