Ross’s Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Della Valle 2013
Update January 16, 2017
This coming July I will have had my first replacement for 4 years and December will be 4 years for the second. I can tell you that the decision to get them done has been nothing less than life changing!! I have been able to return to ALL the activities I love.
I have had zero restrictions, zero pain, and zero issues since the surgery. I can run, walk long distances, bike ride, ski, play racquetball, weight lift, and other things. I do limit my running to one or two days per week (couple miles), but this has been my decision to do this. Simply put, my hips feel like I was born with them!
In closing, stop thinking about it and just schedule the appointment. I have recommended Dr. Craig Della Valle to two others that had the surgery too. Take care and get busy living!
Ross’s Original Story
Day 1 (7/15/13)
Let me give you a quick intro. I’m 38 yrs old and have two bad hips due to arthritis. I lived 4 years with horrible range of motion, stiffness, and occasional pain with walking and sleeping. I grew up being very active playing football (HS and college), ran at an early age (HS track team and recreation), and squatted heavy during HS and college. Who knows if it was one or combination of all three that brought me to this point today. I researched hip resurfacing for over two years and decided a few months ago that it was time. To quote one of the best movies made (Shawshank Redemption): Get busy living or get busy dying. I’m doing the left hip today and plan on the other in about 5 months (December). I did want the Birmingham Hip Replacement System (BHR) for my resurface. It is the best on the market and has the data to back it up.
Arrived at 830 for registration and they admitted me to hospital. Left there about 845 and went to 7th floor surgical check in. Sat in waiting room for about 30 min before the nurse came and got Amy and I. There gave Amy a number so she could track the surgery from start to finish. It’s usually a pager, but the system was down.
In the pre-op room, a number of people visited me. The drug guy, surgical team to mark my leg, and the surgeon. They started the epidural about 40 mins prior to heading to operating room. Legs went numb pretty quick. Amazing stuff! I remember getting wheeled in the operating room and seeing multiple people and that’s when the “lights” went out.
I was in surgery for about 90 mins. The doctor spoke to Amy right after he finished to let her know how it went. He said it went well, did look bad in the joint, and was a little more difficult due to the amount of muscle surrounding the area. I remember waking up in post-op room soon after leaving the operating room. About 15 mins. I felt good and was asking questions and talking with a few nurses. The nurses have been great since I walked through the front door of the hospital. First class service!!
Once they knew my vitals were good, they took me to my room. I arrived to the room about 3pm. They hooked me up to these machines that circulate the blood in my lower legs to help prevent clots.
It’s now 7 pm. I have had dinner (salad, cherry dessert, and some juice). The pain management nurse just left and will reduce my spinal from 6 to 5…..whatever that means. I told her I still had pretty good numbness in operated leg. I want to make sure the numbness is gone went I get the chance to walk for the first time. I have no pain at this point, but that’s because I still get meds through epidural. I’m looking forward to getting up and starting the rehab process!
At about 9pm I sat up on the edge of the bed. Was able to sit for about 10 mins and do some ankle pumps and flex my quad to straighten my operated leg. Nurse said that was a very good sign and PT was like that.
Day 2 (7/16/12)
Well….sleeping was a fun experience! I was king of the cat nap. Probably slept 4-5 hours off and on. No more than a hour at a time. At 6am, the nurse came in and removed my catheter and took calf pumps off for little while. Epidural will also be removed shortly and be strictly on oral medication for pain. I have one session of OT (occupational therapy) and two of PT (physical therapy) today. I’m suppose to only stay one night so will probably go home after my afternoon PT session. My wonderful wife (Amy) has been at my side since day one. She has been a great help to me while in the room and for moral support. I will report some more after my therapy is over.
Stood for the first time this morning at 9am. That was interesting. Stood and put weight on operated leg. Started to feel light headed so I have to sit back down. Waiting for OT at 10:30 for next adventure.
They mixed up my meds from the first PT session…..doubled the narco and threw in a anti inflammatory. When I got back to the room. I took a 3 hour nap and woke up for another PT session. The meds made a huge difference and was able to walk the halls with crutches and did 12 steps. Exciting to make that progress from the morning session!!
They decided to let me stay one more night (2total) to make sure my meds are working effectively. I slept great throughout day 2. Did my last walk for the evening. This walk was more sore than the one during PT and got the chills midway through for some reason so I turned and got back into bed to warm up. At first I thought I had a fever which could mean infection. It was just a false alarm!! Warmed up, got back up, and walked to the end of hall and back. I just finished and got back into bed and packed my leg with some ice. I had three goals for today:
1) Pee on my own by 2 pm. I crushed that and went like 8 times during the day.
2) Regulate pain meds
3) Pass PT
I reached all, but needed to make sure #2 was being consistent.
Day 3 (7/17/13)
Slept really good last night. Got up to walk at 3 and 6 am. I actually got out of bed this morning (unassisted) to go pee, brush teeth, and take walk down the hall. Still have a hard time getting legs back in bed. I need Amy to help swing them back in. Should be going home today. I have PT at 845. I’ll let know you know how that goes when done.
Back from PT and it went great! Walked the halls, climbed some stairs and did some strengthening exercises. I have officially graduated from PT. They decided to let me go home around 10am. I packed up and they wheeled me out to my wife. I was not looking forward to climbing in the car (Elantra) for a 50 min ride home. It was tough and uncomfortable ride home, but got through it. When I first arrived home, I used the crutches to move around before I made it down stairs to the lazy boy. I live in a quad level so I have stairs everywhere. The doctor said it was good for rehab. I have home health and PT coming over tomorrow at 10am. Looking forward to putting the work in. It is amazing how far I have come in two days. Each day gets a little easier.
Day 4 (7/18/13)
Slept the best since surgery. Up every couple hours to pee and change position in bed. Most comfortable with pillows behind my back and under my knees. Laying on side was not too bad either. First time I tried that since surgery. That was how I slept before surgery since it was the most comfortable. How’s the pain? Not to bad. Hard for me to tell the difference between pain and stiffness. I think it is mostly stiffness. The fact that I slept for longer time periods and pushing pain meds back about 60 – 120 mins from hospital, I will take that as moving in right direction. PT was pretty good. I did some basic movements in bed and walk with crutches around the kitchen a few times. Felt good with no pain and just a little soreness. That night I had significant swelling when I woke up in bed around midnight. Took pain meds and went back to slept. Woke up around 2:30 am and had less pain.
Day 5 (7/19/13)
Overall good day with little pain. Took half the am mint if pain meds during the day and will take normal at night to help sleep. I only slept about an hour today. I did PT exercises 3 times. Dr Della Valle called me this afternoon and personally checked up on how I was doing. I thought that was very classy on his part considering he is extremely busy. It just reminded me how professional his entire team is with their patients.
Day 6and 7 (7/20/2013 & 7/21/13)
Two good days with significant less pain meds. Taking less than half of recommended amount and the full amount at night so I get good night sleep. Seems to be working. Both nights I slept for 3 hour blocks only waking up to use bathroom. I have been doing basic PT exercises 2-3 times a day with shirt walks outside. Could use one crutch but still like walking with two for ensuring that I use good form. I have tightness in the incision area. I also ice 3 times during the day. Today was the first day I could engage my hip flexor to lift my foot/leg about 8 inches of the floor. I could also use my adductor muscle to move my leg out about 3-4 inches while standing. This will be the last daily update. Starting next week I will report out after the week is over.
Hip Resurface Week 2
I must say that week 2 is definitely better than week 1! Last week I continued to have home health and physical therapy. The nurse came 3 days a week to monitor my vitals, meds, and the incision. I had no issues with any of those items last week. I took significantly less pain meds last week. I did run out of my first prescription, but I called Dr Della Valle’s nurse and she quickly called in the refill to a local Walgreens. At this point I take half a pill a couple times a day and a full one at night. Depending on how hard I work during PT, I might take full pill during the day at some point.
My physical therapy happens about 3 times a week at the house. When the therapist doesn’t come it’s up to me. I have been doing the exercises 2 times per day. I have seen steady improvements with range of motion and strength from week one. Biggest gain is the ability to lift my foot off the ground when standing and sliding my leg in and out while sitting or laying on the bed (the motion you would do when making a snow angel). This surgery really did a number on my hip flexor. They are still very week, but showing improvement.
I have been using one crutch the entire week and hope to move to a cane at some point this coming week. When walking on the sidewalk, I focus on good posture and range of motion with operated leg. Well, that’s all for week 2 update. I look forward to week 3 improvement!
4 months (11/11/13)
I wanted to follow-up from my last post a few months ago with my current status. Overall, I’m very pleased with my progress. So much that I have my right hip scheduled for December. Yes, I have to have my other one done too. I’m actually looking forward to it since the left one feels great.
Let’s talk about my left hip which was done on July 15, 2013. I still get soreness when I workout hard or sit for an extended amount of time. I guess this is normal for the first year. Once it’s “warmed up”, it feels great. I honestly can’t tell that it’s not the one I was born with. In no way, does it feel artificial! I still need work with flexibility, but my limitations are due to my right hip being so bad. That did hurt my rehab a little. I wanted to push myself, but my right hip’s range of motion is limited and causes me pain while doing some of the exercises. When I have both fixed I plan on doing yoga to help with the flexibility in both hips. Looking forward to it!
What am I doing for workouts?
Cardio: Spin bike, road bike, elliptical, incline walking on treadmill, stair climber, swimming
Weights: All upper body lifts, all lower body with exception to squatting with weight, body weight squats, seated leg press with light weight
I have not ran or done any jumping….doctor’s orders for 6 months. Since my next surgery is in December, I’m looking forward to a jog in May. I do not plan on running a lot like I did growing up and into my 30s. I’m 39 years old and I feel that it’s my responsibility to take care of this new joint by keeping the high impact exercises to a minimum. If I can sneak in a jog here and there, I’m good with that. The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system research (May 2012) shows males 13 years after surgery at a 98% survival rate. I like those odds….I have a lot of living left to do!
I remember looking at this website over 2 years ago thinking of all the things that could go wrong…..just like you’re doing now. Here is my two cents. If you’re reading this site, you have either one or two bad hips. You can do one of two things, get it fixed and start living an active life again or keep limping around thinking about getting it done. I would recommend Dr. Della Valle at Rush….simply put he is the best and has the most organized and professional staff on the planet. I will leave you with the quote that I started with….GET BUSY LIVING OR GET BUSY DYING. I’m half-way there. I wish you the best with your story…take care!