Author Topic: Bilateral (anterolateral procedure) (November 2009) - 57 year old active guy  (Read 3238 times)

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September 14th, 2009 - 45 days until first surgery

Took the plunge and have scheduled my two procedures (2 weeks apart) with Dr Dan Snyder, Newton Wellesley Joint Center, for October 29th, 2009 and November 12th, 2009. I had hoped for concurrent procedures but was pursuaded that at least two weeks would keep operating time down, lowering time related risks and help recovery as first hip would be stronger support for the second after two weeks.

I have a trip planned (Niece's wedding) to the UK for December 3rd, so this will be a serious test to see if I can get off crutches within 3 weeks of the second surgery. I am going to have to figure out how to dance Salsa with a cane for the reception:)

I plan to spend the next 45 days getting into as best shape as possible. I play squash 3 times a week and will try to keep this going right up to the day. In addition I want to focus some attention on the muscles around the hip and will do some Nordic Track work and Cycle machine work on days that I do not play squash. The big challenge is to lose as much weight as possible between now and then. I have always been a big guy; I am 6' 1" and weigh 215 pounds. I'll be pleased if I can get under 205 pounds by surgery day.

So the journey begins. I have read some great stories on surfacehippy and look forward to letting others know about my own experiences as they make their own plans to follow the same path. I have been so intent on reading about recoveries for my own peace of mind that I will try and keep good notes for future surfacehippies.

After the operation....Hip One

Day 0
Right hip: pretty much a blur. It was a "messy" hip but the surgery had a A+ result. No physio apart from some light bed exercises. I had Tylenol and Celebrex prior to operation. No pain.

Right hip: Just Tylenol today as no pain at rest. Physio came and brought some pain with them. My right leg feels like it has never born any weight and I can only put about 40% of my weight on it. Nurse said "You should have taken an oxycodone or two for the physio" - at least I walked with the walker to the bathroom and back before a very low blood pressure forced me to return to the safety of my bed. Advised to use spirometer every hour to clear out lung/ anesthetic etc plus drink more water. Blood pressure seemed to be up and down like a yo-yo. Decided to take an oxycodone for tomorrows physio.

Day 2
Discharge day: Tylenol and 5mg of oxycodone. Learned to put clothes on and use the sock assist. Graduated to crutches from the walker. Used the sink. Walked about 40 yards with the Occupational Therapist. It is a little easier to move the right leg (oxycodone?)
Physio guy took me on a longer walk and had me climb down and then back up about 12 steps. No problem.
2pm - just 48 hours after surgery I am on my way home. Navigating the home stairs reasonably so far. It is 5pm and the leg still feels pretty good. No oxycodone since 8am so it should have worn off by now.

Day 5
Everything has progressed well. No pain unless I put the hip in a strange position. Normal walking motion on crutches which I guess leaves me around 60-70% weight bearing as I walk. Only on Tylenol. I am being good with regard to the exercises and find everyday household chores a great exercise too. Can shuffle around the kitchen without the crutches for a few short steps. The only task I have not figured out is how to get the elastic stockings on by myself (would make a hilarious YouTube video if you censored the language). In the end I had to ask for wife support (equally funny video needing heavier censorship). Outside walks up to 150+ yards. Leg is still inflamed but not in pain.

Day 7
1 week old today. Yesterday I was feeling so good that I overdid it (big physio session + CVS visit + home depot visit) by walking too far too fast. I felt the leg swelling toward the end of a long crutch assisted outing. Took off the elastic stocking, elevated and iced for the rest of the day with short mobility exercises only. Today adopted a much better routine - Work - Walk - elevate and ice. I did this every hour and I think the bulk of the (new) swelling is gone. Talked with the physio about getting new hip ready to be main hip after next weeks second surgery. Decided that mid next week will reverse leg roles on stairs and getting dressed - should be fun. I'll wait until then to write new stuff.

Bilateral (BL) Day 5
OK here we are on the other side of the second hip surgery, Surgery went well but I ended up with a very low hematocrit and hemoglobin (thank you lovenox after first procedure). As a result recovery has been a little more challenging than after first hip (tiredness etc). In any event the recovery is going well and I gain strength every day. Today I learned the alternative crutch walk - left leg/right crutch then right leg/left crutch which allows normal walking motion without pausing for crutches. The first hip is doing an incredible job of being the main one for stairs etc and it is amazing to think that the second hip will be that strong in a week or two. (I had actually graduated to a crutch on the first one after about 10 days - I had also started driving and even managed a couple of days at work on Days 12 and 13, including a 45 minute commute)
Back to the present: The plan is to rehab sensibly this week and see if it is possible to drive again by next Monday; BL Day 11.

While in the hospital I learned from the surgeon, Dan Snyder that he is using a modern technique using an anterolateral entry. The advantage of this is that fewer muscles are compromised during surgery and the only restriction post surgery is Trochanteric abduction. This basically the movement of the leg away from the body to the side. This restriction is to last about 6 weeks I believe. All other motion is allowed!!

Bilateral day 11
Stopped all pain meds and got discharged (reluctantly) by the visiting physio and nurse.  They are concerned about low hematocrit, but apart from a faster pulse and late day tiredness, I feel fine. Back to work. Driving was good - no problems. Walk on crutches several times a day around the building and do exercises before and after work. Now I am focused on a trip to the UK in just over a week. I am hoping that I can be on a cane, but the long walks at airports might be a problem.

Bilateral day 16
Pretty much on a cane for around the house and work. For longer walks I still rely on crutches. UK trip is in 5 days and I will probably have to take the crutches for the long terminal walks.

Bilateral day 21-24
Travel day. Carrying a shoulder bag, a cane and walking on crutches is another one of those YouTube moments that there ought to be a special training class for. Airport security came alive so I had to endure the paddle screening, which strangely did not light up around the hip areas.
Tried to walk around the airplane every hour and did some strange exercises while sitting that freed up the seats in the immediate vicinity. Relied on aspirin and knee length-stockings to do the rest. Good trips in both directions thanks to empty seats in front.
Managed to deliver a reading at my nieces wedding without falling down on the way to the pulpit - (I walked without any aids)
Danced like an idiot at the reception (again no aids) - plenty of upper body movement but not much below the waste. Lot of fun!!

Bilateral day 28
Follow up with the surgeon today. Visit went well. He is delighted with progress and has freed me up to start exercise bike, rowing machine and Nordic Track exercises. He told me to practice standing on one leg while throwing/catching a ball. Big Christmas present from him is the instruction to take a squash racket onto the squash court (Dec 24th) and start to do drills hitting the ball while standing on one leg, to build muscle strength and balance capabilities. I am now walking around the house without a cane, which will now only be used for longer walks.
Actually worked up my first exercise sweat since Oct 28th (6 weeks + ago).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 04:48:53 PM by mikeball »


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 07:14:27 PM »
see if your surgeon uses "platelet gel" during the procedure.  The platelet gel is made from your platelets and is chock full of growth and anti-infective factors, there is also some evidence that it decreases postop pain. I (just turned 60) recently had both hips done, 48 hours apart, and did not need anything more than tylenol after postop day three. I think it really makes a difference.  Maggic MD


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 04:41:04 AM »
Hi Mike

As another double-hippy (though mine were nearly four years apart) in his 50s I'd like to offer my best wishes for your future active participation in sports.   

Take care.

LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2009, 08:23:06 AM »
Thank you.
This is the week. First Op is this Thursday at 10:40 so the family is getting ready to deal with me at home. Huge thanks to Newton Wellesley Hospital for the education and support so far. Right hip is first so that I can get back to driving quickly.
Mike ;D


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 09:14:52 AM »
Thank you.
This is the week. First Op is this Thursday at 10:40 so the family is getting ready to deal with me at home. Huge thanks to Newton Wellesley Hospital for the education and support so far. Right hip is first so that I can get back to driving quickly.
Mike ;D
NW has a great pre-op process, don't they. I forgot about that. The PT there (Dave) was really good at explaining things.


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 03:12:15 PM »
Hi Mke:  Glad to touch base with you.  I had my hip resurfacing done at Newton Wellsley also, two weeks ago tomorrow by Dr.Hanmer.  Everything went great.   Even the food was good, at least I thought so.  I didn't get to stay in the new orthopedic floor because it was full!!  I was put in pediatrics.  I got a private room and the nurses were wonderful, so it didn't make much difference.  Good luck to you.  I must say you are brave getting them done two weeks apart from each other.  Wow.  Again good luck and I hope all goes well.  Pam 


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Re: Bilateral - Before and after - 57 year old active guy
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 07:23:25 AM »
Thanks Pam. Dr Snyder is my surgeon.
They promised me the new rooms too. Here's hoping that one is available. They sound really great.
I hope your rehab is going well.


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