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Author Topic: Easy & Difficult Recoveries  (Read 10408 times)

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Pat Walter

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Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« on: February 06, 2009, 12:21:47 AM »
There have been discussions from time to time about post op recoveries.  Some people have very quick and easy recoveries and others have long, difficult recoveries.

When you have a fast and easy recovery, like I did, you don't understand why others are having such problems.  On the other hand, if you are having a very painful, long and difficult recovery you just can't believe others did not suffer that same way.  Like anything in life, there are extremes and most people expereince a recovery somewhere in the middle.

I was harshly criticized 3 years ago when I was posting from Belgium about my recovery and when I returned home.  I was with 8 other Dr. De Smet patients and we all had similar recoveries.  I took nothing but Advil after leaving the hospital since the codene bothered my stomach.  I did not need anything else since I only had muscle soreness and incision tenderness.  Yes, I was moving very slowly, but I did not need the strong pain meds.  We ate every meal in the Holiday Inn dinning room and had parties in the lounge every night. I was sight seeing 5 days post op and using one crutch at 4 days post op.  I was walking over a mile a day by the time I got home with one crutch and stopped using it about 4 weeks. Could have stopped sooner, but did not.

This was the pretty standard recovery for a De Smet patient.  He has done over 3000 resurfacings and the overseas doctors are very experienced. They have fantastic surgical tecnhical since they are so experienced.  I asked Dr. De Smet why we have such quick and easy recoveries and that was his answer - he is smart, has good hands and is very experienced.

That said, there are people using the US doctors that have had easy and quick recoveries, too.  On the whole, however, the US doctors are much more conservative than the overseas doctors. It also seems that people sometimes have more post op pain and problems when using the less experienced surgeons - not always, but sometimes (my opinion based on 4 years of reading personal resurfacing stories)

I don't often tell people about my recovery since I get tired of people telling me I am either bragging or not telling the truth.  You can read the posts of De Smet hippies on the Yahoo group and read about the same kind of recoveries from people currently or recently in Belgium.

My point is not to brag, but let people know that both extremes are possible and do happen.  I feel terrible for anyone with a great deal of pain and a difficult slow recovery.  We can't, however, say to people not to post their true stories.  If only people with difficult recoveries posted, then many people might be afraid of the surgery.  If only people with fast recoveries posted, then everyone thinks it is easy.

The truth for most people is that their recovery normally is somewhere in the middle.  There is no way to predict a recovery.  Sometimes a person with a more difficult hip problem will have a much slower recovery since their bodies and muscles have not been working properly for years. The whole body reacts to a bad hip/s.  The back, knees and the rest of the body is out of balance and harmony.  If you have had a bad hip/s for a number of years, one hour in surgery getting a new hip can't give you a miracle recovery.  It is going to take the body some time to try to get back to normal.

Therefore, I encourage everyone to tell their own story - fast, slow or normal.  That is the way we learn.  We shoud not brag or feel bad that our recovery is not like another persons. We just need to know there is a difference.  We need to listen and be kind and understanding.  That is what this group is good at.  I have not seen any evidence of anyone not ever being kind and supportive.

So let's all continue to tell our stories so new people can learn about hip resurfacing. Let's continue to support people having problems and feel joy for those who quickly recover.

Pat
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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 03:45:33 PM »
In all honesty, I am one who is skeptical of claims such as, "being off pain meds in only 2 - 4 days" "running at three weeks" and "jumping rope at 2 weeks".  I am not saying that any of these accounts are not true, it is just they are so far removed from my personal experience that I just had to blink my eyes and shake my head and I wonder, "are such claims leading to unrealistic expectations?" or "is there REALLY that much difference between US doctors and their technique to those overseas?". My doctor trained with McMinn and has a terrific reputation as a highly skilled surgeon, although he had only performed 140 procedures at the time I became # 141.

Its not that my reovery has been bad, not at all when compared to several people I know who have had a THR.  I was on pain meds pretty much every 4 - 6 hours for at least the first full week and then weaned off them to just one or two to get throught the night from week 2 until week 4.  I used one crutch after coming home for a week, a cane for the next 4 weeks and was walking without any aid at about the week 6 point.  Today at week 8 I am walking 2 - 3 miles a day with nothing more than some tightness over the surgery area and a slight limp as the day progresses which is diminishing every day.

I think that the resurfacing procedure is the best alternative for an appropriate patent, but is it really the miracle one might get the impression from by reading such miraculous accounts?  Afterall, it is still major surgery, they are still cutting into your leg, dislocating your hip joint, cutting through some important supportive tissue, performing some pretty precise carpentry, manipulating the leg in ways it was never designed for by the manufacturer, and stitching you back together again.  And all you need is a couple of advil a few days later... well, you're a better person than I am Gunghadin!  ::) ;D ;)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 04:03:52 PM by Mudpro »
Bill
BHR on 12-10-08
OS:  Dr. Henry Boucher, Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Pat Walter

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 04:37:31 PM »
Hi

There is something that you don't understand - I too am very sensitive to pain.  I would never be able to endure great pain without meds.

I simply did not have great pain along with many others.  So Advil worked fine.  I was no Gunghadin.

I would never endure pain of any kind.  I took Vicodin, Darocet, Celebrex, etc before surgery.  I had a cortisone shot in my hip capsule that did not last long.  I was unable to hardly move from my chair pre-op.  I could not walk from the pariking lot of Wal Mart to the front door.  I could do nothing for a few years before surgery. I hurt, hurt and hurt.  I could not sleep at night even with Vicodin.  I know pain and am not one to try to endure to prove how tough I am.

I am sorry you can't believe there are differences in recoveries - but there are.  I make this point so new people understand  there are easy recoveries, difficult recoveries and some in the middle.

Just because you have your own experince does not mean it can't be different for others.  Life is that way.

What we need to do is to be honest and tell our stories.  If you choose to believe I can endure great pain - that is OK, but for the record I can't. I am an honest person who tells a truthful story. I am sorry you can't believe it.

I am also sorry that you endured a great deal of pain.  I hope you will soon be over your difficult time and enjoy a painfree summer.

Good Luck.

Pat

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 06:17:26 PM »
Pat,

I never questioned your honesty, I am only voicing a concern about the impression someone contemplating surgery might get from these accounts.  If you re-read some of your posts vs say mine about the difference in our recoveries, you very well may conclude that if you fly to Belgium and get your operation done by so and so doctor, that you too can undergo such an invasive procedure and then go out sight-seeing a few days later with nothing in your system but a couple of over the counter pain relievers.  But if you get the procedure done here inthe US, you will probably suffer more due to a doctors inexperieinece...  Can you see how that could sound to someone?  When in fact, maybe the difference in our experiences was due to other factors not so obvious to the casual reader.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 06:20:53 PM by Mudpro »
Bill
BHR on 12-10-08
OS:  Dr. Henry Boucher, Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Bionic

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 06:37:48 PM »
I wonder if there are any polls out in cyberspace comparing ease of recovery to surgeon?  If not, maybe we should make one here.
Right uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum
Feb. 11, 2009 with Dr. Thomas Gross and Lee Webb

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 06:44:15 PM »
Aloha,

I should be so lucky as to have the easier side of the story recovery.  The best part on this one is simply that I did not even have to leave my own little island that I live on.  I live on Kauai, an outer island in Hawaii.  What would be the chance that a skilled doctor lives here and works here?  Well, Dr. Rovinsky does live here, he might not have over 200 HR done, but he is getting there.  Think about how lucky I got that I didn't have to fly anywhere, for its a 30 minute flight to Oahu where the real city is,(my island is less the 60,000 in population) or I could of taken a 5 hour flight to the West Coast, or it could of been a longer then 15 hour flight for me to per say India or somewhere else.  I chose to use the good name of my local doctor who everyone over here loves and speaks highly of him.(he might even be younger then me)  I, like Pat, did not need the pain pills, I even got off the advil and aspirin after the first week, simple for me, the pain pre surgery was worst then the post.  And at that month mark after the surgery, I felt like my old self ready to take on the world, knowing that every day my healing was going to get better and better.  

I am just so thankful that I did what I did and where I did it and it worked!
Eric

Pat Walter

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 07:02:23 PM »
What doctor a person uses and their recoveries have been a topic of much discussion during the last 4 years since I have been reading personal stories and posts.

I am sorry, but there are a few of the really experienced surgeons both in the US and overseas which usually pretty consistently have patients with very easy recoveries and good outcomes.

Often the many patients of De Smet of Belgium do very well.  There are currently some people who have recently posted on the Yahoo Surface Hippy Group that told their story.

There are of course, many Dr. Bose patients that have easy and quick recoveries. 

What you don't realize is that before 2006 most of us all went overseas since that's where the experineced surgeons were.  There were a few in the US, but resurfaicng was not FDA approved then.  We were all use to leaving the US for our surgeries.

There are trends as you tend to read thousands of posts as I have.  That is the MAIN reason I choose Dr. De Smet of Belgium - I kept reading story after story and post after post about how well his patients were doing back in 2005.  They continue to normally do well.  Occasionally, there are some that have more diffiuclt recoveries, but on the whole the recoveries are typical to mine.

I have often preached and truly believe that the surgeons experience does affect the patients outcome.  It is true in any sport or any endeavor in life that the professional and expeirneced sports figures, musicians, etc - do almost the impossible that others can't achieve.  It is also true among surgeons.

I won't let this get into a battle, but I have listened to the surgeons talk, most recently a couple hundred at the 2nd annual hip reusrfacing course in LA in Oct. 08 and believe me - they know that acetabular cup placement is the most difficult part of the surgery and takes experience to do consistently well.  The medical studies also support that.  Dr. Schmalzried just mentioned that fact in our recent chat.  So doctor experince can really affect a person's recovery and outcome.

People choose the surgeon they feel comfortable with.  Some are willing to be number one in their resurfacing series and others want to be number 2000.  It is up to each person.  Some patients of the less expeirnced US surgeons have also had very easy and quick recoveries.  I have stories on my Hip Stories page.

There are trends and if you read posts of personal stories long enough - you pick them up.

I will always suggest to anyone who asks my opinion of who to use - that they use the very experinced hip resurfacing surgeons.  They can be seen on my list of surgeons and I would always encourage a person to pick a surgeon that has done 500 or 1000+ surgeries.  It is just good insurance to make sure you won't have problems.  Not using them doens't not mean you will have problems - but the odds and medical studies say there is a 4% change you could have problems.  Why gamble if you don't have to.

So yes, I would always tell my friends and family to fly to Beligum to one of the best surgeons in the world - hands down.  If you don't want to do that there are exceptional surgeons in the US that have done many hundreds to thousands.

When you are around hip resurfacing as long as I have been, you learn a lot.  I am just willing to share that.

We all make our own choices.  There are still many that fly over to De Smet, McMinn, Treacy and Bose because they want the really experienced doctors. These surgeons have been doing resurfacing since 1997.  It was just FDA appoved here in 2006.  So there is no way the US can have surgeons with the expeirnced of the overseas doctors.

I will stand by my opinon and let others make their own.  I will not let this become a big argument.  I have been around hip resurfacing longer than about anyone else on my website - I have learned a lot and am willing to share it. 

Pat



« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 02:24:58 AM by Pat Walter »
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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 07:13:49 PM »
Hi All

It's two weeks today since my surgery, and it is really difficult to say what is a easy recovery and what is not so easy, with the protocols being different from doctor to doctor " Mr McMinn has me on crutches for 4-6 weeks". I'm back at work albeit just a couple of hours a day but I am being ultra carefull. I stopped taking Tramadol in hospital but I still take Co-dydramol twice daily...a must before bedtime.

I am an impatient person who has in the past rushed previous re-hab injuries to my detriment, but I am taking my time on this one, I'm not rushing my pt...if I feel tired then I don't do them..simple.

I think beause we are all so different, both physically and mentally...it's really subjective on lots of factors, the way I see the situation is this -: I have been give another lease of life to get back to doing some of the stuff I used to, so I am not going to put any pressure on myself or work to any time frame. Of course I would like a speedy re-hab but I will listen to my body and take it easy " easier said than done".

It's easy to get carried away with wanting to use our new bit kit, but lets just go at the level we feel comfortable at, I will do my daily post later, once I've had my afternoon zzzz

Terry
LBHR 23/01/2009 Mr Mcminn

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2009, 08:37:52 PM »
Thought I'd share my 2 cents as well.  This website and the information all of you people have been willing to share pre-op to post op has been absolutely priceless to me and so many others.  The chats with surgeons, the support and understanding that is expressed in this forum, surgery videos, and different experiences, all help us to find our way.  We learn what can be expected and what extremes exist in our journey. 

Chronicalling my story has helped me to reflect and notice subtle improvements from day to day, and gives me a timeline for my own expectations with my second hip.  I am a believer that Dr. Palmer's experience and techniques are the reason my recovery has been easy.  I feel very fortunate thus far, and although I've got a long way to go before being normal again, I am on my way there.  Many of you have reached normal.  Many of you are getting there.  Many of us are just beginning.  Thanks for sharing your experiences.  Easy, middle of the road, or difficult, recoveries are all recoveries.  We'll all get there eventually, let's keep helping one another along.
Todd  LBHR, Dr. David Palmer 1/7/09; RBHR 5/6/09 St. Croix Orthopedics, Stillwater, MN

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2009, 09:20:58 PM »
I have read stories about Dr DeSmet that are very positive and where patients have had similar results to Pat's.

FWIW, let me interject some of my thoughts.  I think too many of us (me included) get the "my doctor is the best in the world because I am healed" thoughts going too easily. 

Personally I think Pat's recovery was one of those really good ones, there is a patient of Dr. Gross who went out to Hooters the day he was dischaged and walking, does that mean all Dr. Gross patients can do that? Nope!  Me, I could not sit at a restaurant more than 1/2 hour the day I got out, I tried though, I ate my food take out at the hotel.  Maybe it was the Hooters environment that helps your hip, I just could not talk my wife into taking me there to prove that hypothesis.

I am not saying that Dr. DeSmet's patients all have Pat's kind of recovery, but many do and I've yet to find a case where one of Dr. DeSmet's patients needed a revision because of a mistake either.   That is a pretty darn good statistic.

I do not think Mud was implying that Pat was telling tall tales, and I know Pat was not telling tales, I believe Pat. I think everyone should post their recoveries, even the bad ones. 

It's the patients like Spencer who are willing to post things like his infection that leave this group a lot more informed about recovery issues.

So in the end, my feelings are post them if you got emmm!


Chuck
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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 12:43:15 AM »
I'm with Todd.  I think this website is an incredibly valuable source of information and comfort for pre- and post-hippies, even THR folks.  I may not always agree with some perspectives, including Pat's, but I do value them.  Unfortunately, alot of folks expect the perfect experience every time, regardless of their circumstances, and sometimes that expectation may be reinforced by some of the posts here.  My gratitude to all; I still check in every day.

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2009, 02:09:12 AM »
I've been a daily reader of the postings on this website for almost a year.  I consider this website to be absolutely priceless for its wealth of reliable information and the support found among the members of this community of people who share their thoughts, experiences and research with each other. 

In discussions regarding recoveries, I've seen the same, consistent theme over the past year.  'Everyone's recovery is different.'  No one is ever promised a great recovery.  One's recovery is unpredictable.  It's an individual experience and it can be affected by many variables.  I think it's great that we can share our good experiences and bad experiences in a safe community of people who care.  I've always heard Pat encourage people to share their experiences, both good and bad, with candor.  She doesn't advise people to 'tone down' or 'overplay' their experiences.  So, why should she?  Just tell it like it is.  Good and bad.

Incidentally, I feel that I've had a great recovery.  Believe it or not, I took nothing stronger than Tylenol for some minor muscular pain. I used two crutches for a couple of days, then one crutch for a few days, then was using a cane for several weeks.  Weaning myself off the cane was hard for me.  It took me awhile to realize that the only way off the cane was to get off the cane and work through the awkwardness.  It worked itself out after about a week of some very awkward walking.  My leg turned dramatically inward initially when I walked.   This was very embarrassing to me.  It has taken some time to rebuild strength in some very specific muscles again in order to correct the inward rotation.  As far as I'm concerned, after 12 years of being in pain this has not been a big deal.  Some people might have had a different perspective on this and may have considered this an unexpected complication or a significant setback.  A lot dependds on perspective and expectations.  I'm so happy that I no longer have to wake up every day wondering what my pain level is going to be and wondering how many painkillers I'm going to have to swallow in order to make it through the day.   

My advice to everyone who is planning to have this surgery is to educate yourself as much as possible and make your own decision for what's right for you based on everything you learn.  Unfortunately, other factors weigh in as well, such as location, ability to travel, insurance or lack therof, etc..  These are just the realities of life that may limit our alternatives.  I happen to be in the camp with the opinion that you should go with the most experienced surgeon you can.  In my case, my surgeon choice was influenced by surgeon experience, location (my sister lives 3 hours away from my surgeon and I re-habbed at her house), insurance coverage (in-network provider) and that I felt like he was the right choice for me.  But, that was my choice that was based on my own preferences and my unique circumstances. 

In any case, own your own decision and it's outcome.  Release yourself from any pre-conceived expectations regarding your own recovery.  Everyone is different.  Instead, commit to being flexible and easy on yourself.  Everyone recovers at a different rate.  Give yourself permission to recover at the rate that your body chooses.  After all, you really have no choice in the matter, so why beat yourself up over something you can't control?  Enjoy the time off that you're going to give yourself.  There were days during my recovery that I slept in my recliner chair during the better part of the day.  I would NEVER do that normally.  Honestly, I enjoyed the break that I gave myself.  It was nice to nap whenever I felt like it and not feel guilty about it.

Good Luck To All
and
Thanks once again to Pat for providing this forum to us all!

Jeanie



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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2009, 09:21:42 AM »
.........



peteuk

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2009, 11:23:40 AM »
hi everyone, i hav/nt written here for awhile but this subject is appropriate for me,

i was booked in for a resurfacement here in the uk back in march 08, my surgeon is one of the most experianced in the uk and has been doing them for 8 years also he just had the use of a computer guided acetablum cup locating device which takes the educated guess work out of the actuall placement ,

an mri scan is taken of the hip and the information is fed into the machine and the computer plots the ideal location for the cup ,

everything went well until the femural cap was being hamered in ,it was to be uncemented but my femural ball split so the operation was revised to a mom thr ,

i was quite upset because that part of the operation should be the easist and comeing from an engineering background its only a question of tolarences for a good fit ,

i had pain meds in the hospital but did not take anymore when i came home after 4 days , i was stiff and tender but not in any real pain,

i had a ganz flip which is a piece of bone with the muscle attached is removed from the femur and then screwed back in place for the bone to heal , it was described to me as short term inconveineance for long term gain , it preserves blood supply to the femural head ,so i have a thr plus screws ,

i was on two crutches for 8 weeks and a further 2 weeks on one crutch , no weight bearing on the operated leg for 8 weeks to give the bone a chance to heal ,

i could feel my leg was difficult to raise and when i was cleared to start proper pt i hav/nt been able to bend my leg to more than 90 degres and that is a struggle, just raising my leg whilst standing causes the leg to turn to the outside so to walk up stairs i have to twist my body inwards to walk straight and i can/t really tie my shoe laces unless i turn my leg to the side and put my arms to the inside of the knee,

i have seen two physios who can/t seem to help to sort out what it could be and have just started seeing another one who was recomended by one of the other physio/s because of her greater experiance,

during this time i have had a crunching feeling comeing from my outside hip area somewhere were the screws are located and you can actually hear it if it it quiet, it does/nt really hurt but if i walk for a while it feels tender ,

i saw the surgeon at one of my check ups and he decided to remove the screws ,i also told him again of my lack of movement , i have been assesed as having 0 degree of internal rotation,

he said would have a go at some manipulation when i am under anesthetic to remove the screws,

i feel i have given my leg enough time to sort itself out through pt so i really want some answers why the lack of movement,

i had my screws removed on the 3 feb , so thats 11 months later , it was a different surgeon who was doing the op so i spoke to him about the lack of movement in my leg , he explained it my be scar tissue but generally up to about 3 months you have a posibillity of doing some good but after 11 months he was doubtfull he could do very much , i pinned him down on what else it could be and what could be done in the future , there maybe the possibility of another operation to have a look inside and see what the problem is ,

on waking from the operation i did/nt see the surgeon again so was/nt sure if he had had ago of pulling my leg about , i asked one of the assistants and he said i think he did so i still didnt hold out too much hope ,

after a couple of days when the sorness had eased a bit i tried raising my leg and it came up straight ,i was/nt sure if i was imagineing it and almost did/nt want to try it again but i did and it came up straight again ,

i tried tieing my laces the next day and i could do it easily , i also have other tests that i do to see if i have better movement ,one is if i put my put my thumb on my nose and outstrech my fingers and then try to touch my knee on the same side with my little finger on that hand, i haven/t been able to do that on the operated side and at one point i was about 6 inches away , i roughly measure the distance to see if my hip is bending any better, most of the time i am about 1-2 inches away but this time i could touch it easily ,
 what the surgeon done i don/t know but i feel a real lot more positive about my ability to bend my leg , i want to get back to surfing again and i really need to bend my leg to jump to my feet ,

so in conclusion at first i felt my recovery was quick in a sense where i did/nt have a lot of pain its been excessivly slow getting back to a level of actual use , i can walk without a limp or pain but my ability to raise my leg or bend to pick things up has limited me quite a bit,

has it been worth it , i have ended up with a mom thr but i am pain free and everthing feels strong and it looks like my movement is going to get better at last so it has for me been worth it but i feel my recovery has been really slow and it still maybe several more months before everything is good,

i hope this has/nt put anyone off but it does just show how differently people recover after these procedures, it is major surgery in the end and there is a real chance that things don/t go quite according to plan, pete

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2009, 11:48:37 AM »
Hi Pete

Thank You for your post.  It is an excellent story that everyone should read.  There is always a small chance of a problem, even when you use the best surgeons in the world.  Normally, the problems are few, but sometimes as with any major surgery, there can be problems.

You have endured a great deal, but with patience and the second surgery, you are now begining to get back to a normal life.  I am glad you have more rom after your second surgery. It certainly has been a long road for you.

You story shows that we all have to be patient and deal with what we personally have to face.  You seem to have done so with a good attitude which helps.

MOM thrs are still a good solution to hip problems, but only a second choice if we can't have our hip resurfacings.

I know you are now out of pain and being active again.  I am very happy for you.

Thank You again for taking time to tell us about your surgery.  We will all remember your story and wish you well.

Please update us now and then.

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

Tekka

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2009, 01:10:11 PM »
Hey Pete

What a journey mate...wish you all the best.

Cheers

Terry
LBHR 23/01/2009 Mr Mcminn

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2009, 03:35:38 PM »
This morning I took some time and pieced together my recovery from emails that I sent out to people explaining how I was doing.  As you read you'll see I was probably between the hare and the turtle, maybe closer to the turtle.

Disclaimer:  Do not use my or any other person's recovery to gauge how your recover is going, everyone recovers at a different rate.  Many people have recovered faster than I have and many have taken longer, but guess what?  They all pretty much recovered in the end.


My recovery --- Operation date: August 6th 2008, 7:30AM
Columbia, SC  Dr. Thomas Gross, Lee Webb Assisting



Wednesday August 6th -Operation day:  Woke up from surgery, no pain at all, at 2:30 the PT people got me up and walking the hallway.  I had some nausea.  I had expected some pain but I was delighted to have zero pain.  I got asked if I wanted pain meds but I said no.

Day 1 post-op:  No pain until late in the day, had nausea from the surgery meds for the first 10-12 hours the day of the operation.  Took no pain meds until after dinner time today.  Walked the steps across from my room and walked the hallway several times.  I spent a number of hours sitting on the chair in my room.

Day 2 Friday Discharge Day:  Pain from around and under the incision, felt like a large monkey fist, this is the first day I took pain meds the whole day before I was discharged and in the evening.  We tried going out to dinner to celebrate my discharge from the hospital but I could not find a comfortable seated position.   I should have taken a pillow with me.  Ate my dinner at the hotel.

Day 3:  Pain like a bad cramp from around and under my incision, took pain meds before we left for Pittsburgh and was the passenger in our car for the first 4-5 hours, in Virgina we had a late lunch/early dinner I did not take pain meds then so I could drive 4 hours or so to get us to West Virginia where my wife took over.  At a rest stop in West Virginia my wife took over driving.  Sleeping is bad as I am not a back sleeper.

Day 4:  Pain like a bad cramp from around my incision, took pain meds when I got up, had swelling from the trip back to Pgh, elevated and iced the whole day on Sunday.  Walked around the house a lot with 2 crutches.

Day 5: Have been trying to get my leg into my own bed and I can almost drag it up myself.   I did not sleep well until last night, I slept in my own bed and was able to sleep almost the whole night, I am not a back sleeper so it's hard.  Took pain meds all day.

Day 7:  I slept on my good side and what a relief, I slept the whole night on my left side and it was the best sleep I've had in a week.  Since day 6 I've been on tylenol no need for anything stronger.  I can now put my leg in the bed by myself using my patented swing technique where I hook my bad leg with my good leg's foot.  Works like a charm.  I attended my daughters tryouts for fast pitch softball which lasted 2 hours.  I spent the time walking with my crutches.

Day 8:  I started using only one crutch today and I even dropped both crutches and walked 3 steps without any assistance, I got chicken and went back to one crutch.

Day 10: WOW!  Pain is down to a 1, my monkey fist is gone, I was told by Dr. Gross's surgical assistant that around days 9-11 is the magical time for Dr. Gross patients and she was right on.  I've tried walking without a crutch only around the house to go from my chair to the tv and back, still not real steady.  Still on one crutch.

Day  12:  Slept on both sides and what a relief, at around midnight I decided to try to roll over to my bad side and other than feeling like I am laying on a ball it feels great to sleep on my operated side.  Pain is just about all gone.

Day 13:  Walking around the house without a crutch at all for the better part of the day.  No pain, some stiffness and soreness but no pain that you can measure.  I still use a crutch outside because I am nervous of falling on an uneven surface.

Day 19:  Started going unassisted for short periods outside I can now easily get in and out of my car and blazer as my rom has really improved.

Day 22:  I am now going longer distances without any assistance whatsoever.  For my long walks I still take one crutch for insurance.  

Day 25:  Actually did some work around the outside of my house.  I used a weed whacker for about a 1/2 hour unassisted.  It was nice to be outdoors doing something without having to run to a chair every 5 minutes.

Day 28:  I have ditched my crutches, they are safely in my attic where I hope they will stay forever.

October 6th 2008.  Around 8 1/2 weeks post-op.  Played my first round of golf, was only going to play 9 holes but I continued on and I actually won the round of golf.  My golf buddies will never live down me beating the 3 of them just 8 weeks post-op.

I went back to work the first week of September, although I could have gone back probably weeks ago my classes do not restart until the beginning of Sept.

Fast forward.  I am now past the 6 month point.  I go to Bally's every Mon, Wed and Friday I do weights, I started squatting on the horizontal squat machine, I did 175# last night on the squat machine, I also do the abductor machines for inside and outside set at around 90 pounds.  I swim everyday we go to Bally's.    I still have startup stiffness but I've never had sharp pain like pre-op since the day I walked into the hospital.  My post-op pain never got worse than my worst day pre-op.  

I was someone who waited to the very end to get the surgery, I suffered for a long time before being diagnosed last February with end stage arthritis.  I am sure had I waited much longer I surely would been in a wheel chair or at very best 2 crutches just to get around.  I actually had to use crutches when the US Open was in Pgh a few years back as it was way too much walking for me then.

My advice to anyone out there, don't wait to get your life back, I gave up many things that I loved, golf, surf fishing, softball and riding my mountain bike, I was wrong, I should have gotten myself taken care of.

I now have zero limitations and this Summer I hope to play some softball, water ski and some water volleyball with my daughter and friends.  



Fast forward once again.  It's now been 1 year and almost 3 months for me, I am still doing well.  This past Summer I purchased a boat and jet skis, I got out water skiing, jet skiing, white water rafting, mountain biking and lots of water volleyball but I never got out and played on an over 50 softball team, I ended up being an assistant coach of my daughters fast pitch softball team.   

I have never regretted getting my hip done, the only regrets at this point is that I did not act more quickly.


Chuck






« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:04:35 AM by obxpelican »
Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

stevel

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2009, 05:12:47 PM »
My approach to surgery was to minimize the odds of complications, so I went to a hip resurfacing surgeon who had done over 700, trained under some of the best in the world, does enought hip resurfacing surgeries per month to remain proficient, operates at the no. 1 orthopedic hospital in the US (Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC) which also has the best rating for nursing care, has the lowest infection rate, etc.
The Rush medical study which is posted on this website examined 32/537 complications for hip resurfacing in the US.  This is 6 %.  8 femoral neck fractures were due to inexperienced Drs. (within first 10 cases).  All of these doctors were trained for hip resurfacings.  This failure rate is too high for me.  Dr. McMinn and Dr. Traecy have a 99.4 + or - % success rate.  I bumped into a woman at HSS who had her hip resurfacing revised to a ceramic THR, because her socket was placed at too steep an angle by an inexperienced surgeon in Utah who had done 6 prior surgeries.

I heard too many horror stories about complications at our local hospital and about complications about hip resurfacing surgeries on this website.

How much is an uncomplicated surgery and recovery worth, it is priceless!

Now I realize, everybody won't troop over to the top 5 or 10 hip resurfacing surgeons in the world.  The logistics aren't reasonable for some (travel distance, insurance payment, can't afford).  I just knew I could afford the best, so that's where I went and my recovery has been terrific.

Ask the prospective hip resurfacing doctor for his patient data (e.g. complications, successes).  Ask the hospital for their infection rate.  The top surgeons and hospitals have the data and will give it to you.  In fact the information is posted on some of the doctor's websites.  If they don't, go somewhere else that does!
Steve
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66

Bionic

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2009, 06:25:25 PM »
Chuck,

Your story is inspiring!  It looks like your daily updates trailed off around day 29, which suggests to me that you had recovered enough for your mind to move off of your hip and on to other things.

I can appreciate the point you make about siezing your life back.  When I tell people about my upcoming surgery I am often asked whether I am in terrible pain.  My reply is always, "Not really.  I just don't do anything anymore."  With arthritis, activity is negatively reinforced.  So life increasingly consists of sitting on one's butt.  I suppose I could keep this up indefinitely, although I guess I'd eventually need crutches or a walker.  But why should I do that when help is at hand! 
Right uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum
Feb. 11, 2009 with Dr. Thomas Gross and Lee Webb

obxpelican

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Re: Easy & Difficult Recoveries
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2009, 08:32:44 PM »
Bionic,

I hope your recovery is more like Pat's than mine, like I keep telling you, you're in good hands.

You are doing the right thing as it sounds like you were not hard headed like me, when I went in for my pre-op meeting with Lee and Dr. Gross Lee looked at me and said "Chuck, I do not know how you are able to walk now".  Dr. Gross chastised me and told me had I waited too much longer an HR would have been out of the question.

What can I say, I am stubborn and pig headed, that's me.

God's speed to you Bionic! 


Chuck
Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

 

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