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Author Topic: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018  (Read 835 times)

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suncag

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Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« on: November 10, 2018, 11:17:01 PM »
Hi Everyone,

    I've gotten so much value out of Pat's Surface Hippy site over the past 4 years, that I felt compelled to give some back now that I just had my left hip resurfaced a little less than 2 weeks ago by Dr. Gross.  I'm not quite sure what to put in my story so if I am covering things that are not important and omitting things that are, please just let me know and I'm happy to provide any details.

I just turned 53 back in September of this year but my hip story starts almost 5 years ago.  I've been very physically active since my young 20's.  Nothing crazy but consistent in moderate weight lifting, daily elliptical (about 30 mins daily at high intensity), daily walking of between 2-5 miles, and very obsessive tennis playing on hard courts as a competitive recreational player.  The tennis routine involved hitting almost 600 serves a day, running all over the court battling a ball machine for over an hour most days, and having at least 3 to 4 knock down drag out singles matches each week which usually went about 3 hours.  And I did that for over 25 years.  I'm not sure if all the pounding on the hard courts caused it, or all the repetitive collapsing and exploding off the left leg for serve practice (when you are a righty, your left leg needs to collapse at the knee and hip and then explode off the ground up into the serve) or if there was just a genetic predisposition or if it was the confluence of all those factors.  But all I know is that when I was about 48, I started having the hip problems (ironically no knee problems even now). 

To speed up the story, as the condition got progressively worse over the past 5 years I continued to try to maintain my active lifestyle but had to tone down the tennis significantly.  And during those 5 years I researched everything and tried almost everything to avoid or delay surgery (physical therapy, massage, every joint and herb supplement known to man, Hyaluronic Acid Injections (Supartz) into the hip, and finally stem cell (my own) therapy this past May of this year).  Nothing worked and I hate to say it because I am a big believer in biological solutions working eventually, but not only did the stem cell injections not help (and I had it done at a very reputable research hospital) but I think it made it worse and accelerated the degeneration of my hip.  During the earlier part of those 5 years I actually gave up tennis for 2 years.  The Supartz was surprisingly successful.  A series of 3 injections did get me back on the court a couple of years ago, but as forewarned, with each successive series of injections, there would be diminishing returns.  For 3 years running, I did a series of 3 (3 weeks apart) in 2014 (success), 2015 (smaller success), and 2016 (no success).  So I roughed it through 2017 and most of 2018 and as I did, my limp got worse, my tennis results and enjoyment dropped like a rock (my wife and I used to consistently dominate our leagues as division winners and now we were losing even playing at a lower level every match because I simply could not get to the ball and when I could, my hip would not let me load and explode into the stroke. 

All during these past 5 years I was keeping abreast of everything going on in the hip resurfacing world.  I had met with Dr. Gross and his wonderful staff (Nancy, Lee, Crystal, etc.) a few times during that period but was simply not ready to pull the trigger on the surgery yet.  They were always supportive and helpful.  Even when I bothered them to send my latest xrays to my stem cell hospital in prep for that treatment, they were extremely supportive and helpful.  I always knew that when I exhausted options, I would go to Dr. Gross for the HR surgery. 

So what made me finally do it?  Well, 5 years ago it was about accepting the fact that my tennis would continue to decline but then it started to effect other parts of my life.  I could no longer enjoy my daily walks with my wife (though that did not stop me - we still did at least 2 miles a day together) because I simply couldn't keep up with her and every step I took hurt.  Then the limp really got noticeable even in daily life.  All kinds of people (known and unknown) were coming up to me alarmed saying "oh my gosh - are you all right?  Why are you limping so bad?" Even my stem cell Dr. told me I was deluding myself if I thought it was ok to go on walking like this and that the pain was "really not so bad."  After the stem cell therapy failure, he implored me to get the HR surgery to restore my quality of life.  He told me it would start to effect my other joints and back if I could not get this corrected.  And I'm pretty stubborn so I persisted in my insistence that I was fine and I could live without tennis and walking right, etc.  And then it reached a new level when I literally started falling down from the hip frequently giving out without warning.  I didn't even have to be walking.  I could be standing up talking on the phone in my home office and just lean a little bit back and boom - the hip would collapse and down I would go on the floor (carpet thank God).  This falling started happening almost daily.  And although I kept walking and doing elliptical right up until my surgery 2 weeks ago, it had become almost impossible.  I had to keep stopping on the walks and when we finally got through the snail-paced walk, I would collapse on the couch at home for at least an hour before the pain would go away enough to where I could get up and shower. The stairs became a nightmare too.  Had to hold on to both rails and very gingerly walk up and down always supporting my weight with my hands just in case the hip gave out on the way up or down.  My stem cell Dr. finally convinced me that I had exhausted every other possibility and it was really time to have the surgery.  And a lot of kind folks on this site really helped me by patiently answering my tiresome questions over and over again. 

So on to the surgery.  Dr. Gross did what so far seems to be a great job on me in late October this year and almost 2 weeks post-op I am seeing (and feeling) the light at the end of the tunnel.  At first, 4-5 years ago when I was telling my family about HR, they were very skeptical (of having any surgery) and did everything to dissuade me.  And it didn't take much because I certainly was hoping to avoid surgery.  But this past year, all the same people who love me most felt strongly it was time to do it.  They saw my limp get really bad and saw me fall a few times and it is quite disarming to watch someone just collapse and fall.  I had taken it to the limit.  As Dr. Gross verified back in July, I was "bone on bone." 

So it's kind of early to declare victory not even 2 weeks post op, but I can tell you that everyone who has known me throughout says the same thing when they see me walk now (with and without cane) - "oh my gosh, you're walking so much better now!  I realize now how bad that limp was!  Too bad you didn't do this 2 years ago!"  So I've still got a long way to go in recovery.  My bone density is good so I am on the fast recovery track and I do see major improvements every day.  I am supposed to use the cane around the house still for another week or so, but truth be told - I'm walking so well without it that I forget to grab it sometimes.  There's still pain when I walk too much and the first week was really rough to get through.  I am very lucky to have a supportive wonderful wife who not only waited for me as we walked thru all those miles together, and patiently shared the court with me as we lost over and over again, but also took great care of me though these first 2 weeks at home. 

The biggest caution I would call out to anyone about to have the surgery is this (this is the mistake I made in my recovery) - when you're in the hospital for the first day, the staff makes sure they stay ahead of your pain with meds.  When I got home the next afternoon after a 4 hour drive, the pain hit me like a ton of bricks.  The anesthesia had worn off right when I got home and I was not paying attention to the specific pain med instructions.  So the sudden onset of pain upon arriving home was quite alarming.  My wife was trying to tell me I was not timing and dosing the multiple pain meds correctly but I kept on refusing to take it all and to take it on time.  So I went through 2 very days at home where the pain was bad.  Just getting up off the bed or couch in the morning to try to brush my teeth or shave was almost impossible.  An then trying to make it through the 15 minutes of brushing/shaving was pretty unbearable.  I felt faint and feverish.  I would collapse on the couch right after in a full sweat.  And sleeping was really hard.  But as soon as I called Nancy, the head RN in Dr. Gross' practice, she gave me very explicit instructions on how to do the pain meds correctly.  And sure enough that was the trick.  Within a few hours my pain was finally under control.  And within a few days after that I was totally off pain meds and just using tylenol.  And now for the past few days I don't even need tylenol. 

So my cautionary tale is this:  Don't get lulled into a false sense of being further along the initial recovery than you really are.  There's a dip about 2 days after surgery which needs close and consistent attention to pain med regimen.  I also made the mistake of trying to work (from home) on the days right after the surgery.  In hindsight, I would have taken that entire week off work.  But the good news is that I am doing and feeling great now. I'm still taking it easy, but I get up every morning on time, shower and shave (sans all the pain and drama now), and I work all day, and I am finally sleeping through the night with no problem these past few days with no pain meds.  One tough thing is that having to sleep on your back all the time without switching positions is hard.  I just last night got to the point where i can sleep on my good side for about an hour at a time. My wife has been by my side the whole time and has helped me out a lot with pain meds and just talking me off the ledge in those first few days when I would wake up halfway through the night agitated and in discomfort. 

Another thing - the phase 1 exercises are important!  I did not do them at first and was waking up with cramping.  As soon as I did them each day (they are really easy and not time consuming), the cramps stopped and I started sleeping straight thru the night. 

So again - I'm no expert, but I feel like things are tracking well now and I'm getting back to my old self (sans the limp!).  Don't get me wrong, the hip still is stiff and soar after a little walking around, but every day it gets better.  And like I said, I went from barely being able to walk with the walker in the first few days to walking well with the cane a few days later to where I am now which is having to remind myself to use the cane. 

That's about it for now, but I'll try to keep everyone up to date as I progress.  My aspirations are to be able to start enjoying daily walks with my wife outside at the 5 and 6 week mark, to be able to get back on the elliptical 3 months post op, and to be able to ease back into tennis at the 6 month mark.  Also thinking about a family ski trip in April but not sure I'll be ready yet. 

Please let me know if there's anything I can answer for anyone.  My goal here is to give back. If there's anyone going through any of the past stages I've been through, I'm happy to share my experiences if it is of any help.

Kind Regards!
Chris

blinky

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 01:35:39 PM »
What a great report! It is full of useful information and meaningful anecdotes. Look forward to hearing how you return to tennis.

Pat Walter

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 01:54:15 PM »
Chris - Congratulations on the new hip!  I hope you have a speedy recovery.


Thank You for posting such a great story with great information and insight.  I know many will read your story and learn from it.  I will share it on the main website.


I look forward to your updates.  Thanks again for sharing.


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

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 03:02:29 PM »
Thanks so much, Pat!  Your Surface Hippy site has been a Godsend.  It literally saved my life as I know it!

John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2018, 05:00:09 AM »
Hey Chris. Great job of recounting your story, and your experience after surgery. You struck a good balance between the good stuff, and the reality of that first week or so.
I wanted to offer a thought on your question about skiing in April. In my case 10 years ago after my first hip, I started skiing a week before six months. Even after being a professional skier since I was a teenager, the first few runs were kind of disconcerting. However, within an hour, I was confidently skiing on groomed, in powder, and even at  speed in thick chopped up crud. I waited another couple of months before skiing big moguls aggressively. This time around, just because of the timing of the surgery, it will be seven months when the ski season starts, and based on my experience so far with this second hip which has progressed significantly faster than the first one, I expect to hit the slopes full throttle right away. I have a heli trip scheduled in mid-December, which I am confident will go well.
Congratulations on your new life!
The bottom line is that I expect that you would do fine going skiing at six months. I would suggest working up gradually in terms of terrain and snow condition, but if you do not go jumping off any huge cliffs, I bet you will have a great time. . 
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 11:53:50 PM »
Thanks Blinky and John C. 

John C.  Regarding Skiing, I'm nowhere near your expertise level.  I'm just a blue-run (No moguls thank you) skier who gets out there once a year for 2-3 days with my wife and kids.  I have been operating under the assumption that I really should wait 6 full months before skiing, but was wondering if I could do it at 5 months only because that's when we need to go if we go next year due to kids' spring break. 

Regarding, my progress, happy to report I'm doing really well.  I am 2 weeks post op today and stopped using the cane today. I feel like I don't need it anymore. Is that ok? I'm just doing some normal walking throughout the house because the weather in Atlanta has been horrible. I was going to now try to progress to walking more each day and work up to 1 mile per day by 6 weeks. Right now according to my fitbit I'm doing about 1/2 a mile in the house just through normal moving around. I am finally able to sit at my desk and work without having pain in my hip. Before today it was a little too uncomfortable to sit in normal chair and work at my desk but doing fine now. Only a little stiff and sore when I get up after about an hour or so at my desk.  I feel like my discomfort has considerably gone away now and I am very clear-headed and able to focus well on work again. Not taking any pain meds for almost 5 days now (not even tylenol).  And just getting around much better in general.  Sleeping much better now too.  Able to sleep on good side now.  So again - first week was really hard for me - mostly due to not managing pain meds right at first.  But by days 5 through 7 I started to see the light.  And now I actually have to remind myself that I just had a major hip surgery and to take the stairs slow, one at a time, and not too often.  So I'm feeling pretty positive now as I begin week 3 of recovery.

Thanks everyone!
Chris

John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 03:33:17 AM »
Hi Chris. I did not do the math to realize that your ski trip would be at five months. Would you be able to ski easy groomed runs at five months? Based on your current rate of progress, and with some conditioning, you probably would do fine. Would Dr Gross approve? Definitely not. I found it impossible to get him to answer any of my ski questions with anything other than "Six months". I think he is worried about a femoral neck fracture if you fell hard, or of more concern, got hit by someone out of control. Obviously it is your call, but I am pretty sure that Dr Gross would not give his approval for skiing short of six months. Maybe if you hired a group of bodyguards to surround you at all times to protect you from out of control flying bodies.   :o  ;D
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 09:10:53 PM »
Haha.  Thanks John.  I am not as daring as most surface hippies.  I appreciate your sharing this with me.  I will most likely heed the 6th month rule.  Too much to risk since I play tennis several times a week and only ski 3-4 days a year.  I'd hate to risk a femoral head fracture on the slopes and lose out on one of the biggest reasons I chose HR over THR - to get back out on the court again.  Might have to put off this ski trip for the following winter.

Thanks again for all your straight answers.  Very helpful and always accurate.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 09:11:31 PM by suncag »

John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 05:21:39 AM »
Chris, I almost forgot to share the important news for you. I got back on the tennis court at exactly six months this time, and it was awesome.
Before my first resurfacing 10 years ago, I had given up tennis completely for 5 years because it was just too painful when my leg would collapse while running or lunging for a ball. I got back on the court one year after that first one (the delay was just due to ski season), and it went pretty well with none of those sharp pains on the court, but it was about 18 months from surgery before I could play tennis hard on a regular basis during the summer without paying for it afterwards with some lateral hip pain from trochanteric bursitis.
After this last surgery, seven months ago now, I started playing full throttle right at six months, and the hip has been perfect. No pains at all during or after tennis, and freely chasing down every ball with no hesitation. No problem jumping for the ball, and the footwork feels quick and reliable. I figured you would enjoy that report.
By the way, I would not worry about my first return to tennis. That minor trochanteric pain was something that I dealt with right from the day after that first surgery, so it was not as though tennis suddenly brought up a new pain, it just aggravated the minor existing issue. It did finally go away for good at around 18 months, so if you are not feeling it now, it will probably not show up when you get back on the court.
I never felt that pain from the beginning with this newest hip, and sure enough it never appeared when I got back on the courts.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 03:57:55 AM »
That's great to hear John!  I seem to be doing g really well 3 weeks post op.  Every day I seem to get more normal in my movement and ability.  I have to admit that I am a little doubtful about being able to play tennis again, but that is just based on my current condition.  When I think more logically it stands to reason that if this trend continues I should be able to handle the hard courts again.  Your story has been a huge help in keeping my faith going.  I also fear I will need the other hip done at some point in the years to come.  That haunts me a little bit too and gives me some pause about going full throttle again.  It's something I am a little conflicted about.  On one hand, what was the point of doing this if I don't play tennis again?  On the other hand, do I really want to have to do the other hip?  And on the third hand, now that I've been thru the 1st hip, I would know how to better handle the 2nd.  Anyway, thx so much for sharing your tennis success story with me!  Come April I hope to tell one just like it
 
Thanks John!

petemeads

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 11:00:59 AM »
Hi Chris, I have been enjoying your postings (and John C's replies) and just want to chip in with a response to your second-hip comment.
Today is the 4th anniversary of my LBHR, which I decided I needed to get after years of pain & stiffness that was only going to get worse. I approached a surgeon who was recommended by a friend and told him what I wanted and he agreed to do it, despite reduced bone quality and advanced age (64). The x-rays showed the right hip was two years better than the left, he thought, and he was absolutely correct.
With the BHR I took things steady for 6 weeks because I had been sternly warned not to break the head off my femur but I could walk 6 miles at 4 mph by this point, and was jogging slowly from 8 weeks and visiting the climbing wall at about the same time.
It took 9 months to get back to speed and I managed to run 13 miles just before my 12 month check up. But, I had the spectre of the other hip hanging over me and it was definitely holding me back a bit. 2016 went really well, consistent performances at 5k races and a decent 10k but the day after a good run my right hip effectively failed during a hike in the hills with a pain I had not met before so I knew its days were numbered...
I limped around my 250th parkrun on Christmas day feeling really miserable but kept hoping things would improve - and they did. February saw a 5k time of 23:43, back in business briefly, but by March the outcome was inevitable - back to my surgeon and schedule another BHR for 2nd May.
Alas, I was let down by my feeble bone quality and ended up with ceramic THR, after my femoral head broke off as the cap was being fitted. Obviously I was disappointed and concerned because people get told not to run with a THR but my surgeon was not of that opinion, he reconed it would make no difference and I could carry on with all my activities without worries. So, on the basis the worst had already happened I pushed recovery much harder and was jogging before 6 weeks this time. This hip does not clunk like my BHR but leg-length increased slightly in the process and this does cause twinges in my thigh, especially after climbing, but at 18 months I am now getting very close to my times from 2 years ago, and also close to my 68th birthday.
So, my message is basically do the best with what you have got until you get the message that further progress is unlikely then get the second op. done while you are still young and with good bone. My THR is fine, but at your age I would definitely want a resurfacing to buy myself time.
Good luck with your recovery, be careful but push when required (and know when to back off...)

Pete
Age 69, LBHR 48mm head 18th Nov 2014 and RTHR 36mm head Zimmer ceramic/ceramic 2nd May 2017 by Mr Christopher Kershaw, Spire hospital, Leicester UK.

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 02:18:23 PM »
Thanks so much for sharing your story and advice with me, Pete.  Very valuable points you make.  I have to admit I do have some confusion going on in my mind about a few things.  I am only 3 weeks and a few days post op right now and I am not sure if I am doing everything right.  I am glad you included your MPH because I have been trying to walk with my wife every day but am limiting to no more than 1 mile per walk. But I do walk pretty slow and both hips feel kind of sore and tired by the end of that walk.  So first question is:  am I really supposed to walk no more than 1 mile a day until I hit the 6 week mark?  I'm used to walking two 2.5 mile walks with her every day (before I had surgery) and 1 mile seems like nothing.  Also I am trying to figure out if I'm really supposed to just walk 1 mile a day total or per walk?  I guess what I am saying is I'm trying to find the right balance between activity and rest.  For instance, I just walked a mile in our neighborhood but we're thinking of doing some black friday shopping today just to get out a little.  Did I already use my walking allotment up for the day? Or can I walk a little bit, sit a little bit, etc.  My fear is that if I walk too much, I'll cause a problem, but I'm also afraid if I don't walk more frequently each day I'm also never gonna get back up to speed. 

Also Pete - very interesting about your Ceramic THR.  I had a lot of well-meaning people trying to tell me to get a THR as opposed to an HR because it was more proven, tried and true, etc.  And along with that advice came a lot of stories about friends they have who "just had a THR and were up an walking just great the next day."  And everyone is looking at me now going - "well don't you feel much better now?  how come you're still limping a little?  My buddy got a THR 6 months ago and he's loving life doing all his old activities, playing softball, running marathons, etc.  Why aren't you up and running around yet?"  So I am starting to question if I'm doing as well as I thought.  Everyone around me seems to expect immediate results and recovery.  I get tired of trying to explain to them that I was told I would probably not see the limp completely gone until 3 months.  They do all tell me I am walking much better now, but they do get kind of shocked when they see I can't walk that fast yet and see how I get sore and tired after not too much walking.  Anyway, I'm rambling here but my real question is:  is my recovery tracking ok and should I be walking more, walking less, how much is too much, how much is not enough?  Do I just listen to my body? 

And a word of encouragement for you, Pete.  I have good bone density and my femoral head was able to handle the HR, but I was worried about a THR being necessary plan b during surgery and also know I will probably have to have that THR eventually someday if & when this HR fails.  But the good news is that I have heard many many stories of people getting THRs and enjoying a very active lifestyle without worry - running marathons, the whole bit.  I am having a little trouble having belief and faith that I will get back to athletics because just walking a mile at a time seems to be the most I can handle right now.  I keep telling myself that this is the whole point of the HR - to stay active and get back to normal.  But right now I have to admit it's hard for me to believe I will recover to that level eventually.  I get a little discouraged when I feel so tired and sore after just a 1 mile walk. 

Anyway - thanks so much for sharing your story!  Very helpful!

Thanks,
Chris

John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 11:34:06 PM »
Hi Chris. Sorry to keep jumping in, but some questions in your last post encouraged me to throw in my 2 cents; again.
You asked about how much you should be walking. If you really want the correct answers, I would email Lee or Nancy, and I guarantee that they are always happy to respond; don't hesitate because you do not want to bug them. Having said that, here is my take on your questions.
The instructions encourage you to walk at least twice a day. There is a minimum goal for everyone to be able to walk 1 continuous mile unaided at six weeks. I am not aware of a limitation to 1 mile at any time, nor did I ever hear or see anything about adding up walks to total a mile. If at six weeks you can comfortably walk more than 1 mile, and do that two or three times a day, that would be fine from my understanding. The only limitation in walking is to listen to your body. If you are having pain, back off. if you cannot walk without a limp, consider letting your wife be your crutch caddy, and borrow that crutch anytime you realize you are limping. If you are walking without pain, then let your muscle soreness and endurance be your guide. Just remember that you are early in the healing phase, and not yet into the recovery or training phases, both of which come later.
From my perspective, you are doing amazingly well. With both of my hips, at three weeks I was not able to walk more than a few blocks without crutches before I started having some pains. My wife always carried one or two crutches on our walks, and as soon as I felt any pains, or I was limping, I would borrow a crutch or two until things calmed down and I was able to walk without pain or a limp. At that early stage, pushing through pain is extremely unwise. You are trying to allow healing, not focus on getting your athletics back; that will come later. As far as how far to walk; I always tried to time it so that my hip fatigued out within a block or two of home, and then I would have to rest or even take a nap as soon as I made it to the door. I would suggest measuring your walks to a point that you fatigue without pain, and not to worry about the distance. There is no question that you are going to make that minimum 1 mile goal by six weeks; it sounds like you are already passing that minimum goal.
Secondly, I wanted to address your discouragement about getting back to intense athletics, when at this point you are tired and sore after just a one mile walk. I would say that you are right on schedule for a phenomenal recovery to high level athletics. My view is that at three weeks, you should look at is as just starting the healing process, and it is too early to be focusing on the recovery process, which can begin as the initial healing finishes at around 6 weeks. As with all my many injuries over the years, my doctors usually dictate six weeks for the initial healing, and then begin the recovery process which can take an additional 2 to 12 months of healing, depending on the injury and/or surgery. Dr Gross's 6 week mark fits that initial healing schedule perfectly. Dr Gross was willing to approve PT for me under three conditions: I would not start until after the 6 week initial healing process, I found a highly skilled Doctor of PT, and I would educate the PT on Dr Gross's recovery protocols. Focus on healing for three more weeks, then you can start thinking about starting your recovery process. You will be amazed at where you can be at six months, which is when you are cleared to start building to full intensity training. You are way ahead of where I was at three weeks, and now at six months I have gotten back to aggressive tennis, surfing, windsurfing in high winds and huge surf, and I am now focusing on skiing hard at a high level for 6 hours a day as I prepare for a week long helicopter skiing trip up to Canada in two weeks. I fully expect that you will easily surpass me at six months; after all, you are ahead of me at this point and you are quite a bit younger I believe.
As far as the expectations from people comparing you to THRs; a THR surgery involves a lot less soft tissue trauma than a resurfacing; a lot, lot, less. If a THR is done through an anterior approach, there is even less soft tissue trauma. A surgeon I respect told me that a posterior approach and an anterior approach even out after about six weeks, so you have three more weeks on that respect alone. However, regardless of the approach, there is a lot more soft tissue trauma in a resurfacing, so you should not expect to be even with a THR patient at three weeks. I usually tell people that if they want a quick easy recovery, go for a THR with an anterior approach. If you want long term athletic advantages and are willing to put up with a tougher initial recovery, go for a resurfacing. Dr Gross has said in the past that a THR will usually be a faster initial recovery, but not to worry about it, because his resurfacings will catch up and pass those people in performance by 6 months. From my experience watching myself versus others with THRs, I think that he is spot on. When people would ask me why I was still using crutches at four weeks, when their friend with a THR was walking around just fine, I have had no difficulty explaining my long term reasoning, and why I am confident in my choice for the important long run.
You are an athlete, and like me you are probably a Type A athlete. This means that we stress out over trying to optimize our training programs. My main advice at this point is to separate in your mind the 6 week initial healing phase, the six months healing and recovery phase, followed by the full intensity training phase which still involves healing for 12 to 18 months. I think that if you can do that, it will be much easier to clarify your programs.
Keep up the good work, and try not to allow discouragement or impatience, neither of which is warranted or productive.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2018, 04:02:32 PM »
Wow that is the most helpful, informative, constructive, and encouraging post I have received to date John C!    Thanks so much for taking the time to provide that thoughtful and comprehensive response!  I never realized that the posterior HR did more soft tissue disruption than the THR!  Makes a lot of sense.  Yes I am type A for sure.  So the transition from being very active throughout the day right up until the operation to now where I am just doing simple isometric leg exercises and walking a few times has been a little bit unnerving.  I did rest for about an hour yesterday after walking a mile but then was able to enjoy walking around at a slower pace shopping with my wife for a couple of hours just resting on a bench for s few mins.  Felt good rest of the day.  Yes makes so much sense what you say about respecting the healing process this first 6 weeks. 
Can't thank you enough!! 
Helicopter Skiing!  You are an inspiration John C!

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 01:51:35 PM »
Happy New Year Everyone!   

I have an exercise question:

     I'm happy to report that a little over 2-months post op everything is going great!  I am now walking almost 6 miles every day with no issues.  And my wife is complaining that she can't keep up with me on most of the walks.  She says it is miraculous how this operation has restored me.  I feel the same way!  I have been dong the exercises Lee Webb from Dr. Gross' office showed me at my 6-week post op visit almost every day (leg lifts, etc.). 

My question is this:  Before I had the surgery part of my exercise routine was to use the ab roller (3 sets of 20 every day) and to do pushups using the "perfect pushup discs with handles ( 3 sets of 20 every day) and to do planks for 3 to 5 minutes each day.  I realize these all probably put significant pressure  on the hip and hip flexor.  I was wondering if anyone could let me know if it's ok to ease back into any of these exercises yet (my operation was Oct 29th 2018, LHR)? If not, what core/abs exercises do you recommend?  I've been getting more active but have been challenged with trying to find effective substitute exercises that do for my core what the above exercises used to do for me and I'm thinking it's a little to early/risky to jump back into those just 2 months post-op.

Any advice greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Chris

blinky

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2019, 05:48:12 PM »
Wow! That sounds great!

I'd run those exercises by Lee. Don't be surprised if she makes you wait until six months post op. Remember that your femoral neck gets weaker before it gets stronger and three months seems to be the worst time, so even though you are feeling better and better, you don't want to fracture that femoral neck.

About four months out I wanted to go back to spinning. It's just indoor cycling, right? And stationary bike use is okay at six weeks. But Lee nixed it. She wasn't confident that I would be able to say no to some of the more vigorous spin moves. So I waited.

Do you have those old P90x discs? I do and experimented with the ab disc (Ab Ripper X!) sometime during recovery. (I can't remember if it was before six months or not.) It might be on youtube. You could look at those and run some of those exercises by Lee. TBH I couldn't do them all at first, sometimes due to weakness and sometimes due to sensitivity and loss of fat in the incision area.

Planks seem okay, but the others involving movement seem riskier.  I'll tell you, though, I still have ab issues: finding little areas that are weak. They can be remedied, don't worry, but I am surprised the areas tat need help.


John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 03:20:01 PM »
Hi Chris. Glad to hear that you are doing so well! As far as any exercises that you have questions about, I agree with Blinky that you should run them by Lee. The rest of us can share our thoughts and experiences, but Lee is the one you should listen to.
Having said that, here are my thoughts based just on my own limited experience. I think that planks are always good, just build into them gradually. Maybe start off just on your knees to see how your body responds, before going all the way out to your feet. I used a pushup progression that worked really well for me. I started off at an easy angle just pushing up with my hands resting on the back of a couch, then evolved to resting my hands on the seat of a chair, then down to hands on the sides of an upside down bosu ball (my preferred way of doing planks by the way), and gradually worked my way down to the floor. For me, the ab roller was not a good idea. If you are rolled out part way and feel a problem, you may end up straining to roll back in, or worse yet end up collapsing. That was one of the last things that I added. Keep up your wise approach, and you will be at six months before you know it.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2019, 02:58:41 PM »
Thanks so much for your comments, Blinky and John C!  Sorry I have not been logging on the site as much lately because I'm happy to report that I'm so happy living my busy life again!  I am 3- months post op today and doing really great.  I logged on because I'm so excited about Andy Murray's resurfacing yesterday.  I was hoping he would have it done. I just hope he does not rush recovery and try to play Wimbledon this year ( 5 most post op), but I think that is his plan. 
Anyway - I am feeling so great with my new hip!  I am now in the danger zone of doing too much.  I have gone a little too far a few times, but quickly listened to my body and eased off a little.  I tried to do elliptical and then overdid it a bit.  So I've found a way to do a lighter regimen of weights, planks, ab roller, pushups and still a lot of walking and all is going well.  The good news is that most times I totally have forgotten I have a metal hip now!  I lifted something really heavy compensating with my right side of my body a few weeks back and caused a strain on my right leg.  That was a lesson learned.  I'm fine again now but being much more mindful of what I can and can't do yet. 

suncag

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2019, 02:03:28 AM »
Hi Fellow Hippies!

     I am now 5 months post op (LHR Biomet Dr. Gross) and I'm a little discouraged with the progress.  On the one hand, my entire walk and gate looks much better.  Everyone tells me this.  I'm walking much better, but when I try to take it to the next level and get back to regular daily elliptical or anything much more than walking I end up with a pretty sore hip again.  The immediate effect is that it feels a lot looser and flexible, but then fatigue seems to set in and it gets cranky.  I'm here on a ski trip (but not skiing at all per Dr's orders and also because quite honestly the hip does not feel up to it).  I was hoping by now that the only thing that would keep me off the slopes would be the Dr's orders but unfortunately that's not the case. 
     And the reason I'm writing this is to compare with others (John C - need you bud!)  I honestly don't know if I'm doing too much, too little, or just not the right type of exercises.  All I have been doing now is walking about 2 to 5 miles a day.  the inner thigh part of the hip socket just feels like it is not improving.  It remains sore and weak and stiff when I try to do anything more than walk.  Going up stairs it seems to still be more of a challenge.  I feel like progress is going backwards.  When I do elliptical, the initial result is that it loosens it up and it feels better for a few hours, going up stairs a cinch.  But then later that day it gets pretty stiff and sore. 
     So my big question is:  is this the best I'm going to be able to hope for?  Or is it that I'm just not done healing yet, or did I possibly injure or break something by doing too much elliptical 3 months post op? 
      Any feedback or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris

John C

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Re: Chris' Hip Resurfacing Story with Dr. Gross Oct 2018
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2019, 01:43:54 PM »
Hi Chris,
My experience is that five months is a long way from where you will eventually be. Dr Gross's description to me is that six months is when you can start into more intense activities like skiing, and you need to work back into those things gradually. The fact that you do not quite feel ready to ski at five months would fit in with that. I started skiing pretty aggressively at six months, but still had to take off one day a week to let things calm down for the first couple of months. Since January, I have been skiing every day, but still find some fatigue apparent after a long day of hard skiing when I get home to go up and down stairs in our 3 story house. I was back on the tennis courts in six months, but it was 18 months before I got to the point where I never had any soreness afterwards, or needed to take a day off. My experience with major sports surgeries, such as rotator cuff repairs, major knee surgeries, etc, is that it takes a good year to get back to near full capacity. On my first hip, it took two years before I could skate uphill on skis at full power.
Dr Gross warns in his literature to expect lots of different aches and twinges to move around for the first year, and I would extend that to 18 months, which is how long it takes on average for the soft tissue and scar tissue to fully heal and remodel. Where you are at for five months sounds pretty good. After six months you might start ramping things up, but if you are like me, be prepared for all of those little surprises that we are supposed to expect for the first year.
For the time being, my only thought would be to add as many up and down hills as you can to your walking program. Your experience with the eliptical sounds pretty much like standard PT; loosens up and feels better during the workout, and then some soreness afterwards. It sounds like you could use some support and guidance, so maybe track down a really good sports PT, and work with him a few times just to set up a good program, and to get real time support for how much you are doing, and what to expect to feel afterwards.
I know that five months seems like a long time, but you are just part way along the journey, with a lot of improvement still to come.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

 

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