Author Topic: hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45  (Read 19120 times)

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hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45
« on: December 15, 2013, 10:26:36 AM »
Hi all.

 I'm a new member and this is my first post.
I'm 45 and I've been doing BJJ for 7 years, + 10 years traditional Jiu Jitsu  . Prior to that I've been a keen footballer and  a somewhat serious runner for 20+ years.

Having had a botched exploratory keyhole op in 2001, for what has just been diagnosed some 13 years later as labral tear, upon recovery I lost faith in the medical professions ability to determine what the problem was. After that I spent years doing yoga, seeing osteopaths, massage therapists and so on to try and sort out my 'groin issue '

To cut a long story short, 13 years later I've just been diagnosed with bilateral FAI and a double labral tear on my right side. I haven't been in the mat for 8 months now because of referred back and hip  pain which has become increasingly debilitating. Upon diagnoses I though all i needed was two scopes and I'd be back pulling guard. Needless to say, it wasn't that simple.  Getting a second opinion from an FAI OS, he told me straight,  I had end stage arthritis in both hips and I needed a double hip replacement.

Like everyone here, I thought I'm too young for this and there must be another way. Which brings me to my question. I had a meeting with Mr Treacy on Friday. It went well and he told me I was the ideal person for HR. However, he reckoned I should wait a year before seeing him again. 6 months if the hips were a real problem. As I don't have a limp etc, and the pain only comes with excessive movement/ sport, I'm not sure what to do. ? I've accepted that an op will be inevitable at some point, however, I would really like to get back training and currently, with the way my hips are, they allow me to walk around no problem but flare up after rolling.

Not sure what to do? Any input would be much appreciated.


« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 11:51:51 AM by Pat Walter »
rBHR Ronan Treacy 11/12/14- Birmingham UK
54mm head - 60mm cup


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Re: hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 12:43:29 PM »
David, you have a real poser of a question there only because the recommendation came for the famous Mr. Ronan Treacy.

My understanding is the indication for Hip resurfacing is to restore an active lifestyle. At 46 I had my left hip resurfaced. The pain had started to creep into basic life activities so I had no doubt about the surgery. But if I could go back in time I would have had my hip resurfaced years earlier when it first began to affect my soccer (football).

I was the same way as you when I first saw my surgeon. I told him I was OK if I kept to an inactive life. I only had problems when I became active, especially soccer. 

In the beginning I would limp for a few days after soccer . But that became limping for a week then two weeks until finally the discomfort would never leave. My body could no longer deal with it and my body was really twisted by then. 

Since you have bilateral FAI (I had it too), you already have permanent loss of your range of motion. So even if your hips suddenly feel good over the next year, you have to avoid activities that cause the bones to bang into each other (impingement). Those activities are usually the fun sports that require lots of motion from the hips.

What's it like after resurfacing? My resurfaced hip is great! I went right back to soccer (football) right where I left off. Only now that hip allows my leg to move where it should. And now I really see the effects of FAI on my other still native hip. I also had terrible back pain that is totally gone now with the new hip.

My advice is to be sure that Mr. Treacy understands that you really want to get back your active life.
Left BHR 11/30/12
Hospital for Special Surgery
46 years old


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Re: hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 02:11:57 PM »
Don't worry - you are actually in a very good place in your life right now - you just don't know it yet - but you will in your own time - nobody is rushing you so don't feel any pressure.

The best thing you have done is that you have already seen Mr Treacy - there are other brilliant surgeons in this world but for me Mr Treacy has that and plenty more.

The condition of your hips won't get any better but it will get worse. Mr Treacy's advice is of extreme value - book your operation for 6 months to a year from now - if necessary see him / speak with him again to confirm what is best for you - your condition can change significantly very quickly.

The good thing is that, in your own time, you will be ok for what you want following your operation with Mr Treacy.
rbhr 3 january 2013
mr ronan treacy
royal orthopaedic hospital, birmingham, england


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Re: hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 03:20:55 PM »
Hi Chuckm, evant, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.
Agreed evant, I feel extremely fortunate to have both, found this site and to be able to see Mr Treacy. From the posts that I've read and the research that I've done, he certainly seems to know his stuff.

 When we spoke I think his main concern was how my hips effected my ability to work. ( My job is quite physical) Given my age he wasn't going to resurface straight away just to get me back on the mat. However, probably like all the BJJ / martial artists and other athletes, sport is such an important aspect of my life that waiting another year, knowing that my hips aren't getting any better, is quite hard to accept.

Anyway, thanks to this site and reading all the stories at least I know I'm on the right path.
rBHR Ronan Treacy 11/12/14- Birmingham UK
54mm head - 60mm cup


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Re: hip resurfacing and BJJ at 45
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 04:11:52 PM »

I think I am pretty well placed to comment. I am 46, have always been heavily involved in sports to a decent level and was diagnosed bi-lat FAI 3 years ago when a knee specialist thought it may be referred hip pain. It wasn't and I had the knee scoped and was told not to worry about the FAI.

2 years on and I started to get payback for activities - golf is a real issue when on the follow through you are violently slamming a bone protrusion into a round socket. Anyway, I went to a hip surgeon and asked for him to shave the FAI, expecting a few weeks downtime. I got hit with the bombshell that he thought I was way beyond that and marking time for replacement. I insisted on a second opinion and went to a surgeon specialising in keeping hips going - he turned me down and was very opposed to resurfacing as an option. I then went to a 3rd surgeon who is one of the more experienced resurfacers (Mr Latham)

He said I was a very good candidate too but recommended I wait. In short they like you to wait until it badly effects normal activities. I can tie shoelaces, I can sleep at night, climb stairs, it does not impact my job and I can walk several miles. I am Trendenberg negative (I can stand on one leg). These are all tests they adopt.

If I play golf, the back 9 is a struggle, if I sit in a cramped seat for long I get groin pain and maybe 1 in 20 days I take painkillers, but have a high pain threshold so that is more the exception than the rule. I have a partially detached labrum and impact fracture to the hip socket.

I first saw Mr Latham 15 months ago and he confirmed the thoughts of other surgeons that I maybe had up to 2 years until I needed surgery. They all talk about "you will know when it is time" which translates to all of us having different pain thresholds and lifestyles, so we will all get to a point at some stage where you wave the white flag.

I saw him again a few months back and x-rays showed not much change but range of motions worse (they take measurements off xrays for FAI - I apparently have one of the worst readings they have ever seen!). He reckons I won't get more than 1 more winter out of it (i.e less than 12 months from now) and gather that they tend to go downhill pretty quickly when they do decline

I have lurked here for over a year and absorbed information like a sponge. For me the position is clear; I am a total believer that resurfacing is the best option for me, but recognise that (like with most surgery) there are risks. I am therefore going to keep going until I feel that doing nothing is no longer an option as whilst the risks are low, I am unwilling to trade risk of surgery for resolving manageable issues, ie playing golf is a nice to have not a must have for a relatively short period of my life.

Hope this helps



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