February 16, 2013
My hip replacement was a success. My stay at the rehabilitation hospital was done. It was time to begin out-patient physiotherapy.
One of the best things that Anne, my physiotherapist, did for me was to get me walking on a treadmill. I began very slowly, increasing it as I became stronger and my gait evened out.
A poor gait develops as a result of the years of living with a deteriorating hip. A kindergarten student aptly described my sidle-hitch-waddle walk here. The pain of bone on bone forces you to compensate, which then becomes habit, which is evident even after a prosthetic hip is in place. It’s important to observe, correct and practise your new walk post-hip replacement.
The slow, regular speed of the treadmill forces you into walking more naturally. It’s even better if there is a mirror in place to
check out how good you look monitor your gait.
Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before beginning this on your own.
June 14, 2012
I felt a tug on my shirt.
“Teacher, did you poop your pants?” asked the little boy in my kindergarten class.
Although, the surprise may have registered on my face, I waited for what came next, knowing that he had to have a good reason for asking that question.
“Well, you’re walking like this.” He then proceeded to demonstrate my distinctive walk.
He wasn’t done, though. “My brother walks like that when he poops his pants.”
Children are honest. To quote Bill Cosby, they do “. . . say the darndest things!”
You see, I was waiting for a hip replacement, which resulted in a very distinctive way of waddling, er, walking. Although this anecdote is humorous, there is nothing fun or funny about the pain of a hip that needs replacing. Left untreated, the joint deteriorates to the point where it becomes a grinding of bone on bone. It is extremely painful and hard to get relief, whether sitting, standing, sleeping or moving. I am astonished that a hip replacement is considered elective surgery; in my experience, the alternative would be zero quality of life.
I can usually spot a deteriorated hip socket walk. Can you?
Image courtesy of Joanne Wilson.
January 3, 2012
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ll have read that my height is in my legs. When arthritis affects your knees, it can make it difficult to stand up from any type of lower seating – chairs, couches and even the porcelain kind – toilet seats.
For three months following a hip replacement, it is extremely important not to exceed the ninety degree rule when you bend at the hips. If you do, there is a chance that you could dislocate the hip, as the body has not yet had time to integrate the prosthetic.
As a precaution, I purchased one of these portable John and Jane’s. I was concerned that some of the washrooms that I might have to visit would come up short – rather that the toilet would come up short.
Fortunately, I never did have to use it.