Jerry’s Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Su 2010
April 30, 2010
All the planning came together on 4/15/2010 at 1230 a.m. when I woke up in the PACU at HSS with a BHR on the right side done by Dr. Su and team. I am not a stranger to having surgery so I was pretty relaxed and kept a positive attitude during the days prior to the surgery day and during the four days in HSS. This particular surgery hurts quite a bit for quite a while afterward evidently..I am beginning to appreciate that now. It’s been 15 days and I am sticking to the regimen of walking as much as I can during the day and doing some simple stretching and PT type exercises on my own. Sometimes I can bear all of my weight on the operated side and sometimes I can’t put all my weight on it, but I use the crutches most of the time. I still feel swelling down in my knee; and the quad, hamstring, and groin muscles feel like they have been through a real war. No position is very comfortable…I am turning the other cheek to type this post right now.
I’m holding up pretty well, I suppose, but it is kind of depressing to recover from surgery no matter what you had done or who you are. Fortunately I am pretty strong in the upper body and I can move around on the crutches like a machine so I am mobile. My left hip is getting kind of tired of doing the work of two hips but I guess that will get better once I start walking better on the bionic one.
Anyway, it feels good to vent a bit here in a discussion group where people have similar experiences. I usually feel best around mid morning and then things go downhill in the evening (it’s around 7:30 p.m.). This is really my first week back from New York (been back six days) so I am just getting into a groove here. So far this week I have had a couple of pretty painful days. Sleep hasn’t been easy to come by for a while so the sleep gas tank is pretty low too. The old brain is not working too well at the moment.
May 1, 2010
I am on my own with the physical therapy and such since I left NY. I had a few PT appointments in the hospital and a couple in the hotel after I left. The suggestions were pretty good and consisted of common sense things I can do on my own. I am pretty self motivated. I walk four times each day (about every two hours) a distance of about 500 yards each time. So I go about 1.2 miles per day now since about last Tuesday. Today is day 16. I am going to try to get onto my stationary bike today and pedal a bit. There are 5 basic exercises that I am doing- foot pump, windshield wiper action with feet, quad squeeze, glut squeeze and heel slide. Then I also work on straight leg toe touch, bending forward in a chair, and quad stretch. That is quite a bit. Dr. Su gave me a prescription for PT starting at 6 weeks. He said I could go in a pool whenever I want so I will give that a shot soon.
May 6, 2010
I am at 21 days post-op and my operative leg feels longer than the other one. I emphasize "feels" because I look in the mirror and I don’t see anything that indicates one leg being longer. I can walk without crutches (but I use crutches for my exercise walks) and it feels kind of like the operative leg is longer. I don’t know. How do they actually measure your leg length? I heard somewhere that most people have unequal length limbs but I guess you just get used to it.
May 9, 2010
I am at 24 days post op. Of course, there still is quite bit of swelling around the incision area and deep inside, I imagine. There may even been some swelling in my upper leg and knee, although it is minor.
May 12, 2010
Today is day 27 post op for me. This morning I rode my mountain bike which I have on a trainer in the garage for 20 minutes. I’ll do that again this evening. After each workout, I stretch with 5 basic stretches and then I ice for 20 minutes. I just got back from a 1 mile walk. I used a single crutch to take a bit of weight off during that. I’ll do one more shorter walk later on. Also this afternoon I am going to do my upper body workout with light dumbbells. And tomorrow I’ll do a bit of easy swimming for about 20 minutes. So far I am going real easy on the exercises but I am still doing something everyday. I live in a second story house so when I go upstairs I use the crutch and banister to help but moving around the kitchen and stuff I just walk unassisted. So far it still hurts in and around my hip, upper leg, and even a bit on my calf. I think my case is one of those unlike the ones where people have reported no pain just a few days after the surgery. This surgery really kicked my butt (literally).
June 18, 2010
Now that I am getting stronger (week 9 now) I started experimenting with other kicks. Low and behold I find that dolphin, free style, and back stroke kicks are easier than breast stroke kick for me. Today I started really trying to get my glide going and did my entire workout with 15 stroke per length free style, which felt really good. Each length started with four dolphin kicks under water. I don’t have any groin pain and I actually feel better than when I was doing strictly breast stroke. My effort level is still in the easy range but knowing that I can do my favorite strokes without hurting myself was reassuring and makes me feel good about my next pool workout.
September 8, 2010
I have a physical job and I work out of a company 4×4 P/U truck. I do some lifting, climbing, walking and quite a bit of standing to work. Definitely not a desk job. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay out of work for 3 months during recovery, thanks to the FMLA leave law and the wonderful disability insurance provided in my state that I paid into for my working career. As a result, I ended up with no income loss and a much more confident return to work. Also, I was able to devote my full attention to recovery working out everyday, resting when I needed it, icing very frequently, and stretching for up to 30 minutes three times per day. By the 3 month mark I had gained ROM in my operative hip that was better than 95% of people who have no hip problems of any kind according to my PT. Also, I did not risk over loading my hip, falling, or pushing myself to do things that I know I would have tried to do at work.