My bionic hip still with staples
Recovery is now into it’s second week. I feel a considerable amount better than I did both pre surgery and immediately post surgery. The incision is still sore but I can feel the staples tightening and I am sure this will improve once the staples are removed. I am coming to the end of the painkillers and anti inflammatories but at this stage I am hoping I will not have to resort to pre-operation pain killers.
Still feeling numb and swollen, although not too bad. I have developed sore heels and am not sure if it is because of being swollen or rubbing on the bed sheets due to constantly being on my back.
At this stage you will only be allowed to sleep on your back. Do not try to sleep on your side or stomach until approved by your surgeon. As a stomach sleeper I absolutely detest sleeping on my back, but for the sake of a good recovery I have to do as I am told. You also need to sleep with a pillow between your legs in order to stop yourself turning over or crossing your ankles. In order to stop myself bending my good knee and rotating it outwards as I am prone to do when I sleep, I have placed a small cushion at the side of my left knee and hip. It is not underneath my hip or knee to raise them up because I need both legs to be flat to the bed.
The goal !!
My last pain killers were this morning at breakfast. I will be starting to take Tylenol Arthritis to replace to hospital prescribed meds. I am not sure what to expect due to Tylenol being something that usually has no effect on my pain.
Today is the first visit to physio since leaving hospital. I was hopeful to see if it was considered I was doing OK. I saw a different physiotherapist and she had me show her the exercises that I was doing. She had me lie on my back and flexed my knee towards my chest – announcing before she moved my leg that she would not break my hip precautions. She was pleased with my progress. I was also given more exercises to do.
It is important that you incorporate these new exercises into the routine in addition to the ones you are already doing.
The new exercises are done whilst lying down on the bed. In order to do some of these it is required to turn over onto your stomach. I was shown a way to turn over safely. Originally she had me place a pillow between my legs and turn onto my good side and then, keeping legs straight, turn over onto my stomach. Then I was coached how to turn back safely. Then I was told I could turn onto my operated side, still with the pillow between my legs, and do the same move. This was a safer way, so this was the way I decided was the way I was going to turn. For those few minutes I lay on my stomach to do exercises were bliss. I am waiting for the day I am allowed to sleep on either side or my stomach.
I woke up still swollen and still numb. My foot was bothering me more at this stage than my hip or incision site. The new exercises have to be done, as the first lot of exercises, 3 to 4 times a day for 5 to 10 repetitions.
It is still a self-will issue to force yourself to do the exercises when you feel least like doing them. The ultimate goal for mobility and healing is what I think about as the motivation. To be back to “normal” as much as physically possible is the end goal.
Surgeon Follow-up Visit
My first outing after surgery wearing the T-shirt I just had to buy!I haven’t got the desire to bother with contact lenses yet.
On arrival I saw the assistant first who was there to look at the incision, clean it and decide whether or not to remove half of the staples. Once I explained that I was writing a blog he was very enthusiastic and co-operative about taking photos of my incision and the staple removing tool. He told me that I had between 40-50 staples. Looking at the photo, because I could not twist to see the incision, it looked longer and had more staples than I imagined.
The tool that removes staples looks like scissors but are shaped in such a way that it undoes as well as lifts the staple out of the incision.
The assistant had removed about 3 or 4 staples when the surgeon came to see me. He explained to the surgeon that he was removing half of the staples and as he looked at the incision he told the assistant to remove them all because it was healing well. I was very glad to have them all removed and only at day 11. Even the physiotherapist said they don’t remove them under 14 days but I had read they may remove half around the 10 day mark.
Photo 1. Dressing removed and incision cleaned day 11, staples in.
Photo 2. Staples removed day 11. At this stage you can still see the staple marks and the skin is puckered.
According to the surgeon it is early days but things are progressing well. Incision is healing well and staples are out. When I mentioned to the surgeon I was writing a blog, after smiling (as everyone seems to) when hearing it was hiphooray.ca promptly helped by taking photos of the X-rays as well as allowing the assistant to take photos for me.
He was concerned that I had made sure to include all details of my metal allergy and how it was dealt with prior to surgery and that it was mentioned that I have a ceramic ball.
The numbness is a slight concern but it is more of a wait and see attitude with that. The surgeon did mention it could be from the spinal block but the part of my foot that is numb usually comes from a nerve in the calf.
The swelling is not a huge concern because that again is a normal part of recovery.
I was told to keep the dressing completely dry for 48 hours and then only to shower lightly and pat it dry. After approx 7 days if the dressing is peeling then it is fine to remove it.
Today was the last of he anti inflammatories, so I was wondering how I would feel going forward. I am now only on prescribed blood thinners as well as over the counter Tylenol Arthritis.
This in itself is an achievement.
Still swollen and numb.
Felt a little sore this morning. Not sure if this might be due to either not having an anti inflammatory or maybe over doing the exercises. I may have been holding my leg doing exercises too long or just overdoing it.
TWO WEEK MARK !!
2 weeks in and off all prescription pain meds other than blood thinners. I have started to elevate my feet for 30 minutes when I wake up to help with the swelling. For a short time this morning I actually had visible ankles! After this I then do my lying down exercises before getting out of bed and starting the ritual of bathroom, dressing and standing exercises.
I woke up at 6am this morning and wondered if I had got my body clock back to normal. I lie in bed listening to music with headphones to pass time until I feel I have to get up. I don’t want to get up too early because days are tiring enough. I have also downloaded an audiobook to my phone and discovered podcasts.