Janice (Coddfish) – about me

Hello, I am a new member.

I am a mid 60s female living on the south coast of England, professional / office based background, retired. My running career is relatively recent – started in 2015 with C25K to manage my health, including what was then a rather stiff right hip. Progressed to the point where I became a bit of a parkrun addict, doing quite a lot of parkrun tourism, plus the odd 10k event and the 10 mile Great South Run in 2017 and 2019. Never going to be a great runner, never a fast runner, but it helped keep me healthy and was something I enjoyed. I am also a regular swimmer and gym goer (weights mainly, also aqua classes).

During the 2020 England lockdown, my running deteriorated and my hip stiffness increased. With most access to healthcare difficult, I put it down to not being able to swim and carried on. My sister in law said it looked like I needed a new hip but I wasn’t ready to go down that route. Sure enough, when I was able to get back in the pool and gym, things improved a bit but I couldn’t get my running distance past 7k. With the 2nd main lockdown in early 2021, I started to deteriorate again. At Easter, I thought I had pulled my hamstring, and when it didn’t seem to get better, went to see a physio. Physio took one look, said it was my hip and that it would likely need to be replaced. A few days later I saw the consultant he recommended privately, and went on his self-pay list (NHS waiting list currently about 2 years) for a total right hip replacement. Haven’t run since Easter but I have been able to continue swimming and upper body gym work, although my walking had deteriorated to less than a kilometre at a stretch by the time of surgery.  Clearly I caught this just in time

I had my operation on 7th September. Operation was through a single vertical incision on my right side / thigh, shaped a bit like a crescent moon. He separated my glute, cut through the piriformis and a couple of smaller tendons. Cap is I think plastic and cemented in place. The prosthetic in my femur is some combination of titanium and ceramic and is not cemented – apparently my bone health was otherwise good and the muscles were strong. Operation done through a spinal anaesthetic and some sedation, so I was semi alert. 2 nights in hospital, I am home with crutches. I have been asked to use the crutches for  up to 4 weeks to take the weight of the internal tissues that need to mend.

My first sporting objective (after walking) is to get back to swimming, but I do want to restart running in the future, even if it’s only slow 5ks / parkruns. The surgeon didn’t rule it out but the anaesthetist was a lot less encouraging despite being a runner – tried to encourage me towards cycling instead – which I hate.

Keen to understand other’s experiences and share as I go through this journey.

Home Forums Janice (Coddfish) – about me

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    • #19807
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Hello, I am a new member. I am a mid 60s female living on the south coast of England, professional / office based background, retired. My running care
      [See the full post at: Janice (Coddfish) – about me]

    • #19810
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Possibly something for anyone entering in this to consider. A spinal anaesthetic was a good choice as it meant no intubation and being instantly alert once sedation had stopped. The fact that I had no feeling for a number of hours meant I was largely able to avoid the narcotics. Keeping the sedation as low as possible gave me awareness of the operation and ability to feel I wasn’t totally out of control. I think it was all a huge aid to a quick mobilisation, which is I think important.

    • #19813
      Petemeads
      Participant

      Hi Janice, welcome!
      I’m in the Midlands, had a ceramic THR 4 years ago, same incision and anaesthesia as you, and have done 385 parkruns. I also have a Birmingham resurfacing from 2014. And I currently have sciatica, which is worse than recovering from a hip replacement because it is taking far longer to get back to running properly…
      Looking forward to your progress updates, should be jogging in 3 months if all goes well!

      Pete

      • #19814
        Coddfish
        Participant

        Thanks Pete. There is hope for me then. Looking at your profile I see you were on 171 parkruns before you had to stop. That’s similar to me – I was frozen on 179 by the March 2020 lockdown and obviously couldn’t restart when it opened in July. I volunteered as timekeeper each week until surgery and will probably start that again in a couple of weeks, as I can do it sitting down, and then get to the point where I can walk it either as participant or tail Walker. It seems to be going well so far, think I will use the crutches for a few weeks both because of the internal healing and because it’s not cemented. Will post progress once there’s something to say!

    • #19815
      OB
      Participant

      Hi Janice – I had the exact same surgery one year ago. I think it is interesting to read on this site all the different recovery methods doctors prescription. I read where people were using walkers for the first four weeks, crutches for the first four weeks or canes. My doctor told me he doesn’t want any of his patients leaving the overnight stay following surgery with anything but a cane for balance.

      My surgeon also told me with the new technology…..larger ceramic ball and larger socket that I would never be able to wear it out. Like you I am in my mid 60s and if you think it is predicated to last 30 years….well he may be right:-)

      I do triathlons. So far this year I have done 3 sprint, 1 Olympic and a 70.3 (aquaman…..meaning I didn’t run the half marathon) with one more sprint scheduled next weekend. Plus a 5k only run. All in so far I have run this year over 600 miles, biked 3000 miles and swam 70 miles.

      I have had absolutely no issues with my right hip. I also do weights and stretching exercises.

      In regards to your not liking to bike. My wife and three grown daughters had the same attitude towards the bike. Interesting my wife how likes to run starting having foot issues, so the doctor told her to start biking to supplement her running. All of them bought Peletons, found classes and instructors with the kind of music they like. They are now hooked. I often find my wife doing 45 to 60 minute rides. She now alternates between running one day and riding the next. Same with all my daughters. Two have even bought road bikes so they can ride outside also.

      Take it slow and don’t allow yourself any setbacks. As a runner you know it isn’t how much you do in any one day but how consistent you are over time. I didn’t start running again for 6 months after surgery. At that time I had built up my walking to 6 to 8 miles 4 times per week.

      Good luck….I post everything on Strava if you want to see my progress.

      Tim Obrien

      • #19816
        Coddfish
        Participant

        Thanks OB. I am now 11 days post surgery and finding the day by day improvements really quite remarkable. I was able to volunteer at my local parkrun this morning and then walk to / from a restaurant half a mile away for lunch. I am using the crutches as prescribed, but feel less dependent upon them, except as I tire. I suspect they are also important for reducing the risk of falls.

        I have read a few academic research papers on whether different approaches bring benefits. Patients given lots of movement restrictions on the whole are less active than those told just to avoid anything that feels uncomfortable, with minimal difference in the number of dislocations. Patients who ignore advice that certain things (eg running) are too risky, generally have better overall health and quality of life than those who are fearful of getting back to activity. I can only conclude a lot of the advice comes from risk aversion and it always having been done this way, rather than evidence. So I will just listen to my body and not worry too much.

        I will certainly try a static bike when I get back in the gym. For a long time I haven’t been able to use one because my leg was permanently in abduction because of the hip problem. Sadly i didn’t learn to ride a bike as a child, and my attempts to cycle with my own family left me nervous and lacking in confidence. Not sure 64 is a good point at which to try road biking again.

    • #19817
      Petemeads
      Participant

      Hi again Janice, well done on getting to volunteer at parkrun again – our local runs are struggling for volunteers at the moment. Regarding surgeons and recovery, my Birmingham hip resurfacing was down to my doing the research online then finding a local surgeon who could do the operation and was happy that I would be running, climbing and biking with it – but I did have a 2 week restriction on full weight bearing because the bone was a bit fragile. When it came time for my other hip the same surgeon tried a BHR but the femoral head broke off during the fitting (it gets hammered on, gently) which is why I was given an uncemented ceramic THR. He could see I was disappointed but reassured me that I would not be able to break this device – and with that, I had no worries about pressing on with recovery as pain allowed. I was jogging before my 6 week check, albeit very slowly.
      Indoor biking has been my saviour with the sciatica – I bought a Wattbike before my second surgery and used it for early recuperation, not wanting to risk the roads, and it came into its own during the “Beast from the East” winter. I like to have the data, not just the basic exercise, so I can judge progress. Both of my recoveries were logged on Garmin devices, the latter one with sufficient technology to determine Left/Right leg imbalance in running and biking. Decent indoor bikes let you join in with other riders on the internet nowadays, I have not gone down that route…

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