SarahH – 8 weeks: back in the saddle after a minor scare

Hi there

When I last reported at nearly 2 weeks, I was very optimistic: walking was getting progressively better & I was back to using stairs to get to our 4th floor apartment. At 10 days I could walk, with help from a trekking pole, the 3km to my PT appointment.

Then my physiotherapist started getting ambitious with rehab exercises. The following two weeks felt like two steps forward, three steps back.

A few times I protested that the exercises seemed far beyond the scope of the surgeon’s recommendations for the first month. The PT, having rehabbed several pro dancers with THRs, poo-pooed that – you’re strong, you’re not a granny! That being said, he did make the exercises easier.

Still, at 4 weeks, I was back to using both crutches much of the time as my hip felt so damn tender when I put weight on it. When I described the exercises, my normally-affable surgeon was livid with the physio and feared displacement.

Happily it turned out to be just muscle overuse, and the surgeon was very pleased with my x-rays & progress when he saw me at 30 days. He gave me a prescription for NSAIDs and told me to lay off PT for a few weeks. That was a weight off my shoulders (not to mention, my hips).

Two weeks later, at 6 weeks, I had ditched the crutches & NSAIDs and felt like I was back to making progress. The best part, was now that I could walk without support, I was OK to bike, s l o w l y, outside!!!!

(While my surgeon fully supports running post-THR, he wants me to wait until the 3-month mark).

This is a BIG deal. We live in 700 sq ft apartment in the middle of Paris and don’t own a car. Even before Covid, I preferred getting around by city bike rather than public transport, and now that we’re fully into the 3rd wave here, the metro is even less appealing. And it was the pain from cycling that made me opt for a THR at 49.

So city bikes are my ticket to freedom as I can only walk so much still. Thankfully Paris is mostly flat as those bikes weigh a ton. Riding around town I felt like I was 6 years old again and had just gotten rid of my training wheels.

But the cherry on top was last Friday. The night before, the government announced our 3rd lockdown would start this weekend, with movement restricted to a 10k radius of our homes.

So Friday was our last day of free movement for at least 4 weeks, it was sunny, and I hadn’t been out of the city limits since September. I pulled my winter riding clothes out from storage, pumped up my tires, and followed the riverside path out of the city for 25km.

It was slow – my avg speed was well under 20km/h. On the way back, the hamstring on my operated leg started to complain, so I  hopped on a suburban train (empty) for the final 10k home. But it felt GREAT to be able to ride my road bike again, even if 40k was pushing it a bit. At least I proved that I could I can still ride, and I could see a bit of nature at last.

Now I have 4 weeks of lockdown to focus on building up my strength and the nordic walking. Really looking forward to it!

Home Forums SarahH – 8 weeks: back in the saddle after a minor scare

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    • #19478
      shosking
      Participant

      Hi there When I last reported at nearly 2 weeks, I was very optimistic: walking was getting progressively better & I was back to using stairs to g
      [See the full post at: SarahH – 8 weeks: back in the saddle after a minor scare]

    • #19487
      WedgeC
      Participant

      Sarah thank you for relaying your story and my PT have been great since my procedure three months ago, but I can also relate to the fact that only “we” know our own pain limits… 95% of what they have given me has been a breeze but single leg squats did NOT agree on my operated side! So I backed off…And I would recommend the professionals’ advice but listen to your body!!! Muscular stiffness and soreness have been with me more than I would have expected post-op; nearly every day, also a sign that I am pushing it, but still listening. It sounds like cycling is your ticket 👍
      On another note, I cannot even imagine the drudgery of the lockdown you are living in… I won’t get into politics 😉 but I am thankful I live in a warm weather location without restrictions where I can bring my health back to better than pre-op levels!

    • #19488
      AKrunner907
      Participant

      Sarah thank you for your post, I am 3 weeks behind you at 5 weeks post anterior THA. Like you I had a roller coaster of improvement and failure. Most of the time it was because of my own need to over do it. When I would have weird knee pain or some kind of discomfort in my hip I would tell my PT’s first and they would adjust my therapy accordingly and change my habits and exercises at home. In the last few days I’ve began noticing more improvements and walking better. I don’t own a bike, but I am an ultra runner so I do go outside for walks/hikes. Yesterday I managed a 5k hike with the use of a trekking pole (in the snow, I live in Alaska after all) with no discomfort at all. I did rest the hip when I got home and applied ice as well. I was allowed to return to work last week on restricted duty (very restricted) desk work mostly with walking breaks every 30 minutes. I’m looking at getting a bike for cross training (I use to race bikes in the 90’s) and the more and more I hear from hip recoveries such as yours makes me want to get back on the saddle! Congratulations on the amazing recovery and keep it up!
      Chris

    • #19490
      Hip Brother Tom
      Keymaster

      Sarah. What a great story. Just imagining you making your way with your new hip on a bike on the streets of Paris paints a picture of joy that makes me feel a little bit jealous. Chris and WedgeC provide great feedback to you. Listen to you hip and let you hip dictate the pace. Back off when it tells you to and try again when it is ready. Eventually you’ll be back to doing all of the things you used to do. So sorry for you and the third Covid wave, but keep up the great attitude and take advantage of this time to get stronger.

    • #19498
      shosking
      Participant

      Thanks all for the encouraging comments. And I will say, rehab micro-goals are an excellent distraction from all the macro-issues that Covid has unleashed, and the 10k “leash” will prevent me from overdoing it on the bike.

      WedgeC: You nailed it on the head: considering how anterior THR is considered the “faster-healing” approach I was taken aback by soreness and how long it’s taking to resume my normal gait (am very nearly there, but not quite as light-footed as before). Granted, my previous time on crutches was after an arthroscopic ACL reconstruction & a tibia stress fracture, so nothing as invasive as replacing the top part of the biggest bone in one’s body ).

      AKrunner907: I encourage you to get that bike. I can imagine the scenery and the MTB or gravel possibilities!

      HB Tom: Thanks for this site. I told my pro-THR-running surgeon about it and he was extremely interested. 🙂

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by shosking.
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