I can’t believe it’s already been a year since my total hip replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery.
The hip itself feels great. For the most part I experience no pain. Every once in a while I’ll move it in an awkward direction or lift something too heavy and it will hurt or feel uncomfortable for a day or two. Other than that I can’t even tell it’s a prosthesis.
My back unfortunately hasn’t improved a whole lot since the surgery. Prior to the THR, I had a 1″ leg length discrepancy. Now that my legs are even lengths again, my spine has re-adjusted, and is now causing quite a bit of pain. I had hoped it would subside, but it’s been a year and the pain is still present. For the most part, sitting and walking are fine, but standing is very painful, especially when I’m scrubbed in on a surgery and I stand in the same position for hours. I’m seeing my surgeon in a month, and he’ll probably refer me to either physical therapy or to a spine surgeon, even though I won’t be having another surgery right away!
Here are the before and after X-rays from my total hip replacement. I lined up my pelvis in both X-rays so that you can see the 1″ that I regained through the hardware.
(Click image for the high-resolution version)
For those that missed it, check out the animation I posted showing how a total hip replacement is performed. It will also help you understand what you’re looking at in the X-ray.
It’s been a month since I had my total hip replacement. For the most part things have been progressing slowly, but they are definitely moving in the right direction. The hip is feeling really good. It’s amazing to be able to sit on the subway or in a restaurant and not be in terrible pain. Walking is still difficult, but I already am walking better than I did prior to the replacement, albeit with a cane. The strength still isn’t there, but the range of motion is better, which allows me to take more normal strides and also stand up straight.
My first follow-up with my surgeon is scheduled for this coming Friday, February 11th. I’m interested to hear what he has to say about my status, especially since I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him after the surgery. I also hope to get copies of my latest x-rays. I only got a glimpse of my new hip when they took a post-op x-ray in the PACU.
Began my outpatient physical therapy yesterday. Their location is great, I can almost see the facility from my bedroom window. My therapist is very orthopedically experienced and I hope it will be a good match. I’m going twice this week, but will start going three days a week beginning Monday.
The leg has been feeling great. This surgery was 100 times easier than my last surgery (the FVFG). I’m only using one crutch outside, and when I’m home I use my cane or nothing at all. Sleeping has been difficult, but I assume it will get better with time. Thanks to the years of uneven legs and compensating with my left leg, I have some significant lower back issues which I’m looking forward to resolving. It actually hurts more than my operated leg, if you could believe that.
At this point I am very optimistic. I’m confident that I am in more control over my body now than I’ve been for a very long time, and it feels great.
Categories: Marines, Medical crutches, FVFG, hip, pain, physical therapy, sleep, surgery, THR, total hip arthroplasty, total hip replacement
After almost a week of being at home, I finally had a visit from my in-home physical therapist last Friday. As far as exercises, there were no surprises, since I’ve been through this a few times already. My hip has been feeling pretty good, except after my exercises when my entire thigh aches with deep pain.
Prior to my surgery I had assumed that the range of motion and strength issues I had been living with would magically disappear. Instead, all of my limitations are still here. Most notably, I can still barely lift my right leg off the ground, and my right leg won’t extend behind my body while walking or standing. I guess the good news is I should be able to correct everything with physical therapy. The bad news is, it’s going to be a long time until my body returns to it’s pre-avascular necrotic state.