I am a 57 year old sports junkie living in Denver who managed to wear out
both hips during a lifetime of joyous activity. No regrets, it was a blast.
Visited with Dr. Rector in Boulder recently, who confirmed I need bilateral
resurfacing. However, since I still enjoy riding my bike and can walk and sleep
without too much pain, he advised me to come back in year for another set of
x-rays and a consultation. So I ride my bike, do some light weight lifting three
days a week, and see a chiropractor who helps stretch my lower body to enable me
to keep as much range of motion as possible.
I have found the input provided on this website to be extremely helpful, both
for informational purposes, and for the psychological support it provided as I
worked my way through this issue. I would love to hear from you Hippies in
Denver, and especially patients of Dr. Rector as I wait for the right time to
get my new hips.
Routine recovery issues. My dressing came off from the drain wound on day 2
in the hospital. Lost some blood, but mostly got exhausted from having to get up
and change all my clothes and the bed. I think I was tired when I was released.
No nausea, light headed ness or night sweats, but we lost control of the pain
each night for about four to six hours. No idea why. Sleeping was a real
problem. Game ready machine has been on 24/7 since surgery, so minimal swelling
and bruising. TEDs have been on for 12 hours and off for 1 routinely. Fagmin
injections every day. I’m getting great care from my wife, but it was too much
work. She fainted this morning and had to to to Emergency. Bump on the head and
a bruised shoulder. She’s fine. I think we all need to realize how hard this
recovery is on our team. Anyway, my wife and I are exhausted but taking things
really slow like Pat has always told us. My wife is getting help from some
neighbors so she can get some rest. As Pat has always told us, all recoveries
are different, be prepared. I haven’t attempted any exercises at home. Every
hour or so I walk around the house with the walker. I’ve been listening to my
body, and mostly eating and resting. I’m going to be fine, but this has been
harder on us than we expected, and I’ve been listening to you Hippys for months
to get prepared. I’m not letting any of this change my outlook. Guess what? My
right foot points straight ahead! It hasn’t done that in year. 2012 is going to
be a great year. Stay with me Hippys. I appreciate your support. You may have
noticed me online during the wee hours of the morning. That’s how I got through
the dark times.
Saw Dr. Rector this morning. Told me surgery went well, bone quality was
excellent and the arthritis was worse than it appeared on the x-ray. Glad we got
to it now.
No PT yesterday because we got a bit behind the pain cycle. Feeling little pain
today, so we’ll get going on the PT today. Great breakfast, and I will remember
that first cup of coffee for a long time. My lovely wife delivered Starbucks!
You all know how the catheter removal is. Wow! I think I took a swing at the
nurse, who was backing away.
Excellent care here. No surprises so far.
I’m proud to be a Hippy. What a great group to be part of.
I’m ten days out fro surgery and having trouble sleeping. I’ve been able to get
some sleep in the recliner, but only three or four hours at a time. Sleeping in
bed strapped with foam between my legs doesn’t work very well. I supplement
these shrt nights with daytime naps, which helps a lot.
Couple of questions for you Hippys. Neither my wife nor I remember receiving any
instructions from Dr. Rector about sleeping when I was discharged. Are there
standard sleeping instructions? If so, please share them with me.
I would love to find a way to sleep on my side, even if protected by a bunch of
body pillows. I don’t want to take any chances of hurting my hip, but I could
sure use a good nights sleep.
Did my first walk outside yesterday, only about 200 yards with two walking
sticks for support. It felt great! I iced all day afterwards while watching
football. Then did my home PT at 6 pm. That also felt great. What a wonderful
breakthrough day I thought. Wrong!
Up most of the night with pain in all the muscles around my hip. Sore back.
Nothing serious, just my body letting me know it was not happy about getting
back in the game. And, I did nothing I shouldn’t have done. This is just a very
difficult surgery to recover quickly from. So, as you said, better to just
understand it will take a long time, and be happy with the incremental progress.
I did after all take my first notable walk yesterday. And, I did get through my
home PT. That’s a good day, regardless of what happened afterwards.
My recovery is inching along, but that’s just fine. Outpatient PT today. Maybe a
shorter walk. Whatever. I’m moving around with just a cane. Appreciate your
advice. I agree with you. The biggest problem for people posting on this page is
our reluctance to let the recovery happen at it’s own pace. We try to speed up
the agenda, because pushing the pace is what we do.
I think a lot of us Hippys had the misperception that we were going to be
able to control both the flow and pace of our recovery. I discovered very
quickly that although I could attempt the physical therapy recommended by my
surgeon and physical therapist, it was my healing body that would actually
determine whether or not I could actually do the PT. I was barely able to do a
single set of clam shells at my third PT session yesterday, after doing hundreds
of them prior to surgery. Some days I walk a little better, and some days I
regress to a limp. Some days my healing muscles go about their healing quietly,
and some days they squawk at me so loudly that I need to take something for the
pain. Every day is different, good and bad.
The only things we can control about our recovery are the mental approach we
bring to the physical therapy and the physical effort we put forth. The results
are not within our control. I start each day with a plan of what I want to
accomplish to support my recovery that includes diet, physical therapy and
routine activities. At the end of the day, if I accomplished these things, I
declare victory, regardless of whether or not there has been any notable
improvement in me. Most days, improvement is not there, but I salute the effort
I made and share some of it with the Hippy’s on this blog.
I think I am having one of the least interesting, and slowest paced
recoveries posted on this website, and for that I am very happy. I’m doing my
home based stretching exercises twice a day as recommended. Ankle pumps, heel
slides, side slides, bridges and hamstring stretches. The most basic forms of
movement. They get easier each time, but I still see benefit from them.
Outpatient physical therapy twice a week, where they push me a little further
each session. The sessions are difficult enough now, that they leave me a little
tight and sore that day, but all of this is gone the following morning.
Yesterday, 15 days after surgery, the PT was helping me learn to walk again
unassisted. Slow walks of 20 yards or so, unassisted, with the PT helping me
adjust my foot placement and stride. No trouble walking, but some difficultly
taking even strides and placing the foot on my injured leg in front, instead of
the the outside. I’m icing like crazy. On the days that I don”t have physical
therapy, I manage to do a couple of short walks outside with walking sticks as
support. I’m used to walking long distances in the mountains with walking
sticks, so using them is helping me recover my natural gait, while giving me the
support I need for safety. I don’t think I have walked more than a quarter of a
mile at any given time. I spend the rest of the day puttering around the house,
icing and sleeping. Getting tons of rest. In fact I described my day to friend
in the following way. I eat, do PT, ice, rest, eat, walk, stretch, ice rest etc,
all day every day. I’m not using any machines for physical therapy yet, and
won’t do so until after my three week check up next week.
I am now able to sleep a bit on my un-operated side. Getting 5 to 6 hours of
sleep a night. Napping to make up for it in the daytime. Eatting much more and
much more often than I did prior to surgery. Not gaining any weight, so I know
my body is using massive amounts of calories just for healing. The only
medication I take now is two tylenol before physical therapy, and sometimes two
tylenol before bed, if the day has left me sore and stiff. Calcium and iron
supplements as recommended by Dr. Rector.
I have not made any large improvements, nor taken any significant steps in my
recovery. Everything is happening very slowly, but improvements are noticeable.
The PT’s measure both my strength and range of motion each session to enable us
to document the improvement. Strength and range of motion are improving with
each session. What a surprise right?
I wanted to share my most uninteresting recovery story with recent Hippys and
soon to be Hippys. I am following the home based PT program carefully, and
working hard at outpatient PT. Lots of good food, rest and ice. It’s working,
and I am slowly getting my mobility back. I expect to be walking with a cane for
another week. Dr. Rector will see me on December 22nd, and based upon what he
sees, we’ll decide if I should keep using the cane or go on without it. He can
also help me decide if its time to start using some machines like the elliptical
trainer or stationary bike.
I had my three week follow up with Dr. Rector today. He told me, and showed
me on the x-rays, that the protheses were positioned “perfectly”. I couldn’t
tell about the cup angle, but the cap on my femur was definitely installed dead
center. The devices look huge on the x-ray. I can certainly see something this
large and robust lasting me the rest of my life, but of course I’m already 57!
Dr. Rector, who is normally pretty dry, was clearly pleased with his work. Nice
to see that kind of enthusiasm when someone is talking about your new Birmingham
Hip. What a nice meeting we had. I expect all of your Hippys remember your
follow up meeting fondly.
I’ve been released to drive, ride a stationary bike, use the elliptical and walk
as much as possible. I’ve also been cleared to sleep on my sides. I can even tie
my own shoes, which I accomplished for the first time today at Dr. Rector’s
Just a few days ago I was struggling with PT, and sleeping, and lots of issues
that become very petty, when your surgeon tells you that your hip was installed
“perfectly”. What was I thinking? All I have to do now is lead an active life,
and my body will continue healing and getting stronger. Live Strong.
I’ll be drinking a toast to my new hip, Dr. Rector and his team, and to all of
you Hippys tonight. What a great day this was! Tip one back for me if your
looking for an excuse.
I had my three month follow up visit with Dr. Rector last week. Everything is
fine, except for some lingering range of motion issues which I should have
addressed during physical therapy. Dr. Rector is pleased with his work and my
progress. He has agreed to resurface my left hip whenever I want to schedule the
surgery. The hip is ready, and he believes based upon the excellent result we
had with the right hip, there is no reason to delay.
Dr. Rector spent a considerable amount of time with me last week discussing what
he learned at the AAOS. He also talked about his experience with over 600
patients and the feedback he has been getting from other resurfacing surgeons.
The metal on metal issue was a very big deal at the AAOS and has frightened a
good number of surgeons away from resurfacing. The good news is, the great
resurfacing doctors like Dr. Rector have had wonderful results and have no
intention of being bullied by articles such as those in the New York Times. The
great surgeons are passionate about resurfacing and the improvement in the
quality if life it returns to those of us who have suffered the loss of many of
our favorite activities.
It has taken me some time, and several visits, to get to know and appreciate how
fine of a surgeon and how caring a human being Dr. Rector is. He is a
straightforward fellow and can be difficult at times, but my last two visits
with him have been extraordinary and left me with such a good feeling about my
resurfacing experience. I have no fear about getting the second hip done.
I have heard only positive stories from patients of Dr. Rector. I think he ranks
with the very best hip surgeons. He certainly has given me back my life. I’ve
lost the limp I had for the last three or four years and no longer carry a
grimace on my face. I’ve still got more recovery to experience, and there could
be a setback waiting for me, but right now I’m a happy smiling old sports
junkie. I did three bikes rides on the dirt trails in the local foothills this
week on my Canondale Lefty, walked a bunch and even enjoyed going to the mall!
A very big thank you to Dr. Rector and his staff. I would love to hear from some
other Dr. Rector patients.