About a month and a half ago I was really in a funk. I was still having a lot of groin pain which also was contributing to pain all down my leg and pain in my back. I don’t quite remember all the details, but I do remember feeling very irritated and thinking that this wasn’t much better than I felt before the surgery. At 7 months, I thought I should at least be able to walk long distances at a decent pace, but just walking about a mile wasn’t worth it due to the pain. Since I had to have the THR because of a previous femur fracture surgery failure, I was worried that something was wrong with the THR surgery and that a revision was surely in my immediate future.
I still had about about a month to go before my ortho follow-up and when I emailed them about my concerns, they speculated that it was still just soft tissue healing and to keep going to physical therapy. So I increased my PT appointments to once a week and mainly saw a therapist who does Graston work. Basically that means she used some metal tools to kind of dig or massage over the surgical area to help break up scar tissue and increase circulation. I also gave up walking and focused just on the PT exercises and on the elliptical. I never liked the elliptical much, but when I tried it, I didn’t experience the same pain as when I was just out walking. And I started to ice more than I had been and I took ibuprofen and tylenol a little more regularly and I scheduled regular massage sessions.
I’m happy to say that something happened. I can’t say what exactly led to it whether it was the Graston, or the PT, or the elliptical, or the rest from walking, or just the plain old passage of time. I started to feel better.
I don’t have the pain down my leg anymore. I don’t really have much back pain. The groin pain has significantly improved to the point where I’d say that I feel it only under certain circumstances. I’ve added spin classes on top of my elliptical workouts and I’ve been taking my trike bike out regularly. The week before my ortho follow-up I had a vacation in Asheville, NC and went hiking just about every day without the need for ibuprofen, tylenol, or ice. I was tired as heck at the end of that vacation but it was a significant improvement compared to how I felt last year. I can say that now, I might feel sore after working out, but it’s a good sore, it goes away in a day or so and I can tell that I’m getting stronger and building muscle.
The ortho appointment didn’t last more than 10 minutes. They took an Xray. The doc came in and said everything looked normal. He did mention that my surgery leg still looked like it had some muscle atrophy compared to the nonsurgical leg. I felt pretty good so I didn’t have any questions – I definitely wasn’t going to ask him about running because I know he won’t say it’s ok to run, he’s already made that clear. My thoughts are that he’s a surgeon, not a personal trainer, and until I need him again, I think I’ll just keep my running goals between me and my PT (hopefully, I won’t ever need him again). In the end, he reminded me to use antibiotics before dental procedures and the last thing he said was “stay away from doctors” – he’s a funny guy.
So now, I’m looking ahead again and hoping I can make that 15 minute per mile cutoff for the 5 mile event I registered for in October. The last time I went out for a “speed” walk, I did about a 5k at a 15:30 minute per mile pace, so there is hope 🙂 My next update will probably be after the event, so good luck to you all out there!