My Story – Any advice, direction welcomed.

I posted this on the ‘new user’ page but now that I have been given access as a user, I wanted to post it inside the forum as well.  I am a 46 year old male. I’m not built like a runner (stocky 5’10” and 205 pounds)…I like to lift weights and downhill ski. But my 5’11” wife got me hooked on running with her about five years ago. We both increased our cardio ‘shape’ and my wife went on to run a couple of half marathons. Although I could run a marathon, the damage to my hip and the pain I would suffer would not be worth that shining moment. I keep my runs to 10 or less. I was born with Perthes and Hip Displacea. I never really noticed anything was wrong until track in high school. After my growth spurt, my right leg ended up about an inch and a half shorter than my left leg. There is almost no neck at the end of my femur and the ball is anything but smooth and round. Miraculously, there is still a good amount of cartilage so there is no bone on bone. But because of the small space between my pelvis and femur, muscle and nerves get pinched and if there is any swelling I get pain and numbness down my leg and a throbbing deep ache in my hip that can drive me crazy after several hours without medication. This increasing pain started a yo yo of on and off pain medication about 10 years ago. I used to count the bad days and now I thank God every time I have a good day. One of the reasons I love to run is because I sit at a desk all day. And even though I get up as often as I can, the sitting causes me as much or more pain than long walks. Running is actually the lesser of the three evils (standing, walking, running). Standing in one spot for over three minutes is like torture. After 20 minutes of any standing (like at amusement parks with my kids) is agony; almost unbearable. I have been told for years that I will have to have my hip replaced. The question is when. Most doctors say that I should wait as long as I can stand it. Some specify at least 55. One surgeon told me I should have had it done 10 years ago; another said that I should be aware that if I get it done I may have a fake hip and that I still might have as much or ‘more pain.’ After I heard that, I was even more fearful to get surgery done. Over the past month, the pain has increased again. I am exhausted from living with pain, pain medication, and what it does to my body to constantly be going off and back on pain medication. Just looking for advice, support, and direction.

17 thoughts on “My Story – Any advice, direction welcomed.

  1. I say do it. I was 40 when I was told I was bone on bone and I needed surgery and I delayed it for 10 years. During that time I think technology did get better but after having it replaced I do look back and wish I had done it sooner. I’ve had a lot of success with my THR and some setbacks but overall very positive and I push it very hard. I think you’ll be able to do whatever you want after surgery, give it time though, as long as you listen to your body. Some people have taken longer to recover after surgery but I would recommend get as fit and prepared as you can as I think it helps recovery. After the 3 months, don’t just focus on running, make sure you do plenty of strength training to build up your muscles. Good luck.
    Dave.

  2. I second Dave Whiteside’s comments! Especially the part about focusing on strength training to build up the muscles that will support the hip! Go for it Tim!

  3. Hey Timmer

    We’re bothers of different mothers! I’m 6 Ft and go about 200 lbs. (Grew 1/2″ after replacements) And my running wife drags me up and down the roads early in the morning. I was 49 when a got my first replacement and 50 for my other, but things started going south when I was about 47. Sitting, walking and running were painful. Drives over 30 minutes were painful. Sleeping was the worst! Never really got more than an hour of good sleep before hip pain woke me. I’m now running on dualies. No pain. I would get it done now. It doesn’t matter your age. Find a Dr that understands your activity desires post replacement. Once you find one, get it scheduled!

  4. Hey Timmer

    We’re bothers of different mothers! I’m 6 Ft and go about 200 lbs. (Grew 1/2″ after replacements) And my running wife drags me up and down the roads early in the morning. I was 49 when a got my first replacement and 50 for my other, but things started going south when I was about 47. Sitting, walking and running were painful. Drives over 30 minutes were painful. Sleeping was the worst! Never really got more than an hour of good sleep before hip pain woke me. I’m now running on dualies. No pain. I would get it done now. It doesn’t matter your age. Find a Dr that understands your activity desires post replacement. Once you find one, get it scheduled!

  5. Hi Timmer! I second (and third!) the comments above — If you are having these issues where your quality of life (not the quality of life any other doctor thinks you should have) is being hindered, it’s time to do it. I was 43 when I had it done and was scared too, but I wanted my life back! Each and every day (even the days in the hardest part of the recovery) I wake up thankful.

  6. Sorry for not getting back for a couple weeks. Things went badly after that post. I had a bout of really bad pain. I was running a couple nights after my post above and it was like I stepped into a hole. I literally lost all function in my right leg for a split second. After that, my back and my other hip ached. I caught myself and didn’t fall somehow but I twisted everything in the process. I wasn’t able to run until last night and it was a really slow pace and only 4km. Anyways, shortly after that I went to see the doctor and I have begun what will likely be a very long process here in Canada. I have two MRIs scheduled but the waiting period is four months. After that I have to wait to see the surgeon I have chosen in Toronto….if he will take me because I am from out of town. Then I will be put on the waiting list for surgery. I will be 46 in June so best guess is that I will be 47 when the time finally comes unless I get bumped up somehow. Something went that day running and I can’t seem to get back to where I was. Staying in shape will be difficult now. I will have to stop running I think ….probably stick to biking.

  7. Timmer! I am sorry to hear about the set back. You are probably right about the running. IT is time to cut back until you get the replacement. But by all means stay in shape. Recovery is so much easier if you do. It is too bad you have to wait so long for the surgery. In the end it will all be worth it! Keep us posted.
    Hip Brother Tom

  8. 2 1/2 years ago I had both hips replaced using a newer procedure called hip resurfacing. I’m quite pleased with the results. I’m running, weight lifting, playing some soccer and wrestling. Unlike a traditional hip replacement, I have my full femur so if I wear this out I can still get a normal replacement. Consequently, there was no reason to put off the replacement. By the way, pain relief was immediate and I was exploring Seattle, where my surgery was performed, on crutches the day after surgery.

    One reason to not wait is that you don’t want your activity to diminish, and you muscles atropy, because of the pain. This will make your recovery take much longer.

    One recovery – I was in the gym 2 days after surgery using the airdyne. Within 2 weeks I was off crutches. At my 7 week check-up my surgeon removed all movement restrictions. I didn’t feel quite ready to run at that point,but, I was lifting daily. My biggest problem was regaining range-of-movement, particularly flexion of my left hip. It’s enough
    Now for ordinary things but I still can’t bring it anywhere near my chest.

    1. I had hoped for resurfacing but because the top of my femur is where most of the deformity is that isn’t an option for me. I have had one of two MRIs and I am now waiting to see if the surgeon in Toronto will take me on. I will keep you all posted.

  9. So the doctor in Toronto saw me. There was no question. I will be getting a THR in six months. I’m thrilled and scared at the same time. I will just be turning 47. It will be a cross-linked polyethylene on titanium hip. He stated that the issue won’t be what I ‘can’ do but what I ‘should’ do after the operation. I can’t live with the pain anymore so today, I am just happy that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Hey Timmmer, I’m pretty sure you’ll be kicking yourself for not getting it done sooner. Technique and HW are much improved from 5 or 7 years ago. I would strongly suggest swimming as much as possible, to get your weight down (skinny people do much better, just because of physics). Everyone is different, but in my case, every lower body exercise increased the pain; paradoxically, not exercising helped me delay the surgery. Good luck.

  10. OK…well four weeks and two days to go. April 13th is the big day. I am nervous. More nervous than I was to have a vasectomy reversal…and as a guy..that was pretty nerve racking. 🙂

    My biggest fear is having this done and losing my ability to do things. Right now I can still do anything I want to…I just pay for it dearly. Kind of like drinking. You have fun in the moment but pay for it in the morning. I fear that I will lose the choice with pain or not. But I read more positive than anything here so I have to keep that in mind. I will be getting a THR with a titanium hip and cross linked polyethylene. I promise to touch base as soon as I am home and in good spirits.

      1. Thanks Tom…at least it is summer here in Canada soon and that will make rehabilitation easier. IT’s a good thing too because I am starting to gain weight. Stopped running last summer and then even biking was mentally gruelling. It was definitely time. Three weeks and counting.

        1. Timmer you will wish you did this sooner, I do. I postponed mine for over 10 years. I’ve had ups and downs over the last 6 years but mainly ups and I have some great memories. I do a lot of cross training now and that helps. You will get stronger, good luck and keep positive, better days are ahead of you.

  11. I have a question for all of you. I am getting the cross linked polyethylene hip. My doctor said he did his first hip built with this material in 2001 and he has not had a single patient need a revision yet. Do any users on this site have that type of hip that are seeing any signs of wear? Apparently, given that I am active, this is the best type for me. You can’t tell from the internet because all of the manufactures simply contradict each other. Everyone has the best hip.

  12. So it has been a week and two days since my surgery. I’ll admit, the post-op pain was a bit worse than I expected. However, they stretched my right leg 1.3 inches so that it is nearly identical in length now to my good left leg. The four hour ride home from the hospital and an infection of some kind set me back a bit. They released me from the hospital 40 hours after my surgery and that may have been a bit premature given the distance I had to travel. But I feel well enough today to type out this short message and I have hope that each day will just get better now.
    Timmmer

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