March 29, 2008 I am just 3 weeks post op of having my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Gross in Columbia, SC. I don’t have any nightmare stories nor have any bad press for Dr. Gross’s procedure. Actually my experience has been very good and am recovering rapidly.
I am already walking unassisted around my house with little limp, mainly out of fear, though I still use the cane when walking laps around my big drive way in the country and have worked up to over one half mile already. Last week I did experience a deep “stone bruise” or cramping feeling in my right thight about mid way after over doing it a bit too soon but that has disappeared completely.
In the last two days I am experiencing a deep pressure feeling directly in my hip joint that radiates into my right knee upon standing, walking, or positioning my right leg straight forward (with my toes pointing forward). It is a real tight feeling. This happened suddenly after I seemed to temporarily forget about my problems and stepped into my wife’s van on the drivers side two days ago with that right leg first. There was an audible “snap” sound with a slightly odd sensation in my right hip that caused no pain, but I yelled anyway just in case there was major discomfort to follow. I immediately felt the feeling of pressure I am describing even as I drove away in the seated position. When I arrived at my destination and stepped out of the van I was expecting something horrible to happen but it didn’t. I only felt the pressure in my right buttock/hip area that radiates into the lateral side of my right knee. At this moment I am blaming the experience to a tendon or ligament that might have slipped past the Biomet bearing, or is trying to position itself. The pressure is worse upon my walking around my drive way.
March 30, 2008 I am almost into my 4th week post op of having my right hip resurfaced. Golf has been my passion for the past 38 years (since I was 5 years old!) and though I have managed to incorportate other sports and activities into my lifestyle through the years, golf has remained my friendly and competitive choice of sport. I am a 4 handicapper and am quite anxious about turning on that right side when I start swinging a club again, not to mention firing that hip through impact at some point! Are there any golfers out there who could offer up some optimistic feedback?
My recovery has been fairly boring other than some pressure and tightness in that right hip when stepping forward. I am walking unassisted around the house already but take the cane along when I do my walking exercises for support. I’ve only had a couple of problems due to over doing my PT (which I think has caused the pressure and tightness). I did try and take back a wedge from the address position in our living room yesterday but was abruptly stopped at an abriviated point at the top by severe pressure/tighness accompanied with a good bit of pain in that hip. I’m definitely not ready to swing a club any time soon but would like to hear from golfers out there on any level about their recovery experience from hip resurfacing. I thought I would start putting and pitching at the range in a week or so and hope to swing without too much pain or discomfort in a few weeks.
April 3, 2008 Since this happened to me I have been improving with each day. I no longer have the pressure or tightness in that hip and am walking unassisted a mile a day and also started back on my eliptical trainer this past weekend. No more referred pain in my thigh and knee. I’m already able to stay on the trainer for 20 minutes at a very deliberate but steady pace. I truly believe the additional exercise is speeding up my progress, but I surely would not recommend jumping into this suddenly after resurfacing.
I think you are correct about the trauma of surgery causing the initial problems in my leg and hip as everything is trying to heal but I think it’s all becoming further behind me now as the days lapse. I was 3 weeks post op yesterday and am very excited about the progress.
The only symptom I am having at this point is sharp pain in the hip joint upon standing after I’ve been seated for a period of time. But after a few steps this always wears off.
I can even walk normally up stairs now without “slinging” my right leg up to the next step as I have for the past 6 years! Now that’s exciting!
April 6, 2008 I am now working through my 4th week post op after having my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Gross and also found it very difficult to sleep flat on my back due to some chronic right side siatica problems. I was also told this pain had probably been caused by my favoring the bad right hip for some time. As did Pat, I also found sleeping with a big pillow between my knees helped, and it allowed me to rotate to my left side (for temporary periods at first) which took some pressure off of my lower back. As the days went by I was also eventually able to sleep a little on that left side and also lay on my stomach some around the end of the second week. Any position seemed to be better than laying flat on my back.
Also during the first week or so after my surgery I benefited from a large sofa cushion placed underneath both of my lower legs at the foot of the bed. This not only elevated my legs to keep the swelling down around the incision but took the pressure off of my lower back. Lee Webb, RNP, Dr. Gross’s assistant, suggested this to “keep my toes above my nose” as she put it. It works.
One other thing; I purchased a Zero Gravity Chair and had it placed in front of the big screen in the den to lounge and sleep during the first couple of weeks. I still use it today to get my legs to heart level and to take the pressure from my lower back. I found these chairs in the Cabela’s catalog as Chaise Lounger chairs but you may be able to purchase one locally as well. To me, the chair has made my recovery much more tolerable.
By the way… It gets much better very fast! I’m sleeping in any position with reasonable comfort now other than directly on that right side now at 4 1/2 weeks. I believe the PT (including walking, walking, walking) is the key along with the normal healing process.
June 3, 2008
I am back to playing full rounds since Dr. Gross placed this noncemented Biomet onto my right hip on March the 12th of this year. I’m pushing my clubs on a good Sunmountain cart which rolls smoothly with little resistance and I’m back to the low 70’s again! And my group thought they would have an advantage when I returned… I’m not sure what Lee or Dr. Gross would say to my getting back to this so soon, but I was instructed to allow my hip to guide me back into playing again. Though my swing is about three quarters the speed and power of what it used to be, it’s not affecting my scores or the fun I’m having. Even turning against that right side is okay with no problem whatsoever. I’m sure that left hip of yours will heal fast allowing you to get your weight transfered so you can fire through the ball.
As far as any problems I’m having: Only when I over do the walking and/or elliptical trainer for several days in a row do I get pain in the joint even after being on my feet for a while. It comes back as that old “pressure” and sharp feeling pain in the joint but after a few days of down time it goes away. I’m still afraid of the “fracture factor” or loosening of the device itself, and taking it easy is very difficult when you’re running on pure excitement most of the time just because it’s great to be without pain again for the most part. My wife has to constantly keep me in check with reality as well as having to remind me of Dr. Gross’s warnings because of my wanting to over do most everything already. It sure is fun though…
July 6, 2008 Regarding PT and recovery; Dr. Gross sent me home on 3/14/08, two days after my surgery, with PT instructions to be followed on the honor system. He also gave me a different set of exercises at my 6 week post op. Everyone recovers differently, but I feel comfortable stating as fact that these are most important to follow for a successful recovery. Especially if you plan on getting back to a sport or activity of any kind. I still find myself lying on my back in front of the TV doing leg raises. Since I am now reaching my forth month post op, I have incorporated a Kettle Bell routine for strength and muscle endurance to go along with my elliptical training 3 – 4 time a week. I always loved working out in a gym, but since the resurfacing I’ve had to refrain from going back to any typ of exercise that places too much weight on my hips. I interpret “too much weight” as anything more than 30 Ibls. The Kettle Bell I’m using is a lighter one by most any training standard at a measly 20 Ibs., but if the exercises are done properly non-stop for 20 – 30 minutes, it will absolutely wear you out. The particular movements I’m doing are with the upper body only and place only slight strain on my hips, but they do work my core very well (which helps with that golf swing) and really gives me a great cardio work out.
July 8, 2008 I have been coresponding with the golfer’s out there who have been resurfaced, but I also have been involved in training with weights my entire life. I am 45 years old now. This all came to a halt about 7 years ago when I developed a sudden pain in my right hip due to stretching out for a run one afternoon. It never became any better; only worse. After a labrel tear repair to that right hip, several more years of limping, no running of course, and very little weight bearing exercise, and an additional 25 Ibs to my mid section, I somehow managed to get in regular work days and a round or two of golf every week.
Prior to this I had trained feverishly in gyms and and had fallen in love with running off road for long distances. My father was a bodybuilder in the 1950’s, so I couldn’t help but pick up on the lifestyle as a young teenager.
After discovering Dr. Gross early this past winter I found myself under his care and on his operating table on March the 12th. Now I am just about 4 months post-op and have been truly blessed with a rapid recovery. I am back on the golf course (too often says my wife) and the physical therapy was a sinch due to my training background. I did however find myself overdoing it regularly and it would literally take days to recover at times. During my 6 week follow up appointment, Dr. Gross and his assistant, Lee, were both very pleased with my progress and range of motion but warned me of over-doing things and the harmful outcomes that could occur with doing too much, too soon. I have followed their advice but have worked very hard on the elliptical trainer and continued to do body weight resistance workouts such as push ups, chins, etc.
But… Here’s the good part. Recently I discovered Kettlebells. Some of you will be familiar with these. Holding true to my promise to Dr. Gross and Lee, I purchased a very light 20 Ib Kettlebell. Since I cannot squat (or was advised not to) or do big complex weight lifting movements any longer due to the pressure it will place on my still recovering femoral head and neck, I have incorporated this small round iron ball sporting a handle into my regular workouts. This little Kettlebell is kicking my tail. And I used to deep squat 405 Ibs for reps. There are numerous training regimens with these, but I have chosen one that allows me to workout non stop for 20 – 30 minutes. The exercises are done with zero rest inbetween switching hands and I am only flexing my legs and hips somewhat as I do the movements. (I hope I haven’t found a loophole around Dr. Gross’s strict instructions) Using the Kettlebell places just enough stress on my lower body that I am feeling sore in my glutes and hamstrings the morning after each workout, but no deep or sharp pain in that joint. I can’t say the same for my upper body though, and my waist line is shrinking too.
A word to the wise: I was fortunate enough for my pain to end, entirely, about 4 – 5 weeks ago. Even upon standing I no longer experience pain. I’ve been working terribly hard on the pt exercises as well as on my elliptical trainer; a lot. I wouldn’t think of starting a hard resistant training program if I still had any pain, and I would stop immediately if I did. The body is amazing and has its own way of yelling at us when we do things to it we shouldn’t. If anyone reading this is thinking of beginning a weight training program after having a hip or two resurfaced, I would make sure you are at the very least out of the “pain” phase and would probably get your surgeons input as well. Dr. Gross told me to allow my body to be the judge, to go into things slowly for an entire year, and to absolutely not do anything to jepordize both of our efforts.