I am currently in the hospital one day after having a BHR on my left hip. Three months ago I had the same procedure on my right hip. Hopefully I am now on my way to recovering some of the life I have lost. Less than five years ago I was playing professional basketball and getting ready to make the transition to my new career as a fire fighter. I was completely pain free, had no indications of any pending health challenges and was excited to start another job where my physical conditioning was an asset. However, not long after starting this new career I began to notice tightness in my hip flexors and began to have a hard time squatting down. A trip to the doctor confirmed pretty narrow joint spaces and some large osteophytes forming. Surprisingly quickly I went from being able to go full out on the court and in the weight room six days a week, to struggling to pick a paper up off the floor or tie up my shoe. Not only was I forced to dramatically change my sporting and health habits, I found myself having a harder time to do my job properly. Attacking the problem in the same way I did any deficiencies in my basketball game, I figured I just need to find the right treatment or health practitioner to solve my problem. I was told that hip resurfacing/replacement was a last resort and that I had to live with things as long as I could. I spent thousands of dollars going to different physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncture, active release technique, traditional Chinese medicine, not to mention the yoga, stretching and specific strength training I tried. Although many of these things provided temporary relief, none really changed the long-term course of hip degradation I was on. By the beginning of this year my X-rays indicated moderately severe and severe arthritis on my two hips and any day I was off the pain killers did much to confirmed this. Having access to the community of people who have gone through similar issues on Surface Hippy really helped me make the decision I had been trying to avoid. Instead of constantly feeling “what is wrong with me” or “it can’t be arthritis, I am too young”, I started to get connected with the idea that this just happens to some people and the solution is pretty good. There is light on the other side of the tunnel. Mostly, the site gave me information based on first hand accounts that I could use to evaluate what different doctors were telling me. I had more than one surgeon tell me that I should really go for a hip replacement and it would irresponsible to have a hip resurfacing. They told me the technology is still unproven, that there are too many unknowns about metal on metal issues and that there isn’t any proof that patients are able to be any more active post resurfacing than they are post replacement.
Although this advice may turn out to be true if I am one of the small percentage that has any reaction to the metal ions, I am grateful to be able to hear real stories of people being very active after resurfacings. The chance I have to carry on an active lifestyle at best, or just preserve more of my femur at least, seemed to me to be worth any risks that these surgeons saw with resurfacing. I had my right hip resurfaced in January 2010 and am happy with the results so far. Now 3 1/2 months later I am just out of my second operation and am optimistic about being fully on the road to recovery.