My name is Geoff Robertson and I live in Rossland
B.C. Canada. I’m 45 years young, very fit and active and a person who’d
suffered with osteoarthritis in both hips for about 3-4 years, before
finally making the decision to have surgery to repair the problem. I was
scared to death of having such a major surgery, but I slowly came to
the realization that I just couldn’t continue to live with the constant
pain and increasing loss of mobility any longer. After dropping activity
after activity and having very little left to give up in my life, I
decided that something had to be done.
The first surgeon that my physician referred me to,
only did the T.H.R. procedure and he told me point blank, that in his
opinion, I was way too young to have this type of prosthetic, as it
would place too many restrictions on my lifestyle. And taking into
consideration my natural life expectancy, he said that I’d just wear
these prosthetics out and that I’d require possibly, several revisions
over the remaining years of my life. He basically told me to just suffer
for the next 10 or more years, until I reached a more appropriate age,
at which time, he’d give me the T.H.R.
To me, this was not a viable option and I felt
extremely frustrated with this prognosis. I knew that I couldn’t
possibly be the only person in my age group to have osteoarthritis of
the hips and so, I began to do some research to find out if any other
options existed for a person in my situation. It was then that I
discovered hip resurfacing and my discouragement turned into optimism as
I read about the thousands of people who’ve undergone this procedure
and have gone on to regain their once active lives.
So, armed with this new information, I went back to
my family Physician and told him that I wanted to explore the
possibility of having this procedure done. He told me of a fellow about
my age who’d undergone hip resurfacing a few years ago and suggested
that I go and talk to him about it. I did so, and not only did this
fellow fully endorse the procedure as miraculous and life-changing, but
he gave me the name of his surgeon and highly recommended that I get a
referral to see him about it. That visit turned out to be one of the
best things that I’ve ever done and within about 7 weeks, I was sitting
in the office of Dr. Nelson Greidanus in Vancouver B.C. where he told me
that, due to my good bone density and relatively straightforward case
of osteoarthritis, I was an excellent candidate for hip resurfacing.
He also told me that due to my excellent overall health and relative
youth, that I had the option of having them done one at a time or, both
in one surgery. After a brief discussion of the pro’s and con’s of both
options, I decided to get it all out of the way in one fell swoop and 5
months later, on September 21/07, I underwent bi-lateral hip resurfacing
by Dr. Greidanus at Vancouver General Hospital. I chose to receive the
Zimmer Durom hip resurfacing prosthetics and at 3 weeks post-op, I
couldn’t be happier with my results.
My total hospital stay was
5 days, during which time, the P.T.’s had me standing on the first day
and walking with a walker on the second day. Each day my progression
continued to the point where, on the 5th day, I was able to walk through
the hallways for over an hour at a time using crutches. On the 6th day,
my wife and I embarked on the 10 hour car ride back home where my P.T.
has continued through a local, private clinic with amazing results.
I had my staples removed at the 2 week point and I still have some
tenderness around my incisions (which are approximately 10 inches long
and located on the sides of my buttocks, extending a short distance down
the sides of my thighs) and some minor pain and stiffness in the
muscles of my upper legs and buttocks. However, I’ve now returned to
sleeping on my sides again and everyday the pain gets a little bit
easier to live with. I was completely off the pain medication within a
couple of days after returning home and I’ve found that I haven’t needed
anything in terms of pain relief since then.
I’m now using
canes to get around, which I’m finding to be much easier and smoother
than crutches and my surgeon has told me that all restrictions will be
removed at the 6 week post-op mark, which is October 4th. At that time,
he has instructed me to begin to really push hard to regain my full
range of motion in my hip joints and that I can probably return to work
shortly thereafter. I’m so pleased with the way things have worked out
thus far and I’m increasingly confident that I’ll soon be returning to
all of the activities that I used to enjoy. Things like skiing and
mountaineering and ice hockey to name a few. It’s wonderful! I’m so
happy and I’d like to encourage anyone who’s considering hip resurfacing
to just get it done.
I’d also like to say that if I can be of
any further help to anyone, please feel free to ask me. I’ll check back
to this site regularly and continue to post notes on my progress.
Thank you so much for providing this forum. I hope that many others find it to be as helpful as I have.
8 Weeks Post Op
It’s been nearly 8 weeks post surgery now and I’m
doing quite well. I ditched the canes about 3 weeks ago and started
venturing outside for little walks around the neibourhood in the
beautiful autumn weather that we’ve been having here in the Kootenays.
It’s difficult to describe how wonderful those first few walks felt and I
knew at that time that I’d made the right decision about whether or not
to have hip resurfacing. The old aches and pains of the arthritis are
gone and I just feel so liberated. I can now walk for at least an hour
at a time before feeling like it’s time to go home for a rest. I’ve also
noticed that I hardly ever feel the need to use Advil anymore to help
relieve the pain and stiffness that I experience if I push things a
little too hard. A little rest laying down is usually all that I need
I saw my surgeon, Dr. Greidanus in his Vancouver
office on November 3/07 (6 weeks post surgery) and he told me that
everything looks great. The surgery was a "text-book success" as he put
it, and at that time, he told me that all restrictions are now lifted.
He told me to really work hard at getting my flexibility and range of
motion back and to resume my previous lifestyle and activities as I feel
able. He went on to say that he’s seen a number of cases similar to
mine where the people have not worked hard at regaining their mobility
and a year or two down the road, they’re still having difficulties with
pain and stiffness. He put a lot of emphasis on the fact that, from this
point forward, my recovery is up to me – I have to put in the effort to
re-train the muscles and other supportive structures in my hips and
legs in order to get past the residual pain and stiffness that I’m
To this end, I’m working hard in the pool and in
the gym, following the routines that my physiotherapist has prescribed
for me and I’m making good progress. (she’s actually, completely blown
away by how well I’m doing and that, for me, is very encouraging) I
sometimes struggle with the feeling that my rate of recovery has
plateaued somewhat over the past couple of weeks and I still get stiff
and sore if I push too hard, but without a doubt, I’m on the road to
wellness. It’s all attitude at this point and I’m generally feeling
positive about my ability to get past this. I keep telling myself that
it’s a process and like being in a forest, the only way past it, is
through it. I have a bad day now and then but mostly, I can feel myself
getting stronger and more able all the time.
I’m planning to return to work in the near future –
probably in a month or so, and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m
finding it to be a little boring at times when I’m at home and even
though I have weekly indemnity plan through my employers insurance
policy that pays me while I recover, I still want to get back there and
be productive again as soon as I can. It’s all part of getting my life
back to where it was before the arthritis came along and I’m excited
about that prospect. It’s something that now seems possible and that’s
one of the the sweetest feelings that I’ve ever known.
Best wishes to everyone and thanks for the kind words of encouragement. It’s very much appreciated.