Author Topic: Deciding when...  (Read 2851 times)

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Deciding when...
« on: December 27, 2009, 09:37:54 PM »
I am coming out of denial and am trying to sort out facts about hip surgery.  I'm an athletic 56 year old male who just "retired" from Men's Senior Baseball (over 38 league) 3 years ago.  Have always been tight in my hips, groin and back.

Just after leaving baseball at 53, I continued a moderate running regimen combining 4-5 mile runs and occasional speed work.  About a year and a half ago, I began to experience severe pain in my left hip after a snow skiing fall ((I'm a terrible skier...).  X-rays indicated advanced osteo-arthritis; but physical therapy helped tremendously and the pain left. 

Soon after, the right hip began to hurt badly.  PT did NOT help.  It made it worse.  So for the past year, I have tried every possible thing I know to do to mitigate the pain: stretching, cortizone injections, strengthening muscles in gluteus area, etc.

My doctor in Atlanta (Emory Hospital) suggested I investigate either THR or PHR.  I found this web site and noticed that there are no doctors in my area who have done more than 100 resurfacings.

My pain is so advanced now that I spend most of my energy finding positions that offer relief. 

My only real question now is whether to do this in January or in March.  I have a slammed 1st 2 months of the year w/ a new ministry I have started.  I plan to speak w/ Dr. Gross next week and pursue surgery on my right hip. 

I just wanted to contribute to this site and publicly confess that I am now coming to the conclusion that I must go through w/ this procedure if I want to think about anyone other than myself and my pain for the rest of my life. 

So ... thank you Surface Hippy's.  Your stories are helpful.  I know I need to go for it and you are helping.



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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 09:48:30 PM »

You won't find a better doctor than Dr. Gross..... he's excellent.

I went through all that you have, before my surgery in Aug 08 I always looked a 100 yards ahead of me to find a place to sit, then walk another 100 yards etc etc.

This past summer I got up on water skiis again, I went class IV white water rafting and jet skiing.  I also coached a fast pitch softball team all summer and never had to find a place to sit.

The morning of my surgery was the first time I could lay my right leg totally flat to the bed in years, that was amazing to me, then I noticed, hey I had no more pain!
You also won't find a better pain manager than Dr. Gross, I never had pain worse than I did pre-op, after a few days it was a dull ache with the feeling of a monkey fist under my incision.  Read the many stories of Dr. Gross, Pat has a bunch of them.

I just wish the rest of my joints felt as good as my operated hip.


RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb

Pat Walter

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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 09:54:46 PM »
Hi Buzz

Welcome to Hip Talk.  A lot of people try to ignore their hip problems as long as possible, but once the pain is so bad and your life becomes so inactive - you decide you must do something.  It is very typical.  Often after people schedule their surgeries, they feel their hips have gotten better - but find that is not so as time goes on.

It is a big decision to have hip surgery and you have choosen one of the best surgeons.  There is a steep learning curve and it is best to choose a surgeon that has done many hundreds to thousands when possible.  Dr. Gross and Lee are the best.  I have many happy Gross patients on this discussion group and stories posted on the main website.

Thanks for telling us your story.  We will all be happy to answer questions and give you support as you move forward.

Good Luck and stay in touch.

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


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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 01:18:42 AM »
Deciding when ?  Well you've joined a resurfacing message board if thats any indication....           hah j/k                 :D :D

I agree with everything Pat said especially about using an experienced surgeon, seems like alot of happy Dr. Gross patients in here, thats gotta be a good sign.  Looking back I waited waaay too long to do this, my quality of life is night and day better now, Best of luck to you and keep us posted, Bill


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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 12:51:53 PM »
I was you 3 months ago.

I am 5 weeks post op, and doing very well.

I was more scared than any human on earth, at least it seemed that way. And now that it is over, I look back and the whole experience (up to this point) was frankly, easy.

I was most worried about the procedure itself. But I told myself that all I really had to do was "show up" and the doc would do all the rest. That helped. And it was true.

All I remember is signing in, getting an IV, then...eating lunch. Really.

The following 20 hrs or so until I went home were filled with TV, some working on the laptop, and nice conversations with the nursing staff.

Got home no problem and started my recover. I'd say the 3rd or 4th day out was the worst as the epidural was fully worn off. But even then the pain was similar sprain of some sort, and not even a very bad one at that. 

As a baseball player myself, I know you have experienced pain. Shoulders, elbows, hips and back. You won't have a problem with this surgery. The pain you describe you are having now is 2x worse than the pain you will have for 1 week.
I didn't even finish my norco pain pills. I did this surgery so I could play again. I played last summer at first base. I had always been an outfielder and pitcher, so i hated moving to first. I plan on roaming center again, probably by Sept (if the doc will let me).

I fretted about when to do it, cause I'm only 41 and worry about revision surgery at 60ish. You are late 50's so you are good to go.


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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 07:31:24 PM »
Hi I too am new to this website and have been debating as to when to have surgery.I have been trying to hold off until April as I live in the northeast and would like to walk outside after surgery. I am not sure I can wait till April as my mobility is getting worse.

I would like to hear from people who have had to rehab during winter months and what they did to be able to walk besides going to a mall.

I have decided to stick close to home for the surgery and not go to one of the top orthopedics. Would anyone care to comment on this? My husband wanted me to go to Hospital of Special Surgeries but that is 3 hrs from here and I have faith in the orthopedic I am seeing here and know some of his patients that have undergone this procedure and they have done very well.

I appreciate any input anyone has.



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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 11:11:27 PM »
I had my surgery the middle of February and I live in a small town in Minnesota.  If you can find a mall, armory, school, church, or public building you can walk there.  I walked around the perimeter of my church's fellowship hall, first with crutches and then with a cane.  By 6 weeks the weather was better and I was able to walk down the sidewalk.
Right Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Gross February 2009

roosevelt heights

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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 12:16:29 AM »
Check out your local mall...many open early and permit "walkers".


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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2010, 12:42:32 AM »

Go for it! You will not be sorry. I did not have my surgery done by Dr Gross, as there are a couple good MD's in Colorado where I live that I opted to have do it. I am 4 weeks post op and in total amazement that every bit of the pre op pain I had is TOTALLY GONE! I am 34 years old, and was blessed.....or cursed with advanced osteoarthritis in my left hip...I feel like I will now be able to keep up with my young girls of 9 mos and 3 years. Dr told me I had multiple bone spurs that were no doubt adding to my pain and immobility. I feel like I have been freed from the awful pain I lived with for the last 3 years. Best wishes to you!


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Re: Deciding when...
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 12:25:53 PM »
Hey Buz,

I'm with ya.  I "retired" from running in 2008 and then "retired" from cycling in 2009.  I'm having surgery 2/4/10 by Dr. Su at the Hosp for Special Surgery in NY.  I'm 56 as well and was very active and fit until 2008 (ran 40-50m/week).  I chose a very experienced doctor (1,000 plus surgeries) and the hospital is one of the best in the nation.  The reality for me is that I've lost a few classmates from highschool being the age I am and I'm thinking who knows how much time I really have left even though I am in very good health (other than the hip).  I'll be darned if I'm going to limp around and not enjoy life doing the things I love.  I realize I won't be doing marathons or tri's but I am really looking forward to a simple 4m run on a trail somewhere.  This website has been very very helpful with an incredible amount of information.  Do your research and best of luck with your decision and health!  Tony     
Dr. Su
RBHR 2/10, LBHR 1/14



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