I had a bi-lateral hip resurfacing November 25, 2008 with Dr. Tom Vail at UCSF in San Francisco. As a 60 year old energetic and athletic woman who loves hiking, sports and kayaking, I wanted to regain my life.
For the last 6-8 years I have been unable to walk more than a mile without pain so hiking was out of the question and many other sports and activities became difficult or impossible. After much research I decided to go with Tom Vail as he has done a lot of surgeries ( I didn’t want to be a guinea pig!) and quite a few bi-laterals.
After our first meeting, I felt confident that he was the man for the job. I had interviewed several other doctors but didn’t feel that “connection”. I spent the four months before my surgery getting in the best shape possible by working out at least 4-5 times a week for an hour a day, swimming laps, kayaking and taking water aerobics classes. I went into the surgery in good shape which paid off with a very fast recovery.
I’m five weeks out and walking much better than before the surgery with good flexibility. I will say that bi-lateral surgery is not for the faint of heart as the first two weeks are pretty brutal. However, I would say that after the first week, each day I felt better and better.
I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week for the last 3 weeks and it has helped tremendously with my flexibility and strength. I’m walking without a cane for the last week or so and and am back to my swimming pool routine (not quite full force yet). I can put on my socks, tie my shoes and bend over without tremendous effort, things that were extremely difficult before the surgery. And I can walk without a limp! My pain and stiffness is minimal and I have been off all pain meds except Tylenol or Aleve for the last three weeks. It will take some time to get the muscles that were not used for a long time back in shape but overall I feel great.
I would highly recommend Dr. Vail to those looking for a surgeon in the Bay Area.
Christine, Oakland, CA
August 2010 Update
It’s now been almost two years since my bi-lateral resurfacing and I have been back to “normal” for well over a year.
I teach 5 aqua aerobics classes a week, kayak fish on the weekends, walk and hike and generally do everything I want to do without thinking about it. I never take pain meds anymore and I used to take them daily and still have pain. My happiness and well being have been truly and wonderfully improved by this surgery.
I will be forever thankful to Dr. Vail and the advancement of technology that led me to this place. If anyone needs to talk about the surgery or the aftermath, I’m available via email at email@example.com or by phone if you email me first.
Chris, August 2010