Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Recovery Log for Bilateral Anterior Approach Hip Replacement

I am writing this blog because I was unable to find any information regarding what to expect following my bilateral Anterior Approach Hip Arthroplasty (Replacement). All of the literature that I was given by both the doctor and the hospital related to the Posterior Approach. I was told that the recovery period for the Anterior Approach would be much shorter and less pain full.

The stated advantages of the Anterior approach using the newest Hip Technology prosthesis is that there is not cutting of muscles or tendons. The Muscles are stretched and separated to allow for access to the joint replacement which is completed with only a 3" - 3.5 " incision at the front of the hip.

About Me.
I am 61 year age and wanted the surgery because I had arthritis in the hips which both caused pain when walking but also severely limited my legs lateral range of motion.

Height 6' 0"
Weight 175
Shape: Good from Bicycling and working out at the YMCA
Sex: Male

Day 1 - Wednesday May 12, 2010. The surgery was started at 10:30 AM PDT and was completed around 1:00 PM. I was given both a general and Spinal Anesthetic. The Spinal does not completely wear off for at least 24 hours which is supposed to mask the pain during the time that is typically most painful after surgery. When I awoke I was feeling no pain and was able to rest comfortably and slept on and off through the night. Thank Heaven for the catheter which kept my bladder empty so I did not have to get up to go to the bathroom.

Day2 - Thursday May 13, 2010. Awoke for breakfast but did not feel like eating a lot so I just ate some eggs and drank the orange juice. Moving around in bed was starting to be a bit painful but I did not take anything for the pain. A morphine pump was on the bed but I never needed to use it. In the early afternoon the very cute physical therapist came in to get me out of bed and walk me don the hall using a walker. The most painful part of this was lifting my legs enough to be able to slide them off the side of the bed. Once I was in a sitting position standing up into the walker was not a problem. I never felt terribly unstable while walking so even on the first walk was inclined to carry the walker instead of leaning on it, but I was chastised for that. Getting back in bed was again the more painful part of this experience.

Day 3: Friday May 14, 2010. Still not feeling much pain when lying in the bed and I gave the nurses a pain level of zero when asked. After breakfast it was time to remove the catheter, wow that felt weird. Getting up out of bed was even more painful the second day after surgery but I was able to walk down the hallway with only a modicum of pain using just a cane. The physical therapist took me to the PT Room and had me climb a couple of stairs using the cane since I told her that there were no railings on the stairs to our house. She also had me do some leg extensions out to either side and some shallow knee bends. The Occupational therapist came by a little later in the day to see if I could put on my own slippers as I got out of bed, which proved to be a little bit of a challenge but I managed it OK by sitting the edge of the bed and using the opposite hand to pull on each slipper. This was followed by a trip to the bathroom to see if I could sit on the commode and regain a standing position without out any help. Having mastered that we walked to a bathtub to insure that I could get in and out without hurting myself. All that done I returned to my room as sat in a chair and read for a while.
Then it was back to bed for dinner and some restless sleep. I seemed to be getting harder to find a comfortable position and changing position was getting pretty painful.

Day 4: Saturday May 15, 2010. Go Home Day. After Breakfast I went to the bathroom by myself and sat and read some laid in the bed some and in the late morning the PT (a guy this time) came and put a strap around my waist and accompanied me to the stairwell where he had me climb a flight of stairs and then descend them again. Going up and down stairs was actually more comfortable that walking which seemed to be getting more painful by the day. Around 11:00 AM I walked out of the hospital. This was a longer walk that I had done before and I was pretty sore by the time I got to the car. We went to some friends for the afternoon and visited but I was getting up and down regularly and walking around some. By evening I was exhausted.

Day 5: Sunday May 16, 2010. Woke up felling pretty well. I had a pretty good nights sleep in between turning over to get comfortable which continued to get harder to do. Accompanied my wife to the store in the morning a lazed around the house for the rest of the day.

Day 6: Monday May 17, 2010. Silly me I thought I would be able to return to work today. I had a terrible nights sleep could not get comfortable so I found a pillow to sit on and worked from home.

Day 7: Tuesday May 18, 2010. Same as yesterday

Day 8: Wednesday May 19, 2010. – Physical Therapist came to the house to evaluate my condition. She determined that I am too mobile to qualify for in home physical therapy so I must get the name of a Physical Therapy Office to get my physical therapy.

Day 8 – 17 Every Day seems to be pretty much like the day before. Walking is painful. I find that I must get up at least once every hour ad move around for 5 minutes or so to keep from getting too stiff to move. I am getting a little discourage that there does not seem to be any progress but the doctor says that this is normal. I returned to work on Tuesday May 25 but the walk from the car to my desk was not easy. And every time I get up from my desk my hips hurt but the pain diminishes after I take a few steps. I am beginning to wonder how long this will go on. My nights seem to be getting more restless as I have muscle irritation everywhere in my legs, Quads, Hamstrings and Calves.

Day 18 - 21 – Walking is finally getting to be less painful and I begin to use the stairs at work but only one at a time instead of my usual 2. My nights are still very restless.

Day 22 June 2, 2010 – Physical Therapy Session #1. Therapist seems pleased at my general state of being. He has me do some light exercises to help start strengthening the muscles that stabilize the hips. I not experiencing much pain so we scheduled another session for Friday.

More to come soon.


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is important to discuss this type of issue. This Trust can offer advice. Hip Replacement Surgery

  2. I am in day 6 of my bilateral anterior thr. I was struck by how much more you were able to do than I was in the first few days. Such as get in and out of tub or walk with just a cane. I have yet to take two steps without my crutches! I am 55 male 6.2" 255lbs so you have a huge weight advantage over me.

    I am concerned about the swlling in my legs. I feel like they have 10 pounds of fluid in them! How will it subside? I hear it might take 2 weeks.

    I also haven't had a bowel movement yet, despite taking Ducolax. Feels like a log-jam inside of me! I will try some diet coke later, I have read this has worked for others.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. I had a replacement five and 1/2 weeks ago and it still feels like I have a board in the side of my hip when walking and sitting. It hurts to sit for very long.

    Has anyone else had problems sitting?

  4. This is really great information found here, I really like your blog. Thanks very much for the share. Keep posting.
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  5. so.....What happened...???????.

    I just started week 6 today....last couple days have been a great improvement, and really was the first improvement.

    The first 5 weeks have been rough....

    Advice, take it real easy the first 10 days and ice ice

    Get off the dope as soon as you can....stick to alieve and tylenol, the dope doesn't get rid of all the pain so don't fall for it.....terrible poison.

    chill out

    Good luck

  6. I am scheduled for anterior hip replacement in February. Had to postpone surgery because I developed 2 bleeding ulcers from all the NSAIDS I was taking. Surgeon said this is an easy surgery with no rehab. This blog seems to tell me otherwise. I am a 74 year old female, 5ft 5in, 200lbs.

  7. Very informative Post and thanks for sharing information Hipreplacement surgery. Really it is very helpful for the patient.
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