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Author Topic: 7 weeks post op - stiffness  (Read 4812 times)

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Pat Walter

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7 weeks post op - stiffness
« on: January 02, 2010, 01:36:49 PM »
Posted for Pamela P by Pat Walter

I am 53 yrs old, 7 wks out (left hip BHR) and wondering why it hasn't been quick enough in my mind. I have gone 'by the book' for Dr. Companione in Tampa, FL. He is a great doctor...wouldn't have anyone else.  He isn't as strict as some of the cases I've read, poor things. I was on weight bearing (without crutches) as soon as 3-4 wks if I felt like I could do it. I do have restrictions on bending, stretching, twitching, swishing (I call that the bend over to pick up something and 'swing' your bad leg out straight like a ballerina). I was able to drive at 4 wks, but didn't want to go anywhere even though all the Christmas sales and wonderful holiday movies are out, etc... I do not have the 'get up and go energy' I wish I would. I am a 'hyper' type person and have been very, very energetic in the past with working out (spin, step, yoga, pilates) and devoted to an 'active lifestyle'.   

In 2004, I had lower back fusion surgery from a car wreck. It was terrible. I recovered and started moving around well when my hip problem kicked in.

My question is this....Does anyone have the 'morning stiffness-pain-hard to get moving' syndrome like me? It is not easy to get up. Maybe I need to 'kick my butt' and get up earlier and not lay in bed so long. It is just hard to get up and feel good about it. I have not gone back to work. It will be 8 wks when I do and I am dreading it! I am working at home though and to sit at a computer for more than 1 1/2 hrs. is very difficult. I feel all frozen up and stiff (like you just worked out for 24 hrs straight). I'm hoping it will get better. My therapy is going pretty good (2 times/wk) and I do cycling, leg lifts with weights, walking. Any advice or comments from all the people feeling like me? I am really 'down in the dumps' about my slow recovery. Thanks for this site... it is very, very informative.
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obxpelican

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 02:34:47 PM »
Startup stiffness is quite normal with HRs, walking is good therapy, if you can do so without much pain I would continue that.  Also, swimming (if your doctor allows) is great exercise along with whirlpool tubs.

I would also check with your doctor if he allows you to take ibuprophen, that will help with any inflamation.



Chuck
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8-6-08

nysoccermom

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 06:35:20 PM »
I am 39 years old, am also 7 weeks out from surgery (bilat, Dr. Su) and am familiar with the "syndrome" you describe. I too have some stiffness/soreness when I get up in the morning and again when I get up from working on the computer or sitting for any length of time. My recovery has been going well so far and aside from difficulty regaining range of motion (PT says those muscles and tendons have been tight for a number of years and it will take time and hard work to loosen them up) I am generally feeling well. Today though I am a little "down in the dumps" myself and said to my husband just this morning - "I thought I was supposed to be getting better every day but I am so tired and sore today". I think part of it has been being so out of routine with the holidays and the kids home from school. I am looking forward to Monday to get back in the swing of things and focus on my recovery again. As far as the stiffness, I find that using the stationary bike seems to help get me moving and at bedtime I use a heating pad. I also try to remember how far I have come and the little things that get easier every day, like picking things up off of the floor. It is hard not to feel "behind" when reading some of the amazing stories on this web site - which is a wonderful resource, thank you Pat -  but I wouldn't consider your (or my) recovery slow, rather within the very wide range of normal considering all of the variables. I am hopeful that in another week, we will both be feeling better. Good luck!

halfdone

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 08:55:04 PM »
Hi pamela and nysoccermom.  I empathise.  I had a LBHR in May 2006 when I was 47.  Everyone's situation/recovery track is different so my comments to follow need to be taken in that context, but I have a few recollections which may be helpful.  First, let me say that, having had a very successful long term recovery, I focus my memories on the good aspects - I am now back to competitive swimming/cycling.  My hip is strong, flexible and pain free.  I was lucky to have lots of help, lots of time, nothing to do during rehab, so I focussed on PT, exercise and REST.  But here are the provisos.
1.  In the first few weeks I had so little hip strength I could not lift my leg off the bed. It was damn hard work getting around.
2.  The trauma of the surgery (all that cutting, dislocation, surgeon pulling stuff around etc. that I dont want to think about) left me with muscle injury and tightness that was SORE - like bad sports injury sore - even though the hip joint pain had gone.  This took weeks to reduce and I have worked on strength/flexibility improvements ever since - even now.
3.  After very modest amounts of exercise/PT, I was EXHAUSTED.  I slept every afternoon. (I think the anesthesia also had a lingering effect.)
So, I can only encourage you.  I hope that in another 7 weeks you will look back and see that you have come a long way further, and in another 6 months the memory of the tough stuff will be dimming.
Daily life, family, work take a lot out of you.  If you can build plenty of recovery/rest into your daily program, that could help the continuing recovery.  You have had major surgery - so perhaps the people around you will understand and let you nap daily each afternoon or similar? 
(I think many of the stories of fabulous recoveries are from guys -like me - who had lots of help and pampering!! ;) ;) )
Anyway, that's my 2 cents.  Good luck, I think you're doing great, particularly given that one of you has the injury history and the other is a bilat!!
(PS I would strongly endorse Chuck's comment above that water based (or whirlpool) exercise is a really good thing to include in your exercise PT program.)

Pamela P

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 04:45:22 AM »
 ::)  Wow...thanks for the responses....It is good to actually get feedback from people with the same surgery, symptoms and recovery situations.  I have a pool but I do not have a 'heater' in it.  I'm thinking of borrowing a wetsuit from a friend to start the pool exercises (if I can get it on by myself).  Yes, even in Florida, tonite it is in the 30's. I'm working on walking more and more.  There is pain, it is better every day...most days.  I still feel like (and I know) my body is 'crooked' when I walk.  I'm hoping that goes after a few months. I'm very conscious of walking with my shoulders and back straight. 

I still don't bend over to tie my shoes.  How long do most people take before you take that task on?  I go to my Dr. in five days and will confirm that with him.  Thanks again for your inspiration.     

nysoccermom

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 03:07:34 AM »
Dr. Su's literature states: "I would like you to be comfortable putting on your socks and shoes by 3 months postoperative."

Jim1957

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 06:08:37 PM »
Glad I found this thread.  Although I had a quick recovery I'm at 10 weeks today and have a lot of soreness and stiffness in the mornings.  Glad to hear I'm "normal".  I walk a lot but have slacked off the PT.  I'm guessing I need to get back to it in order to improve.  Seems I've plateau'd but at least I'm not in pain from the arthritis anymore.

morris44

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 05:39:06 PM »
I think your recoveries are very normal. I am 5 weeks out and while I progressed very fast (off cane in less than 2 weeks) I have leveled-off to a pretty consistent feeling. I am stiff in the morning and when I first rise from sitting for a while. After about 5 steps I'm very good and loose. People ask if I'm better than before the surgery, and I say, "the arthritis is gone, but now I have "healing" pain".

I don't think too much about being behind schedule or that this is how it will be forever. I have had numerous injuries in the past (many sprains, multiple broken bones, and a few dislocations (shoulder was the worst) and I know that healing takes time. But I also know that we all always heal.  It took 2 years before I could use my shoulder after I dislocated it. but now (5 years later) it is near 100%.

I expect to be at/near 100% with my hip in about 8-12 months. And I expect to be 85% in 6 months.

I think you will probably have similar experiences.

tquinn

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 08:09:13 PM »
I am 55 yrs old 5 weeks post opp, I notice the same stiffness/minor
soreness. I find riding stationary bike really helps relieve the stiffness. I go PT 3 times a week and do exercises all the time, walking with slight limp but seems to be getting better but never quick enough.

Pat Walter

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 02:28:19 AM »
tquinn

Many people have stiffness around 6 weeks post op.  The best pt for that is to do water therapy.  Water walking, stretches and exercises.  I did my walking in a therapy pool neck deep at 94 degrees.  After a couple weeks, my stiffness went away and never returned.  Here are the things I did http://www.surfacehippy.info/poolexercises.php  and other suggestions  http://www.surfacehippy.info/ptarticles.php

You are still early in your recovery and can't force your body to heal.  It has it's own time schedule and it is different for everyone.  So don't judge your recovery by anyone elses.  Relax and give your body time to heal - you will have a great summer.

Pat
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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

Jennifer

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Re: 7 weeks post op - stiffness
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 08:35:31 PM »
I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who has good days and bad days!  I am 5 weeks post-op LBHR with Dr. Su.  Some days I just can't get motivated to do anything, and I sleep A LOT!  I also get very sore some days and don't want to walk at all.  Other days, I can walk a good long while with my cane and feel like I can keep going all day.  I think I will start pool exercises this week, hopefully that will help.  There is a nice pool at my gym.  Thanks everyone for posting, it's good to hear other people's stories and advice! 
Jenn

 

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