I’m 52 years old and had surgery last
year, on December 13, 2007. My surgeon was Dr. Su at
Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. It was my left
hip, a BHR.
Admittedly, I was quite freaked for the three months leading
up to the surgery. I’ve always been very athletic and active
and felt pretty much indestructible. Just a year earlier, I
didn’t even know I had a problem with my hip joint. There
was virtually no pain. I thought it was just tight adductor
and hip flexor muscles from years of running, karate,
squats, plyometrics, etc.
I went to a chiropractor to get some deep
tissue massage and gain flexibilty. After a couple of
sessions, he got suspicious and ordered x-rays. I still
remember his comment after seeing my films for the first
time: "How are you still walking?" That led to my eventual
visit to HSS for an evaluation.Unfortunately, it was OA with some bone on bone and
significant osteophytes. Initially, I tried a Synvisc
injection into the hip. That worked for a while. But
eventually, I acquired a limp, followed by pain after
getting up from a chair. It’s amazing how quickly the
Anyway, I finally took a deep gulp and decided to go through
with surgery. Despite my fears, the procedure went smoothly,
and was not nearly as painful or scary as I imagined. The
HSS team is first rate, I must say.
Rehab at home wasn’t painless or enjoyable, but it was
manageable. I think I took a total of only five Tylenol in
the first two weeks. Sure, it was annoying and limiting and
inconvenient, but the crutches get you a lot of sympathy on
the street. Next to a puppy, they’re pretty impressive chick
I had rehab at home for three weeks, twice a week. Whenever
my physical therapist ask me for ten reps, I’d insist on
twenty. He called me his most motivated patient ever.
(Frankly, I just think I’m a masochist.) Actually, i just
wanted to get back to normal asap. And as I always say,
physical pain is nothing compared to mental anguish.
At five weeks post-surgery, I was back at the hospital for
x-rays and a checkup. Happily I got permission to increase
my exercise schedule and start outpatient rehab. It’s now
six weeks and I’m riding the stationary bike for about 45-50
minutes at a relatively high resistance. Also, I’ve started
lifting weights while seated. Plus situps, body-weight
squats about half way down, and the elliptical trainer. And
of course, stretching, stretching, stretching. I have a lot
of flexibility to gain. It feels great to sweat again.
One recommendation I would make for everyone: Get in great
shape BEFORE surgery. I did a hard hour every other day on
the recumbent bike, alternating days with weight lifting. By
admitting day, I was down to the same weight and body fat I
was when I ran competitively in high school.
Every day is a little better. Tying shoelaces is still a bit
of a problem, but hopefully not for that much longer. And
while I see that a lot of people with resurfs go back to
running, Dr. Su doesn’t recommend it. So I’m officially
declaring my running (and other high impact) days over. I’d
love for this hunk of metal to last a lifetime.