Author Topic: Tips for Dr. Gross Patients  (Read 8564 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
Tips for Dr. Gross Patients
« on: September 17, 2008, 04:18:52 PM »
Hi Al,
I'm 3 weeks out from surgery with Dr. Gross.  Here are my tips for you:

During your pre-op appt. with Dr. Gross the day before your surgery, the tech will come in and fit you for crutches.  So, you don't have to worry about getting crutches ahead of time.   You will want to get a cane to start using at some point during your recovery.    I used two crutches for the first several days, then I went to one crutch on post-op day 5 and started using the cane on post-op day 7-8-ish.   On post-op day 5, I was somewhat surprised to find it actually much easier to manage with one crutch, rather than two.  Then, it was good to have the cane sitting there so that I could start to experiment with what the cane would feel like.  I found it a much bigger deal to go from one crutch to a cane and for several days I used both as I gradually weaned myself from crutch to cane.  I bought a cane at Walgreens.  They had a good selection.  I recommend getting one with a nice comfy foam grip handle.  You'll appreciate the cushioned grip on longer walks.

Hip Kit
Also during your pre-op appt. with Dr. Gross, Nancy Smith will provide you with a number to call to order a hip kit that they'll deliver to you in the hospital.  I ordered the kit in the hospital because I was going to stay at my sister's house in NC for a week before flying home to Utah the following week.  If you'll be flying out the day after your released from the hospital then perhaps you'll want to get one ahead of time at home and save the trouble of packing it up and checking it with your luggage.  For me the most important items in the hip kit have been The Grabber, sponge on a stick and chair thing that fits over the toilet.    I have found all of these things very useful.  I used the leg lifter for only the first few days to lift my leg in and out of bed. 

PolarCare 300
When you wake up in recovery you'll find that your hip is wrapped up in a nice cool Polarcare 300.  You get to take this home with you as a parting gift!   The Polarcare was my best friend during the first week of my recovery.  I went through about a bag of ice a day.   Each day when my brother-in-law came home from work carrying a bag of ice I would scream out 'The Iceman Cometh!'.  You'll need a lot of ice!   The Polarcare is a little square cooler that you fill with ice water that has a hose connected to a neoprene wrap with little plastic cells on one side that the ice water circulates through.  The neoprene wrap is designed to fit your hip and it attaches around your hips and upper thigh with velcro.  Usually you plug it in and the pump that continually circulates the cold water from the cooler through the wrap runs on electricity.  However, it also has a hand pump that you can use to re-circulate the ice water.  I'm telling you all this because you'll want to bring the polarcare home with you.  They'll give it to you in a box that you can easily pack it back into and check at the airport.  So, you may want to bring a marker and packing tape to seal the box and write your contact information on the box before checking it.  Or, if you have someone traveling with you who's willing to carry the Polarcare on the plane, then I think it would be great to have the Polarcare with you on the plane and use the hand pump to circulate the water.  It should easily fit into the overhead bin during takeoff and landing.  My boyfriend stayed home to care for our dogs while I travelled east for the surgery and my entire family lives on the east coast.  So, I flew alone and I checked my Polarcare and I was wishing that I had it during the flight. 

Flying Home
I arranged for a wheelchair ahead of time for getting through the airport.  Again, if i wasn't traveling alone, I certainly could have managed it without it.  But, it's a service that's provided and it worked out well for me especially since I flew on the day tropical storm Hannah was hitting the east coast and the airports where jammed with people.  The last thing you want is some nitwit who's rushing and not paying attention to knock you off your feet.

Recliner Chair
On Surfacehippy, I kept reading about people raving about their recliner chairs during recovery.  I didn't have a recliner chair and I didn't want to spend a lot of money to buy a recliner.  My sister didn't have a recliner at her house either and for the first week that I stayed there, I had a hard time finding any comfort while sitting.  Most of the time I spent in bed with my legs on a pillow or on the sofa with my legs on an ottoman and a couple of pillows.  I was always uncomfortably slouching because I was paranoid about breaking the 90 degree rule.  I broke down and ordered a $230 zero-gravity recliner from relaxtheback.com.  It's called the La Fuma Microsuede Recliner and it's absolute heaven on earth.   It's the only chair that I've been comfortable sitting in and I even find myself sleeping in it a lot.  Whenever I come in from a longer walk, I usually pass out for an hour in my recliner.  It's sooooo comfortable.  Plus, it's portable.  So, we move it around easily from the TV room, to the back patio and upstairs to the bedroom.  So, if you already have a recliner then put it in the room that you'll want to spend most of your time because you'll be spending a lot of time in the recliner.  If you don't already have a recliner then I recommend spending the $230 for the La Fuma.  It's worth every penny for the comfort it provides. 

When you're in the hospital, the PT therapist will teach you how to do stairs.  I found the uncarpeted, cement steps at the hospital to be terrifying the first time.  But since then, I've found stairs to be very easy to manage.  You'll quickly get the hang of it.  I wouldn't worry too much about the stairs.

I don't have kids, so I really can't offer any advice on taking care of kids.  I bet the older kids will be really helpful to have around as gophers and shoe-tyers.  My biggest problem is that have to have my boyfriend put my sneakers on for me before he leaves for work each morning and I have to keep them on all day.  Sometimes I'm still snoozing in bed when he's putting my sneaks on for the day.  I wish I had someone to tie my left sneaker during the day!

Physical Condition
Since your username is Triathloner, you must be a cyclist.  I'm a cyclist and it was the one thing that I could still do really well despite my hip.  So, I did A LOT of it in the months prior to surgery.  I was in very good shape going into the surgery and I think that has paid dividends during my recovery.   So, my last piece of advice is to go into surgery in the best shape possible.  I think it may help.

Lastly, I was terrified about the surgery.  I was second-guessing it all throughout the week before.  Luckily, when you get to the hospital everything happens very quickly and before you know it, it's all behind you.  The difficult thing for me right now is that I feel like it's going to be long time before I really know if this was successful and that bothers me.  Right now, it seems like everything is good and right on track.  But, I won't really feel good about calling this a success until I get to that 6 month mark.  Boy, that's a long time!

I hope this was helpful!  I'll be happy to answer more questions.  Good Luck!


« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 12:17:50 PM by Pat Walter »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
Re: Tips for Dr. Gross Patients
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 06:35:09 PM »

You're famous!

When you write your book can I have your autograph?

RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
Re: Tips for Dr. Gross Patients
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 11:15:45 PM »
Gross Hippies..I love it!
Ditto on the 6 month marker!

Lisa Uncemented/Biomet/Gross/ 6-23-08


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
Re: Tips for Dr. Gross Patients
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 12:12:11 AM »
LOL!!  Yeah, I think I had my 15 minutes this weekend, huh?  Gee, and I always thought that I would be on TV or some really cool Internet video for my 15 minutes of fame.  Well, this is just as good . . . if not better.  I've been looking for opportunities to share what I've learned and help some others going through the decision-making process and the pre-op prep process.  This forum was such a huge help to me and continues to be a huge help to me as I recover.  So, I'd like to give back to others when I think have something halfway meaningful to contribute.   This seemed like a good opportunity to do a brain dump!

Thanks to all of the great folks who contribute to this forum!



  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Tips for Dr. Gross Patients
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 05:14:55 PM »
I am now six days post surgery with Dr Gross (5/16/2012).  The information in this post was useful to me and I thought to add my 2 cents and reinforce some of the recommendations.

Hotel - We stayed at the Residence Inn across the street from Providence Northeast Hospital.  This is a well run place, good staff and fairly nice.  Not knowing what to expect, I initially reserved the handicap access room.  This has a wheelchair accessible bath much like what you have in the hospital.  The shower area also has a bench.  We stayed there one night before moving to one of the standard rooms.  The handicap accessible room was next to the elevator and there was just too much noise to be comfortable.  I did not have any trouble stepping into/out of the shower (standard bathtub/shower) after surgery so I didn't really need the handicap accessable shower.  The beds were fine for normal use, but are too soft for a post surgery patient.  They were soft enough that they tended to funnel you to the center of the bed.  Not what you need when one of your legs is out of commission.  I found I was getting up every few hours to urinate and getting out of bed was a chore.  The last night there I slept on the couch.  You might check if they have a room with a firmer bed or perhaps check out the Courtyard by Mariot which is right across from the hospital.

Fitness - For the first few days after surgery you will be using your upper body, your core, and your good leg to get up/down.  It will make things easier if you are in good shape.

Airlines - I flew home day 4 post op (surgery on Wed, flight home on Sunday).  Delta Airlines was excellent.  They arranged for a bulkhead seat which gave me plenty of room.  I am 6'1" tall and 215 pounds.  The seats and legroom were good and I didn't have any trouble with being comfortable on the flight. Since I didn't have any problems with connections, I let others exit the plane first so I didn't slow them down.   I was practically the last person to board and the last to leave.  I used the wheelchairs though the airports.  I did have some swelling on my travel day and I should have elevated and used the polar care as soon as I got home.  It took about 24 hours for the swelling to go down after I got home. 

Restaurants - I don't have anything to add here.  We had hoped to eat at the Solstice Kitchen Tuesday night, but they were closed for a private party.

Pack light - You will be bringing home more than you take (hip kit, polar care)

Constipation after surgery seems common.  I was advised to drink plenty of fluids and was given a stool softener at the hospital as part of normal procedure.  I was drinking all the time and still got constipated.  Just monitor this and be prepared to take some action.

Right hip.  Dr Gross, 5/16/2012


Recent Posts

Re: 8 Years Left / 15 Years Right -- checking in by 23109VC
November 23, 2021, 12:06:24 PM

Re: Nadine Soffer 20 Year Update Hip Resurfacing Dr Schmalzreid 2001 by 23109VC
November 23, 2021, 12:03:38 PM

Re: Deciding what to do... by 23109VC
November 23, 2021, 12:02:15 PM

Re: My Resurfacing Journey by LarryBud
November 22, 2021, 08:42:31 PM


Donate Thru Pay Pal

Surface Hippy Gear

Accordion Player Pat Webmaster/Owner

Owner/Webmaster of Surface Hippy


View My Stats

Powered by EzPortal