Bam’s Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Gross 2013
September 24, 2013
I just want to say thanks to everyone on this forum for the information I’ve gained by lurking these last few months while planning and scheduling surgery. First resurface is next week with Dr. Gross and other than dreading the 4500 mile trip home, I’m looking forward to recovery. I’m sure I’ll be leaning on the forum during that process, too!
Having made it to 50 as a competitive runner (marathons and mountain racing), horseman (eventing, ranching, backcountry packing), avid hiker and hunter, and commercial fisherman, I have far outlived the odds I was given at birth with severe bi-lateral dysplasia. But the pain and reduced ROM finally forced me into looking at my options. During numerous hours of research I found resurfacing and I have hope it will give me my life back.
October 2, 2013
Surgery was today. I highly recommend the class the hospital puts on for info about what to expect, both at the hospital and tips for when you go home.
Dr. Gross says the surgery went better than expected, but due to excessive damage the second hip will have to be pushed out to 6 months, instead of the 3 we had planned on.
I was fully awake in 2-1/2 hours, no nausea, no issues. The block was worn off in less than 4 hours (but I have a very high metabolism.) Minimal pain meds so far and haven’t taken a nap yet. Did the ‘walker shuffle’ up and down the hallway, kept a little food down and have been drinking a TON of water with a few drops of lemon oil.
October 3, 2013
24 hours post op, no pain meds for 8 hours, showered, crutched around the floor, minimal pain, little swelling in the leg. And the pain is muscle and surgery related, not joint pain. I’ll take that.
I fly a ton for business, around 80k miles a year, in everything from wide body jets to 4 seat Bush planes, so I’m used to getting up as much as possible on the long flights.
October 8, 2013
Hola, all – just an update: Surgery on 10/2 went fine. I was awake and the blocks worn off by 2 pm, up and walking about 4. No nausea (thank god for spinals), no real pain. Not much sleep that night due to the parade of people making sure I was okay.
Day 2 post op up on crutches, around the ward twice, shower, in recliner. No pain to speak of, only prescription pain med was night of surgery. Tylenol and ice only beyond that.
Out of hospital Friday, Dr. Gross very pleased. More damage than expected in socket (I wasn’t surprised) so I have to wait 6 months for the second one instead of 3. Oh well. Spent the weekend laying around by the pool and with the ice machine. Swelling on day 3 and 4, still swollen today down to knee.
The trip home to Alaska wasn’t bad at all, except I couldn’t elevate the leg so the swelling got kind of impressive. I have some nasty bruising but honestly no pain. Home today but probably back to work (office work anyway, no field work) tomorrow for part of the day to see how it goes.
All in all I think putting the effort into being in as good of shape as possible is paying off. After giving up running 3 months ago (but who’s counting ….) I turned to swimming 5 days a week, biking, and hiking to keep the muscle tone and cardio up pre-op. Staying hydrated now and doing my exercises; I can already easily move the operated leg. Also building up the shoulders and core pre-op are paying off with the crutch routine.
If I changed anything it would be flying home sooner. I didn’t need to stay in NC an extra 3 days.
October 9, 2013
I drove myself to work today, about 10 miles, no problems. Did about a half day including going over to my bosses’ office to reassure him all was well. Picked up a couple things in town and came home, also no problems. I plan to do the same the rest of this week and then see how next week goes. Fortunately I can work from home if need be.
Exercises, icing and stretching diligently, but, honestly, it just doesn’t hurt. Where the incision is feels like a bruise from falling on your butt. Being VERY careful on the 10% weight bearing as I have no desire to impede the healing process. When I’m sitting, leg is elevated. The post-op swelling is nearly gone today. The bruising is impressive, but I expected that.
Compared to the joint pain I’ve been living with, this is a walk in the park. I am invested in healing properly and completely so am carefully monitoring myself for signs of over-doing. I went into the surgery intentionally down a few pounds, BMI down a few points, upper body and core strengthened up as best I could, and the best cardio 5 days a week of swimming could get me.
October 25, 2013
It’s a lovely late fall here in Alaska, which of course I can’t get out an enjoy too much …. still on the 10% weight bearing program.
Healing is going along most excellently. The incision is completely closed up and I’ve been back in the pool for 2 days swimming 45 minutes. Feels great. I was back at work full time 7 days post op (office work, no field work!)
Putting effort into serious weight lifting pre-op is paying off with the crutch routine. No shoulder or arm issues AT ALL.
Sleeping is good and I’ve woken up a couple times on the operated hip with no issues. Bruising nearly gone and just a little swelling around the incision site, which honestly I figured would be worse longer.
November 14, 2013
6 week checkup, ROM tests and x-rays yesterday. All is great, components seated well, bone growth excellent, ROM far beyond what I thought it would be and incision looking good.
I still have some swelling under the incision but apparently only noticeable to me as everyone at the pool thinks I’m nuts. Been back in the pool for 3 weeks, now doing 5 days a week, with 2 of those being 90-minute sessions. Feels good and is really helping strengthen the muscles.
Only bad news is apparently I need to learn to walk again … I have never had ‘normal’ hip joints, so this is a first and my body is definitely taking some adjusting to the new angles. I am nearly 100% weight bearing, still taking it easy with a trekking pole for balance, and really having to concentrate on a straight, even gait with both legs doing equal work. It probably doesn’t help that the other hip is still a wreck!
Upping the leg lifts and stretches and will start back to yoga next week. I have not taken a pain pill of any kind (even OTC) for 5 weeks; haven’t needed it.
I’m just now 100% weight bearing so am transitioning to more and more walking, the pool serves for cardio and stretching. Of course, just about the time I’m weight bearing, we get a layer of snow and ice! I know it will take time to work out the kinks.
I’m sure like everyone else, my gait pre-op wasn’t pretty, so it’s kind of all new from here on out.
December 5, 2013
I almost feel guilty posting! I have NO issues, NO pain, NO clunking, etc. I was on the Dr. Gross slow recovery plan (6 wks 10% weight bearing) and behaved myself. I am 100% weight bearing now, walk all over the place, wear 3″ heels for work as needed, swim 5 days a week including a Masters Swim program (usually 4000 yards), yoga and even did a little snowshoeing last weekend. Moving hay and grain for my horses, shoveling a bit of snow and getting back into the field work my job requires, including flying in small planes. Next week I start back into indoor bike / endurance classes.
Swelling around the incision is finally gone, muscle strains from learning to walk again normally are gone and overall am more than pleased with progress. I did a 5 day work trip business conference last week and had no trouble moving around the convention center and hotel.
I will credit getting into REALLY good shape pre-op, taking massive doses of Vitamin D to help healing (12,000 – 15,000 IU/day and yes those are three zeros) and cold laser treatments, plus swimming. I diligently do all of Dr. Gross’ exercises and still focus on how I walk and not to over-extend the hip joint.
January 2, 2014
My 12 week anniversary was yesterday and I sent off photos of the scar to Dr. Gross’ office (I’ve been doing that weekly since surgery.) They responded this morning saying the scar looks way ahead of schedule.
I continue to have no post-op issues and are adding activities back in, indoor endurance biking, more snowshoeing and my usual swimming and yoga. My gait has straightened out to ‘normal’ and feels wonderful.
June 30, 2014
8 months post-op on the right hip and all is more than well! I’ve been back on my smaller horses since April, but just now capable of riding the behemoth, my big, occasionally volatile mare. She’s a big girl and I’m not, so the hip joints and muscles have to really work. (The left hip still needs to be resurfaced, but I can manage it for now.) I am SO happy to be back in the saddle and able to ride like I used to. The last couple years were very challenging with pain and range of motion and I was scared I’d never get back my competitive form.
September 21, 2014
I pushed the second hip re-surfacing back to this fall so I could enjoy a summer on my horses and in the mountains. The not-yet-fixed hip has been manageable (failing fast, though) so I hated to give up the brief summers we get. Turned out to be a good decision although for an unforeseen reason — we ended up having to evacuate for the Funny River wildfire at the end of May, so I was very happy to not be on crutches for that little adventure. No damage to our property; horses, dogs, cats, goats and pigs got to go live at a friends for a couple weeks. The fire got within 3/4 of a mile of our place but by then we had everything important out.
Dr. Gross said I’m a candidate for outpatient surgery on the second hip due to my overall health and the fact my recovery the first time was totally uneventful – I never took a pain pill and despite being on the slow recovery program, I only missed 7 days of work. I’m looking forward to outpatient! My husband can take me to the hotel as soon as I’m awake and all systems functioning, we’ll spend 5 days hanging out at the hotel and then fly home. I’m very happy to not have a 2-day hospital stay! My insurance provider had a little struggle to approve the procedure, but we got there eventually. It’s a substantial cost savings, less than half including the hotel!
Will keep everyone posted. Surgery is scheduled for November so I’m in pre-op prep mode, swimming 5 days a week, biking, lots of hiking, and just came back from a 5-day girls only horseback moose hunting / camping in the rain trip. Yoga, weights, and I’ll do the pre-op cold laser protocol again as I think it really helped.
November 23, 2014
Flew to NC on Nov 12th, did all the pre-op work at Dr. Gross’ office on the 13th and then goofed off for the weekend. Got to the surgery center Monday the 17th on time, there were 5 hips scheduled that day and I was #4. They were having some equipment issues, so a pretty long delay before surgery. I’m one of those who declines all drugs until absolutely necessary, so a stressful day … went in to the OR about 1:30, I remember sitting up for the spinal and nothing more until waking up about 4:30. The surgery took a little longer than expected, lots of damage in the joint but Dr. Gross was happy with the outcome. So much so that instead of the slow recovery program I was on last time I was upgraded to the fast track; 2 weeks on crutches and 2 more with a cane. I use trekking poles instead, they work better for me. I was up and about by 6 pm and back at the hotel by 8 pm with no pain. Ate a light dinner and spent a lot of time on the ice machine. Home health nurse came by and was happy. Decent night’s sleep.
Dr. Gross and the nurse both came by hotel the next morning and everybody was happy except my glut muscles which had to abruptly learn new angles and were NOT happy. Lots of cramping but moving around and stretching helped. I accused Dr. Gross of whacking me in the butt with a baseball bat 🙂 which is about what it felt like!
No pain meds after the mandatory 3-day long acting Nuycenta, which I didn’t need. Lots of sitting around in the sun, lots of water, all the exercises. Nurse and Dr. Gross stopped by the second morning at the hotel and released me until 6 week follow up.
8 hours of flight time home with one connection was by far the worst of the whole thing. Lots of swelling but a day on the ice machine pretty much took care of that. Tylenol only along with the prescription anti-inflammatories.
I’ll be back at work tomorrow, my job allows me to schedule office time so I’ve basically blocked the next four weeks to be either in the office or in training classes rather than in the field.
Outpatient is THE way to go! The surgery center staff was awesome as was the hotel – they have an arrangement with Dr. Gross and waited on us hand and foot. Recuperating in a hotel room or by the pool beats the hell out of being in the hospital!
Now I can focus on full body recovery rather than pain management as has been the case the past couple years. Very much looking forward to it. Please ask anything — if you have the option for outpatient, take it!
January 16, 2015
I moved to the Bilateral forum since I’ve had both done now. Immediate post-op reports on the second hip are in the Hip Stories forum.
Just over 2 months post op second hip (and 15 months from the first one) and life is wonderful! No pain, range of motion, balance and strength returning rapidly, helped along by a pretty rigorous training program within the ‘no impact’ parameters, but I’m very determined to get back into racing shape before spring — I have lots to do this year!
Swimming 3 mornings a week, yoga 3 nights a week, indoor biking at least twice a week, isometric and light weight workouts 3-4 days a week, plus walking everywhere. We have no winter to speak of, rain and ice everywhere, so I bought carbide studded trail running shoes which are AWESOME.
I have had absolutely no issues post-op other than muscle strains. The new incision already looks very similar to the older one, no swelling or bruising (actually never had much of either, even immediately post-op.)
Very anxious to get back on my horses and start trail running again after breakup. For the first time in many years I have a solid, balanced foundation and really feel the difference. I’m looking forward to being able to get back into competitive riding shape, however, my horses who have had a life of leisure and not much riding the past couple years may not be as happy.
May 12, 2015
I cheated the 6 month no impact restriction by a few weeks as I started riding my horses again early. (Dr. Gross views horseback riding as high impact.) I did restrain myself to my older, smaller, more sensible horse and stayed off my big volatile mare until just last week 🙂
Lots of hiking over the ‘not-winter’ we had with minimal snowpack, which was great. I started running again just two weeks ago with absolutely no issues — I’m staying on trails and not pavement, up to 4 miles now and it feels awesome. My form is awful from years of compensating for the ouchy hip joints, so I’m having to re-learn my running biomechanics. Interesting, horseback riding I didn’t seem to have that problem, my classic English seat has come back just fine with no real help from my brain.
Back on my mountain bike for the first time last weekend and hitting the weights pretty hard starting this week as there are a few stubborn pounds that need to come off.
Summer plans include a few horse pack trips both here in Alaska and in Wyoming, lots of miles to put on three horses, and training for a few trail races, although I probably won’t do my favorites this year as they are all over 15 miles. Next summer! We’re also doing a big remodel on our house and it’s great I can move well enough to do my share.
As with everyone else on here, I’m so very happy to be out the other side and will admit I probably waited too long. I’ve had close friends tell me how hard it was on THEM to watch me in pain, although I never really thought about it.
I can’t say enough about Dr. Gross and his staff, they are incredible and the whole processes were very easy. The worst part of the whole thing was the travel!
October 6, 2015
I am almost exactly two years out on my right hip resurface and one year out on the left and all is beyond well!
Running regularly; I did a 6.4 mile leg of a marathon relay 2 weeks ago (somehow got all the hills, even though I was the oldest on the team … hmmm) and did that in 55 minutes with no issues except pouring rain 🙂 Felt great.
Just returned from 10 days on the East Coast visiting a friend and getting a serious horse tuneup; I hadn’t taken professional lessons in years and desperately needed some tweaking after the last few years of bad hips and post-op rehab. I rode every day at least two different horses, flat work, stadium jumping, cross-country jumping to 3′ and dressage work with NO issues, even with a very exuberant 17 hand Thoroughbred throwing in a buck / spook as we landed after a big brush jump. Lost a stirrup, laughed like crazy and never slowed down. I did not tell the trainer until the last day I was riding on rebuilt hips and she was shocked! It felt amazing to be able to ride the way I used to.
Still doing the occasional cold laser treatment on the scars, which look and feel great. I’m also still doing a lot of cross-training, which I think at my age (52) should just be a fact of life from here on out.
As always I hope everyone is doing well and if I can answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I can’t say enough about the procedure and Dr. Gross and his staff.