THR on July 1, 2020 – working my way back – any input?

Hey everyone, I am very pleased with how things are going after my surgery. Historically, running had been my primary form of exercise after playing college football and other sports, and I had run for 44 years. The pain in my right hip began about 20 years ago but it did not significantly limit my running and other activity until 2018, which was my last year of racing. After my last race in October, 2018 and a series of 3 PRP injections I got into long distance walking to see if my hip would somehow recover. I never had surgery before so I wanted to put it off. I got up to 10 miles per day walking plus elliptical, biking and strength training. But the pain in my hip got much worse earlier this year so I decided it was time for the THR. The first week after surgery was really tough but by day 8 I was walking with a cane and by day 11 I walked about 1.5 miles with the cane. I religiously did the PT exercises during session and also while at home. I ditched the cane 15 days after surgery and I have steadily worked my walks up to an average of 9 miles per day and I am also doing elliptical, biking and strength training. I had my follow up x ray 2 days ago and my surgeon says all looks really good. He recommends everything but running because he discourages high impact on the joint. But with the encouragement of this group I want to work my way back to running, even if it is only recreational.   What are your opinions on when I should try to run again? Any suggestions on what I should do when I try to run again? I tried some light jogging for only 30 seconds at a time while running last week but I felt pain in my groin area, so I decided to wait and try later. Thanks to all for your input, Greg

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    • #18836

      Hey everyone, I am very pleased with how things are going after my surgery. Historically, running had been my primary form of exercise after playing c
      [See the full post at: THR on July 1, 2020 – working my way back – any input?]

    • #18837

      I ran 10k and half-marathons after my double THR. It was enjoyable, but it accelerated related issues. Obviously, many people can return to running full-scale, and post their triumphs. But the ones who complicate things will probably not post here, so your looking at a self-selected group. Give it a shot, but be very, very judicious. There’s a reason most doctors don’t recommend running. Buy a mountain bike and a SwiMP3 player, and save your legs for when you get older. Good luck.

    • #18838
      Dave Whiteside

      There’s some validity in Jimmy C’s comments, you are more likely to hear about the people that have had success. I have been lucky and enjoyed some success with my running and will most likely hit 3,000 miles this year, so it can be done. I would wait 90 days before you start and treat the first year with short, very slow runs, build up your muscles and work on strength and flexibility. Then find out what works for you. I initially ran shorter, fast races, but after 2 one year injuries in my hip area, nothing actually wrong with implant, more muscle related I think, I’ve not moved to ultra running and really don’t have any issues with my hip. Go for it, but listen to your body and you will do well.

    • #18839

      Hi there. I’ve had a double THR 2 years apart 2012 & 2014. I run most days of the week & don’t have any problems. I don’t do the longer ultras anymore, I mainly run for pure enjoyment. I can only go by what my Orthopaedic guy said. He told me , nothing I say will stop you running anyway, and with the new updated prosthesis they really don’t have any data to show that high impact will damage the new hip. Take your time in getting back in the road. I was at least 3 months before I attempted even a jog. Just listen to your body and you’ll be fine.

    • #18841
      Hip Brother Tom

      Jimmy C puts up a good message for discussion. This site should NOT be just about the successes of runners with hip replacements who have taken up running again and experienced success. It should also be about failed attempts and issues that have complicated the return to running. As the administrator of this site, I don’t censure anything. I take the good and the bad. While there have been no real posts about complete failures, there have been plenty of posts of frustrations with getting back to running. This community of hiprunners works together to offer encouragement and suggestions for those returning to running. There have been several MAJOR hiprunner successes (Dave Whiteside, Felicity Gray and Anders Jelander to name a few – they are our superhuman ultra runners). Regarding Jimmy C’s post, there just isn’t any data to suggest that returning to running is good or bad, so we hiprunners are the experiment. I might also suggest that to protect against liability, it is in the doctor’s best interest to discourage running. Hip replacement technology has improved so much though. A doctor telling you not to run is like a car salesman selling you a new car and telling you not to go faster than 55 miles an hour because its just not safe. Don’t get me wrong, there are many, many, MANY doctors who encourage patients who want to get back to running.

      Greg, in response to your post, running with a hip replacement will be different, especially as you start out. You can set your weekly mileage goals but don’t try to run through pain to reach them. Your hip MUST be your guide. If it barks at you, it’s time to take a break. Wait a few days and try again. Eventually, you’ll be moving your mileage goals up and forgetting all about the fact that you had a hip replacement. For me, that was at the 18 month mark. Good Luck!

    • #18842

      I would like to thank the four of you for providing input to me! Best of luck to all of you too!

    • #18847

      I sound a lot like you. Coming up on 3 years out from THR. Thinking about doing the other hip. Started light running at 12 weeks and did first trail race 10k at 16 weeks.Everything got better with time. Last year ran 5:45 mile NYC 5th Ave at age 60 which was faster than 4 years prior. Recently had some back issues which was probably from overuse. Doc said it could be hip related. But I was going a bit crazy with running and jumping. My advice would be to be cautious in year one and then experiment with distance/speed etc. I’m also a biker and no issues with that. Good luck

    • #18863

      Congratulations on the new hip. I am 10 weeks post op and am walking about 40 miles per week, biking 150 and swimming 3. My buddies, who are longtime runners and have hips replaced tell me not to start running until at least the 4 month mark. During my walks I will jog, like hurrying across a parking lot. I started by taking 10 steps, then walking about a 1/4 mile before trying it again. I stayed with the 10 steps for about a week before moving it up to 15. I am now doing 60 steps and trying to move a little faster. I would rather do steps, then seconds. I am also purchase some zero drop shoes and I am working on a mid foot plant verses heal to reduce impact forces. I figure this is all build up for my 4 month attempt at more continuous running….when I will start with a 1 minute run, 5 minute walk and build from there with the goal of a feb 5k if all works out. A little background, I have run over 135,000 lifetime miles, biked 100,000 and swam 10,000. My best time in the marathon is 2:25 (1982) and my best 70.3 tri is 4:28 at age 54. Good luck with starting back and maybe use the step method verses time starting out.

    • #18867

      Hey ajasper and OB, thanks also to you for your replies! I really appreciate it. Just an update, the runner in me has kept me continuing to integrate some jogging/slow running into my long walks. So two months after surgery and on alternate days I started to jog for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes. The first three times I did 15 one minute jogs, then 18 then 21. The one minute jogs got a bit faster each time, and my overall distance covered (still walking the vast majority) is close to 10 miles a day. After the day with the 18 one min segments I felt soreness, again in the groin area. I gave it an extra day they moved to 21 one min segments and felt fine the next day. I did decide to start taking a meloxicam after the days I do the slow run segments to minimize any swelling. The last two times I went to 2 minute slow run segments (12 total so 24 min of slow running) with the 2 minute walk breaks. The area feels a bit taxed but not bad and seems to recover well the next day. I am going to continue this experiment and see what happens. Any opinions? Am I totally crazy for not waiting longer? Thanks again to all of you for your valued input. Best, Greg

    • #18870

      Hi Greg – not crazy….just driven to get back at it:-)

      I don’t know your history on recovering from major surgeries. Mine is as follows if helpful to you. Since turning 50 (will be 65 next month) I have had foot reconstruction (bunion/claw toe)…shoulder surgery (torn rotator cuff from falling while playing soccer with my grandson)….broken leg (twist break of the fibula which ultimately lead to my THR 9 years later).

      Each time it took about 6 months to fully recover primarily due to the healing of the tendons and ligaments….not the bones. Each time I was warned not to rush the recovery or I might screw things up and the main goal was to get back to competitive running/triathlons.

      So each time I found ways to slowly build back and work on form and function verses jumping back into it too quickly. It always seems to take forever when you are in the middle of it, but at the one year mark looking back in seems like it only took a couple of weeks.

      I am now almost at the 3 month mark since my THR. I am back biking 150 to 200 miles per week. This past week my son in law and I biked up the Deer creek canyon in Denver 11 miles of solid climbing with over 3000 feet of Elevation topping out at 8300 feet….the hip felt great. I am also swimming 3 miles per week. I am walking 4 to 8 miles per day and doing my 80 step parking lot shuffles with long breaks in between. The main purpose of these is to shift to a mid foot stride to reduce impact of my hip and also prepare my structure for the new alignment so when I do start running again….I don’t screw something else up.

      Several of my long time running buddies who have also had THR…..tell me absolutely don’t start running until at least the 4 month mark. These guys include a 2:16 marathoner and the former 50 mile US record holder….pretty credible guys. My surgeon says to hold of til 6 months. The other thing to consider is that racing has been put on hold this year and with winter coming…I live in Wisconsin…..I really can take my time appropriately building back my running so that I am ready next spring.

      So, what I am working on right now is getting in good swimming and biking shape and doing the things that will make my transition back to running at the 4 months successful.

      Long winded…but hope that helps….keep us posted Tim

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