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Author Topic: Five weeks yesterday...  (Read 2763 times)

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MikeF

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Five weeks yesterday...
« on: August 20, 2013, 01:13:32 PM »
For the first time yesterday I walked on a treadmill. I took it for a mile at a moderate speed. There was some discomfort but interestingly later in the day I was feeling much stronger and didn't use any assistance at all for the rest of the day. I get tight sitting after a few minutes and my first steps up are hobbly, but after a few steps I'm walking pretty well. I will walk every day this week working on good heel to toe technique for strength.
Sleeping is much improved, I can sleep well on the 'good' side with a pillow and have been able to lie on the operated side for some duration as well.  My lower back has been a problem in bed and I can't get my head around that???  Not sure what's going on there.
I'm pleased I guess.....getting my head ready for work next week and my first post-op appointment.

oldsoccerplayer

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 03:55:29 PM »
I'm hitting my 4 week post-op milestone tomorrow. Not sure what sleep problems you were having but I've been waking up in the wee hours with leg pain in the side that had the surgery. I guess it's because I moved into an uncomfortable position or was kicking my legs while asleep. Depending on the time and pain level I either take some Tylenol or prescription pain killer. I'm hoping that this too will pass.
BioMet Left Hip Resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 07/2013

Juno

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 12:23:15 AM »
Mike -- sounds like you're doing great! I am about a week ahead of you. I found walking on the treadmill is hard. I am still struggling to find the right speed and balance. I am walking pretty normally otherwise -- dropped the cane last week and haven't looked back.

I went back to work at 3 weeks which in retrospect was too early. Rest when you can and plan to come home and ice! That really has helped.

Best of luck!
Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13

MikeF

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 01:00:09 AM »
I don't how you managed to go back to work at three weeks Juno. I wish I had an extra week. I'm pretty gassed every evening. I would suggest to most folks who have HR to take 8 weeks. I told my staff I'd be back to work in four weeks....never could have done it.
After two day's walking on the treadmill-giving attention to good heel to toe technique-my lower back is getting sore. Makes me wonder if that isn't reflective of the poor way I was walking before the surgery. I hope that's the case and body is 'adjusting'.

Juno

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 11:32:00 AM »
Mike -- my knee (on the operated side) bothers me when on the treadmill. It actually feels like the IT band is now loose versus tight as it was prior to surgery. I can feel it sliding over the femur / knee area. I am hoping that as I continue to build strength that will get better. I don't feel it when walking on solid ground.

I have scheduled my other hip to be done in early December and definitely plan to take at least 5 weeks off from work! If I recover the same, then 5 should be good for me. But as we both know we all heal differently and form what I am reading each hip will heal differently -- so we shall see.

Let us know how how you do!
Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13

Brian Wilson

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 03:04:06 PM »
Sounds like my planning may be too aggressive. My BHR will be performed Monday and I was planning to return to the office in two weeks. I am a corproate lawyer so am in my office sitting most of the day, but can get up and walk as required. Still too aggressive? Is it pain that prevents an earlier return or just general fatigue? What age range are you guys? I am 55.

I had an Oxford knee implant last year and had planned to be back to the office after one week, but it ended up being two.


Juno

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 08:53:57 PM »
Brian, I am a RN and work in the school system in a managerial position. So, I can make time to be in my office more than dealing with patients --- this is what I attempted to do for the first week back to work. I returned at exactly 3 weeks. There was no way I could have sat at a desk and worked after week 2.

From my experience, I was still not sleeping well (it's just hard to find a comfortable position!), my hip/leg was still so tight and sore in the muscles and incisions area and I was still walking with one crutch. By week 3 I was on a cane (but not walking a mile comfortably yet) and I was dead tired after 5-6 hours in the office.

I felt so much better after week 4. Suddenly my energy was improved and sleeping got easier. That helped a lot. Like you, before I had the surgery I had a grand idea that I would be fine --- now I've had a quick recovery, but I do feel that I pushed a bit too quickly and will take it down a notch next time.

Remember you are recovering from major surgery. Your hip was dislocated and reemed apart. Also, you never know how you will react to anesthesia -- it can take 7-10 days just to recover from that alone.
Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13

Marco Polo

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 01:17:38 AM »
Brian:  I would echo Juno's comments.  I have a desk job as well, but luckily I had flexibility regarding returning to work.  Everyone heals differently, but I took off the first week to focus on my recovery.  The next 2 weeks I worked from home and then I worked half days in the office for two more weeks.  This allowed me to block out time during the day for physical therapy and getting on the treadmill and stationary bike on a regular basis.  After 5 weeks I felt ready to work in the office full days, although I feel the pace of my recovery slowed somewhat as a result of having less time available to dedicate to stretching and exercise.

The bottom line is that my recovery benefitted from a gradual return to full time work, and I would recommend this approach if you have similar flexibility.
Marco, RBHR, Della Valle, 3/29/13

podgornymd

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 02:24:16 AM »
Brian,

I agree with juno and marco polo. I also thought being younger and in pretty good physical condition i would be back at it fairly quickly but it didnt happen . I, like so many others had higher expectations in terms of recovery. My work is differnt from yours in tha i am on my feet for 12 hrs in the emergency dept so i initially thought 4 weeks would be good but went back in 5 and it was too early. Like Marco stated i regressed a little since i couldnt dedicate my time to PT and rest,etc. Everyone is different so you may be ok but the more time you  take off and rehab i think the better. Ice,Ice,Ice!!

Brian Wilson

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2013, 01:07:59 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I may plan to work a little more from home in weeks two through four based on your advice. I'm fortunate to have the ability to be flexible on my return.

Another quick question. When I had my knee surgery, I had a machine that pumped ice water through a wrap on my knee which really helped. I'm guessing that there isn't a similar apparatus designed for the hip. Has anyone heard of one?

Marco Polo

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 03:21:33 PM »
Brian:  There is a separate hip attachment but I used the same pad for my Polar Ice machine as I used for my arthroscopic knee surgery.  I thought it worked well.
Marco, RBHR, Della Valle, 3/29/13

podgornymd

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 05:04:44 PM »
Funny you should ask. I had the game ready ice machine which had a hip bladder. It was fantastic. I never used any narcotics after surgery mostly b/c i didnt want to knowing the side effects but the ice machine was the difference for me. I used it religiously for 4 weeks. From my standpoint it was the #1 necessity.

chuckm

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2013, 06:55:32 PM »
I work out of my home and I started working five days after surgery. But I was able to go sit in my recliner whenever I needed. I could also lay on the couch to elevate the leg for swelling. I remember that I needed naps all the time for the first few months. If you have one of those nice leather chairs in your office that reclines you should be able to get some work done. Your leg and butt are pretty swollen for at least a couple of weeks so it's hard to do much. I put in a full 10 hour day after two months and remember being absolutely wiped out and couldn't do it again the next day.

Chuckm
Left BHR 11/30/12
Hospital for Special Surgery
46 years old

Brian Wilson

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2013, 07:03:57 PM »
Thanks again guys. A friend of my son just happens to sell joint replacements and related products and he was the one who got us the ice machine - I emailed him this afternoon and the hip bladder is being couriered to me overnight. This site is great!

podgornymd, I hear what you're saying about narcotic pain relievers. The Oxycontin my surgeon prescribed for me after my knee surgery essentially makes me high even at a half dose and then puts me to sleep. They are great at night for sleeping, but useless to me during the day even leaving aside the other side effects.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 07:06:25 PM by Brian Wilson »

podgornymd

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2013, 10:52:57 PM »
The machine i used had a timing mechanism so went i went to bed it would ice massage every 30 miutes until ice melted which would be 3-5 hrs. It was great!! I took a medicine twice for pain called tramadol which is a non-narcotic and it helped. To piggyback on what chuckm stated i got a lafuma zero gravity recliner and it was a life saver. It allows you to get off that swollen hip . 

Brian Wilson

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2013, 02:35:48 PM »
I have to get my wife on here to read this stuff! After reading your posts, I suggested a recliner to my wife yesterday and was soundly rebuffed. To add to the stress of the surgery, we sold our house July 15 on the basis that our new condo would be ready that day. Well, long story short, we're still waiting and don't expect to be able to move in until September 15. Fortunately, my sister is away at her summer home and we're camped out at her place which is nearby. My wife is buying all new furnture and clearly doesn't think that a recliner will fit in with her design! Given that she will be managing the move etc. while I am laid up, I'm having a hard time arguing, but maybe the experiences that you folks have had will help sway her.

Marco Polo

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2013, 03:32:24 PM »
l will second the benefit of the Lafuma Zero Gravity recliner.  It was incredibly helpful for me.
Marco, RBHR, Della Valle, 3/29/13

MikeF

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2013, 07:38:07 PM »
I'm actually surprised your surgeons aren't insisting you be out of work for at least five weeks. I'm essentially crutch free but I drove 3 hours home from the Adirondacks this morning and after sitting that long it takes awhile to walk close to normal again. I did break up the drive with one break.
Anyway, I was originally written out of work until Oct. 15......surgery was July 15. My surgeon admitted that was a conservatively long time, but I had to negotiate getting back to work this  Monday.  Now I'm sorry I didn't wait until after Labor Day weekend. 
While I know we all heal differently I think more time to your own devices while enduring this discomfort really helps healing. I can tell you dining and strolling around Lake Placid Lodge yesterday really helped.....and that's why I wish I had another week off.

nevinyoung

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2013, 01:53:32 AM »
I also heard, from my doctor's office (not my doctor himself) that I should not work for six weeks after the surgery or until after the first post-op appointment when I am cleared. I just had to tell her, I am sorry but that is not the way the world works. Maybe my doctor is a generous employer and will give you six weeks medical leave if you need it, but others have to make a living. When she "insisted" that I not work until after the post-op appointment, she said she would move the appointment up, but I still had to tell her that I was not able to just not work for as long as she thought. She said "it's not safe" and I told her that I talk on the phone and type on a computer for work, which was no different than talking to a doctor's office on the phone, which I was doing at that very moment.

The short version is that after two weeks off, I am headed back to work for at least half days as of next week, which will be two weeks from my surgery date. I will see how it goes and move to full days if it goes well. I am still on one crutch but only take the oxycodone at night. I am lucky in that I have an office job, and there is no difference between sitting in the office talking on the phone and typing on the computer, or doing the same thing at home. (I am a lawyer).

I feel bad for those people who need to be mobile for work-- I know it must be a lot harder.


hernanu

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Re: Five weeks yesterday...
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2013, 01:55:19 PM »
I went back to work after five weeks, both times and needed clearance from the doctor's office before I was allowed back, due to legal reasons.

The home physical therapist and home nurse also had to sign off on it.

The arrangement I made was to take a week's vacation, then go on long term disability insurance for four weeks. This paid my salary.

Outside of the wages and such, another consideration was my career. For the second, I was in charge of a large  engineering effort, and was asked to defer my surgery to when convenient. I ultimately told them that I wouldn't. Another engineer was put in charge, who I trained to take over.

It was a nervous situation for me, since I'm a type A to the max. Ultimately, I went against my grain and decided to choose me. There are not many times that we can do something good for ourselves, seems like the choices are to improve things for your family, friends, etc.

It's good in this to take an extra look and see if in your choice, there's not the chance for some extra time.

If not, I get it and it's your best decision that counts. So long as the hip is allowed to heal well.

I also work an office job and made sure to get up every twenty minutes or so to walk and move. I set a repeating alarm to do so, since I zone out and suddenly hours go by.

Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

 

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