Bringing you up to speed on my need for a hip replacement

Welcome to my blog.  I will be having hip replacement surgery in early December, and I thought it might help other patients to hear about my pre and post-operative experiences.  Plus it’s cheap therapy for me during a stressful time!

Reading the NJR patient information and talking with other patients has been really beneficial for me, and I want to return the favour by passing on anything that might help other patients, too.

Let’s face it.  None of us wants to hear that we have to have major surgery. Although the statistics are very encouraging, and joint replacement surgery is a success for the vast majority of patients, it’s still a last resort option.

Despite its determination to cause me constant pain, unwillingness to move as nature intended, and – recently – its propensity to give way, I’m quite attached to my hip.  But, after four years of steady deterioration, I’ve agreed the time has come for us to part company. So, soon, it will be farewell to my old hip.

The top 5 things I’m looking forward to saying goodbye to with my old hip:

1.    Constant pain
2.    Sleepless nights
3.    Struggling with stairs
4.    Walking at a snail-like pace
5.    Inability to put my socks on.

I had a fall at the end of July when I was coming down my front steps.  My hip gave way, and I landed in an ungainly heap at the bottom of the steps, whacking my nose on my car bumper on the way down.

My fall happened during that spell of glorious, hot weather we enjoyed in the summer.  The weather turned out to be both a bad thing and a good thing.  It was bad in that, as it was so hot, I was wearing shorts; my landing on the road therefore created some pretty dramatic road rash on the knee and shin of my good leg.

On the other hand, the hot weather was a good thing in that all the windows were open, and my son heard my keys clatter onto the ground and stuck his head out the window, asking, “Mum, why are you sitting on the ground?”

Injured leg after falling down the stairs

A failing hip and a fall down the stairs

He came out to my rescue and his first aid training came to the fore.  I was proud to note that he was not squeamish at the sight of blood and that he was very calm and reassuring.  Being calm in a crisis and unfazed by blood are important qualities for Harry who is in his second year of medical school.  He passed this unplanned, practical exam with flying colours, demonstrating compassion and clear thinking under pressure. Here is a photo of my leg post-fall.  Look away if you don’t like gore!

And here is the same leg today, nearly three months later.

A recovery leg following my fall

A recovery leg (post-holiday) and a reminder

Just as the District Nurse who saw me foretold, it does look like I’m going to have some permanent, unsightly reminders of my fall.

I’ve been told Bio-Oil is good for scars.  Any other suggestions?

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10 Responses to Bringing you up to speed on my need for a hip replacement

  1. Constance says:

    Hello Sue,
    Many thanks for taking the time to write this blog about your experience. I appreciate your knowledge and also your sense of humor. I have been (a bit obsessively) gaining as much information about hip replacements and patient recoveries as possible and want to thank you for summing up what I hope to expect. Mine will be on the 24th of March and I do accept part of this journey will be hard especially since I am high energy, but I’ll look at that light at the end of the tunnel and cannot wait to walk again without pain or a limp. It is hard to believe it can be possible. I cross my fingers that mine goes just as smoothly as yours.

    I hope you are still doing great with your new hip and in all areas of your life!
    Thanks again,

    Ps Also!!!! high heels again!!!! Can’t wait.

    • Dear Constance
      Thank you very much for your kind comments. I am very glad that you found the blog helpful. I note today is the day for your surgery. I really hope it has gone well for you and that you will soon be enjoying a pain and limp-free existence. I am doing great, thank you, and am thankful every day for the life changing surgery. Here’s to the prospect of high heels!
      Best wishes

  2. Cindy says:

    Hi Sue, I just re-read the entire blog, I feel much better having read it knowing that your operation was posterior. I hope everyone keeps posting , I will. Thank you all so very much – Cindy

  3. Cindy says:

    This is wonderful information on the Hippie Chick blog. The only thing I can’t find is if she had a posterior or anterior replacement. That would really help me to know if anyone can tell me.
    Thank you so much – Cindy

    • Hi Cindy. Thank you so much for your comment. I’m delighted that you have found the blog helpful. In answer to your question, I had a posterior hip replacement. Best wishes Sue

      • Cindy says:

        Thank you. This is good news for me because I will be have a posterior hip replacement. I know they are quite different so I want to be sure what I read is from someone who has had posterior. I am a very curious person so this blog is just wonderful I will re-read it now that I know it is the same as what I am having done. thank you for sharing your experience. It helps the anxiety.

      • Hi Cindy. You are most welcome. I am very pleased the blog has provided you with some useful information. By the way, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious; every patient I have spoken to feels some degree of nervousness before surgery. Very best wishes for your surgery and recovery. Sue

  4. JoAnne says:

    Hi I’m three weeks post op this week. I’m walking with a cane, able to shower and dress myself, drive and working out at the gym. Nothing like prior. I’m doing the bike, squats, marching and leg lifts. No where near wearing jeans or heels. But I feel I’m doing well. I was scared and put it off for years. I was born without a hip socket and was only 1 of 15 people here in the USA to have the procedure I had done to replace the socket with bone grafting 1969 I was two. Then later at 10 and 11 I had two more surgeries. So believe me I was putting this off. My leg was 1/2 shorter for so long, It was causing my pelvis to twist to towards the right. (my left hip) I’ve worked out my whole life. I frustration came when I’d walk into the doctors office and instead of hearing what I had to say or examine me, or even look at xrays they’d look at me and say You look good. Well, thank you I work hard to and I work hard to stay straight and flexible. But I feel like crap. I’m 48 yrs old. So that didn’t help. Finally, my daughter got married in Sept. I could not walk, dance or enjoy myself. I pushed through the day as always, with a pain level of a million. No one knowing. When I came home I saw some video of the wedding. I looked horrible. I said I have to go. My husband said Jo, you really do your twisted and look like your in horrible pain. I was, I thought I was hiding it. I went to three doctors. I was let down by the usual “You look good” Finally #3 looked at the xray and said that is one funky hip. He couldn’t believe the flexibility I had. I woke up in the recovery room surrounded by the staff. They said we looked at this tiny 5′ woman 120lbs and thought how could she have arthritis? When they got in there, they couldn’t understand how I was able to walk. The femoral head was worn down to half it’s size and egg shaped. I woke up the got me out of bed. He was able to give me a quarter inch back which has already pulled my pelvis back somewhat. I had pain from the surgery, but my left foot no longer go’s out. I’m standing straight up no turning to the right. My hamstrings and calves are no longer tighter and hard as a rock. I am so grateful and happy I did it. I am becoming sad that I’m not farther along in my recovery. I am also a type A personality. I want to be 100% yesterday but your blog really helped me seeing how your recovery went. Thank you so much for that. I’m looking forward to my three daughters having to rest because they can’t keep up with me!

  5. Julie says:

    Hi Hippy chick and all your wonderful followers !
    Merry Christmas to you all ! Well…. Here I am on Boxing Day 8 days post-op. I just wanted post an update following my THR left hip on 17/12/14. I am feeling surprisingly ok, still very tired but fairly mobile. So much so that despite everything thing I did manage to slide into my son’s car yesterday and join the family for Christmas lunch at a local restaurant …. Something that this time last week seemed highly unlikely !
    My surgery went well I am told by my surgeons the only down fall being how much blood I lost . Prior to surgery I was popping my Nurofen plus tablets at the maximum I could take , and when not taking these I was taking paracetamol and ibruprofen. What I was unaware of was the devastating effect the ibuprofen was to have on my blood. At my pre-op assessment I did tell them what and how much over the counter drugs I was taking and I was “advised” to stop the blood thinning ibruprofen 2 days before surgery -14/12…… That would be fine ……..
    On day 1 post-op when the lovely young physio team came to get me moving I only managed to sit on the edge of the before before passing out cold. They returned in the afternoon to “try again” and this time I got to shuffle out of bed , grab my Zimmer frame, slide a couple of steps… Then pass out cold again. The rest of that long, long night was a haze of nurses visiting every 30 minutes checking my BP , 2 full saline drips and me drifting in and out of sleep desperately looking at my BP reading on the machine every time in the hopes that it would go up past the 68-70 mark.
    Early the next morning I was told that my blood results were such that I needed a transfusion and over the next day I received 2 full bags of the lovely stuff. I then turned the corner so to speak and felt so much better. My surgeons came to see me again later that day and told me of how much blood I had lost in the op – all due to taking too much ibruprofen for too long ! I vowed then that I will never put another one in my mouth as long as I shall live. Why didn’t someone warn me earlier? Never mind, at least I know now !!!😋
    Anyway I came home on day 6. I am lucky to have my family at home with me this Christmas week so that’s a good start and a massive help.
    I have re-read your posts again, and it does all make more sense, after the event !! I will continue to post and ask questions if you don’t mind ? Meanwhile I hope you are having a great time – you must be over a year post-op now ?
    Many thanks for your support

    • Dear Julie
      Many apologies for the long delay in responding and thank you for updating us on your post-op experiences. You must have been very frightened by the experience you describe above, and I’m glad that it all came good so you could get home. I hope your recovery has been smooth and steady and that all is well. Very glad the blog and the supportive readers have been of some use to you.
      Best wishes

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