John S's Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Palmer 2008

November 19, 2008

7 Hours post-op.

Per my Doc, it was a text book BHR. I did the spinal thing, and am glad I did. I remember waking up after a general feeling like I was run over by a truck. The only part that was uncomfortable was the spinal wearing off. But on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd make that a 2.

I was standing after 4 hours doing my first PT. And just a few minutes ago walked (with walker) to the bathroom.

I am on percocet and feeing pretty good. Actually, after eash episode of standing an moving the ache is reduced. The hardest so far is lifting that operated leg. Whowa! Need help with that.

So, after much anxiety about doing this (almost chickened out a couple of times), I feel reallly luck that things are going so well. I just hope it continues and there's no reason to believe it won't.

November 20, 2008

23 hrs. post op.

Thanks Barbara. Your advice is welcome and in this case, consistent with what many have said about taking it easy.

Today I'm a little sorer and I can't lift my right leg at all withoug a level 10 pain. But the Doc stoped in the morning and said that not to worry, pretty normal and wil get better soon. This isn't a set back (couldn't lift it yesterday either), but it sure makes it hard to get out of bed. Once I'm standing, I pretty stable and mostly stiff.

Pt is schedule for twice today - not looking forward to getting out of bed again, but I can tuff it out. No pain - no gain.

November 21, 2008

2 1/2 days post op.

So, I got home today about 2:30. Its really nice to be home. I had a great experience at the hospital (Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Mini-soda) and a great staff there helping and encouraging me. Both the PT and OT were great and the nurses were absolutely outstanding. (Food was hospital food, what can I say.) But my wife is an angel, helping with everything here at home, and I sure like it.

November 22, 2008

3 days post-op

I feel I've made good progress although it is still very difficult to raise my right knee. It is, however, slowly improving, so patience is required. I can walk around the house well, getting in and out of bed is better. PT is getting a little easier each time.

There has been a some talk on other posts about sleeping on one's back. I was told this was required for six weeks or so, but I could lay on my side for a little while if needed. Just keep the pillow between the legs. Luckly, I have a bed that allows me to raise the upper part, just like a hospital bed (a luxury purchase when we were able and now I'm grateful my wife talked me into it). This allows me to very comfortably lay on my back. Before the surgery, I was uncomfortable on my back because my hip ached, regardless of the bed position. Now, I'm comfortable on my back, just have to keep the snoring under control.

Mari, thank you for the well wishes and yes, I had Dr. Palmer. I believe this web site says he as done over 100 BHRs, but that my not be quite up to date. He told me he has done over 300. My incision is about 5 inches and healing very well. My experience has been very positive with Dr. Palmer and I would definately recommend him.

November 23, 2008

4 1/2 days post op.

PT (at home) is improving. ROM increasing a little each time and some strength in the leg lifts. I sure couldn't get my foot from the gas to the brake so driving is a ways away. Yesterday afternoon I think I screwed something up. I changed my sweat pants then took a nap. Afterward, I had a very difficult time putting weight on the right hip. This feels like a big jump backward because I had only tightness in my hip when bearing weight. Now there's a point in my step it hurts like heck. I have to exaggerate standing straight and tall. If it wasn't for this site, I'd despair, but there are many stories of things getting worse then getting better. So I'm hopeful. I am supposed to do PT at home twice a day and also go the a PT clinic twice a week for two weeks.

November 25, 2008

6 days post-op

I was finally able to get a shower today! Boy-did I need it. It just raised my spirits and I actually felt better after. The annoying catch in my right hip when i put my weight on it is getting better. I was walking around like Tim Conway (old man sketch) for a day or so. I feel like I've got my stride back, such as it is. I'm still guarding it though. The back of my right thigh is swelling, along with my butt. So its on to the ice packs. (Note: I've heard of people using a bag of frozen peas. Great idea, just don't leave them unattended if you have kittens. At least they had a riot. We'll be finding them around the living room for weeks.) I feel really lucky that in spite of the pain and stiffness from the swelling, I am able to sleep well. Maybe better than I have for a long time. (Do you suppose the drugs have anything to do with it? ;D )

I haven't yet gone back in to the doc, but I don't expect he'll take the heat for the baseball bat effect. I just hope its part of the normal healing process. I also need help bringing my knee up, but I use my cane for that. I'll try to get my wife to massage my leg some. It feels hard and if I keep it bent at about 90 degrees, feels like it would cut the circulation to my lower leg off.

November 28, 2008

9 days post-op

I am very grateful that I feel like I'm improving every day. Although Thanksgivng day put my mobility to the test.

I was sitting downstairs enjoying a coffee and just getting ready to post here and I heard a crash/thud upstairs. I called up to my wife, but she didn't respond. I then became aware of just how quickly I could get out of my chair and up a 1/2 flight of stairs. Turns out, she had slipped on the second to last step coming from the upper level and when she fell, she must of gotten her left ankle under her. She was in pain and it was swelling fast. With one turkey in the oven and a second needing to go in an hour later, we felt we could wait at least that long before going into the ER. She has had sprains before and this felt different, we were afraid it was broke. We got the turkeys under control and made sure the kids would be there when the second one needed to come out.

So, being it's her left foot, she can drive (and I obviously cannot). Lucky that I we had just gotten a handicap sticker for the car, we were able to park close to the ER door. So I hobble with my cane into the ER to get a wheel chair for her. This was a pretty funny site in itself. And so-on-and-so-forth. It turns out to be funnier than it was serious, she turned out to have a bad sprain and as of today she's able to get around the house pretty well. What made this funnier was last year, a close friend of ours had a RTHR. 2 weeks later, his wife fell down a flight of stairs and busted the heck out of her foot. We thought we were doomed. The care giver becomes the care needer.

At any rate I did a lot of walking and standing on the new hardware. Although I was pretty tuckered out, I'm none the worse today and had no problems going down for the mail and doing PT. Many thanks to the kids who helped greatly (essentially the wife and I just stayed put and were waited on hand an foot).

December 3, 2008

2 weeks post-op today - RBHR

I am still improving daily. 2 days ago I was able to lift my right leg into bed without help. I can even do a few unassisted leg lifts from a prone position (PT) where as a couple of days ago, I'd needed help just getting the leg started. Tomorrow is my first follow up with the Doc. and I start official PT Monday. I have been on ibuprofen now for the last 5 days or so. It just took me a day or two to get the dose right. My biggest problems still are getting a good nights rest, a comfortable place to sit (I wish I would have gotten a lazy-boy before hand), and there is still a muscle in a knot just above my knee in the back along with tenderness on the outside of my calf. Then incision is healing nicely (all of the steri-strips have fallen off) and I can even lay on my operated side for a 1/2 hour or so.

December 8, 2008

3 weeks post-op

I still feel lucky in that I have not had any significant setbacks. Just a couple of times overdoing it. This typically results in a pain point on the inside of my hip, near the groin. Certain movement will make the pain spike for a second. It usually goes away in 24 hours.

At 16 days I got back my driving privileges (had to be off the "good" pain meds) so I've got that freedom now. I'm even off ibuprofen (except I'll take a couple just before PT).

Yesterday was my first out patient PT and that went well. Got to add a couple of new exercises and delete a couple old ones. One thing nice is that the therapist is actually measuring my ROM so I hope to be able to see a measured improvement. Also, I'm starting some strengthening exercises.

I still can't lay on my operated side for more that a 1/2 hour of so. I can lay on my non-operated side much longer, but there is a constant pressure or pull on the other side so I have to resort to laying on my back to sleep. Sleep has been OK, but as has been the case for the last several years, I've gotta get up to pee in the middle of the night so that seems to be the only interruption (unless the stupid cats start acting up). Actually now that I think about it, I used to have a problem with a siatic (sp?) nerve problem in my left leg. But I could move just slightly and it would go away. Now it seems to be significantly worse. The physical therapist said that it is probably due to the weak muscles and should improve as I strengthen and move more normally.

The incision is almost to the point where I could take a bath (instead of shower) or even swim. Like Dwight, I have lower leg, ankle, and foot pain. There seems to be a knot in the muscle in my calf near the bottom. I am assuming that this lower leg pain is mostly due to the gorilla that was manipulating my leg during surgery to allow the surgeon to access what he needed.

I can hobble around the kitchen and close spaces without the cane, but I'm significantly more comfortable with it. I am walking more now and its getting easier to get in and out of the truck.

Of significant note to me is the fact that I can sit in this kitchen chair (where I'm writing from) now without pain. Before surgery, I had terrible pain in my right hip and almost every time I would have level 10 pain trying to get out of the chair. There are also many other examples of the improvement due the the BHR. I'll let you know if I meet the optimum improvement when I attend a motorcycle show in Feb and I can get my leg over and sit COMFORTABLY in the saddle 8)

Tomorrow - back to work

December 22, 2008

4 weeks post-op
Ok, actually almost 5 weeks but I wanted to get in a couple of milestones on the first day of week 4. I actually put on my own sock without the help of my sock-puter-oner (and that includes the blue thingy with the rope and the lovely Mrs. JohnS). Also, on that day I was able to lift my operated leg into bed without any mechanical aids.
So on to today, 2 days short of 5 weeks. I've been back to work for over a week and have had zero issues (I'm and engineer and have a desk job). I'm grateful for the handicap parking sticker, being in Minnesota and I'm terrified of slipping on the ice and falling. Actually, my tennis shoes seem to have the best traction in the snow (with cold feet resulting on a morning like today, 14 below). Nothing short of "ice-grippers" will work on ice, but I haven't had to deal with that yet. I’m still dealing with lower leg and ankle discomforts, but they are better that a few weeks ago. I’ll discuss this with my doc when I seem him next week. It seems to me to be lasting a long time.

PT is moving along. The therapist has added a couple of new exercises including permission to use the treadmill in 10 minute segments. Also, he put me on the stationary bike for the first time last week. The leg lifts while prone are improving.

I've been using a cane from the day after surgery and still am. However, for short walks, the cane is mostly for balance and stability so I can walk without a limp. There are times here and there when I can walk without the cane and without a limp. I prefer the cane for safety sake and for longer walks I would get tired quickly. And, I can now lift my right foot about 2 inches off the floor when I am seated. I couldn't do this at week 4. Other gains are sleeping on either side (what a relief from just being on my back). With help, I can put my right ankle on my left knee (long enough to make putting the sock on easier).

January 15, 2009

8 weeks post-op
A brief update. Walking: I’ve got that start-up problem that was the subject of another thread, but onece I get moving I can walk pretty good and without a limp without my cane. I probably look pretty silly walking in circles around my cube at work, but I need to get past that start-up so I can leave my cane while I walk around the building. Also, I actually shoveled (the snow blower won’t start so I really did shovel) snow the other day with little consequence. (Note: Ice grippers on the boots work wonders for traction and confidence.) I can take stairs normally now, no longer one at a time.

Pain: The tenderness in my lower leg and ankle, operated side, has essentially gone away. Also, I still have a little tenderness at the incision site that I feel on occasions where my butt is up against something, like the back of the chair, or lying on my side.

Clunking: Yup!

Physical Therapy: PT at home is leg lifts lying on my back and lying on my side and stretches where I grab my knee and bring it toward my chest. Well past the 90 degrees at this point. In fact, I think I have better range of motion now in my operated side than the other. I have to admit that I’ve been slacking somewhat on the PT. I am taking a class 6 to 10 pm two nights a week and that’s put a pinch on my available time and energy - AND I CAN FEEL IT - so I better get back on track.

Sleep: My sleep pattern has pretty much returned to normal, such as it is. Still a little discomfort sleeping on my operated side. I can also comfortably lie on my stomach.
If it wasn’t 20 below, I’d try to see if I could throw my leg over the seat and sit on my scooter, but that’ll have to wait. Best of all, I had my grandson over last Fri night and Sat and was able to chase him around the house and get down on the floor and play with him.

January 26, 2009

9 1/2 weeks

Well today I left the cane home. I've been carrying the stupid thing around for 4 days now and not really using it. Start up is getting better all the time. Range of motion also improving. In fact, I've got better ROM in my new hip than the old one. I guess it'll be time soon to have that orthoscopic surgey my doc suggested for that side. Like every one says, there seems to be a little improvement every day, and that keeps you looking forward. I still have a few issues with getting down on the floor to play with the grandson or whatever, but the flexibility limitations are not my new hip. It's more likely due to limiting myself over the last few years because of the original hip problems. PT should surely help that issue.

November 20, 2009

1 year anniversary yesterday.

1 year and 2 days ago, I had problems playing with my Grandson, chasing him around the house and getting down on the floor with him to play with Thomas the Train. Also, I couldn't even sit on my motorcycle, much less take any fall rides.

Recently, I've been having a blast with my Grandson and been riding the cycle all summer, this fall and even to work all last week (about 7000 total miles this year - so far).

I feel so good it's almost hard to remember that I couldn't even do every day things like mow the lawn (but I can now), or walk from building to building here at work (but I can now). The every day pain is a faint memory. My wife has to remind me of my daily limitations before the BHR - then I remember.

The skill of my doctor and support from all of you has made the difference. I feel great.

November 19, 2010

I'm just checking in to report that all is well after two years. Only two minor items, a little fatigue after I've been on my feet for a long time and occasional cramps way deep in my hip mostly when sitting for a long time. (So I'm up and down a lot.)

I'd be celebrating by riding my motorcycle, but it's around freezing here and there's snow on the ground. Not ideal conditions.
Some advice that I'm sure has already been given, but just want to re-iterate.

1. If you can get our hands (or butt) on a recliner, it is a life saver.
2. Cut your toe nails the day before you go into surgery. (That is unless you have your own private nurse.)
3. Don't, I repeat, don't cop out of physical therapy. It may not seem like it's doing a lot, but you'll be glad in the long run.
Stay positive. This is a life changing surgery.

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