January 6, 2015
I had my RBHR done yesterday morning by Dr Pritchett. Yesterday was really encouraging for me. Post-op pain was easily managed and boredom had me begging for a PT by late afternoon and I got my wish granted around 6 pm. Got some exercises done and did a short walk around my room and a longer walk down the hallway with him, then later that night and even longer walk with my nurse, all with a walker. I never sleep well in hospitals and last night was no exception…got mire than usual but lessentially than an hour and a half total. Today started early, with an OT appt at 7:15, a PT appt at 9:30, and discharge from the hospital by 10:30. The drive home was a drag, stopped 3 times over the 250 mile drive to get some walking in, each time tougher to get out of the car. I haven’t touched a walker today, just been using forearm crutches. I’ve been home for almost 6 hours and the swelling and pain are more than I expected, but I’m not terribly surprised as its obviously a pretty physically traumatic procedure. I’ve added Aleve to my meds, along with icing, to try and get the swelling under control. Narcotics are helping, and I’m also on what I’m assuming is a typical antibiotic regimen, plus aspirin for blood thinning. My wife has been an even greater blessing than normal over the past couple of days, and our pets (two dogs and a cat) seem to sense something’s up and gently giving healing vibes. That’s probably enough for now, I just took a lot of comfort in reading others stories here and figured I’d start my own, silly as it might be in a haze of painkillers. Skipping tonight’s scheduled PT due to how active my day has been and a bit more pain and swelling than I expected.
January 8, 2015
Day 2 is in the books, and was mostly better than yesterday, albeit with a couple hiccups. As I said yesterday, my swelling was pretty significant, and I got a bit behind the pain curve. I can’t normally sleep on my back, and, at the risk of oversharing, I’ve been peeing a ridiculous amount since the surgery. I managed to get a couple hours of highly interrupted sleep last night, but got tired of disturbing my wife with the battle of getting out of bed every twenty minutes, so when I got up at 2, I just stayed up so she could get some solid rest. I emailed Dr Pritchett about taking Aleve for the swelling and he responded that it would be okay, so I took a couple this morning and a couple tonight, and will probably discontinue based on the advice Shabbis got unless it gets out of conttol again. I did all three sets of my assigned PT today, took a shower, shook off the common side effect of painkillers, and went on a couple walks around my immediate neighborhood with crutches, almost totalling a mile. The swelling is down to more reasonable levels, though the bruising is coming on now, with clearly defined edges and pretty warm to the touch. My biggest problem today was choosing the wrong loveseat to sit on while breaking in my sock assist…soft and low, my leg tried to buckle toward the inside when I was getting up, triggering a short period of intense pain while I corrected my position and worked thru some serious muscle cramps. I got similar cramps during my last set of PT, so will probably take it easier tomorrow, while keeping an eye on the swelling and heat, and using just ice instead of combining with Aleve. Onward and upward.
January 12, 2015
I’ve been fighting a back & forth battle with swelling all week, drinking tons of water, having to get up to pee a lot during the night, but I feel like I’m winning. with the swelling on my hip visibly down and 7 lbs lost since last Wednesday. However the swelling has gone down the leg all the way to the foot, and the knee, ankle, and my big toe have grown increasingly painful. If it weren’t for the surgery last week, I’d have recognized what was going on days ago and responded accordingly, but I thought it was just part of the process till around 2 this morning when suddenly my ankle and big toe became the most pained parts on my body, rendering my leg non-weight-bearing and even the pressure of a blanket intolerable. Sure enough, I’m having a gout attack in the foot/ankle on the operated leg. I’ve been eating healthy, so can only guess that this is due to dehydration because I didn’t drink enough water yesterday and the swelling keeps “repurposing” what water I do have in my system. In any case, I’m pretty miserable today. Back on Aleve, guzzling water, icing the ankle, and hoping it passes quickly.
January 26, 2015
Today is three weeks post op and things are going well. I returned to work last Wednesday (16 days post op) and made a bit of a mistake. Having read here that one of the problems with an office job is all the sitting, and remembering to get up and walk frequently. Well, apparently I took that a little too far…taking a stroll around a few neighboring buildings as my pain levels went up & up. I’d started the day around a 1-2 on the 10 point scale, and left work after 6 hours closer to a 6 or 7, ready to get home where I could safely respond with oxycodone. I did recover somewhat overnight, but still found myself at a 3 or 4 the following morning and back on a crutch, with my first formal out-patient PT appointment also on the agenda. In all I made it another 6 hours on Thursday, plus PT, and took Friday off. The three day weekend helped as I diteched the crutch again Saturday morning, did my at-home PT, and made it through 8 hours at work today without a crutch or even Tylenol being necessary.
Long story short – I overdid it a bit on my first day back to work, but I’m trying to avoid that error now and have only a slight limp remaining at the 3 week mark.
February 4, 2015
My left hip is now schedule for March 2nd and I’m thinking this PT will have the added benefit of proactively strengthening the muscles on that side to, which should aid in recovery.
I’m also having the disc between C5 and C6 removed and those vertebra fused on March 4th (two days after LBHR), so that week will probably not be very fun. But, based on my recovery so far from my right hip resurfacing (now 4 weeks post op), I’m very much looking forward to a summer of feeling better than I have in years.
February 17, 2015
Yesterday was 6 weeks post-op for me, so the 90 degree restriction was officially lifted. I’ve been working for 3.5 of them, driving myself, and yesterday celebrated the occasion by going for an 11.5 mile bike ride. I took my mountain bike, which has a bit less aggressive posture than my road bike but still gets well past 90 degrees at the top of each pedal rotation. I had zero pain in my operated hip, but some in my other hip and a lot in my neck, which encouraged me about the prospects of my two remaining surgeries.
March 4, 2015
I’m now about 30 hours on the other side of my left hip, and it’s been a very different experience from the first. I was able to easily lift my leg off the bed yesterday, but found swelling in the glut and hip flexor area much more pronounced, so thought the general pain was much lower, but now I think there was a local nerve block in play that worked better because I’m now in more pain than I recall the first time around. Also, the epidural seemed to take longer to take full effect and I vaguely recall waking up twice during the procedure…or perhaps the first time I simply hadn’t gotten all the way under yet. In any case, neither instance was alarming in the least, just oddly interesting. I did have a lot more bleeding this time around. After the first surgery, we changed the dressing twice, once on day 4, the other day 11. This time I left the hospital with my 8th dressing on and about as many clothing and bedding changes doe to my bleeding everwhere. Dr Pritchett worked the incision a bit more right before I was discharged, and added some glue, and that seems to have done the trick. We had to stop by another hospital to get some more bloodwork done prior to my neck surgery tomorrow morning and that proved challenging and I got a bit behind the pain curve in the process. Price I pay for wanting to combine two recoveries into one period of being miserable. We’re now at a hotel for the night and I’m caught back up. A round of PT has my ROM back to where I remember the first hip being, and bleeding still looks under control. Time for some sleep…another update to follow either tomorrow night or Thursday, depending on how I’m feeling.
March 8, 2015
Things are improving here, it feels like I’ve turned the corner. I finally got some sleep last night, and my difficulty swalllowing has eased today…still painful, but I don’t choke every time. Today I put a mile on the crutches walking around my cul de sac (0.6 this morning and 0.4 this afternoon). My incision is still draining, but it’s definitely slowing down. We’ve just been using gauze and tape the last couple days for their increased absorption. I think tonight we’re going to throw some glue in the hole in the bottom of the incision and put the last silver bandage we have on it.
April 11, 2015
I’m about 6 weeks out from my second resurfacing (had right hip done in January, left hip in March) and have similar pain on the “inside” of the hip that’s pretty persistent. It feels like the groin and adductors and is worst when I first get up from sitting or lying down, but is always there to one degree or another. I feel like I could mostly walk without a limp at this point after the first hip, but now I’m still swaying to the left when the left is my plant foot, to get my weight vertical over it rather than leaving it “offset” as in a normal gait. It’s still early for me, so I’m hopeful it’ll resolve over the next couple of weeks.
April 21, 2015
Yesterday marked 7 weeks since my left BHR, and it’s definitely not keeping pace with the right side. I’ve had persistent groin pain on the left side, much more difficult with adduction (still limping, sleeping with a pillow between my legs, difficulty balancing on just left leg, having to sit and struggle a bit to put on pants, shorts). At this point the first time around, I was doing great, and only a few days away from my recently repaired hip taking a primary role as the other hip got resurfaced. My right hip did fantastic at carrying the load when my left went out of commission. My left is nowhere near ready to do the same if my right were about to go down.
Last week also saw an unexpected return to medical care, as Tuesday evening my left hip began stiffening up, with pain also in my lower back and abdomen on the left side. Eventually the pain got to the point that I nearly passed out, and I though perhaps I’d dislocated it or somehow otherwise really screwed it up, so my wife took me to the ER. Morphine did the trick and a CT scan revealed a hematoma of the iliopsoas and accumulation of fluid/blood in my abdomen. We went back to see my surgeon the next day and he said it was possible that this was “old” blood that had been sitting in the muscle since surgery, blocked by a clot that had just decided to liquefy, releasing it, but either way the best approach was a simple wait and see. The abdominal pain stayed pretty intense for a couple of days but has since abated and is now quite minor. Based on what reading I’ve done, it sounds like trouble with the iliopsoas post resurfacing is fairly common, and my hope is that it is simply a healing process from surgical trauma rather than something more persistent such as a socket not countersunk into the bone, resulting in abrasion of the muscle. I always expected that one of the hips would heal more easily and quickly than the other, and this certainly seems to be the case.
May 7, 2015
I’m now at 17 weeks since right hip and 9 weeks since left hip + C5-C6 fusion, and making progress each week but still fighting some IT band & illiopsoas issues. I started cycling again a few weeks ago and have managed 30 km a few times without any problem. For the 8 week anniversary of my left hip I tried longer walking, went 3 km but was sore and limping pretty hard by the end, and for a few days after, so I dialed it back. This week I’ve done 2 km a few times and that’s been better, so I’m going to repeat next week, then try to ramp up again. I’ve booked myself for a 10k in September, hoping to be able to run it, but will walk if necessary…I’m telling my wife and daughter I want a pair of Hoka One One shoes for Father’s Day.
July will by my 20 year anniversary in skydiving, and I’m hoping to make a simple hop & pop to commemorate the occasion, but only if neck feels solid and hips are prepared to run or slide out a landing, as it’s usually pretty hot here in the summer and no-wind landings are fast and tough to shut down.
June 2, 2015
5 months since right BHR and 3 months since left. He told me I could start light running and he’d like to see me again in a year or so.
Also, I hiked up a local “mountain” on Saturday with my daughter (3.1 miles, 800′ climb) and rototilled/raked/planted a vegetable garden all day Sunday with no trouble in the hips, just lots of muscle soreness and a bit of an aching back. I’ve definitely still got plenty of additional healing to do, especially on the left side, and I’m still not over the moon with the appearance of the left prosthetic, but I’m excited as all hell to back doing the things I could not do last year, and to have permission to ramp up my activities as tolerated. I feel like I’ve graduated hip school!
April 20, 2016
Hey there hippies, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, mostly because my new hips are doing so well I rarely think about them. My left hip is now 13 months old, my right hip 15 months, and both are doing great. This past weekend I returned to skydiving, with a couple jumps and no problems. Tomorrow I’m going on a couple days backpacking trip, and in two weeks I’m running a 5K. Pain is infrequent and only occurs in short bursts at the edges of my ROM, likely from my femoral neck catching an edge of the new socket? Major muscles all seem completely recovered, and smaller muscles seem to still be improving (crossing legs is easy if done quickly but slow and deliberate reveals some weakness, and my left leg tries to swing wide when running around a curve/corner to my right). Overall I’m incredibly happy with the results and glad to have my life back, much improved over what it was like the last several years. Onward and upward! 🙂
July 14, 2016
I’m at 18 months right hip, 16 months left, and still aggravate my psoas & hip flexor, especially on the left side, where I had some post-op issues in the illiopsoas. I’ve been backpacking a half dozen times this year and find that with a full (30-35 lb) pack, my limit is around 5-6 miles per day with any significant of elevation gain. About a month ago I was pretty uncomfortable 5 miles in and 1500 feet up, so two weeks ago I added trekking poles into the equation and they seem to help quite a bit. I had no significant pain at the 5 mile mark with 1800′ of ascent + descent (900′ each), two days in a row. Currently running stairs at a local high school stadium 3-4 times a week with no hip discomfort at after 30-40 minutes (my quads complain, but that’s the point ) Walking on flat ground, I have no discomfort at 7-8 miles, but running on flat ground my left hip starts complaining at about 2-3 miles.
May 27, 2017
Both of my hips are 2 years old now (29 months right, 27 months left) and I’m getting ready to add more metal to my body. I’m expecting to get a shoulder within the next 6 months (ream & run, so just the ball side…the glenoid gets reamed to produce a metal-on-bone joint), and two artificial cervical discs probably next year. I have pretty pronounced skin sensitivity to metals. Even though I’m convinced by the research showing that the body treats implants differently than dermal exposure, I’m concerned that there might be some tipping point concentration at which the immune system takes note of internal metals and reacts accordingly. It would suck to get everything wrong with me fixed only to have my body suddenly start rejecting all 5 new parts at the same time.