I’m 51 and have bilateral from
Dr. . Bose 2010 and 2011.
These are some notes that might help anyone
going into the hip repair project. Story starts in 1999,
after doing a gym competition, which involved spinning at
150+ RPM for about 7 minutse; to win a track suit (never
collected) my hips became very stiff. Ignoring this for a
year, did a long triathlon in Japan, with a marathon at the
end – reasonable runtime but sore in bad way.
After this, went to the doctor, assuming I’d pulled some
muscles, the x-ray identified primary osteoarthritis in both
hips. At 40, this was not good news. The spinning did not
cause the problem, but revealed it. The pain on the left
increased to the level of interrupting sleep. After some
research, I flew to L.A. Dr. Klapper did an arthroscopy on the left. This guy
also co-wrote a book “Heal Your Hips”. It describes many
useful exercises, and worth reading, especially in the
strengthening stage after the operation, although that’s not
the book’s intention. Studies seem to show when done in
appropriate circumstances, arthroscopies can keep the joint
going up to 10 years.
Spent the next, nine years doing mostly cycling and play swimming,
taking an increasing amount of NSAIDs.
In 2008 decided to "get off" NSAIDs, this takes a bit of
effort, and included cutting out junk and fried food.
Managed reduce Mobic to only after hard exercise. Was able
to do the Langkwai Ironman in 2008/09 (shuffling and mostly
walking). By this stage, the pain was manageable, however,
my knees were moving about 6-8 inches from the top tube, and
starting cause problems. All internal and external rotation
had gone in both hip joints.
Abu Dhabi 2012
From this website, I contacted Dr. Bose in Chennai. The X-rays
showed I had Femoroacetabular Impingement and Pistol Grip deformity in both hips.
Dr. Bose resurfaced
my left using the Birmingham hip in Chennai, ten days after
the 2010 Langkwai Ironman. Whilst, the operation is not to
be taken lightly, it equates to hard event and a kick in the
bum. All that time spent on the bike and road may not have
been wasted. The operation is best treated as an event.
Dr. Bose resurfaced my Right Hip August 2011.
The second time round is pretty easy. Once you know what’s
going to happen and have confidence in the surgeon – it’s
mechanical. By day three – walked a couple of km on
crutches, and had flown home and back at work in five. The
ease of the second operation indicates that the first time
could be less stressful with a more relaxed attitude.
You need crutches for a few weeks, I used one
for touring around the bike; bungee cord strapped across the
back to go between coffee shops on a bike at day 10. Immense
amounts of coffee also cure any post-operation constipation.
The first side operation I raised the seat by 4 cm and put
on clip less pedals. The seat raising was a good idea;
however, it’s better to use clip-in pedals, because you can
use the non-op side to get up small hills. The operated side
can get the cleat out easily. For several rides, don’t
expect to put any work through the operated side.
After the first operation, I did not run at
all for 7 months and ignored the option of walking.
Following the second, I started hard walking at about 3
months. I found I could walk at about 8 min/KMs, which was
much better than any recent “zombie wandering pretend runs”.
Hard walking gives you the option of continual improvement
without the impact stress of running. Was able to walk a
2:50 ½ at the end of 70.3 at 4 months. At six months, did
the Abu Dhabi long course race. This has a 200 KM bike – on
the bike there is no issues from the joint – it’s like being
able to cycle 20 years ago (although slower as the other
bits have sadly aged). After years of cycling like “Charlie
Chaplin”, it took a while to get into an aero position; I
tried a few saddles but settled on the Cobb model – as all
the soft bits had to be reconditioned after years of
enforced upright biking.
Cycling does not seem to warm the joints for
running. The running/walking warm up is independent. So you
can’t start too slow. I need at least 1km warm up, this
makes the rest of the session/event much more enjoyable.
From six months out started 8 KM sessions,
walking 400 meters jogging 200 meters; three times week and
extending the jogging sections. Following Dr. Bose’s advice,
I back off from everything with any discomfort from the
joint. Also used the exercises in "Heal Your Hips" in the
pool to strengthen the hip joint; now able to do 8km
continuous at 7 min pace, without any unnatural feeling from
either side. The particular numbers don’t matter,
improvement and the ability to exercise without the misery
of hip pain is just fantastic. Now at 18/ 8 months and
barely notice both my hips are metal.
Short term goal is to get reasonable at 70.3
distances; a 2 hr ½ run is a decent target. The long term
goal, is of course, is to be put in the incinerator with my
BHRs in place.
Final words, for this operation, make sure
your surgeon has done lots of these operations, for the
device – statistics matter; marketing documents have the
nutritional value of McDonalds. Prior to the operation, the
world is completely focused on the pain and medical issues.
This focus will rapidly recede once you get the joint fixed
up – this is probably hard to imagine if you are pre-op, but
it’s true. I see myself as an aging car that needs continual
repair – but do have a very cool tri-bike and the ability to
set airport alarms ringing.