It’s been around 20 weeks since I had my hip replaced. Somedays it feels like an age ago, other days it feels like it was only last week.
Next month I will be having my 6 month review with my consultant, so today seemed like a good time to talk about how it’s all been going.
Not long after my first review following the surgery I was referred for physio (read my previous update here). The physiotherapist I saw was really nice and he referred me for an 8 week course of hydrotherapy. More on that another time. I found the hydrotherapy sessions incredibly helpful and I wish I could have had more. I’m currently in the process of finding a quiet, calm pool to try and continue the exercises I was given.
Before I started the physio and hydrotherapy, I was getting quite a bit of pain in my new hip. The best way I can describe it is that I felt like I was sitting on a cricket ball all the time. The hydrotherapy seems to have fixed this which I was really pleased about.
Just before Christmas I was able to ditch my remaining crutch and was pleased that my mobility was pretty much back to normal. Normal for me anyway. Being crutchless meant we had a lovely Christmas and we were even able to go for a small Boxing Day walk – my first real walking outing since before my surgery.
My scar is looking very healthy and healed incredibly well. Sometimes I hate the scar though and I contemplate having it tattooed over.
At the moment I still have no feeling at all around the scar. The loss of feeling stretches about 3 inches away from the scar in all directions. It’s not so bad but it itches sometimes and no amount of itching helps!
In early January, I was finally able to attempt getting in the bath. Neil treated me to some bath bombs to celebrate my partial submersion into hot water (you can read about the bombs here). I’ve had rather alot of baths since and I do still find it tricky and a bit painful getting in and out. I’m not sure if that will ease given more time though.
Some days, my hip still hurts a bit, if I stand awkwardly or turn, or get up a bit suddenly I get a bit of a punch of pain. It still aches a little sometimes but it hasn’t been anything like the pain I had before the surgery. I’m finding I am really paranoid about dislocating my hip now, I’ve fallen a couple of times or had a pop of pain and I panic for a few moments. I think that’s also something that will ease over time too.
A few people have told me that they think I am walking a little better, so that’s positive. I am finding that I have pain in my left unreplaced hip now, which I guess is partly from relying on it more over the last few months. I intend to mention it to my consultant in March, I’d like to know if there is any damage in that hip as it’s never really been looked at – the focus has always been on my left hip.
I put on weight whilst my mobility was reduced and this has really stressed me out, luckily it wasn’t a huge amount and I think I’m starting to slowly shift it now. Being back at work has helped. After such a long time off work and a 4 week phased return that started in January, I’m starting to find my feet again at work, it’s always tough when you are off for a long time and everyone has been really kind and supportive.
Now that I am mostly over my hip replacement, I unfortunately have to start thinking about my next major orthopaedic surgery, a total left ankle fusion. This has been on the cards for around 12 months now and I am experiencing daily, agonising pain in my ankle which is hugely frustrating and stressful for me as I think I’d like a little break now.
In a few weeks I will be having more surgery to remove a bladder stone that was diagnosed 7 months ago. I’ve had to postpone surgery whilst I was still under hip precautions. I can confirm that a bladder stone is not funny. There are very few people I would wish one on. I’m hoping to be a bit more comfortable after the procedure.
All in all, 20 weeks after I had my hip replaced, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. I’ve recovered well and for the most part I have looked after myself and focused on getting back to normal. I’ve had a tough time but I think I’ve dealt with it really well and at this point just before my 6 month review I’d say it’s been pretty successful and definitely worth it.
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