November 1, 2011 I’ve been able to gain so much from this website and forum that I feel it would be nice to share my experience here.
I’m a 65 year old “Geezer Jock”, gave up running about 6 years ago with knee pain and started road biking. I didn’t have any pain symptoms till January ’11 although it was pointed out to me several years before that my left pedal stroke was, well, ‘weird’ at the very least. Left knee came way out on the upstroke, totally unknown be me until it was pointed out.
My job provided a lot of free time so I did a lot of cycling, when the job went away 3 years ago I just did some more riding, life was good.
In January I developed some muscle or tendon pain in my left groin, tried some exercises to work through it but ended up in a Sports Medicine Physician’s office for evaluation. An Xray showed no more cartilage in the left hip joint, severe osteoarthritis and now bone on bone.
I sought the advice of an orthopedic surgeon and was advised THR would be my only choice, HR was for younger patients and was proving to not be as good a procedure anyway. So I saw another ortho guy, some response….. I know this sounds familiar to many of you out there, just the way the world works. Be proactive!!
So I consulted the Smith & Nephew website, guess what, they say the procedure is primarily for young active patients, I believe younger than 60 is in their promotional materials (it does say non sedentary patients over 60 yrs old may be considered). Started to look like a THR was my only option.
One day while limping around my local bike shop the manager asked what was going on, after my explanation he suggested I speak with another local guy, John, who had ‘something different’ done on his hip recently. I figured he was a younger guy, but called anyway.
Turns out John had just done his second BHR within two years and guess what, he’s my age! He pointed me to this website and voila, here I am, another Happy Surface Hippy.
After some research I made an appointment with Dr. Su, took several months to see him. He felt I would be good candidate, the earliest surgery date available was August but I choose the end of October to get in some riding till the end of the good weather.
By the time September rolled around I was second guessing my decision to delay the surgery. My riding was deteriorating and I could no longer walk more than a hundred yards without needing a cane. My fear was I had damaged the remaining bone too severely to make the BHR possible.
My surgery went as scheduled on Saturday 10/29/11 (yes, HSS does surgery’s on some Saturdays), Dr. Su was able to perform the expected BHR on my left hip, and was happy with the results. My hospital stay was two nights, came home yesterday, showered and spent a reasonably comfortable night in my own bed.
I had a visit today from a Visiting Nurse and a Physical Therapist, they both seem to think I’m progressing well, I’m hoping to wean myself off the Vicodin and have taken only Tylenol today, however the PT guy suggested I not rush getting off the Vicodin.
November 5, 2011 7 days post op: Nothing remarkable here, doing the standard PT exercises and did some walking on Thursday and yesterday, kind of surprised at how an easy walk would be fatiguing and cause discomfort 8 hours later. Listening to your body ‘post op’ is a learning experience, there was nothing during my walks to indicate they were stressful. I’m told the healing process uses a great deal of energy so I’ll go with that explanation, as an athlete it’s hard to accept fatigue with such a minute level of effort.
Moving / walking is some of the best advice I’ve gained from this forum, sitting for more than 45 minutes allows everything to stiffen up, moving keeps that from happening. Sleeping violates this practice, getting up to use the toilet is an achey experience, this will improve with time I hope.
I am icing frequently, the wound looks ok and I have very little swelling or bruising.
November 13, 2011 I’m 15 days post op, I tried to wean myself off the Norco after the first week, sleeping became pretty miserable. I went back on the Norco but only one tab every 6 hours, I feel no other side effects from the drug other than pain reduction.
Most of my discomfort has been in my operated leg, from the hip down to the knee on the outboard side. It’s tender to the touch and feels just like overused quads do after a rather intense workout. It makes sense since muscles on this side haven’t been used correctly for quite awhile now. I ice all the time!
My hip pain is limited to range of motion issues that I’m working on with PT, heel slides (with the operated leg suspended) are difficult at the beginning and end of the maneuver. Also abduction is challenging for me. Took a mile walk yesterday, plus some puttering around, and my body responded accordingly, it hurt. As Steve said this recovery will have peaks and valleys, hopefully your hip pain is just in response to the muscles/ligaments repairing themselves.
November 15, 2011 17 post op now. PT is going well, I’m finding Abduction to be a weak point and doing Heel Slides with the leg elevated is quite limited.
Managed to get on the Bike Trainer around day 8 and have been doing an easy 20 min spin every day, pretty remarkable how my operated leg is now in line with the top tube!!
Walking about 1 mile with one crutch, using a cane (or unassisted) around the house or for shorter distances. No longer need the raised toilet seat and noticed yesterday I was tying my sneakers, I still don’t have the ROM to put my sock on normally, I’m not yet able to keep the knee in as I raise my leg to reach the toes, this will improve with time.
Most of my discomfort seems to be the IT Band and Quad on the operated leg, it was VERY tender to the touch but is getting better, ice and massage seem to be helping.
Sleeping is less than optimal, while on the Norco I was more able to get back to sleep after my frequent bathroom visits, now with just Acetaminophen it’s a bit harder to do so. Getting in and out of bed has gotten progressively better.
December 19, 2011 I’m just past 7 weeks post op, I started riding my road bike outside after 4 weeks. I honestly feel I’m back to full strength on the bike, (not endurance yet) and in all my daily activities. I just don’t think about the hip any more, I ice after a hard bike ride or after outpatient PT, but recovery has gone pretty well for me.
April 3, 2012 I’m at 22 weeks and getting lots of Road Bike miles in, every things feels great! At my 3 month visit they scheduled a 1 year follow up for me, no mention of anything sooner.