October 3, 2012 I travelled from Jordan and had my surgery yesterday (RH- conserve +)
Per-op (X-rays, blood test and EKG etc) was done in Dr de Smets Anca Clinic on Monday. I then checked in Jan Palfijn Hospital. I recommend that you make sure in which room you are (single double four people) well before your check-in.
Surgery on Tuesday morning went very well (I fully trusted Dr de Smet’s world known capabilities) and the hospital has a very good service. I had hardly any pain (so far). You might want to insist that you always get fresh ice packs (seems not to be automatic).
The wound was closed with a professional “under the skin” stitching & straps + plus five tiny clamps outside. The whole wound is water sealed allowing my to wash and put ice on it. Seems like it will look pretty good later.
This morning, they removed the drains and painkillers/ infusion and I got back to normal food (you can choose from a menu). I received an x-ray showing the good result of the surgery.
I then got Physiotherapy which allowed me to stand up and walk a little but with crutches. I am very cautious and didn’t put too much weight on my operated leg. My walking and other exercises (bending, stretching) remained without pain so far. I can now also go to the toilet normally ( no pee bottle anymore).
Tomorrow I am supposed to walk with my crutches around five times a day.
I am still on dafalgan + codeine for pain which might stop tomorrow.
My anti thrombosis injection will be replaced by Aspirin as of this evening ( this seems to a new approach by Dr de Smet aligning to common US practice at least in cases with little risk) . I am now sitting in a chair and writing this blog.
October 5, 2012 Day two …
Well let me start with the night. I didn’t take my pain killer (dafalgan + codein) after what I read about them and I didn’t have any severe pain. I also hesitated to take the sleeping pill offered and was waiting until 11pm. I then felt into sleep got once up at three for an hour and then slept until 8am.
I generally felt good on my second day. I did a lot of Physio (stairs up and down with two crutches, stretching leg, bending -releasing). No swelling. In the afternoon I could walk to the elevator , go down and walk for a couple of hundred meters outside in the park with occasional rests in the sun (I loved it). I feel more confident and put more weight on my operated leg.
The PT also showed me some other exercises to keep me fit (basic crunch, push ups leaning in a 45 degree angle towards my bed, calf exercise, pelvis movement , 90 degree bending forward).
I continued to ice very frequently during my rests…at least as far as possible as there seems to be an “ice shortage”. A big smile to the nurses helped.
Then the downside: severe knee pain kicked in. Funny enough, I had no swelling or pain in my hip at all. My wound is fine…but the knee! I started icing my knee and then started reading what that could be (never had problems before). IT band is excluded at it is on the upper inside of my knee. Will ask Dr de Smet tomorrow morning probably from surgery.
With ice I kept the knee pain quite under control without taking painkillers though.
A 9pm I was getting really tired and slept until 4:30 like a baby….then one hour break as last night and another nap from 5 to 8:30 . So after all a pretty good second day..to be continued, hopefully without knee pain
October 6, 2012 Day three: my last day in the hospital! After a reasonably good breakfast (with some extra yogurt and fruits) I took a shower and managed to put on my underwear and training suit myself. Then got metal clamps out of my wound (NB, dissolvable thread from inside, strips and clamps from outside). The wound looked fine, no swelling. Dr de Smet passed to check and I asked him about the knee pain. He thinks its coming from surgery where they have to twist the leg and even if they do it very gently it will put the leg in some strange positions (I imagined him and his assistant trying to dislocate my leg…aargh). Funny enough the knee pain went an hour later without any action from my side and never came back.
I generally feel more comfortable walking with my crutches. Evelin, the PT did new excuses with me (while laying on back putting the leg sidewards and while its pulled up straighten the leg) I did again strains up and down.
Met many other hip patients and exchanged info. Age ranges from 39 to 68 for HR (I am 45). Progress was very similar and the others could walk as much as me. A 11h I got all my papers, surgery exports, prescription and documents for my flight later.
My wife picked me up at 12h. Getting down and in the car was actually only difficult the first time (qashqai +2). I ride was ok but bumps in the street hurt. We drove to Brussels where I have an apartment. Once we arrived we made a very bad discovery. The elevator was broken. We called the company but they couldn’t fix the elevator. I then tried very slowly to go up 64 steps…..When we arrived I iced my leg. Fortunately, no swelling started. I actually felt rather comfortable, but kept quiet and spent my evening on the sofa. Went to bed at 11pm, tried laying on the side with a pillow between my legs but that was really uncomfortable
October 6, 2012 Day four: The first day where I get up in my apartment. Nice feeling. Woke up three times the night but nevertheless slept around 7 h in total. I now feel very comfortable walking around in the house. Did all my exercises for about half an hour. After a mid day nap I went with my wife to a sports club…
I tried the following: -Bicycle 7 min very slow and easy (recommendation of my PT). I found it cumbersome to get in the club and on the bike. May be also because I don’t know the club. Bicycle was not comfortable at the beginning but got gradually better after 4 min.
-Stretching and leg exercises ( same as in the hospital + push ups-leaning against a machine in 45 degrees + calfs and general stretching. I have no pain and really watch out to do very controlled movements. – I then had a 45 min break with ice on my hip followed by -15 in the pool walking without crutches and doing some exercises from Dr de Smets PT. I was scared getting in the water with the ladder but I turned out to be easy ( the handles are like crutches). Interesting enough I didn’t really like the water walking. I had no pain but I didn’t feel comfortable. I stopped and was very scared that I overdid it. – showering was not an issue and I managed to dress up but that was not easy. I put my operated leg in a 90 degree angle backwards which allows me to put my underwear a training on. However, no way tout my anti thrombosis socks and/ or shoes on without the help of my wife.
Once at my place I checked my leg: no swelling whatsoever. No pain neither Had a good meal and now chill in front of the TV…
My thoughts so far: I always listen to my body. Never did exercise with pain so far. Many short exercises with very controlled movements always followed by proper icing seem to be ok. I think icing is crucial.
Ah, forgot to tell you that I stumbled over an electrical cable. I almost felt. That was scary. I really advise everybody to clear the house entirely before coming back.
October 7, 2012 Day five
First a word about sleeping: I found that laying on the back with a small pillow under my knees and a bigger one under my legs is the most comfortable position. I sweat a lot and have to change my t-shirt two times per night, but otherwise I sleep we’ll.
I had a chilled day no special efforts, just walking around a bit. Occasionally I use only one crutch in the house. I feel better on the stairs and tried to go directly to the next stair without having both legs one stair. However, I use both crutches to do it.
I have no swelling or any specific pain.
October 8, 2012 Thanks! I also use towels now to sleep. Is a lot better. Today , day six, I went the first time to the PT recommended by Dr de Smet in Brussels. A very experienced guy who essentially worked on my mobility, moving my leg to 90 degrees, small massages.
I loved his stories about people with HR and the unlimited possibilities. He also checked my leg length (almost identical) and recommended me doing more bicycle. I felt really good afterwards. My leg felt very light.
However, I now have quite some back/ hip pain 10pm. It’s actually the first time that I have pain after surgery. I hate it.
October 14, 2012 Day six to eleven….yeah didn’t find a moment to continue my blog …. I am doing well overall. Sweating n the night stopped, I got two small hematoma down my legs but no swelling. Does any body know how to treat the hematoma? r shall I just let it go.
I go on a stationary bike for about 20min at an average of 80watts and a 120 heart rate. I always feel amazing after bicycle and think that’s the best exercise. I stopped going in the pool but will do so once my stitches are gone (next Tuesday). I do quite a number of other exercises such as stretching and some upper body workout.
The only issue I am having is with my PT. he seems to be a very experienced guy. However, he started the first day with passive flexion of my leg (5days post op), trying to increase my range which according to Dr de Smet is a non-go (and he wrote so in his letter to the PT). I rechecked with Dr de Smet and he maintains that there should be NO passive flexion during the first couple of weeks.
My PT also asked me to do a lot of leg lifting which led to a tendinitis. nothing dramatic but annoying. The last two sessions he massaged me ….or in other words he fixed the problems he created earlier. I am not sure I should continue.
Walking goes ok. I can easily walk with a crutch or even without in my house. However, I noticed that I walk straighter and better with two crutches. With one crutch I am always leaning a little bit towards my non-operated leg. I can walk no around 3km without any pain and can go up and down stairs (with crutches though).
I am still on asaflow (kind of aspirin, two daily) and anti-inflammatory drugs (2x100mg per day). I feel like I could stop the anti inflammatory drugs but I am not sure.
I also still have some pain (feels like nerve pain) along the downside of my entire leg when I am sitting for longer or in a car. Does anybody know what that is?
All in all I am very happy with the progress. Strayed working on Thursday, min days after surgery, but only go to important meetings and don’t sit longer than 60min, then walk and rest….