Am booked for a hip replacement operation on 1st February. I had 2 knee replacement operations in 2017 and 2018.
Although a hip replacement is supposed to be somewhat less painful and easier to recover from, I am dreading it for the simple reasons I have severe rheumatoid arthritis - so stopping the biologic injections (Tocilizumab) on 23rd February and not restarting them 2 weeks post surgery, as long as the wound is dry, I know from experience my RA will flare up with a vengeance and the pain levels get quite unbearable.
To add to this I have osteoporosis and a compressed fracture of the L1 vertebrae (lumbar spine) which makes it difficult to walk or lift, stand up, etc. and is rather painful. Because of the RA my hands, fingers and wrists are swollen and, yes, painful too and I can hardly use them. My shoulders are also painful… My “good” hip is painful and will need to be replaced also . It’s a nightmare, or it feels like it. In fact a total body replacement would be the best solution! Sorry about the repetitive use of adjective ‘painful’….
So, I am just wondering how I will be able to cope while recovering. I live alone - family living in the South East and London - and can’t take a few weeks off work to look after me, so I shall be going into a care home for 6 weeks of respite. I hope I will be able to look after myself in my home after 6 weeks. It’s a little scary when living alone and far away from family.
i would appreciate hearing from your experiences of recovering from hip replacement, especially from people who have (severe) rheumatoid arthritis and struggle the way I do. I know I am not alone living with such problems.
Any advice would be very welcome:
- did you find it difficult walking, sitting down and getting up? Going upstairs unaided? Getting in and out of bed?
- do you have any tips?
- did you use cool/hot packs to relieve the pain?
- when were you able to take a shower alone?
- did you really manage alone?
- how many weeks did it take for you to feel less pain and before you could put pants, trousers and socks on?
- what pain killers were you prescribed? Were you prescribed opioids for a short period of time?
- when were you able to drive again?
- when were you able to cook a meal from scratch for yourself, how many weeks post operation?
I know we’re all different but I look forward to hearing from your experiences and tips.
Of course, I feel nervous…
Thank you for reading this post and perhaps letting me know how you got on post operation and how you were feeling at various stages of recovery.