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Total Hip Replacement Surgery: A Survivor's Guide



The Prelude

Since my early 40's, I have had curious aches and pains in my legs . Still relatively young, I ignored these annoyances and continued on with raising a child. After years of avoidance, I decided to visit my general practitioner, curious as to the cause. I was given anti-inflammatory medications, pills for restless-leg syndrome, and other biologics too numerous to recall. My legs felt 'heavy' when attempting to sit in chairs and automobiles. My physician theorized at first that perhaps I was suffering from fibromyalgia, a non-specific pain disorder, but was not willing to medicate that condition until I visited a neurologist. So off I went. My entire body ached with each step I managed to take.

The neurologist found no nerve damage, however he administered some of the most painful tests I have ever endured. Electric shocks to the legs are not recommended! My neurologist's office was joined with one of an orthopedist, and the next step was to X-ray my aching body to find the source of this mystery pain. By this time I was exhausted and frustrated with the entire medical community, quite sure they had missed something. I felt as though I was being handed off from one doctor to another, with no one able to diagnose me.

The leg-heaviness and overall fatigue I felt were beginning to frighten me, I often thought of Multiple Sclerosis: I was full of hypotheses, but none of them prepared me for my final diagnosis.



A genial man, my orthopedist walked through the door of my examination room with my X-ray in hand, and proclaimed, "I imagine you've got some pretty sore hips, there." Showing me the films taken of my hips, the doctor pointed out that I had no cartilage left, which cushions the bones. The doctor reported that both hips were in poor condition, but did not recommend surgery on both at once. Since my left side was the most troublesome, we agreed that that would be the first procedure.

As we spoke, it slowly began to dawn on me that he was suggesting major surgery to correct my condition. Admittedly, I was relieved to finally have an answer, but an operation? To be honest, I don't believe I heard much of what he said-I was in a state of shock. I had heard of such operations performed on much older people, but at 52, I had no earthly idea that cartilage could wear out so quickly. My only experience with the scalpel had been to have a Cesarean Section when my son was born 21 years earlier, and that surgery was clearly not elective. I did some research into the matter and found that genetic factors can cause such joint deterioration. In fact I found many-older-relatives that have had 2 and 3 of these operations-I had simply not known of their individual histories.

In the System

After talking it over with my husband, I scheduled my next appointment with the surgeon. The decision to have the operation was a troublesome one, however the pain was excruciating and I was willing to put my trust in the orthopedist.

I was diagnosed at the end of May 2009, and the surgery was scheduled for July 29th. In the interim, I became a participant in a most thorough and detailed medical procedure-actually a process with which I had to comply in order to be healthy enough for such an invasive procedure. Eight weeks prior to the operation, both the surgeon's office and I had to contact my insurance company to be certain of adequate coverage. That was a major hurdle since this surgery is considered elective. Multiple laboratory tests and pre-op health evaluations were performed at this stage as well.

My most difficult task I faced was to quit smoking, which was required six weeks before the procedure. A lifetime smoker, this was something I did not think was possible. One morning, a Wednesday in June, I simply stopped. I imagine that the information I had been given on oxygenation and healing rates frightened me, and I miraculously followed directions.

To the Hospital

From the time I quit smoking until the actual procedure, my life was focused categorically on my overall health. I put myself in the hands of the staff at the hospital where I was to have the operation performed with, perhaps naïve, trust. I was lucky to be in competent, caring and capable hands every step of the way. Seven days before the surgery, the nursing staff warned me against taking any over-the-counter medications that could increase bleeding. The night before the operation, I was instructed to wash the area with an antibacterial soap. As I did so, I said a mournful 'good-bye' to my original bone.

I was not exactly afraid that morning, I was committed and ready. My husband and I arrived at 5:30 a.m. that day and found the waiting room entirely empty. I was admitted and the surgical nurse came out and called my name, which of course wasn't necessary, and there was a certain ease and humor about her that calmed me for the moment. The nurse then proceeded to carefully prepare me for the imagined ordeal, thankfully administering some Valium to calm me. I vaguely recall being wheeled into the operating room, speaking a bit with the anesthesiologist, and then, nothing.



When I woke from my operation, I was a bit hazy at first, then absolutely ravenous. I learned later that hunger was a common reaction after such a procedure. I was not aware that anything had gone on at all. Only my husband's face looking down at me with concern reminded me of what had transpired. I was dumbfounded to find that I had been in the operating room over 3 hours, since I now felt fabulous. That's right, fabulous. After replacing my natural bone with my new bionic parts, the surgeon had placed long-acting (18 hours) pain medication directly into my spinal column.

The next day came, the initial 'high' wore off, and I was required to walk. Just a few steps, mind you, but the simple task of moving was of paramount importance to my recovery. Lifting my left leg off of the bed was harrowing, though of course other narcotics were dispensed. Physical therapists were there to help me re-learn my new body, and they did their jobs with skill and compassion. The charge nursing staff was a picture of caring and efficiency, tending to my every need with impressive speed and genuine kindness.

I was released from the hospital on the third day with trepidation, but my attentive husband cared for me with love. Now, 2 1/2 months later, I consider my new hip to be a gift. It took me a number of weeks to learn to walk again without a limp, but recently my husband pointed out that I was walking just like I did before.

My right hip is now giving me trouble, however I will not go blindly into the same situation if I decide to have another operation.

I don't regret a thing.

Scroll to Continue


Vickie on May 18, 2019:

Had total right hip had anterior up same day home same day.

Carla on September 12, 2018:

I'm going for a hip replacement also I'm 62 and I to have gone for years of pain everything. You wrote I too have been through, only I also have spine problems and neck , degenerated disk disease I have had 15 surgeries related to

Muscle , ligament, and bone problems arthritis in the center of it all .. .....The doctors have all said we can't find a reason or maybe it's all in your head ,,, or stop doing your work , at the time I cleaned houses and then was a custodian in schools they said that could be why I was hurting myself... now reading you story, has helped me see what it truly is. Thank you,

Bobbyd on August 05, 2018:

Why did my doctor miss all of this on the X-ray why he don't want to take care of me no more why do he just referred me to someone else. But turning me over to collection

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on April 27, 2016:

Before making any decisions Amy, I would recommend that you have x-rays done on your hips (both) to determine the severity of your condition. From what you describe, your situation sounds pretty unbearable. After all the tests I endured to find my final diagnosis, the x-rays told the most of all. What I learned was that my pain was that my cartiledge was virtually missing between my bones, causing the 'condition' called bone-on-bone pain. That was the turning point for me. Amy, please get back to me about your progress-and just letting you know, at 59, I feel like I am a teenager again! All my best, Laurel

Amy on April 27, 2016:

Thank you for your post. I am 43 with developmental hip dysplasia. I was unaware of my special hips until hey began hurting after running or lifting weights on leg days. I have obviously stopped running and lifting. I tried yoga, but so many positions were too painful to attempt. My doctor told me I would eventually need my hip replaced, but should try other things as long as possible. I take daily meloxicam and it helps a LOT. Relatively pain free for walking at work, but hikes, Zumba, tennis, I would never attempt. Long story short, I can't decide when to have the surgery. My doctor said if I called him tmrw he would give me the go ahead, but that it's my decision to make. Should I wait until the pain is unbearable? Scared and indecisive here. Any advice? Thank you.

Pharmc963 on April 05, 2014:

I really like your writing style, excellent info, thank you for putting up badkeab

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 21, 2013:

aos-haha! Good to see you again and ty for reminding me of 'Hair', though I'm losing mine as well...

I'm going to visit that website right now,

Take good care,


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 21, 2013:

GClark-by Gawd, 2 hips at once? You've more gumption than I do-and more than my surgeon recommended...though I'm not sure if both were equally deteriorated in '09. You must be a true trooper as a cancer survivor-many congrats.

I did have my 2nd surgery in March of '12, and I am also quite grateful that I had the courage to do it again, though the second hip is not as comfortable as the first. I had to go with a different doctor since the first moved to Florida-who used a different 'route' to the hip, and I think this was not a beneficial choice. What do I know, though? I'm no surgeon!

PT was the best both times-

Glad you came by,


Abundant Old Soul from united states on May 19, 2013:


I am even thnking of growing my hair and becoming a real hippie! OOPS, I already am.

Peace be with you.

see me at

GClark on May 19, 2013:

I recently had bilateral hips done 3/26/13. I am currently 7 weeks post op. Best decision I ever made. I found the pain minimal and very manageable throughout process. I had extensive abdominal surgery 12 weeks prior to the hips and was not able to prepare as I would have liked to meaning I was deconditioned. I am doing things now that could not do before such as putting on my socks getting on a bike etc. I had moderate to sever pain in both hips and back prior to surgery it was more less disabling. I am a cancer survivor and no stranger to surgery. Don't be afraid of this procedure if you need it get it done and live your life. Work hard in PT and you will do well!! I finally have my life back after years of dehabilitating pain and you can too!!!!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on April 29, 2013:

Hey Aos! What a marvelous story(ies) ;) 27 holes? By gawd you're a magic man! CONGRATS on the marathon-you must've had one helluva surgeon...

Don't know if I can possibly top this, but I had my second replacement in March of '12 and just got married on April Fool's day to my first husband (divorced in '90)...;) AND we're going on our Anniversary/Honeymoon in June.

To Yosemite!!!!

Hippies rule,

Take the best of care,


Abundant Old Soul from united states on April 26, 2013:

Don't Give up!

I am a hippie as well and I have to say that it was a scary thing for me to go through. After my operation the doctor told me about the importance of the rehab. I can only scream, "He Was Right!" I spent weeks, months in the swimming pool at the YMCA.

I started walking as a way to rehab. The result was that I took up golfing. I now golf 9-27 holes a day. I only work enough to pay for my golf membership! Did I mention that this operation got me thinking about the idea that I could get used to being retired? As a former marathon runner, I was scared about the new life I would live. Bottom line- I walked a half marathon in September. I am training for my next one. Peace be with you!!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on February 22, 2013:

Thanks so much for coming by, theBEC88. I also have RLS, but treat it with 'Requip'. Hopefully yours will improve!

Yep, it is crazy how many of us suffer from this ailment at such a young age...people are often surprised!

Take good care,


theBEC88 on February 19, 2013:

I've just come home from the hospital with my 1st of 2 replacements. I don't know if any of y'all have or had problems with Restless Leg Syndrome. Unfortunately, I did before and they're worse now- at least tonight! Finally think I'm getting to sleep. The pain from the still horrible hip is light years worse than the new one and thank God for it! I've decided to name my hips The Agony and The Ecstasy, for the foreseeable. Future. Thanks for your article! Just blows my mind how so many of us are in our 50s and facing this. Too young to be this old.

Take Care, think I can finally sleep.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on December 08, 2012:

Congrats to your friend, Louisa-it's amazing to feel almost 29 again. As to your question about the abuse, certainly, I was. And still am. As 'they' say, however, it's always one day at a time and I am succeeding so far!

Thanks so much for the visit and the votes.


Louisa Rogers from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico on December 07, 2012:

As usual from you, this was a very clear explanation of what happened and what to expect. A friend of mine is also experiencing the joy of pain-free walking after her hip surgery. One question I had: given your history of drug use, and the fact that the morphine helped so much, were you afraid at all that you'd become addicted to pain medication? I've read that pain meds can be highly addictive. Voted up and useful.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on October 24, 2012:

Hi Sam,

I enjoyed reading the link you provided-it sounds like a very caring and efficient hospital. I would love to offer advice/recommendations to you, but first I'd need to know more about your individual situation. Write again about how you are, and I'll certainly be here!


Sam H on October 24, 2012:

Hi Lorlie, I have been recommended to visit a hospital for a hip analysis and possible replacement, but just wanted to ask if you have any advice/recommendations yourself?

The website page for the hospital is:

Please get back to me!


Sam H

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on October 16, 2012:

Hi Nancy,

Isn't it bizarre to have such medical problems at our age? I thought we were too young for these things...aren't bad hips for those geezers in their 70's??

I was a tad younger than you are with my first in '09, but not by much. Not really sure what I was worried about the most, probably never waking up!!

Seriously, though, the infection risks are extremely minimal these days-use your 'wash' the night before, of course-the medical community is incredibly experienced with potential problems, but I do understand your concern! Of course, it all depends on your doctors and facilities...but you don't sound too very concerned.

You know, reading over this first experience reminds me what an easy thing I had overall, compared to the second one-NO infection, read what happened this March in a 3 part series (not self-promotion, it is simply a long story...)-the first link's here:

Now that was an adventure I never wish to repeat, but to comfort you, there was nothing wrong, just poor judgements/calls which didn't hurt me, but truly inconvenienced me and my family. And, to be frank, p*ssed us off to no end!!!

About the feels like...nothing. I feel amazing. Even after the first. My problem was that the natural hip I was left with became really bad since I began feeling too confident after the initial surgery to the other-and did too much. It went downhill fast, but I was too chicken, I suppose, to go thru the recovery again.

Recovery is no picnic, obviously. But, Nancy, it's doable and worth it. Really. Take advantage of all the therapies they offer-it has changed my life.

I'll think of you and hope you return to let me know how it went, how you're doing, etc.


nancy hill on October 16, 2012:

Wow..this is a great hub.i am 54and having my right hip replaced in December. I need both replaced but i am so nervous about doing biggest fear is infection...and whether the titanium hip will

feel like my own....

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on September 03, 2012:

Your poor hubby! Dang, what an ordeal for the both of you. I was never in a wheelchair, though. The walker was immediately needed, cane later-I suppose I was extremely lucky!

I don't have screws, but titanium and ceramic in both hips...but feel much better.

Great to meet you, too Deborah.


Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on September 03, 2012:

wow what a great hub.. My husband had a motorcycle accident this past Jan. it was touch and go we didn't know if he would ever walk again. his whole right side of his body was so badly damaged, He was in so much pain he was in the hospital for a month... day one they schedule surgery to repair his right arm.. he almost has a new arm full of bolts and looks like big screws etc. and then 2 days later the doctors were doing a new hip replacement. he was in a wheel chair for 4 months.. then he graduated to a walker and now he is walking and working out almost every day.. it is amazing.. the pain has been horrible but things have turned around. He is doing good. thank you for such a great hub

Nice to meet you


samh on August 10, 2012:

Wow! Love the way you have written this - Last year I went for a hip replacement at at and luckily I had no complications :-D x

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on July 31, 2012:

marciacd-I'm really glad you liked my account of this first hip replacement-I've now had 2, the last one this March 14th. Doing well!

I know a few Dwayne's here in Bishop, but if you give me his last name, I could look him up if you'd like!

Take care and thanks for visiting.


Rabooshka-I hope you don't mind, but I think you need a 2nd opinion-considering all the stuff you're going through. I don't know if they allow that in the U.K., but your doc doesn't seem to get all the issues you're dealing with-your child, limp-which makes it hard (!) to parent, the pain, your COPD, exhaustion, etc....

Don't let this fixable situation mess up your lifelong relationship with your child!!! ;):) I really understand,'s really difficult. All of it.

I hope you have a chance to read my hubs on my second surgery-it really opened my eyes!

Take care,


Rabooshka on July 28, 2012:

Ps that would be Hip Not Hop! The Zomorph also makes me confused, forgetfull and the disophonia I have is much worse. Ahhhh! I've had quite enough! would rather the pain of healing after an op than to have all this palava!!!

Rabooshka on July 28, 2012:

Hi all, I am in desperate need of a full hop replacement. I am (was) feeling very hesitant altought wanting of one until I read this post. Thankyou, it has put my mind at ease somewhat! My doctor prescribed me Zomorph ( slow release) He doesn't want me to go for an op because of my age, I'm 34. A single parent. Am finding the side effects increasingly difficult. I feel I am just exsisting. I have Arthirits in my left hip with no cartilidge and a big limp. I am from the U.K and with the reccesion it's no wonder they are holding back. I feel very lucky to have the N.H.S as they have helped me manage my COPD. I have looked into paying privately but this is too much @ around £18,000. I feel tired and have insomnia/constipation, headaches. I feel this is starting to affect my son as I cannot do the things we used to although I try to stay positve most of the time it's becoming a real struggle. If anyone would have any ideas on how to better manage my situation or who I could contact to get the ball rolling I would be most appreciated.

marciagd on July 28, 2012:

I am waiting for total hip surgery in Sept & reading lots on the internet. I appreciate your account, without hysteria & horror stories. I don't need that. I noticed that you are in Bishop, CA. My BIL, Dwayne, lives there. His wife Dolores, recently passed away. It's a small town, so it's a possibility that you might know of them :) Thank you for the information & for "keepin' it real"!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on June 14, 2012:

Hi, sameer-good to see you again. I can't tell if you're asking me a question, but if you are, then yes, you will be able to do everything as well as before-or even better!

At least that's how I am now.

Let me know, I understand how scary the whole thing can be-especially the pain.


sameer shinde on June 14, 2012:

After surgery can i walk & work without any pain as before.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on June 14, 2012:

My dearest Claire,

I am terribly ashamed that I've not yet replied to your 2 comments before today. I really have no excuse, other than the craziness of life in general, and that I've not been on HP recently-I'm working on a new website and haven't been doing much else. So, Claire, I apologize.

Your first comment brought actual tears to my eyes and I regret I wasn't there for you at the time you really needed someone! People are saying that you will appreciate the pain? BS! Excuse me, but I have never appreciated any pain in my life, and the pain of my 2 hip surgeries are not 'appreciated' in the least! I understand that pain is part of the process, and 'worth it', as you said, but it's not something to be 'thankful' for, you know?

I was so happy to read the second comment-relieved, really.

Pain medications can make ALL the difference in recovery, don't I know it!

I'm so proud that you had the courage to tell the doctor about your condition so soon after the operation, and that he actually listened and changed the meds. That's one rare sort of physician, I think! And then you went out? What a gal; I'll bet that seemed the grandest meal and shopping trip of your entire life!

Claire, I would honestly like to continue communicating with you, if you'd like. There's a place on my profile that says 'Contact lorlie6', and if you'd like to, send me a letter/note, and we can continue to discuss these war stories of ours! I just had my 2nd hip 'done' and am coming along well, not as well as the first one, but am going to physical therapy to help with some ongoing pain...long story.

Well, I am crossing my fingers that you'll be back and see this, since I can't possibly find you from the information I have here, all I know is your first name, of course.

Bless you and keep looking toward that future of yours!

It's going to be awesome, I'll bet.



claireI on June 11, 2012:

Just a little update for you, I finally turned the corner last Wednesday, 8 days after surgery. I had a visit from my doctor who changed the pain medication I was taking. Since then everything changed and I can say i feel completely like myself again. I have even ventured out for dinner with my family and went to the local shopping mall in a wheelchair!! I cannot believe the change in me, I can now feel more positive. Now I can finally appreciate all the pain was worth it, my hip joint is moving so much easier than previously, there is still some pain along the outside of my leg around the wound area but this is improving daily. I am sorry if my previous post was scary, I can now confirm that I feel great about the future.

claire on June 04, 2012:

hello,I had my surgery last Tuesday so nearly a week ago. It's been really tough I can tell you, I came out of hospital on Saturday. There have been plenty of tears and I'm currently feeling very low. I am trying to avoid the strong painkillers as they make me feel so ill. just taking paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine. The first afternoon I came home I went to the toilet and the raised seat slipped slightly, the pain felt was awful. I'm sure I didn't dislocate but have jarred the area further for sure. I have been using 2 walking sticks to help with walking. This is so hard, my blood pressure is fairly low so as soon as I stand I'm light headed then can start walking. Painfull at first, i'ts not long before I want to sit down again. The physio has given me different exercises to do and I'm trying to maintain these. The way I feel is "why the hell did I do this" all I can see at the moment is pain and inconvenience. I hate the leg stockings but understand the importance. I am having to inject the blood thinners every day for the next 3 weeks. It is so hard having to depend on others, my husband is making me try myself a bit, he isn't the best nurse!! All I want at the moment is some sympathy and love, not quite feeling it though!! I am feeling very sorry for myself and hate that. Cannot believe it's a week tomorrow since surgery, I don't feel much better than the first day. All I am hearing from everybody is it will get better and you will appreciate the pain!! No pain no gain!! I want it all to just go away, I need a time capsule to transport me to a good place in a few months time. My appetite has died along with my ability to open my bowels!!!!!! I hope this post doesn't put anyone off but I can only speak about how I feel. I must keep saying onwards and upwards but it feels a bit fake at the moment. Here in the UK everyone is gripped by the Jubilee weekend, I really couldn't care less!!!!!!! There isn't much to make my feel happy at the moment :(

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on June 01, 2012:

Sameer, I have absolutely no idea what you should do, although I wish I did with all my heart. Is there a social services organization in your country that might help address your situation?

Perhaps the Red Cross should be notified by you or your family-even employer-since TB damaged your hip, and since you are the breadwinner in your family, the state should assume some of the responsibility.

I realize our countries are quite dis-similar, yet are idealogically quite similar.

All my best, sameer, do let me know, please.

Fight for yourself and your family, and try to think of this thing in a way you've never thought before!! ;)


sameer shinde on June 01, 2012:

I am the only source of income in my family,And i have my small bay 8 months,guide me wht to do.

sameer shinde on June 01, 2012:


I am sameer from the age 28,Dr.suggest me to right replacement right hip is damage because TUBERCULOSIS in right hip.plz suggest me wht to do.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 17, 2012:

It's amazing, Pamela! The dr. prescribed physical therapy, so I've also lost weight and gained muscle that I never knew I had. I'm feeling fabulous these days and am grateful that I did consult that first physician in the first place!



Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 17, 2012:

Lorlie, I'm glad to know you are through with the surgeries even if you are still smoking. Walking without pain be a welcome relief, I'm sure. Thanks.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 17, 2012:

Hi Pamela-

Well, I did have the 2nd hip replaced around 8 weeks ago, but haven't quit-yet! I am determined, now that I can walk again pain-almost-free!

I'm sorry you're not feeling all that well, but when you're ready, that'll be the time to check it out.

Take great care and thanks for commenting.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 17, 2012:

This a very good article that explains everything you endured during that time. I am having some of those symptoms also but I haven't seen a doctor since I still consider the pain tolerable. I know this hub was written a while ago, so I wonder if you quit smoking again for the right hip surgery. Thanks for some great information.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 16, 2012:

I'm afraid I don't, Avera, but put that question in HubPages Forums and I'm pretty sure you'll get some answers. All you have to do is sign up-free-and ask!

People are very friendly and helpful there, promise.

Best regards,


Avera on May 16, 2012:

I night need THR and I'm extremely low income but there is ten thou in the bank....and will apply for "charity" assistance but I am very afraid of all the other fees (outside of procedure itself which will be covered by Medicare and maybe the "charity")...which could cost me more than I have. Does anyone have experience with this?

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 16, 2012:

Claire, If you do happen to return here to read my comment, leave me your email address and I'll be happy to 'walk you through' this whole process.

This goes for anyone else who happens to read this-I am here and have gone through this thing twice! They were totally different experiences, and I've been there, that's really the truth!!


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 16, 2012:

Hi Claire-

Wow, 43? I was 51 when I had my first one, and still considered young! You are REALLY young.

Hey, recovery's kind of a bitch (excuse my 'French') because you don't know what to expect. It's no fun, that's for sure, but you'll make it, I can tell just from this comment you left.

You seem like a strong woman, Claire, and I'm glad you came and read this, finding it helpful.

I wish you the very, very best and hope all goes well!

If you come back and read this, please also read Don't get scared by the title, because everything went fine in the end, but it was sort of scary during the whole 5 days!

Good Vibes-and Prayers-Comin' Your Way!


PS: Please know that I have survived, and survived well, 2 of these surgeries and have lost weight and gotten stronger through physical therapy.

It CAN work!


Claire on May 16, 2012:

I am having a full right hip replacement, I am only 43 so considered young!! I know i'm having a ceramic hip, I started having really bad lower back pain and then developed a pain in my groin area. After having an MRI is showed I had bone on bone caused by arthritis, most probably from a trauma injury. I did hurt my knee and jar my hip about 16 plus years ago. I am a bit frightened about the recovery after and not looking forward to that part! When the consultant went through the dangers involved with regards blood clots, infection that did worry me. I have to remain positive, only 13 days until the operation, I've been a bit grumpy with my family!! My back pain is terrible, I really suffer and can't take any pain killers that cause drowsiness. I am still working but do struggle walking around. I had to see the doctor this morning and she prescribed some muscle relaxants. Not sure whether to have a couple of days off work to allow them to help but feel really guilty as I will be off for about 8 weeks. Reading your experience has helped, I will try and remain positive and listen to the surgeons advice and follow instructions, I'm not very good at resting!! Thanks.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on May 08, 2012:

Wow, mick, what an ordeal you have gone through! Your story did not put me off at all-I had the other hip done around 7+ weeks ago and am feeling great. I'm running after my 19 month old grandson and will soon be buying a bicycle. A dream for me!

Thanks for sharing-I'm glad you're better now-but what an experience!

Thanks for commenting.

mick on April 13, 2012:

i was 40 when i had my total right hip replacement. it sounds a million miles away from my experience.

i had a epidural under sedation.

when coming round back on the ward, i started being violently sick, i was in agony with that wedge inbetween my legs. i also have 9 discs gone in my back, and normaly find it very hard to lay on my back. oramorph gave a little bit of relief through the night.

next day i was in total agony and needed morphine injections.

on the ward there were men ranging from 60- 80 years old all sat up and recovering well, and there was me feeling like i was going to die.

on the third day after the operation, i was wheeled to the toilet by a student nurse, i hadn't had a wee since the operation, so i was left to have a wee, i felt faint, very weak and had to hold on to one of the pipes on the toilet. then the canular decided to pop out of my hand as blood sprayed all over the walls.

the wife came that dinner, i said i'm not going to get out of here.

then 2 o'clock in the morning a doctor came to me and said i want you to drink as much fluid as you can possibly drink.

next morning bags of blood appeared. 3 pints of blood in to me.

the difference i felt after that blood was amazing, i caught up with the older men and was released 5 days after the operation. the pain that you can't explain to anyone had gone, but 2 years later it still aches, especially in cold weather.

now got to go for an xray on the other hip, and i can say i'm not looking forward to the results.

dont let my story put you off though, because the pain that i couldn't explain to anyone has gone.

grinnin1 from st louis,mo on April 05, 2012:

What an amazing and courageous story! Thank you for pointing the way. Back and hip issues are so complicated and so difficult to find out what your dealing with in the first place. I applaud you for keeping at it and being your own advocate. You asked about yoga;I have a yoga dvd that I do called vinyoga therapy for lower back, sacrum and hips. It is slow, gently, focused on breathing and release more than anything. The link is in my hub Healing and getting your life back without surgery .The youtube introduction and samples of the video can be found here

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on March 30, 2012:

Hi Lorraine-well, I had my rt hip operation 15 days ago and I do NOT have any pain there, only in my rt knee if I 'overdo' it, you know, do too much. So, I would recommend that you see your surgeon soon!

All the best


Lorraine on March 29, 2012:

Hie i like yo post had THR on my rt hip 3wks ago everything seemed fine till my total i'm still using clutches but wen i walk i feel the old hip pain is that normal pliz mail me my addres is

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on March 28, 2012:

Hi Sheila-That's a new one, for sure! However, my right knee became terribly painful before I had the right hip operation-and now, there's no pain at all in said knee. Lower back, also.

I sure hope you find out this may be 'referred pain'-that's what docs call pain that is 'tranferred' from the truly affected area to another, 'innocent' place.

All my best and let me know, okay?

Sheila on March 27, 2012:

Right hip has been very painful for three months . Dr. thinks it is the other hip that is the trouble. Is this possible? thanks

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on March 02, 2012:

I KNOW! But tis the genetic gift of the clan... Yep, the 'ball' and 'spike' are going to be titanium and ceramic-or some specific metal. Not sure yet. Hmm, I've never heard of hip nailing. The very idea of breaking one of these babies gives me the willies, rmcrayne-you dirty rat! ;);)

Anyhow, thanks, my friend, for stopping by!

rmcrayne from San Antonio Texas on March 02, 2012:

Wow, pretty freaky to need a THA at such an early age. But a much better diagnosis than MS!! I noticed comments above, and yes, part of the bone is removed. See your image above, and on your recent hub. They remove your femoral head in order to "replace" it with the new prosthetic one, hence "hip replacement". This is different from "hip nailing" which is often done after a broken hip.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on February 11, 2012:

I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time, debra. In my case, as in many/most that I know of, total hip replacement doesn't mean removing the hip joint actually, it is rather a 'repairing' of the cartilege that has degenerated between the bones. The titanium and ceramic 'joint' is simply a prosthesis they place in your hip to replace the degenerated bones. I am NOT a doctor and am sure this is a layman's concept of this procedure, but it has worked wonders for me.

Perhaps they have an alternative to titanium for your allergy? I hope so and wish you the best.

debra townsend on February 09, 2012:

i have to have my hip taken out.i have a very bad infection,that is not going to go trhere solution is to take out my hip.they think I am alergic to the titanium.I want to know how you walk without your hip jiont?

how-to-make from India on January 31, 2012:

total hip replacement surgery is very difficult but works as a boon for those who are in trouble. Really a great hub.Thanks for sharing.

Smiles on January 22, 2012:

I has a total hip replacement at the age of 33. I actuallu had the surgery on my 33rd birthday. I broke it in three places and dislocated when I was 17. I had to go to three doctors before one whould do the replacement, because of my age. They had me on so many meds to control the nerves and pain. At the time I had a two year old and was missing out on the fun things in her life. I was fortunate to find a wonderful doctor who did the replacement and I am walking with out a limp for the first time in almost 16 years.

mooboomoo from London on January 16, 2012:

My husband was diagnosed with AVN (bone death) at the age of 37 and tomorrow he is having his second hip replaced. The first one was done 4 months ago and is doing well but he can't get it fully working again until he can stand on both legs. We are optimistic and realistic and hope that this will be a return to normal life for us both after 2 1/2 years of misery. Thanks for sharing your story, THR's are a very strange thing to be confronted with, especially when young (it seems that they are normally the reserve of the elderly), but they can give you your life back as I hope these new bionic hips will give ours back. We cant wait to go on holiday just to walk through the metal detectors :)

freakin51 on December 02, 2011:

Thanks for calming me down!!!I think, anyway.I just turned 51 and have had hip pain for as long as I can remember.Being a fork-lift heavy equipment driver for 25 yrs, I have always been rather independent.Luckily I have a good Dr, and a great guy, I am POSITIVE I will be ok......just nice to know others have survived it!! Thanks so much for being there!!!!!2 wks till s-day!!!!!shhhhh

depuyrecall1 from New York on October 27, 2011:

Thanks for posting an article on hip replacement on a step by step basis. This way, one can fully understand what to expect in each stage. Hip devices are now being investigated after research show that the MoM design places patient at risk for developing metallosis. Patients in here are complaining of complications shortly after the procedure.

sacorb3711 on September 20, 2011:

i am scheduled for a replacement in 2 weeks and am scared shitless.

margaret rustand on September 07, 2011:

Had my hip operated on a month ago .I can walk with out a limp for the first time in years. The pain is gone and I feel so much better . I was told to use a walker for three months and a cane afyer that .They got me out of bed a few hours after my operation and encouraged me to walk .By the way I am a Canadian so had no worries aboutcoverage

Imran on September 05, 2011:

During the procedure of hip replacement surgery, the femoral head is removed. The femoral head is the top part of the thigh bone which is rounded so the leg can maneuver. This is replaced with an almost complete metal (usually aluminium) ball. It is then attached to a metal stem, which fits onto the remaining thighbone. A doctor will then drill into the socket of the hip and clean out an area to install a metal cup. Hip replacement surgery in Germany

Sylvia on August 19, 2011:

Hi All. I am 3months from my op.Walking without crutches but still need one when going out shopping/OR BODY TIRED by end of day.I am 64years. It interested me in your description of "heavy" feel to your legs, where we in Nz or Australia would say"stiffness". Feels hard to get going for about 30secs.

Also the weather affects that. You know cold versus warmth. I am in Australia where there is lots of blue sky and warmth and my health has greatly improved here, including a lot less asthma.

Can I encourage you to stay off smoking. Honestly it could make a huge difference to your recovery. You will have all that lovely oxegenated blood pumping around and helping in your healing. Do you recall how hard it is to go through all that effort to quit! Why go through all that again!!!!!!!!!!! Successful-thats who you are NOW. And your Doctor will love you for it.

One thing puzzles me about hip recovery. I read some books to build knowledge for myself[from library]. They were American books and all said that people walked within a few days. No stipulation that phisiotherapists get you up to walk as soon as possible after the op to prevent other complications. I was left wondering if everyone was having miracles over there as one author said he waliked without crutches after two weeks!!!!

My surgeaon said you MUST use two crutches for six weeks to prevent swayback walking.

Of course we all want to get back to normality as soon as so I used one crutch after four weeks and got soundly scolded!

Look after yourselves out there.

Yours hipfully,


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on June 25, 2011:

Okay, HRR, I know that stuff already. I'm not sure if you are a human or something from the Internet, but believe me, I have gone through this before and am hopefully prepared. Surgery is in 2 weeks.

Oh, Hi Nikki G.! Oh, how I wish I could contact you personally! As I wrote in my last comment, I am scheduled for the second surgery in around 12 days-and sooooo scared at the moment-I suppose that's because I've been through it before. Oh, sweet girl, I would not recommend both at once. That's huge. And you are only 41? Wow. Well, it was coming on at that age for me, but I did not pay any attention-thought it was MS or Lupus. I had absolutely no idea-just like you.

Restrictions? I have no idea in terms of skiing or tennis, but my first sugery has turned out awesome(ly?) and I feel I can do most anything...let's see with the next!! All my best to you. Let me know, okay?

Nikki G, Norwich, UK on June 25, 2011:

Really enjoyed your story. I'm 41 and need both hips replacing. That was a major shocker!

My surgeon's recommended having them both done together, but I'm not sure. Recovery on 2 new hips really worries me.

What are the restrictions now you have your new hip? Can you ski, or play tennis?

All best with number 2

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on March 07, 2011:

Hi there, Peg-Your mother sounds like a champ! I really can't imagine having to do the operation 2x!! I'm having one helluva time getting the other hip replaced-I'm pretty chicken about the whole thing.

Thanks for coming by to comment!

zimmer knee lawsuit-I wish the best to you and your dad-the surgery is pretty advanced these days. And he will notice a huge difference as soon as he's ambulatory.

I am grateful I had it done!

Thanks for the read.

zimmer knee lawsuit on March 01, 2011:

My father will undergo a hip replacement this March 14, I am praying that He will be fine. I am afraid cause he smokes often and we had a high-blood family background.

Thanks for this hub.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 24, 2011:

Just dropped in to read this one Lorlie6 and saw that I already did a while back. Anyhow . . . Mom had hip replacement surgery in 2007 to replace the new hip she got in 1992 which wore out after 15 years. They used to have plastic parts that would wear out. Combined with her advanced osteoporosis, the device worked itself loose. I was absolutely amazed at her remarkable recovery at 82 years old. Wonders of the age of technology, and an incredible, wonderful surgeon here in Dallas.

Hope your second hip goes along as nicely. You soon will be the bionic woman. Lots of hugs your way and keep us posted on when. OK?

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on December 24, 2010:

I'm grateful for my new hip, that's for sure! Now I need to face the fact that the other one is giving me trouble: It's time to go into the operating room again.

NOT looking forward to it, but I need to concentrate on the outcome!

Dr irum on December 24, 2010:

I am really impressed your useful informative hub .Thanks to share your great experience with us .

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on December 02, 2010:

At 15?? Wow. I can't imagine having to go through such major surgery at that age. I am truly impressed.

I'm sure it's been a decision you don't regret, though, since hips are such a huge part of growing up!

Thanks so much for coming by to comment.

Take good care.

chris g on December 02, 2010:

i got a hip replacement at the age of 15 and at first i was second guessing myself about getting it but a month after it felt great. my options were a hip replacement and a hip fusion. i chose hip replacement and it was one of the best decisions I've made.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on November 17, 2010:

I've been told that I'm pretty 'out there' before!! ;) Just teasing-enjoy your time here on HP-It's a great community of people, and most don't bite!

Brendan, Rathdrum. on November 17, 2010:

Hi Lorlie 6,

Thank you for your kind words. This is the first

time that I have ever "spoken" to anyone "out there"

And all the best to you too.


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on November 17, 2010:

I thought so, Brendan-not to worry!

Brendan fro Rathdrum, Ireland. on November 17, 2010:

Hi Again,

Should have said THR,for total hip replacement. All the very best to you all.


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on November 17, 2010:

Brendan-Thanks so much for your input, I am also a firm believer in the surgery.

All the best!

Brendan from Rathdrum, Ireland. on November 17, 2010:


I am presently in recovery from my second THP in five years, and would heartly recommend this live enhancing procedure for those still sitting on the Difene etc fence.


Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on November 16, 2010:

LyndaLou-I am so sorry to hear of your problem hip. I so hope your operation is a grand success!

My new hip is absolutely fabulous and I recommend the procedure 100%.

Now I need to screw up my courage to have the other one done. Soon, I hope!

Take good care, and thanks for coming by.

LyndaLou on November 16, 2010:

Have learned a lot from reading these posts. My op on left hip is coming up very soon, my left leg has had a limp since my stroke 7 yrs ago, so when my hip went, I've been in pain all the time.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on October 24, 2010:

I'm so sorry you didn't find this helpful, pam. We all have individual experiences with these procedures and I hope sincerely yours goes well.

pam on October 24, 2010:

The entry at the beginning of these pages from Laura du Toit is the most depressing and negative thing to post on vulnerable people some waiting for operations. Its enough to put you off surgery. I logged into this before my op and couldn't get it off my mind. We all know we have to keep fit after but dont want to read that thanks.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on September 19, 2010:

I so agree with you, Debbie! If only I had your gumption-I'm experiencing that fear of having the other one done at the moment. I know I'll get over it as soon as it gets as painful as the first, but it hasn't yet.

You go, girl!

Thanks for stopping by!

DEBBIE ROBERTS on September 18, 2010:

I had my left hip replaced June23, 2010. I had been in excruciating pain for 8 months! I had walked in pain and with a limp for 3 years! The day of surgery they told me that my right hip was bad about depressing, but I was shocked at how good I felt after surgery. No pain, almost instantly I could walk without pain! I did Home Therapy for 3 weeks and then went Out-Patient. I could tell almost instantly that my right side was holding me back. I called my surgeon, who I loved, by the way! I had my right hip done Sept. 8th, 11 weeks to the day of my left one! It totally kicked my butt this time, I am on pre-natel vitamins, taking B-12 shots and don't feel as euphoric as last time. The pain is different this time, not actually pain, more like muscle ache. I feel like I have been walking up a mountain! I am doing home therapy again and I am optimistic that I will progress quickly! My advice to anyone considering this, don't wait, just go for it!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on September 15, 2010:

I'm so happy that you enjoyed this, SG! Well, maybe 'enjoyed' is not quite the word I'm looking for, but you know what I mean!

I know exactly what you're saying about the fear factor. I've cancelled my second surgery twice due to this fear. I wish they could've done them both at the same time-I do not want to go through the recovery again, but it's not going to get any better. As my surgeon said on my last visit, "Your hip is shot, Laurel!" No-nonsense kind of guy, that's for sure.

I've heard that knee surgery is far more extreme than hip. Hard to imagine, but it seems reasonable since knees are so much more intricate.

Link away, SG-I'm so pleased that you did!

Take good care, now, and get yourself checked out when and only when you're ready.

SilverGenes on September 15, 2010:

You are awesome! This is a really good account of what was happening for you and what others can expect with surgery. I had about 20% bone loss in one hip about 10 years ago and haven't had it checked since - talk about fear factor! I have such admiration for you. I know of one person who was barely able to walk because of extremely bad knees and after the knee replacements (staggered surgeries for mobility reasons) is now pain free and playing tennis. Being all titanium and ceramic sounds so 21st century :)

Thank you so much for this and if you don't mind, I'd like to link to it from my hub. Link is up now :)

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on August 30, 2010:

I'm glad it was helpful. Google it? I can't, just because I have to do it again, and I get pretty weak in the knees about stuff like this!! :) But I have seen my X-Rays, and they are such a trip! I'm all titanium and ceramic now. Crazy stuff.

Yep, writing from experience is writing what you know, and often love!

Take care.

schoolgirlforreal on August 30, 2010:

This is helpful, thankyou! Now I'll know more about what to expect for my Mom. I'm actually curious to google what the operation entails, but I'd never repeat it to Mom. 2 1/2 months to recover? Not too bad! thanks PS You know as you said in your profile that you write from experience, I do too...So far I think people really appreciate it, and even hubpages says it's best to write from 'experiece' so other hubber identify better. Thanks for writing this story about yours :)

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on August 25, 2010:

Hi Martha! Have you ever thought about writing a hub about your questions? I'd sure like to read it. Well, from my limited knowledge, weight gain once you quit smoking is pretty inevitable, no matter what some stop smoking methods promise. Smoking is, after all, an 'oral fixation,' so eating would be a natural substitute. I quit for 3 months for the first surgery then relapsed, so I have to do that again. NOT looking forward to it at all!

About the materials used, I do know that my left hip is mostly titanium with a ceramic 'cap.' It works beautifully. I really don't know much about other materials-I was in such pain, I simply didn't care!

The 'less invasive' procedures I believe are used if there is some cartiledge left. Both my hips were 'bone on bone,' meaning there was none at all. That also goes to your 3rd question. I did water aerobics pre-op, and also worked as an enumerator for the census, which meant numerous trips in and out of my truck to gather information. Nothing helped, everything hurt even more. I was worried that I had MS because my muscles didn't seem to be getting any stronger-I had no idea it was my hips.

I certainly wouldn't want to be in a car for that long, Martha, but if you need to continue your job, then by all means, be as comfortable as possible. Again, if you write a hub about this, I would really love to see it!

My hesitance is probably a combination of the stopping smoking again and the difficulty of the recovery. Neither are easy. But, I would highly recommend the procedure if your surgeon thinks it is right for you. My newest date for the 2nd one is sometime this Winter.

All the best to you!!!

martha53 on August 25, 2010:


I very much appreciated the details you provided. So much of this needs a good mental attitude, and all these stories help!

I am 56, and have to get both hips done and both shoulders.The hips really started to bother me 2 years ago-limited ability to garden,putting on socks, nylons became a chore. I started an aquatic therapy (cross country skiing motion in chest deep water against the current)and tried to walk more. I knew I had to quit smoking, but I was terrified of the weight gain.It took 6 months to quit completely; I still have 10 pieces of nicotine gum per week. Yes,as my mobility & balance got worse: two canes for support now on my walks, I packed on twenty three pounds. This disgusts me, but fortunately, has not impacted normal glucose, cholesterol or blood pressure.

What I am trying to find out is the following:

1)Does anyone know anything about the different materials used in hip replacements?

2)Has anyone had the experience of 'less invasive" vs. standard surgery-and what is the difference?

3)Has anyone tried doing the post -op therapy exercises PRIOR to surgery? There is not very much written about pre-op therapies except to lose weight and be in the best shape possible.(On 2 canes, that is somewhat of a challenge without specifics.)

4) I work as a self employed technical project analyst , which requires scheduling project timelines with clients. This requires alot of driving, sometimes 5 to 7 hours in one day. Any information about pre-op and post-op posture or techniques would be helpful as well.Recently,I have found that the clearance and seat radius for various mini vans far preferable to sedans when needing a car rental.

Lorlie, I am very interested in your hesitancy to date, to get the 2nd hip replaced.For me, it seems like it has taken me 2 years of financial preparation for what looks like a 2 year timeline for surgeries?

Thanks very much to you and your readers for posting any additional information-stay positive!!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on August 15, 2010:

Dear God, raisingme-what you two have endured. 25 major surgeries? Lord. Sorry about all the cussing, it's just so hard to imagine-I've only had a c-section and this one. Yeah, I think that's why I'm putting it off-the recovery's really bizarre and painful.

Thanks for coming by again!

raisingme from Fraser Valley, British Columbia on August 14, 2010:

In the case of my husband it is difficult to tell. He has had a couple of serious strokes and he had shattered his ankle in a cave in on the same side as the hip replacement almost 20 years ago so 'normal gait' is not in the cards for him. He found the recovery excruciating but recover he did, it is just a matter of sourcing the pain with him as he has it coming at him from all directions. He has been through so much in his life - 25 major surgeries in all so he's a pro!

I can certainly understand your reluctance to go ahead with the second surgery however, it would be much more pleasant to have the thing behind you rather than looming ahead of you.

All the best to you going forward - after all, that's what hips are for!

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on August 14, 2010:

Thanks so much, raisingme! How is he doing? I need to have my other one done one of these days-but I'm putting it off.

Thanks again for stopping by!

raisingme from Fraser Valley, British Columbia on August 13, 2010:

My husband went through this last year. I'm going to share you very well done hub with him.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on July 30, 2010:

It's been a miraculous recovety, Diane Inside. Thanks to the occupational nurses, physical therapists and RN's there to help me.

Loved our chat and love your profession!

Diane Inside on July 30, 2010:

This is very well written, I am and occupational therapy assistant so, It was nice to see it from the patients point of view, glad your doing so well.

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on July 11, 2010:

Double no way! :) I lived on Carson Drive-it's been awhile, but I think I lived behind a McDonald's. How's LOL? Some of my family lived in Lutz-pronounced 'loootz!', of course!

tigertammy from Land O Lakes, Florida on July 11, 2010:

Yes, way! I live in Land O Lakes. It's a small world, isn't it? Where in Land O Lakes did you live?

Laurel Rogers (author) from Bishop, Ca on July 11, 2010:

No way! I lived in Tampa around 15 years ago-in Land O' Lakes. Long story. Anyway, his name is John Perry, MD, and I'm not sure where his practice is going to be. He's here for the rest of July, but I will let you know when I find out!

He's awesome!

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