Dan’s Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Su 2023
March 30, 2023
HUGE thank you to Pat and all the posters who share their stories, videos, blogs, posts and whatnot. I wouldn’t have had hip resurfacing without this site or the advice.
After a three year battle with OA of the left hip and PHD level research on THR and all the resurfacing options, Drs, and devices I finally moved forward. On 3/16 I went to the HSS in NYC(I live in Boston) and had Dr. Su perform my procedure. I had X-rays taken several times over the three years and I went from a little cartilage to none, it is eerie to watch your joint decompose before your eyes over time. Some of my background is in other earlier posts so I won’t cover that here (I am 48 yrs old, etc). I also won’t go through excruciating detail on everything because having read almost all the stories they follow very very similar trajectories. I will try to highlight lessons learned and things for folks following me to consider that may not have been said.
On 3/15 I picked up my very gracious sister at Boston Logan and brought her to my house to watch my two teens so my wife and I could travel to NYC. After a nice easy 3:45 drive and a wonderful pre-surgery high protein Poke bowl in Wilton CT (off the Merit) we arrived at our hotel on the upper east side near HSS. The nurses called that afternoon to let me know my surgery would be at 2:00pm on 3/16. BTW: the chaplain of HSS called too to discuss pre surgery jitters, give me a blessing, and help calm my mind (nice touch).
Morning of my wife and I woke pretty early and had an intense workout in the hotel gym, interval sprints on the treadmill (I ran like it might be my last), 150 pushups, 3 minute plank. As soon as we got back HSS called and said my surgery was moved up to 1:00pm, and how soon could we get there? I quickly showered with the pre-surgery scrub brush/iodine and we walked the 28 mins (18 blocks) to HSS (Cause I could).
HSS is awesome. They get the #1 orthopedic hospital in the world for a reason, and it isn’t just the lowest infection rate. All the staff and nurses and processes were fine tuned and I could tell improved on constantly. Everyone I met said over and over, “Oh you are having Dr Su, you will be great. He is the best”. I know there are also other great resurfacing Drs, I met them ALL in my due diligence. It does help to put you in the right frame of mind for EVERYONE to endorse ‘your guy’. The staff also said that not only is Dr Su outstanding at the procedure, cup placement, etc he is VERY fast. And his speed makes recovery easier. Since the shorter you are open the better.
I went into OR had my spinal block and was out. I woke in recovery mostly numb from the waste down and not feeling any pain. I wasn’t particularly drowsy or and didn’t have that post surgery haze you sometimes get. I think the anesthesiologists at HSS are great and in general all have come a long way. Because my surgery was so late in the afternoon and because we were in a hotel a mile away HSS let me have the option to spend the night. Which I did. Spending a night in the hospital is good and bad. HSS is great about rounds, vitals, keeping IV going with goodies for hydration, pain, etc. I did have a roommate that couldn’t sleep and was up watching TV and turning lights on at all hours. Yipee Pain kicked in early AM after being in bed for a long time. I opted not to have a morphine shot because I wouldn’t have been released the following day. I did some breathing and the scale of 1-10 pain of an 8.5 came back down to a 4-5. Oh and I have read about people not being able to go Pee, no issues there. Filled a bottle a couple of time no issues.
The next morning my wife picked me up and I was discharged. Because my sister needed to return to her life I had the unfortunate reality of needing to dive from NYC to Boston the day after surgery. No way to put it, it sucked. Painful. Stiff. You feel every bump, every sway and turn. Longest 5 hours of my life. We stopped a few times so I could stretch but that stinks too. Oh well, we made it and I was home that night.
From there my recovery is similar to others, off pain meds third night, etc. Here are some high points:
1\I rented a Golden lift chair at a medical supply place for $200 for the month. Worth it! I plopped it on the first floor near a bathroom and I slept and sat in it to rest the first week.
2\ Raised toilet seat is a must, I also HIGHLY recommend a Tushy (Cheap bidet)
3\I used the hip kit with sock put on thingys, grabber bar etc, as well as a raised cushion for chair. BTW The grabber thing clips onto your crutches, took me a day or two to figure that out – SO CONVENIENT.
4\Dr Su prescribed MOBIC to calm soft tissue for 42 days, it bugged my stomach something fierce so they switched me to Celebrex and it has been awesome.
5\I had an ice machine but found the hip gel packs much easier and colder to deal with, I had two I cycled through.
6\Make sure to install grab bars in your shower. Makes taking one so easy.
I am two weeks post op today. I can walk with a cane now and sometimes nothing around the house, though still frankensteinish. I have been diligent about taking walks 4x a day (1 of which is long, mile+), doing my PT in home exercises 3x a day. I am up to 20 mins on the Peloton, which I started uncomfortably at day 5 for 2 mins. I drove at day 5 uncomfortably but did so, a cushion helps a lot. I tried to get on the floor this morning to do pushups and a plank, but it is too soon, will try again next week. I have been doing resistance bands for my upper body and my kids hand me weights to do chest presses. I start outpatient PT next Monday. I return to see Dr Su 4/26 for an X-ray and incision inspection. I trust all will be good and I will be released to do even more, pool work etc. I was given the advice to listen to my body, try to reach your upper limits in terms of doing too much and then take it easy the next day to let yourself recover. Then try again and adjust each day. I found this helpful. BTW: Doing too much makes you swell more and tired.
Every day is small incremental progress and some days it isn’t linear. I am anxious to return to my active life of tennis, skiing, running but I am embracing this daily journey to rebuild too. All in all I am doing great!
April 6, 2023
Today is my 3 week anniversary. Things are going okay. The realization that this is a process and slow-ish and incremental has set in. For example I tried to drop the cane yesterday and do a lot of unassisted walking, around the house and even up and down my street. Today I am tired and sore. That was too much. The recovery process is this long slow constant adjustment to what you can do where the line is for too much and backing down.
I finally can sleep on my non-operated side in bed and not just on my back which is huge.
I started outpatient PT this week and they are working on the stabilizer muscles which are weak and make walking unassisted difficult. i.e. clams, side leg raises, marching on one leg.
Today was a personal victory for me because I was able to do 100 pushups (5×20), 1-minue plank, and TRX rows off the floor. All with little to no hip discomfort. Was great to get a maintenance workout in and my heart rate up. I was very concerned leading up to surgery about losing my fitness/shape.
April 16, 2023
I passed my 1-month on Thursday this week. I am in the trough of despair. Will I ever get better? Is something wrong with the device, placement, etc?
I tried to do some very light yard work this weekend. Light raking, some picking up sticks off the lawn, etc. Bad idea. Sore and in pain rest of the day and today.
I also looked over the stretches that Dr Su says you can do at month one mark. I can’t really do any of them comfortably. Granted I am a tight person and my arthritis really limited my ability to stretch pre surgery. Still……… I go to see Dr Su 4/26 for X-rays and 6 -week follow up. We’ll see.
I don’t want to talk people out of this because I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel (for most). Just know that it is a lot of work, and the body is very slow to heal from a major surgery.
April 28, 2023
Okay like many of you I was anxious for my 6-week follow up. Had I done something to screw up the placement? Is there any femoral neck fracture starting cause I bumped into the wall a little hard that one time……etc? The answer in my case was 100% no. For this I am grateful. Not to give future Hipsters too much license but I was told you have to do a lot to screw it up. Bad fall, hike 5 miles with a 50 lb pack on kind of a thing. Phew.
Despite my impatience and misgivings I was also put near/at the top of the heap in terms of recovery timeline and how I am doing versus all others they see at this point. My incision, strength, walking, etc were all among the very best they see. For those that want to recover as quick as possible here are some of my tactics, your mileage may very and I am NO DR.
1 – Prehab. I was in the best possible shape heading into surgery and did all the prehab exercises on the website. Glute bridges, side lifts, all of them.
2 – I am following all the advice on post-op to the t, doing all the exercises, walking, icing, drugs……
3 – Sleep – I prioritized getting as good a night sleep as possible and tracked my scoring using one of the many available sleep tracking apps. I used CBD tinctures to aid here and they really helped. I used a recliner for 10 days then bed.
4 – These next few are a bit out there so bare with me: supplements, I did a bunch of research on which supplements could help surgery recovery so I took them all daily. Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin C, Branch chain amino acids, B12, arginine, vitamin E, vitamin E, plant based calcium.
5 – I ate plant based high nutritious food (and one meal a weak of wild salmon 4oz) – this is my daily meal (super veggie) https://blueprint.bryanjohnson.co/Step-1-Step-2-Step-3
6 – I took two peptides known to aid healing BPC-157 and TB-500
7 – I started dry radiant sauna 2-weeks post op and did so almost daily for 20-30 mins followed by a cold shower.
Time will tell if my trajectory continues to outpace, but happy for now.