It’s done. Got a little sleepy in pre-op. I remember being moved to the OR table, noting that it was firm and comfortable, and feeling that the temperature was cold.
Next thing I remember I was lying in a different bed and asking when the surgery was going to be, only to find out it was done. Damn, I missed the whole thing!
I am perfectly comfortable and pain free. The surgery’s been done for hours. I just slept a long time afterward.
I feel slightly medicated, but not bad or groggy. I feel like myself, except that a few hours are missing.
Apparently, part (or all) of my surgery was filmed. Maybe you’ll get to see my bones on line!
Dr. Gross also told me he had already filmed a complete uncemented procedure, to be posted soon.
I have no nausea. I just ate dinner and I was fine. The food was not bad–pot roast, carrots, and mashed potatoes, served with a small Shasta Twist.
The feeling is now starting to return to my feet. Maybe I’ll get some pain soon, for for now it’s good to go!
February 15, 2009
I arrived home uneventfully yesterday afternoon. The Polar ice machine was my constant companion on the plane and in the airports. I think this really helped me to arrive home feeling fresh and pain free. Of course I took my meds religiously, realizing that yesterday was going to be a challenging day.
The flight itself consisted of one leg from Columbia to Charlotte (about 40 minutes) and another from Charlotte to Boston (about 2 hours). A woman on the first leg had had a THR 2 years earlier and told me she went to rehab for 2 weeks after her surgery and left rehab using a walker. I was already agile on crutches just 3 days after my surgery.
There was a 1-hour layover in Charlotte, during which time I rode the electric skycaps around the airport and then crutched around looking for fresh ice. The connection was rather tight, and I actually broke a sweat hunting around. All the activity made me feel exhilerated and not at all ill, which I took as a very good sign. I was starting to move more easily. My range of pain-free and twinge-free motion was expanding. I actually worried that I was feeling too good. Maybe I would push it too hard and hurt myself?
I made it home, had dinner, and soon felt very tired. I pushed it a little bit and tried to watch some TV. But I started to crash and get a little woozy. So I went to bed early. I couldn’t get the ice machine working right. Also, I was really tired and just wanted to sleep. I was worried that, without the ice, I’d wake up hugely swollen, but I was desperate for sleep and took a chance.
I woke up at 6 this morning. I had slept through the night! What a relief it was to sleep!
But I was swollen and in pain. It had been nearly 12 hours since my last pain pill, and I had had no ice to relieve the swelling. I quickly took a hydrocodone and got some ice on my butt. The pain was deep and real. It was approximately the same as what I had felt waking up in the middle of the night with arthritis pain after sleeping with my leg twisted.
After about an hour and a half, the pain subsided and I got on with my day.
Today has been great. I’m a little tired, but otherwise fine. I took a walk outside with the crutches, up and down my street–not quite 1/4 mile. It felt great going downhill. Uphill on the way back was more challenging. There was a bit of slightly painful tugging in the front of the hip. I slowed down and took it one step at a time.
Now I’m looking forward to a relaxing evening. I hope my kids cooperate.
Of note, I have no "tennis ball" or "monkey fist" in my butt. Okay, that didn’t sound right . What I mean is there’s no huge, hard, localized swelling. My right butt cheek is certainly larger than usual, and it projects further out to the side as well as behind me. But there’s no hard spot that makes sitting or lying down painful or uncomfortable. I can sit just about anywhere, even without a cushion.
My only source of concern from the past days is that there’s been a little leakage from my incision. Some of it is bloody, some just looks wet. I may have tugged at it a little too hard when sliding across the bed two nights ago. The incision doesn’t currently hurt, and it isn’t especially hot. I’m not running a fever, so I figure I’m probably okay.
Overall, I can’t believe I feel this well. I still need two crutches and can only manage to be fully weight-bearing on the operated leg for an instant, but the days keep getting better.
February 18, 2009
Day 8: my 1-week anniversary
Walked all around Costco yesterday. Experimented with one crutch on and off.
Today, I walked down the hill of our street about 1/8 mile on one crutch only. Walked most of the way back on two crutches. The challenge with one crutch seems to be keeping my pelvis level. It requires more strength from the gluteus minimus, I think, which was cut or at least "trimmed" during surgery. I felt tired when I got back, but like I had accomplished something.
I’m now officially off Vicadin for three days, and have only used Tylenol occasionally.
February 25, 2009
Day 15: My 2-Week Post-Op Anniversary
I’m still walking with the cane, but I’m not pressing on it nearly as hard as before. Walking feels good, but I find myself getting a little tired after 1/2-mile or so. Maybe it’s the shoes–I haven’t changed out of my leather moccasins since the surgery. Moccasins solve the problem of shoelaces, but maybe I’ll try sneakers tomorrow.
March 4, 2009
I figure it’s time to stop counting in days, even though I continue to see progress on a daily basis. There were several interesting developments this week.
First, it dawned on me that the dark incision I was seeing was actually a scab. Why didn’t I realize that sooner? I made this momentous discovery when I noticed parts of the scab starting to flake off. So it won’t be this dark, crusty thing forever. That was good news! Even better is that the skin revealed as the scab falls off looks almost normal, both in terms of color and texture. I may not have such a bad scar after all.
My incision length is hard to judge right now. Once I have a plain view of the scar from one end to the other, I’ll make a measurement. Based on the scab and my eyeballs, I’d estimate it’s about 5".
We’ve had a good deal of snow recently. Rather than risk a fall on the ice, my wife and I went to visit our local suburban mega-mall for a walk indoors. I had always regarded this as a huge mall. I’ve walked that mall many times on my arthritic hip, sometimes wondering, with all the pain I was feeling, how in the hell I was going to make it back to my car.
I simply breezed though the mall yesterday. I walked it back and forth, top floor and bottom. I explored all the side corridors. After half an hour, I concluded that the mall wasn’t so huge after all! What a difference a good hip makes!
I found myself grinning stupidly at my own mobility. Feeling brave, I transferred the cane to my right hand and held it up in the air as I tentatively moved with unaided steps. It felt like I was a 1-year old walking for the first time. It was working, and I was giddy with the thrill of it. I walked maybe 100 steps without my cane, working hard to balance but finding it to be not so hard after a while. Then I used the cane on and off. I had conquered the mall.
My wife is now telling me I’m walking straight, and it’s the first time she can remember seeing that. My kids are telling me I look taller.
This morning, upon awakening, I decided not to reach for the cane. The first steps were tender and hobbled, but once the joint started moving they smoothed into something approximating a normal gait. Now I’m keeping the cane, not at arm’s reach, but across the room. I can get it if I need it, but I don’t want it if I don’t.
Movement in general continues to get easier. I can now sit at my desk as long as I want without getting uncomfortable. Driving feels normal. The discomfort in the seat has nearly vanished. Swelling is almost completely gone.
Overall, the third week has been a triumph!
February 5, 2010
It’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted here, during which time I’ve been recovering from my right hip resurfacing surgery with Dr. Gross. My one-year follow-up is next week. I’ll be doing it locally.
You wil not be surprised to hear that everything has gone very well. A few aches and pains here and there, mostly under the incision. A few times I’ve strained something and limped around for a couple of days. But no significant setbacks.
Life is good. I work out 3 or 4 times a week on an elliptical cross trainer. I’ve actually gotten my pulse rate over 180 for the first time in years. It feels so good to exercise!
General fitness and muscle tone are coming back. You’ll be relieved to hear that my previously flat butt cheek has plumped up and is now nearly symmetrical with its brother. Fat is melting off. I’m feeling more and more like my old self.
I’ve done a little running at about 2/3 max speed. I’m not quite ready to go full out. But, I’ll tell you, even 2/3 feels phonomenal! The joy of movement!
I’m back to 40 and 50 mile bike rides. I played soccer this past fall with my kid’s team. I work out with weights and recently started doing squats. I’m only doing about 100# for now. I forgot how amazing it feels!
I got a pain in my hip after my first squat workout. Then I realized it was the non-operated hip!
The only thing that persists as a problem is movement with my hip highly flexed. There’s some clunking and popping in that position, and it’s a little uncomfortable. So I just avoid it until I recover more fully.
After a day of hard work on the elliptical, I sometimes feel a little tight in the joint–like it needs to be stretched out. I’m still guarding the joint and won’t stretch too far. Soon enough, I will, though.
All in all, this really feels like my own hip. I’ve had no "foreign body" sensations. My duck-footed walk has straightened. I walk with my feet straight for the first time in my life.
I have no regrets about the surgery. Quite the contrary; I am thrilled with the results. And I continue to be grateful to the fine work of Pat and others in making information about hip resurfacing so easily accessible. Many thanks.
Bionic: R U/C Biomet 2/11/09 Dr. Gross and Lee Webb
March 25, 2010
I’m about 13 months post-op and started doing light squats 1 year out. Over the past month, I’ve worked my way up to about 225#. I don’t go super-deep and I always stay in good control with much attention to balance.
So far, so good. The squats have been easier than expected. I was a bit worried about edge loading, but I think I’ve convinced myself that even going deep shouldn’t put any excessive edge wear on my implants
I don’t know how heavy I want to go. Since I don’t want to have to buy all new pants, I’ll probably keep it under 300#.
Running still gives me some trouble. I just don’t trust the new hip to take the pounding. I may ease into a bit more aggressive running as the warm weather rolls in.
February 9, 2011
Two years and all’s well!
I’m feeling great and am continuing to enjoy the freedom of movement. My kids are happy not to have a lame dad!
I haven’t had my 2 year x-rays yet, but there is no reason to worry. The hip is solid and pain-free. I walk, jog, run, bike, work out on the elliptical trainer, lift weights, and chase around my dog, kids, and wife.
I have very few lingering issues. I still get pain in the muscle under the incision when I walk over 4 miles. I think this is because I rarely do that and never gave my body a chance to adapt to it.
The hip still feels funny in some unusual positions–like lying on my stomach with my knee to my chest, but that’s easily enough avoided.
On a typical day, my hip gives me no problem at all, and it functions exactly the way I need it to.
I’m still very happy I had the surgery, I’m happy with the doctor and implant I selected, and am grateful to this site for providing a great vehicle to learn about my options.
July 21, 2012
I am very happy to report that my resurfaced hip is working fantastically, thanks to Dr. Gross and to the forum here for helping me to find him. Three years have passed.