Ruth D says

I’m approaching 6 months into my new right hip. I’m now at the stage of “wow” I can’t believe what I’ve had done and how it’s possible to recover so well so soon. I’m 46. I was told I have hips of an 80 year old – let me back up a few years. I’m a tennis pro. First a player and now a teaching pro. I estimate that to be about 36 years of shuffling laterally. Compliment that with a few marathons and many half marathons plus some competitive road racing it might be said I’ve had my fair share of hip usage. 6 years ago I was hit on my bike and broke my left iliac crest (Pelvis) – the most painful accident ever and from that point on my reference point to all pain. Breaking my pelvis led to a lot of overuse of the right side protecting my left as much as possible. Eventually it all caught up. Injection after injection in both hips some PT. 2013 I ran two marathons Miami and London – London being the best experience ever running for the Children with Cancer Charity. I ran just fast enough to qualify for the 2014 event. By October 2013 I couldn’t run, couldn’t jog and couldn’t walk without limping,couldn’t lay on hip in bed, it kept me awake basically my quality of life was not so good.. Eventually I could feel the bones literally grinding. i started interviewing surgeons looking for one that would simply tell me I could run again – not just a 5k here and there for the heck of it. After talking to 5 surgeons in and around Philadelphia I found my man at Rothmans Institute. Dr Sharkey. The ironic thing being some 20 years previously I had had dinner with him and his wife as I used to teach tennis to her. I was told there would be no restrictions …none and that I could run as far as I wanted within reason. That was all I had to hear. A couple of weeks later – I had a new hip. In at 6am monday morning out at 1pm the next day with a walking stick. My muscle atrophy going into the operation was significant but compared to coming back from a broken pelvis I knew what to expect in order to get back to where I wanted to be. I hit physical therapy immediately. I ate my super foods, watched everything I put into my body. Rested. Slept. Got my strength back and read Hip Runner blogs.My girlfriend and friends were wonderful in trying to keep my spirits up. We all need motivation. Dr Sharkey recalled a patient he had run into who had just run the Dopey event in Florida – a 5k, 10k. and a marathon all in a weekend. I was allowed to start jogging 5 weeks in to therapy – one min on one min off on the tread mill. The amount of time and distance slowly built it up but i listened carefully to my body. The Philadelphia Broad Street 10 miler was approx 11 weeks after my surgery – it was a long shot but after determining that I couldn’t hurt myself I ran it. Amazingly only 9 mins slower than the year before. 1hr 19or so mins – I’d run but a handful of times – i loved it but I knew it wasn’t the most sensible of things to do.
I graduated PT after 7 weeks – but continued to do all my exercises every day. I got back to teaching but not to the level I wanted. I’m working with a trainer now, once a week, but we concentrate on functional movement to strengthen both my hips. My left hip will need to be replaced but right now I’m back to running very comfortably and getting stronger every week. There’s a half marathon coming up at the end of the month which I hope to run in.
I know we are all different, we all recover differently, we are all motivated differently but I have to say with a broken pelvis, a new right hip and a new left hip down the road – that there are situations in life that might seem scary and the end of life as we know it but there’s always a way to know you’re in a better place than someone else. I had a best friend until January this year this year. A few years before she had breast cancer – she beat it and 6 weeks before I told her i was going to have a new hip but I was scared she simply said “If I’m brave enough to beat cancer you’re brave enough for a new hip” A month before I had my hip my friend died she never got to see it. I’ll be running a marathon this year in memory of her – I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks for reading

3 thoughts on “Ruth D says

  1. Ruth what a great Report! I am so glad you found a doctor who was supportive of your goal to get back to running. It is definitely not a black and white thing. Sure you can over do it, but if you listen to the hip and only push it so much….you can achieve great things. You are 46. That is when I got my new hip. I have run 2 half marathons this year and in each, I beat my goal time for the year (under 1:25). I am sorry to hear about your friend. So many people play a role in motivating us and moving us beyond what we thought we were capable. Your friend was for you. And now you will be for future HipRunner readers. With all of the obstacles you have faced from the Broken Pelvis to the new hip, you are an inspiration to many. Keep posting! Love these positive reports!

  2. Working with Ruth, I know firsthand that she does not like to stay stationary, so when we at the office found out she was to have a hip replacement I think we were all more concerned about her mental well-being than her physical! She is a machine and to see her recover so fast was awesome. To all other posting on this site: you don’t need to be a top class athlete to return to your normal form, just the motivation and drive. For Ruth, it was her support team and her goal to run again. nice post and good luck to everyone!

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