Published: 24 January 2013
Last Updated: 24 January 2013
Created: 24 January 2013
October 22, 2010 Dr Arno Smit did both of my surgeries. I feel so much less pain than I did before the surgeries that for me, returning to work was not only possible but much easier than before. It has taken lots of rehab to get to this point but there isn't anything for my job that I am not capable of doing. 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.
October 22, 2010 I am now almost 6 months post-op on my second BHR and feeling great. After spending the last 5 months rehabing my hips, I recently returned to work on regular fire fighting duties. I have more flexibility and strength than before the operation and my pain is gone. I was able to pass all the back to work tests I needed to go through and am now back to my regular pre-surgery duties. It feels great to be able to do my job without pain and I feel very grateful to all the people who helped me get back to this stage.
I have not yet gotten back to playing full court basketball, mostly because I am being cautious don't want to risk any other injury right now. However, when I do play around on a hoop, taking some shots or some light one on one, I am already feeling way better than I did before.
January 23, 2011 I had my right hip resurfaced in January 2010 and left one done in May 2010. Now, 8 months after my second surgery, I am back playing, at a slow pace in some local leagues. I feel way better than I did for the few years before surgery, at least in terms of my hips. Even though the running and moving pain is gone, I slow myself down to protect against injury, particularly because my calves feel really tight and vulnerable. I can really feel for you Wesinator and wish you the best in your recovery.
Getting back to sport in general, and basketball in particular, has been such a great thing for me. I never even realized how much I missed not being able to go out and compete on the court.
As I was dealing with pain during the initial healing stages, I told myself I would be happy getting out on the basketball court once or twice a month. However, now that the pain is gone and my taste for sports is coming back, I am finding myself pushed towards doing a lot more activities. I have played street hockey, tennis a number of times and even had my first hockey game last week (a lot of muscle soreness after that but my hip felt fine).
I have done lots of physiotherapy and feel confident that I will have hips as strong as ever by the time I am fully recovered. With all the core, glute and stabilizer training I have been doing, I think there is a decent chance I could even have a better functioning mid section than pre-surgery.