Author Topic: Moving Forward  (Read 489 times)

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Moving Forward
« on: May 06, 2019, 11:24:41 PM »
 As a 62-year-old healthy male, Iíve enjoyed a vigorous, athletic lifestyle exercising, Hiking, Cycling, Horseback riding and Skiing. After visiting with two different orthopedic surgeons in the past year a THR was strongly recommended due to ďbone on boneĒ pain in the right hip diagnosed as ďsevereĒ OA. This news was rather shocking causing fear, anger and uncertainty, particularly since no other options were presented or explored.

While occasional, sporadic pain for the past three years caused some ROM loss and a moderate decrease in rigorous activity the findings seemed disproportionally aggressive. Unfortunately, the intensity and frequency of pain seemed to be gradually increasing and simply taking an hour drive in the car could cause significant discomfort.
Nonetheless, the potential limitations and other adverse consequences of a THR to an especially active life drove my diligence towards other alternatives and I was extremely fortunate to find this incredible forum filled with exceptionally intelligent, thoughtful and supportive members. I have attempted to read virtually everything available through different websites, published studies, interviews and devoured YouTube and posts on Surface Hippy.
I explored many options (not presented by the Doctors I visited) and concluded based on my own particular circumstances and analysis that Dr. Gross in Columbia, SC was my preferred path for corrective action.  I had an excellent phone and in-person consultation with Dr. Gross and his staff. They indicated I was an outstanding candidate for the outpatient, fast recovery protocol.  Subsequently I have scheduled the right Hip to be resurfaced in about 4 weeks.

At times, Iíve been consumed by self-doubt and wondered if I am making the right decision. Never having faced major surgery is causing a high degree of anxiety and apprehension, however, as an engineer the data driven, results oriented expertise and compelling experience of Dr. Gross with his skilled staff was undeniably impressive and reassuring.
Yet, the procedure and significant recovery period still seems quite daunting. At times, I wonder about device longevity, the possibility of revision surgery and the overall outcome. On good days with minimal pain, I can easily convince myself to delay the procedure or continue to seek (improbable) alternatives, but when the pain inevitably returns, it underscores the need to move forward.
Fortunately, I have the time to concentrate on recovery, and hope that my expectations for less pain with increased mobility are accurate and can be attained, in due course.

With the wisdom and insights of this website, I am trying to be well prepared by getting into the best shape possible (strength training, cardio and stretching), preparing the house and planning with the support of family. The last part might be the most difficult since Iíve always been the protector and provider, and requiring the support of others is a new and somewhat uncomfortable role thatís difficult to accept (even temporarily).

Moreover, patience is not a strong point of mine and the thought of substantially limiting my activity while healing and recovering is going to be challenging. However, with sage advice from this site, I know what to generally expect and more importantly, the need to have patient perseverance.

I am not sure my post adds any value since most of these issues have been covered more than adequately, however, I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to the many other posters on this site as well as Pat Walter.

Some day, there will hopefully be a less invasive process to repair damaged joints, however, until that day arrives we must avail ourselves to the best existing alternatives and I thank this site for providing the necessary information to make better informed decisions about our health.


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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 12:03:41 AM »
Hi Smokey,
You will be in excellent hands.  I had both done 14 weeks ago and really happy with the progress.  I also continue to see improvement each week.  The first week or 2 is challenging but Dr. Gross and team do an fantastic job.  I had to fly to SC and that return was manageable.  Sounds like you have done a lot of research.
Hope that helps,

Mouse Potato

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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 12:28:20 PM »
Hi Smokey,

If the arthritis is getting worse then you are best not to leave it too long. I was told by my surgeon, Mr Treacy, that my hip was in such a bad condition that I was only just able to have the resurfacing.  I should have had the operation about 3 years ago apparently.

with regards longevity of the joint, I would presume that the top surgeons will have similar stats. Mr Treacy's joint survival stats, at 20 years, is 98% with half of those failing in the first 6 weeks. So, you would have to be unlucky for the joint not to see you out!

The key to recovery is patience, which it sounds like you are prepared for. I am 5 1/2 weeks post op now and am just about to lose the crutch. I have always been sporty but am prepared to wait the time necessary to ensure I get the best out of the joint.

I have also never had major surgery before and, although challenging in the first week or two, it was not as bad as I was anticipating.

All the very best for the surgery and please keep us updated with progress.



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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 12:41:32 PM »
I'm 6 months post-op. Like you, my pain was manageable for a number of years, running through it, popping pills, until it got to be permanent and intense. The key here is patience and looking at the long term. It's really hard, I know, especially when you're used to being active. But I can honestly say after 6 months that patience pays off and I feel amazing (didn't realize just how bad I was feeling). I'm already running almost 5k a couple times a week. if you're in shape and do your exercises, you'll be up in no time and you'll feel great ! Surgeon thinks that the hip could last the rest of my life...at worst, I've gained another 15-20 years before a THR.

Good luck on your surgery !
Right Conserve+, November 21, 2018, Dr. De Smet


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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 02:49:23 PM »

You've clearly thought this through as rationally as it can be considered.  Your occasional doubts and concerns regarding outcomes are an inevitable result of being conscious- it's almost impossible not to entertain second thoughts. You already know there are no better alternatives and that HR is an excellent alternative.  All the preparations, choice of surgeon, physical conditioning will help you accept the decision when you make the decision.  You can always refuse surgery even from the OR, but you won't.  Those people will take fantastic care of you and about an hour after they roll you in, they will roll you out, you will wake up and the OA pain will be gone- forever.  That's a pretty good deal, really the best around, which you already know.  I was discharged the same afternoon after each of my procedures, needed a ride home but had almost no help at the house and truly didn't need it.  Counter surfed the first week on two crutches in the kitchen [down to 1 crutch by day 4], took my time getting things done and did the home PT and worked through the first 2 weeks and by day 5-6 was making my first outside short 300 yd. walk with the 1 crutch.  If the second thoughts persist bear in mind OA can accelerate very quickly so the occasional remissions you experience are temporary and misleading.  Having read through the archives here, doctors results, procedural successes and published studies you know why the overwhelming number of people on this site are so positively affected by their choices to have the surgery and everyone who reads your thread here will be fully expecting you to be posting your positive results here again soon after your surgery- with good reasons.  Best of luck.

Pat Walter

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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 05:13:45 PM »
Welcome to the Hip Talk discussion Forum.  I am sorry to hear you have hip problems. You have chosen one of the best, most experienced hip resurfacing surgeons in Dr. Gross. I am sure you will be having a great summer of being more active and out of pain. 

I wish you the very best and look forward to reading your updates.
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2019, 10:21:51 PM »
 :) Smokey good luck!
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

Matty S

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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 03:32:18 PM »
Good luck. I am 54 and facing the same doubts that you are. I hope all goes well for you!

Please update us after your procedure.


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Re: Moving Forward
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 04:11:09 PM »
Best of luck, Smokey... I'm rounding in on my 9 year anniversary and can tell you it's the best thing I've done for myself. Good luck, you're in good hands.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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