Tim’s Bilateral Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Gross 2009
I was not able to find anyone in Atlanta with a good track record doing resurfacings — so a very big "Thank You" to SurfaceHippy.info and the fellow surface hippies on this site.
I started having unbearable pain around November of 2008. I called Dr. Gross’s office in December after speaking with Mike from this site who had a bilateral with Dr. Gross back in June. When I hung up with Mike I called Dr. Gross’s office and on the first call had tentatively scheduled the surgery dates pending me getting the package together.
I got the package put together according to the protocol on Dr. Gross’s website and Dr. Gross called me to confirm I was a candidate. I drove to Columbia from Atlanta on a Friday for my pre-op consultation and met with Lee Webb and Dr. Gross (about 3-3.5hr drive). I drove back to Columbia the following Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday ’09) and got to the Courtyard Marriott in time to watch the game and get a good nights rest before Monday’s surgery.
Monday was very smooth at Providence NE. I went in a bit early and was in pre-op in no time. The whole pre-op team was a lot of fun, the anesthesia team, the nurses… it was a positive environment. The surgery was the blink-of-an-eye kind of thing where I felt like I closed my eyes for a moment and then I am coming to in post-op with the post-op nurses…. to whom I am sure I probably owe an apology for some reason… and then after a while I am being wheeled up to the room for recovery. I was late in the day so the following morning the Physical Therapy team had me doing the exercises, and walking the hall for the first time on crutches. Then the Occupational Therapist showed me how to use the ADL (aid to daily living) kit. Those OT/PT folks were a lot of fun and very helpful to get me started on the way to recovery. The floor nurses were very helpful and good people, one of whom is a fellow Dr. Gross resurfacer!
Wednesday was basically a repeat of Monday. They wheeled me down to pre-op and started with the prep and again it was a very positive experience with the anesthesia team and the nurses and "vampirella" the vampire lady who loved my veins. Then in what seemed like a few moments I was coming to in post-op — and probably saying things I shouldn’t have been — and then I was wheeled back up to the room. The PT/OT team had me exercising and up and walking on Thursday and then we did a little group PT session and practiced stairs on crutches and walked the hall a couple of times. I was able to shower on Thursday evening, standing up.
Friday after breakfast I did a little PT and then was discharged by 11am. I rode home to Atlanta and got out a couple of times to walk around a rest stop and stretch a bit.
The one thing I would do differently is wear the provided ice packs on the way home. It was cold the week I was in the hospital and some nights that ice felt pretty cold so I was not to fond of the ice. So I didn’t use the ice on the way home.
Well I got very swollen. This is probably the one thing I was not prepared for from doing my research. Dr. Gross told me I would probably swell up and I didn’t really know I would swell up so bad. I believe it may be normal, maybe not, but the entire length of my legs were enormously swollen starting on that Friday and increased through Sunday. So Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday I spent with legs elevated by a couple of sofa cushions with the ice packs running, laying on my back (for the most of the time) working to get the swelling down. I called Lee Webb on Sunday and she told me to elevate and ice and that the swelling was probably at its worst on that particular day — she was right. On Monday (5 days post-op) the swelling had already started to decrease rapidly and I was feeling so much better.
Crutches: I was doing my exercises as prescribed and walking on two crutches until 9 days post-op when I felt like the crutches were holding me back at that point. I had shifted to one crutch at 8 days post op and it was a bit awkward so I decided to get a cane.
Cane: I shifted to a cane 9 days post-op and it felt more natural than the crutches. I was glad to be rid of them.
Ten days post-op: Armed with a cane, I went to the Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast fundraiser and was amazed how well I could stand up in a very long pancake breakfast line inching around an elementary school cafeteria. I am sure most folks with hip pain can relate — this would not have been possible pre-surgery. I would have had to sit down every two or three minutes to ease the pain. This is when it clicked with me how well the surgery/recovery was going.
Then I walked around Wal-Mart behind a shopping cart and picked up a couple of items. Then we stopped by Lowe’s for a few things and I was able to walk fine with the cane. I just had to take it easy and slow getting in and out of the car so as not to break the rules prescribed by the PT team.
Eleven days post-op: Went to church. Walked in with a cane and everyone was wowed that I had bilateral hip surgery and was walking so well. I have to admit I have been pretty wowed by how well everything has gone — and I thank God for all of it. And I thank Pat and all the helpful people on the surface hippy website and everyone on Dr. Gross’s staff that were so welcoming and hospitable, and all of the folks at Providence NE hospital that were part of the process.
Thirteen days post-op: Getting in an out of the car is getting easier. I still have this pain that last about 20 seconds when I stand up after having been seated for a prolonged period of time. I believe this will pass with time and it is so minor compared to the pre-op pain I was having.
I am 34 yrs. old and am in pretty good physical shape. It turns out I had worn a large hole on my right femoral head approximately 3 cubic centimeters. Dr. Gross told me that if I had waited much longer I would have had to go with the THR — thank God I called in time! He was able to graft the hole and "achieve an excellent press fit."
I hope writing this will help someone else benefit from my experience – since I received so much valuable help from folks on this site. Let me know if I can help with anything.
Bilateral – Dr. Gross
2-2-09 (R) 2-4-09 (L)
June 12, 2009
Today I am 128 days post-op. I have done so well that I have been quite slack on updating this beloved group where it all started for me. I have no pain whatsoever in the hips. The "clunking" is very few and far between nowadays. I have a 5,000 s.f.+ garden that I have been actively working in every evening without any pain at all. Yesterday I strolled easily up the middle of a long flight of concrete steps to enter a building (without touching the rails)! If that sounds like a miracle to you then you are a surface hippy or a potential surface hippy! I have been back in the gym at a low to moderate level of activity as I wait for the six months to pass. I feel wonderful !!! I could go on and on about the things I can do with ease…
When I read the Wall Street Journal article on last Thursday June 4th, 2009 "Doubts Raised Over New Type of Hip Surgery" by Anne Tergesen, I was a bit disappointed with the negative tone of the article. Naturally, I fall into the "perfect" candidate for the resurfacing being young with strong bones, but I have heard prevailing positive messages from "less-than-perfect" candidates on this site and other places.
I’m sure you know how these things work in word-of-mouth: the old rule of thumb in business is "a bad experience gets talked about 11 times where a good one gets talked about 3 times". I believe it is the same with online reviews and ratings — many times we only make the effort to put the bad ratings and reviews up so as to help prevent anyone else from having a similar negative experience. With this in mind I believe hip resurfacing’s strengths outweigh the weaknesses or we would have a considerably more negative feedback on this site and others.
I felt like the article’s title and subtitles set a dominant negative tone and the positives of the article were mediocre in comparison. Oh well… That article is why I said I better log back in and keep folks updated a little better.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the surgery or Dr. Gross or anything else I may be able to help with. In my case it became "no news is great news!!!" over the last few months, but know that I remain happy to help wherever possible! Do not hesitate to contact me!!
December 20, 2009
I have phased back into the gym now and while still not near the pre-surgery level on weights, I almost there on cardio. I have just been very conservative about it, giving myself a year to err on the side of caution. I have no pain or discomfort. I am very happy with the results and don’t want to mess anything up! I will go back in for my one-year follow up pretty soon and I hope everything is doing good in there. I feel like it will be a good report.
Tim (UPDATE @320 days: 10 mos 17 days)
December 29, 2009
I went in for my "one year" follow-up today. I did this because I have paid all deductibles and out of pocket maximum for this year (2009). Dr. Gross said that the implants were "perfect". That was great news for me. I have not had any pain and it was comforting to know that everything was grafted in nice and tightly. I am highly satisfied with the results and now I can get to working off the 20 extra lbs I have gained since the surgery!!