February 05, 2010
My wife drove me to the King Edward 7th hospital off Harley St in London at
5.30 am-lamp lit London streets fresh snow on the ground, looked beautiful and
provided an amazing memory to my HR. Signed in at 6am, pre op procedures went
like clockwork. Saw my surgeon Prof Cobb at 7.45 had a very long chat about
dev’s in HR and of course some of the discussions I have posted re- his
navigated/acrobot approach. Said he expected the surgery to last 1 and half to 2
hours but was in no hurry-just after perfection. Went for surgery at 8.45, had
general, woke up in recovery just over 2 hours later, back in room had lunch at
around 12-15 absolutely starving! Saw Prof Cobb early evening said all went to
plan, he is a truly wonderful man. Bed exercises rest of Saturday. Didn’t feel
like I’d undergone major surgery-in fact felt great and family couldn’t believe
it (I did keep very fit pre-surgery).
Next day walking on crutches, did the bed exercises and had no pain etc but
some swelling. Next day a stick and hydrotherapy-how fantastic-vg range of
movement and able to move the joint where it hadn’t been for years. Anyway, I
came home yesterday (day 5) following 3 hydro sessions, great food, superb
support, so now just feel great.Out for my daily walks, doing the physio stuff
etc but just want to say a couple of things about my experience to help others
in London. King Ed hospital hits 10 out of 10 in every area-Prof Cobb has
established a series of protocols with brilliant booklets(pre-op/post
op/avoiding clots/medication options/physio-hydro/going home etc) everyone was
just fantastic-as good as any 5 star hotel I’ve ever been!
Prof Cobb is a wonderful man- more interested in precision surgery than a
numbers game-did 3 ops last Saturday. All his patients (including those I spoke
to in private emails pre-op and those I met post op including a guy I reckon
must be 70 and was resurfaced 3 years ago ) the nurses and physios all speak
very highly of him. He visited me every day. Hence, you have to wait a long time
for an appointment but when you get him it’s special as my 42 yr old fellow
patient agreed (he had to wait 3 months and travelled 200 miles!)
Wish I had my surgery earlier I’m 57 but very sporty and the last couple of
months pre surgery were very difficult-deterioration became rapid!
Better get out for walk number 2 now but I’d be happy to talk to anyone further,
particularly fellow Londoners considering HR.
January 29, 2011
I had my op at KE7 exactly one year ago today! I’m delighted that the fine
standards have been maintained.
I too got to the point, prior to my left BHR, where I had no range of motion
left and couldn’t lift either leg over the bike when dismounting. I could lift
the right one over to get on and then needed friends to lift it back off for me!
Or else I could lean against something and push away…it got to the point that
I just stopped riding."
March 27, 2011
Last time I posted re-getting back to running, I did first run (1.5 miles)
post op-great but had slight discomfort in lower back, so thought I’d let it
heal. Then few weeks later did couple of gentle runs (again 1.5 miles) and felt
tear in calf. So after a 3 week lay off to allow tear to heal, I was feeling
pretty good. This Friday evening did 10 mile Hampstead Heath (X country) on
mountain bike. Saturday’s my usual swim day. So cos I feel it’s time to get
going( thinking TRI) I thought that yesterday, I’d do a two mile steady
run-followed by 10 mile Heath XC bike ride and then my usual 2.3 mile swim. Run
went well, bike ride good, Swim also good but because I usually mix breast
stroke/crawl I did feel calves around the 1km point. Anyway, finished the 3
events successfully without a problem and felt quite jubilant. Last night. out
celebrating-my daughter’s been successful gaining places at Bristol and
Liverpool Uni’s to study vet science and I had an extra glass for my own little
accomplishment and growing confidence re- the running. But strangely, whilst out
a couple of hours ago- broke into a bit of a sprint going to the shops and
bang-calf went immediately!
August 21, 2011
Had a big blow-on holiday in Kenya-went back into the squash court after
about 20 years-hip responded superbly-managed to get down to all low shots etc
Second day of playing-got more confident and competitive-went for
it-BANG-ruptured achilles tendon. Real shame as planning Triathlon as mentioned
in my post a couple of months ago! My stupid fault really- didn’t warm up at
all-behaved like I was 20 again cos hip’s so strong and generally feeling great.
Didn’t want surgery in Kenya, so put in plaster cast to finish final week of
August 25, 2011
I had the surgery on Monday (pretty sore) and came home on Tuesday.
Gotta say this is way harder than the HR. I’m in a special boot and have to keep
leg elevated for next two weeks-only time I’m allowed to get up is for the loo.
No weight bearing for 6 weeks. Boot to stay on for 3 months. Not even swimming
for 3 months. Impact Sport can’t start for 6 months. As a result of the
inactivity(prevention of DVT) I’ll be taking blood thinning injections for
6 weeks (didn’t take any for my HR-infact I was even off pain killers by day 4).
So yeah I’m feeling quite annoyed with myself for being so obviously stupid.
With HR you progress every day-here I’m in limbo having to take it so easy to
avoid any mishaps to this intricate surgery.
life’s been one hell of an adventure! Sorry but it’s going to be a long
post-but will hopefully help others.
After the achilles tendon op last August(same leg as resurf) around the one
week mark I was feeling really awfull, but with the usual determination tried to
remain positive and pull myself together. I just couldn’t believe that after
such a beautiful hip resurfacing surgery that something less major was making me
freel so dreadful.
Anyway, to cut a long story short (12 day mark) just had to contact my surgeon
explained the situation-he asked me to get to hospital immediately and that he
will arrange for his plastic surgeon to be present look at wound too.
On their inspection they indicated it was serious and would organise
emergency surgery. I had a deep tissue and systemic infection(virulent and
unknown bacteria at this time) which had destroyed the Achilles Tendon and the
other concerns were the metal hip and even more seriously my life. Swabs from
surgery came back with ecoli and other virulent bowel bugs! These probably got
there from my trip to Kenya, into a graze on the ankle and being in plaster for
2 weeks prior to returning home for surgery they had time to colonise and
despite surgical cleaning, opportuntistically entered the surgical site. Again
to cut long story short-had 3 further debridement surgeries, IV drip/pic line/vac
pump-eventually at the end of November, confident that I was infection free-my
surgeon closed the wound and placed a skin graft over the lower section.
Luckily, the hip (despite stiffening up from such a period of immobility)
remained infection and trouble free!
I made a good recovery despite learning to walk without a tendon (it’s like a
ball which doesn’t bounce) I returned to work in January and by April could walk
ok but used crutches for long distances-I was back on the mountain bike and was
doing the usual 2.3k swim every Saturday and worked hard to regain hip
OK now I’m at home recovering from surgery last week.The original surgical plan
was to do a tendon transfer (FHL) and free up the scar tissue and cover the
wound with a vascularised free flap. Instead, my surgeons made the intra
operative decision to resect and recreate a tendon using the scar tissue which
had miraculously filled the gap between the proximal and distal tendon and to
carefully close the existing skin graft-much less invasive and will be a real
result if it works!
So feeling good and positive at the 9 day mark and whilst I’ve a long road ahead
a triathlon remains my eventual goal (which I was working on post hip
resurfacing). Throughout all this my Prof Cobb hip resurfacing has been me with
January 30, 2013
Following my post op July update where my achilles was reconstructed using
the scar tissue all was going well over August. I returned to work(teacher)
first week in September for the start of term, mobile on crutches and in a
Vacoped boot. Unfortunately, after 2 days leg was very red swollen and sore, in
my true idiotic style I didn’t take heed of the signs, I guess I didn’t want to
let my colleagues or students down and so continued to teach. Anyway by the end
of the week I was back in hospital leg resembling elephantitis (maybe I should
post some pic’s if there’s the interest and Pat’s approves)-it was actually
severe Cellulitis! I/V antibiotics, special potassium baths, creams etc and
fortunately things improved but this was a major setback which put me back a
couple of months. Cellulitis is pretty horrendous particularly when it affects
post op healing tissue.
Anyway, fast forward to now-6 months post op. I am able to walk normally(very
swiftly) without a limp, I’ve been back on the exercise bike for past 2 months
and now that the wound has been healed for a month I’m ready for swimming. Still
have quite a lot of stiffness, mainly start up stiffness and internal
inflamation (some of which remnants of Cellulitis), ROM slowly but surely
improving. My surgeons (orthopaedic and plastic) are amazed by my recovery and
put it down to my determination and desire to continue with sport. They indicate
that it will take 18 months for the maximum recovery I’m likely to achieve.
So all in all, to use the old British phrase-mustn’t grumble. This time last
year I was hoping to be able to walk again-now my future goal is to be able to
achieve a jog (I’ll never see 6 or 7 minute mile pace again-I’d be grateful for
10 even slower but would love to experience something resembling slow running).
Hence, I’ve been pretty lucky I guess.
BTW today is the 3rd anniversary of my HR and throughout all this with huge
periods of immobility the hip has been great!