I am a 45 yo female and just underwent right hip resurfacing on 11/15/17 by Dr Thomas Gross and Lee Webb. Prior to my hip injury, I was a marathoner, trail runner, avid hiker (14’ers) and Mountain biker.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with a labrum tear in my right hip after running NYC Marathon in 2014. My first surgery to repair the labrum was in April 2015. Immediately after the surgery, I had more pain than I ever did prior. I continued PT beyond the recommendation of the surgeon and by July 2015, my PT advised me to get another MRI of my right hip. The MRI showed another labrum tear in close proximity to the first tear. In September 2015, I was back in the OR for labrum repair. My pain improved for about six months then returned. I got cortisone injections and did Protein Rich Plasma injections with no relief. I was unable to run or hike and soon even swimming was painful but was able to MTN bike with minimal pain. The pain worsened and affected my daily activities so in January 2017, I got another MRI that showed a third labrum tear, Grade IV chondral damage and mild osteoarthritis. I began getting second, third and fourth orthopedic opinions. One surgeon diagnosed me with hip dysplasia and offered a periacetabular osteotomy. Another surgeon, who performs hip resurfacing, denied me the procedure because I was female but offered a THR when I turned 50 years old. A third surgeon offered a THR. I felt angry and defeated because my lifestyle was so different because of the pain. I returned to my prior surgeon who offered me a third labrum repair and wished me “good luck” finding a surgeon who would perform hip resurfacing.
I did my research on hip resurfacing and success rates in female candidates. I found Dr. Gross during an internet search and loved how candid he was with his statistics. I read through his website frontwards and backwards. I also did research on three other surgeons but their statistical data wasn’t readily available so I went back to Dr. Gross. I gathered all of my radiology reports, CDs and completed the questionnaire and sent my file to his office. I received a call from Dr. Gross in April 2017 who said I was a candidate mostly because of the soft tissue damage, pain and inability to perform the activities that I loved. The radiology did not show the significant OA that he sees in most of his patients but he was confident that he could give me 70% improvement with resurfacing. I was in! I completed the rest of my paperwork and scheduled my surgery for 11/15/17 in Columbia, SC.
As the surgery date approached, I started second guessing my decision and wondered if I should wait until I was totally incapacitated before undergoing a third surgery on my hip. After a few painful mountain bike rides and several sleepless nights due to pain, I decided to go for it.
My family and I flew from Colorado to Raleigh, NC and stayed with my in-laws. They watched the kids while my husband and I drove from Chapel Hill to Columbia, SC for my pre op appointment. We checked into the Residence Inn and unpacked. On 11/14, we met with Dr Gross and Lee Webb for my pre op visit. We were very informed about the procedure, outcomes and plan of care. We left the office very confident with our decision to proceed with Dr. Gross as my surgeon. We drove to Charleston, SC for a short visit and dinner and then returned to Columbia to get some rest for the big day.
I was the first surgery scheduled for the day and arrived at the surgery center at 0600. We were greeted by friendly front desk staff and then our amazing pre op RN. Everything moved quickly once I was back in the holding area but nothing felt rushed and everyone moved like a well, oiled machine. After the surgery, I woke up to my husband sitting in the room, had another incredible PACU RN and met the PT. Dr. Gross stopped by between cases to show us a picture of the significant OA on my femoral head and to let us know that we absolutely made the right decision to get resurfacing. He also confirmed that I had hip dysplasia. My husband and I ate lunch that was catered in for us and then I was up and walking with crutches five hours after my surgery. I was discharged “home” seven hours post op. The home health nurse came by the hotel room that evening to check on me. I followed all of the orders and started my PT, took pain meds and ambulated around the room and into the dining area. Dr. Gross stopped by the day after my surgery and said everything looked good. We stayed that night and drove back to Chapel Hill to be reunited with our kids. We stayed in Chapel Hill with family until after Thanksgiving then flew back to Colorado.
I am now seven weeks post resurfacing and it was absolutely the best decision and Dr. Gross and his staff are top notch. I couldn’t be happier. Do your research. Get a second, third and fourth opinion. Don’t settle. Be informed. Ask questions. Be an advocate for yourself. Don’t compare your progress, successes or failures to others going through this procedure. The recovery process is not a competition but a steady passage to becoming the person you were before the injury. Be well!