Author Topic: Other hip done 10 years later  (Read 1556 times)

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John C

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Other hip done 10 years later
« on: May 03, 2018, 06:37:13 PM »
Hi all. Next month I will hit my 10 year anniversary on my left hip resurfacing with Dr Gross which is doing fine. Last week I saw Dr Gross again to have my right hip resurfaced. I thought that it might be interesting to compare these two adventures as the second one evolves. Below are a few key notes from the two different recoveries as of 9 days out. We often hear on this site about how everyone's recovery is different, and my story so far shows how different the recovery process can be for the same person on two different hips.

Pre-op: Really no changes here. Dr Gross, Lee Webb, and Nancy are all great, and the whole process runs like a well oiled machine.

Waking up after surgery: One very big difference here from 10 years ago. Dr Gross has added another long acting pain killer into the operation area, with an interesting side affect. Last time I laid awake the night after surgery and did numerous sets of leg lifts. I did not find out until the next day from the PTs that this was a big no-no, but it was easy and relatively pain free. This time it was not an option; the hip flexors and quad were totally asleep for about 24 hours after surgery, and refused to answer any intention to move or even contract. Much of my leg was numb and tingly, though the quad was, and is, more sore than I remember from last time.

Getting up: Just like last time, the first couple of times out of bed involved some dizziness and a big drop in blood pressure; at one point down to 85 over 48. I did not pass out completely either time, but pretty close both times.

Swelling; Another big difference this time is in the amount of swelling. Last time my leg was huge and discolored, with major swelling running from my upper leg eventually down to my foot and ankle with lots of ugly colors. Still lots of upper leg swelling this time, but no discoloration. It moved down into my lower leg and foot at about one week, but that quickly resolved in a day or so, unlike last time which lasted quite a few days. So far I would say that the swelling part of the adventure has greatly improved.

Pain: I am amazed by those people who are able to get through this with very little pain. Not the case for me either time. For me, both hips have been about the same so far. Right from the start, I am able to lay still or sit in a recliner with little to no pain, but any attempts to sit upright or move can result in discomfort ranging from a dull ache to very sharp pains. I cannot remember the details from last time, but I do remember asking for a Tramadol prescription after about a week when I wanted to get off the hard narcotics, but Tylenol was not cutting it. This time I asked for the Tramadol prescription right up front, and it worked out pretty well. I was on the heavy narcotics for about 4 days, then I went to Tramadol for two days, and after one week I am trying to stick to just Tylenol and Celebrex. I did have to take one more Tramadol after our 11 hour travel day to get from South Caroline to Idaho on day eight. At nine days, using 3000 mg of Tylenol per day, I am pain free laying down, uncomfortable sitting, and still some definite pain when trying to move the leg around at all.

Flomax: One of the changes this time is that Dr Gross is prescribing Flomax for men over 65. It seems like this may have made two big differences. Last time it was a real struggle to pass the test of being able to urinate before they would let you leave the hospital; this was a lot easier which was a pretty big deal for me. Also, though I am not sure if it is related, at the one week mark when the swelling was getting to be the most, I started peeing like crazy and the swelling went away in just a couple of days as the fluid passed out of the body.

Clunking: Last time I had lots of clunking for the first couple of weeks, and it continued off and on for a few months. This time I have not yet had a single clunk; what a difference, so far.

Leg length: With the first hip, Dr Gross said that I had an overly deep hip socket, and that we wanted to correct that with cup placement. When this was done, it lengthened my leg by 4mm according to the operative report. After the surgery, Dr Gross said not to worry, because he would even me out when he did the second hip, which he expected would be in a year or two. Fast forward 10 years to my pre-op appointment this time  when I brought this up. He said that 4mm is within a normally acceptable amount of change after surgery, and it would be tough to try to get the other leg to exactly match. I said that it had been affecting my back over the years, and that I wore lifts in my shoes, so it would be great if we could get it closer. At first he said that my feelings of leg length difference might just be due to a twisted pelvis (very possible). To his credit, he measured my legs on the table and agreed to the difference, at which point he pulled up the x-rays we had just taken and measured the tilt in my pelvis due to leg length difference which showed about 1cm difference. Convinced that it was an issue worth trying to solve, he said that it would be challenging but he would do his best. True to his word, he lengthened this second leg by 6mm, and now it looks and feels like a perfect match; great job.

Walking: Last time my biggest pain in walking was over the greater trochanter, which was an issue that continued off and on for 12 to 18 months. This time I have more pain in the front around the hip flexors, but too early to really tell much. Pain in the rear incision area is about the same. Based on last time, and where I am at now, I expect to be on crutches for a total of three to four weeks before progressing to a cane for a week.

Stomach and bowels: Dr Gross has added a prescription for stomach acid and discomfort from all the drugs, and it worked great. Last time acid stomach was a big part of my discomfort for the first week, and this time it was a non issue. This time I was more proactive about using laxatives to get the system working again after all the narcotics shuts it down, and things went much easier after a few days.

Overall, I would say the experience is pretty similar, with some mostly positive changes over the past 10 years. It is still major surgery, which for most of us means lots of challenges and some pain and discomfort, but if this hip works out as well as the first one, it is well worth it.

John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 11:29:49 PM »
Great report John. I hope you heal up quickly and are as happy with new hip #2 as you are with new hip #1. And  I have no doubt you will be. Rest up and heal up. Good luck. And please keep us posted.
Bilateral Hip Resurfacing by Dr. Thomas Gross
  -Right Hip; April 11, 2016
  -Left Hip; April 13, 2016


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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 02:47:34 PM »

Good luck John.

Interesting comparison.
rbhr 3 january 2013
mr ronan treacy
royal orthopaedic hospital, birmingham, england

Pat Walter

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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 09:06:14 AM »
Hi John

Congratulations on the second hip.  I hope things go smoothly for you and you enjoy a nice summer with 2 great hips.

Thanks for the update and comparison.  It is always interesting when people have 2 hips done and have a different experience with each as in your case.

We can't always predict how we will heal, but given time, we all are healed.  So patience is a very important part of any recovery.

Take it easy.  Looking forward to your updates.

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

John C

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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 04:55:17 PM »
I wanted to add a few more details about the differences between my two surgery experiences.
One thing interesting to me is that I have two different sizes of implants. The first one is a 48mm head, and the newest one is a 50mm head. The reason I was given is that we often have different sized feet or hands on each side, so no surprise that a hip joint might be a different size.
Something that I was delighted about was the dexa scan results this time around. The first time my results were in the mid range for my 56 year old age group, which was enough to keep me on Dr Gross's fast recovery track, but without a lot of margin. This time my scan was at the very top of the 66 year old age group and good for a 20 year old, and better than my 56 year old results from 10 years ago, so Dr Gross was delighted. I assume that the reason was my activity level in the couple of months prior to surgery. The first time around I had a stem cell injection that went bad, and I was on crutches for two months before my surgery. The second time, I skied hard all day every day right up to a few days before surgery. High level skiing subjects our bones to forces of a good 2Gs, or twice our body weight, and I am betting that this was key to the great dexa results which very happily put me on the fast recovery track.
As I mentioned in the first post, I have had far less swelling and none of the discoloration at all this time around. One possible reason is that right after surgery I got back on a vitamin regimen of B6, C, and Bromelain, which some say can help with swelling. Or, of course, Dr Gross's skills have improved that much over the past 10 years.
A minor difference is that when I took the dressing off at nine days, there is no blood or scabs, where as last time there were a couple of small scabs. This tempts me to start my pool work earlier, but I think that I will wait a bit longer just to be safe.
Walking is progressing faster than last time, so I am now hoping to get off the crutches between two and three weeks, instead of past four to five weeks last time. Still lots of stiffness and soreness, but progress every day. Nights are tough, with headaches, restless legs, sweats and chills, but I believe this is just the last of the meds getting out of my system. I was able to sleep on my non-operated side last night, which was a relief.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 09:46:43 AM »
Congrats on the new hip, John!
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 04:22:44 AM »
 :) Cool John
2019-2020 THR Left & Right COC Revision Zim Continuum cup with Biolox Delta Cer Liner, Biolox Delta Cer Head 40mm 12/14 Taper, CPT Stem Cem.
2019-2020 removal of Hip Resurfacing due to Metal Toxicity Cobalt - Chromium.
2015 MOM Conserve plus
2011-2013 FAI hip surgery failure
2007-Injury wakeboarding

John C

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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 10:13:02 PM »
Things continue to progress noticeably better than the first hip. As I pass the two week mark, I am doing two 1 mile walks each day using one crutch, which did not happen last time until around three or four weeks. To be sure, there are still lots of aches and pains shifting around, and my walks are very slow with extremely conscious movements, but certainly ahead of the last time.
If I can pass on a lesson and message from this, it is that physical condition and activity levels before surgery are far more important than age. Going in this time I did have some concerns that the healing process in my mid sixties would not go as well as it did in my mid fifties, but this time I was able to stay much more active and in much better shape right up to the days before surgery, and I think that has made all the difference. I realize that it is painful to stay active during those months or years before we are ready for surgery, but I am now a strong believer that it is worth pushing through the pain to have a better and faster recovery, especially as we get older.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 02:03:33 PM »
This is great advice John. Many people here informed me to get in great shape in the months preceding my (bilateral) surgeries. Part of me wanted to "coast in", and finally get some rest and take it easy, knowing I could get serious with rehab after the surgeries. I'm not sure I would have let myself go or not, but I ended up staying active, and even increasing my weight training and cardio at the gym. I even played volleyball two days before my first surgery.

Like you said, it's not easy to stay active when you're in pain. But try and keep those supporting muscles strong. The advice was definitely helpful to me.
Bilateral patient
Dr. Gross
December 12, 14 2016
Biomet (uncemented)

John C

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Re: Other hip done 10 years later
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 01:04:53 PM »
Brief update. At the four week mark there are little victories every day; with a railing, I am now able to go up and down stairs foot over foot, hobble around the house without a cane, and I just started back with my Tai Chi practice with some slight modifications to accommodate the lack or range of motion in the new hip. The first couple of weeks I was doing light upper body dumbbell (very light weights) and sports cord workouts sitting down, and I am now doing those daily workouts standing up while encouraging some subtle leg flexion and extension in sync with the weights. My twice daily 1 mile walks are still not quite where I had hoped, and are now pretty close to the first hip ten years ago. I can walk slowly without a crutch or noticeable limp for a couple of hundred yards at a time with mild discomfort, but then I need to borrow a crutch back from my wife who is my loyal walking companion and crutch caddy. After letting the crutch carry some weight until my hip calms down and the limp goes away, I hand the crutch back to my wife for another stretch. Now that the mandatory four week waiting period is up, I hope to get back in the pool sometime in the next few days for the pool workouts that I enjoyed so much with the first hip. More later.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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