Author Topic: When did you go bilateral?  (Read 7509 times)

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When did you go bilateral?
« on: January 30, 2014, 06:15:19 PM »
Hi everyone,

I lurked here for quite a while before deciding to get my right hip done by Dr. Gross last August. So, thanks to many of you for your contributions, particularly the soccer-playing crowd. My recovery has gone incredibly smoothly, and I'm grateful to all of you for being such tireless advocates of resurfacing.

My question pertains to how long you waited to have your second one done, for those of you who didn't have them done together? I had my first xrays in 2009, and both hips showed OA at the time, with the right worse than the left. From then until I had my surgery in August, all my symptoms were on my right - my left felt completely normal...until last week. Suddenly, I'm feeling what I think are the early signs of my left going, both in my back and in my hip. To digress for a second, my initial symptoms were discomfort in my back, then a sciatica like pain radiating down into my right leg, before the symptoms localized in my hip (my initial xray was for my back). At least, this is how I recall it all progressing, but it's definitely somewhat vague.

So, given my positive experience with the first, my inclination is not to wait - I don't want to go through the slow degradation all over again, particularly with my right feeling so good. But, am I jumping the gun? Dr. Gross said there's no point in doing an asymptomatic hip, and I'm wondering if I'm being overly conscious of anything in the left?

Anyway, I'd love any feedback on your experience with the other hip going south, and how much you put up with before having it done.




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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 06:30:55 PM »
Scott - My surgeon and I both throught I could wait awhile on the second hip after my first resurfacing. But, since the first resurfacing went well, I started to ramp up my activity to regain some of the joy I had lost during the decline. As soon as I did that, my other hip deteriorated rapidly, and very quickly I was right back where I started before the first resurfacing. This was extremely demoralizing, as you can imagine. I wasn't willing to accept limitations on my life any longer, and convinced my surgeon to resurface the second hip. Things have been great ever since. I posted an update recently that you can review. I have no regrets.

Your decision may not be an easy one. For me it was. I had complete faith in my surgeon, and I was unwilling to continue on in a disabled state waiting as my other hip continued to deteriorate. Life is short, while live it at half speed if you don't have to?

Good luck to you.

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


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 07:23:48 PM »
Good question Scott.  I've been wondering the very same thing.

Boomer, great reply. One that I will also consider.  Way too much time and effort wasted on the first one and I, too, won't go down that same path if I can help it.

RBHR, Dr. Richard Sellers, 04 DEC 13


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 09:31:53 PM »
Hey Scott, I was 'lucky' in that I had no choice. Both were bad, one bone on bone and the other just about.

So I scheduled both at the same time, but my left (the worst) first and the second three months later.

Both went without a hitch and my mind was as calm as could be, since I just planned the whole recovery effort.

So... no decision on the second, but I was glad to have scheduled it that way, since when the first started getting really better, the other one did get worse in comparison.

I don't know if that was due to my first being pain free and that now shifted my attention to the second, or that the first being frisky pushed the second to keep up and that cause more pain to show.

The second surgery stopped all that, but in the end you have to trust yourself (like Boomer) and your surgeon. Tough call.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 12:26:16 AM »
When I had my first done I was 51. At the time Mr McMinn said there were "plenty of miles" in the other one. And he was right - it lasted another fourteen years. As soon as it went bad, I knew that I wanted exactly the same treatment and surgeon as I had for the first.

At 65, I guess most doctors would say that a THR would have been absolutely fine (and I am sure it would have been). But if you have found something that works so well for you, you just want the same again.
Rt BHR Nov 1999
Lt BHR Oct 2013
Mr D McMinn


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 02:32:38 AM »
Thank you all for your replies. I have to say that my inclination is to follow Boomer's advice, and not wait - I feel as though I waited too long to do the first one. But I had hoped I'd get a few years at least before the second became necessary. I was the first patient to go in the morning, and the guy going after me was having his second hip done, almost exactly a year after his first. I remember thinking, well, that won't be me...yeah, right!

Boomer, you did your second about six months after the first, so the symptoms in the second hip became apparent while you were still rehabbing the first, right? Were you pushing hard in rehab?

I'm just bummed - a few weeks away from pickup soccer and planning backpacking trips, and now I'm back to envisioning six months of rehabbing and keeping my fingers crossed that there are no complications and that my second recovery is as smooth as the first. I do trust Dr. Gross, I think he's a fantastic surgeon. So, I'll probably push forward with doing the second, just thought I'd get to enjoy my first new hip for a while first.


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 03:44:16 PM »
I am pondering the same but at the end of the day it is really upto the experts. After my bhr and subsequent mishap I felt like I needed my left done pretty soon as it was having to work overtime. But then I got better and fitter lost 36lbs, felt like my left hip would go for a long time.
Then I really ramped up the excercise and now I get that horrible toothache type nagging pain most of the time and sometimes the real shooting pains. My ROM is getting worse and where my BHR sometimes feels a little stiff if I have been sitting too long but can excercise it off the left hip is the exact opposite, the more I push it the worse I pay later.

I still have good days and bad days with my left hip but when the bad become constant, time for action.
RBHR Mr McMinn 6th December 2011.
Tripped and crushed head under cap 31st January 2012.
Self repairing.


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 12:55:10 PM »
Scott... As you can see by my signature I had my second just 5 months after my first. Initially my left wasn't hurting me at all, although on  X-ray it didn't look great. Dr. Gross thought I might get another year out of it. Once I was really able to be mobile after the first (I'd say after 8 weeks post op), the left really started acting up and mimicked the same hip/back pain I had been having in the right. I decided right then I would just suck it up and get the left done. I waited 5 months since I had to plan it around my work schedule and I wanted to be strong enough to rehab it ( have one string leg to stand on -- literally!). It hurt but I was able to work out right up until the week before surgery.

I am 7 weeks post-op on the left and I DO feel like I am starting all over again. I've lost some muscle tone and some upper body strength -- But it's a year out of my life and I figure by summer time I will be well on my way. It's worth it that I can now walk with no pain! I did a 3 mile walk yesterday and a spin class yesterday --- no issues!
Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 01:27:16 AM »
Hi Juno and Jason,

Thanks for your input. What I am finding confusing is a come-and-go appearance of symptoms in my left hip. As soon as I feel them, I think I should run, not walk, back to Dr. Gross. But then the symptoms disappear, and I'm left thinking that maybe it's premature, and I should get as much use out of the joint as I can. But, when you know it's just a matter of time before the transient discomfort becomes permanent, well, it's hard not to just go ahead and get the jump on the process.

Once again, I appreciate the feedback. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in wrestling with the timing of having the second hip done. I'll weigh in when I've made a decision about doing my left.



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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 03:10:58 PM »
I waited 4 years between hips.  My right felt fine for a little over 3 years after the left although the X-rays did not look so good.  Once my right began to hurt I new it was time and did not wait as long as I had with the left after pain had started.
Good luck.

L-BHR - Aug 2008 - Dr. Brooks  Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
R-BHR - Dec 2012 - Dr. Brooks  Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital
L-BHR Revision Nov 2017 - Dr. Brooks Euclid


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Re: When did you go bilateral?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 04:11:49 AM »
Hi Scott,

Had first hip done April 2012, second done three weeks ago, both by Dr. Gross. First hip was completely gone, I would have let them amputate the leg if they wanted to. I'm not being hyperbolic, I mean that.

Other hip was not as bad. Thought I'd get a few years out it. Was exploring having lesser surgery (FAI, etc.) throughout all of 2013 on the other hip until it became apparent that the other hip was just too far gone. Deteriorating quickly on x-ray. Also following the other one symptomatically; starting to get the pain down the thigh, groin, butt, etc. Again, this hip was not as painful.

In all candor the thing that decided me to have the surgery done was because I couldn't golf anymore, and that was really my only remaining athletic pursuit (gave up hockey a few years ago, karate a few years before that, though my hips were not the reason for either). I could golf with atrocious arthritis in the back hip (not well of course, and I would pay the price after) but I found I just couldn't do it with the front hip. I played twice in 2013 and wrecked my summer.

Also in all candor, I found myself questioning my decision to have the second hip done, both immediately before surgery, and also for the few days after. Not all the time for those few days after: I remember immediately after surgery being glad it was behind me, but then the tough part of recovery hit, days two and three especially. Now at three weeks I am thankful that it is behind me and am looking forward to golf this summer, wondering if maybe for the first time in years I'll be able to take a nice smooth, leisurely swing, instead of having to rip at the ball with an overly fast arm-swing in order to generate momentum.

RHR April 2012.
LHR March 2014.

Both Biomet Magnum/Recap 54/48, by Dr. Thomas Gross.


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