March 27, 2011 I am 56 years old and I just had my HR done with Dr. Gross (March 23) and there were a couple of surprises. The first surprise was that I now have one leg (mildly) longer than the other.
The other surprise was Dr. Gross’ comment that only about half of his patients will reach a point where they will not notice the device at all. He stressed that a metal device was going into your body and the wonder was that so many could forget it was there.
Mac March 31, 2011 I got some clarification from Lee and it seems my leg was 0.5 mm short prior to surgery. The post op doctor’s notes were a little confusing to me. Lee said the resurface has now balanced out my legs.
I had no idea one leg was shorter than the other before the surgery. My cup angle was 32 degrees. I’ve reviewed a lot of posts over the past year and read a number of papers. It seems to me there is a trend downward on the cup angles. I thought Dr. Gross told me last year he aimed for 40 degrees, but I noticed from recent comments from Dr. Gross patients, that all of us seem to be getting a low 30s cup placement.
The whole process continues to evolve.
April 4, 2011 I can’t wait to get back into running. I’m ten days out from surgery and still doing the Phase 1 exercises. I’m bitting at the bit wanting to do more of my regular stretching exercises. I’ve been to Dr. Gross’ web site trying to find the Phase II exercises (does anyone know where those are?). I’ve put on ten pounds since Christmas and will probably put on some more short term.
I keep reminding myself though that I picked an uncemented device that needs time for the bone to grow into the device. One hope I have is that short term patience will result in long term positive results. That means I don’t want to do anything, at least in the next six months, that might cause the new implant to fail. I’m going to the YMCA in a couple of weeks to start some upper body work, but I know there isn’t a lot I can do with the 50 pound restriction. I also thought I would start doing some walking in the water with a weight belt on, once the incision has healed. I’m walking with a cane right now and will start walking at the local high school track as soon as the wet weather clears up. I want to be able to walk two miles a day by week six.
April 5, 2011 My understanding is that a cemented implant is as strong as it will ever be as soon as the surgery is over. That is one of the major advantages of using cement.
The uncemented implant, on the other hand, needs time to allow the bone to recover and grow into the femoral cap. In order for that to happen, the blood flow to the femoral head must have time to return and heal the bone that remains after the femoral head is reamed as part of the resurfacing surgery (not to mention any remaining damage caused by arthritis, etc). The blood flow returns, the femoral head heals and grows into the implant. I’m not a rocket scientist, and I don’t play one on television, but that is my understanding of the process.
Dr. Gross insists on six months before any kind of impact sports. He also has a 50 pound lifting limit for the first six months. After that, there are no restrictions and a patient can return to running.
Having said that, there are runners out there that I respect, such as Cory Foulk and Rick Rubio, who have expressed concern about how a uncemented device will hold up to hard running. I have read hippy stories on this site by former patients of Dr. Gross who have returned to running, but unlike Cory Foulk, they haven’t posted a step-by-step procedure on how they did that, nor have they posted recently. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so I’m hoping to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before me.
I was told by Dr. Gross (and other docs) that I would need my other hip resurfaced in two to four years. I know it doesn’t sound too bright to do anything that might cause that to happen sooner rather than later. On the other hand, running keeps my weight down, running keeps my body in shape, running makes me happy and gives me extra patience as a parent and a husband.
April 6, 2011 I’m exactly two weeks post op. I’ve been off pain meds for at least a week, I’m using a cane and walking every day. I have one annoying twitch in my recovery. Whenever I get up after sitting or lying down, whether for a few minutes or a few hours, I feel stiff in the area where I imagine the implant to be. In fact, I can barely walk. After a few minutes of slowly moving around, it seems like the implant gets lubricated and the stiffness goes away. This is pretty consistent. April 10, 2011 I did not have much swelling after getting home. I stopped using the ice machine within a week of being home. I can sleep on my back, stomach, and good side. The operated side, 2 1/2 weeks post op, is still a little tender to sleep on. I still have to get up a couple times a night to use the bathroom, but I easily go back to sleep.
May 14, 2011 I’m seven weeks post op and, while I can now tie my shoes (just barely), I still can’t get my sock on without the thingamajig. When I try, I get a sharp pain in my knee. I’m working on my phase II stretching exercises, hoping it is only a matter of getting those damaged muscles and tendons stretched out and properly healed. I’m also walking a 1+ mile in the morning and 1+ in the evening. Sometimes my knee will be a little sore after a walk, and sometimes the areas above or to the side of the knee will get sore.
September 16, 2011 I’m returning to Dr. Gross for my one year check-up next March. I figured it was worth the drive down from Ohio to see the doc I started out with. Having said that, I also plan on getting a copy of all my X-rays that his office took this past year and keep them in my files at home. I’m very pleased with my resurface, but I think that we all need to be proactive in our own care. October 1, 2011 I’m on month 7 and have not had any major issues. I am gradually working myself back into shape and plan on starting a running workout next Spring. I don’t want to become too complacent though. There are now pieces of metal in my body that were not there originally. That metal may very well have to come out one day and by then, I hope there will be better materials and procedures available to either replace or to resurface my hip. In the meantime, I’m continuing with my plan to get back to a healthy lifestyle, while staying watchful of myself and what’s happening out there with research into metal hips and resurfacing.
My cup angle happens to be 32 degrees, which is just barely within his 40 degree, plus or minus 10 recommendation. I know no surgeon or device is perfect and I will continue to keep an eye on the research being done on MOM. In the meantime, if my other hip should need surgery (and I’m told it will in a couple of years), I would go ahead and get another hip resurface (and probably by the same surgeon), based on the information available today. I took six weeks off after the surgery, but that was because my job required a lot of walking, bending, etc. I also worked a lot of late hours. Having said that, I probably could have gone back to work two weeks after the surgery if all I had to do was sit at a computer in my home. I might suggest you start out with partial days and work up.
Dr. Gross made a comment to me prior to my surgery that he was always amazed when some of his patients told him that they forgot they had the implant in after a while. He said he could not imagine not feeling anything when you had metal inserted into your body. I actually feel a little difference between my two hips, but it is not discomfort, just a slightly different feeling. A lot of time I do forget there is a metal hip. I flew to England and hiked around the Lake Country last August with my family (4-1/2 months after my surgery) and had no problems. I even forgot about the hip when I went through security at Heathrow – until the alarm went off.
April 12, 2011 I had my one year checkup last month and raised the same issue with Dr. Gross He also suggested that it might be my back. If there is one thing I’ve learned from reading this forum, it is to be patient and accept that there will be aches and pains on the way to recovery and “recovery” can take at least two years. Like you, I have doubts that it is my back, but I’m hoping that as I work my way back into running, the on and off “butt” pain, will gradually go away.