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Post Hip Replacement Recovery
OldGuy635 posted:
Based on a lot of the comments on this post, I feel like I don't belong here. I'm 5 weeks out from surgery and am back to work, fairly mobile, and not in much pain. However, not being able to dress myself (especially socks) and the flexibility limitations are taking their toll. When I submitted myself to surgery, I tried to balance what I was unable to do pre-opagainst what I would probably lose post-op. I under estimated how badly I would regret the loss of flexibility.

At this point, if I had it to do over I would not. I would suffer with the limited mobility until my damn leg fell off or broke into pieces. The lack of pain is not compensation for being disabled (not PC, I know). I can tolerate pain, I can not tolerate being dependent.

How do I know how far I can push the flexibility limits so that I can work toward getting my life back? The doc's nurse gave me so many limitations I might as well be in a body cast.
georgia888 responded:
Hey OldGuy635,
5 weeks is not enough in which to recover completely from such major surgery. Are you undergoing rehab exercises? What does your doctor say about your progress?

It sounds as though you may be a bit impatient to get back to greater mobility. I have heard many more success stories concerning hip replacement than unsuccessful ones.

Are you able to use warm water therapy yet? I highly recommend this.

Good luck,
OldGuy635 replied to georgia888's response:
I really don't know what to expect. I know three people who have had hip replacements. One was playing basketball and racquet ball at 6 weeks. He thinks hip replacement is the most brilliant thing he's done in years. Another is about 5 months out and still limps and has pain. One has pain but is more flexible than I was when I was a baby.

My pain level is low, but I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, too. (I broke a couple of ribs, separated a shoulder, and broke my hand in a motorcycle crash a few years back and treated myself on the road so I could keep going.) I was off the pain meds after surgery by the end of the first week. I do not have much tolerance for incapacity. I hate not being able to dress myself.

I'm not expecting to be completely recovered. I'm just trying to figure out what I can do to regain flexibility without risking dislocation. I'm not sure what "warm water therapy" is. I am able to take a hot bath and do that occasionally. I do a lot of my physical therapy routine in a hot shower. I won't get to see my surgeon for another couple of weeks.

thanks for the encouragement,
georgia888 replied to OldGuy635's response:
Hi Tom,
Warm water therapy is using a heated pool for swimming, walking, & other such exercises. Ideally for hurting joints, the water temperature should be about 89 degrees. You might want to check out gyms, etc. in your area to see if any of them have such a pool. The pool I use is filled with members who suffer from aching joints & we all agree that this is by far the best therapy for us. One woman said that she was even able to ditch a back brace she wore after she started pool therapy.

Best wishes for greater mobility soon. Be patient.

OldGuy635 replied to georgia888's response:

Got it. Thanks.

I've been thinking about a gym, but am a little concerned about scaring the crap out of all the young, mobile young folks when they see the decrepit future waiting for them. A couple of years ago, my wife and I tried looking for a gym because neither of us swim well and thought it would be fun to learn how in a controlled environment. We couldn't find any gym in the Minnesota Twin Cities area that had lessons for anyone outside of 5-15 years old and we're way outside of 5-15.

I'll look for a pool like you've described. Thanks again.

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