My THR story

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    • #13867
      Paul R

      Hi Hippies!

      I’m 62 years old, started running at age 52 to lose 50lbs and feel better.

      After a few years, a massage therapist noticed my tight right hip joint…it’s always been that way. I had quite a bit of right foot turnout (‘duck foot’). Eventually I saw an Ortho guy and he said my hip was rotated back on my pelvis was wearing abnormally: already down to 2mm or so (I think…hard to remember).

      I decided to keep running and eventually get a new hip and hopefully the tech would be good, if not then biking for me.

      I ran well until 2017, running 10,000 miles, including 31 marathons. (Marathon Maniac 4 stars). In 2017 I noticed some problems with my right hip …e.g. when driving… foot on accelerator in certain positions was painful. By late August my running was too painful and I switched to non-impact machines and scheduled hip replacement.

      I had the replacement on November 1, 2017. Back to work in 1 week, and cleared to run at 12 weeks….i.e. around Feb 1 2018. That was a GREAT DAY.

      The operation (anterior) was done at the Sequoia hospital by Dr Bradley Graw …a young guy with awesome credentials. The Propephol(sp?) + spinal teleported me through space and time to the recovery room with no memory after leaning forward to get the spinal. I went home the next day in the afternoon and rejected crutches and took a small cane…which I ditched after a week.

      My hip replacement (don’t know the brand name, sorry) has a CEP 5 Megarad crosslinked bearing service that is replaceable. (Side note: I asked my Dr: “if the original THR was a “ten” on the 1-10 seriousness of operation scale, what is the replacement of the bearing? He said “A two.”.)

      I ran a half marathon on June 17, 2018. It wasn’t fast (for me) at a 9:30 pace but it felt great.

      Interestingly I have a Garmin 935 and a “running dynamics pod”. One chunk of data it can show you is any imbalance in the GCT (ground contact time). Before the hip replacement this was pretty even but after it has varied more..I don’t feel my stride quite as well controlled as it was. I also had quite a leg length discrepancy before…about 3/8″ and used to have a extra shim in my right show. This shim is gone now and I can actually run single track (before my right foot would be mowing the grass ;).

      I’m running about 25 miles a week now and moving gradually up to 30.

      I plan to run the Napa Valley Marathon on March 9, 2019. Ten years ago this was my first marathon 8)
      I ran a 4:25 back then (3 years later did a 3:54 at Eugene) but I think I will target a slow 4:30-4:45 pace for my first.

      I have found my right leg is still weaker than my left but it gets better and better. I also have found I really have to foam roller my right leg much more carefully than pre-THR.

      Recently Dr Graw attended a huge meeting of Ortho Drs in San Francisco and at one point the 3 most famous hip guys got onstage to answer questions. One question was “My patients are all boomers that are used to doing lots of sports, e.g.. running. With the latest implants what should we tell them?”

      The answer was “Tell them to do what they want”. This is pretty good news.

      I was very happy with that answer 😉 Apparently the wear rates are low, and importantly the size of the wear particles is small enough that the body doesn’t mount an immune response.

      Dr Graw did ask me to run as little road running and more soft surfaces running and so I have complied with that..I run on dirt trails mostly know and probably only run on pavement < 20% of the distance.

      So there you go, so far so good. Who knows what the future holds but I’m optimistic I might run quite a bit longer than I thought.

      I hope this posting is useful for others. Before my operation I spent a lot of time reading on this site and IT MADE ME FEEL SO MUCH MORE OPTIMISTIC. So thanks to everybody that told their stories…I could see that things were not all doom and gloom.

      You read my marathon reports on my blog at if you are interested.


    • #14169

      TY for sharing. My THR is scheduled for April 2019 after my winter races. My ortho is fine with running – his comment “no restrictions”. Nice to have a bit of a timeframe when we ne can start runnng again. Plan to take my time with my comeback marathon the Marine Corps in 2020 – it was also my first in 2012.

    • #14228
      Laura M


      Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently doing PT specifically to get me back running. Used to be obese (229 lbs., 5’2″), but lost 70 pounds back in 1995 and then a friend started me running and I lost 20 more pounds. For the last 5 years I had stopped running due to the hip pain. Then, I put off the surgery because I was caring for elderly parents, both of whom have since passed.

      I had a posterior THR on my left hip on August 28, 2018. I only had to take painkillers for the first 5 days and I only took them at night to get some sleep. After that, no bad pain, although I did have to take a 5-pack of low-dose steroids for nerve pain, but that was gone after 2 days. I ditched the walker after the first week and used walking sticks for a few weeks after that, and then tossed them as well.

      My PT put me in touch with a running coach because my surgeon said that I will need to learn a new running style because I was a “heavy heel strike” runner and that would place too much impact on my new hip. He wants me to learn how to run on my forefoot. I go for my 3-month follow-up next week, but I do not perceive any issues. I feel fantastic, especially because of all the positive stories I hear on hiprunner. I am so grateful that I found this community. Hearing everyone’s stories has inspired me to work extra hard to get back to running.

      I am lucky that my PT has an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, which will allow me to learn my new running style without placing my entire body weight on my new hip. My goal is to run the Broad Street 10-Miler in May 2019. After that, the sky’s the limit!

      Thank you to all who post here. I am very grateful for all those who share their stories.


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