Sunday, April 6, 2014

First Week Post-Op

Surprisingly, the first few days were easier than I expected.  I was prescribed narcotics and a hefty dose of ibuprofen, but I stopped the narcotics after just 2 days, with essentially no pain transitioning to just the ibuprofen.  (Dr. Keene prescribes the ibuprofen not just for pain, but as a precaution to stop the bone from growing back.  I had to take 2400mg a day for two weeks.)  Going to the bathroom was still challenging, mostly due to the stiffness of my bandages and not being able to bend my leg much.  I was also stuck in compression stockings on both of my legs for a few days. 

Being on crutches was annoying, but not as terrible as it could have been, as I was allowed to be partial weight bearing on my operated leg.  My paperwork said that I would be on crutches for 2-3 weeks. 

I had a few simple PT exercises to do at home for the first week by myself.  Things like ankle pumps and tightening my glutes and quads.  I wouldn't start formal PT until 8 days post-op.  I had read that Dr. Philippon had his patients on the bike with no resistance less than 24 hours after surgery, so that was my plan.  If one of the best hip surgeons in the country had his patients doing it, I'll be damned if I wasn't going to do it too.  My parents were skeptical, but Dr. Keene gave me the okay, so they helped me up on the bike.  I had the option of my mountain bike on a trainer or the stationary bike downstairs.  I chose my normal bike on the trainer.  I definitely needed someone to help me as well as a small stool to get on for a while. My first time was awkward and very difficult to get my operated leg all the way around.  I was very hesitant and doing a full rotation was comically slow.  A good tip is to raise the bike seat as high as possible and don't reach for the handle bars at all.  I held onto the wall next to me for the first few days.  Days one and two I didn't do much spinning; I just oh-so-slowly rotated my leg with the help of the pedals.  Then on the 3rd or 4th day, I could magically pedal like normal (still holding onto the wall.)  Then I really felt like I was getting some good range of motion work in.  Once the bike felt more comfortable, I transitioned to three 10 minute sessions a day.

I spent most of my first week alternating between sitting in my recliner and laying on my stomach on my bed (which you are supposed to do to gently stretch your hip flexors.)  When I was in the recliner, I tried to remember to turn my ice machine on.  I had no swelling that I was aware of.  I think the ice and elevated legs helped with that.  After a few days of sleeping on my back and spending most of my time sitting/laying, my lower back got very achy and painful.  I didn't have any hip pain, but my back acted up for the first week or two.  It didn't start to feel better until I started sleeping on my side and getting up and around more.  I think it was around day 5 or 6 when I started rolling over very carefully to my non-op side with a pillow between my legs to sleep.  I was told I had no sleeping restrictions, but it still made me a little nervous since so many other surgeons make their patients sleep on their backs in these crazy feet booties for up to two weeks.

I took my first shower 3 days post-op and it was utterly exhausting.  I felt more drained afterward than if I had gone for a 20 mile run.  My mom had to help me take off my layers of bandages and then tape me up with Glad Press and Seal over my incisions.  Getting in and out of the tub was challenging as well.  The easiest way I found to take a shower in a standard bathtub was this: Put a stool in the bathroom right next to the tub.  Sit on the stool and have someone help you swing your legs around into the tub.  Stand, shower, use the stool for support to turn around, etc.  When getting out, stay standing in the tub and put the stool outside of the tub.  Sit on the stool and have someone help you swing your legs out of the tub.  Now if you have a nice walk in shower, then you're luckier than me! 

My big outings during my first week were crutching down the street and back for a "walk" and my dad driving me home to my house to get my mail.  It felt so good to go for a drive in the car after being stuck in the house for days!

Excuse me, I believe you stole my spot.

My parents were in charge of walking my dog.

1 comment:

E said...

Awww, your pup is good recovery company!