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.
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.
Had my 6-week followup with my surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery. The appointment went well. He said I still have about 6 weeks of recovery left. I was happy to hear that the hip precautions are gone, except for crossing my right leg over my left. That will make things easier. He also said I’m allowed to sleep on my right side again. That’s not going to happen quite yet, since sleeping on that side was painful even before the surgery.
He reiterated that “walking is my friend,” and encouraged me to do it often. He explained that during the hip replacement, they cut through my iliotibial band, which is why I’m still not walking very well.
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.