Author Topic: bi-lateral MiniHip and still climbing  (Read 4230 times)

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bi-lateral MiniHip and still climbing
« on: May 30, 2011, 02:15:38 PM »
I may have worn out my hips with a life of climbing, however, I have many climbing friends that are still going.  Well, whatever the cause, my hips wore out and my climbing suffered to the point that I walked on stilts (that's what it felt like) as I approached the cliffs, and I climbed one pitch and I was done for a couple of days.  Even so I still loved it!  Climbing has been my life joy. 

My search for a solution lead my to hip resurfacing and to the direct anterior approach (DAA) specifically as it cut no muscles and to Dr. Snyder of Newton-Wellsley Orthopedics as this is his preferred approach. 

My first surgery (09-2010) found my femoral head was too necrotic to accept the Cormet cap and Dr. Snyder’s backup plan of the new Styker/Corin minihip was used (FDA approved early 2010).  As I research these short stem minihip designs, I find they are designed to get their strength from the “medial curve of the calcar (femoral profile)” and they therefore have less risk of revision than other traditional designs and may prove longer lasting than resurfacing.  They are also bone growth at both ends, cup and stem, so no cement is involved, plus being a large-ball device there is no dislocation risk.  There are large ball THR designs of two types it seems in vogue today, either metal or poly.  The wear of this new cross-linked poly in my minihip is much improved based on testing and the metal ion issue is absent yet only time will tell which is better.  I look forward to a peek at the future statistics of wear and durability, and likely I will be one of those numbers!

My research on this minihip has mostly shown me how new this is.  Because of this I have included my expereinces for all to read on a personal website as others may be looking for a solution to their hip problems and this minihip may be it.  I have loved what it has done for me.  I particularly love the ease of the rehab.  I now have two as of April 2011 and the recovery from the second was blazingly fast compared to the first.  In my case, I feel this is due to the direct anterior approach that cuts no muscles and gives me confidence in my mind that stretch and exercise will do no harm.  My post-op precautions were “weight-bearing as tolerated” with no restriction to range or motion or activity  from day 1.  This surprised several of the PTs that have served me so it is clear that in some circles this is unusual.  I can now report that both of my rehabs were easy and fabulously successful.

I was back at the climbing wall in week 5 for my first hip and out at the cliffs again feeling great by week 12.  For my second surgery I was actually playing carefully at the indoor wall after seven days (!) then outdoors on the cliff at day 25 (!).  I was climbing easy things and carefully as my muscles were clearly still weak, especially the hip flexion for high stepping.  With caution I felt safe and I could see fast improvement every day. 

If you are interested in more details, including x-rays, recovery milestones, etc. please check out my site at www.dayacheson.info and click on the minihip page uptop.  This story has been a significant one for me and I love how it turned out so I put up the details for others to see along with some of my decisions along the way that got me through.  Perhaps it will be of help to others in similar situations.

I am still watching my recovery and I am still rehabilitating my muscles to rid myself of twenty years of stuck-state protective habits and memory.  It is a complete joy to be out and about again and active with my climbing and family.  For me and for all of you other climbers with new hips out there, I say “Yahoo!”.  Time for me to sign off now and get in some exercising before the kids wake up

Day Acheson
bilateral Styker/Corin MiniHip Sept’10 Apr ‘11 Dr. Snyder


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