My First Week Healing After Hip Reconstruction Surgery

Healing after hip reconstruction surgery

 

The first thing I did when I finally decided on doing an exploratory hip surgery was look up what people said about healing after hip reconstruction surgery. I wanted to make sure that I knew as much as I possible about what I needed to do in order to heal and what I could do to prepare before surgery to get the best outcome possible. Who better to learn that from than those who have gone through it themselves?

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really a whole lot of firsthand information on what healing after hip reconstruction was like for those who had the actual surgery. Most of the information was from the orthopedic surgeons who did these surgeries routinely and, while those posts were helpful, I was also interested in the patient’s experience as well. Since there wasn’t a lot  of first hand information available on healing after hip reconstruction surgery I decided to share my own experience. I’ll be updating regularly on what  helped and what didn’t, what my physical therapy was like, what items helped me the most during healing and much more!

***There are affiliate links in this post so I may receive money from any purchases you make. However, all opinions are my own and I only recommend products that I love.***

 



Leading up to Surgery

For two weeks before the surgery I wasn’t allowed to take anything with Ibuprofen in it and of course my period was scheduled to come right before the surgery (mother nature was not on my side for this one!). My periods are murderous and even Norco on it’s own isn’t enough to allow me to get to work. I honestly wasn’t sure I could do this, but I did! It was extremely painful, but I made it!

I continued physical therapy and my exercises right up until surgery to have my body in the healthiest condition for healing after hip reconstruction surgery.  During my pre-op meeting they fitted me for my brace, brushed me up on how to use crutches correctly and answered any questions I may have (I had a ton). Since I was doing an exploratory surgery the doctors prepared me for all possible outcomes. If I ended up just having a labral repair I would be in the brace  and on crutches for two weeks, but if I ended up having to have a full hip reconstruction then I would be in the brace and on crutches for 6 weeks.

The day before the surgery  I also had to stop eating at midnight which is typical night before surgery protocols and take an antibacterial shower. My boyfriend originally wasn’t going to come with me to the surgery because I wanted him to save some vacation time in case I needed him to take some off while I was healing and I was just going to have my mom take me. I ended up being really anxious the night before the surgery and he surprised me by deciding to come the next day. Total sweetheart move and his support made everything so much easier since this was the first surgery I’ve actually gotten anxious about.

 

 

The Day of Surgery

I woke up at 6 AM which is waaay too early and took another antibacterial shower and grabbed all the items I’d prepared  by the door the night before that I needed to bring to surgery. The last thing I remember before the surgery was getting wheeled in, moved onto another table and thinking to myself how this room looked like a torture chamber with all the different medical equipment laying around. I think I maaaay have said this out loud. Whoops! In my defense I was very nervous. I was so, so grateful when they said they knew the room was freezing and had some warming blankets ready to go for me. Talk about heaven. Then it was lights out. I don’t remember even having the anesthesia administered this time.

Next thing I know I’m waking up in the post-op recovery room to the voice of a lovely nurse named Carla. That’s when they told me they had to do a full hip reconstruction and I believe I just kept muttering “I wasn’t crazy. I knew I wasn’t crazy. They actually found something”.  I’m pretty sure I just kept repeating that because I felt so relieved after finding out that there was a lot for them to find wrong in my hip. I didn’t think I’d ever be so excited to hear there was something wrong with me! Strong pain meds can make anyone act a little nutter butters!

I was fading in and out, but I remember Carla saying “let’s get this off of you” as she took out those nose things that give you oxygen. Next thing I know my mom was next to me and I asked her how things went and what the doctor said. She told me again that I had to have a full hip reconstruction and that what little was left of my labrum was shriveled up. She seemed amazed at how bad it had been. Then I passed back out.

I woke up again  and I was back in my room and really, really needed to pee. They gave me some ice chips, juice and gluten-free cookies. The intubation tube really got me during this surgery. My throat hurt so bad and my mouth was soooo dry that I could barely swallow the dry gluten-free cookies I got. They gave me a few more pain meds and then unhooked me from the IV so that I could pee.

One of my surgeon’s Physician’s Assistants came in and gave me my protocol. A protocol is basically your game plan for healing. It outlines when you can start physical therapy, what you can do in physical therapy and when, what meds you should take….basically how you should be living your life for the next 6 months.

I ended up needing a full hip reconstruction and healing after hip reconstruction surgery requires not starting up PT for 6 weeks due to the fragile nature of my hip, but I’m supposed to bike at zero resistance for 2 hours a day to keep my range of motion (ROM). You have the option of using a CPM which passively moves your leg around, but the medical community has seen better results from patients using the bike due to mind body connection. I have Hydrocodone to take every 6 hours, Naproxen and Aspirin to take each morning and evening and Prilosec to protect my stomach from all the pain meds. I also was given Colace to keep everything moving because anesthesia can slow things down majorly not to mention the pain meds.

The exact medical jargon of what I had done for all your nerds out there is a hip arthroscopy that resulted in a labral reconstruction, femoroplasty, acetabluloplasty, capsular plication and an illiopsoas fractional lengthening. Keep reading to find out how my first week was healing after hip reconstruction surgery.

 

Healing after hip reconstruction

 

The First Week Healing After Hip Reconstruction Surgery

 

Day of surgery-

After surgery I went home and rested. Sleeping plays a big part in healing  after hip reconstruction surgery. You have to give your body the energy it needs to repair itself. The pain hadn’t really set in yet since they had injected the surgery site with some pain medication before they closed up, but I couldn’t feel the top part of my thigh or my hip so moving around was difficult. I just grabbed the top of my brace and kind of maneuvered it where I needed it to go. Going to the bathroom was a whole other ordeal and the first day I definitely needed help in lowering myself down to the seat. You have to park your humility at door with this surgery, unfortunately.

I think I ate dinner and went to bed? I honestly don’t really remember since heavy pain meds tend to make me black out a bit.

Day 1-

I woke up around 8 in the morning when my mom came over and had her help me to the bathroom and then hopped onto the bike to get in my first portion of bike time. They told me I didn’t need to get all two hours at once (thank god), but I was hoping for at least half an hour. It ended up being a really sad 15 minutes because the pain was just too much. I put a call into my doctor’s office to make sure that severity of pain was normal, which they said it was, and the proceeded to fit in some biking throughout my day. I tried my best to time it up with when I took my Norco so that I’d be able to bike a little longer.

My ice packs were some of my best friends and I definitely suggest icing even when you don’t feel like you need it. One of the main goals post-surgery is to keep down the swelling as much as possible which is where all the ice packs, Naproxen and Aspirin come in. Gas X and stool softeners will make your life so much easier too. My stomach always gets pissed off after anesthesia and keeping your digestion moving is super important. The last thing you want when you’re in a ton of pain is to be constipated on top of it!

I only ended up getting in about an hour of biking, but I didn’t beat myself up too much over it since it was only my first day after surgery.

Day 2-

Woke up again around 8 AM when my godsend of a mother came bringing Starbucks. I hopped on the bike and got my first hour out of the way. I wish I could say that I spent the day updating my blog and doing social media, but I really just spent it binge watching The 100.  I couldn’t really sleep, but I didn’t have enough energy to really do anything either. Sidenote: I really disliked the first season for The 100, but I loved season 2 and on.

I finished up my second hour of biking and then called it a night. I couldn’t lean forward yet on the bike because it caused too much referral pain into my knee and my hip was still feeling too tight so I biked upright almost the whole time. Moving around was still very difficult and I couldn’t move my right leg unless I grabbed my brace and shoved it around. My abdominals on the right side were still very sore and tender from the surgery and the fractional psoas release.

Day 3 through 6-

These were pretty much just a repeat of Day 2, but around Day 5 I started getting feeling back in my thigh. The only highlight was getting to shower on day 4.

Day 7-

I got to take off my giant bandages and replace them with band-aids over each wound! My right groin, hip and lower back all hurt if I try sitting up too long, but other than that I’m doing pretty well. I’m able to bike about an hour and 10 minutes at a time and am a lot less tired. Today was the first day that my abdominal cramping wasn’t severe. I’m hoping it lasts since abdominal pain and cramping was one of the reasons I got this surgery in the first place. Woot!

 

Biking for healing after hip reconstruction surgery

 



Need to Have Products For Healing After Hip Surgery

 

While healing after hip reconstruction surgery is incredibly painful and uncomfortable there are some products I highly recommend that make the whole process easier.

My first purchase was a wedge pillow because I know from my labral repair in 2011 that for the first week or so it was really hard to straighten my leg out post surgery, especially when sleeping. I’m also a side-sleeper and hate sleeping on my back, but the wedge actually made sleeping on my back way more tolerable.

I was able to borrow a stationary bike from my family, but this is the one I was going to buy if I had needed to. It has great reviews and reviewers have commented that the seat is actually comfortable which is super important after hip surgery.

One of the biggest issues with being stuck on crutches is that you can’t carry anything so a little pouch is a must have. With this great pouch I’m able to carry my bottle of kombucha, phone, pills and anything else I need. This was definitely a level up from my last surgery when I just wore a sweatshirt all the time so that I could just stuff things in my kangaroo pouch.

You will absolutely not want to wear jeans so joggers and pajama pants are going to be your outfit of choice. These are a pair I picked up that I’ve basically been living in and they’re so comfy! Plus, they come in a ton of different colors.

I didn’t need a shower stool with a back to it, but I’m still shy of 30-years-old so depending on your age you may want to invest in a stool with a back to it. This is the one that I used. I really, really didn’t want to use a shower stool because just the thought of one made me feel like I was extremely incapable, but I’m so glad I got one. Standing up long enough to shower after hip surgery would have been a no go.

I’ve made really good use of this laptop table I bought. It’s large enough to be able to use your laptop, a mouse on and a keyboard if you’d like.

Slip-on shoes are a great idea because you won’t be able to reach down to tie your shoelaces and who wants to have to ask someone to tie your shoes each time you need to go out? I got these Vince Camuto slip-ons and I adore them. Not only are they comfortable, but they are super cute with their velvet accents.

Lots of ice packs!

 

Check out my second week healing after hip reconstruction surgery here and you can check out my other weeks from there! Check out my posts about meditation here and here because meditation can be a great healing tool! Have you had a similar experience or are you about to get hip surgery? Let me know below. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

60 Comments

  1. February 21, 2018 / 4:55 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thanks for checking out Buddha Belly!

  2. February 21, 2018 / 9:08 am

    I’m glad things worked out for you. Hope you continue to recover and do really well. I actually quite like the feeling of drifting off just before surgery. I’m a strange one.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 5:55 pm

      I totally get that. It’s super relaxing. I usually remember when I go under, but not this time!

  3. February 21, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Take care and all the best for you and your healing process. 🙂

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 5:55 pm

      Thanks so much!

  4. February 21, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    Aw, I’m glad you’re doing well! I hope healing goes easy for you. I may need some type of hip surgery in the next handful of years, so your post piqued my interest! 🙂

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thanks for reading. So sorry to hear that, but I felt great after my first one healed. I hope the same happens for you!

  5. February 22, 2018 / 11:43 am

    Thanks for sharing your journey. All the best

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 22, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you!

  6. February 23, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    great blog! I am sure this will be very helpful for those going through surgery. Than you for sharing this journey. XXOO

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 10:40 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks so much for reading!

  7. February 24, 2018 / 12:31 am

    Oh my goodness you’ve been through it! I hope your healing continues along well and thank you for sharing your journey!

    XO,
    Elise @ Belle Meets World blog

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 24, 2018 / 4:38 am

      Good thing I’m a tough bird 🙂 Thanks for reading, Elise!

  8. February 24, 2018 / 12:59 am

    Thanks for sharing! It must’ve been a toughie, but you pulled through which is really inspiring.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 24, 2018 / 4:37 am

      It hasn’t been a great time, but it was definitely a journey I needed to go on. Thanks for reading!

  9. February 24, 2018 / 5:37 am

    I’ve never experienced anything like this. I really hope your recovery is fast!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 5:29 am

      Thanks so much! Sadly, I’ve dealt with a lot of physical problems, but I’ve learned a ton and it’s definitely put me on the path I needed to be on!

  10. February 24, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    This sounds like such a scary experience — thank you for being brave enough to share with all of us!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 6:05 am

      I just figure it makes me bad ass. I love sharing though so that other people know what to expect if they’re unfortunate enough to need hip surgery.

  11. Ginger
    February 26, 2018 / 6:12 am

    Thanks for sharing. You’re right, there is not much from the patient’s point of view on the web! My 17 year old son went in for IT Band lengthening surgery on Feb 2, but after the surgeon got in there, his hip was much worse than he thought. Tyler ended up having a Pincer impingement (had to have the bone smoothed), his labrum had a horrible tear and was repaired, and he also had capsular plicaion. His surgeon said it would be too much to also have the IT band lengthened at the same time, so he will need another surgery in the future. His recovery sounds pretty much like yours so far, except for he has not regained the feeling in his hip since surgery. He says that he is numb from his hip down to his knee. (Of course, he still has about 2 more weeks before he can put any pressure on his leg.) Are you still experiencing numbness? I’m so sorry you are going through this too….wishing you a fast recovery!!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 26, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m not having a lot of numbness this time around, but I definitely had it the first time even though it was just a repair and shave down. It really just depends on what nerves they hit and whatnot. It took months after my first surgery for the numbness to dissipate almost completely, but it lessened each day. I think as he’s able to put weight on it and get moving his body will start to make those mind/body connections again. They told me from all that I had done that it would be around a year before I really felt like myself again so I would be very patient. I know all too well how easy it is to freak out, but hip surgery is really one of those surgeries that take a long time to fully heal. If you have any other questions please let me know!

      It sucks being so young and having these problems. The best advice I can give Tyler is to learn from my mistakes and make sure to get checkups with a physical therapist twice a year for the rest of his life, especially since he’s still growing. If my surgeon had told me to get checkups regularly I may have been able to improve my mobility way sooner. I wish him and you the best of luck and good health!

  12. February 26, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    Such a major surgery! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 1:39 am

      Thanks so much!

  13. February 28, 2018 / 1:44 am

    I hope you recover well! What an ordeal! I can not imagine being able to get on a bike after a surgery like that plus heavy meds.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 2:09 am

      I had people next to me the first few times I did it. I was terrified I’d topple over. It was super painful the first few days, but that’s to be expected. When I got my first surgery there was a passive machine called a CPM that would do it for you, but they think the bike is better for mind/body connection because you’re doing it yourself. Anything that helps to heal me!

  14. Jennifer
    February 28, 2018 / 3:10 am

    Aw! You are so young to have gone through this. I’m so glad everything worked out in the end!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 3:15 am

      I am, but it’s definitely given me some perspective and put me on a path that is much more fulfilling than what I was doing. Although the pain sucks I’m so happy it happened because I wouldn’t be where I am without it.

  15. February 28, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    Hope you have a speedy recovery. But first of all, why do need a hip surgery? Can you please educate me more? I have heard about this few times but not sure what is the cause? Your picture before the surgery show that you are such a brave girl. Really scary for me even to look at those pictures. Anyway, speedy recovery!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 6:40 pm

      Thanks for asking! I had a hip surgery in 2011 for a labral repair and a shaving down of the hip bone. It was a much less in-depth surgery than the one I just had. It turns out that the doctor missed a part on top of the femoral head of my bone that had a bony extrusion. When I had this done in 2011 this was a still very new surgery to have done arthroscopically and they didn’t have the protocols created that they do now that requires them checking all points for bony abnormalities.

      It’s my current surgeons belief that the little bony part leftover is what tore my labrum to shreds. The labrum is basically what keeps the hip and the femur together and prevents bone on bone issues. Without a labrum to protect me it leads to a bunch of issues.

      Oddly enough I suffered no pain in my hip this time around until recently. My body was compensating for my hips inability to move correctly and making everything around it tighten up and pull down towards my right hip. So my organs weren’t able to function correctly and I had a lot of GI issues. My lower abdominal pain was my main complaint and no one thought it could be my hip doing that. Turns out it was caused by a very tight psoas tendon which basically runs along your groin to the side of your belly button.

      They finally figured out it was the hip causing all of this and here I am now! I’ll be writing a more in-depth post soon about how I got here and why I decided on doing the surgery soon!

  16. February 28, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    The way u have come out of it.. It is so commendable. I respect you for your strength. More power to you 🙂

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      Aw, well thank you so much. That means the world to me!

  17. Elizabeth O
    February 28, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, it sounds like you have everything in place to have a really smooth recovery.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you! Thank you!

  18. February 28, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Very interesting to hear the process first hand! I’m so glad that it went smoothly and they figured out that they needed to do more than they thought. I hope you recover quickly and are back to normal soon!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you so much! I’ll take all the good wishes I can!

  19. February 28, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    The word ‘surgery’ itself freaks me out! Hats of to you girl for going through all this! Hope you recover soon! Sending you hugs!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      I will take all the good vibes. Thanks so much!

  20. February 28, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Love the Spirit from which you write this post. I am lucky enough to not have had experienced this, but I am certain hat those searching for a patient’s perspective will appreciate it. Your recommendations will no doubt come in handy dandy! Thanks for your mindfulness and for raising awareness. Blessings, xo Evelyn, PathofPresence.com

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 1, 2018 / 1:50 am

      Aw, that means so much to me! I have a feeling you’re an old spirit and I love it!

  21. March 1, 2018 / 12:08 am

    It’s really important that you do the best you can to help your body recover. I think you did amazing and although it’s been a tough week, you were on top of it!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 1, 2018 / 1:50 am

      Yes! I’m doing everything that I was told to do and everything I could think of 🙂

  22. March 2, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    I hope I never have to go through this. But, this is great information for anyone who does!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 2, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Fingers crossed, Christin! Thanks!

  23. March 2, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey. Hope you recover soon! Sending you hugs!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 3, 2018 / 3:08 am

      Thanks so much. You’re a doll!

  24. March 3, 2018 / 10:23 am

    It’s great that you decided to share your experience of your surgery and the first week healing hip! I agree with you that firsthand experiences on this kind (and other kinds) of surgery are not easy to find, so what you are doing is really important!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 3, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Nati. I hope it’s beneficial to others. I’ve already gotten a ton of questions from people and it’s felt so nice to be able to be useful even though I’m pretty much stuck in bed the majority of the time.

  25. March 4, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Wow. So much to go through when so young. I hope your recovery is swift.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 11:49 pm

      Thanks so much, Faith. I really appreciate it!

  26. March 4, 2018 / 5:00 pm

    This post is so candid! I hope you’re recovering nicely!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 11:49 pm

      Thanks so much!

  27. March 7, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    Wow, it sounds like you’ve been through the wars a bit recently. I hope you’re on the mend and recovering well! x

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      Just a bit, but I’ve learned so much and it really gave me a platform to help others 🙂

  28. March 16, 2018 / 2:00 am

    So glad you made it through surgery . But I have to ask…( bc this is my first time reading your blogs) why did you need hip reconstruction? My mother is currently suffering from pain after working nearly 40 years as a stylist I would like to know what made you seek help?

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 16, 2018 / 3:41 am

      Hi Tesha,

      I had hip surgery previously in 2011 because I tore my labrum. It’s basically what holds your hip socket and femoral head in place. I had what they call an impingement which basically means that my femoral head wasn’t smooth enough and was creating issues with my mobility. I present atypically which makes it hard to diagnose me, but most people with this issue have lower back pain, sciatic pain, IT band pain, knee pain and hip/groin pain.

      My first surgeon missed a bony spur which allowed it to continue to tear up my labrum for 6 years. So instead of a labral repair like last time I had to have a donor labrum put in along with a bunch of other work. Again, I present oddly, so I had a lot of lower, centralized abdominal. This was due to years of my body compensating for the lack of movement in my right hip. All my organs were internally being pulled towards my right hip and I was a total mess. I had digestive issues, pelvic pain and abdominal pain for a year before my hip actually started to spark any pain, haha.

      It was really me trying physical therapy for over 6 months with very little results. I knew something was wrong, but I never suspected it was my hip again until my PT told me just to check in with my surgeon and rule it out. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. That’s why I put this together.

      My mom is a nurse so I understand how much an active job like a stylist can impact their bodies. What kind of pain is she having? No one should have to live in pain so I highly suggest she go to her doctor and have things checked out. They should be able to give her a prescription for physical therapy to see if they can help that way before doing anything serious like surgery. Often that helps quite a few people. I know all this stuff is expensive, but in my experience not getting help early on only allows the issue to compound and get worse.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  29. March 16, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    Thank You for sharing this recovery journey with us.
    I can’t even imagine your struggles. I have been recovering at home since past year coz of spine issue and the pain and the struggles have been really tough

    Feel better soon 🙂

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 16, 2018 / 8:49 pm

      I can totally relate. Feel free to message me if you need some support. You feel better too!

  30. March 20, 2018 / 11:20 am

    I’m glad you are getting better.
    Get well soon.
    I wish you safe and speedy recovery.
    Cheers!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      March 20, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      Hi Enele,

      Thanks so much! I appreciate your good wishes!

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