April 1, 2012
I’m 37 years old and have been playing basketball once a week for the
last five years or so. In August I started distance running, running 20-25 miles
a week. In October I ran a half-marathon (1 hr. 35 min.) and was really enjoying
running. In November, I started to feel serious pain in my hips after I ran,
then it became persistent. A few weeks of inactivity didn’t help I went to the
doctor, who referred me to Dr. Pritchett (I’m in the Seattle area). In January
he told me that I have dysplasia in both hips and have developed arthritis in
both hips. After an MRI he told me I also have FAI and torn labrum on both sides
that may be part of the pain (they may have been caused by the dysplasia).
April 3, 2013
I took the plunge and had my right hip resurfaced by Dr. Pritchett in Seattle
on Monday, April 1 (I wanted a little comedy 🙁 ). This board has been critical
and a huge help for me to make my decision, and your stories have really helped
me know what to expect. I’ve decided to keep a detailed blog of my experiences
(see my signature line) to help others know what to expect from this surgery,
especially what surgery with Dr. Pritchett is like. I have scheduled to do the
left hip on May 20th, so I’m going to be relatively aggressive with getting this
over with (I’m spacing surgeries seven weeks apart, Dr. Pritchett minimum is six
weeks).Surgery day went better than I expected. I was sedated when they did the spinal
anesthesia, and didn’t wake up until I was heading to the recovery room. I was
able to walk around my room with a walker with PT, but threw up both my lunch
and dinner that day. Next time I would insist on more aggressive nausea
management before the surgery.
Day 2 went well, and I successfully walked the hallways and stairs with my
crutches. I was also able to shower and dress by myself and ate all my meals
without any nausea. I was discharged from the hospital around 2 PM, and was able
to use crutches to get into my house, my bed on the second floor, etc.
Unfortunately, around 5 PM my leg muscles really started to tighten, even with
consistent icing. I was in much more discomfort by the second night.
Night #2, my first at home, was rough. My mom woke me up every few hours to take
my pain meds. At 12:30 AM I decided to take my full dose of pain pills (I had
been taking one pill every three hours, this time I took two). When my mom got
me up at 3:30 AM, I had got out of bed to go to the bathroom (pretty rough
getting in and out of bed still as our bed is really high). On my way back to my
bed, I started to get really dizzy and light-headed. I stopped, set my crutches
down and held on to the bathroom counter to keep myself upright. My mom saw I
was about to faint, and called for my wife and dad to help. Luckily, they were
able to ease me back gently to lay on the floor so I didn’t have a hard landing
or hurt my hip.
Once my dad helped me back in bed I ate some snacks (banana, club crackers,
water) to get my strength back. I decided to stick to the one pain pill level
that was working for me earlier. Day #3 I’ve continued to have significant
tightness in my hip and leg muscles, and I’m trying to stick with the icing and
my PT exercises the hospital gave me. My wife also got me a hand-held urinal so
I can maybe avoid having to go to the bathroom as much in the middle of the
April 8, 2013
I’m a week post-op, and my leg strength is definitely improving. I’ve gone
out walking with crutches most days, and I’m able to go further each day. My big
issue right now is that my hip is still very swollen. I haven’t noticed much
improvement on this in the last few days even though I’ve been icing and resting
I had been hoping to be back to work next week, but I’d need the swelling to
May 7, 2013
I’m 5 weeks out now and it’s just in the last few days I feel that I’m
not limping. I was definitely limping at 3 weeks, and even at 4 weeks I had a
little limp. I think the swelling in those first few weeks made my leg feel a
little longer, plus it made it uncomfortable to put my full weight on that leg.
It’s only been the last week or so that I feel comfortable distributing my
weight evenly across both legs when standing or putting all my weight on my
When I talked to my physical therapist at the end of week 3 I said I was walking
everywhere but work without a cane (I went back to work at 2.5 weeks out with a
crutch, then moved to a cane at the beginning of week 3). I asked if I should
keep using the cane at work. He watched me walk without a cane and said I still
had a visible limp and that it would be better to wait until the limp went away
to walk long distances without a cane. He just gave me the OK to ditch the cane
at work last Friday, almost the end of week 4.
May 18, 2013
7 week update: It’s been a few weeks since my last update. I’m doing well
overall, and am pleased by how quickly things seem to be healing. It’s amazing
the improvement from one week to the next in this early phase. Some more details
about my recovery:
I’ve been surprised by how little pain I experienced during this recovery. I
stopped taking the serious pain pills on day 4 and stopped taking even Tylenol a
week later. The swelling finally did start to go down about 1.5 weeks after
surgery, but it was closer to three weeks before it was gone altogether. I was
able to return to the office at 2.5 weeks, and have worked full-time since then.
I was down to a cane at 3 weeks, and stopped using it at 5 weeks (my PT
suggested I needed it until then due to some limping).
From week 5 to week 7 I’ve noticed a big difference in muscle strength. Just in
the last week I’m able to walk almost any distance without getting tired or
feeling sore. I’m able to distribute my weight between both legs evenly without
pain (took until almost week 6), and I no longer feel like my operated leg is
longer than my other leg. I’ve also noticed a big difference in strength walking
up stairs normally (i.e. skipping steps). At week 5 I could do it with
significant effort, but now it’s almost normal.
Going forward I still have a ways to go on range of motion (I just got off 90
degree precaution last week), and I still have stiffness when I stand after
sitting for a while. By the end of the day I still feel a little sore, though
that’s getting better. My muscles are still a little tight, and I feel a
pinching or pulling sensation when I extend my leg behind me too far while
walking (i.e. with a long stride). Overall I would say that while people say my
walking motion looks normal now, it still doesn’t feel normal to me for the
above reasons. Any feedback on when you started to feel totally normal when
I’m encouraged so far in my recovery, but now comes the next step – I’m getting
the left side done on Monday (5/20). I’m not sure that I’m ready to start over
again, but I am glad to get it over with and get on with recovery.
May 28, 2013
I’m one week out from my second hip resurfacing surgery with Dr. Pritchett in
Seattle. I got my RBHR surgery seven weeks earlier (Dr. Pritchett’s minimum is
six weeks) on April 1 (see my story http://surfacehippy.info/hiptalk/hip-stories/new-hippy-dr-pritchett-april-2013/),
and on May 20th I got my left side done.
One of the concerns I had as the date for the second surgery date approached was
whether my right leg would be strong enough to support my recovery. Luckily,
between week 5 and 7 my right leg strength improved substantially, and it was
good that I had a week to focus on range of motion after my six week
restrictions were removed. I would say that it would have been much more of a
challenge at six weeks, but seven weeks between surgeries has been very doable.
My right leg has been up to whatever I’ve needed it to do, and I’ve had no
issues with pain on that side, etc.
While waiting longer between surgeries may have been easier, I wanted to get my
recovery over with and just push through. I would also say it’s easier to go
back through the surgery the second time around when the experience of the first
surgery is fresh in my memory. I knew exactly what to expect, and while it
doesn’t make it easier, it is also nice that I’m not regressing after being used
to great function on the other side (i.e. I was only off a cane on the other
side for two weeks).
In terms of the second surgery, it seems like it has been more traumatic /
difficult than the first surgery. Dr. Pritchett told me after the surgery that
it was more difficult than he expected (he said he had to make some adjustments
due the fact that my hips are not symmetrical), and I’ve had more substantial
and deeper bruising with this surgery than the last. The surgery / incision pain
is definitely greater as well, and is still pretty substantial at one week
post-op. I’ve been down to Tylenol since day 4 mostly due to the way the main
pain meds made me feel, but I’m in more pain just sitting or laying down than I
was at this point last time around.
One big improvement is that I have significantly less swelling with this
surgery. I got much bigger ice bags than I had initially with the last surgery,
and was very aggressive about regular and consistent icing. As a result, the
swelling is much less than with the right side and my left leg hasn’t felt
longer than my right so far – a big improvement.
While I’m walking much better after this surgery as a result of the reduced
swelling (I’ve been walking with crutches 1-2 miles a day since day 4), I also
have a lot more clicking and clunking sensations. While I had this on the right
side as well, on the left side I have clicking / clunking sensations in my hip
area as well as on my left thigh and knee. I’m guessing the thigh and knee
sensations are due to the muscle trauma from the surgery, but I’m curious if any
of you experienced this and how long it took for this to go away?
Anyway, I’m getting bored of the couch and television and eager to get past this
initial phase, but I’m optimistic about my recovery outlook given my good
experience overall with my other hip. As always, your stories are inspirational
and your feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for this