2 Year Update December 21, 2017
A much overdue report on my experience with Dr. de Smet and my new right Conserve + hip. I don’t wish to repeat all of the good information already available on this site, but let me say that it has been an invaluable resource and I have referred many locals to it after they have seen my progress in the gym and at at my workplace. I have been going to the same gym for over 20 years and when I showed up post op they thought I’d sprained an ankle or something and were shocked to discover that I had a hip resurfaced . I think this reaffirms the importance of optimal conditioning PRE surgery and early activity post op. I was off work (dentist) for just over 2 weeks from the date of surgery, though in hindsight should have taken more time.
I have moderate to advanced bilateral OA, however the right was the painful one – constant night ache. I am very active (tennis, cycling, gym, etc…). I played singles tennis up to 2 weeks before surgery (though it would hurt for days after!), to give you an idea of my condition going in. I chose to proceed due to the pain and also while I was not too compromised re:function and strength. The left one may be in my near future but is currently not limiting me too much.
Overall the experience was positive. I would highly recommend Dr. de Smet as I had no swelling, minimum bruising, and no complications. An initial clunk resolved with strengthening and over time (probably 6-9 months). The arrangement with the hospital and hotel (Reylof) were seamless – and the staff at the Reylof excellent. Part of the reason I chose Dr. de Smet was the post op protocol of waterproof dressing and pool therapy immediately, and daily nursing visits. I am a former physio and appreciate he value of pool exercise for mobility, strength and any swelling. I was on the stationary bike by day 4 or 5 (no resistance, high seat). I was walking around Ghent with my wife around the same time frame.
The surgery was in August and and during a heat wave, and there was no a/c at the hospital – very uncomfortable and thankfully my wife bought a fan! The first 24 hours were rough and a bit of a haze. I didn’t react well to the morphine drip (nausea and heaving), and finally convinced them to remove it on day 2, after which I relied on anti-inflammatories and paracetomol and my ice machine (a la Dr. Gross – a highly recommended item!). Once discharged on day 2 progress was quite rapid, though the flight home on day 12 was not fun (Brussels-Madrid-Toronto-Victoria, BC). I recall lying in bed day 1 thinking how I didn’t wish to ever go through this again, however those memories fade quickly and the results made it worthwhile.
Dr. de Smet visited for a good 20 minutes at 7 or 8 at night on about day 3 or 4, after having done 7 or 8 more surgeries that day (!!), and had a nice visit with my wife and I. Impressive in it’s own right – I don’t see that happening in N America! As per usual his advice was “do as you feel”, which is what I did.
I immediately started water walking/jogging and swimming when I got home, then stationary bike, continued with strengthening exercises and walking to tolerance. At about week 6 got on an elliptical machine which was a big step (no pun intended). I researched all the various posts here on post op exercises and incorporated what I could. Incorporated lots of balance work as well to regain the proprioception and stability. I did not do any impact for 1 year as I did not wish to rush that aspect of bone healing and maturation. I wanted to be confident that it was well healed before I started ramping up the stresses. It has worked out very well – I am back playing the same level of tennis (NTRP 4.5-5.0) and am told that they can’t see any difference from pre-surgery.
The lingering issue for me is the last bit of ROM. It is not an issue in daily living (other than crossing my right leg over my left), but I cannot do a typical piriformis stretch lying down, nor squat without support or a wall. It seems my flexion ROM is good, but the combined flexion/external rotation movement just won’t come back. This results in the ROM being made up in my left SI or lumbar spine, which complain after I push it. Yoga positions line cobblers and crosslegged poses are challenging!
Overall I go long periods with no awareness of my hip at all and follow up radiographs and bloodwork is excellelnt. My hope is that Dr. de Smet starts perfecting an anterior approach to spare some muscle damage and scarring, and continues working long enough to get my left one done….
August 3, 2016
I am now at 12 months after Dr. DeSmet placed an uncemented Conserve Plus in my right hip. One day I’ll post a longer diary of the experience, but for now wish to ask about ROM.
I was very active (55 yr old male) prior to my surgery (tennis, cycling, weights, etc…) and had a slight limitation in ROM (slightly decreased flexion/internal/external rotation). I am doing very well post op as far as activity and lack of pain, however the one thing I cannot do is flexion with my hip in external rotation. In other words, put my right heel on my left knee and bend forward (or lie on my back and cross my right ankle over my left knee and pull my knee to my chest (like a yoga or piriformis stretch – excuse the jargon, I’m a former physio). There is a pain in the groin and almost a mechanical block – it just won’t go! I have close to full ROM in flexion and rotations if done in one plane. Is this true for all “hippy’s”?
I’ve been very conservative in my rehab – no impact until this month at all, lots of pool in the first 6 months, consistent program 6 days a week. Overall really can’t complain.