Hello everyone. I am 26 days post op from an anterior mako-robotic TRHR. Although it’s been 15 years of hip problems. This is my fourth surgery on this hip, and I’m trying to come to terms that it won’t be my last as I won’t give up running. More specifically, I won’t give up running long.
I’ve been a runner my whole life. I remember the thrill of running my first mile in gym class at 12 years old. I was a very competitive 400m hurdler in high school. Even though I decided not to run at the collegiate level so I could focus on engineering, running was always with me. Ran marathons in early 2000 before it was cool to be a marathoner.
Ran sporadically before and after the birth of my kids, but once the second was born, I tried to get back to running. A few months into a half marathon training program, I started to feel a pain in my groin. The pain stopped when I stopped running, so of course I ignored it. Until the pain couldn’t be ignored any more. A MRI revealed I had a tear in my labrum. Had the arthroscopic surgery to clean out the tear in December 2007. A few weeks of physical therapy and I was told I was good to run again. About 1.5 years after that surgery, I was on a 10 mile run when I had a familiar pain. This time I stopped running immediately and called my orthopedic surgeon. Another tear. Another surgery. In November 2009, they went in and this time tried to cut bone to reduce the impingement (I had FAI).
Same scenario – I was told I could run again. Although when the pain came a year later, I was learning how to scuba dive. The weight of the tanks on my back crushed my hip. My orthopedic surgeon said he had never seen such a bad case of arthritis happen so quickly. Due to my age (42 at the time), he referred me to a surgeon who specialized in hip resurfacing. By the time I had the operation in December 2011, I could barely walk.
I was on crutches for 3 months after the surgery as I was not allowed weight on my hip. By the time I was allowed to start PT, I was a mess. It probably took me a year to try to run, and even then I was scared. I really didn’t want to do anything to hurt myself. Even though they say with a hip resurfacing you can run, I’ve heard that story twice before.
So I became an alcoholic. Well, I was in a miserable job and my husband had walked out on me before the hip resurfacing, but without running, I turned to happy hours for comfort. After hitting rock bottom, I decided I was going to run, no matter what…
i started to train for the Chicago marathon. I had one injury after another in that hip – hamstring tear, hip flex strain, gluteus medius tendinosis. I finished that marathon, but it wasn’t pretty. Then I found a physical therapist who showed me how weak I was in that hip. And she worked me hard! Lots of single leg exercises- dead lifts, lunges, Bulgarian split squats. And I started to run pain free!!!
2020 was my year! I ran almost 2000 miles, almost beat my 2001 PR in a virtual marathon, and ran two 50ks in 4 weeks. In December I decided to cut back running (I giggle now when I think cutting back meant only running 40 miles a week). And I started a heavy lifting period. I soon started to have a weird pain on the outside of my hip, which I thought was a strain from lifting too heavy.
Anyway, what happened between Jan 2021 and March 2021 was a nightmare. The pain hit quickly one day and I found myself unable to move my hip. On top of that, I was hospitalized with a DVT and PE from lack of movement. They ran every test and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Turns out the acetabular cup was loosening but just not evident on X-rays, mri or bone scan. Until it finally came totally loose and dislocated. I spoke to 3 top surgeons and they all said it was metallosis. (Not the running)
So now I’m 26 days post op and non weight bearing on crutches due to bone grafting done. Hope to get off of crutches in 2 weeks. Right now I’d like to just walk, never mind run. I really want to get out there and run for days, but truthfully I’m scared. My fiancé is an ultra runner and said if we are back here in 10 years for another revision, we are in this together. As much as that excites me, it scares me.
I don’t know what my running story from here will be, but I’d like to share my journey with you.