June 6, 2010
I’m about to do my LBHR with Dr. Philip Schmitt in metro Detroit. He’s done ~700 BHRs so far, and according to his office he’s got a great success rate – only 6 failures/revisions.
I apparently was born with femoracetabular impingement & have arthritis (10y+ at 41 y.o), and over the last year or so it’s degraded on the left side to where I can’t easily lift the leg up stairs, or do the other stuff ya’ll know full well about. It got down to bone-on-bone, and through my anti-inflammatories & light pain meds, it’s been pretty tolerable, so to speak.
So this Friday, 6/11/2010, I’ll have the left hip done, followed on 8/13 by the right one. The main reason for not doing both at once was that Dr. Schmitt goes in through the side (lateral?) rather than posterior approaches, and he didn’t want to "roll me up on the stitches" to do the right side. He also practices at a suburban hospital that’s not very convenient for my wife & kids to visit (~40 miles from the house). Once a month, he does surgery at a hospital closer to my house (~4 miles), so that’s what I’m doing.
Going in, he’s saying I’ll be out of work/driving for 3 weeks. I’ll be back at work for 5 weeks, then out for 3 with the right side.
Looking forward to getting some relief. I’ve been working on a lot of stuff the last two weekends (shrub removals, lawn, oil changes, etc) to try and get that all done before I start rehabbing.
I’ve also got a job that’s not too strenuous (engineering manager), so that helps. BTW, I’m 41, and not in the greatest of shape (5’9", 210lbs).
June 15, 2010
I had LBHR done by Dr Philip Schmitt of Commerce, MI, on Friday 6/11. I’ll become a bilateral BHR on 8/13, but that’s posted already in the bilat section. I wanted to talk about my current experience with the LBHR.
The surgery apparently only lasted about 55 minutes, during which Dr. Schmitt did the entire procedure including removing some bone spurs – one apparently the size of my thumb from mid-knuckle to tip. The bones also were polished like ivory from the bone-on-bone interaction for ~ a year. No wonder my RoM was so restricted.
I was awake by ~9am (surgery started around ~7:45ish). The first day, I felt a lot of pain from the operation itself – muscles felt like they’d been abused to no end, and the stiffness. However, I did take about 2 dozen steps at about 4pm, with a walker. It felt weird but good to do that. No clicking or hard-stops like I’d had prior. After a restless Friday night, including a short trip to the chair & sleeping for ~2hrs sitting upright (I can sleep anywhere!), I did a bit more walking Saturday afternoon – about 1.5 laps around the surgical wing (300′ long or so, my guess). Dr. Schmitt came in for a visit Sat afternoon, and talked about how smooth the operation had gone, and told me the stuff listed above that he’d found. He caught me on one of my laps, and said I was progressing well, including the leg movement. I didn’t lose much blood during the operation – about 100ccs or so, IIRC. I do have quite a bit of bruising around the incision, though – and 33 staples.
Sunday I went home, and spent most of the afternoon figuring out how to maneuver around my house – it’s a ranch, but some doorways/rooms aren’t built for walkers, how to lay down on the bed properly & comfortably, and which chairs/couch positions I could use and get up & down. I’m at 100% weight-bearing with the walker for balance & support, and will do in-home PT (& OT if needed) 3x/week for 2 weeks, then out-patient PT for a few weeks after that.
What I’ve noticed a bit more yesterday and today, which I think I’ve read from others here that it’s normal, is that the joint feels a little loose, like the ball is slightly dislocating & relocating at times. There’s absolutely no pain with it, just a weird little ‘thump’ that’s felt, not heard. Can anyone confirm that this is typical?
I walked about 1/2 mile yesterday at a local mall, because of the smoothness of the floor vs. my neighborhood sidewalks, and it felt relatively good to do. Leg’s very stiff, which I’m assuming is mostly from the swelling.
All in all, I’m very happy so far, and can’t wait to get past the swelling & initial rehab part to see what I really can do. I’m not going to push it too hard, just hard enough to make sure it’s strong enough to be my primary in < 2 months from now when I get the RBHR done.
BTW, I can’t say enough good things about the DMC Orthopedic Surgery Hospital in Madison Heights, MI (suburb of Detroit). It’s small & quiet, very personal service (I was the only one in the surgery wing this weekend, and they’ve never had so many patients that you didn’t get a private room, I’m told), and outstanding people all the way around. Yes, this even includes the cafeteria/meal service, about which I’d been extremely skeptical. Dr. Schmitt does his surgeries there 1x/mo, and since it’s close to my house I chose that location. I have no reservations about going back there in August.
July 9, 2010
4 weeks out from BHR #1, and recovery’s been incredible. I’ve been walking unassisted for ~2wks now, back to work this week, and feeling great. Muscles are weak, which in some ways is surprising but other ways not so much. After all, I didn’t use the left leg muscles all that much in the last year due to RoM issues. Even the incision scarring is receding nicely. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Schmitt from Commerce Twp, MI.
Stability’s really good, except for climbing stairs – that’s when I really notice the weakness. I’m looking forward to getting the other one done on 8/13 and finishing up my return to being a semi-normal human being.
September 6, 2010
2nd one down – now a full-fledged bilateral hippy!
My right leg’s recovery was much more difficult over the first 2 weeks than the left one was. Not sure why, and Dr. Schmitt (aka "The Wizard" according to my wife) said every leg is different. The right was much more painful at the outset, and swelling took longer to go down, even though the bruising wasn’t nearly as bad.
At this point, I’m ready to return to work tomorrow, with only a slight limp from stiffness still on the right side, and using PT to knock that out.