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The Hip Talk Discussion Forum was hacked a few weeks back. It has taken me a long time to fix it. The only backup I could use was way back to April 2020. All members and posts up to that date are available. Anything newer has been lost. I am sorry, but that has been the only way to get things up and running again.

Author Topic: My experience  (Read 3975 times)

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bdoughty

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My experience
« on: March 03, 2011, 11:17:23 PM »
This may ramble a bit, so please bear with me.

I've been dealing with hip pain for about 4 years now, progressively worse. Actually started with back pain and initial diagnosis was couple of degenerative discs in low back. Complaints about hip, knee pain were dismissed as related to back. I tried yoga, physical therapy, supplements, lumbar injections, hip injections, chiropractic, massage, NSAIDs, pain meds, etc. In April, moved from Atlanta to Denver and, trying to enjoy the healthy Colorado lifestyle. Like so many people, I could continue DOING activities like hiking and cycling, but would definitely PAY for it that evening and for days afterward.

Shortly after moving, I tried a new chiropractor who did tell me that I had pretty good arthritis in my left hip and that a hip replacement was likely in my future. Adjustments and massage helped but not much. In December, needing to update my anti-inflammatory and pain meds, I went to new ortho - for back. He confirmed earlier diagnosis about discs but, after hearing me describe my hip pain and watching me walk, he also order x-rays on hip. He took 1 look and told me I have "the hip of an 80-year-old." Referred me to colleague who specialized in hips and knees. He agreed with partner, said on best/worst scale of 1-10, I was at 9-10, bone on bone with several spurs. Discussed various options but said best shot at relief was THR. He also gave me a cortisone injection.

This was all around end of December. I started researching THRs, had never heard about resurfacing. Then I discovered this site and hipresurfacing.com. I also learned that one of the “rising stars” in the field is Dr. James Rector in Boulder, about an hour from where I live. I think part of my “destiny” in making the cross-country move was to find this surgeon. Not many doing resurfacing in Atlanta area; closest was a good one too, Dr. Gross in Columbia, SC, but it still would have been a bit of trip (nothing like India though!).

I asked about Dr. Rector on both sites and received very good feedback on him, including a guy near me who was 6 weeks post-op who raved about him and the team at Boulder Community Hospital. I had initial consultation Jan. 17 and liked Dr. Rector immediately – starting with fact that he personally called me after I emailed initial question about consult.  He had done about 460 BHRs at the time we 1st talked. I wouldn’t call him “warm and fuzzy” but not cold, just pretty straightforward, matter-of-fact. Answered all my questions, offered to talk more any time. He is supremely confident but not arrogant. He has spent a good deal of time and training on the procedure – I believe he’s been to UK – has had only 2 failures, both due to complex cases. Didn’t hurt when I looked at the hospital’s annual report and he was featured on the cover!

By this time, the cortisone injection had worn off. During those few weeks though, I had resumed physical activity and either I over-did it and made things worse or I simply forgot what it was like to live without pain. In either case, when the pain returned, seemingly worse than ever, I decided I was ready and scheduled surgery for March 2.

Did run into a bit of hiccup in last couple of weeks leading up to date. They have a class for joint replacement patients and when I attended, I almost fainted. Now I’m a bit of a medical-phobe to begin with – I’ve had this happen a couple of times before. The anxiety, a bit of dehydration and the beginnings of a stomach virus probably all added up. BUT, due to my age and family history of heart disease (my dad), my family doc wanted to do full cardiac workup. So in a two-week span I had an echocardiogram, Holter monitoring and nuclear stress test, all in addition to pre-op tests. As everyone expected, the results were all negative and I was cleared, but it certainly didn’t help reduce my stress levels. (Ativan has handled that!) At least I have a new cardiac baseline too.

Day of surgery went pretty smooth. Arrived at 10, surgery at 12:30. Great heated blanket in pre-op area. Dr. Rector came in, signed my hip and promised me his A-game. Wheeled me in and last thing I remember was spinal injection. The only snafu was post-surgery, because they didn’t have a room immediately available for me. Finally got into one about 5:30.

I seem to be tracking with others’ experiences. Coming around, no pain thanks to spinal, as time progresses, more stiffness than pain. They use a machine called a “Game Ready” that has a wrap that goes around the surgical area and you fill the machine with ice, and the cold water is circulated continuously for 30 minutes then off for 30. It also provides compression. It keeps swelling down and helps with pain. It will come home with me for 10 days. Clear diet and fitful sleep last night, couple doses of mild pain meds.

Today, everything that was in me and on me has been removed save for light oxygen. They got me up and out of bed, into chair for couple hours around lunchtime, went just fine. Met with occupational therapist and practiced sock-puller, grabber. Physical therapist should be by shortly so I can take a stroll and change from gown to shorts and T-shirt.

So all in all, it’s been pretty much as advertised. Dr. Rector said the hip looks perfect on x-rays. He’s not overly cautious when it comes to post-op restrictions. No “90 degree rule,” just no crossing the midline or rotating knee inward for 6 weeks. Been doing exercises in bed, using incentive spirometer. Hospital staff has been great, very attentive. Tomorrow I’ll see if I’m able to give myself the required fragmin (anti-coagulant) injections for the next 20 days. Nurse did 1st one and it was fine. Assuming I can do that and shower, I should be home tomorrow evening.

I’m happy I decided to do this and look forward to a more pain-free life. Dr. Rector did note that I have moderate OA in right hip too, so there may be another one of these in my future – but I probably won’t wait so long this time, now that I know what it’s all about. Of course, I’ve seen where people in my situation get the first one done, the other starts acting up in short order. Hope that’s not the case here.

Hope y’all find this helpful. It’s been good to write it all down – thanks for the suggestion, Dayton96. I’ll update progress from here!

Bill
LBHR, Dr. James Rector, 2 March 2011

bothdone

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Re: My experience
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 11:42:52 PM »
Hi Bill

An interesting read. Thank you.

I hope your recovery progresses well.

Ed
LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008

halfdone

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Re: My experience
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 03:16:49 AM »
Glad they are taking good care of you.  Hope the recovery and rehab continues smoothly.  The harder parts are nearly over. :)

(BTW, if and when the second one comes around, I can't promise it won't need a little doughty spirit, but compared to this time it will probably be a breeze.)

hernanu

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Re: My experience
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 03:34:32 AM »
Nice results... glad you've joined the club, now enjoy the recuperation and the lack of that pain.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

newdog

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Re: My experience
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2011, 04:40:30 AM »
Good story! The worst is over and try to relax and enjoy the old pain being gone. Sounds like a really good doc and hospital to go with.
Steve, Dr. Gross bilateral, uncemented Biomet, January 10 & 12, 2011, Columbia S.C.

Tin Soldier

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Re: My experience
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2011, 05:54:42 AM »
Good job!  Take it easy and be sure to keep moving the operated leg here and there and stay on the exercises.  I think I made the mistake of sitting without doing exercises or moving the leg and my leg got really stiff.  I was just happy to be off the heavy stuff and getting the internals working again, though.  I'd say the worst is over for you as long as you don't have a huge drive home from the hospital.   
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2011, 04:47:20 PM »
Day 2 post-op, really amazed at how little pain I'm experiencing. Up and walked a bit yesterday, showered today (yay!) and sitting in chair. Managed the fragmin shot, piece of cake. They say I'm progressing very well. If all goes accordingly, should get to go home today, which will be nice.

hernanu

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Re: My experience
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2011, 04:54:42 PM »
That's great! keep it up. Remember, no matter how well you do, there will be some not great days, but many more good ones. Don't get scared if you get sore or a little popping, that's normal. Happy for you.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2011, 11:08:49 PM »
Small set back today - got up for shower and sitting up afterward, felt very light-headed. BP still a tad on the low side, trying to hydrate, and so they're keeping me in hospital an extra night. But I was able to get up again this afternoon and walk around on crutches a bit without too much trouble. Overall though, things remain good from pain and mobility standpoints. Couple more gourmet hospital meals!

Bill
LBHR, Dr. James Rector, 2 March 2011

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 05:29:16 AM »
Home at last! Settled in, ate, napped a good bit. Pain pill before leaving hospital timed just right but nothing since. Getting up, down, around pretty good, 1st BM (thank goodness). Start in-home PT Monday. Even with the little hiccup, I'mve been amazed at how smooth it's been.

halfdone

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Re: My experience
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 12:32:54 PM »
 ;D ;D Life is good after the first BM

lori.36

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Re: My experience
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 03:05:44 AM »
Hi bill,

I was checking In to see how you are doing?  My guess is no post means you are enjoying Colorado! 
I am gonna be three weeks tomorrow and I am still using a cane.  ;(. Have to say I thought I would be unassisted walking at this point.  Oh well all in good time.  I get to see our doc on Thursday.
Hope all is well.
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

nekko

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Re: My experience
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 07:19:37 AM »
Happy 3-weeks birthday, Lori.36  ;)
Conserve+ cemented, May 12-2011, Pr Migaud, CHu Lille

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 06:25:55 PM »
Lori,

Don't feel bad about still being on cane at week 3 - I was too. Just passed 13-week mark yesterday and things are generally going well. The hip itself is great; it's the back adjusting to the "new normal" that is still problematic. Still, it's infinitely improved. Have been increasing activity, trying to do something every day - walking, yard work, gym, did my 1st outdoor road bike ride Saturday (10 mi). Trying to walk the fine line between doing enough to continue improving but not so much that I overdo it - like I did a couple of weekends ago. I'm trying to accept that I was a lot worse than i realized before the surgery and that it will take about a year or more to fully get my strength back and improve flexibility/ROM. But it will come. I see Dr. R on the 14th.

Just put in the work. You might hit some detours but overall things will keep getting better so hang in there!

Cheers,
Bill

lori.36

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Re: My experience
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 02:42:26 AM »
Hi Bill,
Saw Dr R he was in Good spirits.  I actually drove to Boulder by myself, that helped with a little independence.
He looked at the incision and said I could
Go to the pool
Ride a bike
Elliptical
Stretch in standing positions
Walk on even services
I thanked him for his work.   I barely had bruising or swelling.  He is a Top Notch Doctor.

Nekko, bAck at you on the three week mark.  Are you using a cane?  Fun to compare.
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

nekko

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Re: My experience
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 06:39:02 PM »
Yes Lori, still using a cane but still happy too  ;)
Conserve+ cemented, May 12-2011, Pr Migaud, CHu Lille

lori.36

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Re: My experience
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2011, 04:16:12 AM »
Nekko,  Today I am feeling way stronger.  I think this is a break though day! 

Bill,  Are you still doing the Dry Needling?  I feel bad that your back is hurting, that is going to make it hard to ride that bike.  Are you hiking yet?  Are you going to do a Boulder Hike when you are there?
L-BHR 5-11-2011 Dr Rector
R-HR 9-11-2015 Dr Gross

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2011, 03:43:41 PM »
Jeff, my PT, is trying several different things on the back. I've had 2 dry needle sessions and a couple sessions with me in a traction contraption for 15 min @ time, plus some massage. They've all helped to some degree. As I said earlier, I'm going to need to put a lot of work in to get back in decent condition, but it seems to be getting better. Stretching - I need to do more stretching, which was true even before the surgery!

Haven't done too much hiking on really uneven surfaces yet, mostly "hiking" in the open space near my house. I made a minor goal, sort of, yesterday when I rode in the Subaru Elephant Rock event in Castle Rock. I signed up for it the day after surgery as a goal, thinking I might make the 34-mile option. I didn't make that distance but I did the family ride circuit twice and that combined with some peddling around the event site got me to 17 mi, which wasn't bad. The goal now is to try to get a metric century (62 mi) by the end of this year.

Now that you're able to get into the pool, you can do a lot of the PT exercises in the water, and you'll be amazed 1st at how easy it seems compared to dry land and 2nd by how much it kicks your butt because it seems so easy when you're doing it! It does help with ROM. And the whirlpool is still one of the most heavenly devices ever created. Another therapy for the back.

How has the childcare thing been working since you are laid up?

BD

bdoughty

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Re: My experience
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2011, 07:45:00 PM »
Just passed the 3-month mark, had my 2nd post-op check up with Dr. Rector and all looks great. I'm able to do most things I want, still have to wait until the 6 month mark to begin shooting hoops and full year for playing. Have been slowly working back into activities - I've had some back issues to complement the hip, so it's been slower than I woud like - have been hitting gym since 6 week mark, began riding bike about 10 weeks out and today I did my 1st bike commute to work, which I hope to make a semi-regular habit. Haven't been swinging the golf club yet because of the back thing but may be trying that out soon. Also got OK to get back into some yoga (it's been years), which could help resolve several things, I hope. All in all, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Bill

DGossack

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Re: My experience
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2011, 08:41:48 PM »
Thanks for the update Bill.

It seems like a common theme here.  The progress on recovery takes longer than we hoped.  The early gains slow down and it seems like it has stalled.  But still everyone says they wished they had done it sooner and don't regret hoaxing it done.

Keep stretching.  You are working muscles in ways that they haven't had to work in a long time due to range of motion limitations.  And ice is your friend.

Best wishes in your continued to recovery and hope to return to what you love to do.

Dan
LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 8/1/2011
fullmetalhip.wordpress.com

 

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