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Author Topic: How much swelling is "normal"?  (Read 3461 times)

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Hippy spouse

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How much swelling is "normal"?
« on: May 22, 2011, 04:20:27 AM »
My husband just had hip resurfacing on Monday(right leg, Dr Gross) and today(Saturday) his butt, thigh and calf are REALLY swollen. No redness, no severe pain, no fever, just swelling. He has also complained today of sharpe "twinges" on the front of his leg, near the crease of his leg and body. We are locals (Columbia, SC area) so there has been no travel involved and he came home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, he is on the slow recovery track so the protocol is 10% weight bearing for 4 weeks using crutches and then increase the wieght bearing for the next two weeks on the way to using a cane for 4 weeks.

How long should we expect this swelling? BTW---he has been using the ice machine and he has stayed in his recliner with his feet elevated, but he has tried to get up and move around at least every hour and he has been religious about doing the 5 basic exercises Dr. Gross recommends.

Thanks for all the help you have provided on this website!

Hippy Spouse

Lori Cee

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 05:41:29 AM »
Not sure mine was that severe but I did need pants that were a size larger than I normally wear as my legs (I'm a bilat) did swell quite a lot (as did knees and ankles).  There is still minor swelling six weeks later though I am fitting into my normal pants now.  I have had sharp twinges near the incision and was told not to worry about that as it was part of the healing process.  From your message, I'm not sure if this pain was near the incision or not.  As I am recovering and doing more, I do get sharp muscle twinges as I am working muscles that really haven't been used in 20 years.  I've been told that this is pretty normal.

On the whole, I didn't have any real pain, so the twinges were a noticeable difference.  From what I understand, if the pain becomes severe its worth checking out to make sure everything is ok.  If there isn't severe pain and there is no fever or other symptoms, the swelling should slowly recede as your husband heals.  We all heal at different rates so it is hard so say how long this will last.  I will suggest though if you become concerned I'd call the doctor's office and speak to the nurse/physicians assistant or seek alternate medical assistance.  In the meantime, ice, prescribed exercises and moving hourly is the way to go.
Bilateral Birmingham Mid Head Resection (BMHR): 8 April 2011 (Dr Simon Journeaux at Mater Private).
To follow my progress visit my blog: Bilateral Hip Replacement

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 01:10:23 PM »
Thanks Lori. His incision is more on his backside and overall, there has not been a lot of pain, so we think that's why the twinges seemed so obvious.  He has also had what seem to be muscle cramps in the back of his thigh.  This morning the swelling does look better, though still there. Last night was probably the worse night so far as his body/muscles are sore from staying so still and he can't get comfortable. He is normally very active and even trying to find a comfortable position to ride in a vehicle has been harder than anticipated. However, like many others have noted, this will all be worth it in the long run.

larry2458

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2011, 01:27:27 PM »
i had none at all.i've had clunking for 2 1/2 years though
lbmh 16th october 2008

nekko

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 03:19:15 PM »
I am at 10 days post op and still have some twinges but no swelling. twinges occurs mostly on the rear side of the thigh, starting from knee root. I have been told that is normal and have to take some Paracetamol 1000 (Tylenol in the US) if it really hurts. Your husband is at the very early stage of the recovery and it will will go better and better in a few days.
Conserve+ cemented, May 12-2011, Pr Migaud, CHu Lille

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 04:16:55 PM »
Thanks for the input, helps to see what you guys a little further out experienced in the early days.

Hippy Spouse

newdog

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 07:13:21 PM »
Swelling is expected and normal. I rode in our car with my very understanding and patient wife driving from Columbia to central Pennsylvania. We did it in two days and my legs swelled more because of the long trip. It seems some people swell more than others. My swelling wasn't as bad as others I have read about on this forum but it was still uncomfortable and a little alarming. Just elevate and ice and tell your husband to keep on moving and exercising even if he doesn't feel like. That's really good that he is sticking with that.

For me the first week was the worst and it gets much better in a short period of time. I didn't have any twinges but it was tough dealing with the normal discomfort. He has one week in already tomorrow. Good luck and keep us posted on his progress.
Steve, Dr. Gross bilateral, uncemented Biomet, January 10 & 12, 2011, Columbia S.C.

hernanu

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 07:51:00 PM »
Even different hips swell differently. My left hip swelled for a good three weeks and still was slightly swollen six weeks along. My right was not swollen at all, had no problem getting into jeans quickly.

I think it was the bandage used (a thin silver bandage) that helped to keep the swelling to a minimum.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 11:39:22 PM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 10:23:08 PM »
Once again, thanks for the additional input. It is about 6:15PM on Sunday here in Columbia, SC and our children and grandchildren are coming over for burgers and hot dogs so maybe that will improve my husband's attitude :D  One of the grandchildren is going to stay with him tomorrow and Tuesday when I return to work so we'll see if at 10 years old she may have nursing in her future...or this will convince her that is a career she is NOT interestd in!

Hippy Spouse

Anniee

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 12:18:17 AM »
Hey Hippy Spouse,

I assume Dr. Gross did the surgery - he did mine also.  I live in Aiken, so only had a 60 mile trip home.  I had a lot of swelling initially in spite of using the Polar Care machine as instructed, and in spite of the silver bandage.  The operated side (hip, thigh and butt) seemed about twice the size of my non-operated side.  The swelling gradually went away over the course of a couple of weeks.  I also had a few twinges here and there, and still do, but they never seem to last long and the overall improvement is huge.  My biggest problem was trying to get comfortable enough to go go to sleep.  That problem gradually got much better but it took several weeks. 

Tell your husband to hang in there.  I am 4 1/2 weeks post op now and feel great, no more swelling, very few twinges, no crutches or cane!
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

Dayton96

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 01:24:06 AM »
Hippy Spouse,

One thing I have learned from reading this forum for the past year, is that patients heal differently, even patients who had the same surgeon.  I'm 8 weeks post op with Dr. Gross, and I had very little swelling, even after my 9 hour plus drive back to Ohio.  I stopped using the ice machine within a few days of getting home and I was off pain meds fairly fast.   Yet there are others on this forum, who will tell you how they had swelling for weeks after their surgery, including some of Dr. Gross' patients (and Dr. Su, etc).  A year or two later, they are healed and big supporters of hip resurfacing.  You husband is apparently one of the unfortunate ones who will take longer.  My best advice is to keep the ice machine running, stay in contact with Lee at Dr. Gross' office, and take it slow.

All will be well.

Mac
Dr. Gross, Uncemented Biomet, Left, March 2011

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 03:05:20 AM »
Thnaks for the encouragement Anniee and Mac.  I think he is glad to hear from those who are just a few weeks ahead of him so he can get a general idea of what's to come. I thought being on the "slow recovery track" with the 10% weight bearing restriction would be an issue, but at this point that really doesn't seem to matter, but hopefully the next 3 weeks will pass as fast as this first one has.

 Yes, Lee and Nancy have been very helpful and I know if we have questions we can always call. My husband is off the Oxycontin (only took that a few times) and the Nucynta and only takes extra strength Tylenol. Tonight he took two Tylenol PM in hopes that he can rest, again not from pain, but just from the muscle soreness from sitting and not being able to sleep on his side yet. The swelling didn't get as bad today...or maybe it's as bad as yesterday and we're just used to looking at it now ;D

Spending time with his grandchildren tonight was a great diversion!

Hippy Spouse

phillwad

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 04:59:46 AM »
Hippy Spouse

Thanks for the support you are giving the hubby, I know my wife made a huge difference in my recovery, also acting as my driver for 6 weeks  ;D.  Swelling seems to be different all across the place, my wife noticed I did not sit upright for a few weeks untill the swelling went down. 

If unsure give the Doctor a call and ask

Cheers - Phill

einreb

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 01:56:20 PM »
Thnaks for the encouragement Anniee and Mac.  I think he is glad to hear from those who are just a few weeks ahead of him so he can get a general idea of what's to come. I thought being on the "slow recovery track" with the 10% weight bearing restriction would be an issue, but at this point that really doesn't seem to matter, but hopefully the next 3 weeks will pass as fast as this first one has.

I'm a bit over 3 months after going through the 'slow recovery program', so its still a bit fresh in my mind.  Weeks 3-6 seemed to be the worst in that I was just sick of dealing with the crutches.  Also, as soon as he gets to the phase 2 exercises... hit them hard and work that hip as much as the rules allow.  I went to PT to help work the stabilizers and learn other exercises within the limits set by Dr Gross.  When I dumped the cane at week 10, I had very little limp.  I'm able to walk several miles a day now.  Things still get achy, but it is a muscle pain and not the bone pain that drains the life from you.

good luck... !
40yo at the time of my 2/16/2011 left hip uncemented Biomet resurface with Tri Spike Acetabular cup by Gross

Anniee

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 12:49:44 AM »
Sleeping was almost the biggest issue for me for the first couple of weeks.  I just could not get comfortable!  Tell your hubby that everything really does get better quite quickly - by the end of week 3 I was able to sleep quite well and have not had much problem since.  I also took some Tylenol at night after getting off the Oxycontin and the Nucynta, I think it did help some.
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

katekosar

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 10:54:17 AM »
Hi, Hippy Spouse.

I also want to say "congrats" and "thanks" for being a supportive spouse.  I couldn't have done this thing without the beautiful and caring support of my Marine.  Semper fi!

I am at exactly four weeks post-op and am returning to work this morning (like it or not).  I still have a ball of swelling about the size of a flattened grapefruit on my upper hip.  Assume it's where the muscles are surrounding the new "alien" implant.  Can barely turn over to lie on the surgical side for more than five minutes, but it does provide another sleeping position for however short a time.  Even turning on the non-surgical side is a little painful for the surgical area.  I'll take a couple of Advil Liquigels if I wake up too often, but I'm trying to get painkiller free totally.  Hate the stuff.

I figure a little swelling and night-time discomfort after a month is to be expected.  Every day, in every way, a little better and better.

kate

hernanu

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 02:21:57 PM »
One thing that the Physical therapist did for me was to massage the swollen area after the swelling had subsided. It helped to loosen up any ligatures that would form due to the healing, detaching them from the surrounding muscles, etc. It made the whole movement thing much better.

I've continured that by using the roller after it fully healed, and if I go for a massage, I do tell the massage therapist to work that area (after warning her about my scars).
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 05:10:54 PM »
UPDATE--as you all knew I would, I can say things are improving!!!! Bob was able to turn on his non-operated side several times last night while reading in bed, even though it only lasted about 3-5 minutes each time. When we did his exercises this AM he seemed to have a little more range of motion. I do think having our grandchildren helping with caregiving has been a great boost for him, plus it keeps him entertained. I have removed the dressing (HOLY MOLY...I felt like I was hurting him and held my breath the whole time. How in the world are you supposed to get under the "stuff" they paint over the dressings?) and was surprised at how good the incision looks.

He has discovered it is better for him to walk many short trips than trying to walk once all the way around the outside of the house. I think too he feels more confident using the crutches. Just looking for the next milestone of being able to increase the weight bearing in mid-June and see how much progress he makes then.

Thank you too for the words of encouragement TO ME. We have been married 34 years and we're only 54 so that tells you we met as teenagers and have grown up together--I'm not ashamed to tell you how much I love my husabnd. God has been very good to us and I look forward to seeing how He uses this current "adventure" in our lives in the future.

Best to all of you,
Hippy Spouse

hernanu

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 06:32:32 PM »
Really good to hear that (as much as I expected it) he's improving. It's also great to see you in here, to hear your perspective. We all are supportive of each other, but I think we all appreciate the loved ones that help us rise again.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Hippy spouse

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Re: How much swelling is "normal"?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 01:23:26 AM »
Well thank you very much, hernanu, that's nice to hear.

 

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