The physiotherapy department of the hospital where I will be having my joint replacements is trialing a Joint School. This is an opportunity to go along and meet the physiotherapist who will work with you post op and also other people who will be having joint replacements around the same time.
So this morning my husband took some time off work to come with me. There were 3 other people there – ironically 3 women all of whom were having right hip replacements and a man who was having a knee replacement. Two had also bought partners with them. It did feel a little odd in that they were having their operations tomorrow and Wednesday, where mine is still a week away. I spent a lot of time feeling out of place and also wondering how I would be feeling if my operation was tomorrow. I guess I’ll find out next Monday! Although I must admit, I went along hoping I was going to meet people having replacements the same day as me.
We were told about the things we can’t do – bending at the hip more than 90 degrees, crossing the leg over the midpoint of the body etc. and also a little about the operation itself and what to expect, and a little about anaesthesia (more about that next time I think).
We were fitted for crutches and then taken out en masse to practice walking up and down the corridor and up and down the stairs. I was rather surprised to find I co ordinated my walking with the crutches quite well straight away – co ordination not usually being one of my strong points! Our being away gave our respective partners the opportunity to chat and know they were not alone in this either.
Going back to the room we were abe to practice how we would get in and out of bed – I’m going to have to swap sides with my husband for this hip, and get up and down from a chair.
We were warned that, although we might be up and about quite quickly and be able to do much more after our 6 week check, that it might actually take much longer to feel better. I was also warned that each joint is different and even if my first hip replacement goes smoothly the next one can feel different. We were also made aware how much more important exercises were, the difficulties were and pain might be with a knee replacement. Something to look forward to! No wonder my consultant thought I made the right decision in having the hip replacements first (even though my left knee is my worst joint) as they were more ‘motivating’ to keep me going in having the knee/s replaced too.
I have a sheet of exercises and am told that I can swim after about 6 weeks, and also – my biggest worry – that eventually I should have full mobility in the joint and be safe and able to do yoga again – though perhaps it may be of the more gentle sort in future.