Not much to report this week except I had another little ride and a Pilates session with my mentor. The hamstring and glut are getting stronger - I just need to keep doing my exercises. As the clocks have turned back I am back on poo picking duties as during the week my lovely husband can't get to the field in time before it gets dark. So far the hip is fine although it did grumble a bit last night. I think it was because I was stepping over the electric fence and therefore testing my new hip's range of motion.
So as I have nothing mind blowing to write about this week I thought I would give you my tips to prepare for a total hip replacement:
1. Get fit before the operation
I do believe I made a quick recovery because I was fit before my operation. I had strong gluts, hamstrings and quads and exercised every day.
2. Buy a 'hip kit'
The hip kit from the hospital includes everything to help and support you as you are not allowed to bend forward following the operation. It included a:
- a soxon for putting on socks
- a shoe horn with a long handle
- a leg lift for helping you lift and move your straight leg. Useful for getting into and out
- appliance that looks like a rubbish picker. Useful for picking things up from the floor.
- sponge on a long handle. Useful for washing lower leg (remember you can't bend
down!) and back.
3. Shoes to slip on and off, preferably with no laces. This will give you some independence
and you won't have to keep asking for someone to put your shoes on.
4. Clothes you put on and over your head such as dresses and skirts with an elasticated
waistband. If I were a man I would buy shorts or trousers with an elasticated waistband
and ask for help in putting on.
5. I would also recommend buying underwear one or two sizes up to wear post operatively.
Your hip will swell and your normal size may be too tight.
6. Cut your toe nails the night before your operation unless you have someone who will do it
for you. It's going to be 6 weeks before you can bend forward so cut them fairly short.
(After 5 weeks I had a pedicure - bliss!)
7. To make it easier to get in and out of bed sleep on the side with the good leg on the edge
of the bed. So if you had your left hip replaced, sleep on the right hand side of the bed.
You can then put the right foot on the ground before moving the straight left leg out of the
8. Make sure you have enough space to get in and out of the bed with that straight leg!
9. Before your operation, download all the box sets you have been promising yourself you
will watch when you have time because now you will. Buy some magazines as you may
not have the concentration to read a book. I had some novels I wanted to read but found
it difficult to concentrate until 3 weeks after the operation. I also discovered the joy of
Podcasts. I enjoyed listening to them during the early hours when I could not sleep.
10. Sleep. I found it difficult to sleep for the first 3-4 weeks as you have to sleep on your
back. I am side sleeper and you can't sleep on the non-operated side as you are
advised not to let the other leg pass the midline in case you dislocate the hip. Once the
operated hip has healed you can then try to sleep on that side. I used a lavender pillow
spray along with an eye mask which did seem to help.
11. Rest to heal.
I hope this helps anyone who is going to have a hip replacement soon. In my experience I began to feel like me again 10 days after my operation. Once I could sleep on my side, life became even better.