I am a 62 year old female Triathlete…well I was, until arthritis of my left hip stopped me running about 2 years ago. I struggled on with anti-inflammatories and an infiltration, and had to content myself with just the swimming and cycling. But even walking became difficult and I had pain at night, so I knew something had to be done.
Before I took early retirement in France, I was an Anaesthetist in the UK, and I had heard about hip resurfacing and the good reputation of Mr Mc Minn and Mr Treacy in Birmingham.
So where to go for my surgery? As an Anaesthetist I know how important it is to have an experienced surgeon, so I found surfacehippy a really good way to research possible surgeons and centres. I finally came across Prof Julien Girard at the University Hospital in Lille, France. His secretary gave me his email address and I sent him a short history and a view of my X-ray. He replied immediately and agreed to see me for a consultation in Lille.
When I met Prof Girard I liked him immediately, and felt confident that he was the right man for the job. I speak reasonably good French, which was important as the whole process was in French. So with some degree of trepidation a date was set for the surgery on the 16th June 2015.
The health care system in France is completely different to that in the UK and it was a bit of a challenge working my way through the somewhat wieldy bureaucracy. My private insurance company were not altogether helpful either, but it all seemed to come together in the end.
On the other hand my actual hospital experience was much more familiar (despite all being in French), and I couldn’t fault the level of Surgical and Nursing care that I received during my five days on the ward. The doctors and nurses worked as a team, with an agreed protocol for pre-op preparation and post op care. I found it extremely reassuring that everybody knew exactly what they were doing. The only complaint I have was the food….it was awful!
I felt pretty rough for the first few days post-op, with pain, nausea, drowsiness and urinary retention, and wondered if it was all going to be worth it. But by the third post op day I was up and about, off most of the painkillers and looking forward to going home.
I am now one month post resurfacing, and VERY glad I took the plunge. Of course the wound is still tender and the muscles around my hip ache when I try to do too much, but that is getting better every day. I am having intensive physio, doing my own exercises at home, using a static bike and yesterday swam 1.5 Km (with a pull buoy) Walking for more than about 10 mins is still painful but that is from the muscles, my previous joint pain has gone completely.
I am looking forward to a gradual return to swimming and cycling, and then at three months post op, trying some gentle jogging. I am not planning to do any long competitions, but if I can complete a short Triathlon next season in comfort and enjoy it, I will be very happy.
In summary, I would encourage anyone thinking of having a hip resurfacing to “go for it” and I would thoroughly recommend Prof Girard and his team in Lille.
11 month post Hip resurfacing update
I am a 63 year old retired British anaesthetist living in France, and a keen Triathlete.
In June 2015 I had a left hip resurfacing performed by Prof Julien Girard in Lille, France.
Last weekend, almost eleven months to the day, I completed my first Triathlon since the operation. It was only a sprint distance and definitely not a Personal Best, but I competed in comfort and really enjoyed being back doing events again.
I am looking forward to a couple more Sprint Triathlons this season, plus a long distance Aquathlon, some trail runs, and two swimming holidays.
I just hope the rest of my body performs as well as the new hip !
I am eternally grateful to Prof Julien Girard and his team in Lille for a job well done.