August 21, 2011 I am 37 and I am scheduled to have my left hip resurfaced (Conserve Plus) in 3 days. I just wanted to thank Pat and all of the Hip Talk members. This website and discussion forum has been invaluable. Like many of you, I received conflicting views from different doctors, which made the process confusing. But, after much reading and reflection, as well as drawing from your experiences, I decided that a hip resurfacing was my best option.
I have 3 young kids who I have only been able to watch play on the playground. I have been active (basketball, skiing, karate, cycling, etc.) my whole life, so it’s been frustrating to only walk a block or two without experiencing pain. I walk with a major limp. I want my active life back and I want to be able to chase my kids. This site also helped me find a fantastic doctor – Dr. Thomas Vail at UCSF. He is a confident yet humble surgeon and I know I am in the right hands. I started a blog (thehippingpost.com) to chronicle my hip resurfacing story. It’s mostly to update friends and family, but I intend to share a successful story and hopefully others who either may be facing a similar decision or may have already gone through a hip resurfacing can draw from my experiences. Thanks again everyone, and I wish you all a healthy and happy life with your new hips.
August 26, 2011 Sorry it’s taken me a couple of days to get back online after surgery, but the pain meds have kept me pretty light headed. Besides that, and the occasional wave of nausea, I’m feeling good.
Dr. Vail said the surgery went well; the device fit well, I had less blood loss than average and my bone density is great. His chief resident said, “You had some gnarly osteoarthritis” and that it was obvious why I needed surgery. My cartilage was completely gone, the femoral head was warped (more oval shaped than round) and I had a number of bone spurs.
I don’t have much pain in my hip (I’m sure this has to do with the medication) and my range of motion is better than I would have thought. I have swelling and bruising but it’s not as bad as I expected. I’m amazed that I can already walk with crutches and that I was able to get up and down stairs the day after surgery. I know I have to find a fine balance of building strength but not pushing too hard, but my new hip feels stable and hopefully I have a strong foundation for a quick recovery.
The one frustration has been my light headedness. I feel fine when I lie down but as soon as I sit up or stand, my head starts to feel funky. It’s not so bad where I think I am going to fall but it’s keeping me in bed more than I would like. Hopefully I can dial down the pain meds and that will help matters.
Overall, I am really happy with the outcome and I’m more confident than before that a hip resurfacing was the right decision. I know I have a long recovery road ahead, but I am looking forward to it. Thanks again for all of your comments and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.
August 28, 2011 I switched my pain meds and the nausea and light headedness have disappeared…thank goodness! I feel the pain in my hip a little more but I’ll take that rather than dealing with dizziness. I’ve been walking up and down the block and doing exercises at home. So far the hip feels good. I noticed a bit of “thunking” in my hip yesterday as I walked and shifted my torso, but I understand that’s not uncommon and over the next few months, it should go away.
I am trying not to push too hard but I also want to get out of the house and walk as much as possible. A fine balance.
August 28, 2011 My first x-ray was in 2000 when the doctor told me I had the hips of someone in their 50s (I was in my mid 20s at the time). In January, 2008, I had a left hip arthroscopy. I also had a labral tear and bone spurs on my femoral head and acetabulum. The arthroscopy relieved most of my pain but I knew it was a matter of time before I had major surgery. Late last year, I saw the surgeon who performed the scope because my pain was increasing and I was continuing to lose range of motion. He said that my two options were pain tolerance or a hip resurfacing / replacement. He actually had his hip resurfaced and was encouraging about the process. After that meeting, I thought I could last a few more years, as the pain wasn’t that bad and I had just done a 100 mile bike ride, so could still keep in shape. However, in February, everything in my hip accelerated. Like wayne-O said, it was like I was on the downhill of a roller coaster. The pain got much worse and my lateral range of motion was non-existent. In about 5 months, I went from consistent cycling to barely being able to get through a pedal stroke without pain. September 6, 2011 I’ve been using a foam roller on my IT bands for over a year and it has really helped my IT band. I am only two weeks post-op on my left HR, so I haven’t got back to the roller yet, but I intend to as soon as my hip and muscles feel more stable. My left hamstring is now incredibly tight, post surgery, so I plan to use the roller there too.