I am a 53 year old male. In September, 2007 I thought I pulled my groin playing tennis, Nine months later with a deteriorating condition, increasing pain and decreasing mobility, an MRI showed my right hip was shot. My local orthopedist recommended a total hip replacement. I was devastated. However, a friend put me in touch with a friend who it turns out had two hip resurfacings courtesy of Dr. Gross in SC. My local orthopedist was not familiar with hip resurfacing but a search on the web, which included surfacehippy, led me to think it was a viable option.After some searching, I found Dr. Riyaz Jinnah at Wake Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC. I initially visited him in July 2008 and he confirmed I was a good candidate for a BHR. I finally scheduled the procedure for February 9, 2009. He has done over 300 BHR’s and one thing that is very clear from the data is this procedure requires a surgeon who is experienced. Dr. Jinnah was very good about answering all my questions, and I had quite a few.
I had not been in a hospital as a patient since I was 3 years old and was apprehensive over the whole process. I cannot say enough good things about the pain control at Wake Baptist. I was given a spinal and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. My post op blood pressure was low so I did not do the usual moving around on day 1. On day 2 I was up using a walker and going to the bathroom quite a bit due to the extra IV fluids I received as a result of the blood pressure issue. Normally patients are sent home on the afternoon of day 2 but I got an extra day due to the blood pressure issue which was fine by me.
On day 3 I got a quick crutch qualification lesson, was shown how to use the other hip kit materials and sent home that afternoon. I was never in any pain except for the removal of my surgical pad which caused some involuntary hair removal (Dr. Jinnah does not believe in shaving). I took two oxycodone before my crutch lesson and for the trip home. I was given a scrip for more oxycodone but only took one the first night. After that, I only occasionally took Tylenol for discomfort. While in the hospital I was constantly asked to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 and never got above a 1. The nursing care at Wake Baptist, which was provided in a separate ward dedicated to joint replacement, was excellent.
If one has a choice, I strongly recommend using crutches vs. a walker. Crutches are more flexible for moving around and require one to use their arms which, to me, was a bit of needed exercise. They are also easier in getting in and out of cars plus my vanity would not allow me to use a walker. I did quite a bit of exercising before the operation which greatly assisted my recovery. However, I was still very surprised by how much the operation took out of me which I particularly noticed near the end of the day.
My biggest post op complaint was the inability to get in a comfortable sleeping position such that for the first week, I only slept in 2 hour stretches.
One insider tip is to use baby powder on your feet before you put on TEDs which reduces the chance of a sore (naturally I got the sore and then Dr. Jinnah’s nurse told me about the powder when I was getting my staples out at 2 weeks post op).
Once I was home, I used my crutches around the house and did circles in the carport. I was discharged with instructions to walk as much as I could but not too much. There was no structured PT but it was not necessary (Dr. Jinnah says BHR patients are very motivated and the problem is they do too much, not too little). On day 13 I went to the gym to do upper body weights. I started back to work on a part time basis on the third week after the operation and full time starting in week 5. In week 3 I started walking with one crutch and by week 5 I was walking with no crutches. Shortly thereafter I was walking 1.75 miles in our neighborhood and started back on the elliptical trainer and stationary bike. I started hitting golf balls in week 7 and by week 9 was walking 9 holes carrying my bag. I resumed doing lower body weights in week 10. During the course of my unstructured recovery I used common sense to push myself within reason but not to any level of pain or discomfort. Right now my only issue is I still cannot easily cross my right leg to tie my shoe but it is improving over time.
I just had my 3 month post op visit and my only restrictions are no running and no jumping. I am told I get a full release in 6 months which means I can then play singles tennis and run once more. People ask if I am glad I did the BHR procedure and I can unequivocally say Yes. My pain is gone, I walk normally, I can exercise as much as I want and play golf. Moreover, if at some point my BHR wears out, which I hope it does not, I still have a femur to have a total hip replacement.
Some final reflections. Before the operation I read quite a few blogs on the surfacehippy website. Many bloggers claimed they had no pain issues after their procedure and I can verify those stories with my own experience. Some accounts say that after some very short period of 7 to 10 days they are walking and driving. Based on my experience these results are not very realistic. Having a BHR is a major operation. However, I believe my gym work before the operation and my constant walking and gym work after the procedure greatly helped the pace of my recovery.