Gazza’s Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr Kim 2013
March 28, 2013
After getting so much great information from this site I thought I would share my story. Probably there is not much that is different from others experiences, perhaps the Canadian (Ontario) health service experience maybe of interest to some.
About 3 years ago the pain after playing soccer was becoming intense – after lack of progress with PT my GP sent me for an X-ray. After being told I had OA he said at my age there is not much I can do but take Tyelenol to manage the pain??! After giving up soccer and then hockey, and only playing golf with several Ibuprofen I asked to be referred to a surgeon. I was referred to an Arthritis assessment clinic (At the Riverside hospital for those in Ottawa) the doctor there was informative and helpful – his assessment was that my pain level was diagnosed as below the level for recommending surgery, but my range of mobility was extremely poor and that he was going to refer me to Dr Kim and suggested I maybe a good candidate for re-surfacing. At that time I had no idea what re-surfacing was. I met Dr Kim two months later who recommended a HR and explained what it was vs THR, he warned me that the wait list was about 12 months. I subsequently (through this site) researched HR extensively, I found there are two pretty experienced surgeons in Ottawa, Dr Kim, and Dr Beaule. Dr Kim is listed on this site as having done over 700 HR and uses the Wright Technology Conserve plus implant.
13 months later (Mid Feb 2013) I went into Ottawa General for the HR surgery. For me the long wait time was acceptable, to be honest I spent the first 6-8 months questioning whether I really should go through with the op, my pain level was never that bad etc. all feelings that I thing most have. Now if I start to get OA symptoms in my right hip, waiting 13 months would not be so acceptable!
On the positive side the Ottawa hospital system prepares you well in terms of what to expect, how to prepare etc. What it does not do very well is provide any technical details of what you will experience – after the diagnosis meeting I only got to meet Dr Kim (For ~60 secs, 13 months later) as I lay on the hospital bed in pre-op room where he talked a little bit what would happen and let me ask questions (Which is where I confirmed he was using the C+ implant). Fortunately due to the great information available here I was very knowledgeable and it did not concern me.
For the surgery I was offered and suggested to have a spinal anesthetic and he also said I could have normal anesthetic to either subdue me as much as I want from full knock out to nothing. Having watched several HR surgeries on youtube I was fully aware of what was going to happen and was comfortable with no anasthetic. So I spent the operation chatting with the anesthetist it was surreal. All I could see was the machine displaying my vitals, but the anesthetist get me informed (just dislocating the hip etc.) it was during the operation that I discovered Dr Kim now uses an un-cemented femoral component – this was a surprise for me! I really recommend the spinal option, the total lack of grogginess from waking up from the anesthetic makes you much ready to recover imo.
After stapling I was taken to post recovery, where I spent an hour whilst the continually monitored to ensure movement comes back in the legs. I was put on oral pain meds every 4 hrs (Tylenol and hydromorphone) – I never really experienced any pain post surgery beyond 1-2 level – amazing to me. My surgery was Thursday afternoon and I was home 10am on Saturday, after the usual walking, shown how to climb stairs, climb into shower etc. I found walking and being on my feet stretching out actually better than lying in bed.
Others have reported that everyone recovers at different pass. Mine seems to have been normal (Or on the faster side) I was on two crutches for 4 days, 1 crutch for 4 days, then cane for ~2 weeks. Off of cane and driving (Standard) and back to work at 3 weeks. Dr Kim had typical restrictions (90 degree etc) that he lifted after 3 weeks. He prescribed a blood thinner pill for 21 days, the pain meds I stopped around day 9 (I stupidly stopped them at day 4 but realized that was a mistake.) After one week I went to my gym daily and walked ~1km and rode a bike (no resistance) for 10-15 mins. What I do find surprising is how I could feel progress daily – each day the pain soreness decreased, and then the strength in the muscles increase. I am now just under 5 weeks post op and feel my range of mobility is way better than before the op and ~90-95% of my right hip. Right now I feel almost back normal but am being conscious that my bone has not healed and I need to careful not to do to much. (I am itching to play golf but am waiting for my 6 week follow-up to ask Dr Kim when he will allow golfing) fortunately there is still snow on the ground here so can’t play anyway.
In summary – I think this is an amazing surgical procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon and you are lucky to avoid the rare side-effects from surgery. I am happy that this is offered under OHIP and overall the system worked well despite the inherent delays from diagnosis to surgery.
June 13, 2013
I am now 3.5 months out and everything is going well. I have stepped up my workouts to regain some physical fitness, and I am working on the last few % of range of motion and muscle strength between left and right legs. What I am noticing though is that I am still getting some muscle soreness in the evening (I am still icing it some evenings). I get soreness on the outside of the hip (Top of IT band) and sometimes deep in the glute muscle. It is typical muscle soreness and I am not really concerned I know it is in part related to the workouts I am doing and if I stop it would likely go away. I am getting massages once a fortnight to help reduce scar tissue which I think is helping, I want to use the roller but am put off by the soreness and fear of making it worse.