I was a marathoner with 6 years between my last long run and hip resurfacing for protrusio acetabulum with Dr. Koen De Smet in Gent, Belgium. I have to admit that my fanatical pursuit of hip resurfacing was initially driven by a desire to run again.
De Smet’s advice — after the initial 6 weeks of restrictions — was to “listen to your body” to know what the limits were. After 6 months, I couldn’t stand it and took a few preliminary runs. The aches and pains I got told me that my body wasn’t ready at that point.
On McMinn’s website I found that his protocol was to make runners wait a full year before running again. So, I decided to wait the whole year and then started up slowly with 2km runs twice a week. I increased that to 4km up to 4 times a week, which is about what I’m doing now, 2 years after surgery.
I don’t know that I’ll ever do a marathon again, but I can run 10 minute miles and that’s wonderful for my psyche. I attribute that success to several factors.
The 10 days of aftercare that I received from De Smet and his team in Gent — particularly Marc, the physical therapist, and the set of stretches and exercises he sent me home with after teaching me how to walk with a new hip and a leg longer by an inch. I still do the stretches 2 years later. For the first 6 weeks after getting home, I also did the stretches on McMinn’s website.
I was fortunate enough to have invested in an Endless Pool while on the downhill slide from running to surgery. So, after my stretching, it was into the pool for more stretches, water walking and swimming.
Finally, at 14 months post-op, I went to a ChiRunning camp for a week in Asheville NC with Danny Dreyer. I learned a completely new technique for running with very, very low impact. I combine that with running on soft surfaces and I have a routine that suits me well.
I saw Dr. De Smet at 15 months post-op and got a full set of x-rays, and he couldn’t have been happier with the results. Again, no restrictions and “listen to your body” was his advice.
I still get aches and pains — for example, running 4 days in a row –so then I back off and take it easy for a week.
De Smet believes the positioning of the cup is one of the hardest things to do right in this surgery, and it’s why you really need to go to a surgeon who has done many resurfacings and does them often.
Bill in Atlanta LBHR 50/58 De Smet 13-Jun-06