I am a 35 year old male and was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my left hip at the age of 28. I was also told my right hip showed early signs of osteoarthritis. My orthopedist recommended that I immediately stop running and playing basketball. He really did not want to discuss surgery with me and told me that my goal should be to try to make it to the age of 40 before thinking about surgery. As long as I stayed away from high impact activities, the pain was somewhat bearable.
About a year ago, the pain seemed to be getting worse. Getting in and out of my truck became more difficult. Falling asleep at night started taking much longer. My orthopedist told me that it might be time to start discussing total hip replacement. I went to another orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion and he recommended total hip replacement whenever I was ready. I scheduled it for May 2008 which was about 6 months away. I was happy to know that my pain would be gone but did not have a good feeling about having total hip replacement. During this appointment, I asked the doctor about hip resurfacing. He did not think enough research had been done on hip resurfacing. I began reading everything I could find on hip resurfacing on the internet. The idea of not cutting off the head of the femur sounded great but it still made me a little nervous since it was a newer surgery.Finally, I came across Dr. Gross’ website and the Surface Hippy website. After reading through his website and reading all of his patient stories on the Surface Hippy website, I decided to make an appointment with him. After talking with Dr. Gross and Lee Webb, I was sold. Dr. Gross spent a lot of time with me and made sure that all of my questions were answered. The next week I cancelled my total hip surgery and scheduled hip resurfacing with Dr. Gross.
My experience in Columbia, SC with Dr. Gross and Lee Webb was excellent. I met with Lee Webb the day before my surgery. She answered all of my questions and made me feel at ease with everything that was going to happen the next day. The nurses and staff at Providence Hospital made me feel comfortable with every part of the process.
Day of operation (May 14, 2008) – Arrived at the hospital at about 7:15. I was taken back to pre-op around 7:45. I spent quite a while in pre-op. I was the second surgery of the day. I was told the first surgery started much later than it was supposed to. I was wheeled into surgery at about 11:45. The last thing I remember is leaning up for the spinal anesthesia. The physical therapist dropped by to talk to me about 5:00. He decided that he would wait until the next day to get me moving. He did this because my dexascan showed that I had low bone density (t score of -1.6). Lee Webb had already talked to me about this. I would be 10% weight bearing (crutches) for 6 weeks and then a cane for 4 weeks. The nurses were very nice and always let me know what they were doing. They checked on me every hour so that made for a very long night.
1st day post op – The nurse took out my catheter at about 6 this morning. This was a little uncomfortable but it was out in about 3 seconds. The physical therapist came by at about 9:00 am. He took me through the exercises. We walked down the hall on crutches and practiced walking up steps. The occupational therapist came by soon after and showed me how to use the sock aid and how to use the reacher to put on my shorts. She also talked to me about the hip precautions. I was released from the hospital about 2:00. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to stay one more night in the hotel across the street from the hospital.
2nd day post op – I didn’t sleep very well last night. I had to wake up my wife about 3 times to help me make it to the bathroom. After eating breakfast and taking a walk down the hall in the hotel, I got a little lightheaded. I got back in bed and took a little nap before we left for home. The ride home was very uncomfortable. Dr. Gross said I could make it back without stopping but we decided to stop once so I could take a short walk. Sitting in a chair is not very comfortable yet. Getting in and out of bed has been pretty tough.
3rd day post op – I slept a little bit better last night. I’m still waking up several times during the night. I’ve been sleeping on my back with a pillow between my legs.
4th day post op – I slept much better last night. I am a lot more comfortable sitting than I was yesterday. I had a little bit of pain this morning after doing my exercises.
8th day post op – I haven’t taken a pain pill in two days. I drove today for the first time. Getting in and out of the car wasn’t that bad. I still can’t sit for a long time without having to get up and move around. I’ve been taking several walks each day but since I’m on crutches the walks aren’t that long.
4 weeks post op – I really haven’t had any pain in about 2 weeks. I still haven’t taken a pain pill since the 6th day post-op. My leg gets to be pretty swollen throughout the day. I emailed Lee Webb and she said this is normal and that I should continue applying ice and elevating the leg. I go back to see Dr. Gross in two weeks. I’m supposed to use a cane for 4 weeks after my appointment.