Reply To: Posterior THR recovery experiences

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Hi @havetorun

I had total hip replacement 8 weeks ago in the UK with a posterior approach. My surgeon was supportive of running (he’s a runner himself). He just told me it shouldn’t be the first thing I tried to do and that I should mix running with other activities so not all my load came from running. I have met with more negativity from other professionals, I think if they don’t run themselves, they don’t understand why other activities aren’t good enough.

I don’t know that posterior versus anterior makes a major difference to whether you can run. A good surgeon is going to be separating your glutes, not cutting them. Posterior makes for an easier, quicker operation, with less risk of nerve damage. Mine was 50 minutes, no bruising, no swelling. The surgeon will be using an approach they think is right for you.

The main question I would want to understand is whether the implants can be uncemented. I suspect your running chances will be better if you can be uncemented. It will depend on whether your bones are suitable for an uncemented implant (ie they are strong enough). With an uncemented implant, you have slightly longer initial recovery time but the bones and implant will naturally bond, no risk of cement cracking or causing other problems. I haven’t seen whether you are male or female or your age. I am a mid 60s female and my surgeon warned me that most women of my age have softened bones and need a cemented implant. Of course, I am a runner, so when he got me opened up, he found rock solid bones and I got my uncemented implant. Knowing I wanted to be active, he fitted a Smith + Nephew Polar system with an oxinium head, they seem very suitable for active people. I have heard that some NHS trusts try to push a certain percentage of cemented implants because they are cheaper, so beware of this if you are having an NHS operation.

8 weeks on I am very well recovered. I haven’t started running yet (and probably won’t for 6 months). I am power walking with Nordic poles. I am swimming, static cycling, using weights, basically working to get my strength and fitness back up. I still have a slight weakness in my groin from the surgery, but that will resolve.

I had my operation privately and had invested time in identifying a surgeon who had a particular specialism in active people. He’s done a great job. Good luck with your operation.