Author Topic: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross  (Read 2129 times)

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1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:02:47 AM »
I’m scheduled to have my left hip resurfaced with Dr. Gross on Wednesday July 19th and my right hip resurfaced on August 28th. I’ve found this site very helpful for me and wanted to use it to document my own journey as well.

My earliest recollection of a problem was about two years ago. At the time I would have classified it as stiffness – I would especially notice it when I would have to reach down to pick something off the ground. This continued to advance and become more difficult. In November of 2016 I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh for xrays /scans. He walks into the room and says, “well this is pretty simple, you are bone on bone in both hips and you’re going to need to have both hips replaced”. That was a lot to digest but at least I knew what I was facing.

Soon after that diagnosis I got steroid injections in both hips to at least help me deal with pain for upcoming family vacation. Even though I knew it would only be temporary, I was still encouraged  by the relief I felt. Unfortunately that relief only lasted about two weeks. That helped me understand that I needed to do something sooner than later.

I found out about Dr. Gross through my primary physician who had one of his patients have a positive experience. He arranged for me to speak with him – he was my age and his story sounded very similar to mine (including the fear of dropping something in public and the embarrassment of trying to pick it up). His life after hip resurfacing sounded amazing. I quickly reached out to Dr. Gross’ office, sent them my x-rays, and heard back from them that I was a good candidate. The only problem was that based on Dr. Gross’ schedule it was going to be 5 months before he had his first opening for bilateral procedure. I was disappointed because I was ready to have the procedure done the next day.

My problems and symptoms escalated – feels like I went downhill really fast. I worked with Dr. Gross’ office to have my left hip (the worst one) done on July 19th and the second one on August 28th.

As a reminder for my future “pain free self” here are snippets of a Pain Journal that I jotted down on my iphone to help me document how I was feeling  so that I could describe it to doctors:
·       [/font]I have severe pain when I sit down or stand up - pain radiates down my upper leg. The pain in my lower back seems worse this week. It feels like I need to make shorter steps to minimize the pain.
·       [/font]When I sit down it almost feels like knives stabbing into the upper part of my thighs also has pain in lower middle back. It's very difficult to have the strength to sit-up just with my legs - I really need something that my arms can either push or pull up from.
·       [/font]When I'm getting out of the car - swinging around especially hurts my left hip. Feel the pain where the leg bone goes into the hip socket.
·       [/font]This week it hurt when climbing stairs. In general if I stay on my feet for any type of long period it hurts. Also hurts when I walk. Then afterwards it feels worse (especially in my back). When I was walking downtown  - it did help my back pain to hold my chest up and pull shoulders back.
·       [/font]In general it feels best when I'm sitting. When I go to sit down - I feel weakness in legs and it hurts in the front of my thighs and hips when I sit down- I often ultimately sort of plop down. It's very difficult for me to stand up if I don't have something close by to push-up from.
·       [/font]What's the worst is putting on my socks and shoes - especially my left leg. It's not only painful (front of thighs and hip bone[/color])[/size] but I also have very restricted range of motion.
·       [/font]When I have to pick something off of the ground - it's almost impossible. The only way it's manageable is if I have something in front on of me that's at knee to waist level to brace / lean on - I can then lean / push into that and walk my way down. The pain I feel is in my thighs, hips and back.
·       [/font]My pain got worse this week when traveling - I think it was related to dealing with my bags. I've not had pain in the past for basic walking and this week I have - there is a new pain that's more on the inside of my thighs / upper leg.
[/color] [/size]
[/color]I’m looking forward to being on “the other side” of these surgeries! [/size]


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 08:02:01 PM »
Good luck. I appreciate the amount of pain you're in. I think people who have never experienced 24 hour a day chronic pain just don't have any concept of how exhausting and debilitating it is. I don't care for how opiates make me feel, but I understand why chronic pain patients become addicted. Hip resurfacing is like miracle surgery. All that hip pain will disappear when you have the surgery. They'll be post-surgical recovery pain, but that is so profoundly different to what you're experiencing now it's hard to explain. I had my surgery in January of last year, and it's hard to remember just how much pain I was in prior to that. Soon you'll be on the other side.


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 09:45:13 PM »
So true, catfriend.

I didn't realize how much pain I was in. I just pushed through and did what I had to do with more and more modifications, like only going upstairs in my house one a day instead of freely floating up and down all day, not walking to get the mail but rather waiting to get it when I was already driving by the box, etc. Accepting that I wouldn't sleep through the night, that I'd wander around the house looking for a more comfortable spot, then drink lots of coffee to get going in the morning. So many small changes that made my life so much smaller.

After surgery that chronic, grinding pain was gone. Yes, I had surgical pain and swelling, and yes I was weak and awkward, but overall I felt better and knew that I would continue to improve every day. The first week was pretty tough. My legs wouldn't do what my brain told them to do. I had to think so hard to get in and out of car and be so careful not to trip or drop something. ( Dropped my cane once and had to call my son to come pick it up. I was standing at the end of the driveway!) But being able to walk without pain was thrilling. Before long I was crutching around the neighborhood feeling joyful!

Best of luck to you. Report back when you're done!


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 05:43:00 PM »
Hi Dave,

I think you will be very happy with your decision. Rest assured, you have picked one of the finest HR surgeons and staff available. Blinky and catfriend are completely correct. You're going to be amazed that that constant, nagging pain will subside very quickly after your surgeries. As they've said, there will still be some post-surgical pain during your recovery for some months, but it's not as intense and ever-present.

 I was a bilateral patient of Dr. Gross (about 7 months post-op now) and there is only some slight residual pain in the muscles where they cut (glutes basically) which is diminishing every week.  I didn't have all the pain with all the activities you listed, but I totally hear you about picking stuff off the ground. Near the end, I basically would lean over and "fall" on the ground on my hands, lol. I probably looked pretty funny doing so, and of course if there was anyone watching me trying to get back up must have been entertaining to view.

Like you, I was totally ready to get the procedures done. If I could have a year ago, I would have taken the first flight out the next morning to do so. I ended up having to wait about 6 months, and every additional week with that constant pain felt like a month. I was so impatient to start on the road back to a normal physical life, which I basically have right now. I'm very happy with my decision. You are, in effect, getting bilateral procedures performed with a small gap of time between surgeries, so you will have pretty much one overall recovery period. Many of us here are bilateral patients of Dr. Gross (blinky, Quig, Sheltons, and others). Don't hesitate to ask us any questions that you might have.

Good Luck!
Bilateral patient
Dr. Gross
December 12, 14 2016
Biomet (uncemented)


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 04:56:32 PM »
Hey Dave.

Welcome to the board and soon to the Bilateral club! Don't sweat it, you're going to do great. As Joe pointed out, you're going to one of the very best surgeons/teams/hospitals available for the procedure. Not only is Dr. Gross obviously amazingly skilled, he's a nice guy and his staff is incredible. Prepare to be impressed. As far as the surgeries go... they're no fun but also not a terribly big deal. The way you're splitting the surgeries by a few weeks looks like a pretty good idea. I won't sugar coat it, you've got some work ahead of you but you're also in for a very pleasant surprise. As the others have said, the debilitating deeeeeeep hip pain and the pain that radiates down your legs will be GONE. And I mean it will be gone immediately. The post surgical pain isn't pleasant, especially at first but it's a welcome change and a sign that you're on the other side and healing instead of getting worse. Relax and get ready for a huge change for the better. Good luck sir, don't hesitate to stop in and let us know how you're doing or post up any questions.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 05:47:32 PM by Quig »
Bilateral Hip Resurfacing by Dr. Thomas Gross
  -Right Hip; April 11, 2016
  -Left Hip; April 13, 2016


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 03:49:18 AM »
Thanks everyone for the messages and positive thoughts! I didn't relies I had replies until today - nice feeling to be heard by sympathetic ears who have "been there, done that, and got the t-shirt to prove it! :)

Needless to my wife and i are beyond impressed with Dr Gross and his amazing team. I feel in the blanks later with more details for  my own record / memory - but in a nutshell it's been 6 days since my left hip resurfacing and I've been feeling better than I thought I would. You guys are right, the pain I was experiencing previously is in effect gone - replaced with post-surgery pain which I would describe as sore / tender.  Interesting today was probably my toughest day since right after the surgery. It started off great - I've probably been a little cocky the last day or two - fairly  quickly maneuvering around the house on one crutch. This afternoon I stayed in my " big chair" for too long helping my daughter draft a response to sellers of a house she's buying (her first). When I got up I felt stiff - I then stayed on my feet too long. I started feeling weird - like things were getting a little hazy and I started feeling weak. I had my son go get my other crutch and I slowly made it back to my bed to lie down. This set-off a little bit anxiety for me - while I feel better tonight today's episode has me walking around a little more carefully. I've also had some extra tightness in my hip/leg... I think I now officially understand the meaning of "monkey fist".

That's enough babbling for now - I was just excited to see that people had replied to my original post and after today's rocky patch it  was nice timing to share my experience to see if others have had days like today. With the exception of my catheter experience (which is a tale for another day!) I know I've been super lucky with my recovery so far!

A HUGE shout out to my wife - she has been such an amazing caregiver! I need to start thinking of something super special for her.

Once again - great to meet my new " hippy friends"! :)



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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 05:48:50 PM »

Glad to hear you are doing good in your recovery.  The "monkey fist" thing for me was prominent in the first couple of weeks after surgery.  I also experienced cramping in the thigh when crutching longer distances. This would force me to stop and slowly work the cramp out by raising my foot behind me to gently stretch the quad.  Now at just over 5 weeks the tightness/monkey fist as well as the cramping are gone. It's easy to get overzealous early on when you realize the joint pain is gone but remember that your femoral neck and head are weak and need time to rebuild density and strength. The acetabular side needs ~ 6 weeks for the pelvis bone to grow into the implant.

Keep up the good work, maintain a positive attitude and good luck with the recovery and upcoming right hip resurfacing.


LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 6/20/2017


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 12:30:54 AM »
Derek - thanks for the feedback and encouragement. In general the monkey fist has gotten better - and when it does happen I at least have the comfort in knowing that it's just part of the process. I had some extra swelling in my leg/ankle/foot last week that slowed down some of my progress of being active (lots of ice and elevation) - but that has passed now. In the past couple days I really started the migration from crutch to cane. Inside the house it's been pretty easy - but earlier today I ventured out on my outside walk for the first time without my crutch and it was a bit of an adjustment... I had to scale back my distance a good bit. I was curious - when did you (and others who might see this) completely ditch their crutch? I'll be at my 2 week post-surgery anniversary this Wednesday.

Thanks again for your note and encouragement. How are you doing at your 5 week mark? (a few days after my 5 week mark, I'll be going in for hip #2... at least the perspective of knowing what to expect will still be fresh!)


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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 12:33:07 PM »
David  Good luck on your recovery.  Take it easy and go your own rate.  No one heals at the same rate.  Use your crutch or cane until you don't limp.  Some people walk without aid at a few weeks, but others take months.  We are all different.


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John C

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Re: 1st HR Scheduled for Wed July 19th w/ Dr. Gross
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 05:13:33 PM »
Hi David,
In answer to your question, I used one or two crutches for any walks outside the house for around 4 to 5 weeks, and then a cane for up to six weeks. I had been on crutches or a cane for a couple of months prior to surgery due to a stem cell injection gone bad, so that may have been a factor.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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