A Quick & Easy Jumplink Method | WordPress.com 2018

Introduction

Many of the posts I write are really long. I’ve been lobbying WordPress to add a feature which would allow me to easily create a ‘Table of Contents’ for my Readers. So far, other than what seems to be significant interest by other members of the WordPress.com community…people like me who create websites, WordPress.com management and even WordPress.com Support doesn’t seem inclined to want to consider the concept of adding this as a new feature. It appears they don’t necessarily understand what useful purpose a fully functioning Table of  Contents might serve.

Below are 2 examples of Table’s of Contents…one from a recent post of mine that I added as a navigational aid, but that lacks working links. Creating the hot links is the time consuming part and it’s the reason why I’ve been lobbying for them for a few years now.

My Table of Contents for My Hip Replacement Post

The 2nd is a WordPress.com Support post.

WordPress Support's Table of Contents

What are Jumplinks?

Both posts utilize a feature called jumplinks. Jumplinks are manually created hotlinks to another place within the same post. The jumplink instructions I’ve found are all different and all contradict each other. Therefore…learning to create jumplinks has not been an easy task.

This is one of the most important reasons why an automated Table of Contents would be such an amazing feature for WordPress.com users.

My Quick & Easy Method of Creating Jumplinks

Jumplinks consist of 2 parts. The first is the actual link itself. In the screen shot from my post above…the link in the Table of Contents entitled ‘Why Pears are My New Favorite Fruit.

The 2nd part of the jumplink is called the anchor point. It’s the location that the jumplink takes you to. You need to create a unique name for each anchor point that you want to create a jumplink too.

Creating the Jumplink Part

Creating the jumplink is super easy. It wasn’t always that way. It took days of work for me to figure out thru many iterations of various examples, which methods really work and which combinations don’t. I’ve finally hit upon the perfect combination of simple code that consistently works!

You can just copy the URL of the post app or page, remove the ending / and add #anchorpointsuniquename at the end of it.

To create the actual link, just use the regular link creating mechanism and add the posts URL with the ending / removed and #Anchorpoint at the end for the link.

Creating the Action Which Takes You to the Location Referred to in the Jumplink

Select the words that you’d like to be the destination for the jumplink. Wrap those words with <p id=”anchorlink”>some words</p>

That’s all there is to it. Now just publish your work and test out the link to make sure it works.

Example

If you’d like to see an example of using this method, refer to this post and try out the link in the red box in the screenshot below.

Post example of this Quick method

One Remaining Problem

I’m not entirely sure why not, but whenever I try to wrap headlines (ones that use header tags) in the destination code, my jumplink never works. I can’t imagine why not. My work-around is to pick some other words close to the headline to wrap instead. But if someone could explain more about why this problem occurs to me and how to prevent it…I’d appreciate it!

This is just one more reason why I think that an automated Table of Contents based upon header tags, would be a really great feature to have!

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Baby Boomers Guide to Surviving the Post-Operative Effects of a Total Hip Replacement | Part 2 THR Series

 This is Part 2 of my Hip Replacement Series

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Part 1 shown below, ‘Modern Medicine’s Most Amazing Miracle in 2018  | Patient’s Can Achieve a Complete Phase 1 Recovery in Just 9 Days When Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement Techniques are Used,‘ can be found here.

Part 1 Modern Medicine's Miracle

Table of Contents | Part 2

I’m not great creating jumplinks, which are links within articles that take you to other places within the same article. Plus that they take a ton of time to create (maybe because I’m so lousy with them ;-/ ?)

Hopefully someday soon WordPress will provide writers with an automated method for auto-generating a hot-linked Table of Contents…but for right now, they don’t. So, rather than skipping this helpful Reader tool completely, I thought I’d manually create this sort of ‘retro’ Table of Contents. At least it will give you an idea of where to look for something contained within this post.Introduction

        • Introduction
        • Video of the Hana Table Used for the Direct Anterior Approach
        • Why I Wrote This Favorites Guide
        • About My Recommendations | Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
        • Everything I Know About Icing Machines
        • What I Know About Intermittent Pneumatic Compressions Devices
        • A Wedge for Leg Elevation
        • Aids Recommended by My Surgeon or the Hospital
        • Aids the Hospital Gave Me During Therapy Sessions
        • Products for Pain
        • Why Pears are My New Favorite Fruit
        • 2 Supplements That Helped Me
        • The Last 2 Supplements that Help Me A Lot
        • A Great Patient Forum on THR’s
        • Conclusion & Comments

    Introduction

    Three weeks ago I had a total hip replacement. I was lucky because my surgeon provided a lot of pre-surgical advice and support options. So I was guided into considering getting many things that I might need post-op. I also attended a class at the hospital where I ultimately had my surgery. During it they talked about many devices and aids which would make my life easier the first few weeks with my new hip.

    They also told me that I’d meet with physical and occupational therapists several times during my overnight stay. Those individuals would go over all the things that I’d need to be able to do in order to be discharged. Things like dress myself, use the rest room, put on my shoes and socks, and use the stairs. If I struggled with tasks, they would offer me tools to make that task easier. Those tools that I wanted to bring home I could and they were just added to my hospital bill.

    My Procedure, Called the Anterior Direct Approach, Utilized the Special Operating Table Shown in the Short Video Below

    Why I Wrote This ‘Favorite Products‘ Guide

    Shortly after I scheduled my hip replacement I discovered that one of my siblings was also planning to have bilateral hip replacements right around the same time as me! How weird is that?

    My procedure ended up occurring a few weeks sooner. So I decided to try and write a series of articles for that sibling (who shall remain nameless unless they want to reveal their own health status to the world.)

    Doing that during my own recovery however has proven more challenging than I realized time-wise. Aside from my ability to move around and get daily tasks done, which currently takes about 5 times longer than my normal speed, I’ve got tons of daily exercises, driving practice, and activities involving trying to manage my pain as well as office visits for various aspects of my recovery which take up the vast majority of my time. So this 2nd part is getting done much later than I planned, and a possible 3rd part probably won’t make sense. 

    UC Davis Orthopedic’s Department Wrote This Great Guide to Hip Replacement Surgery for Patients, Which I Found Particularly Helpful Post-Surgery …starting on around page 17.

    About My Recommendations

    Many of my recommendations will be in the form of links to products on Amazon, which is where I made all of my own purchases. But I also want to point out that I am an Amazon Affiliate. This means that I make a very small commission if someone purchases something using a link I’ve provided at Amazon. However, this would never have an impact upon the price.  It’s just a way that Amazon (and other retail establishments too) have come up with to reward people who are willing to share products they’ve used and loved with others in the hopes that they might buy their products too.

    So I’m wrote this post to include all of the things I found helpful, as well as to help someone else find them on Amazon.  I don’t know about you, but often times I don’t find things easily on Amazon. In fact I’ve found that Googling things is usually a better way of finding them on Amazon than searching Amazon itself for them. Pretty much anything that wasn’t given to me in the hospital I bought from Amazon, with only one or two exceptions.

    Icing Machine Advice from DME Direct

    Icing Machine Advice from DME Direct

    Icing Machines (aka Cold Therapy) | 1 Thing I Learned About Too Late to Be of Personal Benefit

    But That Possibly Might Be of Benefit to Other Hip Replacement Recipients

    Naturally after any surgery patients are required to ice their injuries a lot, to reduce swelling, thereby promoting better circulation and faster healing. But the frequency of icing and even the number of sites where ice is used can vary dramatically by patient and by situation.

    For example where I’m physically located it’s still the dead of winter and the idea of icing constantly isn’t all that appealing because I’m frequently cold to begin with. So I’ve used a combination of cold and warm therapy which surprisingly to me is still advised by both my surgeon and therapist even at the 3 week mark. I also find that both cold and warm therapy help to relieve pain a lot which is really important since I experience pain in my entire surgical leg at least 50% of the time. Consequently, I’ve used combinations of both frequently. It’s not unusual to find me sitting on a couch with my leg slightly elevated (in order to reduce swelling…by keeping it above the heart) with my entire leg covered using a series of cold and warm wraps. The warm wraps for me, help to physically endure the cold ones better and relax muscles too.

    Were I to have had my surgery somewhere warm however, say in Florida, constant icing may have been both desirable and palliative. Which is where I think the possible use of an icing machine might be really beneficial.

    Some of the home icing machines for hips

    Some of the home icing machines for hips at DME Direct

    What I know about icing machines isn’t a lot since I’ve never personally used one, but I have researched them more than I would have for just myself because of my sibling. Icing machines can be purchased relatively inexpensively from places like Amazon or online DME Durable Medical Equipment suppliers. Their costs for outright purchase can range from around $80 to $250. I suspect that you can also rent them from local DME suppliers but my efforts to find a local source failed at a rate which matched my interest level. My enthusiasm waned a little more with each subsequent phone call, and ended abruptly by around my 8th to 10th call (this may have been due to my inability to stay awake any longer in my early post-op days.)

    When I first discovered these therapy devices the source I found called them ‘icing machines.’ The name ‘icing machine’ is really a misnomer however, because these machines don’t really produce instant ice…rather they provide a source of constantly re-circulating very cold water through pads designed for use on specific body parts. Hip pads are shaped a lot like many company’s standard large pads I discovered. So if you find a machine you like but not a pad…chances are their standard pad will fit the bill.

    Below is an example of an icing machine that’s made by Ossur (as shown at DME Direct’s website,) along with examples of both their hip pads and their standard pad. Ossur, along with DonJoy were the 2 companies I was most interested in when I was researching these for myself.

    Ossur icing machine and pads

    This total unit by Ossur at DME Direct with a hip pad included costs $200 and includes free shipping. I found the exact same thing at Amazon with a right hip pad included for $141.70 (today…last week it was $159.90,) also with free shipping included. In both instances confirming shipping speed by phone is recommended since I had several items delivered which were too late and I no longer needed them by the time they arrived. They were easily returned but why go through all the hassle? What I learned was the stated shipping date upon ordering isn’t always the actual shipping date. Often not by a long shot! So being proactive here helps!

    Below is an interesting NPR article on cold therapy and medical insurance companies’ propensity to not want to cover it despite its proven benefits. As I’m sure most readers are aware, narcotic pain medicine is so inexpensive that’s what health insurance companies prefer that their patients use. Even in instances where long term use might prove to be detrimental and longer term palliative solutions, such as cortisone injections might prove to be much better for a patients overall health! Don’t even get me started on this…it’s a bit of a pet peeve!

    Insurance prefers opioids to cold therapy

    Another Thing I Only Learned About After-the-Fact Are Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices

    I already discussed these in some detail in Part 1 of this series…Modern Medicines Most Amazing Miracle…but I just remembered something that I didn’t address there so I thought I’d mention it here.  It has to do with shipping.

    I used Amazon customer service to help me place an order for the pneumatic compression device I ended up using a lot  (pictured below) because for me, it reduced my pain considerably.

    The Amazing Compression Device which is helping me sleep!

    As I stated in my previous article I originally ordered a more expensive unit but upon actually placing that order I discovered the shipping date had changed to about a week later than originally shown. I called  Amazon customer service because I’d agreed to pay a lot extra…may be $20 extra for overnight delivery. They removed the upcharge I’d paid for expedited delivery because I needed it soon but in the end I left the order in place thinking that I’d try the less expensive one pictured here while I waited for what I thought would be the better one.

    Vive pneumatic compression unit

    Thank God I end up loving this unit instead because about a week and a half later…which was quite a while after the 2nd unit should have arrived I received a message from Amazon telling me it was not available! That was about 2 weeks after I ordered it!! So it’s important to stay on top of shipping dates with time sensitive items!

    I went back and forth about where to place this because it was probably the #1 product that helped with all of my leg pain related to cramping and restless leg syndrome. But it’s also a durable medical piece of equipment that can be rented from DME suppliers too…so I decided to locate it here rather than with all the homeopathic and topical treatments further down.

    A Wedge for Elevating Your Leg is Something that Can Really Help With Icing & is Comfortable Too

    2 Years ago I had foot surgery which is what began the sequence of events leading up to my hip replacement. The recovery was long and painful…much longer than I suspect my hip will be. I was required to keep my foot elevated with ice on it for 10 solid days…24/7. That was tough but I did it and it helped to bring about a really positive final outcome. I just wish that I had splurged then and gotten this wedge because I feel like I would have gotten my money’s worth out of it!

    Wedge for elevating leg

    Mary Lou Retton, the famous Olympic Gymnast posted an inspiring video about her total hip replacement you can watch here. 

    Things I Got Based on the Advice of My Class or My Surgeon’s Online Checklists

    1. Swivel Shower Stool by iCarez

    Product Dimensions
    4.4 x 14.5 x 14.5″
    7 pounds

    Swivel shower stool

    I searched for a long time for this. I like to take baths not showers so I was already worried that showering might prove difficult given some balance issues I have. Both the hospital and physical therapist recommended revising the shower area a bit with a shower stool, handle, and placing non-slip treads in the floor. I did all three things and it’s worked out well.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a bath person…I don’t know…but it took almost a week before I felt good enough and was up for actually taking a shower. When I finally did it was an ordeal lasting hours and I was exhausted afterwards! From a shower!! That’s kind of pitiful I think!!! Yet I was very glad for all the time I’d taken getting the stool and other things.

    When considering stools, at first I thought a stool that swiveled would be less secure and I didn’t think that I wanted one. But then I read somewhere that the swivel was actually really useful for smaller showers. Because it allows you to sit on it and then turn yourself around and face into the shower. I do have a small shower and the swivel feature has worked nicely for that aspect. At 3 1/2 weeks I’m still finding the stool helpful!

    This particular stool is also very lightweight so that I can carry it from one bathroom to another easily using once crutch, to one that has a bathtub. Then I run warm water into the tub and sit on the stool, dangling my legs into the water to help relieve cramping in my calves. You’re not supposed to take baths or ‘soak’ your incision area by taking a bath.

    2. Locking Toilet Seat Riser with Arms

    Toilet Riser

    I also spent a long time searching for this because on our first floor where I would be situated for who knew how long, the main toilet felt lower than average. So I wanted something that was higher than average, but also that locked and was easy to handle alone. This seems to fit the bill. But when it arrived it wasn’t what was shown in the picture…although it was described accurately in the description. But I’m a visual person and relied upon the picture…so did my husband.

    So, while this is not a higher than average riser like I’d hoped…it is a very nice riser that’s both comfortable, safe and secure, and I actually like it a lot. It’s just exactly the same as many others sold at Amazon…but for a really good price.

    3. Suction Type Handle for Stability

    Shower handle

    Add on Item $8.68 or $8.69 as add-on item

    I wasn’t sure if this would work for us or if I would use it. But apparently I ordered 4 of them anyway! I sent 3 of them back…but the 4th one does work well in our shower. It’s stays locked in place securely and has done so for a few weeks now which is all I needed it to do. So I think this handle was well worth the 8 bucks!

    4.  Anti-Slip Shower & Bathtub Stickers

    I almost forgot to get anti-slip stickers, so I didn’t spend a lot of time picking them out. I was literally sticking them to my shower floor the morning of my surgery.

    Anti-slip Stickers for Shower Floor

    When I got back from the hospital post-op and I realized that I also needed grippy socks too. Yet I discovered that I couldn’t order any that would arrive fast enough for me to use in the next few days. So, I ended up cutting up some of my leftover bathtub stickers and making my own grippy socks to cover me until the new ones I also ordered at that time arrived.

    Making My Own DIY Grippy Socks

    My DIY Grippy Socks

    Things that the Hospital or Occupational Therapist Gave Me During My Overnight Hospital Stay

    Initially I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to spend one night in the hospital, but I ended up becoming a believer as the experience unfolded. What won me over I think was that first night was rough. Instead of having to wake up my husband to help me get to the restroom or take my pain medication…I was happy to have the nurse do it as part of their normal routine…so I didn’t feel like I was imposing on anyone. Also, I benefited from different people’s perspectives on the best ways to go about certain challenging tasks. Thinks like getting into and out of bed…and into and out of the restroom. Some of their unique approaches ended up helping me for weeks to come!

    1. Open Toe Compression socks

    In the hospital I was required to wear open toed compression socks with grippy socks over them so I wouldn’t slip and fall….and last a pair of electronically inflatable compression contraptions placed on each calve to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Apparently when a person experiences such a massive amount of their own bone being cut out of their body and replaced with an implant and then they sit in bed a lot until the pain subsides enough to want to venture out often…you’re very prone to pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.

    The open toed compression socks and inflatable compression device is intended to counter that tendency, and you are advised to continue wearing the open toed socks at home too. Since the pair the hospital provided me with was white and they were already getting dirty before I even left, I decided to order a darker pair for home use I could switch between. But I found that getting these up quickly was a challenge and in retrospect it would have been nice to have them at home when I arrived there instead of just beginning my search for them!

    This is the pair I decided to get. They are just a tiny bit less tight than the hospital pair.

    Doc Miller Blue Striped Open Toed Compression Socks

    2. 3 Pack of Grippy Socks

    We have hard wood floors at home and I knew that like in the hospital, the compression socks would be slippery on our floors. Plus it’s still winter here and my feet just get cold! I ended up loving the grippy socks I found. They’re warm, very grippy without feeling lumpy and soft and comfortable too!

    Grippy Socks

    3. Sock Putter Onner

    I sort of made up the title ‘sock putter onner’ for lack of something else to call it. I never could have imagined how difficult it would be to put a sock on a fresh new-hip leg or foot. Even at the 2 week mark I use the sock putter onner most of the time…although it is getting easier now and I at least have a chance of reaching my foot with my arm!

    I absolutely love this sock putter onner and think the device is absolute genius!  When I finally don’t need it anymore I’ll be mailing it to my 92 year old Dad who I know has some problems getting his own socks on…because he too is experienced hip problems! But at 92 his doctors don’t think a complete hip replacement is the best idea…and I get why…it’s pretty brutal…even despite all the recent improvements!

    Sock Outter Onner aka Sock Aid

    Sock Putter Onner aka Sock Aid

    4. Leg Lifter

    I wish someone from the hospital had told me about these. For some reason after your hip joint has been cut out you have absolutely no front thigh muscles to lift your leg with. So getting your leg into bed, into a car, up onto a footstool or couch is almost impossible all on your own. The first few days even using your arm to lift it seems challenging, although one hospital nurse did teach me a technique to use my other leg as a sort of lever and latch the surgical leg onto it using my foot as a hook. But that method only works sometimes…and it can be exhausting when you’re on heavy-duty pain killers! So a leg lifter is an absolute essential imo!

Below is my video on how to make a DYI leg lifter from a tube scarf.

  • That being said…this is also the device that is easiest to jury-rig up your own modification of. For example…out of sheer desperation I discovered that a tube scarf works well for this purpose. What’s a tube scarf? Well, it’s something I wear to keep my neck warm because ever since I chopped off my long hair into a very short pixie cut, my neck feels naked and gets really cold. So tube scarves keep it warm.They can also be described as inexpensive tubes of fabric like that shown below…which when fully extended are plenty long to use as a leg lifter too!

    Below is one of my favorite tube scarves from Amazon. Also I’ve included an official leg lifter for comparison purposes.

    Leg lifter and Tube Scarf

    5. Long-handled shoe horn

    Both this long-handled shoe horn and the long-handled sponge shown next have been useful for me. Both were given to me in the hospital by the occupational therapist. The shoe horn is just a really nice one and I’ll use it forever. The sponge on the other hand…not so much!

    Shoe horn and sponge

    6. Long-handled sponge

    Post-Surgical Hip Replacement – Products for Pain

    I’ve Had Some Nocturnal Leg and Foot Cramps in the Past…But Nothing Like This!

    This section has ended up being very long and should have been a separate post entirely…maybe I’ll still do that. Because pain issues have been significant for me, and frankly, I think they are for most hip replacement patients. It’s more a matter of ‘for how long’ than anything else probably. Currently I’m early into week 3 and still take something for pain constantly…usually 2 things. A topical and oral medicine.

    The good news is the pain is lessening and changing which shows progress…just as my ability keeps improving too. My biggest problem…when I sit quietly my pain goes away. As soon as I start doing anything…even just walking…it comes back with such a vengeance that only taking pain medicine (Tylenol usually) will relieve it. I know I should be exercising  much more than I am…but that’s why I’m not!

    Going back to the beginning…the first week I expected massive pain and I wasn’t surprised. As it lessened, that’s when I considered leaving narcotics behind me. So I stopped taking the narcotic pain medicine that I’d been sent home from the hospital with at the end of the first week. In addition to the normal incisional and surgical pain any person would feel from chopping off some of the largest bones in their body, I experienced a lot of other leg pain too. This, according to both my doctor and PT guy is quite normal.

    Around the time I stopped the narcotics is when the awful leg cramps set in for me. Did stopping the narcotics cause it? It shouldn’t have based on what everyone has told me. This pain has been consistent for the entire course of my rehab…and has paralleled it in intensity. Had I known this in advance I may not have stopped taking the heavy duty pain medicine quite so soon. Because even though it didn’t appear to cause it…it would have helped in dealing with it. But I didn’t. I wasn’t feeling great from the pain meds and in my mind when I quit them I was done with them for good.  (Weeks later however I did resume taking very small amounts of  the leftover narcotic pain meds I still had just for sleeping purposes…breaking them into tiny slivers.) They did help a lot for another week and my approach seemed to prevent most of the negative side effects.

    But initially after stopping the narcotics, I pretty much had to rely upon Tylenol for what began as nighttime leg cramps but then turned into almost constant daily cramps that frequently moved locations and travelled all around my surgical leg. A typical cycle might be with the pain beginning in the front of my thigh…which then moved to my knee, then to my calve and sometimes even my ankle. Then it might jump up to focus around my incision or in my buttock area…where I usually felt sciatic pain. I figured those pains were more likely due to the actual surgery…since some of it didn’t seem to fall into the ‘cramping’ category.

    Photo by dan carlson on Unsplash
    Photo by dan carlson on Unsplash

    In truth, when your leg hurts a lot, and it continues to hurt most of the time, you don’t really end up spending much time trying to differentiate amongst the sources of it. You just want it gone!

    Anti Leg-Cramp Remedies

    Since I Had Experienced Nocturnal Leg & Foot Cramps Previously I Immediately Went to The Things That Helped Me the Most When Those Were a Problem Before

    The things that had helped me out the most previously were Homeopathic remedies in either tablet or topical forms as well as other topical treatments, dietary changes and mechanical or movement therapies like stretching.

    Hylands is a brand I’ve come to trust and they make 2 different tablets as well as an ointment I’ve liked a lot in the past. I had one tablet at home but ordered the other which is a PM version,with different ingredients. It has a higher concentration of Quinine, which is an ingredient known to help leg cramping.  I also ordered more ointment, because we were almost out…I must have used a lot of it last time!

    Hylands Leg Cramp Tablets  $9.48

    Hylands Leg Cramp Tablets PM 50 Ct. $7.40

    Hylands Leg Cramp Ointment  $9.23

    Typically the regular tablets (not the PM version I’d never tried before) helped me the most. But with this post-surgical cramping and pain I found that the ointment helped me the most.

    Since I began with these and I wasn’t having huge success I kept searching for something better. I then ran across Boron’s remedy…which is another good brand for homeopathic medicine and another I had at home already.

    Comparison of Hylands remedys

    Boiron’s remedy I’d used less. I wasn’t sure if that was because it didn’t work as well for me or just because it took a little longer to dissolve sublingually (under the tongue.) So I added that to my regime but still didn’t have a ton of success.

    Boiron Cuprum Metallicum – is what I’ve taken for leg cramps in the past.

Boiron homeopathic remedies for leg & muscle cramps

  • Arnica Montana 30x (quick dissolving tablets…see below) is what I started taking for the current pain caused by injury from the surgery.
  • Arnica Montana Creme I’ve been using topically along with the arnica tablets to strengthen then effect…it works for a few hours.

Homeopathic Remedy for Injury Related Pain

  • Traditional Homeopathic Remedies for Injury, Pain, Inflammation and Healing

    That’s when I began to branch out from just leg cramp remedies to pain, anti-inflammatory, traumatic injuries and healing remedies.

    For many years, before she move away, I was treated by a Medical Doctor who was also trained in acupuncture and homeopathy. She was amazing and caring practitioner who was probably more highly trained than any Doctor I’ve ever encountered either before or after.

    Many of the remedies I use today originated from her. Most of the things she tried with me were very helpful…if they weren’t I moved on and forgot about them. I have an underlying hereditary condition which I believe causes me to be hypersensitive to many things which cause physical sensations. Hypersensitivity to medication happens to be one of them. Small amounts or dosages for me usually go a long way and large amounts or very strong medications sometimes completely overwhelm my system. That’s why I suspect things like acupuncture and homeopathy work so well for me.

    I began taking Traumeel, a great anti-inflammatory and pain remedy on her advice. It’s the one homeopathic remedy that I’ve used for a very long time that also seems to have fairly universal success.  It’s even used in veterinary cases a lot!  The other is Arnica. I shopped for Arnica in both tablet form and topical form because Arnica is the best healing remedy I know of to take following a traumatic injury. Taking a combination of Arnica Tablets and using that alongside either the creme or gel form of Arnica has been helping me alot!! Yay! You are so limited with what you can take post surgery that I’m beyond happy this is working for me!

    I found another combination that also works well for me. It’s taking Traumeel tablets and along with Aspercreme Rub. I would have tried both forms of Traumeel…tablets and gel together, if I had both. But I didn’t, I just had the tablets. Traumeel isn’t easy to come by in the US recently. I didn’t think if I ordered the Traumeel ointment I’d receive it anytime soon. So I think my combining it with Aspercreme made sense and was a good approach which works because homeopathy tends to be a milder, gentler kind of treatment. Many topical treatments seem to be the same. I think that explains why using a combined therapy of tablets along with a topical treatment has been highly successful for me in dealing with this somewhat intractable pain.  Using combinations like this isn’t something that I’ve tried in the past, so I was really happy to discover it now!

    Aspercream & Traumeel

    A few more aspects of homeopathic oral remedies I should discuss. They are all taken sublingually, therefore if you use a liquid sublingually it will absorb much faster than the time it takes a tablet to dissolve and absorb. Generally you shouldn’t have consumed anything with a strong scent, like onions, coffee or even toothpaste for about 30 minutes prior to taking anything sublingually, but especially homeopathic remedies because they are so gentle. Most liquids have an alcohol base that can sting if you have any cuts in your mouth. Last I just learned that homeopathic remedies never really go bad or expire. So don’t throw them away if they don’t work from r something!  There’s a good chance they’ll work for something else instead. They will keep indefinitely as long as they are stored in a cool, dry location.

    Normally, I prefer using Traumeel’s liquid form. I don’t know if it was because I had a breathing tube or what, but I did have some sore spots in my mouth post surgery.  I found that the tablets easier to take than the liquid despite the longer absorption time, because the alcohol made my mouth sting. Also most homeopathic remedies come in various strengths.  Understanding that hierarchy is fairly complicated, so it’s just easier to say that for home, 30x or c is best, followed by 6.

    Additional Topical Treatments

    Magnesium Lotion $8.70 for 8 oz Bottle

    This lotion isn’t helping much with my current post-surgical leg pain, but in the past it’s been one of my go-too solutions. My husbands personal trainer got this for me a few years back when I was having trouble with regular leg cramps. It helped a lot at that time and was difficult to find so I decided to include it even though it isn’t helping me much this time around.

    Magnesium Lotion

    Theraworx Foam 7.1 oz $19.95

    Since my tried and true Magnesium Lotion wasn’t helping I decided to try another formulation of Magnesium. I went with Theraworx because it got great reviews and it would arrive quickly…or so I thought. A week later it finally arrived…and I was ready to send it back because my leg cramps appear too be gone. But, my leg still hurts it’s just not cramps…and one night when the pain was bad (it always seems worst at night) I decided to try it. I was surprised to find that it does help!  I guess some of my leg pain is still related to cramps!

    Below I included some information on Theraworx and compare it’s ingredients to those of the Magnesium Lotion I’ve always relied upon in the past.
    E2E5CE7B-9E74-4557-94DD-69AD33F941FB

    Voltaran Gel

    Voltaren Gel

    Voltaren Gel is a prescription anti-inflammatory and pain topical medicine in the U.S. I had some around the house from a back problem long ago. When I stopped taking the narcotics, the first day the pain was really bad so I dug this out, researched the safety of taking it and tried it. It didn’t help me much and I got a bloody nose…which went away when I stopped using it.

    So Voltaren is a NSAID and I was worried that it might somehow enter your bloodstream and cause blood thinning the way oral NSAID’s do. Apparently it doesn’t because my doctor, well really his PA said it was OK to use. But then the bloody nose thing happened…and worse…stopped when I stopped using Voltaren and that was my proof that using this in the early days post surgery isn’t safe.

    2 weeks later I tried it again with much better results. It helped my pain and no bloody nose. So timing after surgery seems important.

    Food, Vitamins, & Supplements

    58A47071-FD66-45EC-8690-A9FA0D0F3B11

    Pears – There’s one nutritional suggestion that has nothing to do with pain. I’m able to share this with you because of the kind actions of a very dear friend who also had a hip replacement several years ago. She sent me not one, but 2 amazing gift boxes filled with some of the most wonderful pears I’ve ever had! I never knew that pears could be so good! Nor did my husband who had a hard time not eating them all before I could get to them ;-)

    Why did she send me pears? I was wondering the exact same thing myself. She sent them because she knew that my gastrointestinal system would be all out of sorts from the heavy duty pain medication. And somewhere along the way she learned that pears are one of the highest fiber fruits in existence. I suspect she also knew that plain old grocery store pears, if even available in the dead of winter, probably wouldn’t be all that great tasting. Not so with the Amazon gift pears…they were amazing!

    Below: The gift box of pears I received from my dear friend

    One of the gift box of pears I received

    While I don’t know exactly which gift box she sent to me and it doesn’t seem to be any of them that I found (see the screenshot above.) I thought that I should include a few examples of similar gift boxes I did find, just so that you know they really do exist. Believe me, these pear gift but boxes were not that easy to track down at Amazon! Even knowing they came from Amazon Fresh didn’t seem to help much.

    In the screenshot above on the far left Comice Pears, $36 for 9 are shown. In the middle is 4 lbs of a winter pears medley including Bosc pears, Asian pears, Comice pears and Red d’Anjou pears for $43. On the right is another medley…this time it includes 3 each of Comice, Bosc and Red Pears for $28.

    Dill Pickles – most of the dietary changes I tried didn’t seem to make a bit of difference except this one. My son mentioned to me that this as a popular cramp remedy with some of the players from his former state championship winning tennis team. Separately I’d run across several mentions of this remedy online. So with the combined credibility of several recommendations I decided to give it a try.

    I was really surprised to find that eating a dill pickle really helped! Especially when no other dietary change seemed to matter in the least. Drinking more fluids in general and drinking a lot of electrolyte enhanced beverages seemed to have no impact what so ever.

    My Dill PicklesMy Dill Pickles

    Eating more salt, soy sauce, baking soda and yellow mustard didn’t matter, nor did more bananas or other sources of potassium or magnesium.

    Hot Shot

    One thing I didn’t try, but my PT recommended was a sport supplement called Hot Shot. At first I couldn’t find it until he gave this link to my husband. He said the science behind it was based on the concept that strong tastes that shock your tastebuds…like hot things or sour things as in fermented  foods (i.e.dill pickles) help with muscle cramping…although the mechanism isn’t yet entirely understood.

    Overtime, the actual leg cramps have dissipated but general leg pain remains. In reading more about why my legs hurt so much I found others undergoing THR have also battled severe muscle tightness, which is what my PT says is the reason for all my pain now. Each time I see him he works on sort of massaging all the muscle sets which run all the way up and down my leg and around my hip, to break up the tightness. It seems like it’s occurring because my body is trying to align my leg into a joint that just wasn’t formed correctly initially…and decades of muscle memory don’t just disappear overnight.

    2 Vitamin Supplements that Continue to Help A Lot are Calcium Citrate and  Lyte Fuel Electrolyte Tablets which I Take with my Tylenol

    Calcium Citrate & Lyte Fuel

    My husband took me to a local health supplement store similar to GNC after physical therapy one day. A sales clerk working there recommended that I try Calcium Citrate. I found the Lyte Fuel Tablets at Amazon and decided to try them because I can’t have sugar which most regular electrolyte beverages are packed with and sugar free ones can have negative gastrointestinal effects (as well as taste horrific!)
    A similar Calcium Citrate formulation to mineAbove: A Calcium Citrate Formulation similar to mine (but available on Amazon) along with my Lyte Fuel Supplements. Both are available at Amazon.

    The Last 2 Supplements that Help Me

    I apparently don’t get enough calcium, maybe because I’m lactose intolerant? I was diagnosed with osteopenia a few years ago. So  I’ve always tried to counteract that and be conscientious about taking calcium supplements. The same homeopathic MD I mentioned earlier told me about a great source of calcium that I’ve been taking for years…Coral Legend. She told me that it’s one of the most absorbable and good ways to supplement calcium. I’m sure there was more she told me too, but it was a long time ago and I’ve forgotten. I usually take a tiny amount of Coral Legend (because I take regular calcium too and because it’s so expensive!) every night.  I mix it in water then use that water to wash down my other supplements with. Since the cramping began I’ve increased how much I use…and now am using at least 1/4 teaspoon per night if not more…which means is the recommended amount.

    I also just added another supplement that she’d had me taking years ago. I  don’t really remember why I was taking it back then but from what I recall it was to sleep better. Maybe I was experiencing leg cramping that was interrupting my sleep? Although I tend to think that wasn’t the case…I couldn’t tell you why though. This supplement is called Magnelevures. I remember the part about taking it for sleep well because it was so strong for me that I could only take about 1/8 of an envelope of the stuff. Otherwise I’d not be able to wake up the next morning! I stopped having problems sleeping and stopped taking it at some point. But I save everything.

    Coral Legend and Magnaveloures

    So I was able to find half of a used box of Magnelevures and I’ve resumed taking too. I did this because I had some vague recollection that it helps with leg cramps. Since it contains 120 mg of magnesium that would make sense. Between the Coral Legend and the Magnelevures I’m finally getting enough magnesium I think…because my very severe leg cramps are gone. What’s left is just plain leg pain which isn’t nearly as bad. Although as the memory of the cramps distances itself further…my current leg pain seems to get worse ;-) I still don’t take anywhere near the amount of Magnelevures that’s recommended by Unda. They suggest 2 envelopes a day. I take about 1/4 of 1 right before bedtime because it does make me sleepy.

    A Great Patient Forum

    I was Googling a lot of my questions the first few days and ran across this hip replacement patient forum that’s very active and very helpful.

    Patient Hip Replacement Forum

    Conclusion

    I’m sure if I stopped to think for a moment I’d remember something else I wanted to include…so I won’t. Because my sibling…who I think I can safely now reveal is my brother, came home from the hospital today…and he’s right at the point where if any of these will be of use to him…that time would be right now.

    Comments

    Please feel free to share any ideas you may have found successful for your recovery. Scroll down a little further to leave a comment.

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New Trick for PDF Creation of Complex Webpages & Layouts on ios

Introduction

Creating PDF’s for Difficult to Manage Webpages Can Be Challenging

Most of the time when I need to create a PDF on the spur of the moment, I use Apple’s built-in but somewhat secret PDF creation utility which I describe in detail in this post. But sometimes that simple method doesn’t work out well and the resulting PDF is laid out awkwardly or the PDF is unreadable. When that happens I usually move to a paid app by Readdle Inc. called PDF Converter which I also describe in some detail in the aforementioned post.

Saving Webpages in Apple Notes

If you’re wondering what I’m doing with all of these PDF’s, it’s how I keep data stored within Apple Notes. Unlike Evernote, which offers a Web Clipping utility that allows you to select and save virtually any information from almost any webpage that you may want, Apple Notes is pretty archaic. That is until you learn Apple’s little ios PDF creation trick using the Print Command. While it doesn’t provide all of the flexibility of Evernote’s web clipper…it provides more than is initially apparent…and it offers by far, the best way to save content from webpages into Apple Notes…as well as the fastest method too!

But, sometimes the webpage’s data is too convoluted graphically for even that paid app to work well. Today I discovered a great work around Using Readdle’s app for when that occurs.

PDF Convertor App by Readdle

PDF Converter App by Readdle $4.99

Example|  Trying to Create a PDF from a Difficult or Uniquely Formatted Webpage

Below are 3 examples of exactly what I’m referring too. The first is a PDF I created using Apple’s built-in utility for ios of Kruger National Park in South Africa, created from the page I’ve linked to. Kruger National Park | South African Safari & Lodging Guide Created Using ios Utility

This is compared to a similar PDF that I created using Readdle’s app when I realized that the first PDF was useless. But so was the second one. In both cases, the way the webpage is laid out prevents the creation of a useful PDF because most of the content goes off the right edge of the page and is unreadable. While I was within Readdle’s app trying to figure out how to salvage a useable PDF from the site I noticed something I’d never seen before. A menu item listed simply as ‘Clipboard.’

The Clipboard menu item

The Clipboard menu item

Upon further exploration, I discovered that I could use this feature to copy the whole page onto the ‘invisible’ clipboard and then have the app convert that data into a PDF. When I tried it I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was finally able to get the webpage for Kruger National Park cast onto a nicely formatted PDF! See example 3 below.

Screenshot of #1

PDF Created Using ios Built-in Method

1. Kruger National Park in South Africa PDF Created Using the ios Built-in Utility

Kruger National Park | South African Safari & Lodging Guide Created Using ios Utility

Screenshot of #2

2. Kruger National Park in South Africa PDF Created Using Readdle’s PDF Converter App. It was id’ed as a damaged file by the GoodReader App (that I use to store documents and upload them to my websites from) so the GoodReader App attempted to repair it…thus the auto-generated name.

Kruger National Park PDF from PDF Converter – repaired

Screenshot of #3

PDF Created Using PDF Convertor's Clipboard Method

3. Kruger National Park Clipboard Method PDF Converter

Best Kruger National Park Clipboard Method PDF Converter

As you can quickly see in the accompanying illustrations, the only PDF that’s legible of the 3 is the last one.

How to Use PDF Converter & the Clipboard Option to Create a PDF

Go to the troublesome website and attempt to copy the entire webpage onto the  ios clipboard. If ios offers a Reader View, copying this will probably be easier.  An available Reader View is indicated by five lines in the address bar as shown in the screenshot below.

Regular View and Reader View of a Wikipedia webpage

Once the webpage is copied onto the clipboard just open PDF Converter and tap on the ‘Clipboard  Content ‘ menu item on the left.

If all goes well the app will create a much better looking PDF. One that includes all of it’s text in a readable format like that shown in Screenshot #3 above!

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Modern Medicine’s Most Amazing Miracle…In 2018 Patient’s Can Achieve A Complete Phase 1 Recovery in Just 9 Days When Minimally Invasive THR Total Hip Replacement Techniques Are Used

Part 1 of my Hip Replacement Series

This is Part 1 of my Total Hip Replacement Series. Part 2 talks about the things I got to make life easier post operatively, what I used to help me heal quickly and the things that helped me most in coping with serious leg cramps in my surgical leg. Both parts are being written for a sibling who’s undergoing a THR in about a week. Part 3 may or may not happen so I won’t waste time describing it here unless it does!

Introduction

The miracles of modern medicine extend far beyond the relatively simple confines of total hip replacement technology…yet it’s that procedure, (formally known as THA or Total Hip Arthoplasty) which continues to astonish, amaze and even inspire thousands of Americans to place their complete trust and their future’s well-being into the hands of a total stranger.

As hip implants have been refined and the techniques used to implant them have been tweaked and modified, overall success and patient satisfaction have sky rocketed. We find ourselves in 2018 at a pinnacle of modern medicine. As it tends to happen every so often in the world of medicine, once again the full reality of its miracles can’t escape our observation.

My own personal evidence? Following a right-side total hip replacement 9 days ago, I wasn’t entirely prepared for an experience which surely has been nothing short of miraculous, if only from a purely logistical perspective.

Living My Own Personal Miracle

 ______________________

9 days ago I was admitted to a local hospital for a complete hip replacement.
Today…exactly 9 days later…I was cleared for any and all activities including driving!

Despite the fact that my right hip was the one that was just replaced! During the course of writing this, which began on the miraculous Day 9, I had more ups and downs than one might think possible! That explains in part why I’m finally publishing this on Day 13. Despite my early Day 9 love fest…and subsequent downs…and ups…I know that my progress is moving steadily up, and each day I have some new improvements which combined, have made this overall experience more positive than negative.

 A Matter of Miracles

A  Slightly Meandering Thought

I am truly my Father’s daughter. Shortly after reading this my 92 year old Dad, who somewhat miraculously still writes often at his own website PotPourri, shared with me an essay he wrote several years back, which I had completely forgotten about.

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It’s somewhat surprising that I did forget since his essay,  A Matter of  Miracles is perhaps one of my all-time favorites, if for no other reason than the fact that my family and I are one of the central themes in his story. But it’s just a favorite story too. At the risk of sounding annoyingly obtuse…just go read it already…it will warm your heart and make you smile.

But what really makes me smile is how much Dad and I love to find the amazingness behind any simple idea or construct. The sheer joy we share while marveling at some of life’s wonders, like this YouTube video Dad shared with me today about Amazon’s robots…it’s like no other, and no one could appreciate this like we do! It makes me realize that I could not have been easily dissuaded from writing about the miracle I got to personally experience in such a profound and meaningful way ;-)

_____________________

Below: My Before & After X-rays. A Hip Replacement Involves Removing A Large Amount of Bone That Comprised the Original Hip Joint and Replacing It with Titanium & Plastic Protheses

Above: My Before & After X-rays. A Hip Replacement Involves Removing A Large Amount of Bone That Comprised the Original Hip Joint and Replacing It with a Titanium & Plastic Prothesis

How Did I Arrive at the Point at Which I Needed a Complete Hip Replacement?

A Brief Orthopedic History

My history of hip problems was a lifelong one. The moment I was born my Mom’s obstetrician noted to my parents that I needed to be taken for a an evaluation of my hips. That was done and proved to be inconclusive. But it explained why my parents weren’t especially alarmed when my ability to walk was delayed significantly because my right leg ‘buckled under’ everytime I got going.

Better late than never I finally managed to wrangle control of my errant right leg enough to successfully walk. But that same leg continued to try and mess with me and my life for the next 60 years.

Some of the ways it did so were by causing my gait to be so off that my Mom took me to an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed Perthes as a youngster. It was a ‘mild case’ of Perthes, which is a childhood onset hip disease that a friend and classmate also had. But his was a much more serious case which required him to remain in a complete body cast for an entire year at around the age of 9 years old. The ugly nude-colored corrective shoes that I was forced to wear for years, while duly hated were quickly placed in their proper perspective when I found myself carrying around the little receiving end of the electronic box which our phone company had installed in my classmates dining room. His family’s dining room would be his home for the year that he lived in a body cast.

So, although fate stepped in that time to make sure that my misery was properly mitigated, later, as a teenager wanting to keep up with my peers in sports, I wasn’t quite as lucky. Mainly because I was constantly frustrated in not being able to control that wonky leg well enough to do most of the things that I deemed important.


This historic image from 1969 documents the first total hip replacement performed in the U.S., a technique developed by Mayo Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Development of the total knee replacement technique followed in 1971. These successes ushered in a new era of hip and knee health. I was 12 at the time and my overall health was good because of Mayo’s.

Mayo's in 1969 is Generally Regarded as the 1st Modern Day Hip Replacement

Their doctors in Rochester had performed a different kind of miracle by bringing me back for the brink of death just a few short years earlier when I suffered from a random and bizarre case of total kidney failure. This followed a fall on the playground which had resulted in badly scrapped knees that had become infected with Strep B…leading to childhood Nephritis.


Things like snow skiing (downhill) and water skiing (I was part of a ski show) for example were sports I excelled in when performing left-sided maneuvers or even making left turns. But my right side was a completely different story. Probably the hardest part was my lack of understanding of the causative effect which my wonky leg played in these seemingly dramatic childhood and teenaged events. It was years later as an adult and a parent, that I began to put the pieces of this puzzle together correctly.

Although truthfully, I have to give most of the credit for this insight to an amazing downhill ski trainer who could see the blatant differences that I could only sense were happening.

Surprisingly, even though a constant theme in my life was this oft-repeated series of accident prone mishaps leading to casts, crutches, boots and ultimately surgery, which sort-of forced the issue…the abnormalities I lived with for 60 years were never really given a name. Hip dysplasia and Perthes, while bandied about, didn’t really fit as a proper diagnoses.  So I gave it my own diagnoses…which is how the wonky leg descriptor came into being.

You can see in fact that my description didn’t really consider my hip to be the sole bearer of all the problems I experienced. Responsibility was equally shared with a wonky foot and a wonky ankle too. Later in life a wonky knee joined forces. That’s why, when my foot surgeon told me that he thought that I needed a total hip replacement I was in a state of total disbelief. This was something that had never been mentioned before…even as a remote possibility. The fact that the leg of my surgical foot was pointing in a 90° angle away from its proper direction, that it stubbornly refused to be forced back into its proper alignment, and that it had begun something which I imagined closely resembled my early childhood ‘buckling’ problem notwithstanding…my immediate reaction was one of shock and disbelief.

What Makes Hip Replacements the Modern Day Miracle of Medicine in 2018

First it’s Because Present Day Hip Replacements Are Very Different from Their Predecessors

Almost every aspect of this surgery has been optimized from its 1960’s origins.

Advances in anesthetic techniques make the procedure much less painful while decreasing side effects and dependence upon opioids, which allows patients to walk more quickly after surgery (usually within 4 hours) and to leave the hospital earlier (often the same day or next day.)

Improvements in procedures which tend to cause less internal damage and use smaller incisions means that healing times are greatly reduced.

For example, many of the newest minimally invasive, muscle sparring procedures used today may require much greater surgical skill and technique, and sometimes even specialized instruments…but their resulting shortened window of rehabilitation makes them attractive to younger generations. As a result there’s been a significant increase in the overall number of procedures performed. The average age of patients undergoing joint placements including both hips and knees is decreasing too. Patients in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s…once almost unheard of, are commonplace today.

So these new procedures, coupled with a lot of advances in the reliability of  the prothesis that are used today are what’s moved this type of procedure from the medical marvel category to that of miraculous.

2nd it’s because people who would once have been crippled by arthritis for the rest the of their lives can now go on to lead normal, active and highly productive lives.

People who are younger are increasingly undergoing both hip and knee replacements, and some recent studies are even showing that these types of procedures seem to increase overall life expectancy by a small amount.

When I was researching the type of procedures that are used today I encountered roughly 30…but those fall into larger general categories which Mayo’s wrote a nice overview of last year that I’ve shown below.

Mayo's overview of hip replacement procedures

The type of hip joint implant which utilizes metal stems and polyethylene cups or the newer highly cross linked polyethylene (HCLP,) which are afixed to the bone without cement, appear to cause the least number of long term problems by withstanding unexpected wear better and exhibiting less part failure, and less long-term biological implications. Also Ceramic joint surfaces can reduce friction and avoid the chance of metal corrosion in the joint. The combined results of these improvements mean that a new hip joint should function well for many years…quite possibly much longer than the original estimates of 10-15 years.

This is especially important for people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s…who have the most to lose from typical implant problems like wear particles being distributed internally and tissue irritation like pseudotumors. This 2014 article does the best job of describing those types of problems by implant type.

 B. Sonny Bal, M.D., writing for eMedicine wrote a great overview of the entire minimally invasive hip replacement process pictured below and found here.

Not Your Grandma’s Hip Replacement

The ‘miracle’ aspect of modern day hip (and knee) replacements didn’t really hit home with me until I read this enlightening short blog post by a guy who’d just undergone cardiac surgery. The observations he made while still admitted about 2 other guys who we’re there for total hip replacements helped me to recognize how truly miraculous these new procedures are.

A Pinch of Salt Blog

Fast Forward Back to My Present Day Decision to Undergo A Total Hip Replacement

Pre-surgery Preparations

Once my mind was made up there was no looking back.

I’d been preparing for surgery for weeks, and was frankly a little bit surprised at how much preparation was required. Through a series of online tutorials which I received daily emails from my surgeon instructing me to visit, I was instructed that I needed to get our house ready, myself ready and my life suitably placed on hold.

All told, the preparation took about a month. I approached the class, educational resources and the daily online checkin’s my surgeon required very seriously. I followed their instructions to a T (almost.) I diligently worked out specific muscle groups surrounding my hip joint. I removed any and all small rugs, cables and impediments which might cause me to trip or fall post-op. I prepared a place to sleep downstairs (which involved getting some new, inexpensive furniture,) and I practiced with my crutches so I’d pass the hospital’s test and wouldn’t be required to bring home a walker like most new hip recipients.

The Day of Surgery

In spite of all the preparations, I’m not gonna lie…the day of the actual surgery was a bit tense. But then the procedure went well and it only took about an hour an a half. My surgeon used an anterior direct approach, which is considered to be one of the more minimally invasive, or muscle sparing procedures…but perhaps not the most. I discovered there are 2 main approaches…anterior or posterior…but roughly 30 modifications of these 2 main approaches that each involve slightly different rates of recovery. It wasn’t easy learning what my expected rate of recovery might be, and in fact I never really did!

No one ever talked to me in detail about that part. So I was left to assume…and my assumption was maybe a month. The specific type of procedure performed, which might have the most significant impact upon recovery rate, was never guaranteed. Because you never know what might crop up at the last minute. So I guess I was somewhat lucky that the original plans were able to be executed as intended in the final ‘actual‘ plan.

Even so…remember no one told me what to expect in any kind of detail. Probably the person who came closest to this was my physical therapist who I met with only once  pre-surgery. His description was vague and not specific because I didn’t know until that meeting how much I really didn’t know about my own procedure!

Also, vagueness was probably due to the fact that there’s a huge amount of variability in recovery rates, based upon a patient’s age and overall level of health as well as their overall level of physical fitness too. Perhaps because my own physical fitness level had been less than stellar…primarily because my hip prevented me from doing so many things…my expectations were low.

That’s why…on Day 9, towards the end of my first physical therapy session I’m was literally stunned to learn that I’ve been given the ‘all clear’ for just about everything!Me, Happy I'm Given the All Clear

Here’s What I Can Do at 9 Days Out

  • Walk unassisted without crutches or a walker. But everyone wants me to continue to use my crutches for just a little while longer…just to make sure.
  • Go up and down stairs the normal way…I should be careful however…especially going down. I should probably also use the ‘easy way‘ with a crutch for a while…just to make sure. (The ‘easy’ way involves taking just one step at a time, landing on each step with both feet instead of just moving quickly from step to step with each foot.)
  • I can drive!!! Since it was my right hip that was replaced I find this nothing short of a miracle! However, once again I’ve been advised that I should take it easy at first. Maybe even take a few short practice runs first…which given my driving record makes a lot of sense!
  • In short I can do much more now than I could 9 days ago. 9 days ago arthritis prevented me from doing many things. Some as simple as sitting in a car, others more taxiing like running. I didn’t think to ask if running is advised yet but given my physical therapists general instructions of do what I want letting pain be my guide, I imagine I could if I wanted to.

Here’s What I Can’t Do at the 9 Day Milestone

  • Lunge – I was cautioned about this type movement upon being discharged from the hospital.
  • Jump & Hop – The only reason I know this is because my ever humorous husband (and my rock throughout this process) did ask at my 1st PT session today.
  • Have a Dental Procedure…I need to wait 3  months and when I do I need to take an antibiotic first.
  • Sleep – But not for obvious reasons. In fact, sleep is generally encouraged….I simply can’t do it.

Lifting My Leg is Still Difficult

My Inability to Sleep is the Only Real Problem I’ve Experienced

Its kind of a big problem though. What’s preventing me from sleeping is cramping and charley horse types of pains in my surgical leg. In fact, overtime, what began as just nighttime pain has become pain I experience almost all day long. The pain is a moving target. It can occur in obvious places like my hip, groin and buttocks, but in less obvious ones too, like my knee, calve and ankle. One reason this presents a bigger problem is because of Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is a significant risk following any hip replacement. DVT symptoms resemble the symptoms of the leg cramps I’m experiencing too.  So, while there was this undertone of worry initially by my surgeon, I was pretty sure that I didn’t have DVT, and that fact was confirmed by an ultrasound.

What this does mean however for someone else who like me may also be prone to restless leg syndrome or nocturnal cramping, is that they too may experience these symptoms. They may become more profound at night, and so far at least they’ve proven very difficult to treat.

My PT guy believes there are due in large part to the amount of trauma that the surrounding areas underwent…cartilage and tissue damage I’m guessing. He also believes they may emanate in part from a significantly different gait that I’ve assumed post operatively.

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Why My Postoperative Gait Might Be Different

One thing that no one mentioned to me and that I also failed to discover during my own research is that limb length discrepancies are fairly common following Total Hip Replacements. Most often the surgical leg ends up longer than the other…at least initially.

Mine was and appeared to be almost 2″ longer than with my former hip. But this amount has already decreased and should do so even more in the future. 2 Weeks post surgery I’d estimate the disparity to be about 1″ now. There are multiple reasons for this. First is that many patients experience a sort of general ‘settling’ of the hip joint. Next, the surrounding area may remain swollen for a long time prior to finding a new permanent position. This swelling could obviously result in a temporary length discrepancy. Last, the leg can also just feel longer because the amount of erosion from  arthritic processes may have decreased overall leg length overtime…and the new prothesis has actually brought it back to the correct original length.

 Below: My prothesis is made by DePuy

Below: My prothesis is made by DePuy

While the explanations for longer surgical leg length make sense…they don’t do much for dealing with the pain resulting from it. I’ve had a solid week to experiment and the cramping and pain is some of the worst I’ve ever experienced. My former remedies have failed to yield positive results. So, I thought I’d include a small section on what I discovered did help me tremendously in coping with this pain. Because pain management post operatively is stymied by patient’s ability to use so many of the solutions which would otherwise be obvious…but which currently are not allowed.

Things like NSAID’s and even NSAID topical treatments aren’t allowed due to potential post op bleeding. Another soothing activity which is prohibited currently is soaking in warm water or whirlpools…because the incision (which I haven’t seen yet but  is protected by a massive sized 12″ bandaid) can’t be submerged.

My Recommendations for Leg Cramps While Sleeping (and While Awake too!)

The Soheryii Air Compression Leg & Foot Massager from Amazon for $129.99

I’ve run through the full gamut of past proven and folk remedies for the nocturnal leg cramping problem…everything from Hyland’s Homeopathic Tablets and Ointment to Topical Magnesium, calcium citrate, mustard, dill pickles and electrolyte beverages like  Gatorade.  Many help a little but none work well enough to stop this most stubborn, persistent, and almost continuous problem. It began just at night but worsened to all day, everyday.

Only one thing has given me consistent relief…and I’m as surprised as anyone to find that it works for me!

While in the hospital they employed these inflatable leg compression devices on my lower legs which combined with compression socks were intended to prevent blot clots and deep vein thrombosis. They worked well and I got compression socks for home use too.  It in searching for the hospital’s compression system I found it was $5000…not worth the cost for home use. There are others on Amazon and the main price categories tend to be around $300 or around $1000 for full leg compression..,which I wanted. But I couldn’t find any of the around $300 units which would arrive at my home soon enough to be of use for me. The earliest would have been about a week out (it’s St. Patty’s Day right now.)

So I ordered that set knowing I could return it and called Amazon Customer assistance. They assisted me in finding this less expensive set for $129.99. I had seen it but thought the reviews weren’t promising and it wasn’t one complete leg unit but multiple units which looked confusing, had a lot of cords and was potentially cheap and nonfunctional.  But I did order it because it was available for delivery the next day.

Putting it together and using it initially were beyond confusing! It truly took both my husband and myself to figure it out and get this unit working. But our perseverance paid off big time…because this one device has been a Godsend…and it’s the only reason I’m now sleeping through the night!

Below: The Amazing Leg Compression Device   Which is Helping with all My Leg CrampingThe Amazing Compression Device which is helping me sleep!

A Few Reason’s Why The Soheryii Air Compression Leg & Foot Massager Has Been So Amazing

As I mentioned…I thought I wanted one long leg sleeve…but it turns out my pain is constantly moving…and by having the different sized pieces I can place them exactly where my pain is. Second…I read that a lot of the more expensive units had such strong pressure they were more uncomfortable than relaxing…I needed relaxing. This one has a default setting of 5 but it goes up or down from there. I generally go down to 2 which is perfect for me. Third…the long leg parts zip…the shorter leg cuffs use strong velcro.  I can unzip the zippers some but it’s not as effective as readjusting the velcro positioning. Therefore the velcro allows me to customize the pressure even more than the electronic control does.

I use these massagers every time I sit down, because leg cramps begin within a few minutes of sitting down. What happens for me is I’ll be sitting with my legs extended and elevated and some ice packs on and feel comfortable….say maybe for half an hour…and then I move. That’s when the massive cramping sets in. I can’t move, walk or do anything for the next few hours without massive leg cramping. So if I’m walking around doing stuff…which I do a lot of because I have a lot of work to get done…the pain ebbs and flows with my consumption of Gatorade, dill pickles…etc. If I’m sitting I just put the massagers on and maybe some more ice and I’m good to go!

A Few More Leg Cramp Remedies I’ve Found That Are Helping To Resolve Them Permanently I Hope

Because The Cramping Isn’t Getting Better On It’s Own

In the past I’ve had some success with homeopathic remedies…so I decided to try everything I could find. Hylands makes both a tablet and a topical cream that’s helped me some in the past…I got both and feel the cream is more immediate this time. Another homeopathic remedy for leg cramping in tablet form is made by Boron, and is called Cuprum metallicum and it comes in both 30c and 6c strengths.

A great homeopathic remedy for any kind of injury or trauma is Arnica. Arnica promotes healing and it comes in tablet, cream and gel form…I’m using the cream and tablets. Trumeel is yet another homeopathic remedy I’ve found which works well for pain management. Unfortunately you can’t get it in the states anymore, which I discovered the last time I wanted to refill it. Amazon did have a foreign source for it but it’s expensive and slow to arrive. But I did re-order it sometime back a year or 2 ago…mine came from Russia…and I’m glad I did…because now I have it to use. Trumeel is somewhat unique because it also has anti-inflammatory properties too.

Last I tried an ultrasound machine…without much effect, and I just obtained aspercream rub after reading that it helps too…but I haven’t tried it yet.

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Photo by Ronald Cuyan on Unsplash

Phases or Levels of Healing Best Define the Long Term Process for Rehabilitation Following Total Hip or Knee Replacements

The way the human body heals can be thought of as a process which begins at a rapid pace on a slightly superficial or outward realm. It’s rate slows down as healing moves inward to much deeper, more substantial levels…ending at the point upon which the structural integrity for the whole mechanism in question…be it a new hip or knee resides.

Therefore, my miraculous 9 day recovery while primarily a superficial one, does hold up under closer scrutiny as well. What’s missing can probably best be described as   ‘strength.’  Over the course of the next few weeks and months, my aches and pains should lesson while my bone and tissue continues to grow and gets stronger. Everything should begin to meld and form a new normal for my brand new hip joint. This process should near completion within a year to 2 years. So, what the minimally invasive moniker really refers to is a significantly less intrusive early phase which allows patients maximum uptime time and minimum loss of productivity.

Some Additional Interesting Facts About The Modern Day Medical Miracle of Hip Replacement Surgery

1969 was the year in which Mayo’s physicians (from Rochester, Mn.) undertook their first total joint replacement procedure…they chose a hip replacement as their test case. It took 2 more years to perfect the technique enough to perform a complete knee replacement in 1971.

Although the first THA was performed by Mayo’s physicians, Sir John Charnley, a British orthopedic surgeon, is widely acknowledged as having developed the fundamental principles of the artificial hip and is credited as the father of THA.

Success breeds popularity…total hip replacements in 2018 have never been more popular. Roughly 300,000 of them were performed in the United States alone in 2017.

If you’re interested, Dr. Dunn, a retired surgeon recently published a fascinating video overview which covers the entire history of THA’s, with a focus on finding the best prosthetics, in January 2018. But it’s not for the feint of heart. Learning about some of the problems with these implants can be frightening if you’ll soon be using one personally.

At 9 Days I Wanted to Lose My Crutches CompletelyMe, happy I can ditch my crutches soon
My PT Said No…but soon :-)

One More Medical Miracle I Lived to Experience

I don’t remember the actual sequence of events, and how the unfolded, but my dad wrote a story on his website about how Mayo Clinic save my life when I was seven years old.  The part that’s confusing to me is how I came to write about it on my sister website vsatrends.  But it is a great story so here’s a link to how I almost died and how Mayo clinic save my life when I was seven years old…told from the perspective of my father.

Part 2 of My Hip Replacement Series

Part 2 is much less about the story behind my hip replacement and much much re about the uts and boots of what I used to survive the first few weeks. Because I had a lot of ‘anciallary’ pain…brought about by the surgery, but not directly due to it, my surgeons’ office didn’t really help much to address it. Nor did the pain meds I stopped taking relatively early for that exact reason.

I’m a big believer in alternative therapies. If traditional medicine can’t address a problem then I let alternative resources take a stab at it. This approach has worked out well for me in the past and did so here too. But it’s a lot of ‘trial and error’ and which is something my OCD focused mind excels at. So Part 2 is a long and exhaustive treatise of what did and didn’t help me or work for me. Ranging from homeopathic remedies to nutritional supplements and even diet!

Keep in mind too, that what worked for me my not work for you. However, it gives you many alternatives where before, there appearred to be none.

If you or a family member or close friend isn’t undergoing a total hip move r knee replacement I doubt Part 2 would interest you, unless you have an interest in learning more about natural, herbal or homeopathic solutions for injury and pain.

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