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Should I have a hip replacement? Advice please.

(58 Posts)
Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 08:49:14

I’ve been told I can have a hip replacement. The pain has been building up for the last couple of years so dragged myself to GP.

Long story short. X-rays, consultation with specialist nurse. I hadn’t realised I was at that stage but she assured me the choice was mine.

Questions I never thought to ask I’ve reading up or Googling.

Can anyone answer these? This business of not crossing legs or sitting at an angle of less than 90 degrees...is that temporary or forever after this operation?

I’ve never had anaesthesia or any operation before. The only time I’ve been in hospital was a couple of days having the children.

There must be plenty on here who have had this operation and can advise me on the long term benefits or otherwise.

janeainsworth Tue 03-Dec-19 08:58:38

It depends what your bad hip is stopping you from doing and how much the pain is impacting on your life.
Is it stopping you from taking any form of exercise that would have a health benefit? (Hiking, dancing, cycling)?
Are you taking a level of pain relief that you would prefer not to?
Is the sore hip making your posture worse and having a knock-on effect on your other hip or back?
In other words, could you be healthier and would life be better if you didn’t have pain in your hip?
It’s a personal choice - but I know several people who have had hip replacements and are very pleased with the outcome. The post-operative management seems to have changed in the last few years and the latest one, a few weeks ago, was back driving 2 weeks after surgery.

Charleygirl5 Tue 03-Dec-19 09:12:39

If pain from your hip is affecting your sleep my personal opinion is that is the time to have it done.

You should not cross your legs after the surgery- you may get away with it but most likely you will dislocate your new hip.You will have to think ahead- is my chair high enough for me? Is my bed? Will I need to get a raised loo seat from the hospital -how am I going to cope with food ordering?

For six weeks post op you will have to sleep on your back, preferably with a pillow or two between your legs. I suggest you practice that now.

The list is fairly long but you will receive help from the OT at the hospital. There will be lots of help for you on here.

Luckygirl Tue 03-Dec-19 09:20:39

I had mine because my hip kept locking in place - once when I was conducting a choir!

That was the decider for me.

You will get loads of advice both written and verbal as to what you can and can't do and for how long after the surgery.

tanith Tue 03-Dec-19 09:27:19

As Charleygirl5 says if it’s impacting your sleep and quality of life then it’s a no brainer. The pain will be gone when you wake up it’s that quick. You will get all the advice and help before your surgery that you need plus they will give you a raised toilet seat and a long handled grabber which you will need for a few weeks. Life gets back to a new pain free normal after that. Good luck. If you have any questions ask away there are plenty here who’ve been through it.

aggie Tue 03-Dec-19 09:45:06

Tha advice re crossing your legs and sitting on a higher chair is for at least 6 weeks post op .
If I had given in and had it done sooner I would not have the back pain now

quizqueen Tue 03-Dec-19 09:49:52

I had my knee replaced last year but everyone I've met since, who has has their hip done, have been very pleased with the result. Lots of swimming therapy afterwards will help a lot with your recovery.

annodomini Tue 03-Dec-19 09:54:21

If the pain, as you say, has been 'building up' and you have been given the choice, I'd say it's a 'no brainer'. I can't see what the alternative is, other than to soldier on with the pain just getting worse. Don't worry about the legs crossing - you probably won't feel like doing that after the op! Life is so much better when the pain is gone and, take my word for it, even if there's a bit of post-op discomfort, the awful nagging arthritic pain is gone with the old hip.

SueDonim Tue 03-Dec-19 10:28:18

Not me, but my mum had a new hip about ten years ago. It was a brilliant success! She had it done under local anaesthesia. The pain that had kept her on painkillers for so long and the sleepless night - all gone. The added, unexpected, bonus is that she looked ten years younger afterwards, because the pain had lifted. It’s a free face lift!

Your hip is unlikely to improve and I think that probably it’s better to have the op when you are younger. My mum has also had a new knee but won’t get the second one done because she doesn’t feel that at 92yo, it would much improve her quality of life. Fortunately, the knee isn’t too painful, more just weak.

geekesse Tue 03-Dec-19 10:49:38

Just do it! I did much the same as the OP for 5 years. I never realised how much the pain had built up because it was gradual, but even with the soreness from surgery, the pain was gone immediately from inside the hip. It’s one of the most successful surgeries that is performed regularly.

Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 11:12:54

Yes, the pain has impacted on my sleep and I find walking hard.

Thank you all for your advice.

Incidentally no one has answered the question about the 90 degrees, whether that is just post surgery or for ever.

Newquay Tue 03-Dec-19 11:36:11

It will not improve-go for it! Follow all instructions given especially doing your exercises-even if it makes your eyes water to begin with. You will eventually (almost) forget you had it done and will be able to do pretty much everything. I can bend my leg easily now at keep fit past the 90 degrees!

hillwalker70 Tue 03-Dec-19 11:42:01

Had a replacement hip 3 years ago, spinal anatheasia so no ‘coming round’, hour and half on op table, all pain gone never to return. Walk, and walk and walk to recover and keep that muscle working. I was advised not to cross legs or do anything aerobic but I walk miles, swim and cycle, climb ladders and circle dance, but not at the same time. Have it done you will get your life back.

janeainsworth Tue 03-Dec-19 11:51:28

no one has answered the question about the 90 degrees, whether that is just post surgery or for ever

Not for ever, OP, and in fact my friend who has just had it done (at Hexham) was told that it’s not considered necessary at all now, but obviously you would have to comply with what your own surgeon told you.
He/she is the person to ask.
Good luck smile

Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 12:54:48

Thank you Jane for your reassurance. This for some reason was really bothering me!

Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 12:55:31

And everyone else 👍🏽

Charleygirl5 Tue 03-Dec-19 13:21:31

May I suggest you make a list of questions you want answering and that list can be taken when you next have an OPD appointment. Do you have anybody who could help you immediately after discharge?

BlueSky Tue 03-Dec-19 13:52:04

No personal experience here but most people swear by it and the sooner the better. Apparently the recovery is much quicker and less painful that a knee replacement. Go for it!

Jane43 Tue 03-Dec-19 13:54:38

My DH has had three hip replacement operations and would say if you are given the opportunity to have one then go for it. You will be free of pain and the recovery period of around six weeks has the limitations you have mentioned but if you follow the advice, do the recommended exercises and some gentle walking, increasing the distance each day, you will recover well. For his third operation my DH didn’t have a general anaesthetic just an epidural and a sedative and the difference in his recovery was remarkable. When he was taken back on the ward he was able to phone me and sounded as fresh as a daisy and he was only in hospital for one night. I only had to help him dress and carry his meals to him for a week at the most, after that the only thing I had to do was put his socks on. You will struggle if you don’t have somebody with you to help you during the first week or so, so make sure you do have some help. Prior to his first operation we attended a group session during which we were told what the operation would involve and what to expect during the recovery period and there was an opportunity to ask questions. We found this very useful.

How you cope with the operation and recovery will depend on your general health and varies from person to person but we would say go for it and wish you well.

Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 14:36:19

All very encouraging. Yes, him indoors is still around and might be dragooned into helping. I also have family close by.

I think I have been convinced. Thanks to all the positive comments.

GrannyLaine Tue 03-Dec-19 14:48:15

Yehbutnobut really good question and I'm watching this thread with interest as I too am at the stage of needing a hip replacement but reluctant for several reasons to go ahead just yet. The part about not crossing your legs made me smile - it was when I realised that I was unable to cross my legs that I knew something was amiss.

Babs758 Tue 03-Dec-19 15:21:00

I am just over a year post op. Definitely worth it. I was bone on bone and in a lot of pain. Had the spinal rather than general and recovered from that well. Pain management post op for the first week was an issue but my experience was unusual. Restrictions for the first six weeks but now back to work full time, driving , walking , swimming and sailing. Had the old fashioned posterior op complete with longish scar and a very old fashioned surgeon! But all good. Go for it. And before the op is no longer available on the NHS!

SueDonim Tue 03-Dec-19 15:35:23

Oh yes, the 90 degree thing. I remember my mum was given some rule about it but I forget what. It wasn’t forever, though. I dint know about the leg-crossing as she’s never really done that anyway.

Sar53 Tue 03-Dec-19 15:53:31

My DH has had both hips replaced twice, the last one a year ago. I had to help out for six weeks, driving, putting his socks on etc., but his mobility is better and he is pain free. Go for it, your quality of life will improve. Best of luck x

Yehbutnobut Tue 03-Dec-19 16:03:12

GrannyLaine I hope you are finding all this advice and support as encouraging as I do. It’s a big decision.