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returning to harp after hip replacement surgery

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  • #112867
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    Hi there, does anyone out there have any experience with returning to playing the harp after hip replacement surgery? I am wondering how long it took, if you had to sit on an elevated seat at first (and what was that like??), when could you start pedaling again, etc. I am having the surgery in a few weeks, and I know I’ll be longing to play soon after. Any advice?

    #112868
    jimmy-h
    Member

    I was once an Ortho nurse, but this is outside of my experience. The obvious answer is to ask your surgeon the next time you see him. Don’t forget about asking the nurse who works for the surgeon, he/she probably knows the answer as well as he does. A better question will be how long until you can drive again, as that is something similar (sitting, foot resistance). A generic answer that is still true is that it depends on the patient.

    When you start again, it may be best to work up from pieces with few pedal changes, obviously. As long as the bench/chair you use is comfortable it might not be too long. You will have a physical therapist work with you in the hospital, absolutely see what they have to say about it as well.

    I’m sorry I don’t have a direct answer for you. Hopefully someone who’s been down that road can give you better insight.

    #112869
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    Ellen,

    My husband had his hip replaced a couple years ago. He had it done using the anterior approach. He had no restrictions at all except to walk up stairs a certain way post-surgery and was walking a mile in 10 days. He did the rehab exercises prior to surgery and never did any rehab afterwards. He was told by a doctor friend that the bones take about 6 to 12 months to fully heal so he was cautious about any risky physical activity for a while.

    You may want to consider doing some rehab exercises now and talk to the physical therapist about playing the harp. He/she may have some special exercises and/or could give you guidance about resuming your playing. My husband was really glad he did that. He is so A-type that he needed something to keep him occupied prior to surgery. It definitely accelerated the recovery period.

    #112870
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    Thank you so much, Gretchen and Jimmy. I’ve gathered quite a bit of info regarding the actual recovery and rehab, just wondering if anyone had any experience about actually returning to the harp afterwards. I know it is unique for each individual!

    #112871
    Eric Allison
    Member

    Your physical therapist will help if you explain to them exactly what you need. It might even help to take the harp and let them sit and strum a bit to get a feel for the positions you need to achieve and maintain. Some of the exercises might seem a bit random at first but, then, so did baby waving.

    #112872
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    That is good advice Eric. I think taking the harp to them would help. My friend told me that the PT came to her home for the first few visits… then showing them the harp would be even easier. I play a lot, and I know I’m going to miss it!!

    #112873
    martha-moor
    Participant

    Hi Ellen, I had left hip replaced 12/18/12. Incision was from the side, so it was a longish recovery. I had nothing scheduled in January, but was fine for my first rehearsal in early Feb. I’m tall, so I sit quite high at the harp normally, and this was no problem in Jan. as I was getting back in shape. Pedalling restrictions may depend on which hip you’re having done. I think what you need to be most careful about is not the playing, but the packing up and moving & carrying your auxiliary stuff. (Don’t lean over to unzip your base cover! Don’t leave tuners or anything on the floor that you’ll have to bend down to reach, etc.)
    Do your exercises religiously for a better long-term outcome. Best of luck!

    #112874
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    Thank you so much for this, Martha. It is my left hip as well, and the incision is going to be through the back. I am tall too, so also sit high. I hadn’t thought about this as advantage, but you make a good point. Thanks for the reminder about moving the harp and gear…. just last night I was thinking about how I have to bend to put the transport cover on, etc. It is my intention to follow all directions and exercises to the letter. Thanks!

    #112875
    martha-moor
    Participant

    Hi Ellen, I thought of a few more helpful hints/experiences to share. I’m not sure how to contact someone directly from this website, but I’d be happy to send you my phone and/or email.

    #112876
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    Martha, I just sent you a message… go to your page on the website.

    #112877
    martha-moor
    Participant

    Hi Ellen, I sent one which should be on your page

    #112878
    margaret-vance
    Participant

    Good morning, Ellen!

    I have had both hips replaced. The right hip was replaced on April 12th of this year and it was an anterior procedure. I played a bridesmaid luncheon three weeks after that. Of course, I had to have help loading and unloading the harp but otherwise it was fine. The first hip replacement was done in December of 2011 and it was a posterior procedure. I do not rightly remember how long it was after the surgery that I was able to play, however it was not very long. Having had both, I would recommend the anterior as it does not involve as much muscle and the incision is much smaller, thus the healing time is shorter. Anyway, best of luck.

    #112879
    martha-moor
    Participant

    Hi Ellen, I sent Part Deux of my message to your personal page yesterday. I hope it got there — there doesn’t seem to be a way for me to check.

    #112880
    ellen-beckerman
    Participant

    Hi Margaret, thank you so much. My surgeon wants me to have the posterior approach for various reasons, so I am going that route. I have heard great things about the anterior approach, but alas, not for me. I appreciate you words about getting back to playing quickly! That is reassuring. I love playing the harp sooooo much!

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