2 Year Update June 12, 2017
I celebrate my two year anniversary of RBHR on June 17! It was a tough recovery and a lot of work but overall it has been great…I can do things I have not done in a very long time and the pain in my hip is nothing like it was…nothing. Most of the time it is nothing. I really wanted to get on here and say what a life changing surgery this was (it is) and how perfectly satisfied I am (I was) and I would do it again even though the recovery was….a pain but….
June 17, 2013
Surgery went well except for an allergic reaction preop to IV antibiotics. Pain is very well managed . They got me up earlier and I took a few steps. Tomorrow the work really starts. Can’t wait!!! Thanks to all the support on this site, I think that has nada all the difference!
June 19, 2013
I came home this morning! A little more than 48 hours post op! Feeling good too. My low back and groin pain is GONE!!! The expected muscle and incisional pain is there but controlled. Very happy I had this done!
June 20, 2013
I got a little dose of reality my first night home…in spite of what everybody at the hospital said…I ain’t all that and a bag of chips. Everything is a big huge effort. For example, I bought satin sheets because they help you slide out of bed. Slide is right…nearly onto my sorry sore butt which as you all know would be a tragedy. Nothing was easy or smooth. They must have used latex dressings because I have this big itchy red square where the dressing was. I need to be patient and chill-ax like so many have sad here. Had myself some fine whine, a good cry, some good drugs, a good “God help me” wail and I feel better today. The nurse, and OT and PT are supposed to come today and I will be happy to see them. God still made the sun come up today. I’ll be fine.
June 22, 2013
right now 6 days post op and dealing with raging rash and swelling of my right leg. If it wasn;t for those things I would be (almost) dancing.
I went off the Xeralto last night and am instead taking 325 mg aspirin. Also not taking the Norco…I really don’t need it. I have applied cortisone cream, popped many Benadryl caps and am drinking detox tea. And it is not clearing up. I had an allergic reaction to the vancomycin in pre-op so maybe it’s that. The surgeon on-call this weekend said prednisone would be ideal but that compromises the wound healing. So I am going to suck it up, put on my big-girl pants and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
June 23, 2013
I wound up in the ER last night. That rash was getting worse and my skin was on fire.
Also my foot was turning a funny color and the edema was from foot to upper thigh. The back of my calf was red and hot so in I went. No DVT and the swelling is “normal”. They think I’ve been a little too active. Put me back on my pain meds until the rash and hives subside. The rash is contact dermatitis…no telling where I picked it up. I think it may have been the sheets in the hospital or the spongy leg abductor thing. Feeling better today…well I’ve been sleeping all day! I thought I had “graduated” to the cane but went back to the walker yesterday.
The thing that scares me the most is dislocating…my new obsesion. Last night I was at the ER and the guy came out with the wheelchair. One footrest was down. I was trying to maneuver myself and pivoted and I will tell you…my hip let me know that was NOT a good move. Thankfully it was a warning. As a health care worker I know to put both footrests UP when putting a pt in a wheelchair. DUH…..
PT was out today and was REALLY helpful. Helped me get a better way to get into and out of bed, which has been an issue. Simply by switching to the other side so that my good leg goes in first made a huge difference. So far the OT, PT and RN are very pleased with my progress.
I’ve started Miralax prior to surgery. If you go with that you might want to do a half dose until you find out how you respond.
June 26, 2013
it is has been 9 (almost 10 days) since my surgery and I guess things are okay. I didn’t count on my foot being puffed up like a balloon and my two middle toes turning kind of blueish. Being a former nurse I would like to reach down and check the pulse in my foot but that would break the rules and maybe my new hip. Other than that I have had no other bruising and went off the vicodin yesterday to clear my head but might take one tonight.
I am so tired that I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and nothing really tastes good. If I sit too long I get stiff, If I walk much at all, my shoe gets tight.
OT and PT are coming to the house and they say I am doing really well. Still limpy. How long after surgery did your limp go away? We are working on my gait.
This is hard and patience has not always been a strong suit of mine and was not a virtue I prayed for because I might just get tested in it. This is a test.
July 2, 2013
I had my two week check today. Doc is pleased with progress. XRay showed implant perfectly placed. I got a copy of OR report and there was “excellent range of motion” in OR…not quite excellent this side of the OR but moving in that direction!
He d’c’d home therapy and I start outpatient PT later this week. I can drive when I feel up to it, return to work when I feel up to it. If it was not for the nature of my work, I would be back next week but I think I need to wait. Too much driving, too much uncertanity of environment, and sometimes I need to be really quick on my feet. So I’ll wait.
I feel good…really good. The exercises that I am doing at home have increased my upper body strength and I can feel the muscles in my hip getting stronger. (The IT band was cut). I can’t walk without a cane…well I could but I would soon fall down…so I will wait and let Pt supervise that. The swelling is down…just a little around my ankles but I can wear a pair of athletic shoes easily.
So far so good…all is well.
July 7, 2013
This was a weekend of firsts…first time on the treadmill, first time driving (left foot braking), first time back to church, first time walking around the trail where my dog and I usually walk. My husband took the dog and I did about .6 miles on my own. The driving went well, I practiced L foot braking before surgery. I don’t think I am up to a long drive yet. I did get a temporary handicap permit because of the nature of my job but it is TEMPORARY! If I had not had this surgery it would have been permanent. Still on the cane but my balance is improving day by day. My PT said the treadmill was great for that and for helping to eliminate developing a long term limp. I start really slow and gradually speed it up. Sometimes I forget I need a cane and take off without it…now even a week ago that would have been a problem but not so much now although my body lets me know that I need the cane. No pain, just discomfort from the incision. Doing some manipulation to break down the scar and applying oils to soften it. I still want my afternoon nap…I have never been a nap person so I don’t know if it is because I need them or like them…or both. There is some frustration still because the simplest things seem to take so long. I still sleep with a pillow between my legs so I don’t roll over and break a restriction. I ordered a super heavy duty “grabber” from Amazon and that thing…will pick up anything! The one that came in the hip kit was toast the first week. I am resisting the urge to “push the limits” and have instead opted to mend slow and mend strong.
July 14, 2013
Tomorrow is four weeks for me. I am still using a cane and was supposed to return to work a week from tomorrow but since I drive a lot in my work, in and out of the car, uncertain terrain…I think I should wait til I get the restrictions lifted.
One thing is kind of troubling for me…when I stand on my operated leg and raise my unoperated leg off the floor, I am very unsteady and have no balance. If I am holding onto the counter I can do it, but as soon as I lift my hand I start swaying. Since this is one of my PT exercises I suspect that this may be a common thing but I have noticed no improvement since I started doing it a week ago. I walk well with a cane but when I try to walk without it I have a feeling like I am leaning to the right or that my legs are different lengths…it is hard to describe. On the treadmill or with the cane my gait is pretty normal until I get tired and then I get gimpy again. I waddle if I try to walk without the cane.
PT worked me over pretty well last week on my first outpatient session and I had muscle pain for a couple of days afterwards and laid pretty low.
July 23, 2013
So far so good. Right now we’re working with some bad habits in my gait which is causing mild lower back pain. I am still using a cane. Need to keep my shoulders up and back and I have to remind myself of that.
The last couple of days I have noticed some increased tenderness and tightness of my incision. It is red but not hot and no signs of infection that I can tell. I have been using oil to soften and doing some gentle massage with a tennis ball. Is it “normal” for pain to increase in incision? Is it possible to develop an infection 5 weeks out? My incision was glued.
I have my six week check with Dr. Schmitt next week.
July 31, 2013
Checkup went well…no concerns about the incision. Perhaps the redness could be from Mederma…I used it a couple of weeks ago and then stopped. But….my skin is soooo sensitive these days. I may or may not get some more stitches coming up. The knots underneath are adhesions…and I worked on it gently and released one…it’s like popping bubble wrap. Really strange feeling.
Dr. Schmitt seems to be a little more conservative than I originally thought even though up front he doesn’t seem as restrictive as some….ex: no crutches, cane asap. Restrictions are not lifted. I saw the PA and she said I should continue to be very careful for 8-10 weeks post op . They will see me again at 12 weeks post op and then lift restrictions. PT for 4 more weeks. She said “protect that hip”…so I will because I don’t want a re-do. I think I am just about ready to wean off the cane…I went to the store yesterday and lost the cane 3 times and had to go around looking for it! If I get tired I do have a little limp but it is getting much better.
Bob, I tried to do side leg lifts and I can’t do that yet. It’s like my mind isn’t connecting with the muscle. Very weird. Other than that I’m walking a lot and doing my upper body stuff and people are asking if I have lost weight…and I haven’t really…just tightening it up. I played guitar with the band at church tonight and was able to stand for most of the 30 minute worship set. I dropped my pick though halfway through and couldn’t gracefully pick it up. Usually I have backup picks up there…tonight…one. What was I thinking? Back to work on Monday. Mending strong!!
August 5, 2013
I am seven weeks post op and I thought for sure (based on what I have seen here) that restrictions would be lifted at six weeks. Wrong. My doc probably will not lift hip precautions completely until my three month check. This seems to be his protocol. I had home PT right out of the hospital and continue with outpatient therapy. Altogether I will have 8 weeks of out patient PT and new exercises are added slowly.
I was full weight bearing the day of surgery and went from walker to cane within a few days but continue with the cane much of the time- I go back to it when I get tired and my limp seems to return. I think in my case slow and steady is the way I’m rolling. My docs PA said “Protect that hip” so for now that is my mantra. I do about a mile walking and the PT exercises, along with upper body exercises and that is about all I’m doing right now and I seem to be improving every day…although my incision continues to be quite uncomfortable. I wish it would just go away already.
September 12, 2013
I just had my 3 month check with Dr. Schmitt. The pre-op hip pain, the swelling, the allergic reactions, the weariness, the odd little pains and spasms- are all becoming a distant memory. All restrictions lifted, cane is in my car trunk most of the time (sometimes I have to walk some pretty unsteady ground). Getting my groove back. I only seem to limp when I think about it. The stiffness after sitting for a long period of time is easing up.
He looked at my incision (which has given me some discomfort) and while, I may be sensitive to undissolved dissolvable stitches, we are going to leave them alone. He thought the incision looked great otherwise. I use Vitamin E oil on it, ice once in a while and massage, and it does improve when I do those things faithfully.
He suggested I spend more time on the bike (not that he wanted to discourage me from walking) but said that will strengthen muscles faster. So…that’s what I will do. Walk for the dog, and cycle for me.
I still can’t lift my leg in a sidelying position but doc assurred me that will come. Last day of PT tomorrow. I still cannot put a sock on easily or polish my toenails. But all of that will come. Until then I get pedicures and I have gotten very good with that sock thing. I can start doing some yoga.
When I asked Dr. Schmitt if there was anything I could do that would hurt my shiny new hip, he said “If it hurts, don’t do it”. Easy enough. After all, I have been reminded…I am still early in my recovery.
November 1, 2013
I am five months out and still get limpy and stiff when I sit too long or get tired. Unfortunately, I do not even realize I am limping most of the time until someone tells me I am. I am doing lots of exercise specific to those muscles. I look great in a pair of jeans. My incision still is sensitive because the dissolvable stitches are still dissolving. Otherwise, I feel great. Still lots of recovering to do.
December 1, 2013
At 5 1/2 months post RBHR I seem to have a recent increase in the sensitivity in my incision and it feels like my hip is bruised, but it isn’t. Where it was comfortable to sleep on the operative side, now not so much, but not impossible. Some of you may know from previous posts that I had an allergic reaction to the dissolvable sutures and they are probably still dissolving. A friend of mine who had major abdominal surgery said she noticed that, at about 6 months the nerve endings in the surgical area were regenerating and she felt more discomfort. It has also been wicked cold here in Michigan so maybe the change in temperature is doing it. I also still have a slight limp when I get tired…I don’t notice it as much as my husband does.
I am still working on strengthening the muscles, of course, but should I go back to a cane until the limp is forever gone? I am also using the roller occasionally but find that to be pretty uncomfortable.
July 31, 2014
I am a hospice chaplain and thought I was doing really well until I was “corrected” by a confused little man in a wheelchair with no filters on his mouth. I was walking down the hallway in a care facility toward him when he said “what’s wrong with your leg?” “Why do you ask?”, I responded. “I used to breed race horses and if I had a horse that walked like that, I’d have to put it down.” Straightened me up pretty fast. I became aware of the bad habits I had developed. This was about 7 months post op and at my one year follow up last month the doc immediately ordered me back to PT. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know and work daily on my buns of steel.