Hip replacement update #2 – Early days at home

I spoke to a lot of people about their hip replacement recovery. The over-arching theme? Easy peasy, no big deal, etc. So, my expectations about post-op discomfort and immobility were skewed. I believe our bodies adapt to and forget pain quickly which may contribute to rosy descriptions of recovery. This is another reason I want to put my experience in writing before I, too, forget.

The one thing I didn’t receive from any medical personnel is what to expect through recovery – what type of pain is typical, how it might resolve, and how new pain might manifest as time goes on. I would have found this very helpful.

You go home to a lot of drugs – pain management, stomach/digestion/nausea meds, etc. That first morning home, I ate breakfast, took my meds, did a few slow laps around the house w my walker. Then, the world went black. I had a chance to warn my husband and my mom before I lost consciousness – he guided me to the floor taking very good care of my  leg/hip. Not so much for my head which bounced off the floor. Priorities! 😂

911 was called, I got a visit from several EMTs (🔥), my vitals checked out, and I was helped back to bed. I spoke to the surgeon’s office and my surgeon afterward and its not unusual for this to happen as anesthesia wears off. I know my blood pressure had been trending lower than normal for me.

The pain. As long as I didn’t move and no one touched me, I didn’t hurt. While there was more pain and immobility than I expected, it wasn’t intolerable.

I did all the pre-op education, watched the videos about how to help yourself into bed. I call 🐂💩. I’m young and strong, and I needed help getting in and out of bed for 3 days. And even after I was able to get in and out of bed on my own, it often triggered muscle spasms.

Nerve pain! I could not tolerate having the skin from my knee to my hip … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Hip replacement update #1 – Pre-surgery through hospital departure

I had hip replacement on Thursday, June 16. I’m hoping my series of posts might be helpful to others going through similar experiences. I’m a 51 yo, competitive triathlete and cyclist. I was training for an Iron Man when I learned a THR would likely be needed.

How I got here: No, running did not wear my hip out! I’ve only been running for a little over 10 years.

I was born with (undiagnosed) hip dysplasia. As I understand it, this means my hip biomechanics have never been great. That led to osteoarthritis and bone spurs which then wore down the cartilage in my hip which left my hip joint bone on bone and contributed to the stress fracture many of you know about. What’s truly remarkable was how well I was running up until September of 2021. At the Santa Barbara Triathlon in August, I ran 10 miles at a 7:31 pace which was a huge personal best for me.🏆🥇

Lead up to surgery: I went through all of the stages of grief, then bounced back and forth between them. I’m only 51, was as strong and fit as I’ve ever been, and I was convinced I was about to have my best Iron Man race ever. How could I possibly need hip replacement? I interviewed four surgeons and chose Robert Gorab in Irvine. My decision was based on reputation, how he and his staff interacted with me, the prosthesis used, and his preference for an anterior approach.

The month leading up to the surgery was distracting, I was anxious – this was my first major surgery and first major injury. I wasn’t nervous about the procedure itself – even though it is pretty brutal. I was (am) worried about the recovery process – how long it will take and the extent to which I’ll return to full, competitive function.

Day of surgery: I was first-up because I was going home later in the day. Surgery was performed at Hoag Orthopedic in Irvine. The staff were lovely, everything was very efficient, and I was calmer than I expected. I … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)