I had a bi-lateral hip resurfacing November 25, 2008 with Dr. Tom Vail at UCSF in San Francisco. As a 60 year old energetic and athletic woman who loves hiking, sports and kayaking, I wanted to regain my life.
For the last 6-8 years I have been unable to walk more than a mile without pain so hiking was out of the question and many other sports and activities became difficult or impossible. After much research I decided to go with Tom Vail as he has done a lot of surgeries ( I didn’t want to be a guinea pig!) and quite a few bi-laterals.
After our first meeting, I felt confident that he was the man for the job. I had interviewed several other doctors but didn’t feel that “connection”. I spent the four months before my surgery getting in the best shape possible by working out at least 4-5 times a week for an hour a day, swimming laps, kayaking and taking water aerobics classes. I went into the surgery in good shape which paid off with a very fast recovery.
I’m five weeks out and walking much better than before the surgery with good flexibility. I will say that bi-lateral surgery is not for the faint of heart as the first two weeks are pretty brutal. However, I would say that after the first week, each day I felt better and better.
I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week for the last 3 weeks and it has helped tremendously with my flexibility and strength. I’m walking without a cane for the last week or so and and am back to my swimming pool routine (not quite full force yet). I can put on my socks, tie my shoes and bend over without tremendous effort, things that were extremely difficult before the surgery. And I can walk without a limp! My pain and stiffness is minimal and I have been off all pain meds except Tylenol or Aleve for the last three weeks. It will take some time to get the muscles that were not used for a long time back in shape but overall I feel great.
I would highly recommend Dr. Vail to those looking for a surgeon in the Bay Area.
Christine, Oakland, CA