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Any Advice: Cruise, Work, Covid, Hip Replacement ?


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10 hours ago, tine-tine said:

 

I love that such a complicated operation as the knee allows you to be discharged the next day, who would have thought and I have heard the robotic surgery is supposed to be a much speedier recovery, hopefully that may be available when my time comes.

 

There is nothing quite like personal experience so I am indebted to all your sound knowledge and advice.🙏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿❤️

There are different philosophies about when to get a knee replacement, but doctors are more willing to do the operation while you are younger & can enjoy having better mobility.  Knee surgery is complicated but it pays to have a surgeon who has done it a lot.  It's important to take the drugs so that you can get through the PT(actually that is the toughest part) post-op.  I was still working when I had it done; was out of the office for a couple of months but when I went back, I was riding the Metro to work, avoiding stairs, taking the escalator or elevator, using a cane for stability.  I retired a few months later and then embarked on transitioning from the DC area to Williamsburg, VA where we are living in retirement.  It's a big job to purge your home and get it ready for sale (including painting rooms & getting on a ladder) but I was determined w/ having a new knee!  I still do not do stairs much (due to the other knee now having issues) and I do use a cane when traveling - it's just easier having that extra stability when getting around on uneven ground, cobblestones, etc.  I  don't consider cruising to be arduous however the issue would be doing any major walking or strenuous hiking excursions - that I would avoid for the first six - nine months after knee replacement.  

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19 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Yes, including two world cruises on Viking.  The tell was the last WC that ended this last January 4th.  On the Inaugural WC we had lifeboat/safety drill every 30 days.  On the last one it was every segment.  The last segment or two I had to walk down the stairs backwards.  (Can't use the elevators).  I also felt weird dressed for the gym having to take the elevator to the gym.  Too much Ibuprofen has it's own bad sides....  Heck getting older.😎

Well, getting older beats the alternative.....

 

My hip allows me to walk down stairs, I just have trouble going up. I guess it depends where our cabin is in relation to the muster station. 😉

 

I'm not too worried about the ibuprofen. I don't usually take it (just Tylenol Arthritis Strength and a topical NASID) , and the cruise in question is just 8 days + 2 in Istanbul. For that short a stretch, I would use ibuprofen if I needed it to be able to enjoy the trip. 

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Dear "L":

 

I returned from a month in South America (including a 12 day Oceania cruise) on February 28, 2020 and had a complete hip replacement on March 9.  During the cruise and trip I was in pain but got through the events with help of a cane and friendly staff and people.  Have your surgery prior to a major trip including long air flights is my recommendation.  I am 76 years old and quite active (play competitive Pickleball).  Full recovery (run and jump without any restrictions or pain) was 12 weeks. Good and easy mobility (walking stairs and 1-1.5 miles) was 30 days.  Have the surgery.  I regretted not having it prior to the trip.  Good luck.

Joel Barry

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3 hours ago, Cape Hernlopen said:

Dear "L":

 

I returned from a month in South America (including a 12 day Oceania cruise) on February 28, 2020 and had a complete hip replacement on March 9.  During the cruise and trip I was in pain but got through the events with help of a cane and friendly staff and people.  Have your surgery prior to a major trip including long air flights is my recommendation.  I am 76 years old and quite active (play competitive Pickleball).  Full recovery (run and jump without any restrictions or pain) was 12 weeks. Good and easy mobility (walking stairs and 1-1.5 miles) was 30 days.  Have the surgery.  I regretted not having it prior to the trip.  Good luck.

Joel Barry

Thanks for the advice from a fellow Marylander.  With our final payment date coming up in just two weeks, and the trip scheduled for April 2021, I am leaning to rescheduling that trip for April of 2022. That will have our next trip in October 2021, and just over a year to hope for the pandemic to stabilize, do the surgery, and the rehab. I don't need to run or jump (was never athletic at all) , but I do look forward to walking and going up/down stairs without problem. Looking forward to cruising again too!

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Okay all you hip replacement veterans, one of you mentioned having to sleep in a recliner for weeks.  I have heard in the past that you are not allowed to bend your hip into a 'normal' sitting position for some time.  How important is it to have a recliner available during recovery?

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Wendy, I have had both hips replaced using both the posterior and anterior procedures.  In the posterior - or more traditional approach - the surgeon must cut through muscles and tendons that hold the new appliance in proper position.  I was not allowed to flex my hip more than 45 degrees for six weeks to prevent the appliance from  being displaced until the muscles and tendons had healed sufficiently to hold it in place.  I was given a leg brace to wear at night so my leg wouldn't be allowed to bend.  I didn't need a recliner and did well.  With the minimally invasive anterior approach the surgeon only cuts through one muscle and I was not put on any type of restrictions.  I had no real pain - just slight discomfort at the incision site for a few days and managed well with just Tylenol.  I could do anything I felt up to doing and was playing golf at two weeks ad hopping in ad out of safari vehicles at six weeks.  That isn't for everyone - your surgeon is the best resource, of course.  I live in the Boston area and had many options - the minimally invasive anterior procedure was one I researched carefully and worked well for me.  Good luck - whatever you decide I am sure you will be happy to have it done sooner rather than later.  

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Wendy, in my previous post I mentioned that my orthopedic surgeon (Paul Shonnard) used a modified posterior approach that either he developed or he participated in the development of. Prior to scheduling surgery I asked all the questions we have seen here, and regarding post-op restrictions, there were none. The surgeon said that once I felt like doing things - as long as it wasn't sky-diving or other potentially high-impact activity - to go ahead and do them. I was concerned about the need to sever muscle and possibly ligament tissue, and my surgeon assured me that he DID NOT do that. Other than minor post-operative discomfort and stiffness I had no issues, and I flew to San Antonio (from Reno, NV) four weeks after the surgery for a family visit. My experience is what leads me to recommend to people to do research to identify the best orthopedic surgeon FOR YOU.

 

As an aside, let me add that I attended a hip & knee replacement seminar at the local hospital and was pretty alarmed about the process and the possibly permanent restrictions. So I did more research and got a referral to Dr. Shonnard. I attended his free seminar conducted by his surgical RN who explained what this surgeon does (the hospital naturally had to accommodate all the possible surgical approaches), and I asked many questions, especially about post-op restrictions. The answers were much different from what I had heard before, and I ended up scheduling the surgery for August 2016. I have been glad I did it every day since (whenever I think about it, which isn't too often).

 

Cheers!

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3 hours ago, What was that? said:

Wendy, in my previous post I mentioned that my orthopedic surgeon (Paul Shonnard) used a modified posterior approach that either he developed or he participated in the development of. Prior to scheduling surgery I asked all the questions we have seen here, and regarding post-op restrictions, there were none. The surgeon said that once I felt like doing things - as long as it wasn't sky-diving or other potentially high-impact activity - to go ahead and do them. I was concerned about the need to sever muscle and possibly ligament tissue, and my surgeon assured me that he DID NOT do that. Other than minor post-operative discomfort and stiffness I had no issues, and I flew to San Antonio (from Reno, NV) four weeks after the surgery for a family visit. My experience is what leads me to recommend to people to do research to identify the best orthopedic surgeon FOR YOU.

 

As an aside, let me add that I attended a hip & knee replacement seminar at the local hospital and was pretty alarmed about the process and the possibly permanent restrictions. So I did more research and got a referral to Dr. Shonnard. I attended his free seminar conducted by his surgical RN who explained what this surgeon does (the hospital naturally had to accommodate all the possible surgical approaches), and I asked many questions, especially about post-op restrictions. The answers were much different from what I had heard before, and I ended up scheduling the surgery for August 2016. I have been glad I did it every day since (whenever I think about it, which isn't too often).

 

Cheers!

 

Thanks for the information, and reassurance.

 

As for knee surgery, yes, I've heard there are permanent restrictions.  A neighbour of mine here at the cottage asked if he could climb up and down the steps on the cliff from his cottage to the water, and then climb around on the rocks, and the surgeon said "no".  My neighbour opted out of the surgery completely.  But then I have another neighbour in Florida who's had both knees replaced.  He worked very hard riding his bike prior to the first surgery, then between surgeries, to strengthen his muscles, and has had a very excellent recovery.

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Wendy, that is an important point that I omitted - I also did a lot of exercising prior to the surgery. In fact, I had pretty much known that hip replacement would probably be needed, so in 2011 I joined a gym and started riding a bike, too. Also a lot of walking. The surgeon remarked to my wife about the muscle development and that it was an extra effort for him to get at the joint because of it. I put that in the "That's a win" column.

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6 hours ago, What was that? said:

 

As an aside, let me add that I attended a hip & knee replacement seminar at the local hospital and was pretty alarmed about the process and the possibly permanent restrictions. So I did more research and got a referral to Dr. Shonnard. I attended his free seminar conducted by his surgical RN who explained what this surgeon does (the hospital naturally had to accommodate all the possible surgical approaches), and I asked many questions, especially about post-op restrictions. The answers were much different from what I had heard before, and I ended up scheduling the surgery for August 2016. I have been glad I did it every day since (whenever I think about it, which isn't too often).

 

Cheers!

My surgeon requires that his patients view an online, multi-chapter tutorial with diagrams (thankfully, no photos!) which he narrates. There wasn't a test, but you have to reply at the end of every chapter, so no saying you viewed it if you didn't. Wish I could have skipped the part about unlikely complications, but I guess it is best to be informed. 

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16 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Okay all you hip replacement veterans, one of you mentioned having to sleep in a recliner for weeks.  I have heard in the past that you are not allowed to bend your hip into a 'normal' sitting position for some time.  How important is it to have a recliner available during recovery?

That was me, Wendy, and it was my husband.  He had the anterior procedure, so he really didn't have any restrictions.  He was supposed to walk progressively longer distances, and walk periodically every couple of hours for the first week, then longer distances every day after that.  He just found it much more comfortable to sit and sleep in the recliner for the first two weeks, even though he was taking a walk up the stairs to the next level and back down every day after the first 48 hours for a shower.  It was just a lot easier to get up and down from a sitting position than from a fully reclined one.  


My cousin, who had the posterior procedure and did have a lot more initial restrictions, also used a recliner for the first two or maybe three weeks, again because it made getting up so much easier.  

 

The surgeon my husband used doesn't cut any muscle in the posterior procedure; he separates them and works in between the thigh muscles, basically.  It's still uncomfortable later - your thigh muscles don't really love being forced apart - but not too bad.  He only needed extra strength Tylenol, and he wasn't being a hero.  He had a prescription for a few doses of oxy and never needed it at all.  

Edited by aungrl
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Dear "L":

 

My surgery was at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore in an special orthopedic wing.  I was walking within two hours of the surgery and followed the entire 12 week protocol (but was always 1-2 weeks ahead after week 2).  I never took any medications after day 3 of the recovery.  Since you live in Maryland, consider Mercy.  My surgeon was Dr. Marc Hungerford (head of the department).

Good luck.

Joel Barry

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I will add my 2 cents!  I feel hospitals are very safe since Covid-  had out-patient surgery for breast cancer in late June- after it was initially post-poned for 2 months because of Covid. I think it took a while to figure out how to proceed.   Now I am going through a 4 week course of daily  radiation therapy-  many precautions taken.  I had covid test pre-op.  Screening with questions and temp before each visit- etc.

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On 9/14/2020 at 12:26 AM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Okay all you hip replacement veterans, one of you mentioned having to sleep in a recliner for weeks.  I have heard in the past that you are not allowed to bend your hip into a 'normal' sitting position for some time.  How important is it to have a recliner available during recovery?


I never had a recliner, so couldn’t sleep in one.  I had an armchair I sat in during the day, and slept in my bed at night.  For some THR procedures (not all), you can’t break a 90 degree restriction, which means your butt cannot drop lower than your knees.  You can raise a normal chair on blocks to achieve this.  A chair is recommended over a sofa, as you will need the arms of the chair to help boost you up.  You also cannot allow your leg to cross the midline of your body.  These are to prevent your joint from dislocating.  After several weeks, the restrictions are usually lifted.

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9 hours ago, Cape Hernlopen said:

Dear "L":

 

My surgery was at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore in an special orthopedic wing.  I was walking within two hours of the surgery and followed the entire 12 week protocol (but was always 1-2 weeks ahead after week 2).  I never took any medications after day 3 of the recovery.  Since you live in Maryland, consider Mercy.  My surgeon was Dr. Marc Hungerford (head of the department).

Good luck.

Joel Barry

Joel, this was my husband's surgeon, as well.  We're in Arlington, but we thought it was worth the 60 mile distance to have Dr. Hungerford.  People were there from all over the region during my husband's post-op visit.  He had his done at the outpatient surgical center out in Towson; that's the facility he uses when he plans an outpatient surgery.  Like you, we highly recommend him!

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1 hour ago, aungrl said:

Joel, this was my husband's surgeon, as well.  We're in Arlington, but we thought it was worth the 60 mile distance to have Dr. Hungerford.  People were there from all over the region during my husband's post-op visit.  He had his done at the outpatient surgical center out in Towson; that's the facility he uses when he plans an outpatient surgery.  Like you, we highly recommend him!

I knew I recognized Dr. Hungerford's name, and now I remember why! I am sure his reputation is well deserved, but I am very comfortable with, and confident in, my surgeon. Baltimore may have a host of areas needing improvement, but top quality medical professionals are not lacking !

 

Thanks, everyone, for your continued input.

 

EJLobster, wishing you all the best!

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