Alistair – Running with a hip replacement and loving it

running after a hip replacement On Christmas day 2005 I walked out of Wellington Public Hospital with a new hip replacement and no pain at last. If it wasn’t for the crutches I’d have thrown my arms in the air in celebration, just as I did finishing the Western States 100 fourteen years earlier.

Hi fellow hippies and hippies-to-be, I’m Alistair from New Zealand, “thanks” Tom for bringing us all together. I mention the WS100 mile ultra-marathon because during that last long run in 1991 my genes overtook me – Hip dysplasia, the family curse. Over the following years niggling hip pain deteriorated until I struggled to walk. You probably know the stabbing hip pain well.

After hip replacement surgery I began using trekking poles and was soon able to enjoy walking some of my old trail-running routes. I had dutifully listened to my hip surgeon who answered “No” to the inevitable question “Will I be able to run after a hip replacement?”.

Running after hip replacement surgery in Belmont Regional ParkOne day though, about 5 years post-surgery, an old urge sneaked up on me. As I began my walk up Belmont Trig I leaned forward on my toes and started to run up the steep gravel track. My hip felt strong and it seemed such a natural thing to do. Since then I have spent many happy miles playing with and researching safe running techniques and learned a lot about running with a hip replacement, and myself.

My weekend runs range from two to five hours, although I have to sheepishly admit to injuring my right foot on a tough bush run about 5 weeks ago. It’s healing but, as I sit contemplating my unused running gear, I am reminded once again not to take running for granted.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)