Steve – 10 day report and unsolicited advice

Dear Hipsters, particularly newcomers (newer than I!).

10 days post-op report:   Post-op day 9 was first full work day.  I worked half days post-op 4, 5, and 6.  For perspective, I’m the head of a school, not an iron worker, so I can modulate the amount of physical activity I do.  But, work is work.  I even tied my own shoes to go to work, but that was probably pressing my luck, as it was pretty tight around the new hip as I grappled with the laces.

Day 9 I walked about 1/2 mile each way to work and probably did 10 flights of stairs during the day.  Walking up stairs, alternating feet, without using a railing, felt quite normal.   I couldn’t do that pre-surgery.

When back home, I was tired to be sure, but a good, satisfied tired.

As to advice to newcomers:  I read hundreds of pages of material about hip replacement surgery before making the decision.  I suspect you have done so too.   The typical, conservative attitudes are frustrating and, I think, needlessly discouraging.   Many hospital and physician websites would have you believe that recovery is slow and that full activity means a leisurely round of golf.   I think that’s nonsense for anyone with generally good health and fitness.

The most important decision is the choice of doctor.  I “referred” myself to a doctor I found at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  He states clearly that his goal is not to “fix” someone so that she can walk around the block.  He starts with the intent that he will return each patient to the fully active life they seek, including hard, competitive running or any other sport.  With today’s materials and technology, I think the majority of THR patients can and should have that ability, if it matters to them.

So don’t “settle.”  If you are referred to a doctor who limits your ambition – find another doctor.  My surgeon is far from the only one who seeks to restore folks to a full, robust athletic life.

 

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Steve – One week anniversary

As I write, it has been precisely 7 days, to the hour, since my surgery.  Actually, one week ago I was being rolled into the OR at this moment.

I was optimistic, but I’m exceeding my own expectations.   I don’t report this to play one-upmanship, but to encourage others by chronicling what is possible.

On post-op day 2 I stopped cane use entirely.  I worked half days on post-op 4, 5 and 6.  On 5 and 6 I was able to walk normally up several flights of stairs easily, with no pain or weakness, although I felt it a bit later.

Today, anniversary day, I walked about 2/3 of a mile at a normal pace.  Felt a bit strange, less than completely normal, but not difficult or painful at all.  I surely could have walked much further, but I don’t think it’s wise to push my good luck.  I find that my operated leg feels longer. I suppose it was shorter pre-surgery and now the leg length is similar, thus the sensation.

On return home I did a set of PT exercises, which seem easy, but always leave me with a slight soreness.   Several days ago the “marching in place” exercise was challenging for the operated leg in terms of the height of the knee lift.  Today the knee height was only slightly (inch or two) less than the good leg.  It did feel slightly uncomfortable extending the range of motion.

I’ll now have a glass of red wine and watch some alpine skiing, feeling quite lucky indeed.     If you read this – thanks, I suppose.  If no one reads it, I find this a lovely way to document my own experience for future review.

Thanks, Tom, for that!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Steve – Post-op days 3-6

I’ll stop this self-indulgence soon enough, but other hipsters must know the swaths of time to be filled.   I’m not used to sitting around this much.  As previously recorded, I went home the day after surgery.  On day 3, after being “released” from Visiting Nurse and PT home care, I stopped using a cane and walked about a block and a half, fairly easily.

Day 4 went to work for a few hours.  My hip was fine, but a nap felt good thereafter.   Have done several sessions of the typical PT with dramatic improvement each day.  My Doc cleared me to cycle on my wind trainer, which I intend to do this afternoon (post-op day 5).   He doesn’t think I have to go to outpatient PT, since I have the menu of exercises and like to do it anyway.

I have several work meetings later today, but feel pretty confident that I’ll be dandy.  Tomorrow (post-op day 6), I will work a half day, take a good, long walk (I hope), and then have an indulgent weekend.   My primary challenge is patience, as may be clear (certainly clear to  my wife!).

I’m off pain narcotic pain meds, although taking plenty of Tylenol and Advil, twice a day.  That provides more than ample relief.

 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Steve – End of day 3 post-op

I walked about a block and a half outside without using my cane, although my wife and daughter made me carry it.  Stiff to be sure, but my strength and balance are fine.  Did my handful of PT exercises beforehand.   I’m trying to maintain moderation.  I see this as analogous to athletic training.   Stress and recovery, stress and recovery.

 

I’ll be back to work tomorrow, but only for a few hours.     I, like perhaps many of you, had some small nagging doubts about the necessity of this surgery.  That was taken care of!   My surgery was Saturday and I didn’t see or talk to the surgeon.  I emailed today to get his impressions.  The response:  “Your hip was totally worn out with no cartilage left and lots of big bone spurs.  Basically what we expected.”

 

No wonder I was limping!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Steve – The Newest “Hip” Runner

Well, this new hiprunner has a new hip. Right THR at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. Surgery completed at 5:30 p.m. yesterday (2/22). And I’m home already (4:00 p.m. 2/23!!!) Walking with a cane, which I don’t really need. Not a bad start. I suppose I’ll have ups and downs, but this is a good way to begin. Since I’m doing so well, should I run 5 tomorrow? Just kiddin’

I’ll report now and then, but thanks to all on this site for providing the incentive to do this.

(Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Steve – Getting ready and thanks!

Thanks to Tom and others for this site and its valuable content.

I am scheduled for THR on Saturday, February 22 at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  As a lifelong athlete (I’m now 67), it was in part this site than encouraged me to go forward.  Although I’ve competed at a fairly high level in many things (XC skiing, triathlons, inline speed skating, marathons, bike racing), I don’t necessarily plan or need to return to perhaps unreachable levels of fitness.  But I also am not ready for the glue farm.

Despite only moderate discomfort, I cannot presently hike steep grades, speed skate, run or XC ski.  For me, that’s intolerable and this site made it clear that I can be back at it in months.  And I found a good Doc!

At our visit I said that within a few months I’d like to be able to mountain bike aggressively, backpack and run 15-20 miles a week.   He said, “No problem.”   I scheduled surgery immediately.

Again, thanks for confirming what’s possible.  I’ll update from time to time – not because I have any need to talk about myself, but to encourage others.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)