Week 23 post #HipReplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

Such a lot has happened this last week, I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground. And if I’m brutally honest, my body is not entirely up to it all either. All I’m asking for is to be able to do daily living painfree. But nope!!

I’ve been practise walking, and I wear trainers but I’ve somehow given myself an injury of the foot? It’s called metatarsalgia, and it feels like walking on Lego, at the ball of the foot.

I first noticed it in Barmouth while walking, but didn’t give it too much thought, rested it and it settled down. Now it’s reappearing just simply walking to the loo. Clearly it’s not really healed.

So what is Metatarsalgia? Metatarsalgia (met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh) is a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed. You might develop it if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. (Which I’ve done NONE of these activities)

There are other causes as well, including foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose. This isn’t the reason why either for me.

Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can sideline you. Fortunately, at-home treatments, such as ice and rest, often relieve symptoms. This worked well for me, hence me thinking it had gone.
Wearing proper footwear with shock-absorbing insoles or arch supports might prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia. But somehow me wearing trainers isn’t enough?

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes. (This was me straight away)
  • Pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk — especially barefoot on a hard surface — and improves when you rest. (Yes definitely me)
  • Sharp or shooting pain,numbness, or tingling in your toes
  • A feeling of having a pebble in your shoe. (I prefer the term Lego!)

Sometimes a single factor can lead to metatarsalgia. More often, several factors are involved, including:

  • Intense training or activity.Distance runners are at risk of metatarsalgia, primarily because the front of the foot absorbs significant force when a person runs. But anyone who participates in a high-impact sport is at risk, especially if your shoes fit poorly or are worn.
  • Certain foot shapes. A high arch can put extra pressure on the metatarsals. So can having a second toe that’s longer than the big toe, which causes more weight than normal to be shifted to the second metatarsal head. (My second toes are Longer than big toes)
  • Foot deformities. Wearing too-small shoes or high heels can cause your foot to be misshapen. A downward-curling toe (hammertoe) and swollen, painful bumps at the base of your big toes (bunions) can cause metatarsalgia.
  • Excess weight. Because most of your body weight transfers to your forefoot when you move, extra pounds mean more pressure on your metatarsals. Losing weight might reduce or eliminate symptoms.
  • Poorly fitting shoes. High heels, which transfer extra weight to the front of your foot, are a common cause of metatarsalgia in women. Shoes with a narrow toe box or athletic shoes that lack support and padding also can contribute to the problem.
  • Stress fractures. Small breaks in the metatarsals or toe bones can be painful and change the way you put weight on your foot.
  • Morton’s neuroma. This noncancerous growth of fibrous tissue around a nerve usually occurs between the third and fourth metatarsal heads. It causes symptoms that are similar to metatarsalgia and can also contribute to metatarsal stress.

But almost anyone can develop metatarsalgia, but you’re at higher risk if you:

  • Participate in high-impact sports that involve running and jumping
  • Wear high heels, shoes that don’t fit properly or shoes with spikes, such as cleats
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have other foot problems,including hammertoe and calluses on the bottom of your feet
  • Have inflammatory arthritis,such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout

The last risk above is probably my likely cause of this injury, coupled with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome too.

So now I’ve done my eventful days of Birmingham for exams for youngest (she’s PASSED) And visiting my Second eldest daughter in Chester. I’m going to rest, elevate and ice the foot to try and return it to normal, before next week’s physio appointment. If I can’t heal it, then it’s a GP visit for me.

Definitely a dampener on hip replacement recovery, and with walking differently to protect the foot, I’m causing pain in my lower back, and my hip, even the groin!! Which I admit is troublesome, but I’ve been told to expect grumbling groin for a couple of years, so I’m not too worried yet.

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Physio appointment on day 146 #hipreplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

So it’s physio time, and I’ve been looking forward to asking about the weakness I’m experiencing in the opposite hip. It’s something ive noticed ove the last few weeks. I do work both legs at home whereas at the official appointments we only do the operated leg.

Also I’m officially 21 weeks post op tomorrow. So it’s nice to show her how far I’ve come, as suddenly I feel like this leg has really turned a corner. Yes I’ve ached (well deserved aches, from pushing it hard) but rest, medication and time have stopped the aches, and I feel stronger than ever.

After a brief discussion of what I’ve been experiencing, such as weakness in the left hip, but with no pain. We decided it could simply be from muscle wastage and weakness, so the plan from now is to work on targeted areas (glutes and abductors) on both legs.

So we started with a Stationary bike for 5mins at resistance level 3

Then onto the leg press machine 25reps with 40lbs (I felt operated leg taking over though)

Onto a fave, duck walking with a green resistance band. Feet outwards, bend a bit, then walk sideways. 50 reps.

Onto other butt burners, walking lunges (so as deep) between parallel bars for stability. 30 reps.

Hip abduction with resistance band around knees 25 reps.

Onto hip bridges, where I know quads dominate. So adding a ball to squeeze between knee, engages the glutes. 25 reps.

Absolutely exhausted, but carrying on, we added an ankle weight and did a front leg raise, with foot out, toes pulled up. To engage abductors. 10 reps. (Left leg would NOT lift up)

Rolling into the front, prone lying Knee bent it was a knee raise with an ankle weight. 15 reps. (Left struggled)

Then to finish up we grabbed a kettle bell to hold. While sitting, going into a standing position, while pushing pelvis forward. 25 reps.

I can honestly say my butt was on FIRE after these. I surely waddled out as well. But I felt productive, and like we had done some good. So now it’s resting up, and nursing that burn.

20 weeks post #HipReplacement

Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

Time to share again what I’ve learnt or experienced over this last week. Well I’ve learnt even with a walking stick I simply can’t stand, it hurts my back, my thigh, ankles and even the ball of my feet swelled up!!

So a day out is still equalling a few days rest, so not where I’d like to be in terms of daily living.

But I did manage to paint my toes for the first time since my op. And finally my big toe nails have grown back, for some reason I lose my big toe nails after surgery?

Ankles are often swollen now, especially after days out, so I need to see the GP again. As even my ball of my foot is swelling up. God knows why.

Scar is looking pretty decent, and I only remember it when it stings, aches after a long day. It’s still so numb around 3inches side to side all down the length of it. But it’s early days yet, it may come back.

In between days of doing things out and about, and rest days, I try to squeeze in at least 2 sessions of physio at home, using my step and ankle weights.

And in doing both legs in my physio, my left leg (non replaced hip) is painfree but so much weaker than the replaced hip. Hoping by regularly doing both legs now it will catch up at bit.

19 weeks post #hipreplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement

The weeks are flying by, and with the warmer weather we as a family are getting busier, which is lovely. But boy oh boy I’m still paying a high price for any activities.

Which I wholeheartedly admit is gutting. I truly wanted, wished and hoped that by now this magic bullet surgery would be the answer and I’d be skipping into the sunset.

And while this surgery has been amazing, it’s clearly not the sole issue I thought it was. I’m struggling with my hands alot, but not just them though my ankles, knees and shoulders too and I feel cheated. All I’ve ever wanted is my life back, who I was at 32 and I’ve chased this dream headlong ever since.

I had no concept that I was literally fixing the hips to then swap the goal post and need intervention on other joints.

So I’m not going to compare to others healing times anymore, it is what it is. I’m not sure if it’s the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Hip Dysplasia or Arthritis that is ruling my life, but something is, more than I care to admit too.

It sucks that I have some issues, I have to remember not to focus on them, I need to remember the positive thoughts and drive my energies into them.

No physio appointment booked this week, so physio at home is foundation basics to keep movement going and no stress out other joints. Using ankle weights for resistance.

  • Hip abduction x 15 reps
  • Hip extension x 15 reps
  • Hip extension (backwards) x 15 reps
  • Hip flexion x 15 reps
  • Single leg lunge on areobic step x 15 reps
  • Monster walk x 30 steps

Going to work on these while I await the next physio appointment.

Found these exercises on Pinterest and I will try to add some of these are well, later on in the week.

16 weeks post #HipReplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Family Adventures, Hip replacement

It’s been a funny weird week, I’ve not done much physio, and when I have done it’s caused so much knee pain, so much pain!! I’ve been forced to rest.

Had a lot of committments this week, family wise and going out to places, so the physio hasn’t been easy to slot in either. But I even found walking around town leisurely, this week was a miserable affair.

Straight away my knee was in agony, and I felt I hobbled, and waddled even with my walking stick. And using that so heavily, it’s flared up my hand too. I’ll be honest, I was better than this before surgery, so you can imagine this was quite depressing, and emotional to realize that.

And though that’s a huge negative, I may be a bit down this week, but I’m not out!!

Why have I struggled more this week, is it because I went out a fortnight ago? Or because I’ve had to increase the daily living, family commitments? I’m not sure.

All I know is, my Thigh KILLS, like a tooth ache nagging pain. And my knee is not happy either with walking, or with physio. I don’t see anyone for a while, except occupational therapist for my hands. So I guess increase rest periods and go steady as I can.

But I am camping hopefully at the weekend, so who knows how the hip will behave?? I will keep you updated.

15 weeks post #HipReplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

Has the weather turned for you? It sure has here, sadly with that comes the ever present extra aches, my hands are becoming clicky and stiff once again. (The reprieve wasn’t long enough)

The hip is achy and not feeling so painfree, but as every other joint hurts I know it’s just that time it’s all meant to hurt again. So it’s definitely shoots my happiness in the foot. But I need to make the most of it, as the weather is never going to be permanently dry and warm, mores the pity!!

I still can’t do weights, but as joints hurt, I have to do some physio to engage the muscles and stop them from dislocating.

Can’t hold weights, but I can pull the theraband resistance bands, that o have tied to my door. These are stabilizer exercises for the shoulders, but they help my wrists and elbows too.

Finished off with rolling a ball in a circle to the right, then circle to the left, then push the ball up and down the wall, do this both shoulders.

So it’s week 15 and though I have had rapid recovery as predicted. I’m still walking with a walking stick, I have numb areas, (seriously cant feel a thing!) Niggles of pain in groin occasionally, and thigh aches. Knee pain occurs with physio but quickly disappears. And the whole thigh still swells up.

But upon reading medical journals, it seems it’s not unusual for the recovery to keep going albeit at a slower rate for the first 2 years. So it seems frustrating at times, but really it is early days.

And here ends my daily updates, as now the progress is more minimal, and things are just going to be repeated until it gets fully better. I’m thrilled that I never once felt alone in this recovery, so thank you so much.

Day 99 First Land Physio

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

The day is finally here, my first official land physio appointment. Thankfully I’ve retained my Physiotherapist that I’ve worked with for years, through various different surgeries. So it’s fair to say she knows me well and my abilities too.

So I loved it when straight away, she noticed that some of the waddle has gone. Yes it’s there when the leg is fatigued but no longer is it there 100% of the time.

First off it’s Stationary bike 5 mins

With the bike it was on level 3, so the first time in many years I’ve had a resistance on it.

Then Sit down/Stand ups 15 reps

Sat fully down, then got up again, without holding onto anything.

Dreaded Clam Raises 15 reps

I say raise but it’s not actually raising, but the muscle is tightening, so although I’m not successful yet, the muscle is still being worked.

Keeping bottom leg bent, into a Side Leg Raise 15 reps

Weirdly found these quite easy. Only doing the operated side at the moment at physio.

Into Prone Lying, Bent Knee Raise 15 reps

This feels a lot better than before, it used to want to fall outwards, so I’ve obviously gained some strength to hold it upwards and straight.

Next up is some Green Resistance Band exercises Hip Extension 15 reps

Hip Abduction 15 reps

Hip Flexion 15 reps

Found these not too bad as I’ve been practicing at home already.

Next up is my enemy!! Bosu Ball Lunge 15 reps

Single leg lunge into the unsteady unbalanced ball surface. My knee HATED it.

Staying with the Body Ball Walkover 15 reps

From the lunge then holding onto balance bars I had to walk over and return backwards. Emphasis on the single leg taking all the weight and balance. Thank goodness for the bars holding me up!!

Ended on one I’ve been doing at home, so felt a lot easier to me Side Steps Green Resistance Band 15 reps

I was absolutely shattered leg wise after this, walked out like Bambi, feeling muscles and aches I forgot existed. I’m glad I still have my walking stick, else I would not be walking out of there.

Knee very very sore, so home to a hot water bottle and lots of rest now.

Day 93 #hipreplacement #EhlersDanlosSyndrome

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

After receiving a comment from a fellow blogger (find them here) they suggested I should explain more about #EhlersDanlosSyndrome and honestly I should.

What is Eds?

So Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) is a group of 13 individual genetic conditions, all of which affect the body’s connective tissue.This Connective tissue lies between other tissues and organs like a glue, keeping these separate whilst connecting them, this glue is tasked with holding everything in place and providing support.

In EDS, there is a gene mutation (like an X Man, the nerd in me loves this!!) that causes a certain kind of connective tissue, what kind will depend on the type of EDS (which type out of 13) (Hypermobile Eds, Hypermobility spectrum disorders, Classical Eds, Vascular Eds. They all fit under these umbrella labels)

This gene mutation is usually a form of collagen, this causes it to be fragile and stretchy. This stretchiness can sometimes be seen in the skin of someone with EDS (NOT ME) My skin has never stretched like that, but I scar and bruise incredibly easy. Individuals with the condition may also be able to extend their joints further than is usual (This is ME) this is known as being hypermobile, bendy or double-jointed. As collagen is present throughout the body, Everyone’s bodies, people with EDS tend to experience a broad range of symptoms, most of them less visible than the skin and joint differences. These are complex syndromes affecting many systems of the body at once, this makes it hard to connect and diagnose, despite this EDS is often an invisible disability.

Symptoms commonly include, but are not limited to, long-term pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, palpitations and digestive disorders. Such problems and their severity vary considerably from person to person, even in the same type of EDS and within the same family.

Now it’s important to remember my #EDS isn’t the same as another #EDS as we are all individuals, and with that said it’s also why it’s incredibly hard to diagnose. We have a collection of symptoms, that are easily explained away and not connected.

I mean who thinks, velvet soft skin is connected to a thundering heartbeat because you stood up? So they came up with a series of movements to test for it.

The old way to classify Ehlers Danlos Syndrome was to use the Beighton Scale. The Beighton score is a set of manoeuvres used to judge if there is evidence of joint hypermobility. There are 9 points, and a score of 4 or more is considered a sign of there likely being generalised joint hypermobility present.

Now at the time of diagnosis in my early 30s I scored 8 of 9. Now there’s a more comprehensive way of scoring, found here Now I’m older and a lot more stiffer, so flexible I am not anymore. Therefore I would fail this tests above, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it.

But these new ways of scoring takes that into account. So if you could touch the floor with flat hands without bending legs, bit no longer can you still score a point.

This helps the reclassification of certain symptoms, so I was diagnosed with EDS type 3 which is the Hypermobility type. Now it’s known as hEds Hypermobility Ehlers Danlos.

How does it affect you?

How does it affect me? Good question that I’m not entirely sure of myself. I know I feel pain all the time, from holding my own skeleton together and in the correct position. It’s so easy for my shoulders and hands to go beyond their natural range. Now I personally find this extra lax during my menstrual cycle, it’s like every joint I have comes out of joint, super super easy. It’s due to hormones creating the environment for this to happen around the cycle.

But as I said earlier it affects how I heal, so bones take longer to knit together, but likewise I’ll produce more scar tissue inside healing sites. Scars are often keloid or stretched and wrinkly. I bruise from being barely touched at times.

My three biggest ways I’m personally affected is the early onset of Osteoarthritis, my hip was grade 4, my mobility is awful, but I use to do gymnastics and horse ride. Now I can barely walk unaided. My hands are stiff and painful as they too have Osteoarthritis too.

My teeth are weak and crumbling, and dental visits are scary. For many years I have cried and complained that the anaesthetic doesn’t work, but no one listened to me, and then a few years ago they found it was an EDS symptom!! I have dentist now that knows about this and adjusts accordingly.

Finally how does it affect me, in a major way it screws up painrelief, I’m in pain but the meds don’t work. So fentanyl strongest drug out there? Nah doesn’t work, worst way to find out was when I had my first big op, it was a triple pelvic osteotomies and valgus femur lengthening. I was given Epidural (this does NOT work either) and Fentanyl, worst week of my life. But some gps out there, think you are attention seeking or drug dependant. You need these meds to function, to complete normal daily living, not to get high!

Since my first surgery, we’ve adjusted it to spinal, and morphine pump that I control. Now surgeries haven’t been as bad since thankfully, as I’ve had another 9. I find natural morphine better for me than synthetic versions of it that don’t work.

Now I’ve prattled on long enough, I best let you go. Hopefully by now you’ve learnt a bit more about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I’m still learning myself.

Day 92 post #hipreplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

It’s been a week since I saw the GP about my hands, and I’ll be honest the increased ibuprofen and ibuprofen gel hasn’t really made that much of a difference painwise. But maybe a week is too early to tell? So I will give it longer.

Wearing the splints help get things done but are cumbersome and irritating. But wearing the gloves at night are good, so that’s a win!!

Splints with weights are Interesting let’s say that. It’s hard while my hands are like this to actually hold weights, so in place of weights sometimes I use resistance bands instead.

Its not the weight itself I find difficult, more the grasp, it could be a pen at times and I simply can’t hold it. Frustrating to say the least.

So working the hip it is today, give the hands and shoulders a break. Though I’ve decided I’m staying away from any exercises that mean I have to lie on my operated side. It’s too dreadful for words.

  • Hip Flexion ankle weight 15 reps x 2
  • Hip abduction ankle weight 15 reps x 2
  • Hip extension ankle weight 15 reps x 2
  • Calf raises ankle weight 15 reps x 2
  • Heel to butt ankle weight 15 reps x 2
  • Mini squat 15 reps x 2

Not too much today, as joints are extremely lax this week. It’s the old Ehlers Danlos coming out to party, and by party I mean utter misery ball of pain.

Day 90 #hipreplacement

Archive, Arthritis, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip replacement, SURGERY

It’s always up and down health wise, I guess it’s the #EhlersDanlosSyndrome not really helping. But I’m pleased to say it’s not actually my hip causing any grief at the moment.

And because it’s that time of the dreaded month, every joint comes out to play. Cleaning the cooker, my shoulder decides to pop out!!

So with this is mind, I’m thinking I need to keep on going with the occupational therapists shoulder stabilizer exercises.

  • Ball on wall circle left 20 reps x 3
  • Ball on wall circle right 20 reps x 3
  • Ball on wall up + down 20 reps x 3

  • Band shoulder abduction 10 reps x 3
  • Band shoulder internal rotation 10 reps x 3
  • Band shoulder external rotation 10 reps x 3
  • Band shoulder extension 10 reps x 3

All this exercise is always to help stabilise my joints, help my muscles and tendons do the work the joint should actually do.