21,405 members25,118 posts

Heal The Pain

Heal The Pain

On this Monday just gone i had a "Total Left Hip Replacement" and by all accounts it went very well. But since I've been discharged I've had nothing but problems ='(

My left leg has swelled to unbearable lengths and. after calling Emergency services and having myself taken to A&E with suspected DVT, the "specialist" on DVT was happy that it wasn't DVT. This then led to a bigger query.....what is it?

After putting the query on here cris1728 commented that it could be "Oedema", otherwise known as Dropsy. After looking the symptoms up on I absolutely agree that it is that. But now i have to wait til tomorrow, when i can get to the hospital, for blood tests and a scan before going to the MEDDOC there and discussing this. Hopefully they'll agree and a solution can be found super fast =/

But the pain I am experiencing at the moment is unbearable The swelling seemed to be going down but has since arrived again, with a vengeance! I live on my own, even though I am engaged, and I am sat here alone feeling very upset and feeling sick as well.

I am so tired and feel woozy. I am taking medication prescribed by the hospital but i feel i need more. A part of me is hoping that I get kept in for observation and allowed a chance for this to heal/go away.

I had a district nurse turn up last night to inject Fragmin into me and another will arrive here tonight (shortly). I'll get her to take a look and see if she suggests anything.

This is a nightmare. An absolute nightmare and i feel so lonely and alone. You can feel lonely surrounded by people but this is the other. This makes me feel sick and downhearted. Makes crazy things race through your head that only those in absolute desperation think of....and i feel like that sometimes. Actually a lot of the times, right now!

I feel so tired but can't nod off as i normally would due to the operation and all the factors i have to take into account.

This weekend has been my worse weekend of this year (yet). I had better feel like a million dollars once the hip's healed!! I'll still have RA, but at least one main component of that pain should be dealt with no!

The picture is of my foot from yesterday (Dec 8th 2012) at around half 9 at night.

17 Replies

Hi Martyn, your leg does look very swollen I would suggest that you show it to the nurse tonight when she comes. I had oedema when I was pregnant and had pre-eclampsia both my legs were swollen from the thigh down so I know how that feels but not how it feels combined with the hip surgery. To help with the swelling you could do exercises rotating your ankle and keeping as mobile as possible although with the surgery and RA this may be difficult. Another thing which would help is elevating the leg but you need to only do this if it is safe following the surgery. I presume you have had advise as to what you can and cant do regarding position of the leg. Different surgeries have different advice for seating positions etc. so if safe to elevate leg I would do to help reduce the swelling.

Try to keep your spirits up as it is early days yet after your surgery and you will reap the benefits soon. They used to keep people in hospital for 2 weeks after hip replacement but things have moved on but healing and recovery takes the same length of time.

Is there a community rehabilitation team in your area who can help support you in your rehabilitation ( intermediate care) I would ask the nurse when she comes if there is she can refer you or your GP. These teams consist of physio,nurse,OT and support staff and have been implemented to help people like yourself in the short term after surgery or illness and to keep people at home or discharge them sooner and are only for a limited time.

It sounds like you need some support at the moment and I hope you get some.

The RA gets you down anyway without the extra burden of surgery and isolation you are feeling.

I hope the nurse can find some extra support for you and that the swelling and pain settles soon.

gentle hugs crisxx


The nurses came and went after they did what they needed to do. They wouldn't say what it was, or wasn't, as it could be DVT or Edema. So i'll just have to wait and see. They suggested that I talk to the staff at Medoc, which I was going to do anyway, but I will also talk to my surgeon, consultant and a member of the ward staff for help.

A part of me is panicking over this, whereas the other part of me is saying that this just happens! I guess I am just scared about everything. Life's taken a downward slope this year. The job I was doing as a temp was advertised for "Full Time" and, even though I went for it, I knew I stood no chance due to the operation. Why would they keep/take on someone (they knew needed an operation and would not be able to work for up to 6 months) knowing that sickness pay would have to payed, when they could take on someone "healthy".

They would never admit that's the reason I "failed the interview" for a job i'd been doing for over 3 years, but even I can see the business sense in any decision given!

Now i am on benefits and barely making it through the months on the pittance I get. I just want this all over so that i can get on with going back to earning money and building a new career.

Unfortunately due to the operation, I am limited on what movements I can do in case I aggravate the healing of the hip. I am frustrated by it all though as what I do at home doesn't differ to what i was doing at the hospital. So how come this has happened?

Did your Edema go away for good? Or do you still have it? I don't eat a lot of salty food and I did some movement and the exercises I was advised to do by the physiotherapist before I left the hospital. I guess I am just really frustrated and feel let down by this happening.


Youve been through the mill havent you. Yes my oedema did go after I had my daughter. Dependent oedema also goes when you regain some mobility. The injections you are on are the treatment for Dvt and even if worst case scenario it is a DVT you are on the appropriate treatment just the same as you would get in hospital until you have the scan to confirm the diagnosis. The swelling from a Dvt generally goes also. If the swelling is a flare which you said it feels like you are probably better placed than me to know how long that will last .

Good luck for your scan

cris xx


Hi Martyn

i understand how you feel about living on your own, and in so much pain , it can make you feel sick and alone .. its not very nice .

you say your engaged !! cant your g/friend stay over ..

my wife cleared off several years ago ,shortly after i had a bad flare up ," knee and feet " shes a staff nurse , so she knew what was instore . me thinks

hope the pain level drops and good luck on monday



When I lost my job 6 months ago I fell got angry ad upset at little things and one day I just said the wrong thing to her and so she didn't see me for several days. We've been "fixing" things ever since and she's not a bad person (far from it), but she works from early in the morning and is up around 4.30 every weekday morning. She needs her sleep and I am i no fit state for her to stay with on a long term basis (yet).

She's helping me with my recovery from the hip operation but she'll only stay for about 2 hours per day, then all day saturday, overnight and then home sunday by 5 or 6pm.

Once this is all over I aim to back in a job and have us in a house by this time next year (on a buy to let hopefully).


p.s . living alone with RA is something alot of people dont understand . tehn again people dont dont understand RA full stop ..

i dont know why being alone with RA would make any difference ,, really ..

not sure !! why i said that ..


I agree with Chris.

It is lonely and frightening when you are on your own and you are ill. Keep your leg elevated as best you can. Swelling after surgery is inevitable. I loks like dependant luid in your leg.

Thinking about' you and sending you my best wishes



RA is a very lonely disease I feel and that's why this place is so important. I couldn't even tell my husband how scared and in pain I felt when I last flared I think all chronic diseases are like this but at least if you tell people you have cancer everyone understands that this is big and serious and there are lots of drop in places for people to talk about how they are feeling. With RA most people don't get it so you have to say "I have RA" and see if you spot a glimmer of recognition or not. If not then its an uphill battle explaining it to people and that on its own is very isolating I feel.

I too had oedema during late pregnancy. It is potentially very dangerous when you are pregnant as pre-eclampsia can kill both mother and baby. However I don't think it is so dangerous in other contexts which is why I'm sure your nurse just left you this way. I had the same kind of fluid retention swelling in my ankles when I took Diclonfenac and got quite scared - saw GP next day who took me straight off it.

Poor you having lost your job - its such a hard world isn't it? I'm sure you will improve a lot soon when you recover from the hip op and when the swelling in your ankles goes down - hopefully you will find a new job that suits you and everything will be well. Wishing you much luck - take care. Tilda x


Hi Martyn, I really feel for you after reading what you're going through. I just want to send you a hug and say that whenever you are lonely there will be someone on here to keep you company. I've been out of work for a while now and the isolation can really get to me sometimes but the lovely people on this site have always been there when I've needed someone to talk to. I hope you feel better soon. Best wishes

Paula x


keep hold of the thought that once you heal you'll feel like a million dollars.... Oedema does come and go, so chances are that it'll be reducing soon. But really do feel for you as those horrible nights where you just fret endlessly are awful, so hope you do manage to get some sleep and start feeling more comfortable soon. Polly


Hi gravitational Odema is not nice, whilst I have never had it, I have worked in Hospitals, Elevation and maybe some mild massage always moving towards Lymph at the inguinal dumping vessels in the groin, any massage therapist would know the movement, although some might be a bit OOOOHHHH about it as they may say it is Contra Indicated, I say it will reduce the swelling and remove excess fluids into the Lymphatic system, these are the bodies gutters for waste.


Hi, you have had a Bad time of it, I Just want to wish you all the best, and hopefully you will get things sorted out soon, Shirl xx


My oldest friend came to stay with me after her total hip replacement and had very severe swelling shortly after the op.

Can you put the leg up as high as you can while lying down - best on lots of pillows so the whole of your legs are sloping down towards your heart. We put a chair cushion in the bed and built up the pillows on that base - it made her snore terribly going to sleep in that position but was much more comfortable. And we put a cold compress - made up of frozen peas (four large bags of cheap ones) into a cloth sack - and draped that around the leg. Again that seemed to help with the pain.

She had tablets with 16mg of codeine and 500mg paracetamol and took 2 regularly every eight hours. It seemd important to take them regularly to prevent the pain breaking through.

The worst of the swelling went down over the first week, but the leg still swelled up quickly if she forgot to put it up frequently during the day for several weeks after that.

As soon as she could, she started exercising. Moving the leg seemed also to get the swelling down. Sitting, or worse standing, in one position seemed to make it worse.

Hope that helps.


My heart goes out to you with what you are going through at the moment. But there seem to be all these hints & little signs that this very difficult period will most likely be temporary & that you will gradually rebuild your life. Who knows, it may be even better than before. Some times we just have to hang on by our fingernails for a while & you seem to have a strong set!

If there is anything whatsoever you can do to turn some of the negatives into positives, even if it is very small positives then that will help. Is there a book or a subject you'd always wantted to read up on that you could get to grips with now? I'd say 'make little things matter' for now & that includes the small triumphs that you will have every day.

I've always thought that the initial period after an opeeration is traumatic, for me anyway. I think many people find themselves in a very scary place for a while after surgery even when all goes well. Bearing in mind that they are good reasons for feeling as you do will help you get over this patch, whatever you do don't beat yourself up about it. Lots of good, strong people go through similar things and sometimes feel that they are sinking but you will get through this.


Hi - You are certainly having a tough time at the moment, sending you all my best wishes and hope you are feeling better soon - xxx


Hi Martin, when I had my total hip replacement, I had to keep my 'operation stockings' on for 6 weeks after, the only time they came off was when I had a shower, then the temperary care would put them straight back on for me, I had no problem with swelling. I hope you get it sorted out A S A P as its very worrying for you. Take care Ann x


Hi Martin

Try and keep your chin up. Things will get better. Wishing you all the very best

Karen xx


You may also like...