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.