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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

I had both of my hips replaced at age 59. Yes, the surgery is usually successful. In fact it may be one of the most successful surgeries in terms of eliminating pain and restoring function in people who suffer from advanced arthritis.

Yes, she will need help for the first few weeks and may not be able to do much. Recovery rates cannot be predicted and each patient may have a slightly different experience. On average, many are able to return to sedentary jobs in a few weeks, drive by 4-6 weeks, and may need to use a walking aid of some sort for several weeks. There may be restrictions on how much one may carry and on how far one may bend the hip to avoid the risk of early dislocation. The surgical procedure and approach used can influence all of these things.

Plans need to be made for her first few weeks out of the hospital (her stay may be 5 days or less.) It is major surgery and a lot of healing needs to occur before she can resume regular activity. Many people call on family and friends to pitch in and help. Others who do not have this source of help might spend some time ( a week or two) in a rehabilitation center instead of going directly home. Sometimes home health care from visiting nurses and physical therapists is provided so that the patient can go directly home.

Since she has child care responsibilities, the time to plan for their care is before she has the surgery. I have read posts from mothers with very young children who have managed. I hope some of them will weigh in here and give you some practical tips. If custodial care for your brother is necessary, then that should be arranged for in advance. She will have all she can handle for awhile in getting herself back up to par so she can do the things she needs to do for his care. My first few days at home I was extremely tired and the pain pills made me sleepy. Once I stopped the pills, I did much better. I had home visiting nurse and PT for two weeks. After that I went to outpatient PT. I used a walker or crutches for about a month, after which I went to a single crutch, and then a cane. I was off the cane by my 3-month check-up. I had my hips done in separate surgeries 5 months apart. The two surgical experiences were slightly different from each other - I recovered faster after the second one. Others have said that they recovered faster from their first one. I cite this to show that you cannot know exactly what to expect in this regard and your mother's experience may not match mine or anyone else's.

Nevertheless, I am so glad that I had these surgeries. I am a different person today from the wreck that I was before THR. I can walk miles and have absolutely no pain. I wish I had done it sooner rather than waiting until I could barely walk. I hope your mother has a similar experience.

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