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Author Topic: Wondering if I should have surgery  (Read 1504 times)

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RollerHockeyDan

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Wondering if I should have surgery
« on: May 27, 2021, 02:56:16 AM »
Thank-you for welcoming me to the site. Iím 55 and scheduled for resurfacing with Dr Gross in 5 weeks and have recurring doubts about it. My hip has worsened slowly over the past 25 years. I had to give up one sport or activity after another. Havenít been able to run or tie my shoe on my bad side in about 10 years. I could still play roller hockey but gave it up recently too because my hip prevents me from competing in the game and I stopped enjoying it being a spectator in the action.  I can still ride a bicycle and walk as much as I want albeit with a limp. My range of motion is very reduced but avoiding activities that aggravate my hip, I have very little to no pain. My dilemma is should I at age 55 play it safe and resign myself to accepting the limitations or should I roll the dice and have the surgery with hope of returning to sports that I used to enjoy so much? Have many of you been able to return to competitive sport? Any experiences or advice would be appreciated.

Pat Walter

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 12:47:21 PM »
Hi Dan
The very experienced surgeons, as well as less experienced, do not ever tell someone they will give them a hip resurfacing unless it is needed. They use you x-rays to tell. They have a great many patients, many that have to wait in line to get their hip resurfacings. So they don't have do just do surgeries that are not needed to make money. Some people have great pain and yet, are not ready for surgery. Some people have less pain and their hips are very deteriorated. If you wait too long, you will lose your window of opportunity to have a hip resurfacing and will have to have a THR. So at this point - yes it is your decision, but you are not able to look at the x-rays and determine how much your hip joint has deteriorated.  I am not a doctor or medically trained, but after 16 years of running this website and reading thousands of stories, I have read a lot. I have gone to medical training conferences about hip resurfacing that teaches surgeons the procedure. So understanding that only a surgeon can tell you if your hip needs a replacement is the only medical opinion you should use. If you life has changed to the point that you can no longer do the same activities that you use to enjoy, then there is a problem.  If you walk with a limp - your body is telling you something. Surgery is not a gamble like rolling the dice.  The surgeon has done thousands of hip resurfacing successfully and knows when surgery is needed.
Hopefully, others will comment too. Don't put your life on hold and stop doing what you enjoy. Don't allow your hip to deteriorate to the point that you can only have a THR.

It comes down to whether you have confidence in the surgeon and whether you want to live an active, normal life. That is a decision that over 6000+ of his patients made. If you read the personal stories, you will read about others who were in your position and their wish that they had done it sooner is often expressed.  https://surfacehippy.info/category/hip-resurfacing-stories/dr-gross/
I wish you the best. You have chosen an excellent surgeon. Now it is up to you. Everyone is nervous before surgery. It is best to think more about how you life will change after surgery. 

Pat
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 12:50:37 PM by Pat Walter »
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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

RollerHockeyDan

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 03:20:22 PM »
Pat, thank-you so much for this response and so quickly too. This insight and advice really helps calm my surgery nervousness. Iím so fortunate to have discovered this website and indebted to you and the contributors.

catfriend

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 08:21:28 PM »
I will politely say, yes, you should have surgery. Or I could metaphorically pretend we are in a cartoon and grab you by the collar and shout in your face, "Are you insane?! Of course you should have the surgery!!!". Alas, we are not cartoon characters.

You have had to give up numerous activities that you enjoy. What's left to you can only be done with a limp. You can no longer tie your shoe, which is a basic daily activity. Your hip is sucking the enjoyment out of your life. You're only 55, and have a lot more years of living. You are eligible for a surgery which can bring back you ability to do the things you used to do and wish to do again. Yes, absolutely, have the surgery and reclaim your life.

Any surgery may be "a roll of the dice", but a surgeon like Dr. Gross doesn't roll them unless he's confident of the outcome.

There's never a guarantee, and some people never return to running, but this forum is full of recovered resurfacing patients who have returned to activities from hiking to running, heliskiing to hockey. There have been several professional athletes who have been resurfaced and returned to competition. It takes time to recover, and YMMV, but you should be able to get back to most if not all of your activities.

Nerves before surgery are common. When they wheeled me into the OR for my first resurfacing I seriously considered calling it off even that late. For my second resurfacing five years later I still wasn't crazy about the surgery part, but I knew from experience just how life changing resurfacing could be so cancelling surgery at that last second never went through my head.

I suggest you read through some of patient stories here for reassurance. Good luck!

PalmettoGolfer

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 01:44:50 AM »
RHD,

This: "avoiding activities that aggravate my hip"

You shouldn't have to do this, with resurfacing you could probably get back to doing what you love to do.

As others have said all surgeries have risks but if you research, Hip Replacements/Resurfacings are one of if not the most successful surgeries ever.  With Dr Gross and crew you're getting one of the best.

I'm 10 days out from my surgery with Dr. Gross  I'm 53 y/o male so about the same age as you.

I can tell you I know exactly where you're coming from.  I too was hesitant, but for a slightly different reason.  My symptoms were only around for about 7 months before I saw Dr Gross and was told I needed a new hip.  After the shock wore off, I had the same questions you had, but realized that I really didn't have another option other than not walk, basically at all.  Dr Gross told me we could manage the pain with meds but that it wasn't going to get better.  I couldn't walk a city block, my golf game was suffering from lack of ROM.  I decided to pull the trigger.

10 days out and I don't have any regrets.   The arthritis pain is gone, now it's just the slow and steady recovery.  I think the shape you're in before the surgery will have some affect on your recovery.  I'm not in the best shape, I'd describe myself as more of a workhorse rather than race horse. I'm able to walk with one crutch and for short distances without any crutches at all.  I've still got a limp but it's get better every day.

You obviously won't remember anything about the surgery but the whole process from check-in to recovery is amazing with Dr Gross and his crew.

The pre surgery jitters, anxiety or whatever you want to call is most definitely common.  That's what made me move my surgery up 2 months.  I didn't want to sit around wondering/worrying about EVERYTHING, which is what I was doing   :)

I won't tell you what you should do but I can tell you, I'd make the same decision I did the first time.

Good luck and keep us posted

-PG

Gordito

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 02:23:39 PM »
Dan,

Your story resonated with me because it is so similar to my experience. I have been following this site for years and just  decided to join the forum and respond based on your post.  I was diagnosed with Hip OA 10 years ago. At that time I was running, golfing, skiing, playing hockey, cycling etc. You played roller hockey and I played Ice hockey but otherwise same story. I am 56 and 13 days away from surgery with Dr. Kim in Canada. There are only a few surgeons in Canada that are qualified to do hip resurfacing and Dr. Kim is one of them. He is recognized as an expert surgeon in this procedure by people like Dr. Gross. I have been very hesitant and totally understand where you are coming from. I have lost all my activities except cycling and walk with a limp. I made the decision last spring to have surgery and have been through 3 covid surgery cancellations before my date on June 10th. Just yesterday I had a great day... cycled 20K and the thought crossed my mind if I am doing the right thing. My journey has been all over the place. This is in part what has caused my hesitation.  Here is rough timeline

- 5 years ago I was referred to a surgeon from a private health care doctor. I went to see him to discuss my hip after x-rays etc. This is when I started following surface hippy. The doctor was shocked that I could walk given the severity of my arthritis. The weird thing with me is I have had very little pain and more stiffness a lack of range of motion. The doctor suggested I wait a little longer before hip replacement. I brought up the hip resurfacing procedure and this surgeon literally said this procedure is totally waste of time and the only solution is a replacement. It didn't make sense to me but I was surviving and carried on.

- January 2020 I was starting to get worse. I was started to get some pain and the limp was getting worse so I went to my GP and he said I was too young for a total hip replacement but thought I should consider a hip resurfacing and provided some referrals. It took months to have initial consults with surgeons. I saw three Surgeons. Surgeon number#1 told me the best solution was an anterior total hip replacement and hip resurfacing was not a procedure that is not done anymore. Surgeon #2 was Dr. Brooks. He looked at my x-ray and said I was a good candidate for hip resurfacing. Surgeon #3 Dr. Kim. He is an expert with Hip resurfacing and also does total hip replacements. He has done 1000 plus resurfacings and recommended a resurfacing.

- I picked Dr. Kim (Dr. Brooks awesome too) as he had the experience and was in Canada. I am totally confident in his skills. Along comes Covid and I have been rescheduled three times. I am confident it will stick this time. I still wonder from time to time if it is the right thing but I am convinced and ready to go.

My decision to proceed is right one is based  on a few things:

1. I am listening to my body. I am limping, stiff and not myself. I think my body is telling it is time to do something and I am better to do this when I am younger.

2. The biggest risk in my mind is the surgeon. I have an expert surgeon performing the surgery and I am good hands. Dr. Gross is definitely another expert surgeon for this procedure.

3. My wife will kill me if I don't  get this done. I am very high maintenance at this point

I am all in and will be ready to go on the 10th. I will try and post again on my experience.

Gord 







stevel

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 03:51:15 PM »
Dan,  I was 55 when I had my LBHR done nearly 13 years ago then I was 66 when I had my RBHR done nearly 2 years ago.  You can read my story under Dr Su's patients for this website.  I didn't wait as long for the RBHR.  Before hip resurfacing, they used to say to keep your natural joint as long as tolerable before getting a THR because a THR will wear out needing a revision for younger, active and athletic patients.
Steve
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66

RollerHockeyDan

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 08:39:13 PM »
I am really impressed and thankful for these thoughtful and considerate responses. Im checking the forum twice a day! They are rťal encouraging. Gord, our patterns are so similar. I also played ice hockey all my life in la belle province until relocating south 20 years ago to a place that has no ice but luckily has a roller rink so I adapted and must say playing roller hockey up until last year has kept me sane (somewhat at least). Competitive  team sport is like the best medicine to me, body and mind. I feel less alive since I hung the skates up last year. My hip issue really began way back in my late 20ís, early 30ís and was caused not by hockey but by playing soccer and rugby with so much pounding and twisting involved. I had to quit playing anything that involved running about 20 years ago. It would be amazing if I could return to roller hockey but I wonít play if im at the point of being a team liability. I want to compete and pull my weight on the rink or itís not enjoyable. The league is made up mostly of very fit 20 something guys but up until last year I was near the top of the scoring leaders because my lifetime honed stick handling and shooting skills compensated for my slowing skating. Since Iíve retired from hockey, I only cycle and walk but most days have no pain whatsoever. Im to be feared on the rink but the biggest chicken when it comes to something like surgery. But yours and the others responses are giving me courage. Thanks so much!

RollerHockeyDan

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 04:13:15 AM »
I read on the forum that some peopleís hips improved prior to surgery and that contributed to their uncertainty. That is precisely my case. At the start of this year I had 2 PRP injections in each hip and testosterone pellets inserted in hopes of saving my hips, relieving aches and improving my energy. Well the testosterone did help with energy but didnít help much with the aches. The PRP helped my hips a bit I think but not much if any. So about 7 weeks ago I went to a local surgeon who suggested resurfacing which I had never heard of before and after reading about it started to think this may really be suitable for me and I told the local surgeon Iíd do it and after that they contacted me with some questions and to say theyíve ordered my Birmingham device  PLUS a total hip device. I asked why they ordered the total hip device also and the nurse told me itís because they may have to revert to total hip after opening me up! This scared me. The idea of being put to sleep and not knowing what youíd have done until you awake wasnít acceptable for me. Additionally, i couldnít get a definitive number of how many resurfacing surgeries this surgeon has done but it was only a little more than 20. I absolutely donít want a total hip replacement. So I searched on Internet and emailed my x-ray to Dr Grossí office and they emailed me back the next day saying dr gross says Iím a good candidate for resurfacing with zero risk of a total hip replacement. They additionally followed up with a phone call a couple days later and gave me more information and answered my questions. Dr Grossí team is incomparable to that of the local surgeon. So much better. So much more responsive and knowledgeable. So two weeks ago I get scheduled for surgery with Dr Gross and VOILA! my aches have suddenly vanished and my hip has miraculously ceased to have any pain. Is it perhaps the PRP that suddenly kicked in? Or is it in my head? I donít understand whatís happening. Am I going nuts?

petemeads

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2021, 06:52:42 AM »
Hi Dan, just wanted to comment on your latest post with my experiences.
I have a BHR from 6 years ago, fitted to my left hip but at the time I couldn't tell which hip was worse, they both had their bad days but I could still run and bike if I didn't do it too often. Surgeon said the right had 2 years left and he was absolutely right. The second op failed due to poor bone quality, the ball fell off my femur whilst placing (hammering!) the cap into position so I ended up with a ceramic/ceramic THR instead. I was on the ragged edge for attempting another BHR, hats off to him for trying, but the THR has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened - I didn't have to worry about my femoral head during recovery and I don't have to worry about wear and metallosis, just the difficulty of revision if anything does go wrong eventually. I knew something had gone wrong during the process because I was wide awake with a spinal anaesthetic so I didn't have to wake up to be disappointed! He reassured me by saying I would still be able to do all the things I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to break it . I was back to jogging and climbing within 6 weeks, 4 years later I am running more and faster and further than I have for many years. THR is not the end of the world, have a look at Hiprunner for more success stories, but a BHR from Dr Gross is surely what you need right now - no more doubts please!

Pete
Age 70, LBHR 48mm head 18th Nov 2014 and RTHR 36mm head Zimmer ceramic/ceramic 2nd May 2017 by Mr Christopher Kershaw, Spire hospital, Leicester UK.

Arthur Plastie

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2021, 01:45:12 PM »
Hey, Dan!

Thereís something to be said about finding out youíre a good candidate for resurfacing and getting the surgery scheduled.  Youíre reaction was similar to mineÖ. I actually broke down when Dr. Gross told me he could fix it.  It felt like a great weight was lifted and the pain of the last 4 years went away!  Immediate doubtsÖ. Did I do the right thing?  This guy is gonna cut me open!  But, the pain came back a few days later and reminded me, yes, I did make the right decision.  5 months post-op, I feel awesome!  You will too!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 07:41:56 PM by Arthur Plastie »
MarvinB
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Ready for fun in Ď21!

catfriend

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2021, 10:51:26 PM »
Arthritis never gets better. That being said everybody has good days and bad days. The last couple of days before my first surgery were good days. When I was thinking about jumping off the OR table just before my first surgery I was in a spell of good days, and considered this. But I knew that in no time the bad days would return. The cartilage was not going to regenerate itself. Yours won't, either. Any of the treatments you've had are just staving off the symptoms. They can't heal the underlying problem. If you're in a streak of good days, enjoy them. You never know when they'll end.

RollerHockeyDan

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 12:47:38 PM »
Just back from an early morning bike ride. Thank God for Sunday mornings when there are a tolerable amount of cars. On my bike is when I do my best thinking. Cycled by the tennis courts and my old hockey rink and thought how good it used to feel playing those sports. When the puck is on my stick and in that moment in time the only thought I have is to explode with speed (a 55 year old level of explosion), take the puck towards the opponentís net and make moves around attackers, protecting the puck, and unleash my most powerful slap shot or wrist shot or draw the defense and pass to my open teammate. The prospect of being able to come out of retirement and do this again instinctively without consciously having to hold back, catering to my hipís limitations is too good to pass up. Iím so lucky to have such  an opportunity. Once I scheduled surgery, the doubting Dan side of me starting whispering to me: Ďwhat are you doing?í ĎItís not so bad. Youíve lived with this for 25 years. It doesnít hurt that much and besides, youíre  old now, accept it!í. Well, this forum has been a godsend to me. Your responses have enlightened and encouraged me not to give up and resign myself to only partially living for the rest of my years. Thank- you so much guys and gals for the support exactly when I most needed it. To quote another forum member, I canít wait to Ďget on the other sideí again!
PS- it will be also be great to cycle without having to consciously keep my foot on the pedal since the foot on my bad hip side is always turning out.

Arthur Plastie

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 01:26:01 PM »
Looking forward to reading your success story, Dan-o!  Best of luck to ya!
MarvinB
-RH Biomet U/C by Dr. Gross and Lee Webb 1/4/21
Ready for fun in Ď21!

imgetinold

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Re: Wondering if I should have surgery
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2021, 09:54:11 PM »
Hey Dan.


Nothing really new to add to the posts you've already read, but I would guess 95% of us felt the exact same way.  I could have gone another couple of years had I
- stopped playing tennis
- stopped running
- stopped doing HIIT workout
- etc......


What fun is that, particularly when it's a decent part of what you like to do.  I had the exact same feeling as you do literally the day before my surgery, when I ran 4 pain-free miles.  However, I knew that two days from then it would be likely that I would be in awful, droning pain and unable to sleep at night.  It would come and go.  But I went through with it, and am REALLY glad I did.  When hip #2 started going bad last year, I immediately schedule the surgery.

You're also going to THE ABSOLUTE BEST (in my opinion) surgeon doing resurfacing today.  You will be so incredibly impressed on how it all goes.  I won't lie that it took me about a year to get fully back to pre-surgery speed/explosiveness, but I also didn't train specifically for that.  I just went back to my activities (pain free) and improved with time.  Some who train really hard can get back faster.

Best of luck.  Tell Doubting Dan to get lost!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 09:54:51 PM by imgetinold »
Andy
- Right Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 1/11/2012
- Left Biomet uncemented HR with Dr. Gross on 10/28/2020

BOILER UP!

 

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