October 14, 2011 Two weeks today with a Biomet resurfacing of Right Hip. Currently an airline pilot, and have been running forever. I have a history of OA in knees with surgery on each knee for meniscus tearing/fraying. Hip was never more than a stiffness issue, or so I thought. Very uncomfortable following a half marathon race in March 11. Did not resolve so did lots of stretching and 2 months of PT since one ortho only found moderate OA. Got worse to the point of spasms in the muscles around the hip, and despite a round of bilateral cortisone injections, did not improve. After a second visit to another ortho, it was recommended that I would be a great candidate for a THR later in life (multiple bone spurs, bone on bone and cysts) and to take the big Ibuprofens for now. They did little for me.
Finally flew with another pilot who had both hips done during the approval processes in 2003. Was very happy with the results and was 4 years older, so I checked it out. No ortho had ever mentioned it and this site was the beginnings of my research. Given my age and levels of OA in my other hip and knees, I don’t intend to run long races, but would like to be able to jog a every other day for moderate fitness. Honestly, I would be happy to walk without pain as an early goal. So I settled on Dr. Gross and the Biomet.
Surgery and recovery seem to be normal. Despite the obvious residual pain from the dislocation during the surgery, the “deep” ache I had prior to surgery is gone. Knew it when I woke up. I feel the incision, and the weakness in my hip in several directions of movement, but think that will improve as it physically heals. I am not eager to have my other hip done, but am extremely glad that I’ve taken care of this one. The pain before was barely tolerable and I would have been forced to have a THR…thank goodness someone educated me on the resurfacing. Any advice will always be appreciated, but feel very optimistic that things are progressing well at this early stage.
October 24, 2011 After three weeks, feeling stronger and doing more every day (TRYING not to over-do). Sleeping on my side is getting easier even without the pillow, but continue to have a slight limp when walking unassisted unless I really concentrate and firm up my operative side. Looking forward to the day that I can walk without thinking about it. What pain I have is small compared to pre-op and for that I’m grateful, but It will be nice when it’s out of my mind completely (so I can concentrate on my knees and other hip aches!).
October 29, 2011 At four weeks, I am a positive story for hip resurfacing, I hope. I would encourage a healthy disclosing and discussion of risks and pitfalls to the surgery, however, and to be able to keep it in perspective. While HR has an awesome track record, it is not, and cannot ever be perfect. No surgery is. It would be wrong to overly encourage everyone on the planet to get the operation, not everyone needs it or will benefit like the majority of us here. For those that have had revisions, or are having adverse complications that are unique or rare, we all feel terrible for their conditions and are quick to offer sympathy (as we should). Allowing them to tell us their stories even when they are in the rare 4 % is healthy for all of us, and probably to them as well. To those have trouble with their outcomes, 4 % doesn’t mean much, its 100% to them. I for one believe that many that come here want ALL of the information that can be gotten about HR, both the good and the bad. Luckily, Pat has sections within Hip Talk that fit. The serious post op and revisions section will surely be the right place to post less than optimum outcomes for all to see and discuss. I have gained a ton of insight and motivation from this site both before and after my procedure and hope that it continues to provide both the positive, and when it arises, the negative information that makes me smarter and more prepared. For what its worth, Curt
November 5, 2011 At five weeks and still not back at work. As an airline pilot there is no heavy lifting or running, etc., but twisting into and out of the cockpit seat is a little tricky. Also sitting for up to 6 hours at a time with little wiggle room would probably make me insane right now. I plan on resuming a full schedule at exactly 8 weeks. Curt
November 8, 2011 Dr. Gross is obviously very concerned about bone density and neck fractures because they were one of the very few causes of HR revisions in the past. I had good bone density, but will take the Fosamax drug for 6 months anyway. Why? Because like Glucosamine, doesn’t seem to hurt and might very well help. He seems to follow the credo that rather than tell someone that they cannot have a resurfacing, figure out how to make it successful instead. That goes for necrosis, cysts, density, dysplasia, placement, metal on metal the whole works. As the father of just turned 8 yr old twins, I can say there is no perfect time, but I could not wait any longer. Two months of crutches and cane will allow you to regain all of your mobility and hopefully keep it for a very long time.
November 10, 2011 Just got back from Columbia SC (7 hr drive each way in two days). Dr. Gross said all looks awesome, 35-40 deg cup (as close as they can measure with the X-ray anyway), and he gave me the following advice:
1. Continue to avoid over-flexing the hip in any of the three directions used for dislocating the leg during surgery, i.e. knee past 120degree (he used 90degrees for 6 weeks), knee in/foot out movements (across the line), etc. 2. No heavy impact or jumping until 6 months
Now since I’m only 50 and have not degenerated completely, have great bone denisity and superb will power, I asked him if I could follow my body’s advice and when it “twinges” to stop doing that movement. I fully expected him to say that’s smart…he didn’t. He wanted to be very clear that it takes a healthy person up to a year for all the ligaments to recover, and especially the muscles and tendons that were cut to heal. He also said that with these implants, the first indication that a dislocation is about to happen is when it happens. It doesn’t stretch and then go pop, it just pops. I didn’t expect that. Having said all that, I am a bet surprised that your surgeon would say you have no restrictions at all. Seems prudent that you would want to avoid doing things that might put your new hip in jeopardy. I too would want to stretch and get limber…it would feel like progress while I wait for the impact to come. It simply makes sense to me, at least, to avoid the moves your doctor used to break you apart. The walking and load bearing are fair game and I have used extensively to regain the strength for the cut muscles.
November 20, 2011 Done on 30 Sep and just passed 7 weeks. Hip is awesome, last hurdle was strengthening my abduction muscles (sideways lifting) and balancing on operated leg to put on pants. Both are better from the post-7 weeks exercises they gave me and just plain ole using them. Still don’t do anything but walking and the leg lifts, but I think its enough. Played golf last week and rotated the shizzle out of my hip with no pain or twinges. The rest of me is broken down, but knock on wood, I think this new hip is a miracle. I have no reason to doubt that in March I’m going to be testing the waters with a little running (very little to start)
I think doing at home PT by myself hasn’t set me back at all. If anything, I do way too much just living and doing chores around the house, and the exercises and walking seem to be plenty to keep me improving. I would actually be a little afraid that a PT would make me push too hard if that makes sense.
December 8, 2011 I have gone a little backwards in the pain and aches category. I think it supports what Dan and Hern are saying: getting more ROM and pushing the limits leads to more aches. The first four weeks were pain free in the groin and around the hip. As I have increased my walking and strides (varying the gait and speed) I find that I’m pretty sore in the groin and sometimes in my front crease. It goes away with a little movement, but I think its purely a result of overusing muscles that haven’t been used that way for a loooooong time, and using muscles that are still tender from the surgery. If I’m sore I follow up with a lighter day, slower pace etc. Compared to the constant pain from before surgery, its laughable.
December 13, 2011 There are things that I still can’t do. Luckily, there seems to be an ever-increasing set of things that I can. I can reach my foot, I can walk with virtually no limp, roll over at night without thinking about it (too much) and after 10 weeks, I can work at my job again without being in serious pain when walking or sitting.
I still cannot move my knee too far over center without feeling like I’m at the “edge” of hurting the joint. I cannot turn left when walking without feeling like my leg is swinging through the turn. I’m still weak at abduction and use my arms when standing up.
When I got the surgery, I was excited by a lot of posts and testimonials of those that were very active soon after surgery. People doing Ironmans, marathons, blah, blah and blah. It didn’t take me long after my surgery to refocus my goals on the basics: walking, sleeping and most importantly being pain free from that friggin’ OA. Those are goals that I can live with for now, and after 10 weeks I’m mostly there. Slower than I had hoped, and certainly isn’t on par with getting a number and a timing chip and starting training, but I get pretty excited when I think how far I really have come in 2 1/2 months.
Lets face it, when early successes revolve around getting off meds, taking stairs foot over foot and using the toilet like a normal person, maybe its OK to let the really big physical improvements come when they come. I’m extremely grateful for the level of activity I can do NOW, especially compared to where I was before surgery. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be a year from now.
January 2, 2012 Passing 12 weeks now and no clicking or clunking, and presently not freaking about metalosis, but have been experiencing a mild to moderate discomfort in the front crease above my quad where the hip flexes up.
Like everyone, had weakness in flexion following surgery, but the ache in the front part of my hip has increased in the last few weeks. Might be from the increases ROM and distances walked, but it feels eerily like OA used to feel – stiff and sore with the first steps after waking up or when rising from seated positions. Doctor Gross’s staff gave me more exercises for post 6 weeks, and it includes the psoas stretches. The stretching feels great, but the aches and stiffness continue.
I shouldn’t complain (considering where I was pre-op), and the pain is non-existent when I get going but I would think it has to be soft tissue around the iliopsoas since I have no more OA there to worry about.
January 6, 2012 I have undergone a sort of epiphany about my recovery. I’ve been concentrating on the physical and I think, for me at least, its really mostly mental. The physical meaning pains and aches, progress with walks, daily activities, time on the treadmill, strength and weakness, etc. I’ve been consumed with these things because they seem measurable. I compare myself to the others on this site (I’m slower or I’m faster); I compare myself to my previously fit or crippled self; I wonder why I stagnate and stop improving or why it hurts or aches depending on the day or activity.
Then I started to just try and feel good. About anything. Not so much how I’m doing, but concentrate on the positive things that remind me this is all worth it. Going any amount of time – minutes, hours whatever – without thinking about my hip; just being glad to be out for a walk – even if I start to limp a little; sleeping for any stretch of the night (not counting old man pee); looking at my spare tires and not getting depressed, but making a plan of action to take care of them too.
I’ve decided to keep it mental, and I mean the happy, grateful mental. I can’t run right now, but at least I can walk and that’s pretty good, considering. I think I’ll copy Boomer and do a Costa Rica or some other reward. Its been a long year or more being in the dumps and thinking about the physical, so send me some mental up juice instead!!
March 18, 2012 Spent the weekend celebrating my new hip with a 1 mile run. It is the fourth run actually, but wanted to be able to run a complete mile with no breaks on the anniversary of my last race last year.
The Shamrock marathon weekend in Virginia Beach has several additional races that make it a fun weekend for the whole family. On Saturday they do an 8K and 1 mile run for elementary school kids that benefits the Operation Smile organization. On Sunday the half and full marathons.
Last year on this weekend I ran with my twin 7 year old girls in their mile race and proudly watched them haul in 8 minute miles. I ran a decent half the next day – and that was the day my hip gave up. Went from feeling tight, to feeling tighter and went downhill from there. The next 8 months was an unbearable period of spasms, pain, massage, steroids, PT with no relief until Dr. Gross and the HR last fall. So today I completed my promise to my kids to run with them again and we cranked out a mile this morning. Not as fast as their run yesterday, but they pulled me through a 9:10 run. It is amazing how such a slow, awkward run could feel like such an accomplishment. On the one hand, I cannot believe how difficult it is after a lifetime of running, and on the other, cannot believe how far I’ve come with a metal device implanted in my hip.
I will take it slow and continue to cross train and rest between run days and get back my strength the way I lost it…slow and steady! Any tremors you all felt came from my feet by the way, so don’t bother the seismic guys anymore!!
April 2, 2012 Dr. Gross had no restrictions after 6 months for me and merely advised to take all things slow and build up even slower (where have I heard and disregarded that advice before?!). Anyway, I’ve overdone it twice now, once with too long a run, and once by adding other equipment exercises on top of a short run. Didn’t ice and woke up stiff and sore. Sitting in the cockpit for 2-5 hours a flight is NOT helping when I’ve used the hip muscles hard the day before, but I am resting between days and the hip is doing great. Weakness in the rotators continues to get my attention on the occasional stride that goes goofy, but that too is getting better with use.
I am very attentive to limiting my impact and having a good turnover (staying between 170-180), but need restraint from going too fast or far. Even my knees and other joints are having a time getting used to the running again, but I’m getting there. I don’t know if I will ever want to get back into marathons, but I’m enjoying doing the little bits I’m doing now. Amazing the goals you set when walking normally was so impossible.