Arrojos Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Su 2012

April 9, 2012

Hello from Arrojos hospital bed! Did indeed have it done today. Dr. Su told me this morning, the worst that could happen due to my past week is that I'd feel lousy. I told him I am already going to feel lousy! Lets just do it!

At 4:00 I was in a lot of pain. But now (10:00) I feel pretty good! I am even doing leg exercises in bed (ankle pumps and heel drags). I know I know don't overdo it. Walking tomorrow!

April 10,  2012

Day 2: Just walked 200 feet... On crutches! Was only supposed to be using a walker. The PT was amazed. No pain either, just a lot of stiffness. No doubt the painkiller helped. Hopefully they will kick me out tomorrow.

April 12, 2012

Took the train from NY home yesterday - discharged two days after surgery. 3 hour train ride on the Acela, not too bad at all. Today showered, shaved, BM (TMI sorry about that), doing exercises, and reading. Hopefully took my last narcotic overnight and am now just on tylenol. It's in the 50's today ( I despise hot weather) so plan on walking outside a half mile or so later on.

Can't say enough about Dr. Su and HSS, they are amazing. I also can't emphasize the importance of coming into your surgery in as best shape as you can. You really need good upper body strength to get yourself in and out of bed as you cannot rely on your upper operated leg at all. I know everyone has a bad hip (or two) coming into surgery but do whatever you can to maintain fitness and upper body strength is my best advice. All those pushups, situps, pullups, and other exercises I did for months leading up to surgery are paying off and really helping this recovery go smoothly (so far, knock wood).

Happy Birthday to me! I turned 53 today and am planning on having a beer later.

April 23, 2012

Two weeks after surgery and I am down to one crutch (per Dr. Su, don't worry)! Celebrated by walking 1.2 miles. Also did 10 minutes on the bike trainer (no resistance, also per Dr. Su)

May 3, 2012

 I am a competitive masters sprinter (100 meter dash, etc). I fully intend to try again. For many reasons. Dr. Su told me there is no reason why I shouldnt be able to sprint again (following recovery of course). Training for this entails plyometrics (box jumps, other jumping and leaping) and hard core track workouts, which I will begin 12 months after surgery.

Perhaps it can't be done, as some runners here believe (i.e, if you want to run again, slow/barefoot jogging is the only way to go). Or perhaps I have lost 1 second on my 100 meter dash time (in which case I am no longer competitive).

May 10, 2012

I can't believe it has already been one month (as of yesterday when I had my checkup with Dr. Su). I have no pain, just a little soreness and stiffness after sitting or lying for long periods. Dr. Su examined me and said my range of motion was "really good, actually". He gave me a bunch of new stretches to do and also a prescription for outpatient PT, which I will set up today. I can add resistance to the bike now. He also cleared me to drive. I think my wife is more pleased than anyone about that.

He also cleared me to mow the lawn! I've never been more excited to mow my lawn (not to mention saving the $30 a week I'd been paying the high school kid to do it).

Last night I dreamed I was running. And running fast! Then I realized, wait, I'm not supposed to be running yet. So I stopped. But it 'felt' good.. So glad I had this surgery. I hope everyone else is too. Have a great day!

June 14, 2012

I am 2 months out and having aggressive PT massage and ART (digging in). They avoid the scar but nail everything around it. I plan to hit the ground running (literally) at 6 months and can't imagine doing that with all the scar tissue that would inevitably build up without PT and ART.

July 11, 2012

I had my 3 month checkup today. Dr. Su went through his checklist and said I had 100%. He tsetd my ROM and said it was terrific. I told him about my accidental running and he thought it was great. :)

I can ride my bike outside, lift up to 50 lbs, hike up mountains (all of which I intend to do ASAP). Because I had extra time to kill, I walked all the back to Penn Station (with my heavy backpack of stuff) from his office on the upper east side of NY. I stopped in Central Park for a snack.

July 27, 2012

Here is some detailed info for me at 3 1/2 months. It'll be good for posterity. :)

Last weekend, I hiked up Wachusett Mountain with a friend. It was a 3-hour hike. I've run up that mountain 3 times (a challenging trail/road race), skied it many times, but first time I've hiked it in about 25 years.

Things are going famously. As noted above, I saw Dr. Su 2 weeks, and he said my Range of Motion (ROM) was all the way back to normal and my strength was great too. Dr. Su. is very aggressive with stretching and ROM. He has no 90 degree rule and on the day after the operation he had me bending over in a chair trying to touch the floor. I did my stretches religiously, and at the one month mark he gave me more advanced stretches. The hardest was for the periformis. But by 6 weeks I could put on my own socks and shoes without a problem.

ROM: I have religiously done my stretches 2-3 times a day. In addition to the periformis, my PT's (who kicked me out after 6 weeks because I had blown through everything they could give me) gave me some good hip flexor stretches, and other stretches. No doubt all this aggressive stretching has given me the ROM back., but I still do them every day as the periformis is still tight. I have also had Active Release Technique (ART) done twice to break up all the scar tissue there.

Hip strength: My PTs gave me some great exercises to do. At one point I was doing them every day, but it was making me very sore, so I cut back to every other day. In addition to the hip strengthening PT given exercises, they also focused on my core. So, I do crunches and planks, and a few others core exercises that they gave me. Around 2 months I started back in doing my situps, pushups and pullups every day. Dr. Su said I can lift 50 lbs, so I have started doing some easy 50 lb dead lifts as I have free weights in the basement.

Endurance: I try and walk 3 miles every day (the dog loves me). I was using my bike on a bike trainer for 30 minutes every day, thankfully Dr. Su finally allowed me to ride the bike outside, so I now ride the bike down to the lake and do 30 minutes of aquajogging every other day. He also said breaststroke (frogkick) is great for recovery so I've been doing that too.

I am eagerly awaiting the 6 month mark when I can start running again. I will start slowly and take it easy for months 6-12, running only every other day with some easy track workouts. I plan to start doing plyometrics at the one year mark and I do hope to be competitive again in Masters sprinting next summer, but we'll see. I told Dr. Su I wanted to get my picture on his wall sprinting (he currently has a skier). :-)

I do need to lose 10-15 lbs as well; that is certainly my goal over the next 3-9 months.

Anyway, I encourage everyone to do your prescribed exercises, and stretches and you will get there. Hip resurfacing is awesome.

July 31, 2012

The program listed below was provided to me by Dr. Su's office physical therapist (who is a runner himself). There is a lot to like about this program. Two things stand out:

1. It is a very gradual progression back to running. I'm sure most experienced runners want to blast out a 3 or 4 mile run on their first day of running after they have been cleared to do so. This program follows the theme of this entire website, which is "patience". The increase is gradual, which in my opinion, gives you the best chance of successfully returning to running.

2. It is flexible - the frequency of and number of sets is variable each week, so you can 'push it' or back off to suit your own comfort level.

Week Activity Duration/Sets Frequency
1 Run 3 min/Walk 2 min 4-5 sets 1-3x/week
2 Run 3 min/Walk 1 min 5 sets 2-3x/week
3 Run 4 min/Walk 2 min 4-5 sets 2-3x/week
4 Run 4 min/Walk 1 min 5 sets 3x/week
5 Run 5 min/Walk 2 min 4-5 sets 3x/week
6 Run 5 min/Walk 2 min 4 sets 3x/week
7 Run 6 min/Walk 2 min 3-4 sets 2-3x/week
8 Run 6 min/Walk 1 min 4 sets 2-3x/week
9 Run 8 min/Walk 2 min 3 sets 3x/week
10 Run 10 min/Walk 3 min 2-3 sets 2-3x/week
11 Run 12 min/Walk 2 min 2 sets 3x/week
12 Run 15 min/Walk 3 min 2-3 sets 3x/week
13 Run 15 min/Walk 2 min 2-3 sets 3x/week
14 Run 20 min without walk 1 set 2-3x/week
15 Run 25 min without walk 1 set 2-3x/week
16 Run 30 min/Walk 5 min 1-2 sets 2-3x/week

October 9, 2012

My six month anniversary is today! I can now lift > 50 lbs, start basic plyometrics and most important, run on the roads. I celebrated by doing 2 x 12 minutes, with 2 minutes rest (week 11 of the resurfacing to 5K program). I'm sure I could run longer, but I am sticking to that conservative plan, targeting a Turkey Day 5K.

I was nervous at first, but after a while didnt even think about the hip. I've missed the roads, but will not forsake trails and the track of course. I'm not a great distance runner - strictly middle of the pack, (although I like challenging races), but need to regain my aerobic fitness and plyo srength before I even think about sprinting - hopefully next spring.

Anyway, my return to running, both distance running and sprinting, is still in its infancy, but I am oozing with optimism. Thank you Dr. Su and my fellow hippies and Pat for this website!

October 16, 2012

A couple of small milestones today:

1. I started running up stairs two at a time, something I always used to do. I probably could have done this before today, but I was too nervous to. It took competetion to do it - dr's office visit (not resurfacing related) was on the 2nd floor and I got to the bottom of the stairs at the same time as a young lady, and wanted to get ahead of her for the appt, so I raced up the stairs. :)

2. I also ran up my favorite hill for the first time since surgery:

December 11, 2012

It has now been 8 months (+ 2 days). I am now running 3-4 miles every other day, and have done one track workout so far. I hope to do 1-2 track workouts a week. I have run two 5K races and have started doing P90X workouts. Many days I have double workouts (run + P90X), although I do not run and do a leg or plyo workout on the same day.

My distance running 5K times (28+) are nowhere near where I feel they should/can be (24-25 range), but I think that is just conditioning, and not any limitation due to the surgery.

I have not yet done any sprinting, still just getting back into distance running shape. The P90X workouts are terrific for getting my strength back all over, and I feel like things are heading in the right direction. I don't have a timetable for trying to sprint other then targeting some May/June track meets next year. But I need to be patient, stay focused and keep doing what I am doing before progressing to the next level of training.

All that said, I will reiterate what I said in my very first post. If it turns out I can't return to where I was, I have made my peace with it and am delighted to just be back to running. But I am far from raising the white flag, I will just keep doing what I am doing and see what happens.

Thank you Pat, Vicky, Dr. Su, and my fellow hippies for all you have returned to me. Happy Holidays to all!

January 15, 2013

I love running - indeed running was the only reason I went for the resurfacing. Unlike normal runners, I also do (did) a lot of masters track and field. Like the 100 meter dash. I hope to start sprint training in a couple of months to hopefully qualify for the National Senior Games.

Until then, I am doing the distance running thing to regain my aerobic fitness. I started light jogging at 6 months, after clearance by Dr. Su. I have slowly ramped up the intensity and speed; 9 months out I am now running 15-20 miles per week, including 2 track workouts. I have also run three 5K races, am planning a 5 mile race in February and signed up to captain my 7th Reach the Beach team in the fall. My distance running times are a little disappointing to me so far, but each race was faster than the previous one and I think it is really conditioning, rather than anything to do with my legs. Hopefully I will keep improving.

In addition to running, I am also doing P90X to get back into shape as well. Besides being sore all over, I feel great. P90X has Yoga, stretching, all kinds of strengthening for the hips, legs, abs, core, upper body.

One huge thing I recommend for any hippy, but espcially running hippies - don't let scar tissue build up. 6 weeks or so after your surgery (subject to your doctor's clearance) start getting Active Release Technique (ART) or deep tissue massages to break up that scar tissue. Too many people neglect this, it seems, and even though their implant is fine, they get other soft tissue pain that prevents them from returning to an active lifestyle. I think a lot of the 'too much too soon' issues are because of this.
 

April 3, 2013

 in six weeks or so, I plan to sprint at the Connecticut Masters Games (think 50 meter dash, 100 and 200). I know many surface hippes have sprinted while playing soccer, baseball, tennis and other sports, but I dont believe anyone has ever sprinted comepetetively at the masters level after a hip resurfacing. If not, then I will be the first.

The whole point of this surgery, at least for me as I understand it, is to be able to continue to live our active lifestyles. I had three respected orthopedic surgeons tell me that I needed a Total Hip Replacement and that I would never run again and even now, after this surgery, there are doubters who claim it is impossible to run fast after this surgery or who question the wisdom of running after resurfacing. Keep doubting, people, I love the motivation!

May 4, 2013

 I just wanted to catch everyone up on my recovery. i spent the winter doing a lot of skiing, ice hockey, running, and P90 X. I was really happy to be finished with P90X about three weeks ago. Shortly after I finished I started to return to some sprint training, with an eye towards the Connecticut senior games on May 18 where I hoped to run the 50, 100, and 200 m dash.

I strained my back (on the non-operated hip side). Instead of taking it easy and resting it, like someone my age should do, I played hockey through it, did a couple of sprint workouts through it, and even did a plyometrics workout through it. Yup, I'm in idiot, and you guessed it. It got substantially worse.

I'm an optimist by nature, and so I believe that this is not serious and that I just need to rest it and take it easy and then I will be back. I suppose there's still a 20% chance I will run at those senior games in two weeks, but more likely is that I will have to delay my return to competitive sprinting for a little bit. The Rhode Island senior games are in June and I am looking at that. In the meantime I am content to walk the dog and mow the lawn, while I heal my back With Advil and ice.

May 18, 2013

Today, 13 months after my surgery with Dr. Su, I successfully competed ay my first track meet, finishing 2nd in the 50 meter dash in the 50-54 age group. (Next year I will be 55 and will be youngest in that age group, woo-hoo!). I had actually entered the 50, the 100, and the 200, but only ran the 50 because I strained my (non-operated side) hammy just before the finish line, so shut it down for the day.

My recovery from surgery had gone famously well. I eased into jogging after 6 months, and then over the winter, I did the P90X program while continuing to do some jogging. I continually used Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) to break up all the scar tissue from the surgery and get my range of motion back. Everything was great until about a month ago, after I'd had a couple of really good track workouts, I strained my back lifting weights. Like many of us type A idiots, I just kept training through it and overdid it and really hurt myself. So, I took 10 days off, got a lot of A.R.T and just as I was turning the corner over the back strain, I sneezed. It was catastrophic. I actually could barely walk and my wife took me to the Dr. on crutches. This was two weeks ago!

Anyway, my back actually cleared up quickly (more ART) but even so, but it was still 50/50 whether I'd be able to compete today. I had a quality track workout on Wednesday and got some work in with the starting blocks, so I figured what the heck, I'll give it a shot.

My time was a 7.51, which is an 85.8 WAVA if that means anything to you. (An 85.8 WAVA marathon for a 54 years old is a 2:49). Ironically (coincidentally, ominously?), it was my left (non-operated side) hammy that I pulled at the National Indoors in '10.

My hip is great. It's just the rest of my body that is falling apart.

I hope that this will shed a bright light on the benefits of hip resurfacing to those who are considering it or may be struggling with recovery. People have run marathons, done triathlons, all kinds of athletic endeavors with a hip resurfacing. To that we can add Masters sprinting.

Hip resurfacing is awesome and how it can help athletes with hip arthritis return to do the things that they love. A lot of doctors don't like it and will tell you that your only option is a total hip replacement and that you will never be able to run again. I call BS. Do your own research. If you love to run and you have hip arthritis, a hip resurfacing is a viable option; you do not need to get a total hip replacement. Just make sure you get an experienced surgeon. I had to travel to NYC. There are a few doctors in Boston who will perform this surgery but I was not comfortable with them, especially after other orthopedists in their hospitals warned me against hip resurfacing and told me I would never run again.

I had actually hoped to get a video of the race, but the person entrusted with filming it screwed it up. Guess that means I will have to sprint again. :)

 

May 27, 2013

Two days ago, I ran the Wachusett Mountain road race. 3.1 miles up the mountain, then 3.1 miles back down. I'm not really in mountain racing shape but thought it'd be a good workout and help with sprinting. I know downhills are bad for the implant; thankfully, there was a grassy shoulder much of the way down, so I made sure to run on that to alleviate the pounding.

June 10, 2013

Yesterday, I won the gold medal 50 meter dash and 100 meter dash at the Ocean State Sr Olympics in the mens 50-54 age group.  I also took a silver medal in the 200 meter dash. 

I was able to get someone to get a video.  It is not very good, but it is something.  I think there is something about trying to rely on old guys to take a good video of a sprint that is self-defeating.  Anyway, I ran a 13.90 and am the guy in red on the right.  The super fast guy who actually won this heat was 45 years old, so was not racing against the rest of us so to speak.

I will keep trying to get a better video.

Click here: Video - Sprinting after hip resurfacing

March 22, 2015

I took 6th place in the long jump at the National Masters T&F Championships in the M 55-59 age group yesterday. My wife took this pic:

I also took 11th in the 60 meter dash with a time of 8.68. My 3-year anniversary is coming up.

About my Hip Resurfacing

 I did wait 2 years after my surgery before long jumping (ie I waited to resume my long jumping until last summer). I've read here that the bone grows around the implant for up to two years after surgery, so I was extra cautious with that. But, I sprinted (100 meter dash) one year after surgery, and ran the Boston Marathon two years after surgery with no issues.

Heck, I don't even think about the implant any more unless I am going through an airport metal detector.

I have full clearance from Dr. Su to do whatever I want, so why not? Just remember to keep focusing on the soft tissue - deep tissue massages, foam roller, Active Release Technique. The pain most people experience after surgery (assuming all is well with the implant itself of course) is almost always related to scar tissue in the surrounding area, so you need to focus on that (I love A.R.T - going at least once a month, starting 6 weeks after my surgery). Also, and make sure you are stretched and warmed up before any strenuous activity.

January 13, 2016

I was recently interviewed on the Masterstrack.com website, wherein I discuss my recovery from hip resurfacing surgery to competition, among other things.  I also mention this website as being especially helpful in providing me the information I needed to make an informed decision.  :)

You can read the whole article here:

http://masterstrack.com/m55-arnie-pollinger-distancersprinter-and-hip-resurfacing-disciple/

January 8, 2017

In June, 2015, about three years after my HR, I did a tandem jump.  It was my first skydiving experience ever.  I didn't even think twice about my hip for this.  After running a marathon, skiing, playing ice hockey, long jumping, and sprinting it didn't even occur to me that there's be anything special to worry about for this.

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