March 10, 2008 I am making the necessary preparation to have a RBHR the end of the month, as noted in another thread. But one of the driving forces behind this decision is my desire to return to the world of martial arts. I have more than 20 years of experience in Taekwondo, and though I was never too involved in competition, it was a constant part of my life (and I would LOVE to train my daughters in the sport).
While testing for a step from 3rd to 4th dan, I subluxated my right hip, which is no easy task. It exacerbated my mild hip dysplasia and very effectively tore up my socket. Fast forward 3 and a half years, and I continue to exercise, and even teach cardio style kickboxing, but cannot execute techniques with anywhere near my earlier abilities. I tried several times to get back to training, but gave up from pain and lack of flexibility.
March 31, 2008 I am home from my right hip resurfacing. It is quite a mix of emotions and sensations, but a brief synopisis is that after waking from surgery, the spinal block had me feeling deceptively well (I think I made a number of jokes with the surgical team). The day after was all that you could fear: pain, discomfort, nausea, disorientation, helplessness, a grand mix of unpleasant experiences. I did however manage to use a walker to make it to my chair. I was convinced that I would be in no fit state to make it home in 2 more days.
Well, the day after I felt just a little better, progressed from walker to two crutches for PT. Managed to do the entire program and took the practice steps twice. Still, pain medication made it all possible.
The following day I was preparing to return home. PT had me practice with one crutch for a few steps (not easy). But after a brief car ride I made it back to the house with the help of family and friends. I find I am able to get around with crutches, but wish I could use just one (so I could carry my coffee to the table). For pain, I’m down to one pill every 5 hours or so, would like to resort to Advil, but I’m not sure of its impact on healing. Will ask the doctor.
The value of returning home is not having anyone wake you up 3 times a night to get your vitals… I only woke once to make it to the bathroom. So, will see what this week has to bring. April 2, 2008 My hospital experience was a rather bad reaction to the pain medication, which had me suffering about two days of nausea.
I’m now on day 6, about to start PT at home, and looking forward to seeing what I can and can’t yet do. My muscle pain is perhaps a bit more significant than you’re describing (but I probably did a little too much walking the past two days). It’s hard to remain seated with two girls running around the house.
I’m now down to about 3 Percocet a day (morning, noon, and bedtime), but I’m checking on switching to Advil as soon as advised by my Doctor. I could probably make it on one prescription pain pill in the evening.
Transitioning to one crutch was a big help in moving around the house, and I’m anxious to talk to the therapist about how soon I can just use a cane. I am deceptively stable and feel that I could walk around the house without an “assistive device”, but don’t want to do any damage and end up at square one.
My next major hurdle is getting back to the gym and hitting the weight rack and upper body exercises — with my 25th high school reunion in July, I’d like to look as “Buff” as possible
April 8, 2008 I am now 12 days post op after having similar concerns prior to surgery. I was always very active, but after an injury 3 years ago, I had bouts of significant pain. It did get better, and I was able to go back to many of my same activities, but not as before. Sitting for long peroids (more than an hour) was uncomfortable. I had to alter my gait to walk without pain (people asked me why I was limping, but I didn’t even notice I was). I couldn’t tie my shoes unless coming in from the side, and my knee would come no where near my chest (unlike the other side), but I could power through workouts, teach fitness classes, and still do some limited running.
I made the decision based on a “window of opportunity” — I’m a 42 year old man. I wanted to reclaim important parts of my life, and knew surgery was in the cards at some point, and figured doing it while I was young and strong would make the process easier. At 12 days post op, I’m back at my office, can make it around with a cane, and managed an upper body workout yesterday.
If you do decide it’s time, the first several days will be difficult and you’ll seriously question the wisdom of your decision. Seven days out you’ll see some light at the end of the tunnel. It was a decision I made with the strong input of family and friends. They may be able to judge how your pain is affecting your quality of life more than you can alone.
April 16, 2008 a quick update on week 3 post op. Generally, things are going very well. I managed a mile walk yesterday (one crutch), sitting at the office is not too uncomfortable, and the joint feels better than it did 22 days ago.
I still have significant knee pain, particularly when lying down, and a good night’s sleep remains elusive. However, I seldom need more than a couple of Advil for pain.
I’ve even ventured to my health club on a number of occasions for some upper body workouts. There are perhaps 5-6 machines that don’t violate my hip precautions and I’m mostly sticking with low weight, high rep exercises. I must say, hobbling around a hard-core healthclub on a crutch does draw some attention.
With 2 weeks until my X-ray and evaluation, I’m looking forward to getting back to a full range of motion. I have tried a few tentative steps without a cane or crutch, and realize I still have a way to go, but I assume the next 14 days will bring continued improvement in both comfort and muscle strength.
April 28, 2008 I’ve just returned from my 5-week check up and X-ray (really 4 weeks, 4 days). The X-rays looked great, and I heard those wonderful words “All Restrictions Lifted.”
So far today I have done a toe-touch stretch (didn’t quite make it), picked up some odds and ends of the floor, and managed to walk around the house w/o my cane. Planning on going to the gym later today to ride the exercise bike for about 10 minutes, to get back in the swing of things, and I start full-scale, weight-bearing physical therapy in two days.
Feeling better already! Nine more weeks, and I think I’ll be ready to start my martial arts training a-new.
May 8, 2008 Today is my official 6-weeks Post-op, and I really am feeling much better. My PT has progressed to 20 minutes on a stationary bike, as much weigh as I can tolerate in leg exercises, and some pretty amazing upper-body workouts (I’m now up to 20 pull-ups and 25 dips w/o a break, a new record), and I’m finally getting back to my pre-op weight (lost about 6-7 pounds in the first 2 weeks–42 year old guy weighing in at 118 lbs, I looked a tad thin). My legs also appear to have about the same amount of muscle mass… finally.
I’ve been teaching boxing class (with no impact and having a partner demonstrate the moves), but I can do most of the basic warm-up moves, which feels great.
Walking is as easy as it’s ever been (much easier, in fact because it doesn’t hurt to walk). My only areas for improvement are in range of motion. My right leg is still stiff; the stretching helps, but there’s a long way to go. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
I was back at my desk 12 days after surgery. My wife had to drive for the first week, but I was mostly sitting throughout the day (I took regular breaks to walk around the office building).
Though the first 3-10 days were very difficult for me, from 2 weeks on, I have had a very easy, very speedy recovery. May 26, 2008 At the 2-month mark ,I returned from an hour workout at the gym today and felt great. I was up to doing 20 minutes on the stepper and 10 on the eliptical. I then was able to mow the lawn (well, most of it). I also managed to go to the amusement park with the family yesterday, and walked for about 6 hours. (My pedometer has me at 22 miles since noon on Friday.)
While at the gym I also started working out on the heavy bag, doing some martial arts forms, and stretching to regain my flexibility.
Sleeping is the only discomfort for me, and that is only minor. I still use a pillow between the knees, but can manage without one.
I still can’t wait for the next check up to get the “all clear” for everything except impact sports (wait until the 6-month mark for that).
The first 2-3 weeks, time seemed to crawl. But it will go by quickly, and you’ll all soon be back to doing what you enjoy.
June 25, 2008 Yesterday was my 3-month check up and X-rays. The news was outstanding. The X-rays looked great, and I’m back to doing nearly everything I was able to do (running and high-impact the only exceptions). I believe my hard work leading up to surgery has paid off; Dr. Mont commented that I’m walking as well as some people one year after surgery.
Last night I returned to full-force teaching in boxing class, with some energetic kicking “to boot.” One of the first times that I felt muscle soreness that had nothing to do with the operation.
I still need to do my standard leg exercises every other day (for the rest of my life, as I was told)… but I’m up to about 10 pounds on each leg. It’s difficult, but manageable.
I don’t have to return for another 6 months, so it’s pretty much up to me to do my exercises and continue along the path to recovery. To summarize, after 3 months I’m able to do things I couldn’t do 4 months ago. I feel almost 100 percent (minus some stiffness).
October 2, 2008 I thought I would add a brief update at my 6 month milestone. The best way to phrase this is that I am thrilled with the results. My cardio kickboxing teaching is as comfortable as it was 5 years ago. I have begun gentle running on a treadmill (about 1.5 miles to augment my time on other cardio equipment). I feel like I could go much longer and much faster… but haven’t tried to really push it (at least in running). I am now able to carry my 5-year-old daughter as long as I want (or until my arms get tired), and routinely forget I ever had anything done until I notice the scar.
Over the past 6 weeks, I have flown cross country about 8 times, and my operative side feels fantastic (the other leg is another issue… for a later date).
The flexibility is really starting to come back, and there are only a few positions that are tight. For the past 6 months I have had no complications, no problems, and no complaints.
My thanks to Dr. Mont.
March 8, 2010 Now, today, 1.5 years later I just completed a lunch-time workout 1/2 hour on a ‘spinning’ bike, 130 lb sets on a hip abductor, free weights, and punching and kicking a speed bag.