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Total Hip Replacement recovery

Mar 26, 2009
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I may have a THR operation, possibly on both hip joints. Does anyone have experience with this? How long does it take to get back into action on the bike? What can you do and not do after an operation?

April 30, 2010 [added after going through the surgery and recovery] There is good advice from forumites following this post. I had my left hip replaced and will probably have the right done in the future (when it gets painful). After my operation, I decided to detail what happened to me as I recovered. That is why this thread is so long. If you're curious, or anticipating a total hip replacement, what follows is my experience. I hope you're experience is as good or better than mine. Good luck!
 
Jun 9, 2009
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I have much experience rehabbing patients following hip replacement surgery. I'm happy to help.

First, it is important to note that there are two types of surgery used for a THR. One utilizes a posterior incision, the other an anterior. The recovery following a posterior incision THR is significantly longer dur to the fact that there is more soft tissue (muscle) which needs to be cut in order to insert the artificial joint. If possible, elect for the anterior incision surgery.

Recovery for either operation usually includes the use of a stationary bicycle in the physical therapy office. You should be able to expect a complete recovery of your cycling abilities. It's reasonable to expect your cycling will improve since your hip joints will function better.

Be certain to follow your doctor's orders regarding recovery and returning to training.

Best wishes,

Dr. Suro
 
Dec 4, 2009
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A friend of mine had his second (after 11 years the adhesive deteriorated) in late December and was back on the bike in late Spring. The next year he had the other hip done and the same story. This was 3 or 4 years ago.

Recovery was to first get range of motion back and then strength. Usual PT was flection, extension and stationary bike. When he had good range they started him on weights or using bands.

He's a guy training for Paris-Brest-Paris so he gets tons of miles in and does rides of 550km on two weekends each of the summers. Total mileage of over 5,000 miles.
 
Feb 5, 2010
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Is that a total hip replacement, or a total hip resurfacing - a' la Floyd Landis?

As a 48-year old triathlete I had a total hip resurfacing 11 months ago in a posterior procedure with the same kind of appliance (BHR) as Floyd. I was back on my road bike within 6 weeks, and riding over 100 miles/week within three months. I have no pain, full ROM, and can do my carpentry work with ease.

I helped myself by going into the procedure with a good fitness level, but the best thing I did was to work with a gifted practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture prior to and immediately following the surgery. Thanks to her treatments I healed up in less than half the normal time, and had no need for the Percocet (pain meds) prescibed me by the surgeon.

Check out the Yahoo group "surfacehippy" for accounts from other hip resurfacing patients.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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I'll know for sure next Thursday, but I anticipate replacement, not resurfacing. The x-rays show avascular necrosis in both hips. Now I know about that 'pulled muscle' that lasted so long, and why it was so hard to dismount from the bike. I'm 66. I want to get back to work, back on the bike, back to the pool and the gym asap! Thanks for the advice and information.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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First off, best of luck with your surgery. I hope you're out enjoying the bike and the wind in your face as soon as possible.

Second, how long before this thread winds up in the clinic? I'm setting the over-under at five more posts.
 
recovery time

I went through a total knee replacement November 10, 2009. They built my knee out of cobalt, titanium and plastic. I worked very hard up to the surgery so I was a strong as possible the day of surgery. I know it is a different surgery, but there are many similarities. I worked very hard at rehab and was back on the bike, on my trainer, 7 weeks after surgery. I was able to compete in and complete my first race 10 weeks and 5 days after surgery. I was not very competitive, but it felt great to be out riding in the race. Hope this helps out!
Doug
 
Mar 26, 2009
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I will have the left hip joint replaced on March 22nd. The right one is not giving me any trouble, so I'll wait on it. The Dr said he doesn't do surgery on x-rays. Rehabbing one is enough. Thanks for the advice and info! I'll need more expert advice as I gear up for the spring. I plan to work that new appliance to the limit!
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I have had both hips birmingham resurfaced and I am 46, both wore out from a lot of big running miles. I got into track cycling because I couldnt run anymore and have been doing weights and about 300km a week and consistent racing and have had no problems. Just take your time coming back and allow full surgical healing and the chance for the bones to get strong again after the trauma of major surgery.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Good luck on your surgery,take it easy coming back,don't hurt yourself coming back too fast.
I just had hernial surgery,been off the bike 8 days.I am already experiencing severe gymitus withdrawal symptoms.:(
 
Dec 5, 2009
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Dr. Suro is right about all of it. Just follow what he said that's all you needed. Goodluck on your surgery and follow everything your doctor tells you to so you could recover faster.
 
Feb 28, 2010
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Hi, I had a right Birmingham hip resurfacing operation on the 16 Feb 10. I havent ridden my bike since May 09 because of my hip pain. I have to say that nearly two weeks into my recovery things are looking pretty rosey! Im getting around on crutches well and mobility is improving daily. My biggest piece of advice is not to try an rush your recovery. Im only 35, and want the best possible chance of getting a perfect recovery. I was lucky enough to be in a position to have the Birmingham Hip option. However, I would choosen any hip replacement option which would have improved my quality of life and remove the constant pain I was in. Im hoping to get on a static bike or turbo within a few weeks, but we'll see how things go. Ive also treated myself to a new specialized Rockhopper Pro (nice squidgy tyres and front sus. so I dont rattle my new hip joint apart) to help me get back on the bike and loose a few kgs!!!!

Whatever your results, good luck. If you are offered an operation I would seriously consider it as the overall results should give a better quality of life.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Operation update: wow, I had pre-op morning. Gave some blood samples, ekg, and a physical going over at my primary care dr., than chest x-ray, more blood drawn and filled out some papers at the hospital. Then a cardiac consult appointment monday. They're serious about this stuff.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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daviel said:
Operation update: wow, I had pre-op morning. Gave some blood samples, ekg, and a physical going over at my primary care dr., than chest x-ray, more blood drawn and filled out some papers at the hospital. Then a cardiac consult appointment monday. They're serious about this stuff.

That's a good sign. Remember he's cutting you, let's hope he is serious. ;)

Good luck with the operation and rehab.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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I thought I would kinda blog through the procedures here to give an inside look at this thing. I like the fact that they use these anti-infection sheets to wipe down after the last shower before the operation. After reading the hospital infection article in the new york times the other day, I will remind everybody to wash their hands. There's another article, NYT, about problems with metal on metal prosthetics leaching ions into the body. I am getting the old metal on plastic one. I have drafted lots of medical powers of attorney, but never had one for myself until now. I guess that's when you find out who your friends are [insert tongue in cheel icon smiley here].:rolleyes:
 
Mar 26, 2009
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I had a pre-operation exam and the ecg showed a blip that, to my Dr., looked like a silent heart attack. I was sent to a cardiac specialist for a stress test. Since I can't treadmill, I got the chemical stress test. They inject a drug to simulate exercise - expands the arteries and veins. The drug has your heart thinking it's exercising, and they take before and after pictures. Made me sleepy. I will know the test results in a couple of days, but frankly, that heart attack must have been really silent. I am thinking it's caffeine. I defer to the experts. At least if I have to have any arteries reamed out, I will know it. Surgery Monday if I passed the stress test.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Surgery took 2 hours on March 22. Discharged from the hospital on March 26. I woke up in my hospital room. They do a good job of having you move and do exercises (in bed) to get your equipment moving. Not much at first, I could not get out of bed to reach a walker without help. Then the activity increased a little each day until I was doing a lap and a half around the nurses' station on 3-26. The surprise for me was how much my left leg expanded - swelled up. Looking at the scar and staples, I should not be surprised. I used all the morphine they let me have, and some norcor, for pain. None of the opiates/pain drugs are recreational when you're in pain - go figure! I stayed in left field most of my hospital stay. I never knew how I felt when my blood levels were out of whack, hemoglobin, red cells, whatever. Now I do. I feel 'sick' and 2 units of blood were used to solve that problem. I can walk short distances with a walker. No stomach trouble, just rest and do the exercised. The normal swelling with the surgery just limits movement. I am using compression stockings and some self-administered-by-shot drug to stave off blood clots. Tomorrow physical therapy starts. In all, I have been too optimistic about how hard this is going to be. More pain than I expected and harder to get to functional than I thought. I am ready to get back in the gym tomorrow and want to hit it as hard as possible. I am shooting for some May distance rides. Back to the Doc on April 6th.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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PT was at the place I'm a member, so at least I was familar with the layout. My therapist interviewed me and then set me on an aerobics machine that does not weight down nor twist the legs. Just 8 min @ 100/ min. Then ran through a 15-20 rep set of adductor, toe lifts (lying down), heel slides, quad tightening, and then 20 min. ice on the swollen left leg. slept great. tomorrow at 1 pm. starts over. I'm down to tylenol for pain. This is harder than I expected and slower. at my age it takes a while to undo the damage!
 

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