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Author Topic: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??  (Read 1890 times)

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marty004

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Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« on: November 16, 2010, 09:56:20 AM »
Hi Folks,
I am 36 year old male and was very active in sports up until 2 years ago when I could no longer stick the pain.  So I had my left hip (BLHR) resurfaced 5 weeks ago.

Recovery hasn't been to bad and I'm still at an early stage.  One thing that I am having an issue with is that I'm still unable to get into the passenger seat of any vehicle.  This is mainly due to my height being 6'3" and my legs being very long in proportion to the rest of my body I'm afraid to bend past the dreaded 90 degree restriction as my knee always tends to go above my waist when sitting.  I have tried sitting on a cushion/pillow but at my height it doesn't really work especially when your head is sticking into the roof and you can't bend your legs past the door!!  ::)

I also had bad swelling in my knees and ankles the first few weeks and brusing down my legs which was restricting me bending my legs.  I was only getting about 20 degree bend at the knee at 3 weeks.  At 5 weeks I am now at 40 degrees bend so getting there but still very tight around the knee and thigh muscle.  Is this swelling tightness common and when does it ease off?

Anyway all this may well be normal at this still very acute stage but after reading numerous posts of people running marathons after 6 weeks (I exaggerate!!   ;D ) I feel I am some what behind in my rehab.

Good news is that I'm able to get out and about on the crutches and walk 4km - 6km daily to get some fresh air and exercise.  I live in Ireland so I try and get out between all the rain.

So any tall people out ther who have had similar issues or if anyone can give some advice it would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Marty

Pat Walter

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 03:06:32 PM »
Hi Marty

Welcome to Hip Talk and congratulations on the new BHR. 

My suggestion would be to sit sideways in a nice large mini-van, I don't think you have those overseas.  When I had my resufacing in Belgium it was diffiuclt for me and I was only 5' 8"  The overseas cars are very small.  You will soon be 6 weeks post op and you should be able to drop the 90 degree rule soon.  I can only suggest sitting in the back seat at a diagonal for short trips.  You could lay across the seat with the back doors open, but I don't think that is a good solution   ;D

We all heal at a different rate.  Some are slow while others are fast.  Just listen to your body and do what feels right.

I don't know anyone running a marathon at 6 weeks.  Some have after 3 months and 6 months - but there are only a few of them.  Most doctors don't let patients start to run for almost a year.  High impact sports should not be started too soon. Usually at  months you can do most regular sports and activities, but you hip actually takes a full year to heal.  The bone growth happens quickly, but there is a lot more to heal.  You don't want high impact on the device while the new bone growth is occuring.

Has your surgeon allowed you to be on one crutch yet?  Using one just on the opposite side of the resurfacing makes walking much easier.  I only used one crutch for 4 weeks.  The surgeons are quite different in their recovery protocols.  Always call the office and ask before making any big changes in your recovery.

Many people have knee and back problems after surgery.  You body has been off balance a long time with your hip problems.  Everything should get back to normal in a few months.  It sometimes takes 6 months or a year to get the body back to normal.

Again, patience is your best friend.  I know it is diffiuclt at 36, but concentrate how what a great summer you will have next year.

Good luck.

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

Gino

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 03:28:39 PM »
With both of my resurfaces (4 months apart) I swelled up like a balloon, my thighs just above the knees, the joints themselves, my calves and all the way down to my toes. After a week and a half my foot had purple bruising and yellowing all thru it. It took about a month, maybe a bit more, for the swelling to dissipate enough that I could bend my lower leg up near to perpendicular to my upper leg. It took longer for the bruising to dissipate. But don't worry - it will!! Keep you fluids up to flush it all out. I recommend Guiness  ;D

marty004

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 10:07:56 AM »
Cheers Guys!
Yes patience is needed I guess.  Just used to being more active.  Hopefully can hit the swimming pool after my 6 week check up (was told not to go to swimming pool until wound has fully healed) so that should help speed up recovery and strengthen muscles, etc.

It's all good!

Yes Gino plenty of Guinness on the way once I get off these meds!!  ;D

Big Bill

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 02:10:34 PM »
Big Bill here ....Marty ...after your incision area is TOTALLY healed...get in the(heated) pool ! Water Aerobics is what helped me with ROM and to strengthen the entire hip area. Continue on a nice even pace(don't be an over acheiver) and you will see noticible improvement ! I am 6'5" ...drove A CORVETTE yesterday...way beyond the 90 degree mark getting in and out of that kind of vehicle!   Best of luck !

Big Bill     C.A.S.H.    8)

RobB

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 01:57:32 AM »
Marty, were you wearing compression stockings (TEDs) for at least the first couple of weeks, if not longer? After my resurfacing (Dr. Bose, Oct. 28) my legs wanted to puff up a bit, but the stockings--to just above the knee--prevented most of that. Sometimes I didn't wear one on my un-operated (left) leg and it started to swell a bit, but not too bad. Some flexing, gentle bending and walking and then keeping the legs slightly elevated when possible seems to help encourage the fluid to come out. By two weeks I removed the stockings and had only slight puffiness of my right foot, noticed when trying to "slip" into a snug-fitting slip-on shoe. I had no bruising that I noticed.
I'm 5'8" so maybe gravity is taking more of a toll on you than on me. Honestly, if you're still having swelling, I'd say pull some stockings on, lean back and prop your legs up for awhile, maybe two or three times a day. Let gravity work for you instead of against you.

Rob

marty004

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 06:02:48 PM »
Hey Rob,
Thanks for advice.  My surgeon did not use the stockings instaed i was on anti-clotting tablets for 35 days.
Ice, Compressiona and Elevation has really helped the swelling.  I minaly have tightness aroung thigh and knee which is my main gripe at the minute.
Only at 5 weeks so I guess nature has to take its course.
Onwards and upwards!
Good luck.

sheptr

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010, 04:08:44 AM »
Best of luck Marty!  I did not use the TEDs either.  Aspirin for 30 days and a bag of ice or frozen peas strapped over the incision for 4-5 weeks.  Was lucky enough that when I needed to get somewhere in the beginning, had the use of a friend's van.  You are at a time that was a turning point for me, when things started getting easier by leaps and bounds.  11 months now, forgot I even had the surgery or had a hip problem.
When you are able, have a proper pint for me.  Some of the best at the Clare Inn in Ennis, Tommy's up further in Stoney Batter, or the CobbleStone by Smithfield.  I am sure you would know better than me, these are just some favorites of mine.
LBHR - 12/31/2009 - Dr. Su

RobB

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2010, 06:50:19 PM »
I don't really understand the last two responses. Marty, I understood your issue to be persistent, lingering swelling around your knee and thigh. Anti-clotting tablets, or aspirin are for resisting blood clots. That's fine, but they have nothing to do with the swelling you expressed concern about. If you want to stop swelling, wear a compression stocking on at least the operated leg for a few days. It's no big deal. I usually forgot it was even there. If you're OK with the swelling, then, by all means, just take "blood thinners", drink lots of pints, and relax while your liver tries to cope with the chemicals and not fail you.

Honestly, best of luck,

Rob

marty004

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2010, 12:57:02 PM »
Hi Rob,
Thanks for your post.  Yes I had bad swelling the first 3 or 4 weeks but this has finally reduced with R.I.C.E and plenty of walking (getting 5km - 6km daily on crutches).

I guess my current issue (which is no big deal as I count myself very lucky!) is more tightness around knee and thigh area which is causing issues with me bending my leg to get in and out of a car.  I'm trying to stretch the cr*p out of it but only still get 40 degree bend even with my wife trying to bend it further it just doesn't want to budge.

I guess I have no one here to compare recovery with and everyone is different so maybe I'm slightly behind or maybe I'm doing ok.  I have my 6 week check up in 5 days so we shall see what the surgeon thinks.  Hopefully I can get off the crutches and get permission to get into a pool.

Just thinking does anyone ever use a TENS machine on the muscle area?  Did it help any?  Is a TENS machine safe to use after having a metal hip implanted?

Guinness here we come!! :)

RobB

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Re: Hip Recovery at 6ft 3" tall??
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 07:00:27 PM »
Marty, it's good that you'll have a chance to talk to your doctor about what's going on.
In the meantime, I believe you're confusing TENS (electrical nerve stimulation) with EMS...electro muscle stimulation. TENS is strictly for the purpose of pain relief. EMS is stimulation to get muscles moving if you can't do that yourself. The thing is (and I'm no doctor), I suspect you have no problem activating your own muscles; you said you have "tightness" around two major joints. We all get that at the hip after major surgery like resurfacing because the muscles and other tissues have been cut up and stitched back together. But if your knee is stiff too, that seems like it would be due to swelling due to fluid buildup in that operated leg. If that is the case, then you're simply going to have to get the fluid out of there, which is what you apparently are doing with compression and elevation. If the knee has stiffened up for some other mysterious reason, your doctor should be able to come up with some explanation.

Catch ya later,

Rob

 

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