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!
Just got home from my 3-month follow-up with my surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He said that I looked great, and that I can end physical therapy when my authorization expires. He said that my continued recovery is now all up to me. Since I don’t like long distance swimming, he recommended I get into biking.
In regards to the knee pain I was having the past couple weeks, he said “some groin, thigh, or knee pain will occur,” and that it’s expected. The knee pain went away two or three days ago; hopefully it will stay gone.
Finally, he cleared me to work, saying that by the time I was hired and began seeing patients, I would be physically good to go. I asked him what he thought about having me work at his hospital. He was thrilled and thought that was a great idea.
I still have some time before I interview for a job. Maybe in the meantime I’ll become one of those crazy cyclists speeding through central park.
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.
I had my 6 month follow-up appointment last week down in NYC. My doctor took a look at my MRI and said things looked great and the hip was healing nicely. My level of pain is normal, but should subside with physical therapy. And the best news of all… I’m officially weight-bearing as tolerated! I can walk!
It is now time to move onto the next step and make my leg strong and usable again. I am going to physical therapy twice a week and doing exercises at home the other five days a week. I also rejoined my gym yesterday, I can’t wait to get back into shape.