December 13, 2017
When I first learned I needed a hip replacement I was 46. I thought I was too young and tried waiting it out. I started looking for alternatives other than a full hip replacement. My journey took me to first getting a cortisone injection. This did nothing for me other than have the experience of getting an injection in my groin. Next I started doing Bikram yoga to try and gain flexibility in all my joints and hopefully relieve some of the discomfort. This helped me gain some flexibility or not lose any more, but this did not get rid of any pain. I also tried a chiropractor do see if my alignment was causing any/some of this issue. No change. My primary care physician recommended a D.O., basically a chiropractor with a medical degree. This resulted in 5 weeks of adjustments with no change to my condition and working with a dietitian to ensure my diet was healthy and did not contain lots of foods that contribute to inflammation. This resulted in my diet changing slightly and no more appointments after 5 weeks so no change was noticed. At this point I was just waiting until I could not take the pain.
The time arrived in August of 2017. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Peter Brooks at the Cleveland Clinic. I first met with his PA, Phil, and reviewed my x-rays taken just prior to the appointment. During the appointment it was confirmed that I had no cartridge left, all bone on bone, with the added fun of a big bone spur. I decided to proceed forward with a Birmingham Resurfacing approach based on my age (now 50). I arranged for my procedure to occur December 8, 2017. This was the first available.
Three weeks prior to the surgery I had my pro-op appointment. Nothing found as I am in fairly good shape outside of a bad hip. This is the same day that I met Dr. Brooks. I was told by more than one person that he was not someone you would want to have coffee with, but a great/skilled surgeon who you would want to perform surgery. During our conversation where he answered my questions and explained the procedure I found that what I was told was wrong. He lit up as he answered my questions and delved into not just the medical aspects, but also the mechanical aspects of what he was going to do. I had no concerns after our meeting.
The day of surgery I arrived at 6:15 for my scheduled surgery at 9:30. I made sure my non-surgical leg was labeled and went through the many, many questions after my arrival to ensure the medical staff had what they needed. I was wheeled into the operating room and moved onto the surgical table. I was asked to sit up and lean over so that they could give me a spinal. Next thing I remember is waking up in the PCU and then being moved to my room. Surgery took roughly 90 minutes.
Over the next 3-4 hours the anesthesia wore off, I had lunch, and visited with my family. Dr. Brooks and one of his staff stopped by to check their work and answer any questions. At this time I was able to move my surgical leg, bending it towards my chest, and all of the exercises they wanted me to do. The first day I only could stand for a short period as I got light headed. I left the hospital on Sunday, two days after surgery. I would recommend that you bring headphones, any reading material, etc. for your stay. Prior to leaving I was able to do 30 of each of the exercises and climb up and down the stairs with no issue or concern.
Prior to surgery I spoke with a number of folks who had the procedure and did a ton of reading. So when I got home I had already picked up a recliner (check Facebook marketplace or craigslist). Since we did not have a recliner this was a godsend since trying to get up from a couch would have been painful and challenging each time. I also installed toilet handles on the upstairs and downstairs toilets. These have been extremely helpful since they give you two different drugs to help you poop which are needed with the pain meds.
Now five days since the surgery I still have pain from the surgery, but it is getting better every day. Today I rode on a stationary bike for 25 minutes to help pump fluid out of my leg and work on flexibility. This was approved by Dr. Brooks. He encouraged me to lower the seat to gain more flexibility or as much as I can tolerate.
I will check-in and add content as my progress progresses. At this point I am planning on going back to work (remotely) after only three weeks out of the office. My goal is to regain strength and flexibility and resume activities of hiking, biking, and daily activities pain free.
January 1, 2018
It has been 24 days since my surgery.
What I have learned so far…
– Been off pain medication since 5 days after coming home. Will take an occasional Tylenol as needed, but even this has been rare in the last week or so.
– Stationary bike has been great. I use it for 30 minutes every day with the seat lowered to get as much flexibility as I can with my leg. No tension/resistance while using it. I have been using it since the third day being home. Started with 10 minutes and then built up to 30 minutes within a few days.
– Very impressed with how I was able to do the recommended exercises starting week 3. I have tried to do them as recommended 3 times a day. Some times are easier than others, but the more movement the better.
– Elevation of the leg, above heart, is so very important. the first week I was not elevating as high as needed and my leg was extremely swollen. I held an additional 10 pounds, from swelling in leg, until the middle of week 3.
– No pain anymore in the groin of the hip that had surgery. This has been gone since surgery.
– Currently the only pain that I have is where the scar is forming from the healing of the incision.
As of 1/2/2018 I am going back to work. I will be working remotely, but this means that I was able to get back to work with only being out of work for 3 weeks and 1 day. This is only possible since I work at a desk. If I had a physically demanding job then at least 6 weeks if not more would probably be needed