Author Topic: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip  (Read 1543 times)

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How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« on: May 19, 2012, 11:13:43 AM »
There seem to be a number of people contemplating hip resurfacing with some concern, and perhaps anguish. I was in exactly that position a year ago and was helped along by a great many positive stories posted by other Hippys. I would like to get that positive thread going again to encourage anyone who is being held back by fear.

March 2011 I was diagnosed with OA in both hips, and a torn rotator cuff. The surgeon told me I needed three surgeries. I considered that at 57 years old, this was just impossible. No way I could ever endure this. Depression, anxiety all the normal responses. Then I found Pat's great Surface Hippy website and read the postings from Tin Soldier, Hernanu, Curt, Oxipelican, Woodstock Hippy, Kiwi, Kirk M and so many others. Suddenly, I realized that getting both hips resurfaced was going to be difficult, but not impossible. And, it seems to be a fairly common thread that we Hippy's spent our entire lives doing the difficult for fun. I realized that I could do this.

Hip number one was resurfaced 5 months ago, and most days behaves like it wants to be part of the team. Some days, it prefers to go its own way and gives me some stiffness and soreness, but nothing like in the bad old days. I may have had the slowest recovery in Hippy history. Nothing interesting happened for months, but silently the recovery happened. Hip number two is going to be resurfaced in three weeks, and I am counting down the days. Can't wait to get beyond the surgery and working on the recovery. I have complete faith in my surgeon and the hospital. No fear. I know what's coming, and while I don't look forward to all of it, it's just part of he ride.

If you are contemplating hip resurfacing, and are holding back out of fear, I encourage you to read as many hip stories as you can. The overwhelming majority are positive, and almost everyone wishes they had had their surgery sooner. The Hippys on this website will give you the information and support you need to get your life back. And, when in doubt, you have Pat as the best resource of all.

Hippys, lets get positive thread going to share our stories and drive away the fear that may be holding people back. And, since my surgery in coming up soon, I'd like to enjoy the good news again myself.


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

Woodstock Hippy

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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 04:50:01 PM »
Great Post Boomer!  What are you going to do about the shoulder?  I did my shoulder first and really should have done it last.  I rehabbed it for 2 months before my hip surgeries and it was pretty good but when I was laid up for a while with the hips, it stiffened up again and I had to start over again once I was stable enough to start working on it again.  It's all god right now though.  You know me, I'm rocking; ran early, went to the gym, sealed the driveway and then rode the mountain bike for an hour and a half.  I love my new hips!
Bilateral, Dr Scott Marwin, NYU Joint Disease Hosp, 11/15/11


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 04:51:00 PM »
Boomer, Good luck with your upcoming surgery & recovery mate.

I don't need my 2nd one done just yet, but definitely will not hesitate to get a resurfacing next time around. I waited for 3 years in intense pain for my LBHR, only managed by meds which had other side effects. At nearly 6 months post op now, I'm getting my life back, take no meds and as many of you know, it just gets better and better.
Some of the pain free day to day stuff I (and many others) experience post op;
-Putting my sock & shoes on
-walking long distances
-walk stairs / steep hills
-climbing ladders
-getting in & out of the car
-sitting for long periods (and get up without clenching my teeth)
-play golf
-launch boat & go fishing / diving
-chase around & play with my 2, 5 & 6 yr olds
-Sleep comfort
-etc etc
i.e. generally appreciating having no pain whatsoever in day to day life

Still to look forward to:
-many years of pain free living.

I could go on, but the guts of it is, why live in pain - when you can get back to living a pain free active lifestyle? Technology is alive & kicking, there's plenty of information & solid stats to research. The support on this site is nothing short of brilliant!
Good luck with your decision.
LBHR 11/23/2011
56mm Head
Hugh Blackley (BHR Trained with Ronan Treacy)
Use it or lose it!


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 05:01:25 PM »
Great Post Boomer.  I have you to Thank for helping me be positive and get RH done, also.  Your story and encouragement have made my surgery and recovery much easier. 

I'm happy I had the surgery every day, even those when the hip talks back a little cuz I overdid it.  I am up to walking at a minimum 3.5 miles and have added 100+ lunges during the walk.  Continuing the PT to get strong again and get my 47 yr old body ready for some riding!  So good to be back on the Mtn Bike on easy trails, ready to take it to the next level, but patiently waiting till that 6month mark. 

This Site has been the Best support ever!  Not many people know about RH - what are there 10,000 RH Hips worldwide?  So to have this resource to go to and to share (I've referred 3 people here already) is just awesome. 
Successful LBHR 1/19/12 Dr. Cynthia Kelly
Fear causes Hesitation and Hesitation causes your worst Fears to come true

Dan L

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  • LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012
Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 02:20:44 PM »

Aside from that fun hip/work hip squeaky bastard issue you identified :), this has been such an overwhelmingly positive experience, now almost 3 months after #2 and a few weeks from 8 months on #1.

I continue to obey all the restrictions, which at this point is no lifting over 40 -50 lbs, no high impact for 1 year, and leg exercise for ROM only.

Here are some random expressions of success, at this stage in the year-long recoveries for each side, that really make me feel good about the decision to do this: (PS I'm just an average 50 y/o and non athlete who is very active outdoors whenever possible)

1) walking with the birmingham hip joint super glide makes me smile, the bone on bone pain is gone, and has been since the first day in the hospital.

2) moved a huge woodpile 3' high and 10 pallet foorprint (with help of yard tractor and cart) starting the first weekend off crutches

3) planted 10 (bare root) aspen trees

4) edged and mulched most beds at our Ohio home (we have many), about 4 yards of mulch, just at a bit slower pace given the recovery.

5) planted many perrenials for my wife

6) Hiking at will on the Allegheny escarpment with our dogs, behind our NY retirement home, slightly slower pace

7) last fall, after #1, spent considerable time on the roof installing and tweaking an OTA antenna and associated wiring and controls (man digital TV from way up on a hill is pretty damn good reception)

8. Been push mowing on my own in Ohio, (started with one crutch BEFORE I was off crutches), while my nephew finishes up the lacrosse season.

9) One huge side benefit, was to lose weight.  My surgeon said I should months before I had the surgeries, and I'm down 25 lbs, to assure I keep these new hips as long as possible.  Although an indirect benefit not directly attributable to the HR, the motivation was the HR, and I feel better all around because of the loss of flab.

I was poised to remove a couple stumps over this past weekend, but the boss said that should probably wait until off restrictions, and I relented.  Also put off some drainage ditch work as well, too much hip action needed for that.  I have also not restarted volunteer work in our Nat'l Park, it involves too much walking in uneven and sometimes slippery terrain, and I do not want to fall.

The most I have is stiffness when rising from seated position, and muscle fatigue soreness when doing too much work, otherwise I am doing very, very well.  Taking way less meds than for the last few years, most notably during the work week.

Getting my HR was a great decision, hands down.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 02:25:11 PM by Dan L »
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 03:39:07 PM »
Dan - I'm exhausted just from reading your last post. I don't think the pilgrims worked as hard as you do!

Glad to hear the hip gear is up to your reconstruction efforts.

Agree with your wholeheartedly about the hip being a wondrously positive thing. I am anxious to get the bad one taken care of. When you have one good one, quiet and well behaved, and one screamingly bad one, it makes moving forward on the second one much easier. But, you already know that.

Thanks for the post. Always enjoy hearing from you.

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


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 05:20:48 PM »
I like this thread, Boomer. So I decided to move my response to another thread here because it meandered into why I'm happy with my HRs.

I've been getting back into my routine - started weight lifting last year, soccer lately and getting my martial arts stretching / kicking going starting last November or so. These are all the big things that I've focused on as maybe goals, and they are coming through.

In the real things that count, I can do Dad things like driving to my kid's activities, walking for hours, etc. The biggest thing for me is not dreading anything. I went to a club with my girlfriend, stood and talked to friends, danced at least ten times, strolled outside with her and drove an hour home without thinking of pain. Only discomfort was slightly sore feet. Just an example, but you know what that means, to go through all of that and not worry about a thing (apologies to Stevie Wonder).

The improvement in my hips also has inspired me to other things. I've been doing Dr. Gundry's diet and have dropped about 35 lbs, since I decided that with healed hips, I wanted the rest of me returned to pre-OA state. I went through a divorce just before and during the HR recovery period, and was on anti-depressants and counseling (helped immensely in recovery), and am off those as well. I'm back to painting and used that to produce some Mother's day presents for my Mother, my sister and her mother in law.

So mentally, physically and all, I'm trying to match my new amazing hips. It takes a while, and I think each advance deserves its own time. I believe that each step forward deserves its own focused attention, so I dealt with them sequentially:

  • Recover physically from OA, healing and muscle strengthening.
  • Taper off the anti depressant, but only with the help of both counselor and my doctor.
  • Self recovery goals, like losing weight, returning fully to athletics, etc.

Covering all of those was one thing: be happy. All of these contributed to that and still do. This is my own little sequence and has worked well, I made sure I didn't overlap things and didn't worry about the later things until I was good with the previous. Things are good and I have faith will be even better.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 07:20:06 PM »
You guys really are an inspiration.
I'm a Hippy Hybrid!  L HR Cormet 2000 - Mr Villar, 12th June 2003 and R Corin mini hip - Mr Villar 7th August 2012


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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Birmingham Hip
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 07:57:36 PM »
I had my two done March 2011 and Aug 2011 - I am amazed every day that I pull my socks on.  This weekend was sleeping at Boy Scout camp on the ground and being flexible enough to get dressed in the tent - last year I would have huge issues and probably taken a folding bed - this weekend I just "smiled" and thanked the Doc - Thanks

Yes it was worth the pain and rehab


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