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Author Topic: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?  (Read 15564 times)

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Mr.Box

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Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« on: July 21, 2012, 12:10:28 AM »
Hi Guys,

I've read most of the posts on this forum in the last few years wondering if I could actually go back to playing like my old self again. I have to credit this forum with finally helping me make the choice of taking the plunge with hip resurfacing. My story is below:

I started playing roller hockey around the age of 16, nobody else wanted to be goalie so I ended up buying the pads piece by piece. It was much simpler back then, stick, ball or puck, a fence to call a goal, baseball glove, and a good tolerance for pain. I began working aggressively on my flexibility and by the end of High School, I was the most flexible of my teenage years. I joined a local hockey rink and progressed through the divisions and absolutely adored the attention that playing well brings.

Around 21-22 I was playing on 7 teams a week ( 3 ice ( 2 house divisions and 1 travel ) and 3 roller teams ) I really started testing my body and noticed it was kicking back. I had a bunch of groin issues and hamstring issues ( so I thought ). I wasn't a pro and I chalked it up to being a 6'3" and 240lb goalie who probably should lose some lbs. My right leg ROM started diminishing at this point and I ended up completely changing the style of goaltending that I had previously used. No longer was I able to do the splits as a desperation save attempt. The ROM changes started affecting my right side kicks saves and how I flared out my legs and pads. I started cheating more and more to the right and had the glove hand to make up for it ( thank god ).

I had a very fun 5 years playing in divisions where I valued the friendships more than the competition. I played at levels slightly lower for fun then testing my abilities. I still played 2-4 teams a season, but towards the end I started noticing that my pregame rituals included taking 2-4 Advil about an hour prior to the game. I have no idea how this started, but it became habit / ritual and I never knew how or why it helped.. but it did greatly.

I remember it pretty vividly, the day I felt that strange pop sensation in my hip. The play was coming down the right side on a 2on0. Defense was far away and wasn't going to be able to cut down the pass. I played the man with the puck and he passed it to the left side wing. I pushed off my right side and threw out my left leg and.. pop. There was a large twinge almost like a string on a banjo being plucked accompanied with a huge amount of momentary pain. It went away quickly, but my mind held on to that event as if it were the key to everything. That night I began to have this burning sensation from my hip / groin area down my entire legs. I figured I had been overworking myself with playoffs and regular season games intertwining the past few weeks. I had always played through injuries in the past, I would be an ox and do so like normal. It took another 4 Advil for the burning to stop, another four the next night, and the next.

I finally figured I had a problem when the 10th person in the same day told me I was limping while walking. I hadn't noticed a huge change in my gait that had slowly occurred in the past few months. My hip started catching and the pain was excruciating for that split second hitch. I made an appointment with a local sports orthopedist who works with a major NFL team and did work with a NHL affiliate in his past. I secretly wanted to have a problem so I could stop playing for a bit. The amount of playing was beginning to wear on me a little. Boy, I really should of watched what I wished for.

I was diagnosed with OA in both hips and FAI in both hips. I went for a contrast MRI and they found a labral tear which could only be repaired with surgery. I found a doctor to repair the FAI in my left hip and fix the labral tear and scheduled the surgery. The surgery was set for 1.5 hours and ended up taking 3. The amount of bone that was needed to be removed was much greater than thought and most of the cartilage in my hip was thinned or gone. I was out of work for 2 months and couldn't play hockey for 9 months.

The surgery took away the pain and restored some ROM. I however wasn't extremely satisfied with the results. I went back to playing hockey and I stunk. It took a good 1/2 season to get back into some form and win a few games. Second season back we won our championship and I played very well. I however knew that the surgically fixed hip was losing ROM and the side that wasn't operated on was losing what limited ROM it had previously. Life advanced, new job, new wife, new house, less time for hockey and I took the opportunity to back away from hockey for a bit, good excuse instead of... I'm 30 with hips of a 70 year old... ( not many people understand it ).

So here I am, 32 with a 7 1/2 month old daughter now and daddy realizes that yard work, house work, shopping at the mall is a bit too hard for more than a few hours at a time. I know that I'm going to have to chase after a toddler soon and I miss my old " Pain ? Hell we just started to have fun " personality. I have an appointment on Monday July 23rd with Dr. Su at HSS in NYC. I'm thinking about a bilateral hip resurfacing with the BHR or Biomet depending on which will accomplish my goals.

So now that you know me ( and well my life story ). Is it possible ? Can I go back to being who I was in my 20's and competing again ? Do you regain all the natural ROM that you hip had before it was all stolen away ? Can I do the splits if I work out my tendons once again ? Does the pain really go away ? If this is true.. do I have to sell my soul too, cause It sounds way too good to be true. 
Bilateral BHR with Dr. Su 9/14/12

Dannywayoflife

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 12:22:23 AM »
I would say given time that yes you can get back to playing goalie
Train hard fight easy
LBHR 10/11/2011 Mr Ronan Treacy Birmingham England
60mm cup 54mm head
Rbhr 54mm head 60mm cup 12/02/15 Ronan Treacy ROH Birmingham England
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bilateralbliss

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 12:33:18 AM »
Hi and welcome!
Thanks for sharing your story, which so many can relate to.
Definately the pain will go away, Dr Su is an excellent surgeon too. The relief is amazing- the OA pain vanishes immediately after surgery. Personally when reaching the stage you are now at- go bilat
asap, then it just gets better. I have yet to hear of anyone being unable to return to your sport!
Just take it slowly, allow yourself to heal :)
Bilateral BHR Dr McMinn 6Dec2011
Birmingham

Dannywayoflife

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 12:50:50 AM »
The most important factor with hip resurfacing is the surgeon. If you go to Dr Su he is an excellent surgeon I believe he uses the BHR that going on the statistics will give you a very high probability of a great outcome.
Train hard fight easy
LBHR 10/11/2011 Mr Ronan Treacy Birmingham England
60mm cup 54mm head
Rbhr 54mm head 60mm cup 12/02/15 Ronan Treacy ROH Birmingham England
;)

hernanu

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 02:21:40 PM »
So now that you know me ( and well my life story ). Is it possible ? Can I go back to being who I was in my 20's and competing again ? Do you regain all the natural ROM that you hip had before it was all stolen away ? Can I do the splits if I work out my tendons once again ? Does the pain really go away ? If this is true.. do I have to sell my soul too, cause It sounds way too good to be true.

Welcome and thanks for your story.

I think first of all, this is a great step to get your life back. You mentioned that you wanted to go back to chasing your kid without the pain and limitations that we all know; that is definitely possible.

 I've personally returned after a good recovery on both hips to full activity on day to day things. It's awesome. No OA pain for almost two years, the only pain since was the early recovery surgery related pain, then later the PT and recovery of function of muscles great and small. Some of us have dealt with other issues, but the good chances are of a full functional recovery.

As a goal, that was my first and foremost, to live life without that punishing pain and all that it carries. I also had been very active physically, loved martial arts, soccer, basketball, etc. I had long years at those (35 for martial arts), and had to give each up unwillingly as the OA sank its claws. So a secondary, yet still important goal was to return to my other activities if possible. The most important thing, though was not to endanger my overall recovery with this.

I spoke with my surgeon about it, and was excited to learn that I could return to everything in due time. That time, though was a length that seemed huge. I couldn't return to any impact activities before a year, then had to settle slowly into it over time. After the surgeries, I saw the wisdom in this after educating myself with this site and others, doing research, etc. The healing that needs to happen can lead to a very strong function, but you need to protect it. So I followed his instructions and am now playing soccer, getting back to martial arts, stretching, hitting and kicking the heavy bag, etc.

In all things, I keep protection of the implants in mind, but so far, at 21 and 24 months, feel good doing my sports. I am still not back to full capabilities (haven't tried some of the really powerful kicks on the bag yet, still slow into the sprint in soccer), but can see getting there. So I guess given my own experience and that of many others that post here, including some Dr. Su grads, the answer is a (non-medical person) qualified yes - depends on what he says, how patient and diligent you are in your recovery.

This surgery gives you your life back, but you do need to make sure you cover all your goals (sorry   ::) ) with Dr. Su. If you do make it back, I'd love to see pictures of you doing a split, I never could - came close, but still had that inch to go.

Glad to see you're going to a very good surgeon. Good luck! As to your soul, I think medical insurance will do.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 02:22:23 PM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Mr.Box

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 11:59:04 PM »
Thank you all for your replies. My appointment is tomorrow at 2pm with Dr. Su. I'm thinking he'll want to send me for an MRI tomorrow to get a more in depth look at my hips. I've compiled a list of questions to ask tomorrow, though some of them are answered on his website. Here are the questions on my to ask list. If you see any questions I've omitted, please let me know.

After explaining what my goals post surgery would be:

What implant would you suggest for my particular goals ?

Is there any next generation implants that are in the design phase that would be worth waiting for ? Particularly to accomplish the goals I have already explained.

Assuming ROM is tested during the consultation, what would level of improvement be post surgery / highest attainable ROM level ?

Is there any limited motions, seated positions, activities, beyond the post-surgery recovery ? ( ie. life long limitations )

Pre-surgery physical therapy ? To loosen up the joint and strengthen the muscles prior to the surgery ?

Is a bilateral surgery an option in my case ?

If yes, how long would in-hospital care last ? How long till I return to work ( Yes, working at home is a possibility. )

As I've had a joint surgery before, what are average recovery times for regular activities, sports activities, etc.

How long till I can drive again ? ( Car is a stick shift ).

Post surgery physical therapy - will HSS assist in recommending a physical therapist in my area that has success with hip resurfacing patients ? Can the post surgery regimen be tailored to my specific goals, within the guidelines of the post surgery limitations.

Skating / Hockey / Goaltending - Time lines on returning to each activity. ( Skating was at 3 months post surgery with the arthroscopic operation and was excellent. )

Below are my wife's questions. You can see the difference of concerns. HA!

How long till you can bear weight ( walk alone / stairs ) ?

Normal hygiene activities - showering post surgery. How long till wounds can be wet or...

Is he able to pick up and hold our 8 month old child post surgery ? How long till he can safely pick her up ?

What advice could you give for a spouse for dealing with the post surgery items ?

I can sum this all up in one item ( ie. what can I yell at him for doing ? and what should I make sure he doesn't do at all ).
Bilateral BHR with Dr. Su 9/14/12

DirkV

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 04:46:38 AM »
Hi Mr. Box, Not to trump the other replies, but tomorrow I'll be in net playing against 1 maybe 2 former NHL'ers (both at 50 plus yrs old, but still in good shape). I always get up for Wed. hockey knowing the caliber. So yes, you should be able to get back to ice hockey goaltending. I'm playing twice a week, sometimes picking up the 3rd game in a week, but life is in better balance w/ 2/wk.
Our stories a very similar (probably not unsurprisingly given rigors of goaltending on hips). You might find interesting a couple articles I came across only recently regarding the toll that butterfly/profly goaltending style takes on hips:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/david_epstein/03/18/butterfly.hip.injuries/index.html
http://ingoalmag.com/training/hip-injuries-are-to-goalies-what-shoulder-injuries-are-to-pitchers/

I played goalie since age 8 or 9. Played HS and college. But then when I started playing mens league in my late 20s, realized how fun it could be, and also how much demand for decent goalies who can show up when they say they will. But when my hips finally went (it wasn't a pop like yours, but a slow buckle for me - just couldn't stand without pain) and I went in for xrays, the docs noticed FAI that had exacerbated the wear on the soft tissue until there was nearly none left. How dumb was I to think it was cool to limp after a game (thinking of good saves with every little pang in the step) without thinking the body was telling me something. I also got in the habit of pregame ibuprofins. At 4.5 yrs post op, I'll bet I've had fewer than 10 total over the entire time.

The biggest difference in our cases, however, is age of onset for arthritis. I didn't have my resurf until age 47. Regarding comeback to goaltending, it was an odd path. When I had the surgery, I was adamant that I wanted to play again. But then over the first year, the hips felt ready for other activities (cycling, hiking, even skating out) but not for goaltending. I got into those other things more and more, and gave up on the idea of goaltending. But then around 2 yrs post op, I just felt ready to play net again, and did. I had gotten rid of my gear and had to borrow then buy a set. The first couple weeks were pretty bad, but the first time I made a routine pad save and angled my leg to control the rebound and simultaneously moved my stick to corral the puck, it was kind of like 'aha, this is what I've done all my life and what I'm good at.' Now, I'm playing at the same caliber relative to the same guys from 10 yrs ago - but of course, we are all older :-) .  I'm sure I could have got back into it sooner if I had focused recovery/rehab on hockey.

Re your other questions: I had bilat, but 1 month apart. I work from home and was able to get back to work within 1 week and 2 weeks respectively (2nd one hit a bit harder). I think you should be able to carry your kid around within a couple weeks, np, but your surgeon will give you protocols.

The biggest advice is don't plan for everything to go perfect. I had weight bearing restrictions on my 2nd surgery, such that if I worked in an office and planned to be back at work, there would have been no way. Similar with helping out with kids, showering, yardwork, etc. If all goes well, you should be able to do these things relatively soon I'd think (oh, here's a hint on showering: wrap your incision in press and seal if concerned about it getting wet). But be prepared if you have to defer things. In the long term, it doesn't matter much if you start doing these things 2 weeks or 2 months post op.

Keep lookin' up,
-Dirk
Bilateral 02/08, 03/08, Dr. Ball

hernanu

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 12:49:36 PM »
Excellent post Dirk - Mr. Box is lucky to have you here.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Mr.Box

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 02:53:42 AM »
DirkV - Amazing post. What you wrote has hit all the right notes in my mind. I'm actually amazed at the similarities between our stories, even down to the ibuprofen before games.

I've always considered myself modest when it has come to hockey. I've always answered " Are you actually good " with " You can watch me play and figure it out yourself ". Though, like you pointed out in your post there is such a demand for decent goalies who actually want to play. ( I didn't pay a league fee from 18-25 years old. even with playing on as many as four different teams! ) The attention and even the freebies were addicting!

Unfortunately with the right leg going first and then the left, the last few years of playing, I had to work really hard to keep up with my own expectations of my playing ability. The pain was so great at times, I even prayed that an injury would take me out of the game for a while. I got what I asked for and I completely regret it. I remember the limping after a game and the day after the game also. I never noticed I was limping.. everyone else noticed it for me. Though, as you pointed out, the mind was fresh from the win ( or loss ) from the night before and the saves and competition that made it worth it.

However, the light at the tunnel is growing. I scheduled surgery with Dr. Edwin Su at HSS for Sept 14th. Same day.. bilateral. I was given a large dose of " every recovery is different " but was assured that playing goal again was attainable. 6 months post-op was the time table given for returning to impact sports. I'm going to be very cautious and maybe start skating at 6 months and work my way back into it depending on feel. I'm an admitted equipment nut, so I'm not giving up my stuff any time soon. I plan on visiting Hockey Monkey's " Monkey Sports " store in New Jersey post surgery to maybe pick up a new pair of skates for returning to the ice.. maybe a new chest protector. ( Internal motivator )

I'm also very glad at the support this forum gives, I have to highlight that DirkV and others point out that there is more to life than hockey. I can't wait to return to all my favorite activities, and to find ones that I've never known.

In terms of style of play - If I had to choose a goalie that I play it would be Roy, but less butterfly.. more like Brodeur. ( I wrote this before reading that article. Are you a guardian angle goalie ? You again hit the nail on the head. LoL. )
Bilateral BHR with Dr. Su 9/14/12

FutureHippy

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 07:32:22 PM »
To OP,

I can totally understand what you are going through. I damaged my hip being a goaltender in a men league (ice hockey). At beginning I was doing fine but everything got worst when I ''improved my game'' to butterfly style. I got better but I destroyed my cartilage. I was later diagnozed with FAI and OA (for some reasons only my right hip is painful). I got very discouraged. I sold my equipement and said bye bye to the game I love so much. I'm still sad just thinking about it.

Now three years after I manage my pain. I didn't go for the the surgery you went through because I read the results are not very conclusive and lots of people experience pain shortly after.

I'm 32 and have a 15 months kid. At this point, I can not run. I can hike but with pain. I love hiking so I still go, but sometimes I suffer for a full week after. I'm still affraid of the surgery though. So I'll try to last a few more years and when it's to painful to even hike I'll go for it.

I can only dream of playing hockey again. Let us know how things are going for you. I'll be following your story. Good luck!!

Pat Walter

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 08:24:35 PM »
Mr. Box - welcome to hip talk.

The best advice I can give is to choose a reallly experienced hip resurfacing surgeon to get you back on the ice.  Let the surgeon choose the device he/she feels most comfortable using or they feel is best for you.  The most important choice is the surgeon, after that most things will just fall into place.

There are many athletes that returned to their sports after they have healed.  Just make sure to give yourself time to heal and don't push too soon.  Listen to your surgeon and you will be back on the ice again soon.   http://www.surfacehippy.info/athletes.php

All the questions about going back to work, when this or that will happen is all very individual for each person.  No one can predict how quickly things will heal and  you can be active again.  You body will have it's own timeline and your mind can't push it.  You just need to be patient.  Many people have very quick recoveries and some long ones even though they might have been athletes and in good shape.  We are all different.  Choosing a top surgeon will give you the best shot at healing quickly and getting back into action.

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

Mr.Box

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 11:34:06 AM »
Hi Pat

Thank you for your post. I scheduled with Dr. Su, and from what I've heard from other forum members that he is an EXCELLENT surgeon. From talking with his assistant and with Dr. Su directly they seem to have no doubts that returning to full activity is possible. Probably based upon my age and history / experience with a previous hip surgery.

Has anyone else gone through an arthroscopic hip surgery to correct FAI and then a hip resurfacing ? I'm curious as to what the pain levels were for both post recovery and how they compare. 
Bilateral BHR with Dr. Su 9/14/12

HUMANSIEVE

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 01:09:35 AM »
I'm two yrs post op and have been playing hockey since 1 yr post op.  I first started skating in pick hours as a forward. I've got admitt I was a little off my game and I think it was due to my own insecurities of damaging the hip. After all I'm 56 yrs old and have the usual financial responsibilities that come with having a family.
     In Sept this yr. I joined my old league as a goalie and havent looked back since. It my favorite position by far, but I had to give it up and skate as a forward before I made the decision to have the surgery. I feel as good as I did before the surgery and never give it a thought with one minor exception. In a scrum around trhe crease after a save I don't hang around the area long. I try to decrease the odds of someone falling on an outstretched leg and maybe popping it out. But other than that all is well in hockey. Good luck

hernanu

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 04:41:21 AM »
Great handle and welcome to the site! Very cool that you've gotten back to goalie.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

John C

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 01:29:03 AM »
Hi Mr Box,
I had arthroscopic surgery about 4 years before my resurfacing, which I had done 4 1/2 years ago. The aftermath of the two surgeries is very different. As far as pain, that can be controlled with sufficient drugs, so the main difference there is how much more pain medication you will need to take to keep it under control; not really a problem. The big difference is how much more trauma the body has suffered, and its need to go into repair mode. After the arthroscopy, I had my normal energy, and my hip and leg felt pretty normal, except for minor post op pain. After resurfacing, my leg felt like a big over stuffed sausage that I did not really have a lot of control over, and I found that my body needed lots of rest and naps to allow for maximum healing. It is a much more traumatic surgery, physically and sometimes mentally. I was back on skis a month after the arthroscopy, and was still on crutches a month after the resurfacing, and not back on skis for six months.
The big news is that after the arthroscopy, I was only about 40% better, and it only lasted for a few years. After the resurfacing, I am 99% better, and I fully expect it to stay that way for many more years to come.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

Mr.Box

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Re: Is this really possible ? - Can I be a goalie again ?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 03:06:01 AM »
Hi John,

I'm 3 months post op at this point. I find out Monday if I can be cleared to start some light skating. I jumped on a good black Friday deal and picked up a pair of One80 goalie skates for 1/2 price.

I can feel there is progress beyond where the hip was prior to the surgery. I actually have that on a list of things to ask Dr. Su on Monday. ( comparison of pre-op measurements to current measurements on Range of Motion )
Bilateral BHR with Dr. Su 9/14/12

 

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