April 12, 2016

This has been very long, painful, stressful, emotional road. I have fought my hip pain for years and it has had a significant effect on my life. I'm 39 now and have always been very, very fit and active. I Road-raced motorcycles for many years at a pretty high level and was in tip top shape during that time. I also enjoyed running and soccer once upon a time but had to give those up years ago. Since then my quality of life has been drastically changed by my hips. A few years ago I discovered mountain biking and was hooked. For a time it really seemed to help. Last year I rode over 3,500 miles in the dirt and climbed more than 500,000 feet. I love pedaling. I also just generally love to be outside especially with my girlfriend and dog. I miss hiking with them. A few months ago even pedaling started to be uncomfortable. I finally threw in the towel in November and decided it was "time". I was on a hike with my girlfriend and my dog and to say I had a rough time of it would be a huuuuuge understatement. That was in November 2015 and the rest is the result of decision made that day. This site has been absolutely invaluable in helping me with my decisions and learn what I was getting myself into and I cannot express how much I appreciate it. So, THANK YOU to Pat and to all the members who've shared so much here. Seeing as that information has been so helpful to me, I decided to add my own story to it so, here it is.

After doing tons and tons of homework I chose Dr. Gross in Columbia, SC, for my surgeries. I had read an awful lot of very good reviews on him and watched and re-watched his interviews many, many times. He, his staff and the hospital seemed to earn universal praise and as such I set my expectations cautiously high. So far everyone I've dealt with has exceeded my expectations significantly. I believe that the combinations of fantastically skilled surgeon (and also one helluva nice guy) combined with loads of Southern Hospitality have reinforced that I made the right decision. I'm from California and while there are plenty of pleasant people there, South Carolinians put them to shame. People are soooo kind and friendly here.

So, surgery one is DONE. So far, so good. Dr. Gross said I had been 'riding on the rim' for quite a while. He resurfaced my right hip (the baaaaaad one) yesterday and I'm scheduled for the left tomorrow. The process has been very straightforward so far, they really built a very well run machine. I'm up and walking around even without crutches if I'm careful. So far, the hardest part is getting up from sitting or out of bed and I know both are going to be problematic for a bit and significantly more problematic as of tomorrow without the use of a good leg.

Thanks again for everyone on this site who has posted their experiences here to help prepare those of us who follow.

April 14, 2016

I'm currently kicked back wrapped up the Polar Care unit on both hips and resting following the second surgery this afternoon. According to Dr. Gross my surgery today on my left hip went very well. He said it wasn't nearly as bad as my right but had all the same problems just that it wasn't as severely deteriorated yet while still definitely being bone on bone. 

The combination of the drugs and just the toll this has taken on my body means that at this point sleep is not the slightest bit problematic. All I have to do is close my eyes and I wake up an hour later laughing at all the whacky dreams I have.

One thing I've noticed is that immediately following both surgeries my knee (on the surgical side) has been a bit sore. I suspect that it's from the twist they do to dislocate the hip to gain access to the parts needing replacement.

May 2, 2016

3 weeks minus 1 day update!  My surgeries were 4/11 and 4/13. Tomorrow marks 3 weeks for my right hip and then two days later will be 3 weeks for the left. Everything is going really, really well. I worked a full week last week and spent A LOT of time on my feet. Other than getting more tired than usual I feel fantastic. The daily progress continues and I truly cannot believe how well things are going. Our customers at work who know I've just had both hips replaced are blown away at how well I'm doing and all the positive comments certainly feel pretty good.

I'm managing to get my shoes and socks on better every day at this point. I'm not stretching or deliberately pushing my flexibility at all but it seems to already be coming back on it's own. I'm really looking forward to the 6 week mark!

This weekend we spent at our cabin in the mountains and we did quite a bit of work around the place. In all honesty, even though I was very careful I definitely overdid it a bit. What's surprising the hell out of me is that I'm sitting on the couch absolutely exhausted and marveling over the fact that my hips don't hurt at all. Zero. Nada. This type of walking around up and down hills with lots of stairs (and a few ladders!) would have completely destroyed my hips before my surgery. I would literally ache all night and pay for it for the next several days. Today, here I sit... totally exhausted but with NO HIP PAIN. Words cannot express what a pleasant surprise that is! And this SOON!? 

Another notable accomplishment includes me returning to having serious wrestling matches with my 2 year old Doberman Pinscher. She gets very, very rowdy and sometimes won't take no for an answer as she literally barks at me until I get on the floor and wrestle with her. We play very, very rough and both enjoy the hell out of it.  Of course I couldn't wrestle with her immediately after the surgeries but now, if I'm relatively careful, I CAN!  

I also got quite a kick out of having a dream the other night that I could run again pain free. Though I have no intention of becoming a runner again I sure am looking forward to having the ability.

Sorry for the random whacky post but I'm just feeling pretty damn fortunate about how things have changed for my hips recently. I cannot offer enough thanks to Pat and those who've shared their experiences on this forum to help those of us learn about hip resurfacing. Thank you!

May 10, 2016

Four Week Update! Ok, so yesterday was four weeks for my right hip and tomorrow is four weeks for the left. I figure I'll split the two and call today the official four week anniversary of my surgeries.

Progress remains consistent. Everything gets a tiny bit easier daily... Much of the day I don't think about my hips. I'm able to get around very near normally. I am definitely more tired than normal at the end of a normal work day. I do continue to have some soreness and stiffness upon getting up after sitting for a while. And my psoas is definitely my biggest gripe, mainly on the right side. It's not a big problem but it is certainly annoying. I'm looking forward to the Stage 2 excercises and really starting some 'active rehab' for those muscles. I'm going to the gym pretty regularly and both the treadmill and the elliptical aren't the slightest bit of a problem. Hell, I even went on a short hike Sunday and it felt GREAT.  

One thing that I am certainly noticing now is that I pay for little things like that hike... I was definitely a little sore the next day. Even though I feel like my activity level is pretty high for this stage I am trying to be careful and listen to my body. More often than not, it says "This isn't a problem at all, let's just take it a little slower than normal" so that's what I do. If it says "Hey, jack-ass, STOPPIT!!", then that's exactly what I do.  

Yesterday I did have a small, but significant occurrence that I really enjoyed. After working all day I went home and relaxed with my feet in the pool for a while. After that I got up, cleaned the house a bit and then caught up on ironing some work shirts that don't come out of the dryer well. It's something I've been putting off for a lot longer than I care to admit. In fact, I had taken to having the shirts dry cleaned just so I didn't have to STAND and iron.. because it used to hurt.  I also did some laundry and washed my truck. These are things that shouldn't be significant but right now they are. They are significant because I wasn't in any notable discomfort at all. Before my surgeries I would suffer just to get through a day at work and by the time I got home I damn sure didn't feel like being on my feet AT ALL. The fact that I'm ONE MONTH out and already feeling waaaaaaay better than I was before is very shocking to me. I truly did not expect to feel anywhere near this good, this soon. I'm so humbly grateful that things are going as well as they are. And don't get me wrong, I have plenty of "Ouch!!" moments but they've quite manageable and way less of a problem than I expected.

 May 17, 2016

Five week update! I've decided all my previous updates have been entirely too positive so I'm going to add a whiney/grumpy one today.  All the progress remains consistent but my attitude isn't... I know it's very, very early but I'm having an impatient day. The last week or so I've really started to up my activity level and am paying for it. I had a busy weekend with plenty of fun outside including a few short hikes. I've also been riding the stationary bike and each time I get on it I feel stronger, and closer to normal so I push a little harder each session. I'm still taking it pretty darn easy but I did 30 minutes last night and it felt soooooooo GOOD. Then this morning I got up and before work did a few chores around the house and then washed my truck and took my dog for quite a long, brisk walk. End result? I'm tired and sore!!  I have been using the ice machine regularly again and it continues to be very helpful.

I guess it's a very good 'problem' to have... I'm feeling good enough that I'm spending lots more time on my feet and doing chores before and after work. It's better every day but I'm trading pain for exhaustion and sore muscles! Someone please talk me out of swimming tonight...  

May 28, 2016

6 week update! Today was my PT appt for all the measurements and evaluations that Dr. Gross asks for. I went to a local PT wizard who I know through cycling... Very nice guy, INCREDIBLY FAST road cyclist and one hell of a PT. Overall he was really pleased with my mobility and flexibility. He did find a few things I'm lacking that I hadn't noticed and gave me some exercises to do to help them. I learned a lot and am really looking forward to putting the exercises to work. It's all very minor 'small muscle' stuff.

My own summary, I'm still sorta pinching myself at how well I'm doing. I honestly am waiting for the punchline, it just can't go this well and that makes me nervous. After talking with Dr. Gross and going over my X-rays (and HOPEFULLY receiving great news) I'm hoping I'll be able to relax a bit. I'm really, really looking forward to that follow up conversation.

I've upped my activity a bit at the gym going faster on the treadmill at a higher incline and also pushing a bit harder on the elliptical. After 20 good minutes split between the elliptical and treadmill the other day I was feeling so good I climbed onto the stairmaster and did 5 solid minutes without a problem. I can't tell you what a pleasant surprise that was...

I'm starting to notice that the daily exhaustion is fading. I've had some very big days lately, gym, dog park, busy at work, errands after work, etc... and I'll find myself in the evening ready to still be up and around on my feet and in a good mood. That is all such a big change. Before my surgeries I struggled to make it through a day and by the time I got home I was miserable and just wanted to sit down and try to relax but I'd just sit and hurt. A lot. I truly cannot believe the change and am so optimistic about the future.

 July 11, 2016

I think this week makes 13 weeks since my surgeries. Overall everything is going very, very well and I continue to see steady progress. Currently I'm transitioning from soft tissue around the hips being grumpy to muscles being tired and sore from vigorous use of my shiny new parts!

I'm not going to officially admit my current activity level for fear of castigation but let's just say I'm thoroughly enjoying my new hips. I've been very, very, VERY active in the last few weeks and am testing out my new parts in a variety of ways and have nothing but great things to say. I can't believe how much I can already do and also can't believe how time is flying. Quite often lately I find myself marveling at how hard I'm pushing at the gym, or on the bike or being on my feet all day building cabinets or just being busy at work all day. None of it seems to phase my hips but the rest of my body sure let's me know that I've been damn busy.  8)  It feels great to be able to do everything I'm doing while also knowing it's early and there's plenty more progress to come. Though I know I'm definitely pushing it, I am also using my brain and listening to my body. There are definitely days where I have something planned and then when my body says "Hey, dumbass! It's time for a rest day!". When it does, I listen and back things off.

This weekend was probably biggest yet and I'm certainly paying for it a little but my hips are the least of my worries, I'm just plain TIRED, head to toe. That's a pretty great feeling to be tired from having fun and working hard and have no real hip issues to speak of.

My right hip flexibility is still lagging behind the left but seems to be making progress though not at the rate I would like.

Per Chuck's suggestion in another thread, I did purchase a trigger point ball and foam roller and have found them to be very, very helpful when things do get sore. The darn things aren't cheap but they're worth it.

August 12, 2016

4 month update! The short version of the story is that I'm feeling fantastic and really, really pleased with my new hips. I've been staying busy and active and the hips just keep getting better and better and better and, well, you get it. In fact, there's plenty of time at this point that I don't think about my surgeries at all. Yes, I can still feel soft tissues that are not back to 100% but my gripes are getting very, very minor. I am soooooooo looking forward to the 6 month mark!

October 11, 2016

I made it! It's truly amazing how the time has sailed by. It's been one hell of a year and I absolutely could NOT be happier with my decision to have my hips resurfaced. Thanks again to Pat and to everyone who contributes their stories. The information on this site is absolutely priceless and I cannot put into words how much I appreciate it.

I've pushed pretty hard during my recovery and had numerous very minor setbacks due to overdoing it. Luckily, I've had no serious problems of any kind. The progress has been very, very consistent and I'd say the 4 month mark was when I really realized how good things were getting. Today, I have very few thoughts about my hips and my main focus is to not push too hard during my recovery...

A couple weeks ago I went on a hike with my girlfriend and my dog. It just so happens it was this same hike that made me decide nearly a year ago to have my hips fixed. Last November the hike really took it's toll on me, it was really, really miserable. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and I had absolutely ZERO problems. It's not a crazy difficult hike but not terribly easy either at about a 4 mile loop with a bit over 1,000' of elevation gain. I did it briskly with a big damn smile on my face!

I started back at the gym pretty early and ramped up the workouts pretty quickly following surgery. In the last month or so I've started lightly jogging a bit on the treadmill a couple times a week and have done some light leg workouts at the gym. I pay for them the next day but each is better than the last. My strength keeps on coming back and the running gets easier each session. The most I've done actually running is about 5 minutes at around 7mph on the treadmill and it feels amazing to be able to run again. I also walk at a brisk pace at an incline and also use the stair master and elliptical. I also started mountain biking waaaaaaaay earlier than I probably should have and early on I learned that my muscles just weren't ready. Over the last couple months I've felt a very good response by my body to the rides and now the progress on that front is steady and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I've put in some very decent rides up in the mountains lately, many over 20 miles with around 3,500' of climbing. I'm not near as fast as I was before surgery but I'm getting there and I think by springtime I'm going to really be back in good shape.

My right hip continues to lag behind the left in terms of flexibility but the progress continues. I'm able to easily squat quite low and can easily do lunges with both legs. Now that my restrictions are officially lifted I'll be adding weight to the squats and lunges and see how the muscles react.

It's pretty moving to think about where I was this time last year... I was having a very, very hard time. I spend a lot of time on my feet at work and am extremely active in the gym and on the bike. All of it had become very, very painful. I was miserable most of the time and was a grumpy jerk way too often. Fast forward a year and instead of the continuous deterioration of my hips I'm now feeling better, and better, and better and BETTER! I cannot express how pleased I am to have had these surgeries.

December 14, 2016

Time continues to positively fly by and I am still incredibly pleased with my new chrome parts.

Starting about the 6 month mark I began increasing the intensity of my mountain biking and spin bike training. While I'm definitely not back to 100% strength I feel like I'm heading in the right direction and feel like my progress is accelerating. I'm deliberately trying to not overdo it so each ride I'm holding back a bit but less and less as time goes by....

At this point I've backed off the gym a little in favor of more specific bike training. I'm riding more, and harder and also hitting the spin bike for over an hour of intervals a few times a week. I'm really enjoying the progress and the exercise! Last weekend I jumped on my hard tail mountain bike and went for a long cruise to see how my body would react to many hours in the saddle. I did a bit over 52 miles and about 2700 feet of climbing and sampled all kinds of terrain from paved roads to dirt roads to almond orchards to canal banks to foothill trails and bike path and everything in between. I didn't push hard and spent nearly 5 hours on the bike and could not believe how good I felt. I considered it a test run and a very successful one at that. I'm still holding out hope to participate in a very, very difficult 100+ mile gravel race in February and after this ride I'm convinced it is quite possible I can get myself into enough shape to be able to do it.

I cannot be happier with how I'm feeling and my decision to have my hips fixed! I hope everyone else is doing well also!

February 14, 2017

It was supposed to be 100 miles but the crazy California weather this winter led to a slightly shorter course than was originally planned.

So there's an event here in Bakersfield called 'The Rock Cobbler'. It's a crazy gravel race/adventure ride/suffer fest. I ride a lot of mountain bike but spend almost no time on the pavement. This race mixes the two and adds considerably with craziness, difficulty, distance and shenanigans. It's a really good time but very, very, very difficult. I participated in the first 'Rock Cobbler' a few years ago but haven't been ready for it since. When I booked my bilateral surgeries for April 2016 I was already tentatively planning or, better yet, hoping, to possibly recover enough to take part in 2017. Even though I knew maybe I was biting off more than I could chew in that amount of time I desperately wanted to accomplish this task if at all possible.

Very early in my recovery I began riding a spin bike a bit at home for very short periods of time. Over the summer I rode as much as I felt like I could, including more time outside in the mountains than I should have for my early stage of recovery. I learned quickly that this 'recovery' thing was going to be a long process and I had muscles that still had plenty of healing to do. I over did it plenty of times and learned a lot about how hard to push. I had big plans to put in the time and effort to get back into shape... and then, winter arrived. Let's just say riding outside, in the dirt has been difficult. So, back to the spin bike I went... HARD. I rode the thing 2-4 times a week for months and tried to put in a few big weekend rides. Sometimes these rides were in the dirt, if the weather permitted, or I jumped on my hardtail mountain bike and logged miles and climb. My last training ride was from my house to our mountain cabin. 55 miles and 7700 feet of elevation gain. It was a long day but I pedaled well. I was as ready as I could be.

So the Rock Cobbler was Sunday the 12th of February. 300 entries from as far away as Canada from what I hear. Over the course of the day I rode with guys from the Bay Area of Ca, San Diego, and a big group from Las Vegas. I set very realistic goals for my race/ride and that was simply to take my time and finish the race and check it off my list of recovery goals. Holding back was difficult as I'm usually a pretty hard-charger but 'racing' wasn't the goal today. We've had an  incredible amount of rain here this year so the course was a muddy mess in many places. There were two creek crossings, one with water deep enough and fast enough that they put up safety ropes. The water was nearly waist deep and moving very fast. There were two several hundred foot tall 'Run ups' that we all basically crawled up, with our bikes, while being cheered, heckled, and having beach balls thrown at us all to be applauded at the top and offered water, or pineapple juice, or a beer, or a shot of Fireball Whiskey  while a DJ blasted party music. Many of the climbs that accounted for the 6,000 or so feet of climbing were very, very steep and the scenery was pretty amazing. While the rain made for slow, sloppy, sticky conditions it also made for beautiful lush green foothills which is nice in such a dry area.

Seems like I'm rambling a bit so I'll try to wrap it up. I know I still am recovering but for where I'm at I pedaled well and could not be more pleased with how it went. I finished very respectably about mid pack I'd guess. My hips were never, ever an issue and things like the 'Run ups' were much easier(than before) with properly functioning hips. I am so incredibly humbly grateful to have been offered another chance at athletic activities like this following my hip replacements that I have a hard time putting it into words. Anyway, I'm going to take a couple rest days to recover and then it's back on the bike and to the gym to keep up the progress! My girlfriend and I and our dog have lots of outdoor adventures planned for the summer if the rain ever stops and the snow melts.

I hope everyone else here recovering well and/or enjoying their new hips as much as I am.

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