Current Update 3/29/2016:
It was 3 years ago this month that I was officially diagnosed with OA and told to go home and take Advil and return in 10 years for a THR. Thank God for this site and Dr. Gross — this site allowed me to have hope and to intelligently research and discuss my options for HR. 3 months after my diagnosis I was having my right hip resurfaced and then 5 months later my left. I have had a wonderful recovery and don’t give my hips a second thought anymore — except to sing the praises of my surgeon and having my life back. People are amazed when I tell them I’ve had both hips resurfaced. I see so many people who have had a THR and are still limping or have limited ROM (I know this varies from person to person) — I have worked on flexibility everyday and yoga has been a huge part of my recovery. I can walk, climb, hike, do a full split, squat, lunge, push, pull, balance — everything my body allows. I still feel I am making strides in my flexibility — everyday the ROM changes for the better. I will say I finally feel like I am back to full strength in my external rotators — that has been a process and takes time. I encourage anyone going through this to remember it takes time, be patient and do the work.
Best of luck to all.
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July 11, 2013
Well I have a new right hip and a whole lot of pain! 🙂 it’s all good though and I’m glad to say the pain is surgical and not OA.
Dr. Gross did 5 cases yesterday. I was the first. Check in was seamless and before I knew it I was back in the preop section and getting my IV’s and blood drawn. They gave me versed and I recall being wheeled into the OR, but recall nothing after that until I woke up in recovery. I was in my room at 10:30. Main was pretty well controlled yesterday and the polar care until really helped. I was able to walk 100feet in the hallway mid afternoon (of course I had a walker and 2 PT’s with me). Slept on/off through the night — being I am a RN I understand the need for nighttime vital signs etc…so I went with the flow. I was grateful for the Foley catheter so I didn’t have to get up during the night to urinate.
This morning I had the catheter removed so was able to make it to the restroom. I walked 2x this morning. The first one I did well until heading back to the room. My BP dropped to 90/40 and I almost passed out. Thankfully they got me into a recliner quickly — I had to get another 500cc of
IV fluids and some Gatorade. Regardless of this I still was able to take a shower and walked the
hall again to attend the “hip class”.
I was discharged at 1:30. We made the 3 hour drive back to the suburbs of Atlanta. Thank goodness for the polar care unit — we plugged it into the car and it really helped. Unfortunately I was stiff when we arrived home and was in need for pains meds. I was also having the shakes. 2 Nucynta and a warm blanket helped.
I am pretty nauseous today. I attribute that to all the meds — I don’t take any routine meds and now I’m on Irospan, Prevacid, Xarelto and pain meds….what a cocktail! Next week I start on Binosto since my right hip,is slightly osetopenic.
So as I said, Dr Gross did 5 surgeries yesterday– 3 men and 2 women. All of us were from different areas of the country.
July 12, 2013
Thank you all so much! The cyber-support really does help and encourage me. I slept pretty well last night. Up twice to use the restroom, but making sure I get up in stages and slowly so my blood pressure has time to equilibrate.
No nausea this morning. Just trying to drink a lot of water, ice and walk a few steps every few hours. Doing my prescribed exercises as well. The swelling isn’t too bad right now. I do for see a weekend of resting and naps. Hubby is here with me and is a good nurse.
July 14, 2013
Day 4 post op—
Well, a few things I’ve learned:
— I hate sleeping on my back. I’ve tried turning onto my un-operated with a pillow b/w legs and maintain no internal rotation. I’m good for 20 minutes and then it pulls my incision.
—I never knew my legs could swell to 3x it’s size. Seriously, today I woke to swelling from hip to knee. So, elevated toes to nose and lost of ice. It is better this evening. Swelling does cause increased stiffness and makes it harder to walk.
—Tylenol is good. I took myself off the narcotic pain meds yesterday and have done quite well with Tylenol. Very little residual muscle pain and only occasional stabbing at the incision that goes away quickly.
—I’m ok letting my hubby cook, clean and take care of me. I’m a bit of a control freak about the house….I’ve let it all go. No use in worrying. I can’t control it all and I’m too busy icing, elevating, resting and doing my exercises. It’s my turn.
—Constipation sucks and is a real issue after surgery. Coming off the narcotics helps. Drink lots of water, get enough fiber, and attempt to find comfort on the raised toilet seat.
—my ROM has already significantly increased. My quad and gluteals are strong despite being manipulated and it gives me hope that in 6 months I will be able to regain my flexibility.
— I walked (with crutches) down our driveway and to the stop sign about 200 feet and back home 2x today. Slow and steady.
—as a RN I prefer being the RN instead of the patient!
—I can’t believe I’m planning to do this all again in 6 months of the other hip.
So far at 4 days post op, it has been hard and I am tired, but I firmly believe in giving my body the time and rest it needs to recover. I have no joint pain and that is a God Send — although I am not sure I appreciate it quite yet since I’m in surgery recovery mode.
July 15, 2013
Dr. Gross told me, before leaving the hospital, he expects his patients should be able to walk 1 mile at 6-7 weeks with a limp. He said at 3 months he expects you will be able to walk any distance without a limp.
I started with only one crutch this morning. 5 days post op. Today is my first day home alone -.hubby got me all set up and went off to work for a few hours. So far, so good!
July 16, 2013
I have experienced Hell and never want to go back.
Quick background — 48 yo female, active, 120 pounds, 5’4″. Right HR this past Wednesday by dr. Gross. Good initial recovery. At home, no issues. Doing prescribed exercise, transitioning to one crutch in the house 5 days post op, but spending most of my time with toes to nose elevation and ice. Off all pain meds post op day 3. Walked my driveway and to one mailbox 2x.
About 10:00 last night I started experiencing muscle tightness in my right glute (I thought of the mentioned monkey fist I’ve heard described on this site). Yow! I hurt. But I switched positions, moved a little and it seemed better. By 10:30 that pain was becoming intolerable and spasms started. I took a Nucyenta. Unable to find a comfortable position I tried rolling onto my un operated side — that didn’t help. I tried ice — no good either. By 11:30 I was experiencing muscle spasms down the inside thigh, quads, hamstring and outer calf. Hubby gave me another Nucyenta. No relief.
Now I’ve delivered 2 babies and passed a kidney stone. I have NEVER had pain like this in my life. I was scared I has popped my femoral neck (although couldn’t imagine how)….finally at 1:30 am, somehow my husband got me in the car — I was seriously delirious — and he got me to our local ER. Thankfully he did bring a bag of all my post op hippy meds and Dr. Gross information.
The ER staff was great. They were gentle with my hip and didn’t break any guidelines. They got an IV in me, drew some blood and check my hip/leg. It was clearly spasms as you could see the muscle clench and release as if they were keeping time. I was give Ativan and Dilaudid. I finally got some relief. The did do an ultrasound to rule out DVT — this was negative thank god.
They tried to release me at 4:00 this morning, but the spasms started up again and this time a particularly bad one hit while I was in the wheelchair being wheeled to discharge — I passed out. I woke back on the gurney, with another IV and received more Dilaudid, Tramadol, Zofran and Ativan in addition to 2L more of IV fluids. Finally at 7:30 am I was discharged home. I have hardly any recollection of how my hubby got me home, in bed or anything. All I know is he is one dedicated man and loves me very much!!!
I spoke with Nancy at Dr. Gross ‘ office when I woke up this afternoon. She was wonderful. Lee said that while muscle spasms are rare, they can occasionally occurs 3-5 days post op. we determined that I was not dehydrated, I was having a normal recovery, I had not attempted to over-do my exercise or be super-woman — I was just one of the unlucky ones. She did say I had small, already tight musculature due to my years of exercise — this may have caused the muscles to contract. Lee put me on Flexeril for the next 5 days to help.
So, while I am exhausted and I do feel like my recovery is now 3 days behind, I am feeling better and am grateful to my local hospital, to Nancy and Lee and all of Dr. Gross’ staff and most of all to my husband— I hope he and I never have to experience pain like that again. As difficult it was for me, I know he having to watch me and feel helpless was just as difficult.
Please know muscle spasms are real and can happen post op. I pray none of you have to experience it!
July 17, 2013
Update from yesterday and last night—I was exhausted all day and spent much of the that resting, sleeping, in the recliner and no ice. Lee said to hold off icing for 24 hours. My thigh was so very swollen, painfully swollen, even though I stayed elevated.
I stared the Flexeril (which made me more groggy). So at 8:30 I decided to try to sleep. Hubby helped me get settled in bed. I decided to take an Ativan to help me rest. I slept until 10:30 when I woke up to a lower leg spasm. It wasn’t painful, it was just something I couldn’t control. I believe I have a huge knot of muscle in my glute and it is hitting a never just the right way therefore causing the spasm. My butt cheek was rock hard and swollen. I was so uncomfortable. Hubby gave me 2 Vicodin ….and hour later no relief. I got out of the bed and walked (really dragged my leg) down the hallway to try to stretch. On the way back to bed I decided to see if I could slid head first into bed so I could lay on the stomach— yeah!!! sweet success!!
So, I use a flat pillow for my head and a small pillow to support my ankles and I slept from 2:00 to 9:00 on my stomach. No glute knot, no spasms and sweet sleep.
Of course this morning I am groggy as heck. I have a high pain threshold as you can see by all the meds that I took that should have knocked me out. I am hoping to only take Flexeril and Tylenol today danger my head cleared. It is one week since surgery and I feel like I’m definitely back at day knee.
I know we all have our trials and our success. My success is that I fould a comfortable sleep position. I’m trying to appreciate the little things!
July 21, 2013
I am now 11 days post op and am doing better every day. I’m happy to see progress.
The one issue I’m having is sleep. I am just not sleeping well. I am tired and try to go to bed at my normal bed time. I am not napping during the day — but of course I am much less active than I have ever been. I lay in bed at night and my operated leg gets so restless. I’m sure it’s due to swelling and nerve endings being triggered due to the swelling — it’s annoying (not painful per se).
I try changing position, elevating the leg, propping pillow, getting up wand walking — nothing helps. As you know staying in one position for very long is hard — my leg gets more tired, the muscles complain and it takes effort to move into the next position. So far I can lay on my unoperated side for about 20 minutes before then muscles ache. I can lay on my stomach for about an hour.
So finally at 1:30am I relent by taking 1/2 mg of Ativan to settle the restless feeling. This is not something I want to continue to do.
July 25, 2013
I am 14 days post op today and I finally feel like I turned the corner! Hooray!
I Slept reasonably well the last two nights. I can finally roll stomach to back to un operated side and not feel like I’m going to dislocate my hip. It’s still a pain to prop the pillow and find a comfy position, but it’s better. I still have mild swelling from knee to butt.
Today was the last day for the Xarelto — so one pill down! I’ve got two more weeks of baby aspirin, but hey that’s easy. As Dr. Gross hippies know you are on several meds for a month after surgery – so finishing one of the major ones feels good. Also, can I just say Dr. Gross must have plastic surgeon behind is name as well cause my incision is amazingly small (3.5 inches), tight and well healed. I’ve seen loads of incisions / scars in my nursing career — he does fabulous work.
I started practicing with the cane yesterday and managed to walk about 1/4 mile outdoors with it. I’m really concentrating on striking heel to toe and not leaning on the cane but using it for balance. Today I walked further by two mailboxes (that’s how I’m judging my distance!), and it feels good. I feel no OA pain at all! I do feel every muscle in my butt, IT band and calf — but I’ll take muscle soreness any day. I even broke out my 5 pound hand weights on Tuesday and started with easy upper torso work while seated. Ice is still my friend and I use it at least 4x a day.
I even finally drove today….I have to use my left foot to brake. I drove 2 miles down the street and got a pedicure. I know the ladies can appreciate how good that felt.
So, the goal now is to keep myself in check and not overdo. I don’t want anymore muscle cramps or a big set back.
July 31, 2013
I am three weeks post op today. I feel grateful that I’ve progressed since day one, but I still can’t help to wish I was further along (but seriously understand it takes time!
I still have days when I am exhausted by late afternoon. I’m trying to lay low. I go out once a day and run to the grocery or dry cleaners – just to get out. I do my walks 2x a day and do some easy upper torso work with my hand held weights. I’m actually going back to work 1/2 days on Monday….I’m not sure how that is going to go – hoping 1/2 days are doable.
I am walking with a cane and am doing about 3/4 – 1 mile at a time. I am still limping when I don’t have the cane. ROM is getting better, but certain muscles are still sore and very tight. That will come with time. Swelling feels almost gone. I do get all types of muscle twinges and aches in the leg and it varies from day to day.
August 2, 2013
I went back to work yesterday – I did 5 hours yesterday and 6 hours today and I’m pretty tired!! I got home today and iced 2x and went straight onto the couch. Physically I’m not hurting — just tired and drained.
I know it’s only been 3 weeks and 2 days – so I’m grateful for what I can do.
August 10, 2013
I am 4 1/2 weeks post op. I see Dr. Gross this coming Thursday for a 5 week check and am hoping to be released to the next stage of exercises and maybe a stationary bike (who knew I’d be so excited to ride a stationary bike!)
I returned to work last week and while I’m a bit tired, it’s been productive and I am glad to be using my brain and feeling some normalcy in my routine. I started being able to drop the cane this past Monday for short distances. I am typically off the cane while in the house, but am taking it with me everywhere else. Having it helps me feel safe – especially in crowds – kind of keeps people away and gives me space.
As of this morning I am finally off the daily baby aspirin and the daily Meloxicam. Yeah! So basically off all meds now except fosamax which I have to take for 5 more months.
Today I went to our area greenway and walked 2 miles. Really concentrating on slow, steady and holding in my core. Husband says he doesn’t see a limp although I feel like I’m limping. He says my gait has less of a hitch than it did prior to surgery. Just this week I can tie my sneakers myself. My hamstrings have always been very flexible, so I think that helps a lot. Still not breaking at 90 degrees or crossing the midline though. I am also still icing for 30 minutes 2x a day.
All in all, I know I’m having a great recovery, but it sure feels like its been longer than 4 1/2 weeks!
August 15, 2013
5 weeks post op and heading to see Dr. Gross for my check up.
I think I slightly overdid it on Monday — I’ve been limping since then and back to the cane for support. Two steps forward, one step back. So frustrating!!
Hoping once released to do some abduction exercises that some of this tightness will reduce and ROM will really start to return.
Since stopping the mobic on Saturday I can really feel my un operated hip and the OA there.
August 16, 2013
The follow up went well. X-ray was perfect and Lee was thrilled with my strength and progress. I was allowed to progress to the abduction and forward lift exercises, along with some basic stretches. Can break 90 degrees, but no inward rotation, deep squats, crossing knees or knees to chest until 6 months. I am hopeful the exercises will help the IT band tightness.
I’m planning to try 10 minutes on the stationary bike after work today, along with my exercises.
Here’s to progress!
Also, I am officially scheduled to have hip #2 done in early December. I just keep thinking that by this time next year I should be well healed and will be bionic in both hips!
August 17, 2013
Today I went to the gym for the first time. 10 minutes on the bike (level 2), 10 minutes on the elliptical (level 2) and a 10 minute walk on the treadmill — then I did my prescribed exercises. This side leg lifts are hard– but I did 10 of them today. Feels good and no pain!
Everyone is right — into 6 weeks really is a turning point!
August 21, 2013
Even at 6 weeks I can’t tell you how much better I feel and best of all the arthritis pain is gone.
August 24, 2013
Six week post op and while I’ve been walking totally cane – less for 8 days now around the house and at work. I’ve been going to the gym and doing 15 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes on the elliptical. Today though I meet a friend and we walked 3 miles — steady pace, no limp at all and no OA pain. The muscles in the leg felt great and I seriously almost felt back to “normal”!! What a godsend.
My husband was running and caught up with us and said he thought my gait was tighter and better than he has seen in years. We all got so used to the slight, ever present limp I used to have.
Now, the twinges of pain I felt in the left hip socket did tell me that my surgery is December is the right choice!
To all those contemplating — just do it! Walking painless on this beautiful day made me see how worth it this past 6 weeks of recovery has been. Can’t wait until this time next year after both hops are done and I am in full recovery mode.
September 11, 2013
I am 9 weeks post op and while my operated hip / knee feels 100x better, my unoperated side (hip/knee) is really giving me issues that I never had before. I agree this has to do with all the muscles, tendons and ligaments trying to adjust to your new gait and stance. Also, now that I am more active, I am feeling tightness in muscles I never had issues with before — including my back. I have faith that all of this will work itself out in good time and a lot of good (patient) stretching and exercise.
September 19, 2013
I am 10 weeks post op on hip number 1 and doing well. However, the other hip has deteriorated so much faster than I expected. The ROM is diminished significantly and I have so much pain from hip to knee. It really is effecting total recovery of the repaired joint. I am very impatiently waiting for surgery number 2 in December — 3 months to go. I can’t wait to have both hips working correctly.
October 9, 2013
I am 13 weeks post HR and my ROM is no where near where it was pre OA. I was always very flexible, able to sit easily with soles of feet together (butterfly position) and had wide hip opening of the legs (splits and straddles) and stretched to the point that I could sit open legged and put my whole chest on the floor. My ROM definitely was decreased over the last year.
Since surgery I can just now lift my knee to 90 degrees, but it is still tight. I am no where near getting my thigh toward my chest when laying down. Just two weeks ago I was able to start sitting criss-cross on the floor with a pillow supporting my backside!! I think it’s going to take lots of time. My big muscles are good, but it’s all the smaller muscles that need to be stretched and loosened. I’m just now being able to slowly step into a lunge and balance and hold it. Yoga has been so challenging and the hardest of all the workouts I’ve tried over the last few weeks.
October 18, 2013
13 weeks now and I just returend from walking 4-6 miles a day around Disney World and had no issues.
BUT, let me stress that even now at 13-14 weeks there is a “new normal”. Everyday I hope to be back to my old pre-OA normal and I am not there yet. Hubby keeps telling me I need to give it 6-12 months. I’m impatient. But, I have no OA pain and it is so much better than pre-surgery.
So here’s normal for me now:
-about 9-10 weeks when I suddenly realized I was getting into the car one leg at a time instead of doing the sit and pivot the whole body to get in.
-at 9 weeks could just start sitting criss-cross on the floor, but it hurt. Now at 14 weeks I can sit that way, but prop my butt up on a pillow for support.
-8 weeks balancing on the surgical leg got better, but I would still hold on for support. At 14 weeks I can balance unassisted.
-13 weeks can just now lay on floor and do a 3 point leg cross. It’s purposeful though. I have to make my leg go into that position. It’s not insitictive.
-12 weeks can finally get into a lunge position and do pulsing lunges — again I have to think about it though.
-8 weeks I was taking a 60 minute spin class….wasn’t until 10 weeks that I felt good standing out of the saddle.
-14 weeks I still cannot comfortably cross my operated leg over the unoperated while seated. The ROM is just not totally there yet. Yes, I can do it, BUT again it doesn’t feel comfortable.
My ROM is only at about 70% were it was pre-OA. It doesn’t help that my unoperated side has really deteriorated. I am taking this as 18 month commitment and hope by this time next year I’ll be 100% on both sides! Every night I lay on the floor in front of the TV and still do my level 2 exercise and work on stretching. Even just sitting criss-cross for 10 minutes at a time helps.
I burnt the inside of my arm (2 inch burn – no bid deal) taking a hot pan out of the oven. I did it three weeks ago and the scab just fell off, the area is just now not tender and the skin is just now starting to heal. I need to remember this and how it takes the body time. If a 2 inch burn that was not a big deal takes 3-4 weeks to heal, then no wonder a huge surgery like a HR takes 6-12 months!
December 4, 2013
I’m 6 days from having my second HR. It’s my Christmas present and it’s coming right on time. My left hip has deteriorated much faster than I ever expected. The cold weather this past week has really caused me to ache and limp badly. I’m sure I’ve finally worn away whatever little cartridge was left!
While I’m not looking forward to the first few weeks of recovery, I am ready to move forward and a recovery that will lead me into a great summer. I’ll keep you all posted on “the second time around”.
December 11, 2013
Surgery was completed this morning….I officially have two new hips! Dr. Gross said that my left hip was a bit worse than the right (which was completed exactly 5 months ago). He said I was truly bone on bone.
So far so good though. If all goes well, I hope to be discharged tomorrow afternoon.
December 13, 2013
I can now say I am officially “on the other side”! Was able to be discharged this morning (although Dr. Gross gave me the option of one more day). I didn’t feel that I needed it. My BP stayed around 95/50 all night and I slept as well as could expected. I managed a shower and a walk down the hallway this morning.
We got home about an hour ago and I’m sitting in my recliner sipping hot tea. Dr. Gross did put me on 5 days of Flexeril for muscle spasms. You many recall I had terrible spasms at about day 5 with my right hip. We are hoping to avoid that scenario again.
Otherwise, all went well despite the low BP / passing out episode. Once again, I had excellent care at Providence Hospital. They have Dr. Gross’ surgical protocol down to a science. Everything from pre op to discharge was good.
So, the goal now is to rest over these next few weeks, do the few PT exercises prescribed and walk. Lee reminded that less is more when it comes to rehabbing from a HR. since I’ve been through it once before, I have to agree with her. I’m going to try very hard to not get frustrated! Lol!
January 1, 2014
I’ve noticed how much easier this second surgery has been for me. I think it has to do with knowing what to expect an also to decreasing my expectations! I’ve been kinder to my body this time and it has paid off. I transitioned from one crutch to the cane 5 days ago and haven’t looked back. I’m walking around the house with no cane and no limp. When I go outside for my longer walks I use the cane. Very little muscle pain and ROM is coming back quicker this time. Sleeping well and while I’m still not turning onto the operated side, I’ll be able to do that soon enough. I’m off work for two more weeks and confident ill be feeling increasingly stronger by then.
February 2, 2014
I am 7 weeks post-op on the left and I DO feel like I am starting all over again. I’ve lost some muscle tone and some upper body strength — But it’s a year out of my life and I figure by summer time I will be well on my way. It’s worth it that I can now walk with no pain! I did a 3 mile walk yesterday and a spin class yesterday — no issues!
February 7, 2014
I am now 8 weeks postoperative and doing well. Attended a “gentle” yoga class on Tuesday and really felt great on Wednesday. Good to stretch. Walking without any issues and doing several miles a day. Still unable to sleep on my left side, but I’m definitely rolling over better in bed. Still have that startup stiffness after sitting for too long, but it passes quickly.
March 4, 2014
I am 12 weeks post op. Fortunately I have progressed quickly and and doing well. Walking without issues, stairs have recently gotten easier and no longer need handrail for assistance. I’ve been going to spin classes for several weeks now and started back to very gentle yoga 2 weeks ago. Slowly I feel the muscles gaining strength.
June 14, 2014
I am almost one year post op on my right hip and 6 mos post op on the left. The last 4 weeks I have seen significant improvements and I’m doing great. I figured that I’d give the hips a bit of hell this week and see how they held up. Here’s what I did in 7 days: 5 high intensity aerobic classes, 3 spin classes, 3 yoga classes, 2 body pump weight classes and walked 58 miles (total per my FitBit)! I feel great!! No pain, no issues, a little clunking occasionally in the right hip but it is minor.
Please know that while every day is better, I do modify as needed and that my ROM is just now slowly beginning to return to semi-normal (ok, normal to me is where I was 2-3 years ago pre osteoarthritis). External rotation is still a challenge, but is getting better.
Is am so grateful for this surgery and to Dr. Gross and his team. I turn 50 this year and I have my life back!
December 2, 2014
The changes in my life in the past 18 months have been remarkable and I am grateful for this web site and Dr. Gross / Lee Webb. Today was office visit for my left hip (one year) and right hip (18 mos) post op. The X-rays are spot on. My ROM is 100% and flexibility continues to improve. My strength continues to improve as well and I rarely think about my hips any more. I have no pain and have no sensation that I have had the surgeries. Even the mild clunking I used to get is essentially gone.
I am doing spin classes, walking miles a day, Pilates and yoga class.
Dr. Gross doesn’t do metal blood testing until the two year mark, so I will wait another year for that test.
September 24, 2015
I just wanted to check in and show my recent yoga photo. I’ve come so far in the past two years and most can’t believe I am a bilateral hip patient. I recently completed my 200 hour yoga teacher certification. My ROM and flexibility is really great and is getting better every day. I see constant improvement!! In this photo I am hopeful one day the hands will grasp the foot….just need a little more openness in the hips and to lengthen the psoas a bit more.
So glad to have my life back!! Getting my hips done was the best thing I’ve done for myself.