Nervous about talking to my doc

Hi everyone,

This is my first post.  I’m scheduled for anterior THR on 4/19.  I developed late-stage OA after breaking my femoral neck in a bike accident last spring.  I found a really good surgeon but at my first appt. with him he advised strongly against running after the surgery.  I have a pre-op with him in a couple of weeks and I want to be honest with him about my desire to try running again, I think it’s important that he knows I will be running.  I’m really nervous about telling him, though, and even afraid he’ll refuse to do the surgery.  Does anyone have tips for talking to your surgeon or feedback on how you handled this?

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    • #19454
      SheriL
      Participant

      Hi everyone, This is my first post.  I’m scheduled for anterior THR on 4/19.  I developed late-stage OA after breaking my femoral neck in a bike accid
      [See the full post at: Nervous about talking to my doc]

    • #19457
      WedgeC
      Participant

      Hello Sheril – very sorry for your accident and totally understand your predicament there! My experience is that surgeons have to set a tone, making you realize that there is the “possibility” you may not run again… I liken this mindset similar to the “getting old“ realization… We all have to “accept“ that we likely cannot do things physically quite the same as we did when we were younger… If you can embrace that mindset, and accept your new reality, which may include not running (but also may include it :-), YOU are in a good position to move forward. I met with two surgeons that “highly discouraged“ running before I met with the surgeon who did my procedure; he was open to the possibility. What I will emphasize is that your surgeon may be looking at your “whole“ and advising against running… age, strength, mindset, BMI, flexibility, history, etc. so I would not ignore what (s)he is saying but get other opinions too! What I can tell you for sure is there is no magic formula, no “set“ guidelines, and we are truly all experiments of one (George Sheehan). For example, I found the best rehabilitation exercise for me was power hiking up hills with heavy hands and being able to shuffle down hills on grass surfaces by week seven postop. I ran a decent 5k by day 84 postop and upon my three month post op date (yesterday), there was no special “magic” that happened on my movement restrictions being lifted… don’t get me wrong, I listened to my surgeon and my PT, but there was nothing magical about yesterday – versus four days ago – that allowed me to put my shoes and socks on like normal… just general guidelines! In summary, I would ask your surgeon to be extremely specific as to “why not“ running? tell him to be honest and back it up with factual data; “don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings as to why“. Refer him to this blog…! Relay stories like mine, like David Whiteside who at 70 years old, last year ran both a 100 mile foot race and an Iron Man with a THR. Also hip brother Tom Who founded this blog and his running accomplishments… I don’t recall his name, but another blogger who ran a full marathon 68 days postop! Show me the science that says no! Until I feel differently, I will continue to run gently and intelligently with my new hardware.

    • #19459
      Hoppie
      Participant

      Hello Sheri, and welcome. I also needed a new hip because I broke the femoral neck of my hip in a bike accident. My surgeon told me point blank at my pre-op appointment that I had to stop running. He did not explain why. I came home and cried. I went ahead with this particular surgeon because I felt that he was the most meticulous of the surgeons I had consulted with, and I hoped this would give me the best result. I figured that I’d deal with the running prohibition later.

      I called his PA and asked her about running and she said that they had patients who ran, and they didn’t yell at them.

      At my 3 month follow up, I pressed my surgeon on why he told patients not to run. His answer was that running aggravated the soft tissues. He said that patients who ran came in with aches and pains, and that those who didn’t run didn’t. He also said that there were not studies that proved that running wore out the prothesis prematurely, but his intuition told him that it would. When I heard about the soft tissues, I thought, “Oh, is that all?”

      I am now 5 months out, and I still have enough swelling around the main incision that I think that if I were to run right now, it would indeed aggravate the soft tissues. My decision at this time is to wait. I think that eventually that will calm down. We’ll see what more time brings.

      Best of luck to you.
      Hoppie

    • #19461
      SheriL
      Participant

      Thank you both so much for your replies. Patience and realism will certainly be important. I really appreciate the experiences you shared in speaking with your surgeons and your tips for starting this conversation. Feeling him out through the PA first is a great idea! I think I will write down my questions and all the information I’ve found and read about running post-THR and take it with my to me pre-op.

      I wish you both much continued success in your rehab and congratulate you on taking your time and listening to your bodies. This is great advice.

      Thanks again for sharing your stories and experiences.

    • #19466
      Hip Brother Tom
      Keymaster

      You got some great feedback from Wedge and Hoppie. Yes. Press your surgeon and find out why. You obviously don’t want to get on the wrong side of your surgeon, but we are out here and we are running at the blessings of our surgeons. If you understand and accept the risks, he should also understand the quality of life that running gives you. I hope you have a swift and healthy recovery.

    • #19469
      SheriL
      Participant

      Thank you! I definitely feel more confident – I’ll share an update after my pre-op 🙂

    • #19470
      AKrunner907
      Participant

      Hey Sheri, I am 4 and a half weeks post Anterior THA. When I went in for my initial diagnosis and my Dr told me that the whole hip would be replaced, he said to pick another sport, running was no longer a part of my life any longer and to come back when I’m ready to move forward. Two weeks later after dealing with the depression that my life was over I realized that others are running after hip replacement surgery, why can’t I?! I went in to the appointment and told him that I wanted to move forward with the surgery with the goal of returning to running. He got a huge smile on his face, and became super happy. He then told me all the steps that were going to be coming up, everything I was going to go through. Since I am a competitive ultra runner he referred me to the best hip surgeon in the state and sent me to him. Best thing I’ve ever done! Be honest and up front with your doc, they work for you and your interests. You have so much amazing advice above I don’t want to become repetitive. Best of luck!

      Chris

    • #19497
      SheriL
      Participant

      Thank you so much, that’s really encouraging! I’m gathering my info and steeling my nerves for my pre-op in a couple of weeks. All of these posts keep my spirits up as I hobble around my neighborhood with my hiking poles and wait for my new hip. I miss running so much I can taste it. I know I just need to let my surgeon know how important it is to me. Good luck with your rehab!

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