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PreOp Work Can Pay Off PostOp

Share Your Story: I Wish I Knew Before Hip Replacement...

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Updated January 25, 2010

What Made You Decide to Have Hip Replacement?

When I would look at a flight of stairs and just want to cry. I had gone to many specialists outside the MD arena. And had experienced chronic pain for many years. When the best pain meds, with which I could function, were not making a significant difference and I was reaching for the bottles in the liquor cabinet in addition to pain meds. When I could not sleep. Having to give up so many activities, including standing. When one surgeon said you are so young but your muscles are beginning to atrophy because I could not move them correctly. I was only 40, but it was a new life having both hips replaced.

What Were You Not Prepared For?

I wish that PT had been able to do a muscle assessment prior to surgery. I had lived many years with restricted abilities and unable to do things like straighten my legs. Post surgery, PT had prescribed goals, but I ended up tearing a stomach muscle trying to achieve those generic goals. I wish there could have been more customized goals for each patient. Knowing how post surgery, moving through the pain was what would get you to the pain free place. I was young and able, but I felt for older patients. It was very painful taking those first steps.

The gratefulness and paralysis that came with being pain free. The paralysis has taken a lot of mind/body work to repair.

Lessons Learned

  • It is a major ordeal. Surgery is nothing. Rehab is everything. It would be great to do a "bounce-back" assessment with folks prior to surgery to be able to understand where they are emotionally with being able to endure the journey of recovery. Exercising becomes a daily routine for continued success.
  • It is a new life, but it was work to get there. But I am grateful.
  • It is not for sissies or wimps.
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