Ninth Week Post Op & Lessons Learnt.

I’m now in my ninth week post Left  THR – MEKO procedure – posterior – Stryker Ceramic Femoral Head and X Link Polymer Polyethylene Cup – both non cemented. All done at Nuffield Health Trust Glasgow (self pay). I’ve probably learnt more about myself and my body in the last 12 months than I did in the previous 66 years. It’s becoming obvious now that my recovery started the day I was told I needed a THR and went on to get the best possible advice. After my diagnosis was confirmed by X-ray I was placed on the NHS waiting list in Scotland – circa 3 years! My Physio gave me two choices – 1. I could drastically cut my activity (and stop running) with light Physio which might enable me to last until the NHS Op. 2. I could maintain a high level of activity (but not running) with more targeted Physio and opt for Private Surgery much sooner. At that time I knew very little about the whole process so I embarked on an education / research  spree. I opted for the NHS route to begin with but the more people I spoke to that had gone through this and the more research I did, I realised that my decision would affect the rest of my life. If I carried on with the NHS route, there was no choice of procedure or materials and I could be faced with significant muscle wastage as my activity capability declined pre Op. Although daunted by the cost I changed my decision after 6 months. I initially chose Spire in Edinburgh and was told to expect a cost of around £13k. At my initial consultancy I was told that there had been a big increase in costs during Covid, so to expect £18k with a waiting time of 6 weeks. I booked surgery. After a couple of weeks I decided to do more research and looked into the Nuffield Health Trust in Glasgow. Their advertised THR costs £12.3k for the MEKO Procedure. I booked a Consultation which subsequently gave me so much confidence, that I cancelled Spire and booked Surgery with Nuffield albeit with a waiting time of 12 – 14 weeks. I chose an experienced Consultant that was a keen sportsman. He advised that I would be able to get back to running if I wanted to. My Physio changed my mobility and strength routine to a more targeted regime and I upped my activity which included swimming, cycling, a lot of walking and golf three times a week. My pain was was considerable on occasions but Naproxen and Codeine kept me going. There’s no doubt that the high level of activity as difficult as it was, kept my leg strong for the post Op recovery. With three months to go my limping had got pretty bad so I decided to use a walking stick which kept me more upright and able to walk with a much reduced limp. My last game of golf was two days before surgery and man was I struggling (no buggy ). My surgery August 11th 2022 – nothing could have prepared me for the hours and first few days after Surgery. Once the epidural wore off I found it a battle with a variety of pain and nausea. After 48 hours I could just about demonstrate that I could manage stairs on crutches so I was allowed home. The journey was 80 miles and I felt every bump in the road. Once home I realised how difficult trivial things can be like sitting on the loo (even with a raiser), getting in and out of bed and just getting dressed. I seemed to swing between euphoria and near depression but my Physio really came into her own during that period, on the phone regularly. Her main advice – gentle and regular mobility exercises, rest as much as possible but get up and walk for a couple of minutes every couple of hours. I was to stay indoors for the first two weeks and if I did venture out, walk no more than 75 yards and with two crutches at all times. If I did feel like I could do a lot more, under no circumstances was I to do more and not to attempt stairs in a normal manner without crutches or a least a stick until weeks 4 or 5. After a couple of weeks this strict advice seemed overkill to me but I stuck with it. My Physio who has treated many Olympic athletes explained that the first few weeks are all about holding back. My wound dressing was removed after 12 days and the healing had been rapid but she explained that the real healing was still going on inside – soft tissues, tendons and muscles that had been cut or strained during surgery. During the early weeks I had various degrees of soreness internally in my thigh which gradually subsided to just the wound being tender. Every day I massaged the wound area with Arnica to begin with and then Bio Oil. Each week my Physio added to my mobility and eventually strength routine. There must be numerous different ways of recovery but all I know is my Physio’s routine is working for me. Once past two weeks the improvements in my abilities were quite dramatic. By week 4 I was driving again, doing most household tasks and a bit of gardening. My walking was up to about 40 minutes without crutches and just a stick. My leg would feel a bit tired after a walk but not painful at all, however the wound remained quite tender and itchy on occasions. By that time I could sleep on my right side (good leg) but definitely not my left side. Weeks 5/6 I was going up and down the stairs fairly easily, walking our dog twice a day and even managed a bit of chipping and putting on the golf course riding round in a buggy. I also tried short 10 minute cycling on my Ebike – all ok but with the occasional internal nip.   I had dispensed with the loo seat raiser since week 4 – joy!! Somewhere between weeks 6 and 8 I was able to touch my toes first thing in the morning and just (and I mean just) put a sock on my operated side without a contraption. Fast forward into week 9 I can now put my socks on whilst standing upright, I can walk and cycle as far as I want, get in and out of the bath easily and walk round the 9 hole golf course and playing all holes but with a restricted swing for the moment. I have absolutely no pain at all, I can sleep on whichever side I want, the wound tenderness has completely gone and too be honest I can’t tell the difference between my left and right hips. THR Surgery has far exceeded my expected expectations and by opting for the private route my inactive period was really only about two or three weeks. The NHS route could have been two years and at my age (67) I would never have been able to recover from the likely muscle deterioration. We are currently on our first holiday post Surgery where I will be doing my first serious hill walk – The Cobbler overlooking Arrochar in Scotland at 920 mtrs. I am waiting until I get to 3 months post Op before I give running a try to make sure the non cemented bits have properly joined to my old bones. A really good Physio has been so worth it, both physically and mentally. I have done my exercises religiously every day, pre and post Op and it’s been so worth it. I am very grateful to have been able to opt for Private Surgery which has no doubt changed the rest of my life for the better.

Home Forums Ninth Week Post Op & Lessons Learnt.

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • Author
    • #20362

      I’m now in my ninth week post Left  THR – MEKO procedure – posterior – Stryker Ceramic Femoral Head and X Link Polymer Polyethylene Cup – both non cem
      [See the full post at: Ninth Week Post Op & Lessons Learnt.]

    • #20388

      Hi Ian – the suspense is killing me – how are you doing and are you back running yet? As an incentive I shall let slip that I managed to race my first half-marathon for 11 years and win the V70 category in 1:53 last month, having set a bionic 5k PB of 23:39 only the week before. My ceramic hip is five and a half years old, I also have an 8 year old metal resurfacing, both times I was jogging carefully around the 8 week mark but I have only this year started concentrating on speedwork. Time for an update please!

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.