Author Topic: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su  (Read 515 times)

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Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« on: March 31, 2021, 05:28:50 PM »
I am so grateful for this site Pat and all those who have participated in sharing their stories, advice, encouragement, and embarrassing moments.

I am a 46 year old man from the Boston area. Grew up playing lots of sports, soccer, basketball, skiing, hiking, mountaineering, and tennis. I no doubt did too much pushing and not enough stretching and recuperative work along the way.  While playing tennis last summer I felt a twinge in my left groin. I ended up playing through it and chalked it up to a muscle pull or tendon tweak. Over the coming weeks and months I continued to workout and play tennis. The pain and discomfort continued to get worse. I thought I had a serious groin pull so I went to a PT. After several weeks of treatment and home exercises I felt better but still not 100%. Any twisting of my leg in the hip socket or rotation would cause pain and aggravate the joint/muscles. The PT suggested I go see an orthopedic and get X-Rays. My X-Rays reveled moderate+ OA in both hips with my left being worse. The Dr suggested I take Diclofenac sodium 75mg twice a day and go back to PT and change my routine from Groin to OA of the hip. If that didn't work he said I could try a cortisone shot.  I did as suggested and again felt some relief putting a lot of effort into the PT, but certain motions aggravated the hip quite a bit. I decided to have the x-ray assisted cortisone shot. The numbing agent provided some initial and very temporary relief but I would say the shot basically did nothing.  Over time the hip has gotten worse. I really wanted to avoid surgery so I rolled the dice and tried Prolotherapy. After 5 painful injections spaced a week apart I had 10% relief that eventually went back to baseline. Having had some success with Dr John Sarno's TMS philosophy for previous back pain I went to see a TMS orthopedic in Boston to see if my Hip pain was 'in my head' or caused by 'stress'. The verdict was it could be, given my right hip was similar to my left with no symptoms, but the X-Rays were pretty conclusive. So....... I did what a lot of you did/do and started reading about THR and HRC. Being a tennis fan I was very aware of Andy Murray and Bob Bryan so I booked a consult with Dr Su. My diagnosis was consistent and Dr. Su said I would be a good candidate for HRC. I talked to my family about timing and we decided on using the kids's upcoming school break as a backstop.

I am having some pre-op anxiety, which I guess is normal, but could use some encouragement. I was filling out Dr Su's paperwork and he asks about pain during: bending over to pick things up; sitting; lying in bed; going up stairs; walking on uneven ground; rising from siting. All of which for me are either mild or moderate. None are consistently severe or extreme - though I do have moments of tweaks that would qualify as severe. Which is why I don't play tennis. I can run on the treadmill with very mild discomfort, I can ride the peloton with moderate discomfort, I can jump rope, I go on long walks with a weighted vest -  I exercise virtually every day.  Part of me is wondering if I should wait a year or two more until it get's worse. I also fear losing the things I can do and not being able to do them ever again.

I have read the advice that being in the right frame of mind and having a positive mindset helps immeasurably for surgery outcomes. Which I believe. I think I have a little PTSD left over from a tough shoulder surgery recovery ~12 years ago (labrum, rotator cuff, AC joint) which needed a second surgery after the join froze. So here I am Surface Hippy heroes.............  :)


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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 10:46:45 AM »
Welcome (soon) to the club.

I'm going to speak for a LOT of other people and say that the VAST majority of us "stuck it out" until the pain was so debilitating that we finally pulled the trigger.  I'll bet there isn't a single person who, after the surgery and recovery, didn't say to themselves "I wish I did it a year earlier".  Not. A. One.  Also, I was 44 at the time of my first surgery.

My issue was similar to yours, and tennis ended up being my downfall as well.  I moved to the Atlanta area where tennis is basically a cult, and started playing 4-5x per week.  What had been an intermittent pain problem with my hip got worse and worse.  I would be in constant pain for a few days, then have a few pain free weeks.  This ratio changed over time, where the pain periods were longer and the pain free periods were shorter.  It got to the point where I would have a few days off, then 10 days were I couldn't sleep.

Fun fact:  I ran 4 miles, pain free, the day before my surgery.  Talk about messing with your head!  Constant thoughts of "Do I REALLY need to do this now?"  But then, I would just remember what the previous 2 weeks felt like, when I had to sit down in Kroger on the end cap of black beans because it hurt too much to stand.

My other hip also showed signs of degeneration, but was not symptomatic.  I got another 9 years on that one, and just had it done 5 months ago.  I did NOT wait as long on hip #2, as I knew the benefits.

I haven't had shoulder surgery (though I could probably use it), but from everyone I know who has, the recovery from this surgery is a cakewalk compared to that.

Ease your mind.  A year from now it will be a distant memory, and you'll be back to 100%.  Best of luck to you!
- Right Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 1/11/2012
- Left Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 10/28/2020



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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 11:52:38 AM »
I also mulled over scheduling surgery for my right hip after receiving a diagnosis of severe osteoarthritis.
I stopped playing racquetball a year earlier but still skiied.  However, I would limp after mowing the lawn.
Since I have Aetna insurance, I reviewed their clinical policy bulletin no. 0661 for joint resurfacing.
I met their criteria that included xrays showing 2 or more of the following (subchondral cysts, subcondral sclerosis, periarticular osteophytes, joint subluxation, bone on bone articulation or joint space narrowing).
I had subcondral sclerosis, bone on bone articulation and joint space narrowing and met 3 of their criteria.
I didn't wait as long as the left hip done in 2008 as I did not want to become disabled where I needed a cane to walk a block on level ground and my hip joint was completely shot with no cartilage and bone spurs.
My pelvis was tilted and my left leg atrophied to 2/3 size so my recovery was much longer after surgery.
For my right hip done in 2019, I was back skiing in 3 months.
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66
Age 68


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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2021, 06:04:36 PM »
First: you are not just going to magically get better. Your pain will only grow worse and more frequent. But, yeah, of course you're nervous. It's major surgery. You have to trust someone to put you under, slice you open, dislocate your hip, etc. I totally get it. With my right hip (the first of my resurfacings) as much pain as I was in I seriously considered bolting off the table in the operating room right up until the last moment. But I knew I would have to do it or be handicapped and in massive pain, so I stayed. This was the right decision. All the arthritis pain instantly disappeared. Within a few weeks I was back in the pool and taking walks. Several weeks beyond that I was hiking again. I just had my left hip done on March 1. I was still nervous, but not as intensely as the first time. I knew what the benefit would be.

The thing with arthritis pain is each person experiences it differently, even between hips. You may progress slowly, or slide right off a cliff next week. You just never know. But, like I said, it won't get better. The ineffective shots are just an attempt to stave off the inevitable. It's just a matter of when you're ready. As every one of us will tell you, you will feel instantly better afterwards. The arthritis will be gone. After you recover you'll no longer experience "mild to moderate discomfort" with activities. You'll be pain free. Your quality of life will be better. Then you'll wish you had done it sooner.


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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 07:04:19 AM »
I agree with all the other responses, and would add one point. There is a "window" in which hip resurfacing can be done. If the damage is too advanced, a THR might be the only option. With my first resurfacing surgery in 2006, I almost missed that window. In 2018, when my other hip needed repair, I was too old for a resurf so went with a THR, which has been fine. If you're hoping for resurfacing, don't wait too long.


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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 11:33:53 AM »
I was one of those people that never had severe pain, but I had mild to moderate pain.  For my left hip done in 2008, I modified activities until I needed a cane to walk a city block with an antalgic gait.
The day before surgery, I even walked down a flight of stairs for ten stories in the Empire State building without much pain, using my cane.  The elevator was full at the top level.
My local internal medicine physician, said to proceed with the surgery to restore function if not to alleviate pain since I tolerated pain so well.
I sent the xrays to Dr Desmet for another opinion, and he said I was the perfect candidate for hip resurfacing since I was a male, age 55 with a larger femoral head, 54 mm, but not to delay since he likes to have some remaining bone to work with.
So for my right hip done in 2019, I did not delay after receiving the diagnosis of severe osteoarthritis.
I was age 66 and just passed the age limit of 65 according to Aetna's clinical policy bulletin, 0661.  But Dr Su does hip resurfacings for people in their 70's if the bone quality is good.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 12:09:11 PM by stevel »
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66
Age 68


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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2021, 06:21:35 PM »
I would not have said I had severe pain and yet I had trouble sleeping, could not carry heavy objects, and could not walk more than about a block. It was more like I just couldn't go than that I hurt. Looking back on those pre surgery days, I'd say yes, I was in pain, but I did not have time to admit it. I had too much to do.

Today I think I was nuts to wait so long and let it get so bad.

Arthur Plastie

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Re: Hip Resurfacing Scheduled 4/16 Dr Su
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2021, 09:23:37 AM »
Welcome, Dan!

Youíre in the hands of one of the best in the business with Dr. Su.  He was my first choice before finding out Dr. Gross was right up the road.  They are colleagues.  Dr. G spoke very highly of him.

It might help (or it might scare the crap out of you!) but Dr. Su has his surgery posted on YouTube.  I found it fascinating after I got over my squeamishness...I donít do surgery videos.  Watch Dr. Grossís, too.  Minor differences in technique and process, but the basics are the same.  Surgery has come a LONG way in the last 10 years.  The recovery is a chore, but if you follow his guidance, you might just be back to playing tennis next year at this time along with everything else you want to do... with no restrictions!  Iím looking forward to Colorado and some real snow skiing next January.

You may want to start a post, if you havenít already, in the Dr. Su Success Stories section.  Love to read about your progress, and it helps other Surface Hippies.  Sure helped me!

Athletic as you are, keep in mind the Nike Principle...  ďJust Do It!Ē :D
-RH Biomet U/C by Dr. Gross and Lee Webb 1/4/21
Ready for fun in Ď21!



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