To hell with OA – THR tomorrow

Hi all,

Tomorrow is the big day – having my right hip replaced. It’s been 6 years since the doc dropped the OA bomb on me after a bout of undiagnosed groin pain. Who knew that your bones don’t last forever  . . . right? So here I am at the age of 50 ready to have my femur lopped off and replaced with a ceramic ball and cross linked poly cup (CoP for those in the know). Do I have apprehensions . . .am I nervous . . . hell yeah. Who wouldn’t? Do I want to continue limping through my runs, wincing in pain every time I get up from a chair or holding on to a railing so my hip doesn’t give way while I ascend the stairs? ummmmm . . .Nope! It’s time to move on and accept the next chapter.

As an ultra runner I equate so many things in life to reaching the next aid station. Sometimes its close (5 miles) and sometimes its a lot further (10-15 miles). Either way if you put your head down, find that rhythm, and keep moving you’ll get there. I guess that’s how I plan to approach this surgery and my respective recovery. There will be a lot of aid stations. I may get to some sooner than others – but – I’ll get there. Do I plan on running my road marathon pace – nope! This is a slow and steady effort. Lots of good old uneven dirt ahead. Do I plan on running in the next 6-9 months – nope! I plan to let the hardware fuse with my bone. Aseptic loosening and acetabular failure doesn’t sound like the best approach. So, one slow step at a time. I’ll stick to the pool, bike and elliptical in the meantime.

If anyone has any thoughts on their first 2 weeks of recovery on what worked or didn’t in terms of stretching, walking, strengthening, I’m all ears. This is such a great collective group I’m guessing a few of you have some thoughts on the matter. I’ll have some down time the next few days as you can imagine so any reading is much appreciated. Thanks in advance for any insight you can share!

Here’s to the next chapter!

Home Forums To hell with OA – THR tomorrow

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    • #19730

      Hi all, Tomorrow is the big day – having my right hip replaced. It’s been 6 years since the doc dropped the OA bomb on me after a bout of undiagnosed
      [See the full post at: To hell with OA – THR tomorrow]

    • #19731
      Hip Brother Tom

      You have go the EXACT right approach to this. The one question you’ll ask yourself after you have it done is…”Why did I wait so long?”. After those first few days of no arthritic hip pain pass, you’ll be on the road to recovery. Stay active and fit in the different ways that you have described. Most importantly, stay optimistic. It will get you through some of the down days. I started running at 3 months. It felt so awkward. But over time, my hip got used to me and I got used to my hip. You may surprise yourself at some of the paces that are in your future.
      Good Luck to you!

      • #19740

        Thanks Tom for your encouragement and even more importantly for starting this site! Surgery went well and I’ve been up walking three times a day per the docs orders. So far so good. I plan to take it slow. My muscles certainly took a beating even though it was the anterior approach. Nothing I didn’t expect though.

        So Tom how many years has it been since your THR? Have you had any issues with the hardware or shown any wear during this time? I’m so curious from this group how the hardware has held up. Dave Whiteside in particular!

        Thanks again. I plan to post when I have something meaningful to share.

    • #19733

      Rest, ice and simply walking is key that first couple of weeks. I only used a cane to support going up hill or up steps. My doctor would not let me use a walker. The biggest thing you will notice is that the tendons and muscles will need to redevelop to keep your new hip aligned especially going up hill and up steps.

      It is now 14 months since my THR and I competed in an Olympic distance triathlon this past weekend with no issues. I like your idea of not running for at least 6 months to allow for healing. That’s what I did. My motto was no setbacks. I built up to it by slowly increasing my walking distance while also building back my running and swimming.

      At twelve months I started adding weight to my squats and doing box jumps. Prior to that I was doing unweighted squats with TRX bands to build back range of motion.

      Good luck….it is great to back living with zero hip pain!

      • #19741

        Hey OB

        Thanks for your response and encouragement. I’m taking it slow and following the doctor’s orders with three walks a day and icing exactly as you outlined. So far so good.

        It will be nice to get back on the bike trainer and in the pool in the coming weeks. I’m OK being patient. It all takes time like the aid stations I referenced. I like your advice about slowly building up squats with weights. That’s a good way to build strength and stability. I’ll have to wait a few more weeks before I can jump into squats – but note well taken!

        Thanks again!

    • #19754
      Dave Whiteside

      Brent, I hope your recovery is going well. My story is similar to your, I was diagnosed bone on bone when I was 40 and waited 10 years until I was 50 before I moved forward, and as Tom said wished I had done it earlier. Technology is constantly changing and I’m sure it’s much better than when I had mine nearly 11 years ago. I race ultras, most on roads but some trails. I’ve had some setbacks but on the whole if you listen to you body you will do fine. I think it’s wise to start slow and make sure everything has fused, build up slowly, do strength and flexibility training and make sure you take some rest days. I know follow Keto and I think that helps as it’s anti-inflammatory. Hope this helps, good luck. Dave.

      • #19757

        Hey Dave – thanks for your thoughts and feedback. I’ve been hoping to connect with as you have 11 years under your belt and quite a few miles to boot! It’s very impressive and encouraging.

        Recovery is going well. I’m up to 3 x 16 minute walks a day, slowly building strength back. I’m amazed how quickly things are coming along but remind myself to follow the docs protocol and go slowly. I really want my bones to fuse properly with the hardware. I don’t plan on running until 9-12 months out. Hopefully, next week I’ll get the go head to go back to swimming and possibly the bike trainer. Again, one step at a time. Pun intended.

        So all this said, I’m really curious how your hardware has held up the past 11 years. Have you seen any wear on follow up X-rays? Particularly in the acetabular cup (poly)? I’m guessing you have ceramic on XL Poly – correct? I realize we are all built differently but there just isn’t enough data out there to show how these parts wear over time- especially for runners. When you mention set backs what types of things did you encounter?

        Any insight you can pass along would be much appreciated.

        thanks, Brent

    • #19758

      Hey Brent be confident that you are making the right decision! MAKE THE DECISION AND THEN WORK TO MAKE IT THE RIGHT DECISION! My story is much like yours as I am 50.
      You will not be the same, there will be ups and downs, but there is the HIGHEST probability this will work for you! Expect the 1st 72 hrs will be rough-in bed, in pain, largely immobile. GET A GOOD PT AND GET MOVING as best you can… walking, 1/4 bodyweight squats and listen to your body! I’d resist the narcotic pain meds! More than anything else…listen to the PT,light body weight exercises and get moving! More than anything else, you will master LISTENING TO YOUR BODY BUT – you will have a foreign object in you – so PAY ATTENTION! Don’t be afraid to push a little 😉
      So enough for now – prayers and let us know how you’re doing!

    • #19809

      Hi there, I am a month behind you but a decade and a half ahead of you, if you see what I mean. My surgery was Tuesday of this week and I am very interested to know how it went. I was quickly mobilised, walking short distances with crutches. Got a basic set of light squats, knee raises, leg abduction and leg swings to do 4 times a week. I would imagine you are now reasonably mobile and well healed.

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