June 30, 2009
I am here in South Carolina with Dr. Gross at the hospital. It is Tuesday
today. I had the right hip resurfaced at 9am yesterday. Tomorrow, I will
have the left leg resurfaced at 3pm. Thanks to all the folks who have
published comments and given feedback on this site. It is incredibly useful
for setting expectations and getting a feel for what is going to happen
next. My thanks to all you great posters!
I am 44 years old, and am in good to great physical shape (except for the
hip area!). I learned about Hip Resurfacing and Dr. Gross by doing a Google
search when I was frustrated about "hip replacement and snowmobiling".
Somehow I came across an individual who was a year out and bragging about
being able to snowmobile again with no pain. What a funny way to hook into
I learned about Dr. Gross from this site as well a ton of independent
research. I called and talked to their staff and was impressed with how
caring they seemed. In reading the blogs, I felt that Dr. Gross and his
staff went the extra mile to make their patients recover well.
So I decided to sign up and go through the process. For me, my life felt
like I hit a brick wall sometime back in October. I was limping for the past
8 years or so, but there was no affect on my sports, ROM, or anything else.
I had pain, but medicine seemed to be the way to treat it. What was
interesting to me
What was interesting to me was how the pain medicine doses became part of my
life. Two alleves in the morning to get me started, maybe one before playing
hockey, or maybe throw down a couple of Anvils. I was popping these pain
killers every day. I do not think that was so good!
Then, in October, for the first time in my life, I felt that my ROM and
strength in my legs was to push off, or stand up from the back of the skies,
or do something I always had been able to do, was GONE! I finally decided to
do something about it.
I met Dr. Gross and his staff in their office on Friday. I was impressed
with how friendly, nice and caring his staff was. It might be something to
do with the South as well… you all are a caring and wonderful group! I hail
from Northern Michigan, and live now over in Northern Sweden!
Dr. Gross and I discussed in detail the results of my DEXA scan, which is a
bone density scan. Because of my arthritis, I was a little low. If not for
my physique, desire to do both, and commitment to take it easy, I think Dr.
Gross would not have gone forward. Being a male 44 years old helped as well,
but the bone density was a big deal. I was a -2.1 on the left and -2.3 on
the right. Osteo something arthritis is -2.5. So I am not so good! But I am
on a course to strengthen my bones (good tip for people to look at prior to
surgery, have the DEXA done early). I take calcium and vitamin D daily as well
as a bone strengthening prescription (forgot the name) once a week. So we
decided to move forward!
My right side feels pretty good. I have been up and down the hall 3 times
practicing a gated walk with the crutches. It is definitely stiff@! And it
is definitely hard to maneuver out of bed turning the right leg to get into
a standing position. Because of my Dexa, Dr. Gross has me on the slow
progression PT. I am not to weight bear much (and little as I can) for 6
weeks. But… I willing to do that because I really want to get my life back
and both sides were killing me pre Bilateral!
So…things are going well. The staff here is excellent at the hospital. I
have felt very welcome and very cared for. Everyone has been great. This is
truly a first class place. Tomorrow, I have to stop eating and drinking
tonight at midnight, I will get stage 2 – the left side done! I will keep
everyone posted. I am excited and nervous. After reading all the posts, I
know the first 10 days are going to be tough! But I am ready, here, and
willing to endure! We fly back up north on Saturday.
July 15, 2009
Well… I am now post op 2 weeks. I agree with previous
post that the first week is tough. I would refer to it as more than tough.
At least it was for me… wow! I will do a little memory recital here and get
caught up to where we are today.
I had the second hip done on Wed late – I was the last surgery of the day. I
had the good fortune to be very easy. The surgery according to Dr. Gross was
straight forward and easy. As you may recall, I was a little low on my bone
density – a negative 2.1 on the right and a negative 2.3 on the left. Dr.
Gross had originally suggested I not do a bilateral. Upon our meeting, and
discussion, we decided together to proceed with the bilateral surgery
knowing my recovery would be under his slow program. More on this later!
On Friday, we were discharged from the hospital. The pain meds, coupled with
what I assume was some device to dislocate my leg from the socket prior to
surgery, made the bathroom a big nightmare. We stayed at the Courtyard on
Friday night. My butt was so uncomfortable. Trying to go the bathroom was
terrible. It does get better, but that first ten days are tough for men. Of
course, I am a big baby, but that was no fun!
Courtyard was great. We had the handicap double room. My father had been
with me all week. Having him to help was indispensable. You need someone to
help you out for a couple of weeks.
On Saturday, we packed up and headed to go out of town from Columbia airport.
I had to take two small flights to get home. One jump from Columbia to
Detroit, and then from Detroit to Traverse City, Michigan. Having read the
forums, I knew to take my medicines – the pain meds. In addition to Vicodin,
I had something Dr. Gross gave me that was a 12 hour. I took that as well as
brought the vicodins with me to use ,as well as the next 12 hour pill for
when we were in Detroit. I also packed empty head ice packs. Those ice packs
you can buy at the store that have a big screw off top, are meant for your
head, and you can put ice in them with water. We carried these empty through
security and had a vendor fill them with ice in Columbia. They were a HOT
TICKET! And very recommended. Having one for each side during the flight,
really helped me a lot. We refilled with ice in Detroit for the next
segment. They were perfect because you can take empty through security.
Upon arrival home, I was a little swelled and took it easy. The hardest part
was the bathroom. The pain killers act like a plug, and your butt feels like
(and is) very bruised. Sitting on the toilet seat for 5-7 days was not
pleasant. Cover your one eyed snake with a towel, and grip those side bars
on one of those raised toilet seats your grandpa would use. You need both
hands to hold your butt off the seat, since it hurts, which is why your
one-eyed snake needs a blanket! Nuff said… And…Get ready to pass the
Once home, my father was diligent about filling the polar ice machines and
wrapping my hips with those cool packs. They really helped with bruising and
the swelling. They are like having a loud fish tank (as a bilateral you get
TWO!) in your room, but they are worth it. By day 5 or 6 post op, after
sleeping with ear plugs (trying anyway!) I pulled the plug on those babies
and put them away! I needed some sleep.
Sleep has been tough. I am a roller. You cannot roll with a baseball in each
hip! It is difficult, and just now possible, to sleep on the stomach. But
still… it does not work like it should! Just takes time!
I have been really good about taking long walks. I am now post op almost 2
weeks, and enjoy going around the block on my crutches for a good 40-50
minutes. I also walk on my crutches everywhere when we go shopping and
stuff. Because of my bad bone density, I am forced to keep the crutches for
6 weeks (doctor’s orders). That will be the toughest thing for me moving
forward, as I am already able to walk around without them. Only good part is
that you get lots of sympathy from people – everyone has been so nice and
helpful. Bad part… for a guy that is single… not like having a cute puppy…!
My spirits are high. I feel good and the bones are getting stronger. I did
push one day and took some family (day 12 post op) out on my boat. It is a
big boat, so the wave impact was minimal, but still, because I was doing the
driving, and standing a bit of time, my legs told me the next day I over did
it! It completely wiped me out. I passed out and slept a day away the next
day. Moral of the story… you just had major surgery dummy… take it easy!!!
Today, I feel great again. I am going to go out now and go for a long walk.
I really like having done this in the summer. I don’t put on anything but
shorts and I never have to worry about ice. I can walk every day and I am
never too hot (that might be a living in northern Michigan summer thing!).
If I can help anyone else, please hit me with questions. This has been a
wonderful process for me. I have NO arthritis pain. My wounds on my leg
where the incision was made are healing great. I feel them but the feeling
is like a cut healing on your leg, not arthritis deep pain. I don’t feel the
new resurfaced components like I thought I would at all.
Looking back, and concluding this long rant(!), that first week is tough
TOUGH TOUGH! It just gets stronger, easier, and better. I am so GLAD and so
HAPPY I went and saw Dr. Gross. I owe it all to this website and the people
who have contributed before me. I am really excited to keep improving, and
in 6 months, be back to normal!