23 September 2011

How Long Does the Pain Last?

A good friend of mine had his right hip replaced about three weeks ago by the same surgeon I used. A week after the surgery, I went to see him at home, and he was moaning and groaning "how long is this going to last?" He was very discouraged, and seemed to be in pain. It was difficult for him to get up even to go the bathroom or take a shower, and he was disgruntled by his own helplessness.

I went back a week later, and he was up and walking around. But he was still housebound and depressed, and still on the pain pills.

After the third week, he told me he was having to be awakened in the night for the pain pills. I asked him if he had any common sense, and if so, why wasn't he using it? If, indeed, he was sleeping, how bad could the pain still be? He lengthened the time between doses of the pain pills.

At the end of the fourth week, he went back to his office.

He's 81. Ritz, tell your dad to have a little patience. I'm in no pain, doing everything, I could sleep in a tent if I wanted to (I don't, but I've been trekking through India), I practice yoga, and everyone's body heals at its own rate:-)

8 comments:

Cathie said...

Hey Francine,

I was told the other day that I need two hip replacements. I am only 50, but I have no flexibility. I cannot get on my husbands motorcycle. I can barely put my socks on.

I was wondering what the recovery was like for you. Did they do the surgery from the front, side or back?

I am a teacher and will be docked pay after my 5 sick day are used up. I am scheduled to have surgery on the 21st but I am still aprehensive about it. I plan to be out of school for 3 weeks and then have the other hip done in the summer when I won't be docked my pay. I need to know about how long until I can walk for exercise again and do the eliptical at the gym.

Thanks,
Cathie

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

I chronicled my entire recovery, so just read back in the chronology. You could be back in school in 3 weeks, but you might still be limping. You can walk for exercise the day after the surgery (although you won't want to), and by 6 weeks you can do the elliptical. But that's me, not you, and I'm not a doctor. Please read about my ups and downs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Francine, I am 12 months post THR. and it has been a very slow recovery. I have been doing some beginner yoga classes just the past month. Yesterday as I did one pose I had my hip in flexion and my hip came slightly out of the joint, then it sort of 'shuddered' back in and I could hear it squeak as it went in. It wasn't terribly painful at the time, but now it is really sore and I am limping heavily. Do you think this is a bad sign or was it not a good idea to do yoga? Thanks Claire

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

Go see your doctor! That doesn't sound like a common exnperience. Have you done lots of exercises to build the muscles around it?

Trudy Jo said...

I am intrigued by this site. Thank you, Francine, for having so much information available. I am a 51 year old female, awaiting my THR on left hip, possibly in a month, and am very scared. I've had limited movement for almost 2 years; love my mountain bike, yoga and hiking. The past 6 months have left me relying on modified yoga poses to keep my muscles working, I walk with 2 ski poles(winter) to keep me moving. Swimming is a task becasue the leg has no strength. But, I'm stubborn and determined to get my active life back, just bought a 2nd hand exercise bike, to help build the tissues. I think it's really important not to lose faith in yourself and keep working towards good health. Emotionally, any surgery can derail you, but keep in mind it's work well worth it.

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

I hope I have answered every person who wrote to me. In my own case, I was older than many of you, but athletic as you seem to be. I am such a believer in mind over matter that I waited very long to have the hip replacement, and that was wrong., But once I had it, the mind over matter thing was RIGHT.

I have had my life back for five years now, outside of a little waddle in my walk that I can live with. While I am careful of my joints (more than I was before), I bike in the gym, walk, do yoga and Pilates. I feel blessed.

marcy said...

Hello, hope it hasn't been too long a time to post and expect a reply!

Wondering how anyone feels about having a same day bilateral replacment done. A doc in NY has done over 1,000 of them with a minimally invasive technique that spares a lot of the muscles that cause trouble in rehab.

Nevertheless it is still a long recovery. I just would hate to get the bad one done and then have the other one(which is in reality maybe 4 mos behind)need a replacment.

I am a runner and suffer terible depression without it. After 30 years I have found nothing like it and I intend to jog a little but I so very much dread the new normal--loss of my body to which I am accustomed. Likewise I h ave four kids at home and opne in college to love and guide. We homeschool due to lack of cash and bad city school system.

How in the world will i focus on recovery?

ANy thoughts or suggestions would be most helpful!
Marcy

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

Well, Marcie, I got used to not running anymore after running for 30 years. It was not easy, but after they replace your hip you are a little frightened of falling or dislocating at least for the first year, and by that time you have lost the urge and picked up another sport. For me it was the bike, and yoga.