First Hip Resurfacing – RBHR May 5, 2010 Dr. Brooks
Here is my story about my hip resurfacing. It starts in October of 2006 when I went to a local doctor in southwest Michigan and had my right hip X-rayed. I wanted to make sure it was arthritis and not something else. He said it was indeed arthritis in my hip and I would have to have it replaced in three to five years. I laughed and said fat chance. After my visit I started taking glucosamine/chondroitin regularly and ibuprofen if I had pain. I am quite active and started to ballroom dance which put more stress on my right hip. The activity that hurt the most was driving. I could not drive for more that 30 minutes without pain going right down to my knee. The same pain was involved when I rode horses. During the week, while I was at work the pain was not too bad but on the weekend when I would walk extensively at the farm or do more manual labor my hip would hurt. As my hip continued to deteriorate I could not ride my horse and dance in the same day. When my leg started giving out while I was dancing I knew something had to be done.
I went to the Cleveland Clinic in August of 2009 and asked the surgeon if there was anything else I could do besides replacement. He was a replacement surgeon and strongly recommended replacement. He mentioned resurfacing but told me there were a lot of issues with it. I scheduled replacement surgery for April 29th. I had a lot of time before the surgery, so I started doing some research. I was disturbed about the restrictions that are involved with hip replacement. I read more about resurfacing and decided I needed to see Dr. Brooks at the Cleveland Clinic about this procedure. My appointment was February 24, 2010 and he said I was a candidate for resurfacing and it was scheduled for May 5, 2010, Cinco de Mayo.
Because I am from out of town Phil, Dr. Brooks’ Physician’s Assistant scheduled my preop examination on Tuesday May 4 to save me an extra trip to Cleveland. I traveled to Cleveland with my wife and we got a hotel room for the week. My daughter is a nurse at the Cleveland Clinic so she was with me as well. I was getting rather apprehensive and thought about going back to Michigan but decided that was a foolish thought and continued. My surgery was scheduled for 8:30 AM on Wednesday morning so I had to check in the hospital at 6:00 AM. I was taken to the pre-surgery suite at about 7:15 AM and wheeled in the operating room at 8:23 AM. I was back in my room before Noon just in time for lunch. I felt great. I of course had no pain with the spinal and was in a very positive and upbeat mood. Dr. Brooks came to see me in the afternoon and saw how well I was able to move my right leg with my “dog leash” and said as soon as the spinal wore off I could get out of bed and walk.
After I ate dinner I got out of bed, got rid of the hospital gown, and started walking with my walker. It felt great. My wife and daughter did not want me to walk too far so I spent the rest of the evening in my chair before I went back to bed. On Thursday morning I got up, got dressed and walked with my walker as much as I could. On Friday they taught me how to use crutches, made sure I could go up and down stairs and released me from the hospital at about 2:00 PM. That night we all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant in Cleveland. My wife and I spent the night in the hotel and drove back to Michigan on Saturday morning. It was a four hour drive and I really had very little pain in my leg. Saturday May, 8th happened to be my birthday and I dearly wanted to be home on my birthday so that worked out well. Oh, I should probably mention that on May 8, 2010 I turned 63.
I can’t say enough about the care I received at the hospital. Cleveland Clinic took over the Euclid Hospital several years ago. The whole staff was excellent and took very good care of me. I owe a lot of my speedy recovery to Dr. Brooks who is a magician when it comes to this surgery. He did an excellent job. Unfortunately I will have to have my left hip resurfaced soon and you better believe I will be right back at Euclid Hospital with Dr. Brooks doing the resurfacing.
James Laveglia – Hip Resurfacing Part II
I forgot to mention that the picture is of me and my daughter 10 hours after surgery. After my stroll down the hall with my walker after dinner on Wednesday, May 5th I came back to the room and took this picture with my daughter.
I went back to work on Tuesday, May 11 for half a day. I have a desk job so that was a fairly easy task. I did half days for the rest of the week. I have to admit I was tired after being at work for just half days that week. I was not prepared for the swelling that occurred in my thigh, lower leg and foot. By the end of the day it was fairly painful and I would go home and raise my foot up. I had to wear a sneaker on my right foot for several days. The swelling lasted less than a week and although there may be a very slight amount of swelling in my ankle and foot today (8 weeks post surgery) for all practical purposes it was pretty much gone at three weeks post surgery.
I travel quite a bit and I had a trip scheduled for Japan on June 14th (5 weeks and 5 days after surgery). My 6 week check up was scheduled for June 16th so I contacted Phil and asked if I could come in for my check up on June 10th (5 weeks and 1 day after surgery). He said that was fine. They took X-rays and Phil had me walk without my crutches and told me I could go to Japan but to continue taking my aspirin until I got back. It is a 13 hour flight from Detroit to Tokyo and this was a preventative measure. Phil noticed I had a slight limp when I walked and he gave me an additional exercise to do. He told me to lay on my left side and raise my right leg as high as I could and to do this exercise 90 times a day. This was difficult in the beginning but it has really strengthened my muscles and my limp is gone.
I have been inspired by the post surgery video’s on Surface Hippy especially the video of the young lady dancing 4 weeks after surgery. I dearly wanted to make a dancing video 4 weeks after my surgery but I just could not dance very well. I continued to work on it and I did make a video of me waltzing 5 weeks after my resurfacing surgery. I will send that video to Surface Hippy. At that time I could actually dance better than I could walk. I went for my check up in Cleveland the next day and with the exercise that Phil gave me it has really improved my dancing and walking.
It has been 8 weeks since my resurfacing surgery and I can honestly say I am very happy I did this procedure and I have been very pleased with my recovery. Dancing has become a big part of my life and before my hip resurfacing I was unable to perform the Viennese Waltz as my hip would not hold up to all the movement and pressure that is required to perform this dance. I am learning that dance now and with my new resurfaced hip I am able to do the dance with no pain and my hip does not give out. We are putting together a Viennese Waltz routine for our dance competition in September and once we have the routine down I will take a video and submit it to Surface Hippy. I recommend this procedure to anybody that is thinking about hip surgery. It is truly a phenomenal procedure.
My Story Continues With My Left Hip
As I mentioned in my last episode I knew that my left hip would need to be resurfaced sooner rather than later. My amateur dance career is heating up and I am putting more pressure on my left hip. My right hip which was fixed on May 5, 2010 is doing great! I had an appointment to see Dr. Brooks at the Cleveland Clinic on December 23, 2010 to talk about my left hip. I had limited range of motion but no real pain at that time. He said that since I did not have a lot of pain I could put the surgery off, but I knew that would be a mistake since I was stressing my left hip fairly consistently as I was dancing practically every day. A quick meeting with Phil and the surgery for my left hip was scheduled for March 30, 2011. Several weeks after my visit with Dr. Brooks my left hip started to make a loud clicking sound. I am so happy that I scheduled the surgery on December 23rd and did not wait. The clicking sound got progressively worse until the day of surgery. As the clicking got worse the pain started but not nearly as bad as the pain in the right hip before that one got fixed. It was more of a dull ache especially after I would dance for a couple of hours. The reason I scheduled the surgery so late was that we had three dance competitions scheduled in 2011. The first one was January 1st in Washington D.C., the second one was in Merrillville, IN on February 24, 25 and the third one was in Dearborn, MI on March 24, 25, the weekend before the surgery.
Before I knew it the Dearborn dance competition was over and on March 28th my wife and I drove to Cleveland. My pre-surgery physical was on Tuesday, March 29th and surgery was scheduled for 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 30. Since I had been through this procedure before I was not quite as apprehensive as the last time but I have to admit that I was still a bit nervous. I checked into the hospital around 7:15 AM and about 9:15 AM went up to the pre-surgery area. Once I was upstairs it was not long before I was taken to surgery. This time I woke up before I was in the recovery room. When I woke up they were wrapping my left leg with a big ace bandage which also went around my waist. The nurse told me to just relax as they finished with the ace bandage and off to recovery I went. It was 11:20 AM. As far as I can recall I did not go back to sleep in recovery and I remember asking the nurse if I was going to be back in my room for lunch. I was pretty hungry. She just laughed and said my lunch would be waiting there for me.
I got to my room at 1:00 PM and lunch arrived shortly thereafter. It is annoying having to wait for the spinal to wear off. I could start to feel my upper legs first and finally my toes started tingling around 3:00 PM. Dr. Brooks stopped by to see how things were going and gave me a copy of my X-ray which now showed two Birmingham hips. He said when the spinal wore off I could get out of bed and walk a little bit. I got out of bed around 4:30 PM, took off the hospital gown and put my shorts on and walked with the walker. I had my daughter, Julie, take a picture of me and my wife Pat in dance position at about 5:00 PM which was about 6 hours after surgery was completed. I really felt pretty good.
“Shall We Dance”
So now recovery was officially starting. I knew what to expect and I was ready. My wife brought my crutches to the hospital first thing Thursday morning. We saved them from the first hip resurfacing. I was up dressed and ready for physical therapy. The hospital is really good about making sure you can take care of yourself once you get home so I walked with the physical therapist to show her I was good with my crutches and then we went to the stairwell and we went up and down the steps. It did not take long for my previous training to come back. As far as physical therapy was concerned I could have gone home on Thursday. However, I thought it would be wise to stay Thursday night and go home on Friday. Dr. Potts who is training with Dr. Brooks looked at my incision on Friday morning and cleared me to go home. The only remaining task was to pass my ultrasound test which I did at 10:00 AM. I was out of the hospital by Noon on Friday. Again I cannot say enough good things about the nursing staff at Euclid Hospital. They were caring, attentive and paid attention to details. I would recommend Dr. Brooks and the nursing staff at Euclid Hospital to anyone considering hip resurfacing.
We went back to the hotel rested for a few hours and then headed off to dinner at a very nice steak restaurant in the area. We got a good night’s sleep at the hotel on Friday night and headed back to Michigan first thing Saturday morning. The ride back was uneventful and everything went well. I started to get some swelling in my upper leg on Sunday. By Monday morning my lower leg was swollen as well.
There were some differences between the first surgery and the second surgery. I was actually pretty surprised by the lack of bruising after the second surgery. I remember the bruising that occurred after my first surgery, it was quite extensive. The swelling that occurred after the second surgery was also not as bad as I experienced the first time. I was pleasantly surprised. As I compare the incisions from the first and second surgeries I think the incision is longer after the second surgery than the first surgery. I am wondering if this had an effect on causing less bruising and swelling. They used staples to close the incision on the first surgery. After the second surgery they used internal resorbable sutures and glue on the outside. The incision seemed to heal better after the second surgery.
I was planning on going to work on Monday, April 4th and I did. I have a desk job so going to work was not that big of a deal. I did wear a tennis shoe on my left foot because of the swelling. I wore the tennis shoe the whole week. When I got home after work, I would immediately put my left leg up. By the end of that week, I was at work pretty much the whole day. I took my last Percocet pill on Monday, April 4th but continued taking Tylenol. I work at a large research facility so I was able to walk extensively with my crutches every day. I always use the steps when I have to go upstairs so it was excellent exercise for me.
I was able to wear my regular shoes to work on Monday, April 11th. I was also able to drive to work. I was recovering much faster after the second surgery than the first surgery. Maybe I was in better shape than the first time, maybe my left hip was not in as bad a shape as the right one, or maybe I just knew what to expect and was able to cope better. But whatever it was, recovery was going faster.
I went back to dance class on Monday, April 25th which was 3 weeks and 5 days after surgery. I was determined this time to make a good dancing video at 4 weeks after surgery. In my last story, after my right hip was resurfaced, I wanted to make a video at 4 weeks but just could not do it. I did make a video at 5 weeks but never submitted it to surface hippy because I limped so badly onto and off of the dance floor that I did not think that would be very inspiring to anybody. This time I did not have that problem and I was able to do a pretty good swing and hustle dance with my wife at 4 weeks after surgery. I have sent this video to surface hippy.
Now I have something a little different to tell you. I live in Michigan and it is a big deal to go mushroom hunting in the spring. Since we moved to our farm it was the first spring I was able to go out into the woods behind our house and look for mushrooms. I did this on Saturday, April 30th. I was in the woods several hours and as I was walking back to the house my right hip made a squeak. I froze and could not believe that sound came from me. I did not move for a while as I was racking my brain as to what the issue could be. There was no pain. I cautiously took another step and everything was fine. I knew I would be going to the Cleveland Clinic on May 9th for my 1 year check-up on my right hip and my 6 week check-up on my left hip so I did not call Phil. The following weekend (May 7th) I went out mushroom hunting again for several hours. Again my right hip squeaked towards the end of my mushroom hunting. When I relayed this information to Phil at my check-up on May 9th he told me that this has happened with several patients. It is a dehydration issue. When you are doing physical activity make sure you stay hydrated because it is your body fluid that is lubricating the space between the two metal pieces which is now your hip. I was relieved to hear that others have had this issue and it can be solved by staying hydrated. My visit to the Cleveland Clinic was uneventful and my recovery is going well.
I would say that my left hip is about 85% recovered at 6 weeks. I am dancing again but carefully and not full out. Our next dance competition is July 28th in Nashville, TN so I will have plenty of time to get back into shape.