Justermeister’s Bilateral Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Clarke 2013
May 4, 2013
This is my first post after months of research on this website. As a matter of fact – I found my second opinion – and my surgeon from this website. Dr. Clarke.
A little back story on me – and my unique situation, I feel that others can gain from hearing my story due to my circumstances – so ill do the best I can to write this all in a way that could be understood.
Today – I am 31 years old – and currently 8 days post op from my second BHR hip replacement, performed on my right leg.
You heard right – 31 years old. The first thing I usually hear at my appointments after this statement is "your so young!!" … Thanks, but it really does get old hearing that after a while. I’ve always been a very athletic guy – Lifting weights since the age of 15, breaking records for power lifting when I was 17, and leading an overall very athletic lifestyle. I’ve always been a bigger guy – with weight ranging anywhere from 220lbs up to 275lbs at my biggest.
I was preparing for my first half marathon in April of 2011 – running a few miles every morning, working out in the gym every night to keep my size and strength. After a few good workouts – I felt as if I had pulled my groin on both sides. Being the typical guy I just thought nothing of it and kept training, it would go away eventually… it didn’t. The pain got so bad 2 months later I was having trouble running – my lower back would feel like someone shoved a softball in it – and this would happen every time I ran. Putting my running shoes on became a chore – it began to get difficult to put socks on in the morning – I told some of my buddies about this and they all finally told me – Dude, get checked out!!. Finally I did, life changed a bit for me in July of 2011.
In July of 2011 I learned I had the hips of a 75 year old. I was diagnosed with Bi-lateral fibial hip impingement. It turns out that both my hips were littered with bone spurs, cysts, and the cartilage had been worn out of joints leaving me with a bone on bone situation, it was quite painful. In an effort to avoid large surgery I had my left hip "scoped" hoping that cleaning out the joint would result in improved flexibility and less pain. My left hip scope was performed in October of 2011 right here in Rochester – I had a great surgeon, one of the best – after the surgery was through, he told my wife it went well, but we need to get the ball rolling to have both hips resurfaced as the scope he performed would not help much.
Months of Physical Therapy – working out as much as I could – I was still in a great deal of pain. Walking, pivoting, sitting, standing, putting your socks, shoes on – this was all still a big chore and everyday the pain was still getting worse – I finally had an appointment to see someone in Rochester about doing the resurfacing.
I figure it be best to leave the name of the Dr. I saw in Rochester about resurfacing anonymous – I don’t want to paint a negative picture of this person – but when I saw him in the office – he basically told me I was too young, and too overweight for him to do the surgery. I would have to lose another 30 or so lbs to be 215 lbs to be a candidate for him. If your reading this and dealing with Bilateral Hip Impingement pain – you know how hard it is to work out consistently, let alone to loose more weight.
Thanks to this website – I was able to look up Dr Clarke in Syracuse – and made an appointment in October of 2012 to consult with him. After talking with Dr. Clarke – about my past – where I was now and where I want to be, he smiled and simply said "absolutely". To be honest I had some tears of joy – finally, this seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel.
So there is my back-story – The rest of my post will be about my experience with my surgeries – recovery, and even some of my suggestions you can do for pre op.
So I got the Green light from Dr. Clarke in late October 2012 – at the time I was about 260lbs. He mentioned any more weight I can loose would be great for post surgery healing – and the overall life of the implants. During the months before my surgery – I committed myself to doing everything I could to strengthen the muscles around the hips before surgery. Although I could not squat, lunge, run, or even reach my feet – I was able to do floor activities to strengthen the muscles. Some of what I did on a daily basis would be clamshells, abductions for both legs (when I started pre op with my abductions, I could do about 20 per leg without stopping, 3 days pre op I was able to perform close to 75 abductions without weight per leg without stopping). I also worked on reverse bridges with both legs, Calf raises, and attempted to stretch my legs and lower back to the best of my ability. This – with riding the recumbent bike for 30 mins per workout on a rolling hill or interval program helped me to loose the weight I wanted, and prepare the muscles for surgery. Other stories I read emphasize how important it is to loose weight before the surgery – this is absolutely true, do EVERYTHING you can before the surgeries to strengthen those muscles!!!
3/15/2013 – Left hip BHR resurfacing performed by Dr. Clarke at St. Josephs hospital in Syracuse NY. Ok so what to write about with this… I guess the first thing is that this hospital is AWESOME!!!! The day of surgery – I was up early and asked to be at the hospital at 530am. After doing some paperwork you will go back to the pre op area to put on that awesome gown, and get your leg shaved. After your IV is in, leg shaved, and your socks are on – you get wheeled up to the anesthesia room. I opted for the "nerve block" in both legs – basically they kill everything from your waist down for the surgery. This is really the last place you will remember before you wake up after the surgery. When I woke up, I was in a little discomfort – after some pain meds and learning that the surgery went successful – I was moved to my room. I hope you have a wife or partner that is as awesome as mine is – she was there for me the whole time, and its really nice to have that support. Ok so now your awake after surgery – having some Italian ice, there is a triangle hanging above you to help you move around – and there are these annoying inflatable socks on your feet to promote blood flow. Have the person with you, or ask your nurse to keep an eye on your catheter bag, mine filled up pretty quick as I kept myself hydrated. The day of surgery I didn’t really get out of bed, I did put the bed at a nice angle so I could watch Television – I was pretty comfortable due to the meds, didn’t experience a great deal of pain really.
On the morning of day 2 – they remove your catheter (ouch) – great way to wake up, and one of the PT docs will show up to help you get out of bed, and put weight on the joint. Most patients will have a walker given them to use, and the option of purchasing one on discharge. Due to my situation – I have owned a pair of Mobileg Ultra’s for the last 2 years – check out their website, awesome crutches. Mobilegs dot com – You will move around a bit, and get back in bed. You will likely have a round of PT down the hall on day 2. I got my appetite back this day – once again thankful for my awesome wife because the hospital food was pretty bad.
On day 3 – due to the progress I had I was asked if I wanted to home, answer – YES!! ha-ha. This was an easy surgery for me – not to much pain really. Walking on the joint for the first time you will feel some muscle pain, but for me it really wasn’t too bad. Before I left the hospital I was visited by a social worker who showed me how to use a "hip kit" that they send you home with – it has a device to help you put socks on, a claw to pick up objects, a shoehorn, sponge – definitely worth getting the kit.
My wife drove me home from Syracuse to Rochester – I reclined my seat back and took a nice nap! When I got home, I found that I was more comfortable in bed where I could have my surgery leg straight, rather than in a recliner where it would be bent.
The first week post op I spent most of the time in bed. Getting up to move around sometimes on my crutches, but I was in a bit of muscle pain and didn’t really want to move to much.
Week 2 – I had moved to one crutch and was getting around the house becoming less dependant on the wife.
By week 3 – 4, I was moving to a cane and making great progress at PT, leg strength was coming back and I was at the point where I could walk with a limp without my cane or crutches. I think this is the point where you recovery time and conditions can really vary – the amount of work you put in pre op will ultimately determine your results post op for recovery.
By week 6 – I was walking almost without a limp. My right leg was up next for surgery and due to the fact that I had one Awesome hip now (left), and one terrible hip (right) – I was noticing some severe lower back pain coming on – to the point where I even called the Dr.s office about it – they let me know that is normal. The lower back pain was so bad the week before surgery for my right hip – that I went and got a massage asking the masseuse to concentrate on my lower back – that was a GREAT idea.
** So exactly 6 weeks after my left hip received its BHR, I had my right hip surgery.
4/26/13 – Right hip BHR Resurfacing – Dr. Clarke – St. Josephs hospital.
This right hip seems to be a bit more difficult than my left!! Grrr.
I woke up after surgery feeling ok – was told it was another successful surgery – very happy. Moved to my room, and the first day started just as good as the last, I wasn’t in too much pain, moved my bed to a nice position to watch TV – things were going good. Later on that night I started to feel a large amount of pain in my thigh, and my knee on the right leg. After getting some more pain meds – this didn’t go away, the pain just got worse. Finally that night I was given a pain med that pretty much knocked me out – the next morning on day 2 – I woke up without the leg pain I had the day before, felt much better.
Day 2 – Wake up and have your catheter removed (ouch again!) – PT came to help me get on my feet that day – This was painful – but with my mobilegs I took a lap around the floor putting weight on the joint. I had a round of Physical therapy this day – overall it was a good day – the leg wasn’t hurting too bad, I got up a few times to go to the bathroom and walk around the floor with my crutches.
Day 3 – I was asked if I wanted to go home again – YES!!! – and was discharged by the hospital. Made it hope ok and went back to bed – on the other side this time to make it easier to get in and out of bed to go to the bathroom.
This leg has been more painful – and I think its because this was my dominant leg over the past 2 years, and did not have any scope or really and PT performed on it – Most of the PT I had in the past was Post OP PT for the left leg. After the surgery is over the doc moves your leg around until it dislocates to test the flexibility – I imagine this is where I’m getting the most pain from on this right leg. I’ve been told you really cant compare surgeries – but I’m looking forward to getting this right leg as strong as the left.
My situation puts me in a funny transition period really – right now as I write this I feel like my left leg is at about 85%, my right is at about 20% – I have not been able to do a great deal in Physical therapy for this right leg due to the swelling and lack of muscle – they really do shred your glute and your thighs with this surgery.
*** So there is my story so far – Its a beautiful day here and I’m sitting inside wishing I could do more outside rite now, but I’m staying positive that within the next few weeks this right leg will heal up – and I can enjoy my summer without hip pain. As I said earlier I’ve always been a very athletic guy and I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym full time – Squatting and hopefully doing some more power-lifting. My goal is to get down to 200lbs and I hope that having 2 new hips will help me do the exercises I want that can help me to achieve this goal.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story, its a long one – but being my age I feel that my story can help some of the others who are in my situation – wondering what its going to be like – Feel free to ask me any questions on my recovery, or to make any suggestions!! I hope to post more about the recovery of my left and right hip to help others.