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Author Topic: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op  (Read 6404 times)

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Dan L

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  • LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012
Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« on: November 14, 2011, 07:12:10 PM »
I had a LBHR with Dr Peter Brooks at the Cleveland Clinic Euclid in early October, 2011.  I cannot say enough about the incredible service from all of my providers at Euclid, from the moment I arrived, through the time I was discharged 2 days after surgery.  Simply remarkable care, service and dedication by a truly engaged medical and nursing staff.

I'm doing very well now almost 6 weeks out, and looking forward to getting off crutches if all is well this week during 6 week follow up.  No more pain in the hip joint after about 2 weeks after the operation, and most of what was there was not joint pain.   Almost no prescription pain meds, just tylenol, after week 2.  I'm following the home exercise plan to a T and will do so for the first 12 months, and although the recovery is no walk in the park, it gets better virtually every day.  The worst part was relatively minor; the 2 weeks on the pneumatic stockings were difficult from a movement and sleep perspective (that pump was way too loud!), but I got through it fine.

Once I finally got an MRI in the spring, I was confirmed to have substantial OA in both hips, torn/worn labrums, bruising of the sockets, all of which which progressively resulted in more and more pain and limits over the past couple years.  Other treatment before engaging with Dr Brooks had mostly negative effects (PT, bursa injections in the hip, etc), and left me with some frustration.  I had to back off all my volunteer work in our local National Park in the spring of this year, at which point I realized something had to be done.  I had bilateral injections in the spring to try and help, the really bad side (since resurfaced) did not respond at all, and the other (right) side responded fairly well (about 3 months with far less symptoms).  About 6 weeks before the surgery the "good" side started becoming unmanageable again, and because I could not sleep at all on either side, had the good side injected again about 4 weeks before surgery (thinking I'd need to sleep after the surgery).  Dr Brooks advised early on to lose weight, which I did starting early on, and was able to get a substantial improvement there, and I am confident I can keep it off for the long term to preserve the BHR as long as possible.

Following Dr Brooks' post surgical protocol has been very important.  Only 75% weight bearing, use of both crutches for first 6 weeks, and doing every exercise religiously 3x per day as scheduled has certainly helped me very much.  I have great flexibility, have been able to put on socks for at least 3 weeks now, and the recovery from the swelling and bruising went along very, very well.  Almost no pain, and the pain there is not in the hip.  When I do try to walk as a test, I do limp quite a bit, but the muscles in the leg are clearly atrophied to some degree, but the fact that I will not suffer the kinds of complications the protocol was designed to prevent, have me completely OK with the next stage of building the leg back up.  (For those interested in Dr Brooks' record, have a look at Pat's interview with him from this year in Arizona-- an incredible record of success and very, very low adverse complications.)  I will confess some of the posts here with people observing different prototcols has me feeling a bit behind at times, but I'll take slow and gradual vs fast and more risky.

Looking forward to getting back in the office this week (been working from home after week 4), and starting on the next phase.  Also thinking about the other hip, and when.

This site has been a true lifesaver in this process, Pat does an incredible job, and I have read this site almost every day when in need of support, reinforcement and when times have been a bit on the blue side.  Kudos to Pat for all her efforts and for all the participants for all they give and share here.  A sincere thank you.

Dan
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Boomer

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 07:26:51 PM »
Great post Dan.

The surgeons who do a lot of resurfacings have the protocol down to a science. All we have to do, is what they tell us to do. Glad you are making progress in your recovery and keeping us posted on the good news.

We Hippys in waiting love hearing stories like yours.

Boomer
RBHR with Dr. Rector on 11/30/2011
LBHR with Dr. Rector on 6/11/2012

curt

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 09:24:51 PM »
     Sounds like its going really well to me, Dan.  The strength will return once you start healing from the surgery.  We are only weeks apart, and I can say that the last few weeks have been really good.  The awkwardness and weakness are almost gone, and I can say that I'm walking limp-free.
    Last area of weakness for me is standing comfortably on my operative leg.  The smaller muscles for balancing are still on vacation, and returning slowly.  Can put on my pants but I have to be sorta quick.  Keep up what sounds like an awesome recovery!  Curt
51 yr, RHBiomet, Dr. Gross, 9/30/11
happy, hopeful, hip-full

Dan L

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 12:10:03 AM »
Thanks Boomer and Curt, appreciate the feedback greatly.

Got the 6 week green light today and the crutches are in the closet, back to the office in the morning.  The x-ray looked perfect, got an additional exercise to build up the left side to reduce the limp.  Incredible medical care all around.

Learned hiking will need to be limited to flatter terrain for a year, which will be a challenge given we're in a hilly area, but absolutely no big deal.  Walked the dogs today for the first time and although a short walk, was really, really nice to be out there without crutches and with the pups.

I asked about how soon the other one could be done and said maybe 3-4 months; trying to decide whether to get it over with asap towards the shortest overall time of activity restrictions, versus jumping right back into the non-trivial recovery process again very soon and overall later date for all restrictions to be lifted.  A few weeks ago I was firm about waiting a year, but as things get better, I'm less sure about waiting.

Thanks again for the encouragement and kind words.

Dan

LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Kiwi

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 12:41:29 AM »
Dan - great to read your post, one week out from mine ....very encouraging to read how well you're doing.
Keep us posted on your progress.
All the very best.
Simon
LBHR 11/23/2011
56mm Head
Hugh Blackley (BHR Trained with Ronan Treacy)
Use it or lose it!

Boomer

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 12:51:31 AM »
Dan,

I need to get both done as well, starting with the right one on November 30. The opinion of my surgeon will be important in deciding whether or not to wait on the second one. However, if the left one can wait, I want to try enjoy the next twelve months of relatively pain free activity and get the second one done next winter. However, if the left one is not going to let me enjoy the new hip, then we'll take care of that one rather quickly so life can resume. As you can imagine, I've got no patience left with aching hips.

Glad you have started to enjoy life again. Please keep us posted. You are an inspiration.

Boomer
RBHR with Dr. Rector on 11/30/2011
LBHR with Dr. Rector on 6/11/2012

Anniee

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 11:15:02 PM »
Hi Dan,

Great to hear that you are doing so well!  I waited 6 months between my surgeries.  I basically scheduled the second surgery after 6 months for insurance reasons (only one annual deductible), because that hip, my left, really did not hurt at the time, although it looked just as bad as the right one on x-rays. However, a couple of months after the surgery on the right hip, the left one starting hurting quite badly, and I had to stop walking and even using the elliptical, which I had no problem with before the first surgery. I am sure the pain in my left hip impacted full recovery of the right one, because of these limitations.  Just something to keep in mind...
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

hernanu

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 04:41:22 PM »
Hey Dan, I had mine done three months apart. I talked to Dr. Snyder about it, he felt that would give me enough leg strength on the first to support the second. It was pretty much right, as the recovery felt pretty good on the second.

It's your decision, and I don't think you can make a wrong one, I just found that getting the restrictions overlapping by three months was actually the best for me, since my good side really went downhill as the operated side became fully functional. I think the "good" leg just could not keep up, or maybe once the pain went on the worse side, I became conscious of how bad the other side was.

Anyways, it was good for me, just another point of information to help your decision.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Dan L

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update Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 05:06:56 PM »
Thanks everyone for feedbak on the time between surgeries.  Still hemming and hawing to fit in around work schedules and such in 2012.

I am now more than 8 weeks out from the surgery.  The cold temps here in the past week seem to have caused some additional muscle pain and stiffness after walking outside.  A small set back mid week after a very chilly walk in damp/cold windy weather, pain level was a bit too high to comfortably do excercises and sleep was difficult for about 24 hours afterward.  Seems to have quieted down some.

Starting to do some of the things I've missed past 2 months.  I was able to walk the dogs down and back up long hilly (80 feet rise over 800 feet) driveway in the NY concord grape belt, past 2 nights, mildly stiff and sore after, but able to sleep mostly fine both nights.  Incredibly clear nights, stars out, Orion in the southern sky, able to plainly see 40+ miles across Lake Erie into Southern Ontario, feeling pretty darn good about resuming simple things like that.  I was also able to walk up the first terrace of our back hill for the first time since the operation, (although I did not go anywhere up the hill beyond as I normally would), which was really, really nice-- also one of those simple things that was a morale boost.

Weather fronts coming through seem to raise the symptoms too; fair weather like today seem to help.

Limp mostly gone when pain level goes down and after a number of steps when rising from a seated position.  Sitting still seems to be the time when the discomfort is most prevalent, and based on post from Hern and oers, is expected and normal.

Right "good" hip is now 3 months from last intraarticular injection, and hip pain symptoms creeping back into the picture.

Hope everone is doing well.

Thx

Dan
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Dan L

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  • LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012
Made the call
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 06:08:19 PM »
Called Dr Brooks PA yesterday to get on the schedule for RBHR in the late February time frame.  Had to jockey around some work travel commitments and home planning stuff, and digest all the feedback from bi-lats here (thanks very, very much for that everyone).  I'll be 4 1/2 months out from my LBHR in early October 2011 by then.

I actually went back and read my MRI results that were the precursor to the acceptance of the need for surgery in early 2011, just to reassure myself a little bit, since I'm mostly symptom free on the "good" side now 3 months from the last intra-articular injection in September, and to root out the denial in the back of my mind about not needing #2 (I clearly do).  I feel relieved to have made the call and starting the ball rolling to schedule.

That'll leave me at the golden 6 week time frame (walking and off crutches) a couple weeks before yard work and lawn cutting in OH and NY start up again next year in April, so I can be self sufficient and not have to pester nephews to do that work, and get back in the saddle for that mostly enjoyable work.

So by Feb 2013 all restrictions will be history; that's the main driver to get back to old normal asap.

Dan

LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

hernanu

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 06:59:43 PM »
Good Dan! you'll be done in no time flat. Glad to hear about your good progress, once the summer hits you'll be in good walking fit on both hips.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Boomer

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 09:08:23 PM »
Dan,

You're looking and thinking ahead which is the most positive way to go about this. Good for you.

Wait a minute! You're not going through all of this to do yard work. Please say it isn't so?

Boomer
RBHR with Dr. Rector on 11/30/2011
LBHR with Dr. Rector on 6/11/2012

Kiwi

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 09:53:43 PM »
Great thinking Dan. I love a good plan, it makes the steps on the journey much more intentional.
Keep us posted.
Simon
LBHR 11/23/2011
56mm Head
Hugh Blackley (BHR Trained with Ronan Treacy)
Use it or lose it!

Dan L

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  • LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012
Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 11:53:10 PM »
thanks Hern, Kiwi, Boomer!  It is a relief to have the plan.

Ha ha Boomer.  You got me.  The only yard work I'm actually looking forward too is the one that I've only done for the past year, and involves riding (I know...) around while mowing a couple acres we have around our eventual retirement place in the grape juice belt along Lake Erie in western NY state.  Bumpy and very hilly and maybe a little hip unfriendly, but mostly a couple hours in the sun and breeze looking busy and keeping an eye on Ontario looking across the lake on a clear day.  I've timed both surgeries around it, laughingly.

Now weeding/mulching the beds, moving and planting plants from Ohio, redigging a 100 foot drainage ditch, and taking care of the rest of it, that can wait for sure (or maybe be a few more bucks for the nephews) :) .

LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

curt

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 01:49:49 PM »
    Dan, riding ain't cheating, its stylin'!!  Enjoy the recovery.
Curt
51 yr, RHBiomet, Dr. Gross, 9/30/11
happy, hopeful, hip-full

Dan L

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2011, 12:30:57 AM »
At 9 weeks the incision looks like a long scratch, amazing how thin the line is.  I had 2 spine surgeries including bone graft donor incisions on each hip 20 years ago, and those scars are 1/4 inch width, and look like surgical incisions, this is extraordinarily thinner.  I guess the skill and technique advances have come a long way in 20 years, what a difference.  I had glue and steri strips, no staples.
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Dan L

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 02:43:16 PM »
Approaching 11 weeks out from my LBHR with Dr. Brooks in early October, some promising observations

1) limp completely gone, except when I've had a really taxing day; walking normally and as fast as I could before surgery
2) "monkey fist" sensation about 1/2 way (posteriorly) between lateral incision and buttock decreasing somewhat (issue when sitting mostly)
3) sensitivity to cold and associated pain posted about seems to be decreasing, now more a minor issue than a couple weeks ago
4) was able to hike up a very moderate slope over the weekend, in 35 degree weather, with no substantial issues at all during or after
5) morale better and blue periods seem to be decreasing

All in all I'm really feeling good, considering the disruption the surgery introduces.

Have scheduled the other side for late February. 
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

hernanu

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2011, 03:40:15 PM »
Great stuff, Dan. That sounds about right in my experience.

I had three months between procedures and the recuperation for the second went fine with my left leg very good in support of the newly fixed right. You're in the pipe for a good second procedure I think.

My morale went up the second time around, since I had no upcoming surgery to consider, just full recuperation.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 03:41:58 PM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Dan L

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 03:18:24 PM »
Hern;

I think you're right, it's odd how the improvement seems to change speed and such, but I am getting alot more confident about being able to do the 2nd surgery without issue.

Thanks pal
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Dan L

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Re: Almost 6 Weeks Post Op
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 01:33:42 PM »
Almost 12 weeks out now, and finally had a chance to walk for an extended period outside on a flat venue (12 month incline restriction which is almost impossible to follow as we live in hilly areas) yesterday in full sun, at about 40 degrees.  Walk went really well, more than 60 minutes on the towpath in our National Park in northern Ohio.  Some muscle fatigue, soreness/stiffness afterwards in the soft tissues, but no unexpected pain or other bad things, very little limping, and none of the adverse feelings related to cold weather.  Very tired afterwards, probably as much a side effect of 3 very, very busy days around Christmas, and many hours on my feet over those days, than from the walk itself.  Was really chilled when back at home, and that lasted a couple hours, which is odd given I was out in the sun and not cold at all while walking.  Avoided my hiking boots, as they seem to place too much weight on the hip, and cause more issues that way, so sneakers were nice to wear (but kept me on the trail vs. my habit of going off trail frequently-- probably a good thing with the slipperyness of December in Ohio).

My "good" (as of yet unrepaired hip) is now about 4 months from last intra-articular injection, and starting to get back to "normal"; ie some bone on bone pain while walking, which was some needed reinforcement of need for the 2nd BHR scheduled for late February, as that hip has remained mostly symptom free for 16 or so weeks.  That side also kept me up last night a bit.

Progress continues....
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

 

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