I am an emergency physician who retired at the end of 2013 at age 65. Nine months later I ran into one of life’s speedbumps when my R hip became very uncomfortable with modest activity. An x-ray demonstrated bone-on-bone degenerative arthritis with a femoral neck cam. I underwent resurfacing with the BHR by Dr David Palmer at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, MN on Feb 18, 2015. This site played a large part in helping me decide which course to take and I appreciate the effort and many contributions made to create such a site.
I’m at the upper age end for BHR. I also consulted about a standard hip arthroplasty and it does look like a 15 year life expectancy for the high density cross-linked polyethylene cup liners was reasonable. I was swayed to the BHR by several other factors. I like to hike, backpack, and wilderness canoe–one of the reasons I live in Minnesota. The thought of a dislocation in wilderness was troubling. Additionally, the preservation of the femoral neck gives a second chance for a good outcome if something went wrong. And the whole setup looks just so much closer physiologically to my original hip.
I was pleased to learn of an orthopedic surgeon who had done a high volume of BHRs just 150 miles away. Dr Palmer’s revision rate was consistent with the other high volume surgeons who have results posted at this site. Lakeview hospital is a small community hospital about 20 miles east of the Twin Cities. They have a regional reputation of excellence for orthopedic surgery, particularly hips and knees. Everything went smoothly; I was ambulating with a walker about two hours out of recovery once the spinal anesthesia wore off. The next day after demonstrating proficiency on stairs with a single crutch I was discharged. Total time within the hospital walls was about 26 hours. I had almost no echymosis and have a subcuticular skin closure for a nice cosmetic result in an area the world will never see. Dr Palmer and Lakeview are highly recommended.
There seems to be a lot of variation in what activity level is recommended during rehab. I was told not to adduct beyond the midline (i.e. no crossing legs at the knees) and to go easy on flexion. I had free reign on walking and within a week could walk a half mile with no crutch. I rapidly advanced to 4 to 5 miles by the 4th week. I got on my bike at about two weeks and was surprised to find cycling completely comfortable from the start. At my 6 week check-up I was advised against repetitive impact (running) but otherwise free to do what felt right. Currently I’m working with Nautilus machines at the Y on adduction, abduction, quad and gluteal strength. Range of motion just seemed to return easily with little effort. Not yet quite fluid on stairs–I keep one hand on the railing, but that is starting to feel better. Overall, the whole affair has been easier than I thought it would be. I have been through rehab stints with both knees from ACL reconstructions so I had some ideas of what I might expect.
Again, a shout out to this website. What I learned here without question was the major factor in guiding my decision. Keep up the good work!
February 18, 2016 One Year Anniversary
Overall I am very pleased with the outcome. I am only aware of vague discomfort with and shortly after strenuous exertion. Knees are more of a limiting factor as they were before the hip kicked up. I was able to put about 1400 miles on my road bike last summer, hike, and cross country ski without difficulty. I had one episode of the joint squeaking just like a rusty hinge. That was strange. I am looking forward to some wilderness canoe tripping, a week long biking road trip and resumption of backpacking this summer. I do not use any kind of anti-inflammatory or analgesic for the hip. I have a better range of motion than my remaining native hip. Since my operation I have convinced a good friend to go with resurfacing and so far things are working out well for him as well. Every physically active person facing hip replacement should carefully consider this option.