My Hip Replacement Journey Week 1

You Live every minute of the first day of surgery and recovery and day 2 is also a roller coaster and depending on your surgery you can go home which also presents a whole load of new challenges

Day 2

Always an early start in hospital and today will be a frenzy of activity. First I have a physiotherapy assessment and exercise session at 8am. I do very well, so and hour later I am doing physiotherapy  again in order to pass tests of stairs and walking, which I do. I need to pass these to be able to go home. Its then off to  Xray, organise transport, collect the biggest bag of medication to be able to leave and I am home by 2pm on Tuesday 11 December,  29 hours after first entering the waiting room.

The reality now sets in and you have to get used to your home environment and that is hard initially. The first week at home, my wife was off work to support me and that makes a huge difference as you have limited mobility and simple things are difficult with crutches like making a drink and carrying things.

I have only one daughter and she struggled with lack of attention and seeing my vulnerability, something not seen before and I didn't manage that as well as I could have.

Stairs are a major issue for people who have had hip or knee surgery, as getting up and down is difficult, tiring and a risk due to falling. You only ever practice stairs once in hospital and they are not steep, they are a slip resistant surface, wide with a hand rail on both sides. At home my stairs are steep narrow and only one hand rail. This along with the fact of a toilet upstairs and you do too many trips up and down which is draining.

I had loads of visitors on my return home which was great but extremely tiring, I would suggest people spread visitors out as otherwise you have all or nothing which becomes a problem later in recovery.

I struggled in the evening as I had sat more today, had the travel home and the stress of the hospital morning and getting sorted out at home. Sleep is hard initially as for the first weeks you have to sleep on your back which I don't do and also it helps if are elevated with lots of pillows or cushions. Hospital beds do have some great features you miss like the grab handle above the bed and adaptability.

Day 3

Getting up and initially moving was fine and felt great and positive. The treadmill of life starts with breakfast and the school run  which you cannot really help with and also its difficult to help yourself moving and carrying things are hard.

I stress to clients to do the mobility exercises I set in the morning as its easier to make more of a habit and you do them more often. I went through the sheet I had been given from the hospital and added an additional five exercises. I went through the circuit 3 times doing 8 repetitions of each.

Stairs a lot today as your body gets rid of the drugs it has had and the swelling starts on your hip and leg from the trauma of the surgery. At home you tend to sit more watch TV and chat in the lounge. This is great as it is resting but highlights two problems; firstly for hip operations you are sitting on a very swollen hip and back side and for knee operations your knee is usually bent and swelling. Both these situations are very uncomfortable and you must walk short distances frequently.

Rest movement balance is difficult initially but I recommend at least and hour in bed mid morning and mid afternoon even if just lying down and reading is more restful than sitting.

Mid Afternoon I had interX treatment over my whole hip area and leg down to my knee. Treatment is about an hour and half and helps immensely. The treatment works through the skin and stimulates the body to release pain endorphins to help with recovery. I had no medication post leaving the hospital on Tuesday and InterX was used exclusivity for pain relief.

Felt very tired early evening and went to bed early. I rested but found sleep difficult and only has short hour bursts. I also found I needed the toilet several times in the night which getting in and out of bed is difficult and feels painful as everything stretches. On the positive side everything was working so the medication from surgery was been flushed out.

Days 4-5-6-7

You get into a routine quickly in this early rehabilitation phase with getting up doing Rehabilitation exercises, walking around and doing some basic things like drink making, resting in bed a couple of times a day and having as session of interX therapy daily.

These initial days fly by and the swelling from my surgery is all down my leg along with bruising from the manipulation of my leg during the procedure. Washing is difficult as with hip surgery you have to be very careful with bending and you have to keep your wound dressing dry a challenge for the shower!

The Thrombosis socks are great; really tight, uncomfortable, itch and are very hard to get on. All the aids they give you and I had no chance of getting them on or off. Socks and shoes in general are hard but this is a whole other level. The only positive is that they keep your lower legs warm when walking outside oh and stop thrombosis and help with circulation. I wore mine for 4 weeks 24 hours a day, they do help with circulation and swelling so would advise to wear them.

It was cold and raining when I first came out of hospital so was inside, on Sunday 6 days post surgery went for a short walk and it was great

About the Author