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I was very interested this weekend to hear that Ann Swithenbank has a replacement hip. I have just had one inserted and am somewhat concerned about my continued ability to garden. My Surgeon was somewhat pessimistic but Ann seems very positive about it.
I appreciate that digging should be kept to a minimum - and am getting some deep (2 foot) beds prepared for my veg. I have a gardener who basically cuts my lawn but will add on any other chores. Unfortunately the worst problem is couch grass, which I have been fighting now for 6 years at this house and I cannot see it leaving in the near future. Last year I was unable to make any headway with it - although I had thought I had improved the situation.
Have you any suggestions. I love my garden and was really despondent at the idea of not being able to do much of anything to it.
Heather Dean



My M.I.L had hers done and was up and gardening in next to no time, better than she was before she had the op. I think it depends on how well the healing process goes. I had an op on my big toe 12 months ago, yesterday and it is still so painful that many formerly easy garden chores are now difficult. Hope everything works out well for you.

2 Jan, 2011


No easy answer to couch grass, I'm afraid, well not that I know of anyway, apart from constantly digging it out as well as you can, getting all the roots each time.
Re your hip replacement, its hard to say how well you'll cope - I, too, know someone who's like a new woman since she had it done - but I know another who's had it done 3 times in the last 2 years (same hip) and still can't even walk properly, and they will need to do it again.

2 Jan, 2011


Maybe you could swap jobs with your gardener, you could walk gently and mow the grass (if he gets it all ready for you) while he gets and digs and does the heavy work, do you think that might work?

2 Jan, 2011


If your worry is having couch grass come up in your new deep beds for your veg I suggest you use a seamless liner which will let the water through but not allow the weeds to grow up. Do give yourself all the time that is necessary for the hip to heal well. Our next door neighbours nephew had it done and felt so well he went against medical advice and tore in to the garden. He had to have it done again and the surgeon I saw said they can only do it twice because there is not enough tissue to allow them to keep trying. Hope all goes well for you. I have sent you a private message.

2 Jan, 2011


Friend of mine has a new knee, and both hips done. He's 65, stil playing cricket for me, AND for county over 60s side, and scoring big runs! Always be positive, and with a bit of luck, and some careful physio, you may well be digging freely soon. Worthy

3 Jan, 2011


My little brother has just had both his hips done (at 39 yrs old!) and has been told to take his recovery at a steady pace and not to expect too much of it whilst healing.
Good luck with your recovery.
BTW - did they use staples in your wound too? I thought that was a mean "trick" to play!

3 Jan, 2011


From someone who has had both knees done and both feet rebuilt...I would say, most emphatically, that PACING yourself is crucial. You may well feel very well BUT the body needs time to recover and tissues to heal...believe me, I've been there and got the T-shirt for over-doing things! I had to have the right foot done twice because I went back to teaching far too soon...and gardening!

Having said all that, you will probably feel like a new woman! I have degenerative Rheumatoid Arthritis so it's an ongoing business for me. HOWEVER, my friend had both hips done and is amazingly fit now.

Good luck with your recovery..Patience is the key!

4 Jan, 2011

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