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Author Topic: worried about slow recovery  (Read 2395 times)

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kb

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worried about slow recovery
« on: December 23, 2007, 07:35:48 PM »
My husband had a hip resurfacing operation (Dr. Mont) on the 13th.  So far, he still (10 days later) has A LOT of pain in the entire muscle running along the outside of the thigh from below the incision to the knee.  He cannot do the leg bending exercises yet and can barely hobble around, although his balance and weight-bearing capability are good enough that he is using just a cane as of today.  Prior to the operation, he was still able to run 5 miles at a time, 3 days a week (in pain, of course), so he is in shape and is used to pain and to pushing his body.  But he is very concerned about why he cannot yet bend the leg.  Icing the thigh, elevating it, using muscle relaxants all don't seem to have helped.  The leg is still somewhat swollen and the muscles are VERY tight.

From reading the recovery stories, it appears to me that most people have much quicker recovery times than he is having.  Am I right?  Any thoughts on why he can't bend the leg yet, or what to do about it?  He is doing (twice daily) all the exercises Dr. Mont's PT group gave him, plus 4 more from the PT who comes to the house.

He wants to progress and get over all this.  We have no idea of what is normal or to be expected vs. something to worry about.

Pat Walter

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Re: worried about slow recovery
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 10:25:07 PM »
Hi
Welcome to Hip Talk.

I had my hip resurfacing almost 2 years ago and I actually can't remember if I could bend my leg much. 

The one thing I can tell you after reading thousands of messages on the Yahoo Surface Hippy Group is that there is NO NORMAL.  We all tell our own story, but unfortunately, no one has the same recovery.

I was lucky and did have a very fast and easy recovery.  People hate it when I tell my story, but all stories have to be told.  Most of the De Smet hippies are on one crutch at 4 days and sightseeing around town about 5 days post op.  That doesn't mean we were walking miles, but moving around pretty easy.  I was with 8 others and we all experienced that same post op recovery.  I was able to walk about 1 mile a day with one crutch about 12 days post op. No crutch at 4 weeks.  That is pretty typical for overseas patients - normally.

There have been other people that have taken weeks and months just to really get mobile.  I do think the surgical skill of the doctor has some bearing on your recovery - BUT BUT BUT - we are all different.  Sometimes it seems that the people that are in the best shape pre-op have a more difficult time post op.  Maybe becuase it is more difficult to dislocate the hip joint since they are so muscular and in shape.  So the muscles and surrounding area of the hip really gets stressed out.  People like me in their 60's and unable to do anything pre-op are easy to take apart.  So maybe that's one reason some of us recovery more easily.

No one has the answer.  The only TRUTH is that eventually, at our own speed, we all end up in the same place - recovered without pain and doing what we want to do.

Only patience and time will take you to that point.  You can't fight it and you can't force your recovery.  If you push too hard, you will get more pain, swelling and problems.

Dr. De Smet always said - do less than you think you can.

Dr. Mont is a very experienced surgeon and has many happy surface hippy patients.

Your husband is only 11 days post op, very early in his recovery.  If he can't bend his knee, just give it time.  Your PT should not be very agressive at this point. These first early post op exercises are similar to what we did in Belgium.  http://www.hipsforyou.com/exercisespostop.php  We did have our leg muscles massaged and normally everyone gets water therapy right away.  We had waterproof bandages.

That is somehting that might help your husband when he can get to a therapy pool.  The water helps so much by just doing water walking, stretches and easy exercises.  This is what I did about 6 weeks post op  http://www.surfacehippy.info/poolexercises.php

Please tell your husband to be patient and go with the flow.  He will feel better and so will his new hip.  He will find there are plateaus - all of a sudden at 6 weeks, he might feel much better.  At 6 months was a big one for me.

Each recovery is different and he just has to work thru it.  THere is no normal.  The only truly abnormal - is to have very, very bad pain - which would indicate serious problems.  If he had that - he would be in terrible, unbearable pain requiring a trip to the ER or doctor.  Most of us don't have that type of problem.

Please stay in touch and tell your husband to hang in there.  It will get better.

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

kb

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Re: worried about slow recovery
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 11:18:25 PM »
Thank you, Pat, for your encouraging and reassuring comments.  Both my husband and I had already thought that people who have built up big thigh muscles ahead of the surgery might have a tougher recovery because of cutting through all that tissue.  It's just been scary because he has never been so out of control and because he also had a fever (which we now understand is reasonably normal, but at the time we didn't know) plus serious reactions to two of the pain meds he tried (which we recognized as such, but believe me it's scary to witness).  By now, we are a little shell-shocked and jittery. But we chose Dr. Mont after reading about various considerations on your site (and other places) and are still very pleased with Mont and his team.  They've been very responsive. We don't want to keep bothering them unnecessarily as long as Ken's responses are within normal range.

Again, thanks.  He's trying to do a lot more walking around than he was able to do the first few days, hoping the exercise will help stretch those muscles.

Pat Walter

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Re: worried about slow recovery
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2007, 12:17:57 AM »
Hi

You are welcome.  If you celebrate Christmas - have a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy the holidays and soon he will be getting better.  You can always enjoy a good meal - even with a recovering hip!

If you write a little more of a story as your husband gets better - I will be happy to post it on the website.  That way people get to read about all kinds of recoveries.  I will add it to the Dr. Mont hippies.

Stay in touch.

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

 

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