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Author Topic: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)  (Read 7380 times)

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wesinator

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Hello, I am a 37 year old former (and hopefully again in the future) athlete who recently had my right hip resurfaced with Dr. Gross in Columbia, SC, having traveled from my home in Charleston, WV for the procedure.  My story and this information is for those who are scheduled for or may be considering the procedure, I would like to pass along as much information and personal experience  as possible for your benefit, as so many others have done on this wonderful website.

Would like to first summarize that so far I am completely satisfied and recommend the procedure 100%.  Also, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Gross and his wonderful practice.  

As of today, Aug 15th, 2009, I am almost to the 5 week mark post-op.  From the moment I woke up from the surgery, I have not had any pain in my hip more than what feels like a muscle stretching or general tightness / stiffness.  There is no trace of arthritic or bone pain.  I’m not sure I had any expectiations either way, as I read lots of stories both ways - people that had problems and those that sailed through.  It is hard to believe that there could be no pain, not with all the wrenching around that goes on in there.  Dr Gross has videos on his website showing the procedure (ha, I couldn’t bring myself to watch them until AFTER the surgery) - your hip is sliced through, dislocated, and then subjected to medieval torture devices and power tools!  How can that not hurt later?  But, for me, it doesn’t.

I have to say, I was feeling very sketchy in the pre-op room where they start to work on you.  Needles and pills everywhere, people coming and going, doing weird things to me.  And then, wheeled into the operating room.  Just like on TV, with everybody in masks, and the overhead light the size of one of those old satellite dishes.  I don’t remember much, but even in a sedated mode, it was scary.  Then that’s it – I was out.  I have heard they ask you to count or whatever, but as far as I can remember, they snuck up on me.

The first 24 hours after surgery were the hardest, but even that was not too bad.  Even had it been worse, there’s not a lot of remembering due to the pain meds and the lingering sedation.  I was told Dr. Gross does five surgeries a day, twice a week.  Mine was on a Monday, at 9 am.  That made me second in line that day.  In my mind, that was great - that way he got to wake up and practice on someone else before hacking on me (ha).  Seriously, though, I wonder about these things.  Doctors are people too, I want them to have their A game when it’s me under there.  That was really my only question during my one and only office visit – “hey, Doc, you’re not going to go out and get wasted the night before my surgery, right?”  He said he wouldn’t, just for me.  Sweet.

Speaking of pain meds, they gave me vicodin that first day and I think I took my prescription two or two and a half more days after that.  As I said, there never was any real pain from the surgery, but they kept saying “stay on top of the pain, if you get behind, it’s harder to catch up”.  Well, at that time, I didn’t know if some big pain wave was coming or not, so I took the meds.  I really don’t think I needed it.  Hard to tell.  The only thing that hurt was when they took the catheter out on the day after surgery.  That was bad.  Sort of like a vacuum cleaner hose had been up there all along, and got removed along with the catheter hose.  There was this weird suction feeling along with the discomfort.  

A physical therapist (PT) came and helped me walk that 1st afternoon of my surgery (a mere few hours after the surgery!).  The walk was with crutches, but the crutches were for balance, not to take weight off the hip.  I have read that they want you to put weight on the hip to help press-fit the devices into their respective slots.  The most difficult part was keeping balance considering the lingering sedation.  Mostly, though, I just laid there in the bed.  The PT also said to keep moving my feet and legs.  She gave some prescribed motions to do.

Providence Northeast Hospital is 1st class.  Everyone that I came in contact with there was super.  Also the food was not too bad.  The hospital is yet part of Dr. Gross’s well-established system that is wonderful.

I was told to plan for two nights in the hospital, but it ended up only being one. That first night sucked.  The main reason is that it was hard to sleep with the O2 / heart monitor beeping all the time and the nurse coming in every two hours.  Also, my heart rate kept going down too low, which would set off an alarm.  I don’t know what was worse, the alarm, or me wondering how bad it is to have a heartbeat low enough to set off the alarm.  The low heartbeat was surmised to be me being in relatively good cardiovascular shape, along with lingering sedation effects.  I still hardly slept at all.

At the consultation appointment prior to surgery, they asked (made?) me to buy this cold pack machine that is basically a little igloo cooler filled with ice water, attached to a pump, some hoses, and a bandage.  I mention this because had I known it was going to cost so much out of pocket for the thing, I could have purchased one on eBay, brought it with me, and saved some $$.  But I wasn’t aware I would need this prior to the surgery and therefore didn’t know to ask if I could have brought my own.  Anyway, cold water circulates through the bandage.  I was told to bring it to the hospital.  After the surgery, they kept it on my hip and leg, circulating cold water constantly.  When I left the hospital, it was sent with me, and I used it every 2 hours or so, including in the car on the way home.  I think that was a big help to my quick recovery, by minimizing the swelling.  I have read about people with bad swelling problems; I had none.

The next day, Dr. Gross stopped by my hospital room.  He asked a few questions, and advised that I could leave later that day.  I was all for that.  Also, a PT came by and explained some of the disabled person tools like the sock put-on device, followed by another walk.  I was able to stand and take a shower.  I got a little dizzy in there, which I believe was due to the heat and lingering sedation and pain meds.  Fearing possible fainting, I had to get out and sit on the toilet.  Later that afternoon, I was discharged from the hospital.  They make you ride a wheel chair out, but I could have definitely crutched out on my own power.

The second night, which was in a hotel, also sucked.  The main problem was the whole sleeping on your back thing.  The main mode of sleeping the first few nights is on your back with a pillow between your legs.  You are allowed to turn over on either side, as long as the pillow stays between your legs.  Well obviously, I wasn’t going to lie on the operated side, and while lying on the good side, I was not confident in the ability of the operated side/leg to stay under control.  That leaves the back-lying position.  There’s only so long you can stay in one position before muscles get tight, and general discomfort sets in.  It was not a good night.  In general, the confidence of sleeping on the good side grew, and by 7-10 days, I was in a routine of moving from back sleeping to the good side every 1-3 hours, with good sleep in between.  It helped me to sleep in a recliner for a day or two before moving to my regular bed.  One other thing that surprised me was that I had to pee every 1-3 hours through out the night.  I surmise that it was a side effect of the catheter.  That very slowly went away up through the 3 week mark.

Wanted to mention that that 2nd night I had a fever that got up to 101.  I was somewhat nervous about that.  It’s hard to know in the moment if it’s just temporary (it was), or if it’s going to get worse.  Make sure you have a thermometer with you.

On the 3rd day post-op, my wife drove me and our 2 year old daughter on the 6 hour drive back to WV.  We have a CR-V, and I sat in the back seat with the front passenger seat reclined all the way back to give my legs room to stretch out.  Could definitely have made it sitting in the front, it was just even better back there.  The ice pack has a hand pump bulb thing, which I used to keep the cold circulating on my hip and leg. We stopped 2-3 times so I could get out and walk.

My walking progressed roughly as follows:
1->4 days - walking with crutches
5->20 days – walking with a cane or one crutch.  Towards the end of that period, walked with a limp when not using the cane.
21 days -> now (34 days).  Walking fine with zero assistance.  Limp is almost completely gone.

Again, it seems crazy to me to walk, unassisted, with no limp, so soon.  Most of the time, I have to keep reminding myself that I recently had hip surgery, lest I do too much too soon and risk damage to it.  And really, my belief is that it would be hard to damage it, but I’m sure not going to chance it.  Like on the stairs.  I could walk up the stairs normally with no problems by 21 days. I catch myself taking two at a time on the way up (including with the operated leg!), like I used to do before the surgery, and have to slow down, since, who knows, that might not be good for it.  Definitely one of the best gifts of the procedure is the “not-thinking-about-my-hip” mindset it allows, in contrast to before, where the pain when I walked consumed my attention.

Some background on my situation and events leading up to my resurfacing:

I am a former college basketball player, and have enjoyed continually playing basketball at a fairly high level up until this spring; when my hip pain finally forced me to stop.  It began around 5 years ago as an occasional snap or click in there, and gradually progressed through tightness and stiffness to a slight limp in the past 2-3 years (people would ask “why are you limping?”, and I didn’t even realize I was).  Couldn’t pinpoint  what it was, but last spring I knew something was really wrong.  An X-ray showed “severe degenerative changes” (loss of spacing superiorly, osteophytosis), basically arthritis.  There’s not much positive in those adjectives “severe” and “degenerative”.  Was pretty crushed by that news.

Began my research on problems of the hip.  Purchased a couple of books and eventually found Surface Hippy.  Visited a recommended orthopedic surgeon here in Charleston, WV.  He diagnosed arthritis caused by congenital (birth defect) hip dysplasia in both hips and recommended a total hip replacement in the really bad one, noting that the other one will require one in the future.  There’s another 30-something-year-old guy in my office with one of those and he’s not allowed to run on it.  I mentioned hip resurfacing to this surgeon and he noted that he didn’t recommend it due to risk of femoral fracture and un-proven track record.  OK, well, I have to think about this.

Was able to play basketball this past winter.  Would basically take my daily Celebrex and supplement it with two ibuprofen before going out to play.  By March, people were feeling sorry for me and saying I should stop.  I would limp-run up and down the court.  The weird thing was though, is that when I quit for good in April, it REALLY got bad.  It went from a manageable limp in April to a “I can barely walk 2 blocks” severe limp by May.  It was like the running and exercise had been keeping it loose.  Got a cane; it was the only way I could get from my cubicle to the bathroom.  Weirdly, though, I could still play golf.  Would ride the cart up to my ball, cane my way the rest of the way, and then hit the ball.  Lost 2-3 clubs worth of distance (due to not being able to push off with my right hip), but oddly, it didn’t hurt my scoring.  I theorize that I was now playing old man golf, where it’s hard to lose any balls if you can’t hit it far enough to get into trouble, ha!

Meanwhile, the more I researched re-surfacing, the more it was crystal-clear obvious that it was the thing for me.  Active, young, good-looking (oh, well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad).  It seems utterly ridiculous to cut off the top of your femur when there are other alternatives.  There are so many other benefits, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably already educated as to those, so no wasting time re-preaching.  How could I find out if there were any few orthopedic surgeons in this area that would do resurfacing?  Call each and ask? I don’t know, I guess I could have done that.  Found one that was on the Birmingham Hip website and visited him.  He had only done 8 procedures.  I believe it is important to have someone with lots of experience at this.   That’s one thing that is so incredibly helpful about Surfacehippy - the doctor experience data.  I cross referenced my insurance coverage with doctors that had significant experience (at least 100 procedures) within a 2 state radius and that gave me a manageable list to choose from.  Ended up going for the high end of experience, which was Dr. Gross, and believe that was the very best choice I could have made.  Will not hesitate to return to him when my other hip gives out.  Definitely hope it is later rather than sooner, but I now have no fear what-so-ever about the procedure.

Wanted to also share some information about the financial end of things.  Below is what I have experienced so far.  I have Aetna Open Access (EPO) insurance.

1.  At the doctor’s office prior to my surgery, they suggested I buy the below items, but I am unsure whether I could have refused at the time:
a.   Crutches (insurance doesn’t pay for all of it)  ~$15 copay with my insurance (you can bring your own if you have them, eliminating the need to purchase in the office)
b.   Disabled person care package (grabber thing, long shoe horn, sock putter-on thing, and long sponge on a stick)  $60
c.   Polar ice pack.  Mine was a Polar Care 300 model manufacturered by the Breg Company.  It was $250 in the doctor’s office.  The reason I list it here is that these are on sale on Ebay for $70-$100.  I would have bought mine there if I would have known.

2.  Dr. Gross’s office requires a pre-payment of $1,200 which is for having a Nurse Practitioner present during the surgery; they said most insurance companies wouldn’t cover that.  I paid that, and am still not sure if my insurance will cover that or not. There is also a prepayment of $1,000 for some people, if their insurance won’t cover “minimally invasive technique”.  I did not have to pay that one.

3.  So far, my insurance website says they’ve been billed a little over $51K.  Thank goodness for insurance, right?! That is definitely a lot of money, but to me, it would have been worth paying whatever.

In closing, I am less psyched about getting back on the basketball court than I was before the surgery.  It may have something to do with the thrill of just walking painfree being plenty of satisfying exercise at the moment;  also it’s summertime and golf season.  Speaking of golf, I got the OK from Dr Gross’s office to return to the links at about the 5 week mark, so that will keep me busy until winter.  Knowing myself I’ll be back on that court, though.  Sweet!

That’s all I have as of now, best of luck to you with your decision, and your surgery.  You are on the right path!  
« Last Edit: August 18, 2009, 02:25:46 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

Tommy

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Thanks for shareing your story wes I enjoyed reading it and I'm sure It will help others in the future.
                                           
                                     Tommy                                                                 
Dr Tupper  LBHR  6/02/09
Oklahoma

MarilynRS

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Hi Wes,

I enjoyed reading your post ...   another wonderful story.  Congratulations!

AND I was there right at the same time, but did not get to meet you.  I was at 11 am-ish, so probably number 3 for the morning after you.  Yes, I was hoping Dr. Gross was still feeling fresh -- but actually more concerned about 7/15 when I was scheduled last, about 3:30 pm !   That's why I didn't get to meet you, because you headed out Tuesday I guess.  I got up to walk that morning, but only met two other patients who were also there.  The other guy was jubilant, having just pee-ed so that he could take off that afternoon as well.  :)

I was just feeling so amazed at how strong my first hip felt as I was walking in contrast to the yet-to-be-done hip.  I also can forget about my hips now, which is absolutely amazing.

I agree --- I would have purchased the polar pack(s) ahead had I known about them.  I had to spend $500 which was a surprise -- luckily my credit card was handy, but I'm a fan of Ebay, etc. 

I got my raised toilet seat on Ebay for $0.99 and had it shipped to SC, because I chose to stay and recuperate for a week in SC at a beach house (instead of flying back immediately to Oregon, a 14+ hour flight itinerary).  I was lucky because my husband had found awesome elbow crutches at our local Goodwill for only $1.50 about a month before my surgery time, and I was able to fly to SC with them and save that expense.

The best to you as you as you continue your recovery!  Marilyn
Grateful !  U/c with Dr. Gross
L: 07/13/09 and R: 07/15/09

wesinator

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Hi Marilyn,

Glad to hear you’re doing well.  I would love to hear your whole story if it is available (?).  My wife thinks she noticed your family in the waiting room as you were getting prepped.  Also, if you were at a beach house, it was maybe Hilton Head or Charleston, SC?  We went to Charleston on the preceding weekend for two nights.  Beautiful area.

That is neat that we were back-to-back.  Weird how they’ve got sort of an assembly line system going, huh?  But, perhaps you’ll agree it didn’t feel like being part of an assembly line.  Felt like I was treated special, as they probably make everyone feel.  It seemed to me that the hospital was very uncrowded, and things were unrushed.  Again, it was an ideal place.

Regarding the ice pack machine, some people call me cheap, but I take it as a compliment – waste not, want not, right?  It does strike me as funny to try to save a hundred dollars on a $50K procedure.  But, that’s me.  

Since you are a bilateral, I assume both your hips were real bad.  But I thought I would share one more item of my experience on this forum regarding the subject that may benefit someone.  My other (good) hip is close to bone on bone, and will require replacement.  The only question is when, as it doesn’t hurt (yet), just clicks and snaps occasionally.   Before having the surgery, and not knowing what the recovery is like (I assumed it would be much worse and much more limiting), I contemplated requesting that both be done.  Talked to Dr. Gross about this, wondering if it might be better to do a “pre-emptive” on the other hip in order to only have one recovery period (and the accompanying disruption of life, taking off work, etc) rather than go through the whole thing twice.  He advised to be conservative, and not do it.  Obviously, I followed his advice and in hindsight can now see even more how right he was.  The reason is that (at least for me, and not counting the first few days) the recovery is so easy, that it would be no sweat to do it again.  Also, I have to imagine that it would be somewhat harder doing some things (getting in and out of the car, walking up stairs, sleeping on your side, etc) with both hips having been done, at least initially.  Finally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the time off work, and look forward to doing that again someday (ha - later, rather than sooner).

Take care and best of luck for a complete recovery!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 03:25:40 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

stevel

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Hi Wes,

I enjoyed reading your story.  A friend had his hip replaced several years ago and he stills plays basketball.  He is about 55 years old and is aware a conventional THR may wear out from running up and down the court but is prepared to have a revision at age 70.  I've seen a 70 year plus downhill skier whiz past me with bilateral conventional THR's.  He accepts a once-a-year dislocation to continue to ski.  These guys are not professional athletes or even semi-pro athletes but they sure love their sport.

I was scheduled for a 1 PM surgery which was moved up due to a cancellation.  According to his office assistant, Dr. Su does 55-60 surgeries per month (knee and hip).

I am frugal or thrifty or not wasteful, like you.  I went to the mortuary/cemetery for a free picnic last Saturday.  Nobody tried to sell me advance funeral arrangements and a plot although I picked up the handout. ;D  Now if I can only find a date who wants to go to such events.  I paid $500/nite (out-of-pocket) for a two bedroom suite at the Belaire Guest Facilities linked by skybridge to the Hospital for Special Surgery for 10 nights, but it was worth it since my two sisters stayed there and visited me twice a day at the hospital.  They were tourists in New York during my stay.
Steve
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66

wesinator

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Hi Steve,

Regarding passion (craziness?) for sports...  I've noticed as the years go by, more and more friends and other players have dropped out due to injuries, both repetitive and major.  As far as basketball, I've become one of the old guys out there.  When I went out with my hip,  the remaining old guys were probably like, "well there goes another one".  What they don't realize is, just like the Terminator: "I'll be back"!  Sweet.

Best Regards,
Wes



« Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 03:43:47 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

MarilynRS

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 :)  Hi Wes,  My kids said today that they remember your wife in the waiting room and that she was really nice!

I wish I could remember more about the moments before surgery, because my children had brought on a PSP the song "The Final Countdown" for me.  It had been a family countdown for a couple of months, with everyone getting more excited about mama's new hips to come.  Then we flew, did the Friday pre-op, spent the weekend in Charleston, and Monday morning was it.... the final countdown.  It seems like I just slid away too easily into oblivion, but they tell me they were playing the song for me as I was being wheeled away and that I was awake and smiling, and that I waved as I was going through the doors to the OR.  I just don't remember!   

We enjoyed the beach about 1.5 hours north of Charleston the following week, and it was a great place -- so flat and even on the street!  -- to walk those first days out.  I had stairs for therapy at the start and finish of every walk too, because beach houses are elevated.  I had been a bit worried about that, but it was not a problem.  From the first day walking with my bilaterals, I was stronger and more stable on stairs than I had been pre-surgery (yes, I waited a long time).  There is/was no question that simultaneous surgeries was the only option that made sense.  There was no such thing as a "stronger leg" in my case.  Instantly that situation changed with two stable, strong-feeling hips.  I couldn't believe it!  It was as if my bearings were tightened up and all the wobbles taken out.  (My husband jokes that they are my "carrier bearings on my rear end" or that my "bottom end got rebuilt.")

It's a great thing.  :)  Good night for now,  Marilyn
Grateful !  U/c with Dr. Gross
L: 07/13/09 and R: 07/15/09

bigblue

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 06:32:13 PM »
Hey Wes, this is my first time posting but I have lurked for quite a while and this website was a god send for me. I live in Williamson and on Aug. 20, 2008 I had a HR done by Dr. Gross. I just had my 1yr. checkup and everything was fine. My wife was a nurse for 32 years and she said that Dr. Gross was one of the most impressive doctors she had ever met. It is amazing that you do not realize how bad you are until after the surgery and how much better you feel. Do what the doctor says and you will be as good as new. I also want to thank Pat for this website because without it I probably would have had a THR because like many I would not have known about HR.

Pat Walter

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 06:40:42 PM »
Hi Big Blue

Welcome to Hip Talk.  Great to hear you are doing well at 1 year post op.  Dr. Gross and Lee Webb are really wonderful people and a great team.

Glad to have you aboard.  If you want to write a little story about your surgery, recovery and happy life ever after - I would be happy to post it on the Hip Stories section of the main website.  Also happy to post anyone else's stories too if you send them to me   pwalter@surfacehippy.info

Good Luck.

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

obxpelican

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 12:04:35 AM »
So so many people say what a great doc Dr. Gross is.  He's the kind of doctor that does not stand with his hand on the door handle wanting to leave as soon as you pause long enough for him to find a way out.

On my one year checkup a few weeks ago I was full of questions and he sat with me and answered everyone of them.  Dr. Gross is also very optimistic that his uncemented hips will be buried with us.  I hope he is correct with his optimism.


Chuck



My wife was a nurse for 32 years and she said that Dr. Gross was one of the most impressive doctors she had ever met.

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

wesinator

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 02:46:42 AM »
Big Blue,

Glad to hear you are doing good, and that you felt compelled to share on the website.  I have often felt like I've only benefitted from other's experiences on this (and other websites), and had long wanted to be a contributor as well.  "Spreading the word" about this procedure finally gave me a good cause to come out of my shell and start adding to the pool of knowledge.  Looks like this may be the case with you, as well.

Best of luck,
Wes
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

MarilynRS

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 09:51:52 AM »
Hi Wes -- How are you doing on your 7-week "hip" birthday?  Can you believe we're already that old??!!  :)  Marilyn
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 10:27:16 AM by MarilynRS »
Grateful !  U/c with Dr. Gross
L: 07/13/09 and R: 07/15/09

wesinator

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2009, 01:18:04 AM »
Hi Marilyn,
Doing great.  Its been 8 weeks now, and hip and leg strength continue to improve over time.  I told someone recently that I feel like I could start playing basketball again right now, that’s how good my hip feels.  I’m not going to though, not yet… keeping in mind Dr Gross’s 6 month no impact sports rule.
Have been back playing golf for 2-3 weeks.  No problems with that what-so-ever doing golf (hip problems, that is – I still have the lack of skill problem, ha)
I've noticed that many people’s posts tail off after a few months, and postulate that is because their old life comes back to them (i.e. no longer consumed by hip pain), and they’re too busy living it to worry about surface hippy, right ? – all to the good!
Questions for you:
1. How are you doing?
2. Often without thinking about it, I have been bending over way past 90 degrees, like to stretch, tie my shoes, etc.  It doesn’t hurt, but it’s against the rules.  What has been your experience with the bending limitations?
Sincerely,
Wes
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 01:23:42 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

bigblue

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 08:15:43 PM »
Glad you are doing well Wes. I think you should be very careful about the 90 deg. rule. Bending that far puts a lot of stress on the femoral head and until it is past 6 months there is still a chance of fracture. I know how you feel about being able to do a lot of things but it is still better to follow all the protocols to insure proper healing.

MarilynRS

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 05:30:40 AM »
Hi Wes ---  I think you're exactly right....  posts trail off as people are getting back to living their lives and are less consumed and concerned with their hips....  that or getting back into the swing of school with children, as I have been with my 3.   

Overall things are going well.  I also am wondering about the bending.  We are now past the 6 weeks and the 90-degree rule, but the packet of info I thought was rather vague in saying only that we shouldn't squat.  Well, exactly to what degree is OK ?   I actually just wrote an email via RN Nancy back to ask the "team" about that earlier this evening. 

And BigBlue, you mentioned that going past 90-degrees would put stress on the femoral head.  Why?  I had thought the danger was in dislocating the head before muscles and other tissues around the head and socket healed enough to keep everything in place. 

I am also curious about the proper sequence of moves or positions for getting up and down off the ground...  particularly getting back up.  So I asked about that too.  I've done it a couple of times, but I feel unsure about how to best do so.  Is there a preferable way to do this safely early on? 

I also sometimes have some burning in the incisions themselves.  I've been trying to massage and break up the tissue, but boy it feels so strong and rigid and resistant to softening.  Not sure what to do about that.  Sometimes the scars seem to pull on other tissues too. 

My challenge will be to continue making the time to keep walking as we are supposed to do.  Often with the children, I just seem to do everything else for everyone and end up at the end of the day with a choice of getting to bed at a decent time or walking.  I alternate with my choices.  But I am looking for ways to be more creative, such as walking around the soccer field during half-time when at a child's game, deliberately walking down extra aisles while grocery shopping, etc. 

I think I want to do some PT.  I don't feel like I've made any particular progress in the last several weeks.... 

Good night for now to all,  Marilyn
Grateful !  U/c with Dr. Gross
L: 07/13/09 and R: 07/15/09

CeeJay15

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 06:04:16 PM »
Hi everyone -

Dr. Rector does not believe in the 90 degree rule. He said as soon as it feels comfortable, to start stretching. I can now bend almost in half and hang (a yoga position) with no ill effects.
He also said squatting was good - bodyweight only - which I do every morning.

cj
Carolyn
Right BHR Dr. Rector July 15, 2009

wesinator

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2009, 02:55:03 AM »
Marilyn,

As we are at 10 weeks now... I know what you mean about the exercises.  Don't feel bad about not doing them religiously.  I have been seriously not doing them, except using our elliptical trainer 1-2x a week for about 30 minutes.  Not been stretching much at all.   

I guess I have sensed that I could get all that is needed by staying active, such as this past week, which I played or practiced golf 4 times (it was a good week :)).  Have had no problems at all and can walk up the steepest hills and swing as hard as wanted at the ball.

Considering that, was a little concerned when I got a slight tweek in my hip on Saturday during a round of golf, resulting in a slight limp.  Not a limp of pain, but a precautionary one, so as to not feel the tweek in there (didn’t know what it was and did’t want to make it any worse).  If I’d have gotten it playing basketball this time last year, I wouldn’t think twice about it.  But, now days, I’m pretty keen (and extra careful) on what’s going on in that hip area. Not sure how it happened (perhaps hopping up or down a hill a little too much), but feels like a little strain in there.  Stretching has already helped it mostly go away, but I think that I will take to stetching more often.

You seriously have a challenge on your hands with 3 children.  That has to be a built-in exercise just in itself, just maybe not in the form of a mile at a time.  :)

Would be very interested in finding out what Dr Gross’s office says about your bending question, please relay that information when you get a chance.  They have been excellent in answering my questions, except once.  At about the 2 week mark, I sent an email, asking about going up stairs.  I was able to go up and down normally, foot over foot, without pain, and asked if that was OK.  Never heard back on that one.  Maybe they thought, “gosh, another idiot question, delete that one”?  Ha, probably not.  But, the next message I sent a week or two later got answered.

As far as getting up off the ground, I often get down there to play with my 2 yr old.  No problem to walk on all fours or anything, but I make sure to not twist the wrong way on the way up.  What is the wrong way?  I would say any way that feels wrong or feels like it has the potential to be wrong should you slip.  That’s not a very good answer, but it’s more of a feel thing than one that can be described with angles.

Other than showing it to anybody who’ll look (ha), I hadn’t paid much attention to my scar.  I’d say it feels like there is a four inch piece of licorice just under the skin.   From my experience and what I have read, I believe the weak point of the whole procedure is the cutting (and subsequent healing process) of the abductors in there.  Not totally sure what an abductor is, but it’s relatively important to complete walking stability.  I have heard of anterior approaches where different or no stuff is cut.  There’s surely a give and take with different approaches though.  Don’t know enough about it to say, and certainly no buyers remorse with what we got.  The abductors have/or will heal.
 
That’s all I’ve got for now.  Best of luck!
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

bigblue

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2009, 08:43:19 PM »
Dr. Gross told me that you were not out of the woods for 6 months as far as fractures go. Wes I am like you in that I work out on a trainer as well as a treadmill. When I first started walking after the surgery I came down with shin splints and they were more painful than the surgery. I think it is normal to worry about little pains that occur in the healing process. The thing is that the hip felt so bad for so long and after the surgery you feel so much better that you notice the little twinges more. The biggest problem that I had was my quad muscle on the surgical side had atrophied from lack of use. I had a lot of trouble going up and down steps because of the muscle weakness. I still have not got it to where I want it to be, but it is much better. I have found that sometimes the e-mails do not make it through their server. If you do not get an answer resend it. I sent one to Lee and resent when I did not get an answer and she told me she never got the first one.

wesinator

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2009, 03:39:28 AM »
Hello any and all,

Update on my progress...   I am at 4½ months and feeling wonderful.  Planning on starting back at basketball this week.  It will be a little ahead of schedule, but after reading about those athletes running a marathon at 3 or 4 months post op, and plus basketball season here, cannot wait any longer.  The main thing is that my hip feels very strong.  I have been doing eliptical trainor and walking (and jogging and running lately for short distances) pretty regularly (2-4 times x week), and streching periodically for the past 2 months.  Not to mention I did elliptical the night before my surgery, so kind of had a head start.

That said, going to try and ease back in, and work back up to playing full speed and long duration.  And got a good tip from the thread "Topic: Anyone return to playing basketball?", which was to wear some Thud compression shorts, which have some padding on the hip area, in case (when) I fall down, it will cushion that area.

Good Luck all and "sieze the day"!

Wes

« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 03:41:06 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

wesinator

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Re: 37 yr old athlete hoping for more court time (Wes's Hip Story w/ Dr. Gross)
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2009, 03:48:05 AM »
Hello again all,

At a little over 4½ months post-op, I played 2 games of full speed, full court basketball last night.  I say full speed meaning the speed that's as fast as a bunch of 30 & 40-somethings get.

Weight bearing and structurally, hip felt fine and I was able to run, jump, and pivot as needed, especially in the first game.  Hip and leg muscles began to tire in the second game.  I probably could have played a third, but I am dedicated to starting slowly, especially during the pre-6 months period (don't push the luck, right?).  I felt somewhat timid in “taking the ball to the hole with reckless abandon”, and didn’t mix it up to much on offense rebounds.  Those are the more dangerous transactions on a basketball court.  Hope to proportionally increase those activities as hopefully the confidence in my hip grows.  Not really too sore and plan on going another two games tomorrow.  If I am starting too early after surgery, I can’t tell.

At 6'4", I could dunk in college, but being extremely white, not really much after that.  When Micheal Jordan came back the second time when he was 40 years old, one of the announcers noted that he would hence forth be known as “Ground Jordan” instead of “Air Jordan”.  The same is true with me now.  Will probably not be jumping that high any more, especially off the one (hip resurfaced) leg.  That’s ok, there is more than one way to play the game.

Regardless, it sure was good to get back on the court.  Would shout "Mission Accomplished", if it didn't remind me of President Bush's jumping the gun on that statement.  Just like that situation, I probably still have a lot work to do in getting my artifiical hip as fully strong as it can get.  Hoping this exercise will help this process.

The clock is approaching mid-night on my athletic career, as my other hip will need the procedure at some point soon, and my flat feet and ankle bone spurs aren't helping matters.  However, I am once again grateful for the skill of Dr Gross and his staff for this respite.  Also, I am grateful to Pat for creating and running this wonderful information forum.  To have come from hobbling with a cane from my cubicle to the bathroom, to knocking down jump shots and bringing the rock up the court again, all in less than 5 months, is a medical miracle.  Thank you!

As always, best of luck to you and your hip story.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 03:53:29 AM by wesinator »
Wes
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
7-13-09

 

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