Update May 27, 2017
I’m sharing my story because I know that there are others who are experimenting with what it is possible to accomplish physically with resurfaced hips. I have been a life long runner, although the only official race I ran was the Marine Corp Marathon in 1987 at age 30, time 3:14. I was running 7-9 miles on mountain trails when I first felt the hip pain in 2005. I just “ran through it.” I finally went to a doctor in November 2010 and the X-rays showed that both of my hips were bone on bone, though only the right one was hurting me, a lot.
I had my right hip resurfaced in April 2011 by Dr. Kress in Atlanta, but didn’t return to running then for two reasons: (1) I got a big furry Great Pyrenees dog that didn’t like / couldn’t handle running more than a sprint; (2) my left hip was severely arthritic and I was trying to put off the cost of another resurfacing as long as I could. So instead of running I walked my dog 4-5 miles every morning and lifted weights and did 60 to 90 minutes on the elliptical at the gym. Eventually my second hip completely failed.
In May 2015 I had my second hip resurfaced by Dr Gross in South Carolina. I soon worked back up to walking my dog 4-6 miles every morning, and lifting weights at the gym three times a week.
After moving across the country to Northern California, I resumed running for two months in September and October of 2016, starting at 2 miles but eventually working up to 6 miles at 9 minutes per mile pace, way slower than I used to run. But then I stopped running over the winter for 4 months for many complex reasons; the daily rain was surely a contributing factor. But now I’ve resumed running regularly again. Today I ran 6.7 miles with no problem. After two months I finally feel like I’m running naturally again, rather than stumbling along through will power. My goal is to run a half-marathon by my 60th birthday in September. One of the things that has affected my training is doubt about whether my resurfaced hips will be damaged prematurely by returning to running. As I have wrestled with this I thought that if people with resurfaced hips who had returned to running had experienced device failure they would have come back to this site to warn others. Since no one has done this, I am assuming that running is not causing device failure.So I am going to continue to test my resurfaced hips by training for a half-marathon, since I get great joy from running through beautiful, hilly scenery. And I promise that I will post on this site if I have a problem. We are in this together!
Ernie’s Original Story
January 17, 2012
I had my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Kenneth Kress in Atlanta on April 1, 2011. He is a very experienced and respected ortho surgeon, but hadn’t don’t a lot of resurfacings. I came home from the hospital the same day and had a very quick and full recovery. I feel he did a masterful job on me. However, when time came this past December to resurface my left hip, Dr. Kress didn’t want to do the MOM any longer because he’d had two bad outcomes, and because of the broader problems being reported with MOM. So I postponed my surgery with him while we had my metal ions checked. They came came back low indicating that I didn’t have a problem with the resurfaced hip which was a great relief. I wish he was continuing with resurfacing because he is an excellent surgeon and I believe it is the better option for people like me who are physically very active. However, when the time comes to resurface my left hip (it looks like crap on the x-rays but isn’t hurting badly yet; I got a new dog that needs a lot of exercise and the twice or three times daily walks surprisingly seem to be helping!) I plan to go to Dr. Gross in South Carolina. I want a surgeon who is confident in the value of the procedure.
May 12, 2015
I’m 8 days post op from having my second hip resurfaced by Dr Gross. My recovery with the first hip 4 years ago was quick and the surgeon who did it (not Dr Gross) had no limits on how much I was allowed to walk. So I walked a lot and was up to 3 or 4 miles at a time by three weeks. The thing is that I’m able to do things even a day or two sooner this time. Today I walked outside for the first time, and ended up walking 1.2 miles carrying the cane. I’m walking very carefully, and I’m paying attention to how my body feels during and after. Honestly, unless my body complains I’m going to have a hard time walking only a mile. I’m pretty rational so am open to good reasons why walking more that 1 mile is bad for me at this point.
October 28, 2015
I had my left hip resurfaced by Dr Gross six months ago. I’d had the right hip resurfaced by another surgeon four years before that. I wanted to take a moment and share my progress, as an encouragement to others. Yesterday I jogged for the first time in 4 1/2 years, a very slow 2 1/2 miles, but I had no problem doing it. Since six weeks post-op I’ve been walking daily, and regularly using the elliptical and weight machines at the gym so I was physically ready. Also I’m in the process of moving across country so the hips have been tested by decluttering, packing, and loading the moving pods, with no problems. Those of you who have moved know what I am talking about. This is truly amazing. I have more mobility and range of motion now than I have had in nine years, and it continues to get better every day. Hip resurfacing has given me back my active life. If you are on the fence, I encourage you to go for it, with Dr. Gross or one of the other experienced surgeons.
December 27, 2015
For those of you considering resurfacing, let me share my experience Some of us are able to run again, and I don’t know why. i started jogging again at 6 months post op and have been able to run 3 miles without pain. I’m still slow (9:30 min/mi) compared to how I used to be able to run, but I’m hopeful that with time, and consistent training, I’ll be able to increase my speed. I love running and missed it a lot the four years I stopped running due to the arthritis. I am very grateful that resurfacing has allowed me to run again. I’ll give an update in a few months.