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I am probably going to have this done, and I'm scared. I've read some things online that make it seem painful, a lot of rehab, and a lot of restrictions on activity afterwards. Seems like one wrong twist and the whole thing is wrecked.


People on the forum have been kind and encouraging, and one person suggested I ask others what their experience with hip replacement surgery was.


Right now, I'm not in pain, but my walking gait is wonky, and I can't put my foot out far enough for a normal step. Either something is "catching" in the joint, or my body won't let me put full weight on that side.

I have a friend, age 50, who had a hip replacement in August. It was done as outpatient surgery! She went in that morning and was out the same day. She had arranged for a lot of help at home. She had a lot of pain the first week, then started PT and has gradually improved to the point now of not needing a cane to walk. I think a lot has to do with recognizing and accepting help when and where needed like using a walker or cane, etc. Good Luck!
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Reply to Frances73
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I had a posterior right hip replacement in 2009 at 57. It was fantastic, that awful grinding pain was gone & I was walking that night. I had my left done in 2015 by the anterior approach. My hip felt ok but for weeks afterward I had myofacial pain down my leg that was horribly painful. I had to go to PT & use a cane. Everythings good now, I cross my legs & do what I want. Just my opinion but the posterior was much better for me
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Reply to Bogartsmom
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Well, update...mom in law fell last night going to the bathroom, and broke the other hip! Surgery is scheduled for this morning. I am going to do my best to get her to follow aftercare instructions. I fully expect her to get angry with me, lol. What a Merry Christmas!
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Reply to Msharleyb
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I had both hips replaced in 2013 and have had no problems at all. To be pain free is a wonderful experience. Follow the instructions the doctors and physical therapists give you and count on about a 30 day recovery. Hope all goes well.
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Reply to HomelyandBald
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I had an anterior approach hip replacement almost three years ago. It went very well. Had the surgery at 7am, they had me in my room and walking at 6pm.
I was Discharged the next day. Began outpatient PT the day after I got home. My surgeon insisted I have the evaluation at PT appt set up prior to surgery.
I also had to attend a mandatory pre op education class to learn what to expect.
Sure, I had post op pain but it was relieved with pain medication. The pain in my hip, however, was gone.
I say go for it if you have a good surgeon and are committed to getting up and moving afterward (and quickly). They don’t mess around!
I took aspirin as an anticoagulant (it wasn’t determined that I need Coumadin post op). I think I took 325mg for a few weeks per MD order.
I was back to work in 3 months.
I qualified for the anterior approach as I am not overweight. I believe obesity prevents an anterior approach and I didn’t want a posterior approach due to more post op pain thus a longer recovery time. I switched surgeons as my first one was not trained in the anterior approach.
I can still cross my legs with my anterior approach.
I was 60 at the time.
I do have occasional anterior thigh nerve pain due to the proximity of the nerve affected by surgery via the anterior approach.
My advice - do the therapy ASAP. The quicker you begin to get up and move the better it is.
Plus with the anterior approach I didn’t need to use the abductor triangle wedge while I slept. My MIL had a posterior hip repair and she needed to use that wedge every night and it was difficult for her to maintain that position.
Good luck! Go anterior if you have the choice.
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Reply to Shane1124
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7again--Maybe that walk helped you that much more; it would be interesting to know what a therapist would say.
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Reply to jacobsonbob
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Two weeks after my hip replacement I walked 3 miles. Probably shouldn't have done that so soon, but I was/am fine. Before the hip replacement, I could not walk without extreme pain. I would have been in a wheelchair within weeks, or even days. A no-brainer for me!
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Reply to 7again
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My MIL (81 at the time) fell and broke her hip, no choice in having the surgery. My advice is LISTEN when they tell you don't move a certain way for a period of time. She was stubborn and said she was going to do what she wants when she wants. She was not supposed to be crossing her legs, supposed to put her legs up a certain way to lie down, and do PT to help. Well, she discontinued PT after only a few times, continued to cross her legs and everything she was not supposed to do. Now, she has constant pain despite 3 steroid injections, won't do PT, and her legs are so weak from not using them she barely makes it to the bathroom. Listen to the doctors, do the PT, and things should turn out great! I have a friend who had it done in 2014, said it was the best decision he ever made! He followed directions from his doctor, did everything he was supposed to, and now says he can't even tell it's there, it's great!
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Reply to Msharleyb
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jacobsonbob Dec 23, 2020
Msharleyb--Together these two patients clearly indicate that if one "cheats" after having this kind of surgery by not doing or not obeying what the PT prescribed, the patient only cheats herself/himself of a pain-free life. One has a pain-free life after obeying while the other is suffering as if the surgery had never been done.
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I had a THR in December 2019. I found a surgeon that was highly recommended and I was extremely comfortable with him. I was all set to go and my friend asked if the procedure was anterior or posterior? This surgeon did only posterior, but recommended his colleague who did only the anterior approach, for me to get his perspective. The anterior has no restrictions after surgery and has a faster easier recovery. I hated the anterior surgeon - arrogant, fast talker, but highly experienced (has been doing anterior THR surgeries for the last 11 years, about 500 each year). My friend convinced me to go the anterior approach and I thank God EVERY DAY that I did - walking the afternoon of surgery, stairs the next day and went home. Walk walk walk for PT. Very little pain, fast recovery, can’t recommend it enough. I don’t do well with restrictions and knew I would break a rule in the posterior approach. The surgery is worth it. Good luck!
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Reply to Liudas
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Are u using a cain? If so, are u leaning on it for support? That can throw off everything and cause major back and hip pain! A rollater is better. Have a knowledgeable HC worker set it at the correct height.
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Reply to XenaJada
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Last year, my mom had a knee replacement and in her room in the hospital was an acquaintance of hers (mid 70s). She was up and about and in very little pain.

My neighbor had hers done at 80 and was very mobile very quickly with very little pain.
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Reply to againx100
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Imho, my mother's gait was off, but not due to a broken hip. It was remedied by her podiatrist manufacturing a lift for one of her shoes. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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You guys are the best! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. Oddly enough, right now, my hip doesn't really hurt, but I think I twisted my back on the other side, probably from the weird way I was walking.

I plan on seeing an ortho doc sometime in January. Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
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Reply to OkieGranny
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lealonnie1 Dec 22, 2020
The off-gait walking tends to create more problems than the original hip!
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I had my hip replaced at 79 and it was very smooth recovery, walking without walker in a week and driving after 2-3 weeks. I’m 83. One and other hip is starting to go. Good luck, I think it is one of the easiest joint replacements to have. If you live in NJ or PA I’d highly Rothman hospital for special surgery.
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Reply to Ruthmarie2
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Just for your own curiosity, I turned 70 this fall!!
 Vicky
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Reply to vicky64
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Good Morning,
I haven't answered one of these in a long time.  I had both hips replaced this summer, 9 weeks apart.  Anterior approach.   Home exercises, very faithful to them seems to be better than neglecting them!!!  (I did better with the first hip than with the 2nd.)  My hips had been eaten out with arthritis, both of them, causing lots of pain.  As others have said, the relief was so great that even the post op pain almost seemed like nothing at all.
The xrays will tell he Dr. which approach you are a good candidate for.  It is easier for me to say than for you to do, but you do need to place your trust in the Dr. and Do the exercises or therapy or whatever is recommended.  DO NOT be afraid.  Fear is its own Worst enemy!!
Praying for you and your decisions!
Vicky
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Reply to vicky64
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My 84-year-old aunt had her hip replaced 2 months ago because it got to the point she couldn't take the pain any more. She was in the hospital for a few days but they had her walking the same night of the surgery, and then did PT/rehab for a number of weeks. The doctor said he wanted her walking without a cane 8 weeks after the surgery and she is nearly there (she was driving after 3 weeks). My aunt lives alone in a 2-story house and goes up the stairs every night to bed and is pretty active (she is an avid golfer... this is mainly why she wanted to have it done, I think, it was messing up her swing lol).

She told me that she did her exercises regularly which she believes helped in her recovery, and was just plain DETERMINED. No pain killers other than OTC when she was discharged. She has noticed a great improvement in not only the pain level but her gait as well. She can't wait to hit the links this summer.

Good luck to you, surgery is always scary, but you'll know when it's time.
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Reply to TekkieChikk
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It is just over a year since I had a hip replacement! I was in so. much pain before my operation & had to use a walker & a cane! It came on so quick!
The day I had surgery & was back in my room- the nursing staff got me up & helped me stand!I was so afraid to put weight on my right hip— but when I did I was shocked to see I had no pain — at least the the pain I had endured for 4 months! I had a quick recovery!
The secret to your new hip is to always do your exercises! I still do my stretches!Hope this helps!
A month after my surgery I went to get out of bed & misjudged grabbing my alter & fell out of bed & landed on my new hip! I sure gave myself a scare! I went to the hospital by ambulance to get checked out & every thing was fine!They did e-rays & no damage!
Knee replacements are a different matter— it takes much longer to recuperate ! I have had two knee replacement done! They are 17 & 16 yrs old! They are still doing great! I am 71 yrs old!
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Reply to sassyisie
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As you know I sent you several private messages and would have both my hips replaced again in a heartbeat! I have my life back, I can exercise and walk more than 1/4 mile now without pain. I look forward to hiking again.
Hip Replacement surgery is touted as one of THE most successful surgeries there is. It has come a long way with recovery too because of advances made. I highly recommend robotic assisted surgery because they will custom fit your implant and socket.
if you follow the post op care and exercises you will be amazed that usually by week 3 or 4 you are back to driving.
they get you up and walking the same day as the surgery.

walking "wonky" as you put it is affecting other muscles and joints because of compensation. Go see the surgeon and ask lots of questions to put your fears at rest. The surgery itself takes less than an hour. My first one was done in 30 minutes!! It truly is a miracle.
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Reply to Harpcat
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My 86 year old mother just had it done. We call her the bionic woman. Walking with cane in 3 weeks only took tylenol for pain. She was cut on the side not in the back and that makes a difference in pain and recovery time. She also did a spinal and twilight for the surgery. Do your exercises . Use ice alot ,it help alot. We opted for home therapy due to covid concerns. My sister and I took care if her. She has to have her other hip done after the 1st of the year. But we got this. God luck and god speed.
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Reply to Tootieboot
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I was 58 years old when I had my hip replaced, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Have you had a test called a Hip Arthrogram yet? They found with me that I had torn my hip labrum. While after a couple of years I had to have the hip replaced as arthritis/bone spur had torn the labrum again, it was the least invasive at that time. I had only 2 weeks of physical therapy, due to the ACA and the cost of my deductible and when I had my surgery done, I was unable to continue with therapy in the new year as I would have had to come up with the $5,200 deductible to continue with care. I am 2 years out of the surgery and am doing very well. I don't recommend not having or continuing with therapy, but if you are a self-starter and will do the exercises independently it can be done.
There were some restrictions, but, not so extensive that it is totally life-altering as it is a short-lived disruption. I did not go to a rehab facility but did require the assistance which I received from family and friends. 12 days after the surgery I was serving Christmas dinner at my house. I had a simple menu, and many were made prior to the surgery so all I had to do is have someone put them in the oven or slow-cooker to heat up.
While surgery can have risks, as I stated earlier, my experience was a good one and it was the best thing I did for myself. I have grandchildren that I can dance and play with now that I was unable to do prior. I also have no more pain or fear of falling due to that catching that you expressed you have been experiencing.
Best wishes on what you decide to do.
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Reply to thingsarecrazy8
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My son, in his 50s has had both hips replaced quite smoothly. He too was somewhat concerned before the two operations, several months apart, but both went well. He is advised not to run--too much pressure coming up from the feet to the hips, but cycling is good exercise and does not strain the hips. Some rehabilitation is necessary, but quite manageable.

Just be careful not to catch Covid while in hospital and you should be fine.

Take care. Love and prayer.
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Reply to BritishCarer
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I remember the client we were warned we mustn't rush, because she'd just got home with a new hip, but especially hearing myself call "wait for me - !" as she vanished off towards her bathroom door with her walking frame while I was still picking up her slippers.

You'll be advised about not bending your hip more than to a certain angle until everything has had time to settle down. Perhaps the best idea would be to ask your surgeon's physical therapy team how to get yourself as fit as possible in advance, for a good recovery after.

Good bone density would be in your favour, too - no worries on that score?

You may have to wear compression stocking(s) for a while. Buy spares! And consider getting a device to help you put them on, but if possible do try before you buy - they all tend to need a bit of practice before they're much help.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Had both hips replaced in my 30's. Pain the first few days. Controlled by meds. Then physical and occupational therapies. I bounced back fairly quickly over 2 yrs. One year per hip. I hope this helps you. Prayers for your recovery.
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Reply to angelamlinder
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Please take into consideration, I had hip replacement in 2006, and the procedure has been improved and changed since then. I was 59 years old and was born with a defect in my joint that did not manifest itself until then. I was in severe pain every step I took for years, and finally had the replacement. It took several months to happen because of tests, x-rays and getting in to see the surgeon. The operation itself and the day of it was not bad. But they made me get up and walk (!) within hours of the operation; this is common practice. Everyone told me the pain would be gone after the operation. It was, but not for weeks after. The first steps walking were extremely painful to the point I cried and acted like a child because I was expecting less pain then before the operation like the told me, and I was mad. I was hospitalized 3 days and sent home with a walker. A physical therapist came to my home 3 times a week for two weeks. Husband stayed home the first week with me; he had to give me shots in my stomach every day to prevent blood clots. It sounds worse than it is; it's a tiny needle. I had to get up and walk for about 15 minutes several times every day with the walker. One humorous thing, my husband always walked behind me when I did the walking with the walker, and our dog followed behind him. It was so funny. After 2 weeks and a follow up doctor's visit, I could use a cane, and about 6 weeks later I could walk completely on my own, and it was WONDERFUL. I have had no problems at all, except probably for the first year my thigh would occasionally have a dull ache, but nothing serious. I wish I would have done it before I was desperately in pain because it changed my life so much for the better. Like I said at the beginning, I think the timing and technique of things have changed for the better today. Best of luck and don't be scared, the spate of pain will be replaced with wonderful pain-free walking.
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Harpcat Dec 22, 2020
Yes thing are better and they rarely ever use the stomach shot. Most use a blood thinner like aspirin or Elaquis. That you had that kind of pain with initial walking is quite unusual too.
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As a nurse I have had patients who tell me it is very painful. But I have had MORE who tell me that they haven't felt this good in years, almost immediately after surgery. I will tell you that my friend who is a fiduciary had a hip replacement some few months ago and just sent a Christmas card saying how wonderful he feels. Said "No marathons yet, but I feel great". He did his rehab in home.
I will tell you that in the final analysis I have seen everything, having worked ortho years ago, and with any surgery I like to say it is like a fingerprint. All of us have one, but each is unique. I wish you the very best of luck. A wonky gait isn't only bad for your hip pain, but it throws out your back, your knee and ultimately your ankle. So in the final analysis you are, with a bad hip joint, almost without an option. It is at some point, and your doc will tell you when you're there, a case of do it or do more injury to yourself.
I sure do wish you great good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I had to have my left hip replaced in 2018, at the age of 58(almost 59)after having 4 arthroscopic surgeries, that still left me in pain, from an incident where I was body slammed into a glass jewelry case, by a thief I was trying to stop, who was robbing the jewelry store I worked at at the time.

Because I was still having so many issues with my hip, my Dr opted to do the posterior surgery, even though the anterior is much more popular these days, which meant that I couldn't bend more than 90 degrees. They get you up the same day to try and walk, and the next day I was sent home. My daughter stayed with me for 10 days after my surgery, as I was still caregiving for my husband who was still mobile at that time, though moving very slowly. After that I was on my own, as she had to return to her family who lives 2 hours away. I was still moving slowly myself, when on day 14 after my surgery, my husband ended up in the hospital, where he remained for 7 days, and because his speech was so limited since his stroke on 1996, I had to make sure that I was with him as much as possible, to be his mouth. I of course couldn't drive yet, so had to get friends and neighbors to take me and pick me up. I normally would stay(before my surgery)about 12-14 hours with him when he was in the hospital, but this time I was lucky to make it 5 hours as I still couldn't sit comfortably or walk too far without pain.

Now because my husband remained in the hospital bed for a week, he was having great difficulty trying to walk, and I told the social worker that he would have to go to rehab, because I would not be able to care for him or help him up if he were to fall. And even though I was his medical and durable power of attorney, the fact that my husband didn't want to, and hadn't yet been diagnosed with vascular dementia(that happened 4 months later)the hospital sent him home to me, (without a diaper on, and so he was soaked by the time he got here), despite my pleas not to. Needless to say it was a hot mess. We survived barely, but only by the grace of God.

Now in my case, I still do have pain in my left hip area and groin, that I to this day haven't been able to have Dr's tell me why. They've had lots of guesses, but nothing definitive. I do know that my iliopsoas muscle(which is your main hip flexor muscle) has since severely atrophied and is as the ER Dr. told me when I asked what exactly that means, he said that it was dead. I also have since developed osteoarthritis on my right side, I believe from all my weight I had to put on those joints for 7 years during all my surgeries. I already know that I have a right shoulder replacement and right hip replacement in my future, though I'm not in any hurry for either.

I had catching in my hip area, shortly after the incident and it was discovered by MRI, that I had a torn labrum, which was my very first arthroscopic surgery. That did solve the painful catching I had , but now I have catching in my inner groin, whenever I bend, which I'm still trying to get answers for. My recovery was longer being the posterior kind, than friends I know who had the anterior, so if you have a choice, opt for the anterior. Best wishes.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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jacobsonbob Dec 22, 2020
"the hospital sent him home to me, (without a diaper on, and so he was soaked by the time he got here), despite my pleas not to"--What were those people in the hospital using for brains?
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I had one hip replaced at age 54. Luckily there was a local doctor trained in the “anterior approach” technique. They go through the side of the hip and don’t cut any big muscles, so the joint stays strong and well-supported. I’m allergic to nickel, so I have a titanium-ceramic prosthetic. You can bear weight on the joint right away, and doing PT/walking will aid in quick recovery. I was walking a mile within a month. There are no restrictions like with a traditional replacement where you aren’t supposed to bend the joint over 90 degrees. I do yoga, hike and exercise and I’m only sorry I waited so long to have it done!
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Reply to Kentuckienne
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Okie, how old are you? Asking because of concerns with anesthesia. Also, make sure you stay away from replacements made with cobalt as they have been triggering allergic reactions in people and causing serious post-surgical problems. I wish you success in your procedure!
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OkieGranny Dec 22, 2020
I'm 68. I haven't had many surgeries, but I almost always have trouble with anesthesia because I have asthma. If I do have surgery, I always make sure the anesthesiologist knows this.
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I sent you a PM about my THR experience; it was very good. I will do my left hip in a heartbeat when the time comes, and it will come b/c I have bad osteoarthritis. Back in the old days, they'd cut the body in half practically in order to do a THR. Nowadays, it's totally different; the entire procedure takes 90 minutes (approx) and is done through a rather small incision on the hip/leg area. I had an epidural instead of general anesthesia which was GREAT b/c there was no 'recovery' period afterward. I have asthma, so I was a bit concerned beforehand. I chose Propofol to knock me out during; I could have chosen to stay awake, the surgeon said many people do. Uh, not me nope. LOL.

Anyway, I had very little pain afterward. I was sent home the next morning with NO physical therapy orders; just to walk 4x a day, first with a walker, then a cane, then nothing. Walking is the best PT for THR. No bending, no putting socks on, nothing like that for the first 2 weeks. I needed help for the first week; getting up from bed to the bathroom, etc. I had a toilet riser which helped; nothing in the shower. I showered myself the whole time; the bandage came off rather quickly if I recall. I was back to work in 3 weeks.

"One wrong twist & the whole thing is wrecked" is very bad info! The new hip is very very strong. It takes A LOT to 'wreck' it. I'm sure if you were to try jogging or biking, you'd FEEL it and that would stop you from hurting yourself, you know? I think the worst you'd be able to do is pop the stitches from the incision! But your body tells you when to stop, too. You're not going to do something 'automatically' that's going to foul up your surgery!

One day I thought it would be a good idea to get on my KNEES and clean up some dog hair from the area rug in the dining room, so I did. As soon as I got down there I started sweating. I thought, Oh Great, How Are You Gonna Get UP Now? I was home alone. I managed, although it took me a while and set me back a bit in my recovery. The point of this is to say I was feeling SO good SO fast, I thought I could get on my knees and clean!! LOL

Things are not going to get better with your joint.........things only get worse. Don't let fear stand in your way here. Medical science has come a LONG WAY with THR in the past few decades, and it's miraculous the new body parts we can be given!

Good luck!
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