Restarting running after hip surgery

On 7th September 21 I had my right hip replaced at age 64. Osteoarthritis on top of some earlier damage, usual story of declining mobility. I had only started running in 2015 and will never be a good runner, but had found it life affirming. Almost the first question to the consultant was “will I be able to run ago”. Very grateful that whilst there were various qualifications along the lines of don’t make it the first thing you do, and mix up your training so it’s not the only thing you do, he was supportive. I became the proud owner of an uncemented Smith & Nephew Polar 3 system through a posterior approach. The UK National Joint Registry categorises it as metal on plastic, but the femoral head is made of Oxinium, zirconium oxidised to a very high temperature to ceramicise the metal. My recovery from the operation was smooth and easy, leaving me feeling pretty well fully recovered at 3 months.

I had formed a view I should probably leave running for 4-6 months to give the bone plenty of time to grow into the implant. However, when everything feels great, it’s pretty hard to stop yourself. A couple of weeks or so ago, I went out dressed in running kit and running shoes. I hadn’t consciously intended to run, but have to wonder at my choice of attire. But I felt great so I tried running 10 steps on each foot. Felt great so tried 20. Then 30. Then 40. Then a minute, and so on. All was well so a few days later tried the simple run/walk of week 1 of Couch to 5k on a treadmill. All was well so repeated on trail. All was well so repeated on our tarmac and paving seafront promenade.

I intend building back slowly and carefully. It’s fantastic to be able to run, the wonders of modern hip replacements. Season’s greetings to all and happy running.

Home Forums Restarting running after hip surgery

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #20006
      Coddfish
      Participant

      On 7th September 21 I had my right hip replaced at age 64. Osteoarthritis on top of some earlier damage, usual story of declining mobility. I had only
      [See the full post at: Restarting running after hip surgery]

    • #20008
      Hip Brother Tom
      Keymaster

      Coddfish!

      It is FANTASTIC to be able to run again! Getting in that groove and just checking out for a while and maintaining fitness at the same time…..It truly is fantastic. Season’s greetings and Happy New Year to you as well.

    • #20011
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Thanks @Hip Brother Tom. It is indeed fantastic.

    • #20012
      JohnG237
      Participant

      It’s great to read this – I am almost 4 weeks post-op (LTHR, posterior approach), and to read that you’re running again after less than 4 months gives great hope – there are days when you begin to wonder if you’ll ever run again, but also days when progress is tangible.

      My struggle is to not do too much too soon – I was very active before my op and want to get back to the cross-training, swimming and (albeit limited) running that I did right up to the day before my op. I know this is a marathon, not a sprint and I must learn to be patient.

      I’m looking forward to my 6-week follow up appointment and getting the green light for some more activity beyond walking and the physio exercises.

      I hope you’ll continue to post about your progress with running and other exercise as it does show what can be achieved.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by JohnG237.
    • #20014
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Hi John

      From memory I had my first pool swim about 5 weeks after surgery, initially swimming front crawl and backstroke only. I started to add breaststroke after around 8 weeks but with very little power on the leg kick. I now swim all strokes normally.

      I went back into the gym after about 3 weeks, initially working upper body only. Started taking light weight through the hips in deadlifts and weighted squats after about 8 weeks. I have added more load, but not the weight levels I used pre-surgery.

      I also went back to water based classes at around 8 weeks, dodging any difficult movements to start with, but have more or less got it all back.

      The running is at a fairly early stage. I am finding walking with urban walking poles is helping build up stamina. I still find hills (particularly down hill) challenging, the issue is in my head, not my hip. The new right hip is excellent – although I now notice my left hip isn’t quite as good as I thought it was. I won’t leave that one to deteriorate as I left the old right hip.

      All the best with your recovery.

    • #20024
      Cityofsmokingjoe
      Participant

      I got the clear for impact at three months. My surgeon is really cautious and follows the research carefully, and he said it takes three months for the bone to grow into the device. At that point, it’s a matter of can you muscles handle it?

      Go slow … so easy to overdo it … Your muscles and soft tissue and nerves from surgery (the soft stuff that was pulled and twisted and yanked and cut and sewn up and aggravated) are still healing for up to a year.

    • #20025
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Thanks @Cityofsmokingjoe

      It’s going to take me a while, and I have no intention of running long distances, I have always found regular 5k with training for an occasional 10k event is my best compromise. It probably didn’t help that I was late 50s and starting the hip arthritis journey when I first started running regularly post-retirement. All currently feeling good.

    • #20026
      Petemeads
      Participant

      Hi Janice, Happy New Year and congratulations on taking the plunge back into running. I am sure your careful approach will pay dividends and you will be back to parkrun by the Spring!
      I had the second hip hanging over me for a couple of years but gave me no option when it finally had enough, fortunately I got it fixed within a couple of months with BUPA insurance – now at the mercy of the NHS I’m counting my blessings as Covid has generated huge waiting lists…

      Good Luck going forward – steadily!

      Pete

    • #20027
      Coddfish
      Participant

      Thanks Pete. I was very grateful I had the resources to go privately at my own cost. I know people who have been waiting for well over a year with no line of sight on a date. I don’t think I would have recovered anything like as well if I hah had to wait that long.

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.