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Author Topic: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?  (Read 3491 times)

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sdunn4

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Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« on: September 03, 2011, 12:34:29 AM »
It looks like I will be traveling 16 hours by car over a 2-day period from upstate NY to SC for a resurfacing at the end of October with Dr. Gross.  Beside the fact that I feel the uncemented femoral fixation has an advantage, the decision was easy to travel that far because a) Dr Gross has done 2500 resurfacings, and b) he was in my network, as was the hospital.  I plan to have the initial consultation on a Thursday and then visit family in Jacksonville for the weekend with my wife prior to the Monday surgery.

Now for the question- have any others driven this distance for a resurfacing, and what is your advice for the trip home?  Did you ride in the back with your leg propped up?  Can you run the "ice machine" in the car (does it need a power converter?).  How often did you stop to stretch and walk around with the crutches?  Etc.

Thanks for any information!

Steve
52 YO Rt Hip Biomet Dr. Gross, 10/24/11

maxi

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 02:04:19 AM »
i travelled 13 hrs 6 days after op. i kept up the pain meds and we stopped every 2 hrs or so for a sretch and toilet break. my advice would be to keep your fluid levels up, have a couple of different size pillows on hand to support your leg, i had to adjust the pillows untill i found the best postion. i was worn out and very stiff afterwards and slept for 15 hrs straight .. :o ;D. i sat in the front seat as there was more leg room in my sisters little suv. dont know about running an ice machine, maybe a cooler box and a bag of ice would do the trick..

good luck with it all, slow and steady is the go ... ohh yeah, rough roads can hurt .. ;)

cheers maxi
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow...what a ride!"

mari

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 03:08:52 AM »
I traveled back from South Carolina to Minnesota by car.  My husband drove and I sat in the back of our trailblazer with some ice, and I used the ice machine in the motel one night.  We took breaks at rest stops every few hours so I could get out and walk around.  I really didn't have much pain at all, but my leg got very swollen.  I should have propped it up more both in the car and in the motel.  The second night I didn't use the ice machine b/c my husband is a light sleeper and it bothered him.  Since he was doing the driving I thought he needed his sleep.  But that was a big mistake b/c I paid for it in swelling.  Other than that, it wasn't a bad trip at all.
Right Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Gross February 2009

John C

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 04:15:32 AM »
Here would be my suggestions.
1. Try to find a way to elevate your leg, ideally by stretching out in the back of a mini-van, or anything that allows a large flat area in the back. Consider borrowing a van or SUV that would allow stretching out, if you do not have one.
2. Have a large pad to lay on, and lots of pillows for propping and changing position.
3. Definitely work out a way to either use the ice machine or use ice bags.
4. Take some time before you head for SC to test out your planned traveling position, and get the bugs worked out then, rather than after surgery.
5. Get out and walk around for a few minutes every couple of hours, and importantly do lots of "ankle pumps" while you are on the road to keep up the circulation in your legs.
I found that sitting in the car was not that uncomfortable, but if you travel in a sitting position, you may expect some serious swelling issues traveling down your leg; not good.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

sdunn4

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 12:57:30 PM »
Thanks for the feedback and excellent advice!  I have never used an "ice machine" such as a "Polar Care", and I am curious about the electrical demands of the machine- can a normal vehicle support this machine through a utility outlet with a power converter?  Have any members of the forum had experience with running such a machine in a vehicle?  It sure sounds like elevation and icing are the ways to make the trip successful (along with a loving spouse that is willing to do the driving!)

Thanks,

Steve
52 YO Rt Hip Biomet Dr. Gross, 10/24/11

Dayton96

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 02:12:06 PM »
Hi Steve,

I made a 9 hour car trip after my surgery w/Dr. Gross.  I sat in the back seat with a couple of pillows and I had the ice machine running off batteries.  When you talk to Dr. Gross' support staff before your surgery, they will give you the option of purchasing the battery pack.  I used the ice machine for part of the trip, but mostly I just sat propped up on pillows in the back seat reading and talking to my sister who was my driver.  We did the nine hours in one day and I had no problems, although sliding into and out of the car at rest stops took a little practice.

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

bigblue

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 05:16:04 PM »
I strongly urge you to use the ice machine in the car. If you do not your swelling will be much worse. 3 years ago the battery pack was not available but they had some sort of hand pump which I used in my 6 hr trip home. In my opinion the ice machine is critical and I used it a great deal of time and while sleeping at night. Even using the ice machine you can epect swelling.

Tin Soldier

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 05:38:44 PM »
On the first hip, it was snowing and raining and we drove about 7 hours at 36 hours after surgery.  I sat in the front passenger side of a Mazda MPV.  Seat was hard,  but with pillows, ice, and frequent stops it wasn't too bad.  The second hip, about 11 days ago, we drove the same time frame at 29 hours after surgery, sunny drive, but lots of traffic.  It was actually a lot better, mostly because the hip itself was not as messed up.  I would definitely practice getting in and out of the car, pillowing and such while trying to not use your operated leg.  I found that doing some of those activities, like walking with a cane,.... pre-op helped my brain get set to those same movements post-op.  Certainly the pain and stiffness post-op will direct you, but I do think it helps to get the motions planned out.  Getting in and out of the van at stops on the highway, was definitely challenging.

Maybe a train from NY to SC?  train is nice for being able to get up and crutch around a little.  Sadly, the car will probably be much cheaper.   

BTW - don't let my surgeon know, but I drove 12 hours yesterday at 11 days post-op (RBHR), (14 days is my surgeon's recommended recovery period before driving so it's not that far off).  I was able to move my right foot comfortably and fast from brake to accel.  I wouldn't have done it if I didn't feel safe with braking.  Last hip, I was still on crutches at 11 days and would never have been able to drive at this point.   
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

Anniee

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 05:42:12 PM »
I agree with the recommendations to keep using the ice machine, and as Mac said, Dr. Gross's office will have the battery pack available for those who are traveling.  If you're not traveling, you just plug it into a regular outlet.  I only had to travel a little more than one hour, so I did not get the battery pack, but I used the machine a lot in the first week.  As others have said, you will still have some swelling - mine was quite significant, but the cooling of the ice machine felt great, and I assume the swelling would have been worse without it.
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

futbalfan

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 09:38:39 PM »
Just so you know that it is possible I travelled 12 hours 3 days after surgery.  No ice and no pain medication.  I sat in the front sit with it reclined a little bit to respect the 90 rule.   We stopped every couple of hours and I got out on the crutches and walked around for a bit and then we would continue.  The only thing different than normal was that I pumped the feet quite a bit to keep the circulation going.  I did get stiff and I still do when driving.  It is really the only time I truly feel uncomfortable.  Once I get out of the car and move around for a few seconds everything is fine but those first few steps are annoying.  Also taking the pillow into restaurants was a must as most places are not post hip surgery friendly..LOL

It is a great experience and even if the ride is a little uncomfortable things get better fast and if this is the worst thing you have to do consider yourself lucky.

sdunn4

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2011, 12:19:03 AM »
Thanks to all of you for the great advice!  At this point I have about 7 weeks to go until the operation, and the big challenge now is to keep up my activity level while withstanding the pain!

Steve
52 YO Rt Hip Biomet Dr. Gross, 10/24/11

newdog

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 03:41:38 AM »
Steve,

Sorry for this late reply. I haven't been on here for almost a week. (shame on me). I rode in a car from S.C. to central Pennsylvania January 2011. 600 miles, 10 hours. We split it into two days, so it wasn't bad at all. About 6 hours the first day, 4 the second.

I sat in the front seat because there is more room and I could recline. (Honda Accord). My wife drove the whole way (God bless her!) I didn't use the ice machine, I used ice packs that the hospital gave me. They worked very well. I did have some significant swelling, nothing horrible looking, but did have it. When I got home and elevated my legs it mostly went away the next day.

I will give you what I believe to be a very important piece of advice. PEE BOTTLE! The drugs and junk started to work out of my body the second day. I peed a lot. Not so bad when you are in a populated area with lots of McD's and quick shops to run into, but there was a 14 or so mile stretch of road connecting two interstates. Did you ever have too much to drink at that party and get stuck in traffic somewhere? Yeah, it was that bad. Wouldn't you know that's when it really hit bad.  :'(

The hospital will have you go in a bottle while you are there. KEEP THAT BOTTLE! I wish I would have. It would have saved a lot of misery.

I did buy a power inverter but didn't use it. The ice machine is supposed to run O.K. with it.

When making travel plans before surgery, I asked Nancy at Dr. Gross' office about riding in a car. A lot of people do it from some very long distances. You are not alone. She said it is no problem at all, just be sure to have the vehicle prepared with extra pillows, etc. One advantage is you can stop and get out and walk around as often as you want. Keep moving the feet with the leg pumps. That is very important and it feels good.

I had no problem with pain at all. It was more uncomfortable sitting for a long period when we went back to S.C. in February for my 6 week check. If you have any more questions, ask away. Let us know how it goes.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 03:59:39 AM by newdog »
Steve, Dr. Gross bilateral, uncemented Biomet, January 10 & 12, 2011, Columbia S.C.

DGossack

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 04:50:13 AM »
Newdog makes a great point.

When I got home from the hospital 36 hours after surgery I weighed myself.  I was at 197 which is quite a bit heavier than normal.  After getting up to pee about 7 times during the night I weighed 189 the next morning.  I lost almost a gallon of pee.  Over the next couple of days I lost over 10 more pounds.

So beware the fluid retention.

Dan
LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 8/1/2011
fullmetalhip.wordpress.com

Tin Soldier

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 08:39:11 PM »
And don't forget to label the pee bottle.  Half gallon apple juice containers work great and are better than the loose lid thin small urinal that the hospital gives you.  And for Pete's Sake, please don't use the gallon coffee tin with the crappy lid (ie Yuban can).  I grew up with one of those sloshing aroung in the back seat for my Dad.  "Hey son, can you pass the Yuban Can?"
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

Anniee

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 12:07:56 AM »
Tin, too much info!!!  I did not get to pee in a bottle in the hospital - they made me get out of bed!  Sounds like gender based discrimination to me...
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

newdog

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2011, 12:55:35 AM »
Tin,

You are certainly speaking from experience! I agree with Annie, too much info! I agree, a screw on cap would be much better than the floppy lid thingy on the official pee bottle.

I'm sitting here grinning and my eyes are watering after reading your post. Too funny! Did you ever watch the movie Dumb and Dumber?   ;D ;D
Steve, Dr. Gross bilateral, uncemented Biomet, January 10 & 12, 2011, Columbia S.C.

Tin Soldier

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2011, 03:02:46 PM »
Yeah, funny movie.  I agree TMI, but you guys asked for it.  I love telling that story.
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

sdunn4

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Re: Long Car Rides after Resurfacing- Advice?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2011, 06:29:01 PM »
Great information!  I would not have considered the need to have the bottle...  But you can bet I will- thanks for keeping this whole thing manageable and for the great feedback!

Steve
52 YO Rt Hip Biomet Dr. Gross, 10/24/11

 

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