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Author Topic: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19  (Read 6932 times)

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uberalan

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Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« on: February 22, 2009, 09:06:02 PM »
Hello.  I am a newbie on this board.

I am 56 years old male. I have been physically active up until about a year ago when my OA suddenly become much worse. Before then my right hip had been sore and stiff for about the last 5 years, but manageable. During that time, I was able to ski, hike and do heavy yard work and maintain a pretty rigorous workout routine of cardio 3 days/week alternating with strength training 3 days/week along with some yoga thrown in for flexibility.

However, last January, my left  hip in a matter of a couple of days became as sore and stiff as my right hip and then the right hip become progressively worse. It has been a miserable 13 months since then as we have been in the processes of moving from Washington DC area to Denver and I am practically a cripple, but I have had to push getting our old house ready for sale, then during the move and now with all the projects that come with a new home. The last couple of weeks it's about all I can do to make it through the day at work, which fortunately is a desk job . I have a terrible limp that everyone seems to want to comment on.  The only physical I activity I can muster that doesn't hurt is swimming. I have been trying to swim a mile every other day to try to stay in shape.

I went to a doctor in Virginia last February who tried to steer me toward a THR, saying the hip resurfacing (HR) was too new, unproven and required a bigger incision and longer recovery. He said he did only THR, but would refer me to another OS who did the HR, if I really wanted to pursue it. He recommended I live with the pain for as long as possible before having the THR.

Fortunately, I have a Canadian friend who had the BHR and spoke of the benefits and encouraged me to pursue the HR. So after moving to Colorado, I went to another OS I found referenced on this website who is supposedly specializes in HR's. He said I was not a good candidate for HR and thought there was only a 50% chance that he could successfully do the HR and he wouldn't know until he was in the middle of the surgery. He told me the THR was just as good and I would be able to do anything with the THR that I could do with the HR. He also said it was too risky to do both hips at the same time and suggested doing the right and then may be the left six months later. I went ahead an scheduled surgery for before Christmas. However the more I thought about it the more I didn't like the uncertainty so decided to pursue a third opinion.

I had seen posts about Dr. Gross and watched the interviews and read the online chat transcripts, so I sent my X-rays off the Dr. Gross.  To my surprise he called me and spent over 40 minutes with me on the phone. He said I was an excellent candidate and saw absolutely no problem with doing the HR. I asked him if he thought there was any chance he might have to do a THR once he cut me open and he said there was no chance of that happening. He also said we could do both hips in the same week if I wanted. After talking with Dr. Gross, I decided that it would be worthwhile to suffer the hassle of undergoing out of state surgery, so I canceled the surgery in Colorado.

I am amazed how the Dr.'s can have such radically different conclusions, but as I have read through the accounts of others I see my experience is not unique. 

I just received the insurance company pre-certification last week and I am scheduled to have my right hip done on 3/16 and the left hip done on 3/19.

Alan/Denver

Alan/Denver, CO
Dr. Gross, Biomet Magnum/Recap, Uncemented
RHR (3/16/2009) & LHR (3/19/2009)

karenj_m

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 09:33:59 PM »
Alan:
congrats on your upcoming bi-lateral surgery....and also good job on doing your research on different doctors.

It takes a special person to undergo a bi-lateral....I think of them as heros ;)

But if Dr. Gross says "yes" both hips need to be done, they rest assured they do...

There are bi-lateral stories on Pat's surfacehippy.info website under patient stories, then choose Dr. Gross.... also there are many under other docs too.

I only had my right hip done, but in my opinion, if both needed to be done...I too, would do they at the same time ...to get it over with and heal once all together.

I'm sure alot of bi-lateral folks will answer you with some tips for home recovery...but I just wanted to welcome you and wish you luck, on your journey to a painfree active life!

Karen
RH Biomet 56/50 uncemented / Dr. Gross (SC) 04/02/08

Tekka

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 09:36:34 PM »
Hi Alan,

Your story is not unusual but you have done what this site advocate's...seek the surgeon.

My first ortho appointment nearly sent me into shock, I broke my left femur 24 years ago and this surgeon was going to re-break my femur, rotate it twenty degrees and pin and plate it, but would not guarantee a HR...but the chances are it would be a MOM THR.

Like you I investigated further with the help of this site and found my surgeon...I am thirty days post op and going well.

Good luck mate and my thoughts will be with you, keep us all posted with your build up.

Terry
LBHR 23/01/2009 Mr Mcminn

nwugrad

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 01:58:49 AM »
Allen,

I am a 54 y.o. male who just had a bi lat resurfacing by Dr. Su on 1/29.  I have my first check up tomorrow.  I had both hips done in one procedure which took almost 3 1/2 hrs.  Dr. Su said that my hips were some of the worst he's ever seen due to frazzled nerve endings, osteophytes and bone chips floating in the joints.  Despite this the experience has been very positive and encouraging.  I've had 24 hrs of PT already and spend 40 minutes on the stationary bike regularly.  I can say my pain level has never been more than 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 - 10.  I am down to about 4 extra strength tylenol per day and began driving already. 

I would definitely do both hips together if you have the opportunity.  The recovery frankly is not bad at all.  Clearly, less trouble and easier on the body and psyche than two  separate procedures.  I guess a few day a part will be fine.  Why does Dr. Gross do them on separate days?  While getting in and out of bed may be slightly  harder for the first two days the recovery from a bi lat otherwise is not that bad with a little effort on your part and some time. 

My thoughts are that the pain killers and their side effects are the worst part of the experience. I do not advocate pain as I didn't have very much.  But if your pain is under control clear your body of them.
When I first increased the time b/t Percoset doses I had very annoying head aches and felt tired.  This only convinced me that I had to get the Percoset out of my  system.  I took them on heavy PT days, when I had 3hrs of PT per day for 7 days.  Then I got off. 

I am sure you'll say why didn't I do this sooner like the rest of us said.

Best of Luck!

wayne-0

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 03:19:13 AM »
Hey Alan,
I too am a bi-lat and if I had to do it over I would do them at the same time again. The first few days getting out of bed was the hardest part but it wasn't that bad. Once I was on my feet I had no problems walking or anything( actually it felt good to get to my feet and walk even the day after surgery). The first two days I had an epidural and after that they gave me an oxycotin( which I took one and told them no more cause I hated that weird feeling). From that day I only took tylenol for maybe two weeks.Before surgery I had a bad limp, and pain 24/7. I woke up from surgery completly pain free and 3  1/2 months later continue to be pain free ;D. I believe you will be in very good hands with Dr. Gross and every minute of travel hassel will be worth having a Dr. of his caliber to perform the miracle of hip resurfacing on your body.Good luck and you will be amazed at the outcome.

Wayne
11-7-08  Bilat/Dr.Ball/ASR

uberalan

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 04:50:29 AM »
Karen,

I have enjoyed reading your posts about your experience with Dr. Gross.  I feel fortunate that I lucked out in getting hooked up with him rather than just trusting in the local doc here.  Did you have any concerns over how you would have handled it if complications arose after you returned home?



Terry,

Thanks for the good wishes and thoughts cast my direction. I plan to document my experience with posts on this site.  I wish you a continued speedy recovery.



nwugrad,

Thanks for sharing your recovery.  You are making tremendous progress.  I share your same opinion about the drugs.  I had been on declofenac since canceling my first surgery in December.  I thought it would make life a little easier to endure until the surgery in March and it helped tremendously, but I started seeing some bad side effects with my digestive track, so quit a couple of weeks ago.  I needed to stop two weeks before the surgery anyway, but I would rather have joint pain than a hole in my stomach.  The first won't kill you, but the latter can.  I have enjoyed reading your post about your recovery.  I am not sure why Dr. Gross spaces them out a couple of days apart, but I am sure he has a good reason as everything in his protocol seems well thought out.  It sounds like you had a great doc in Dr. Su and your bilat couldn't have gone any better.



Wayne,

Thanks for your comments.  I hope I can copy your experience with being pain free.  How long was it before you felt you were walking normally?  The first few days are one of my main concerns, being able to cope with getting in/out of bed and going to the bath room with both hips sore.  Of course, even if I just have one done, the other will still be sore from arthritis instead of the incision!  Sounds like the surgery brings almost instant relief form the bone on bone pain.  And I guess the amount of pain med given for one hip will cover the pain from the other so I should feel good about the efficiency.

T minus 21 days and counting

Alan/Denver
Alan/Denver, CO
Dr. Gross, Biomet Magnum/Recap, Uncemented
RHR (3/16/2009) & LHR (3/19/2009)

nwugrad

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 05:05:57 AM »
Alan,

I wouldn't worry too much about the first few days.  In a day or two you'll learn the technique and gain the coordination to get in and out of bed.  Meanwhile, the hospital staff will help.  Hopefully, you'll have a similar experience as I did  pain wise.  The pain as you know it now will be gone.  You may experience some discomfort from the incision and swelling but I think you'll be pleasantly surprise and happy about the trade off. 

Just remember your anxiety is worse than the reality.  You'll be much more comfortable and happy on the other side. 

Best wishes!

wayne-0

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 06:33:24 AM »
Alan,
I was walking with a cane on day 17 post op and by three and a half weeks I could get around pretty well with no asistance(cane).By week 6 i felt like i was walking really well and normal.That bone on bone pain was completly gone the moment i woke up from surgery.The first five days were the hardest for me, getting out of bed takes alot of arm strenght but every day would get a little easier and easier.One tip, if you can do pull ups or some exercise to make your arms a little stronger before surgery that will help with the first few days.Good luck.

Wayne
11-7-08  Bilat/Dr.Ball/ASR

Bionic

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 02:37:18 PM »
Hey Uberalan,

I am a "Gross Hippy," not quite 2 weeks post-op.  I had my right hip done.  Regarding anesthesia, I recommend you take all your pain meds in the beginning.  It is really important to do this to enable you to get on your feet after surgery.  You want to be mobile as quickly as possible.  This helps to prevent blood clots and also accelerates your recovery by beginning to train your muscles and other tissues to the new configuration.

The only issue I had with anesthesia was that the spinal caused my blood pressure to drop whenever I stood up.  This resolved itself after 1 day.  The pain meds that I took after surgery caused me no problems whatsoever.

This is major surgery.  The pain meds will allow you to breeze through it.  Without them, you'll be in a world of hurt.

Regarding the timing of your bilateral, I recommend following Dr. Gross's recommendations.  The problem with your hips after surgery won't just be pain (which can be well managed) but also stability.  With muscles, tendons, and ligaments cut, your joints simply won't work right for several weeks.  For example, I am pain-free now, but my hip abductors are still too weak to allow me to walk without a cane.  I can't balance on my operated foot without leaning way over to the side.

I don't know how far gone your hips are, but my arthritic hip, although painful, was still much more stable than my operated hip is now.

Spacing your surgeries a few weeks apart would give one hip a good chance to recover nearly full function before the other one is taken down.  It makes a lot of sense to do it this way if you can tolerate the down time.  It will make your recovery much easier as well. 

But it really depends on how bad your least arthritic hip is.  If you can't rely on it to hold all your weight, then maybe having them both done at the same time (or within a few days of each other) is the better approach.

Keep in mind also that you'll be on strong pain meds after surgery.  If you have one hip done at a time, your unoperated arthritic hip is likely to feel a whole lot better simply because it's well medicated.  You might be able to get much more use out of it than you could under normal circumstances. 
Right uncemented Biomet Recap/Magnum
Feb. 11, 2009 with Dr. Thomas Gross and Lee Webb

Todd

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 02:40:42 PM »
Allan,

You've had a similar road travelled by many of us who got some biased opinions on THR vs. HR.  Good job searching out the best option!  I'm 6 weeks post op for my left hip, and will have my right done later this spring.  I chose to do one at a time as I can still get around, and wanted a steady leg to stand on so to speak.  My pain post op was a 1 or 2.  Every day post op was an improvment, and I'm certainly on track to have an active life once again.  I like to measure my new hip with my bad hip and it is amazing to see the increased rom and lack of pain with the new hip compared to the bad one.  You will soon be telling your story as it unfolds...I look forward to hearing all the happy details!  Good Luck.
todd
Todd  LBHR, Dr. David Palmer 1/7/09; RBHR 5/6/09 St. Croix Orthopedics, Stillwater, MN

karenj_m

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 08:58:38 PM »
Alan:
Dr. Gross has it all down to a science...even for out of state folks.

They will have you go see a local doc for updated xrays at 6 weeks, and a PT evaluation of specific movements too.

I had a very bad muscle spasm (probably from the leg getting twisted into dislocation) on the outer part of my knee around the 3-4th day after getting home...I called Nancy Smith and boom...she called my pharmacy with a muscle relaxor prescription.

Nobody (local docs) should touch you unless you have first contacted Dr. Gross...they are always available...should you have any problems.

Just make sure to listen to your body, DO your phase I exercises and move about when allowed to make sure to avoid any issues of clotting...you will have to get little baby shots in the tummy. I think its for 10 days.

Oh...you can get all the prescriptions before hand and fill them so you take with you the meds you would need while in -transit...then the rest is waiting at home.

Most of all Be patient with yourself...this is MAJOR surgery, even though you will feel great...Let your body heal. One leg may do better than the other too, or both may heal the same.

We're all here for you...
Karen
RH Biomet 56/50 uncemented / Dr. Gross (SC) 04/02/08

uberalan

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 04:45:40 AM »
Bionic,

I have been reading you bone blog with interest and you are having a great recovery.  You made some great points about having the staggered bilat.  Dr. Gross actually suggested doing them both during the same visit.  I could go either way, but am leaning (bad pun) toward having them at the same time the more I have thought about it.

My right is sorer than my left, but they hurt about the same.  I have a pretty demanding job as a project manager, managing multiple projects and there is never a good break between projects.  I told my boss today that I was going to have my surgery and may be off as long as six weeks and it was a very long uncomfortable silence.  I am afraid if I get one fixed and find that I can "manage" (although not being pain free or fully restored), I may put off getting the left fixed until I am crippled again.  My wife is a school teacher and it is really hard for her to get away.  She is taking all her PTO the week before her spring break to be with me in SC and then by my nurse the following week.  The thought of being "fully restored" in 6 to 9 months despite more pain initially and a longer recovery is more appealing than the thought of being just have "half restored", still living with continuous pain for the next six months and still facing another surgery and recovery.

Alan




Regarding the timing of your bilateral, I recommend following Dr. Gross's recommendations.  The problem with your hips after surgery won't just be pain (which can be well managed) but also stability.  With muscles, tendons, and ligaments cut, your joints simply won't work right for several weeks.  For example, I am pain-free now, but my hip abductors are still too weak to allow me to walk without a cane.  I can't balance on my operated foot without leaning way over to the side.

I don't know how far gone your hips are, but my arthritic hip, although painful, was still much more stable than my operated hip is now.

Spacing your surgeries a few weeks apart would give one hip a good chance to recover nearly full function before the other one is taken down.  It makes a lot of sense to do it this way if you can tolerate the down time.  It will make your recovery much easier as well. 

But it really depends on how bad your least arthritic hip is.  If you can't rely on it to hold all your weight, then maybe having them both done at the same time (or within a few days of each other) is the better approach.

Alan/Denver, CO
Dr. Gross, Biomet Magnum/Recap, Uncemented
RHR (3/16/2009) & LHR (3/19/2009)

uberalan

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 04:49:02 AM »
Todd,

I have been reading about your surgery and recovery.  I wish you a continued speedy recovery.  Did you have to travel very far to have your surgery?

Alan


Allan,

You've had a similar road travelled by many of us who got some biased opinions on THR vs. HR.  Good job searching out the best option!  I'm 6 weeks post op for my left hip, and will have my right done later this spring.  I chose to do one at a time as I can still get around, and wanted a steady leg to stand on so to speak.  My pain post op was a 1 or 2.  Every day post op was an improvment, and I'm certainly on track to have an active life once again.  I like to measure my new hip with my bad hip and it is amazing to see the increased rom and lack of pain with the new hip compared to the bad one.  You will soon be telling your story as it unfolds...I look forward to hearing all the happy details!  Good Luck.
todd
Alan/Denver, CO
Dr. Gross, Biomet Magnum/Recap, Uncemented
RHR (3/16/2009) & LHR (3/19/2009)

uberalan

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 04:52:20 AM »
Karen,

Good sage advice.  Thanks. 

Speaking of prescritions:  In reading the post the surfacehippy web site, have you seen anyone having problems of having prescriptions filled by an out of state Dr.?

Alan




Alan:
Dr. Gross has it all down to a science...even for out of state folks.

They will have you go see a local doc for updated xrays at 6 weeks, and a PT evaluation of specific movements too.

I had a very bad muscle spasm (probably from the leg getting twisted into dislocation) on the outer part of my knee around the 3-4th day after getting home...I called Nancy Smith and boom...she called my pharmacy with a muscle relaxor prescription.

Nobody (local docs) should touch you unless you have first contacted Dr. Gross...they are always available...should you have any problems.

Just make sure to listen to your body, DO your phase I exercises and move about when allowed to make sure to avoid any issues of clotting...you will have to get little baby shots in the tummy. I think its for 10 days.

Oh...you can get all the prescriptions before hand and fill them so you take with you the meds you would need while in -transit...then the rest is waiting at home.

Most of all Be patient with yourself...this is MAJOR surgery, even though you will feel great...Let your body heal. One leg may do better than the other too, or both may heal the same.

We're all here for you...

Alan/Denver, CO
Dr. Gross, Biomet Magnum/Recap, Uncemented
RHR (3/16/2009) & LHR (3/19/2009)

karenj_m

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2009, 12:50:01 PM »
No problems with prescriptions from SC to where you live....

Have Nancy Smith FAX the prescriptions to you, then just take them to your pharmacy....

Karen
RH Biomet 56/50 uncemented / Dr. Gross (SC) 04/02/08

Todd

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2009, 02:17:27 PM »
Allan,

Fortunately I live only 2.5 hrs from a fantastic surgeon in the Twin Cities (MN).  I was #4 of 6 HR that he performed that day.  I figured he got warmed up in the morning session, re-energized with lunch, and got to me before the afternoon dulldrums set in.  Good timing!  I'll try to hold the same position for my other hip! 

Todd  LBHR, Dr. David Palmer 1/7/09; RBHR 5/6/09 St. Croix Orthopedics, Stillwater, MN

landaq007

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Re: Bilat Surgery Scheduled with Dr. Gross for 3/16 and 3/19
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2009, 11:19:29 PM »
Alan,
Today (2-24-09) I am 20 days post op from my bilateral with Dr. Gross. Yesterday was my first long walk without the cane. I walked about 1/2 mile without using the cane.  I walked the same route today without the cane and my pace was a bit faster.  I am very happy with the results from Dr. Gross.  I should have my story up here before too long. 
 
- Tim   
Bilateral - Dr. Gross
2/2/09 (R)
2/4/09 (L)
Biomet ReCap/Magnum Uncemented

 

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