January 2018 Update
I had my right hip done by Dr. Gross on 1/11/2011. Other than running, I’ve returned to every activity I’ve ever done, and honestly don’t even think about my hip 99.9% of the time. Anyone reading this who’s on the fence……just consider what you want the next 5 years to be like. I was 44 at the time I had mine done, and realized that there was a good chance it wouldn’t last my lifetime. However, I said that if I had to be sedentary, I’d rather do it at 65 years old than 45 years old. But, by then there will be even better technology, so I can be active maybe until 85 years old. (Except the rest of the body doesn’t want to comply all the time). SO glad I did it.
Unfortunately, the other hip is showing signs now. Only intermittently now, so no problem, but likely within maybe 3 years it’ll have to get done. And I won’t hesitate for a moment….
January 11, 2012
It’s done. I am 6 hours post surgery, and have gone for my first walk. A couple observations:
1: I feel sorry for nurses who have to shave men’s butts.
2: I know what “monkey fist” feels like.
3: Dr. Gross’ team exemplary….the practically ooze confidence.
4: I think – may struggle with my patience.
Thank you all, and especially Pat, for this website.
January 12, 2012
Okay…..just got back to the house. I had surgery at 7:30 a.m on Jan. 11th. I really had no pain all that day, and I slept fairly well.
Today…this morning….I felt good, without any measurable pain. Walked the hallways a few times at the hospital and did my PT twice.
I was discharged around noon, and we drove back to Atlanta. One stop for restroom and gas….and BOY had it stiffened up. By the time we got home, it has really tightened up. Quite painful when trying to get up or down now. Just took another pain pill. I know that the nurses said days 2-4 would be the worst…..it’s looking that way. I’m fine when I’m stationary, and I’ll fire up the Polar Ice machine here shortly.
January 15, 2012
I have had good pain relief and no nausea at all from Nucynta. I don’t have experience with other narcotics to make any comparison, though, and I typically have a stable stomach.
We were discharged the next day, which was fine with me. Upon returning home, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they would pay for 1 night’s stay. I can’t imagine staying an extra day and having to pay that bill out of pocket.
And I’m not really embarrassed by this condition, just disappointed. But, like many other men, I have a misshapen femoral head that degrades the cartilage, so there was nothing I could do about it. I was still having good weeks and bad weeks prior to surgery…..in fact I ran 4 miles on Monday before we left for Columbia. I decided not to wait until I was completely incapacitated, since I was already giving up the things I like to do (for the most part).
I also found out I have poor bone density….particulary in L4 of my lumbar spine. This really upset me, as I – like many here – have been athletic all my life and have lifted weights for 30 years. I will be taking the bone density drug he prescribed, and I’ve given up drinking all soda. I have heard that Diet Coke can leach calcium from the bones, and I drank a lot of it. Never again. In a way, I’m glad I didn’t put it off, since I might have continued to degrade my bone health and ended up with a broken back and….possibly….be paralyzed.
January 17, 2012
I’m six days out myself (right hip), and it does feel longer also. Many have indicated, like Pat, that this most often goes away when the soft tissue heals and the swelling subsides.
January 20, 2012
I am day 9 post-surgery. Recovery is going so well that I can’t believe it. Today I walked 0.8 miles with a cane….no problem. I still iced upon returning home, but mostly prophylactically. I can easily go down stairs foot over foot, though not easily up stairs yet.
January 23, 2012
Day 12 Post op update.
No problem walking a mile. At this point, I don’t even need Tylenol anymore, even after walking. When I’m in the kitchen, I find myself parking the cane and just walking from point A to point B unassisted. I hobble a little, so I keep the cane for anything over 3-4 steps.
My incision is quite itchy, and it is still not comfortable sitting in a regular chair without a cushion. Still have the knot in the glute, although it is getting better. I don’t break the 90 degree rule, but even getting close (in a regular chair) is not comfortable. Feels really tight as I close in on 90 degrees.
You know that feeling (pre surgery and pre OA) when your muscles were tight, and a good, long stretch felt so good? That’s how the operated leg/glute/thigh feel, and I want to stretch it out! I know I can’t yet, but that is quite irksome.
I am chomping at the bit for more rehab, but will stick with Dr. Gross’s exercises until he says otherwise.
I still can’t get all the black gook off my butt from the surgical dressing. Blech. Helping scrub it off is NOT my wife’s favorite thing to do, for some odd reason.
And, since my bone density was not great, I have given up all soda and caffeine. Both are difficult if you are used to them every day, but I’ve stayed on the straight and narrow since surgery, so all is good.
February 1, 2012
Week 3 Post op update.
Things progressing greatly. Well, sort of. I felt so good at 12 days, that I’m in that same place. I am stiff in the morning, but loosen up during the day. I don’t even use the cane on my 1 mile walks anymore, but have it handy when I get tired, or when I’ve been sitting for a while. Then, it takes a minute of standing/walking to loosen up.
I can walk down stairs foot over foot easily, and upstairs with some concentration.
I noticed a little extra swelling/tenderness after the Celebrex left my system, but that has normalized. Unfortunately, the tennis elbow I had prior to surgery…..which was COMPLETELY gone while on Celebrex and pain killers, is back 100%. And I thought that weeks of inactivity would fix it.
I have stopped trying to walk longer each day…….taking the doctor’s, my wife’s, and this forum’s perspective about recovery being a “journey” and not a “race”. The LAST thing I want is a femoral neck fracture because I was impatient. So, I walk my mile, then sit my arse back into the chair.
I plan on joining a gym for the next few months to start doing upper body work. I have a workout room in the basement, but it is all dumbells and free-weights. Since I cannot pick up a pair of 65 lb. dumbells for a long time, I’ll need to use some pin-select machines.
Occasionally, I have felt a twinge in the groin reminiscent of the bad hip days, but only for about 1 second. I’m sure it’s nothing.
All in all, great so far. I just need to find medication for impatience……..
February 21, 2012
I’m six weeks tomorrow, and back to work for 3 days. I have taken the doctor’s advice and limited my daily walking to 1 mile. I feel like I’m just getting warmed up by then, but I’ve been good. I got in the pool a week ago, and yesterday I swam 1200 meters. I am mostly an upper-body swimmer, so I’m not over-working the hip. It felt GREAT to actually get my heart rate up. I would swim 150 meters freestyle, then 50 meters breast stroke to catch my breath.
I walk totally normal now, save for my first 3-10 steps after being seated. Occasionally I get a little pang or twinge in the hip, but nothing like before. I assume that’s normal.
I did take my son to the skateboard park the other day, and ended up standing for 3+ hours. THAT made me pretty sore. Is that normal? Is that bad (similar to walking too far)?
I cannot wait for my follow up appointment so I can be cleared for more exercises.
March 2, 2012
I had my 6 week follow up with Dr. Gross (actually with Lee Webb). It went very well.
She does a few “tests” to see how strong the leg is when having you do the phase 2 exercises, like having you lift and hold the leg while she pushes down. I’m not sure if she says this to everybody, but she seemed genuinely surprised at how strong my leg was.
I thought there was some way to determine if the bone was growing into the implant on schedule, but I guess that’s not the case. They just check to see if anything has slipped or moved.
But…..HURRAY…..I can walk as much as I want, exercise bike, elliptical machine (which makes my feet go numb for some reason). Woooo Hoooo!
8 week update
I was preparing for a setback, as last week I did 1/2 hour on the exercise bike and ended up with a few sharp pains in the hip later that evening. I was pedaling pretty fast, as I don’t have a lot of resistance yet.
But, I hiked 3.8 miles with my kids near Lake Lanier (GA), which is fairly hilly terrain. I honestly felt COMPLETELY normal. I was careful where I placed my feet so as not to trip, but I felt ZERO signs of having had a surgery during the entire hike. No post hike pain, no nothing.
Today, easy 1/2 hour on an elliptical machine followed by 1/2 hour of weights. Sigh…….it’s nice to be back to being active.
I also joined Livestrong.com to start tracking my calorie intake and activity level. I’ve got a few pounds of blubber that need a new home. I WILL lose 1.5 lbs per week until I’ve lost 15 lbs.
I also started a new group on there for Joint Replacement people. Honestly, I was surprised it wasn’t there.
March 26, 2012
Week 10.5 Update:
I pretty much feel totally normal. I rarely think about my hip, except when putting on socks and tying shoes: My ROM in that direction is not back yet, and Dr. Gross doesn’t want that pushed for 6 months. I asked about PT, but he said for strengthening only (which I don’t need), but not for ROM. So, I wait. It does get better each week on it’s own, though, just not where I would want it.
I can walk indefinitely w/o pain. I exercise bike probably 3-4x week for about 45 minutes w/o pain. I do an elliptical machine a few times per week, and swim a mile typically 2x per week. I’ve lost 2.5 lbs. in the last 2 weeks, on my way to a goal of 15 lbs.
I don’t get much start-up stiffness anymore, unless I sit for hours on end.
I can now see where the patience thing comes in. I SO want to play basketball with my 9-year-old. I WANT to do one of the Insanity workouts to really peg my heart-rate. I WANT to go mountain biking. I WANT to play tennis. Anyway, I’m happy to be burning calories, pain-free, and in a warm climate!
I actually think my hip flexor strength on my operated side is now superior to my non-operated side! I’ve never had good strength in my hip flexors, because I NEVER worked them. I’ve been doing my side leg-lift exercises like clockwork, and my non-operated side burns out before my operated side. I’m not sure if that’s because I do the operated side first, and that somewhat fatigues the other side or not.
I continue to clunk here and there, but am not concerned.
Unrelated to the hip, I continue to have elbow tendonitis that won’t quit. It’s been over 3 months, with the only reprieve being 2-3 weeks post-surgery when I was taking Celebrex.
April 6, 2012
This week was a bit of a disappointment. After 12 weeks, I’ve stalled. Not in exercise, but my hip is tighter a bit…..the exercises seem a bit harder the last few days than they were, say, last week. I have a two-step-hobble after sitting a while, which I haven’t had for weeks.
I know, probably normal, but just a bit disappointing. I think I am probably not stretching enough, and the things I’m strengthening are getting tight. So, I’ll up the stretching (even though Dr. Gross said not to push ROM).
Also, after hitting a point where I didn’t often think about the hip, I found a few moments where it becomes obvious. First, the family and I went for a walk, and we stepped off the trail towards the pond to look at something. On a short slope, I stepped on one of those “Monkey Balls” – a spikey ball from a tree that I don’t know the name of – and the quick “catching myself” move made me acutely aware of the hip. Not pain, but I realized that I am far from being “normal” there. Later, I was squatted down and trying to loosen something, and it came loose. The quick adjustment to that sudden shift of weight made my hip say, “HEY NOW, what the hell are you doing?”.
April 26, 2012
I’m basically 3.5 months out now. As a Gross hippy, I haven’t had any PT (although I’m starting some next week). He does not want range-of-motion PT until 6 months, just strengthening. So, I’ve faithfully been doing my hip exercises:
Leg abduction (?) – lay on my side and lift the leg.
I also exercise bike around 3x per week, for about 45 minutes, and use an elliptical maybe 2x per week for the same.
The last two weeks I’ve had more groin pain than I have since surgery. Not really very painful, but soreness. Also, soreness right in the front….I think the psoas muscle.
It could very well be that I’m not stretching often enough, but this seems like either a setback or plateau.
My other issue is the clunking. I’ve posted several times on other’s questions about having it and not worrying about it. But, I’m starting to. It seems to happen quite a bit, and particularly if I do any bending-over move….to pick something up, to stretch hamstrings. When I straighten up, I feel it. Doesn’t hurt, but I am now wondering if it’s getting worse when it should be getting better/less often.
June 15, 2012
I am 5 months out from surgery. At this point, I hike locally (~4 miles) once a week, exercise bike 45 minutes about 4x per week, lift weights (machines…..not loading the femur) 3-4x per week. Actually, I will do dumbells (curls, shoulder presses) with maybe 35 lbs, but I put probably 60% on the non-operated leg.
I occasionally get hip flexor and/or psoas tightness, which is typically a result of my not stretching them enough. No OA pain at all.
I started doing PT at about 4 months out. Dr. Gross does not normally prescribe it, but I asked for it, and he said “strengthening only, no ROM”. That is fine, and I recommend it highly. I found that – like everybody says – the big muscles come back quickly, but the little ones do not. I was getting a lot of clunking. Also, I noticed that quick, postural adjustments – like when you trip on something or slip a little – would really make the operated hip noticeable. After two week of PT, my clunking is nearly gone. I’m really glad I went, and may go for more later in the year, if I can identify a specific shortcoming.
I am counting the weeks until I can run (4 more to go). I’m not a marathon runner, but I LOVE a good 3-4 mile run. There’s a trail run 5k on my birthday in October, so I’m planning on being ready for that (just to complete…not compete). And, I’m a bit tired of the exercise bike. I may, over the July 4th weekend, get out the mountain bike and do some easy trails. I could do THAT all day long, but still have a little apprehension of a wipeout. We also have workout videos like “Insanity” that I’d like to get back to, as they get my heart rate to a level that I rarely achieve on the exercise bike.
Anyway, thanks, as always, to all the cheerleaders on this site, and good luck to those about to take the plunge. It is SO worth it.
July 5, 2012
I’m at 6 months (okay, 1 week early), so I decided to give running a try. I started on trails to minimize impact. Additionally, I have had no pain at all when walking, hiking, stair climbing or exercise biking
I ran about 100 somewhat strange yards, then felt like I was getting a little sore, so I walked. It was a soreness in the groin area, but it did not feel like the old bone/bone pain, but seemed to be more identifiable as muscle/tendon soreness. I did the run-walk thing for about 2 miles, probably with more walk than run. At that point I walked the remainder of the trail, about 2 more miles. I felt a bit disappointed, like I should have had more pain-free running.
So I waited 2 days, and tried again. I probably only had 3 run intervals until my pain told me to stop. The pain went away quickly, but immediately after that third interval I was limping for about 100 yards. I was VERY disappointed after this, thinking that the first run, followed by a 2 day recovery, should have bolstered those muscles enough to do better.
Anyway, I’m going to lay off running for at least 2 weeks. I’ve read a few posts on this, and it seems like there is a large range in return-to-running experiences.
I feel like I’ve been patient so far, but my patience is waning. Any words of encouragement would be welcome.
September 11, 2012
I’m at 8 months today.
Today……I’m sore. For the first time since surgery, I actually over-did it. On Sunday, I rode the exercise bike for 45 minutes before church. In the afternoon, I went hiking/jogging with my son on a 4 mile trail near the house. Mostly walking/hiking, as my hip (groin) get sore after about 1 minute of jogging. Then, after that, I played tennis (doubles) for 1.5 hours. So, now, I’m paying for it a bit. At least now I know my limitations. I don’t think there’s any damage done…..just soreness.
So……….at this time I’m back to almost everything. I did email Lee Webb today to ask about tennis, and if I should be playing. It is even hard to remember the debilitating pain that followed most activity before. Remarkable.
November 5, 2012
I’m at just about 10 months now. Here was today’s workout with my wife:
We did a 13-station circuit, 3 times, each station for one minute, no rest (except transition between stations):
1 – Alternating squats on a step, where you jump over, squat, jump back, squat, repeat
2 – Sit-ups (any type)
3 – Push ups on an upside-down BOSU ball.
4 – Toe-taps on a medicine ball (stand in front of medicine ball, tap right foot on top, jump to switch feet so left foot touches the top, repeat right-left approx. every second)
5 – Superman (hold 10 seconds, rest 4 seconds, repeat)
6 – Squat with ~20 lb. kettlebell
7 – Chair dips
8 – Squat with dumbell held in both hands, press dumbell overhead on the way up, lower it on the way down (brutal)
9 – Pull ups
10 – Dumbell chest presses
11 – Exercise Band (heavy) rows
12 – Dumbell Curls
13 – Plank punches (Start in “up” pushup position. Alternate “punching” straight forward with each hand, holding the plank position. This was from an Insanity workout).
We did a total of 45 minutes, so we did a few stations in a 4th circuit. It about killed me.
December 11, 2012
I was back in Dayton, Ohio visiting friends, and decided to go to my old neighborhood, which was adjacent to my favorite running trail. About 4 miles in total through the woods.
I knew that I couldn’t run it all. I typically get about 1/2 mile before it gets sore.
No, I haven’t gotten the HOKA shoes just yet.
So, I made it about 3/4 to 1 mile before I got sore. Then I run/walked for the next 3. By the last mile, I was really sore and had to just walk.
However…..the day after I was more sore in my hip than I’ve been since before surgery. It’s getting better today, but still noticeable. I guess I’m surprised about his, being 11 months out.
January 11, 2013
Today is my one-year anniversary. Like BrianMc, I am not a “runner”, but I probably ran 3-4 miles, 2-3 times per week. Typically in the 7:30 to 8:00/mile range.
Now, at 1 year I can do pretty much ANYTHING without even thinking about the hip….EXCEPT….running. I started trying at 6 months, and was perfect until about 1/2 mile, and then my hip would start to get sore and I would have to stop. That has continued to be the case since then. One day, I was visiting where I used to run and ran my favorite trail. It was a 3 mile run, and I ran/walked it. I probably ran a solid 1/5 miles of it if you added it up, and I was hobbling for three days.
So, now I’m on a plan. I ran for 3 minutes each day (length of time that it doesn’t start to hurt) for a week. Now I’m on week 2 at 4:00 per day. I’ll add a minute each week, as long as it doesn’t hurt.
My PT friend told me to do a lot of balance work. Standing on the operated leg only, on a Bosu ball, 1/2 squats on just that leg. I’m sure some formal PT would accelerate this process.