Oh Well, Time to Get the “Other Hip” Replaced!

Five years ago this month at the age of 56 I had a THR of my left hip.  At the same time I found Tom’s website and therefore went into surgery confident I would run again. There were only about 5 Hipsters at that time. My surgeon was strongly opposed to me running post surgery (and still is!) and also informed me that it was likely I would need a THR of my right hip in about 3 years. After my surgery I did a lot of pool running, biking and weight training for the first 5 months. I began running beginning in the fifth month and have continued to do so, injury free up until 1 month ago when I started to get significant pain in my right hip. During these past 5 years I have run many long distances races and have competed in several triathlons of various distances, including a few Olympic distance triathlons. The good news is that my 5 year X-ray on the left THR showed no visible wear and tear. As for my right hip, I can bike and swim with minimal pain but running has become too painful. My surgeon said if I don’t run I probably can defer the surgery for 2-4 years. Since I am a runner at heart rather than a biker or swimmer, I told my surgeon I will be scheduling the surgery shortly. After all runners need to run!

Brian -10 Month Report

Hi Hipsters, It has been a while since I last posted a report, however, I wanted to be up and running for a while before providing an update. I did manage to wait 5 months before taking my first run. Prior to that first run I did spend a lot of time weight training, biking, swimming and aqua running. I truly believe it prepared me for actual running since I have had little discomfort with my new hip. I am only running 3 or 4 days per week supplemented with 3 days of weight training biking and swimming. Many of my family and friends have commented that I look much better than when I was “just a runner”. I guess that is because I am a little fuller and have more upper body muscle than before surgery.

I have run a few 5k races and am running at a 7:40 – 8:00 minute pace as opposed to a 6:30 – 6:50 minute pace pre-surgery. I am very happy with my progress and know I can decrease my times if I intensify my workouts. I plan on participating in some triathalons since I now enjoy long bike rides.

My only real concern right now is the fact that I will eventually need my other hip (right hip) replaced. The surgeon said within 1 to 3 years the wearing of the cartilage will cause me the same pain as it did in my left hip. Since it is inevitable, I am going to continue my activities and let the chips fall where they may!

I plan on purchasing Alistair’s book tonight!!! It should motivate me even more.

Brian – Week 14

My recovery from a THR of my left hip is going very well. However,  I have decided to wait a full six months before I begin to run again,  Unlike some of the other hipsters, I have been advised by my surgeon not to run “ever again”.  Although I have decided not to take his advice, I do intend to take it slow.  I have been riding a stationary bike for 45 minutes  4 or 5 days a week. I am also weight training 3 – 4 days a week. I do full body weight training and have spent more time training my lower body then I ever have in the past.  I want to condition my lower body as much as possible before I begin to run again. I have done some swimming and intend to start pool running workouts in January. I have been reading a lot about pool running and am considering substituting some pool runs for “real” runs.  Also, I am considering entering the triathlon world as a substitute for the marathon world I lived in prior to my hip problems.

Another consideration for me is that I am headed for a THR of the right hip sometime in the future, probably in the 3-5 year timeframe. Therefore,   I could be looking at  a “double” hip revision surgery when I am in my late 60s or 70s.  With or without running, I will likely need the revision surgeries if I live long enough. Maybe I should run as much as I want to and have the revision surgeries when I am still relatively healthy? Food for thought!!