John's Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Weisstein 2008

May 5, 2008

I am a 43 year old ex hockey goalie. Played most of my life, at least once a week year round, sometimes 3 times a week in season. Pretty competitive leagues,some ex juniors and a few who made it in Europe. Moved on to golf about 7 years ago( still miss the smell of the rink even my nasty hockey bag), but found out all the fun came at a price. Started getting pain in my hip about 3 years ago, ignored it but it grew worse. Finally had my primary doc take an x-ray in July 2007. Showed significant damage, so she sent me to a joint doctor specializing in sports related injuries. He told me I was in bad shape but too young for a total hip replacement so I should consider my other options. He did not do hip resurfacings but referred me to a doctor at the University of Washington Medical Center (Dr. Jason Weisstein). After several consultations and feeling good about my decision and my doctor , my surgery is in 2 days on May 7th. I had gotten to the point were I couldn't finish a round of golf even driving in a cart, let alone finish a day at work without being in tremendous pain. I work at a very busy grocery store in the produce dept.

May 12, 2008

Got back home May 11th after a 4-1/2 day stay at the hospital. Had some complications - the surgeon sheered off a pin and had to leave it in (my bones were so hard, they burned out a router in surgery). Had a 101 to 101.5 fever right after surgery (Wednesday) and through Friday. Then temperature spiked and receded back to normal a couple of times. Saturday had to have 2 pints of blood infused, as my red cell count was too low. Sunday was discharged, but with prescription for potassium as that level was too low. Ride home was uncomfortable and my leg was swollen. Swelling has gone down a lot now.

May 18, 2008

It is day 11 since surgery and things are going much more smoothly. Am off the pain meds, tylenol manges just fine. I take my 10-15 minute walks 3 /4 times a day, increasing a little every time. The ice therapies is slowly bringing down the swelling in my thigh but still about twice the normal size as normal. Range of motion is getting better, too. Was just a little concerned and depressed that everything didn't go perfectly, but I feel better everyday and can't really detect any of the original hip pain, which is nice. See the doctor on Friday for my first checkup. I am on weight bearing restriction but feel pretty stable on two crutches. Thanks Dirk and Brian for your encouragement, I need it a times, and especially to you Pat for your prompt and knowledgeable answers, pretty awesome.

May 24, 2008

 I had my first post-op visit on Friday 5/23 at U of Washington Medical Center. Saw the physicians assistant and everything seems to be going well. She showed me the x-ray of my hip so I got a good look at the extra sliver of metal I have piggy-backing on the main prosthesis. Looks kind of weird but was again told, it will not affect my health or impede anything I should be able to do once I have fully healed. Got good news in that the 22 staples in my leg came out. No pain involved, just a slight pulling on the skin. Was told the wound is healing nicely and was given a better weight restriction (50%) on the repaired leg. Also am going to set up some p/t but not sure I really need it. Dirk, did you do any P/t, just curious. No more anti embolism stockings, man what an itchy no good feeling after 2 weeks. Good riddance to those. Have been having real trouble sleeping(usually not a problem for me). Awake until 3 or 4 am everyday, up at 7 or 8. After 20 years of starting work at 6 am and being up at 5 am this is really messing with my body clock. Just can't get comfortable and my brain won't shut off when it is supposed to. Was given a prescription for ambient, took it last night and got a solid 8 hours without waking up once, something to consider when you do yours. Have been off narcotics since 5/18, the P/A was pleased at that since most prior patients would be staring to get weaned off the stuff after first post-op visit. I am moving around pretty good and looking forward to ditching the crutches. I see Dr Weisstein in another month, more x-rays then and hopefully another good prognosis. After the first week problems (when I was wondering what i had gotten myself in to) I am moving along at a very acceptable rate and feeling more like myself everyday.

June 12, 2008

Yesterday was my five week anniversary and things are going well. No miracle one month recovery but nice steady progress toward normality. I have started p/t in the pool and am enjoying the results such far. Feel like I am on vacation with the family (only time I ever swim). Did have a hard time finding my suit though. I also had started on some of the machines, bicycle, leg lifts, etc. but nothing crazy, just staying within myself. Lots of strengthening exercising. Still taking my walks down the neighborhood farther afield every day. Hardest part is stopping to talk to my neighbors while still accomplishing what I am out there for. They all mean well with their concern though. I see my doctor on the 23rd of June, hopefully some more restrictions lifted and a clean bill of health.

June 19, 2008

I am just getting back from another p/t pool session and can't recommend it highly enough. I really feel much stronger after finishing my drills and my leg is happy with me afterwards because of the non weight-bearing of the water. I see my Doctor Monday, ready to test out the leg a little more. Hope your cycling keeps progressing well and you get back to 100% soon.

June 26, 2008

I went for my checkup Monday( six weeks out from surgery) and everything is progressing nicely. The implant is melding into place, no movement and I am now on one crutch and was told to progress as my body dictates.( I have a cautious physician) My doctor, who is about my age (43), told me that if it was him who was laid up for 6 weeks on crutches, he might be tempted to just go for it now, but he said, don't go for it yet. No sense in screwing it up this late in the game. We talked and looked at the x-ray of the implant were the sliver of metal sheared off. He talked to reps from Birmingham and told them he was upset that it happened, but was told it shouldn't effect me in any way, so I hope that part is true ! I see Dr. Weisstein on August 4th and he said I should be good to go and back to living my normal life with no weight restrictions. It is fantastic to not have the constant pain that I had before the operation. Still have a little discomfort from the surgery but other than that I only have pain when I put my leg in a position it isn't ready for. My repaired leg is weak from inactivity but I am working hard on my P/t and getting stronger every week. I will be back on the golf course before I know it. The UW tv crew has been along filming this entire process and will be interested to see how it all turns out.I will figure out how to post it when they are all done, not sure how that stuff works.

August 9, 2008

Just had my 3 month check-up on Monday august 4th,and was given a clean bill of health. Dr. Weisstein said everything looks like it is supposed to except for the piece of the sheared pin but I wouldn't even know it happened if not for the x-ray. Still have a slight favoring of the resurfaced side but know that when my strength is fully back, that will disappear. Went back to work that Tuesday and have made it through most of the day everyday through Saturday (I'm on my feet 8 Hours). Get a little sore toward the end of the day though. Played my first nine holes of golf and was relieved not to hear a snap when I swung the club, but boy did my game stink. Nice to get back into the grove however. My doctor told me again that he would prefer that I stay retired from hockey and any other activity which would shorten the life span of the new hip, although he said it was my decision in the end. Gotta weigh the pro's and con's I guess. Right now I am just happy to be out of the constant grinding pain we all know so well, just a little tenderness around the scar incision now. Well that's all for now on my end.

January 16, 2009

It has been 9 months since my surgery and I feel blessed that this procedure has allowed me to renew the activities I enjoyed before the pain got too bad. I began golfing again in September and have kept at it (weather permitting) ever since. Not much of a replacement for hockey, but have been going to the local junior A Everett Silvertips games and having a blast. Really gets the juices flowing to get back at it, but that's ok I had a good run. Since starting rehab in May 08, have lost over 15 pounds and feeling great. Never had a gym membership, but signed up after my initial 3 months of therapy. Didn't realize my stagnant lifestyle had allowed myself to get a little pudgy. That and getting older.

May 3, 2009

Just checking in after my one year checkup this last week. Dr. Weisstein took x-rays and the like and I was given a clean bill of health. Everything was were it was supposed to be, good bone growth with no sign of slippage or wear. I will continue to see him once a year or until he tells me there is no need to come in, if that ever happens. No more bone on bone or arthritis pain. I still know that I have had major surgery in the recent past, but i don't have to think about planning every activity making sure my hip would hold up to it. I guess what I am trying to say is, I think about how lucky I am to have a second chance to be active again. I feel really good about the way things have turned out, the few prior years I had been pretty stagnant and in a lot of increasing pain. So any of you who are struggling with your recovery or deciding on this surgery, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel better. The film crew who documented my journey has posted this story at the following site. Go to and punch in hip resurfacing in there search engine. My doctor is pretty cautious in who he thinks is a candidate for the procedure but you can form your own judgments with the great information on this site. I found it quite interesting how pudgy I was at the beginning of my journey compared to the end, having lost about 20 pounds. I don't think hockey is in my future but is sure is nice to be able to go to work and enjoy my family and hobbies again. I'll just tune in to nhl and enjoy our local minor league team. Sorry this is so long but just wanted to give encouragement to those who need it, and to express my sincerest gratitude to Pat and everyone who makes this site so great.

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