Karon Weeks 4.5 to 6

The end of week 4 brought a lesson in medical terminology:
Seroma-a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery.

This was welcome knowledge once I recovered from the heart attack that came from seeing a lot of fluid pouring from the top of my incision.  In the couple of days prior the bottom of the incision began to look really good in color and reduced swelling but the top was still swelled and firm and the incision was looking stretched.  This was, of course, Sunday so I had to page the doctor.  When he called he was not very alarmed but wanted to see me the next morning.  He confirmed the diagnosis of seroma, stating that he body usually reabsorbs the fluid over time (3-6 mo).  He placed me on a round of preventative antibiotics since it was now an open wound and had me dress it twice a day (very simple procedure).  It continued to weep fluid for about 5 days.  The good news is that the swelling around the incision is entirely gone and it looks and feels 100% better now.  I can’t say I’m sorry to have experienced this complication.

I week later I was back at the doctor for my 6 week follow up.   It was a very short fairly uneventful visit.  He had checked most everything the week before.  He rechecked the incision, told me I could stop the baby aspirin and compression hose and start walking more.  His definition of walking more is 1 mile daily.  No swimming until 3 mo and no bike until 6 mo post surgery.  The only hip restriction that remains is no extending back with external rotation.  External rotation, back extension and crossing midline are all legal now.  This gives me more opportunity for stretching and gaining range.  I have discovered that external range is going to take a significant amount of time to regain.

I think that I have entered an uneventful stage of healing.  I’m currently keeping up with PT, walking daily and working on flexibility.  As normal body mechanics have returned … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Karon-Back to Normal Weeks 3&4

Yesterday-exactly 4 weeks after surgery-I worked a very busy 8 hour day then came home and hosted a family birthday party for my now 6 year old daughter in the evening (complete with dinner for 15).  I share that to illustrate that the day to day activities of life and family are pretty much back to normal.  (I must mention that my husband helped a lot with the pre & post cleaning-but he always does that!)


As far as the hip goes there really isn’t much to report.  I’m still on the same PT plan of 11 exercises 2 times daily.  I’m not supposed to add any other exercise but I have added a set of incline pushups to each set of exercises and have done (most) of the P90X arms and shoulders workout (seated with light weights) without violating any of my restrictions.  The arm workout seems to have helped straighten out some of the earlier back issues I was experiencing. I think it helps me mentally more than anything.  Other than that I am at my max walking distance of ½ mile daily (outside of normal daily walking needs) until I return to see the doctor on the 14th.  I’m certain I could go farther but have resolved to be as complaint as possible.  There is really no reason to be in a huge hurry.

I transitioned back to work without a problem.  I was surprised that I was not overly exhausted the first few days back.  This week some of the girls at worked mentioned that I was moving around with my old speed (Yeah!)  However I’ve noticed that I don’t have the gear above that yet.  I started taking the stairs with alternating legs and flexibility continues to improve.  In fact I’m back to pre-hip-problem flexibility with the few stretches I’m able to do at this time.

I’m experiencing so little real “pain” that I forget to stay on schedule with the anti-inflammatory medicine.  I’ve discovered that that is when I get “achy”.  I also have more swelling in the upper thigh so … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Karon-Week 2-Great Expectations

It has only been 2 short weeks since my THR and (like so many others on this site) I am already 100% sure that this was the right thing to do.  Unlike others I don’t wish I had done it sooner.  I feel I did it at just the right time.  For that I owe a great big THANK YOU to Tom and the other hiprunners on this site.  Without the wealth of practical and honest information gathered here I’m sure I would have waited much longer.

Also thanks to this community I went into my surgery with “great expectations” with regard to minimal pain, minimal need for narcotics, and a quick return to driving and the majority of normal daily activities.  In fact, I made plans around these “great expectations.”  I’m happy to report that they have all been accurate.    So a second great big THANK YOU.

Home health physical therapy started up on day 5 after surgery.  Although I was well advanced in my abilities to complete the exercises I wasn’t going to be given any further exercises to do until the 6 week follow up.  I was a little bummed about this until I did the math and realized that there are 11 exercises that total over 600 reps daily all focused on the hip region.  The PT was very clear about 2 things: “this is not a no pain no gain type of journey” and “increase the quality of the exercises not the quantity.”  When I compare the abilities of my 2 legs there is definitely some quality to be gained over the next few weeks.    Walking is improving daily although there is still a small limp at times.   I’m experiencing almost no pain from the hip or incision but have developed a wicked IT band issue.  This doesn’t surprise me at all.  My IT band has been almost entirely neglected for more than 2 years secondary to the loss of function I had prior to surgery. Rolling and stretching are helping significantly.   I’ve also had an achy right knee and continued mild/moderate pain in my … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Karon-The Deed is Done

I am the new owner of a ceramic-on-ceramic THR completed with the anterior approach.  Today is post op day 3.

Surgery was supposed to start at 8:30 am but didn’t get started till closer to 10am.  I was in my inpatient room by a little after noon.  Surgeons have different anesthesia preferences and I have to say I wasn’t doing back flips over my surgeon’s preference of a general and a paralytic block (this of course required intubation).  My choice of anesthesia would have been a spinal block and one of those mirrors they use during cooking demonstrations so I could watch the whole thing!  Since that wasn’t going to happen I came to peace with the fact that the top priority was that my surgeon was in a position to do his best work and that my health was not being placed at any undue risk.

Post anesthesia effects were the cause of most anything I experienced that afternoon and the 1st night.  I requested that they remove the catheter that would allow me to stay in bed and not have to get up to go to the bathroom.  While it may have been more work on those around me, those periodic rises from the bed and transfers to the bedside commode really helped work out some kinks in those first 12 hours post op.  (Fair warning-you get a lot of fluids during surgery so these could be frequent trips and your definitely not independent at that point.)  I was pleased that my pain was very minimal and I was not requiring the pain pump.  Sleep the first night was almost nonexistent-I was wide awake!

The lack of sleep the first night made post op day 1 very long.  I kept hoping to crash for a nap-but no luck.  Early in the morning PT came and took me for a walk and introduced me to 3 exercises to do 3 times over the day.  He returned and walked me again-a little longer this time- near the noon hour.  This was to be our last interaction for the day.  … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Karon-About Me

My name is Karon, I’m 36 years old and scheduled for a Right Anterior THR on March 6 2014.

My hip story actually started very early in life when I was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH).  Nonsurgical and closed reduction procedures were unsuccessful in correcting the dislocation so at 17 months old I had a pelvic osteotomy procedure on my right hip.  Growing up there was no evidence of my early hip troubles other than a barely noticeable scar. We were a very physically active family.  I ran cross country and track in school and transitioned into a recreational runner in college.  I trained for my first marathon with friends while in graduate school and discovered the joy and camaraderie of middle of the pack racing.

My current hip problems began somewhere during or shortly after my second pregnancy in 2010.  Unlike many stories I’ve read pain was not my primary problem and still isn’t the driver of my choice to have a THR.  If pain were the only reason to have a THR I could delay for much longer.  During workouts (running and cross training) my entire right side was stiffer than I had ever experienced-I just could not get a good stretch.  Squats had never been my forte but all of a sudden I was incredibly uncoordinated -and getting worse at them not better.  In fact a trainer I worked with on occasion observed that my hip looked as though it was collapsing and asked if squatting was painful-NOPE-NO PAIN…..

Then the pain showed up-in my lower back-not my hip.  I was sure I had injured myself due to my poor right side stretching.  I few trips to the chiropractor in the spring of 2012 and I was back in business with no pain—except that the stiffness had started to interfere with life outside of my workouts.  I was unable to sit cross legged on the floor, it was hard to step up into the truck, and I almost could not paint the nails on my right toes.

Despite a cross training change in focus … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)