Annie April 20, 2011 Dr. Gross I had my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Gross last week (April 20) and I am already walking with just a cane! Don’t settle for total hip replacement until you explore other options! I had resurfacing surgery on my right hip last week, and feel like I’m doing really well – no pain meds except for the occasional Tylenol, and walking (or at least hobbling) fairly well with a cane. My problem is going to sleep at night! I have to sleep either on my back or on my left side, which is not how I normally go to sleep. The post surgery instructions say to keep a pillow between your legs at night. I just cannot get comfortable! The other night, I moved from the bed to the couch to the recliner, and nothing really worked. I finally fell asleep around 3 am, and when I woke up a few hours later the darn pillow that was supposed to be between the legs was on the floor! June 2, 2011 I had my 6 week post-op visit today with Dr. Gross and Lee Webb. Everything looks great, and I think they were surprised at how strong my operated leg is already! Almost all of the restrictions were removed (other than crossing your legs at the knee, extreme stretching, and high impact activities). Still cannot lift more than 50 pounds with the lower body either, but that’s still so much better than the last 6 weeks! As soon as I got home, I went to the gym and hopped on the elliptical (not exactly hopped, but I did climb onto it) and had my first mini-cardio workout since surgery. Also did some lower body work with light weights. It felt wonderful!!!! I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Gross about the metal ions issue. He said he has never seen a problem with anyone with a cup angle of less than 50 degrees. I think only about 4 of his 2000+ patients have developed this problem. Mine is about 34 degrees for the implant, but he showed me on my X-rays that the angle for the unoperated hip is about 55 degrees. Evidently, when surgeons first started doing resurfacings, they (quite naturally, I think) tried to duplicate the natural socket angle as closely as possible, which is almost always steeper than 50 degrees. Then some people started developing the problems from metal wear, and the doctors realized that they needed to modify the cup angle to avoid this. Also, for you ladies, we discussed the wearing of high heels (I really dislike the clodhoppers I’ve had to wear for the last 6 weeks!). Dr. Gross told me that he would prefer I don’t wear really high ones until 3 months or so after the surgery. Not because wearing heels will hurt the hip, but he is concerned that I will get wobbly, fall down, and break the neck of the femur! I told him I’ve been wearing them for lots and lots of years, and I have never wobbled and fallen. I’m not sure he believed me, but then he is not an experienced high heel wearer. I will use my own judgment. I feel very happy to be almost back to even a better normal than before! I am so grateful for wonderful surgeons like Dr. Gross! June 4, 2011 I used the grabber, the toilet seat and the Polar Care machine (for icing) and found them extremely helpful. Did not need socks because it is warm here, so I did not use the sock contraption but they showed me how to use it in the hospital before I left. I packed up all this “stuff” after my 6 weeks post-op visit last week. I have to figure out a place to keep it until my next hip in October. August 4, 2011 I’m coming up on 4 months in a couple of weeks, and my resurfaced hip feels great, except for a little bit of weakness in the muscles still. I feel like I could run (at least jog slowly – I wasn’t ever a runner) with no problem, if the doctor would let me, and if the other one wasn’t hurting as badly as it is. I’m really looking forward to getting to about 4 months after my second resurface. The lack of pain in the resurfaced hip is wonderful! September 8, 2011 At about 5 1/2 months, I do not have any IT band issues (never did), but I still have some stiffness after sitting for long periods of time, and there is a muscle in my groin that still hurts a little bit when I do some of my PT exercises. It does not hurt doing normal, everyday things, though. And my other, non-operated hip is giving me a whole lot of pain. I’ll take the stiffness and little twinges over the arthritis pain any day! October 6, 2011 Just got back from Columbia, where I had my pre-op appointment this afternoon. I was a little worried that I had done too much, and caused my left hip to wear down too much for resurfacing, because it has been hurting a whole lot more than my right hip did before the surgery. They decided to take another set of X-rays to make sure, since my last ones were taken at my post-op appointment for the other hip last June. Good news! It does not look much worse on the X-rays, so resurfacing is still on for Wednesday next week. Yay!! I would have been pretty depressed if they had discovered that it was too late, and I needed THR! October 19, 2011 I finally had my left hip resurfaced by Dr. Gross last week. It feels great to have it over with! As expected, the surgery went as well as the first hip and Dr. Gross and his staff, as well as the staff at Providence are still wonderful! I had the surgery at noon on Wednesday, and left the hospital to return home to Aiken (about 65 miles away) on Thursday afternoon, after my occupational and physical therapy sessions. An interesting difference with this hip was that I woke up that first night with pretty severe pain in my left leg. I never had very much pain with my right hip. I am wondering if part of the reason has to do with the Polar Care machine to keep the operated leg iced. For my first surgery, the Polar Care was going constantly from the time I got out of surgery until they got me out of bed the following morning. This time, the orders were to not use the Polar Care during the night. I ended up calling the nurse to tell her about the pain, and asking to have the Polar Care put back on. She was a little reluctant because of Dr. Gross’s orders, but she did put it back, and also gave me a little shot of morphine, and I was fine after that. When I told Dr. Gross about it the next morning, he said it was good they put the Polar Care back on, but he had no real explanation of why this leg would hurt more than the other. I guess as others have said, each hip is different! At this point, I’m off the narcotics and walked 1/4 mile this morning with one crutch. I will probably switch to the cane tomorrow. I think some people must have overused the Polar Care and done some damage, because the instructions for using it at home have changed to “use it as much as possible the first week”, to use it frequently for an hour each time, then take it off for an hour. I meant to ask Dr. Gross, but we started talking about the trochanteric flip approach, and I forgot! I’ll do a separate post about that that conversation. Interestingly, in the group physical therapy session for all 5 of Dr. Gross’s patients who had resurfacing the same day as I did, all of us were bilateral! Two guys had had their first hip resurfaced the previous Monday, and the second hip on Wednesday. Another lady, like me, had had her previous surgery by Dr. Gross about 6 months ago, and one guy had had his first hip resurfaced by a doctor in Kentucky. The guy from Kentucky said that although his first surgery was successful, there was no comparison in the way he was treated by Dr. Gross and the Providence hospital staff. As he put it, they are in a class of their own, and I completely agree. When Dr. Gross came to see me the day after my surgery, I took the opportunity to ask him about the trochanteric flip (osteotomy) approach to resurfacing. I have been curious about this since Carla (T. Flippy Hippy) started posting, and I think others on this site may be interested also. I actually took some notes afterwards so I would not forget what he said, because I was still on narcotics. I think my notes are pretty accurate. Dr. Gross said this procedure was developed by Dr. Ganz in Switzerland for performing hip impingement surgery. Some doctors then started using it for resurfacing. They theory was that younger people have less blood supply to the femoral head, and therefore, this approach would work better for younger people. However, Dr. Gross, who has performed many, many resurfacing operations on younger people, said he has not found this to be true. Most of the doctors who used this approach for resurfacing have now stopped because of complications due to problems with the osteotomy not healing (4-5%), and if it does not heal properly, the patient becomes a cripple. The rate of femoral head problems with the posterior approach is less then 1%. Dr. Gross said he did perform one surgery using this approach and concluded that any possible advantages did not justify the risk. October 27, 2011 Today, I am 10 days post-op from my left hip resurfacing and feeling really great! (Although I still need my afternoon naps .) I have ditched the cane walking around the house – it seems a little early, but I keep forgetting to grab it and can walk just fine without it. I do still take it for my twice daily walks outside. I think it would be difficult for anyone who has not been in this situation to quite understand how wonderful it feels to be able to walk without hip pain! The soreness from the surgery is very minor at this point, compared to the joint pain I had before. Here are some differences I have noted about my two surgeries: I had virtually no pain after the surgery on my right hip – the left one was much more painful immediately afterwards, but that did not last long, and it’s fine now. I never had a problem lifting my right leg up to get into bed – I had to use the leg lifter contraption for my left one for a couple of days. My right hip was quite swollen for at least 3 weeks post-surgery – the left one was swollen for only about 1 week and I can actually get into my tight jeans at this point. After the first surgery, I had a huge bruise on my calf just below the knee on the operated leg – no such bruising on my left leg. I don’t think I was able to get rid of the cane this quickly the first time. Don’t know if it was because I was more afraid then to put all my weight on the operated leg, and that I’m more confident with the second one? The left leg feels quite strong and very stable at this point. Or maybe the fact that the left hip was still in bad shape when I was recovering from the first surgery. What I find interesting about this is that I had the same surgeon, surgical approach and hospital both times. Even so, the experience was a little different for each surgery, some things were better and some worse with each one (although the “worse”s were minor), but I can tell already that the outcome for both will be the same (unless I do something stupid to mess things up, which I will try to avoid). One of the great things about this site is that there are so many people contributing, who had their surgeries performed by many different doctors with different approaches, post-surgery protocols, etc., and we get to hear about and learn from their experiences. And in the vast majority of cases, the outcome is great in spite of those differences! December 11, 2011 I went back to work after 4 1/2 weeks – I was exhausted at the end of each day. I am now about 2 months past my last surgery and my energy level is still not back 100%. I figure it will take about one more month to get fully back to normal energy wise. March 16, 2012 I started wearing heels after about 6 weeks. I asked Dr. Gross if it was OK. He said it would not hurt my hip joints but he was concerned about me falling! Of course, I informed him I’ve been wearing them for a lot of years, and have not fallen yet! The only thing is it can get uncomfortable after a whole day at work in the beginning. My discomfort was muscular, not in the joint, and went away as soon as I took the shoes off. Now, about 5 months after my second hip surgery, I can wear them all day long with no problem. It’s great to feel normal!!!! I am 65 (until Sunday) and had both of my hips replaced last year. My surgeon, Dr. Gross, basically gave me a choice between resurfacing and THR, and told me he thought I would do well with either. Because I am very active, and did not want to have any part of me amputated unless it was absolutely necessary, I chose resurfacing. Quite a few surgeons probably would not have done it because of my age and sex, but Dr. Gross looks at the whole picture before making his recommendations. I am very happy I had the surgery and now, 5 months after having my second hip resurfaced, I am back to almost all of my normal activities. I still have some restrictions on how much weight I can lift, and I cannot run until 12 months after surgery. Fortunately, I really don’t like to run anyway. It feels great to be able to do just about anything I want to do without joint pain.