Game-day Tomorrow (surgery!)

Ok folks – thanks for all the support, stories and sharing of your experiences.  Tomorrow I’m scheduled for THR on my left hip.  After 4+ years of progressive deterioration, I made it a priority to get healthy in 2014.  Everyone’s stories and experiences have helped me get to a “take action” state of mind.

I’m so looking forward to getting tomorrow behind me so that I can get on the road to recovery.

Let the games begin.  I’m ready!!

Weeks 1-8, Dave88011

Hello, all.  I’m in my 8th week following surgery.

In weeks one and two, I was walking 20 to 30 minutes a day, using a walker.  I ditched the walker 10 days after surgery and have walking without it ever since.

By week 3, I was walking 2 miles a day.  At the beginning of week 3, my 2 mile walk was taking 40 minutes.  By the end of the week, I was doing it in 34 minutes.

Week 4, I bumped up my daily walk to 3 miles.  The first 3 mile walk, my glute started getting tight in the last mile, so I slowed down to a stroll, but still finished.  The next day, I walked a bit slower.  Later in the week, I developed a knee ache on the leg opposite my replaced hip.  I’ve had a history of knee problems due to an old soccer injury.

Week 5.  I continued doing my 3 mile walk daily, but at an easy pace due to my knee ache.  By the end of the week, the knee is feeling much better, so I start walking at a more brisk pace.

Week 6.  I’m walking my 3 miles in the 43-45 minute range daily now.  There is zero hip pain.  I tried a little running during one of my daily walks, and the new hip still hurts a bit on impact.  I also am starting to do an elliptical workout a couple of times a week.

Week 7.  I’m still walking 3-3.5 miles a day this week.  I’ve been walking at an average of 14:30 per mile.  When I try to walk faster than this, my glute gets tight.  I again tried a little running during my walk, and was able to run with hardly any pain, so I did a run/walk combo for my Sunday walk.  The workout itself felt pretty good, but my hip was very tight and a bit achy later on.  Still too early to run?

Week 8.  I’m up to 4 miles of brisk walking daily.  On my Sunday walk, I again tried some running.  I ran one-quarter mile of each mile at about an 11 minute pace.  The results were pretty much the same as the previous week.  There was very little pain while running, but my hip was tight and achy that night and the next day.  Still too early?  Before my hip problems began, I was able to run a 5-k in 20 minutes.  I know I’m a couple of years older now, but I’d like to be able to do it again.  I’d also like to do a half-marathon in under 1:40.  Fingers crossed!

I’ve also been testing my new hip on the stairmaster, which for me is the best cardio workout I can get.  I use the stairmaster to gauge my fitness.  I do 100 floors as fast as I can.  To me this is comparable to a 2 mile test run.  I was able to do 100 floors is 13:30 before my hip surgery.  I’d like to get it down under 13 minutes.  My first stairmaster workout, I did 25 floors.  The hip felt good and I felt like I could have gone further and faster, but decided to cut it short anyway. After that, I bumped it up to 50 floors the next two times.  Again, the hip felt good and no issues.  I plan to try 100 floors in the next week.

My question to experienced hip runners:  Is it better to just start running an entire distance and start building on the distance?  Or is it better to do a walk/run combination and gradually increase the running portion while lessening the walking portion?  And, will my hip get tight and achy after every run, or will that eventually get better?  Do you think I’m running too soon?

Tom – 2 Hip Runners in the Same Town

My wife has been out of town this week and I have had to act as the cook for my two youngest boys.  My philosphy has always been, if it takes longer to prepare, than it does to eat, I just can’t prepare it.  I don’t have the passion to cook and admittedly it makes me a terrible cook.  So last night, I put on my chef’s hat and took the boys to one of my favorite Irish restaurants in Spokane – O’Doherty’s.  A running group that I used to run with prior to my hip surgery, The Flying Irish happened to be meeting up at this same restaurant.  The club started out at this restaurant, hence the name ‘Flying Irish’, but outgrew it and moved to a new location.  Apparently they were running a “legacy” run from this location.  It was good to see some old friends who were still with the group.  While the boys and I were eating, Hip Runner Michele came up to me and introduced herself.  Michele has been a longtime member of the Flying Irish and it was nice to see her up and at em just one month after her hip surgery.  We had a good talk and discussed her progress with the new hip.  Everyone is different, but I couldn’t help but think how similar our thought processes were 1 month after surgery.   With the absence of the arthritic hip pain, I was antsy to get back to my workout routine.  I’m a fairly positive guy, but my optimism was tested during those first few months.  Patience is needed while the surgery site heals.  Michele looked great!  It was a quick meeting but still it was nice to meet another Hip Runner who lives in the same town.

IMG_1153
Hip Runner Michele and me meeting for the first Time…

In other news, last week, I met up with some of my teammates from my running club, the SDP (Spokane Distance Project).  Late in the summer we had mapped out a half marathon course that would allow us to make some some   ….. er ….. hydration stops on Spokane’s fledgling ‘Ale Trail’.  We were finally able to execute the plan on Friday (11/7).  Needless to say, good times were had by all.  (Thirteen miles goes by without notice when you are running, caroling and faking karaoke along the way….yes we did those things).  Hip felt great … and knee, injured in hoopfest over the summer, was tolerable.

IMG_1095
The start of the SDP Ale Trail Half Marathon

Good times were had by all…..

IMG_1139
Karoake pose at the finish line…..

Carole – about me

I am 61, active, a retired homeschool mom. I have run since highschool off and on. I joined a group of running ladies in 1999 and moved into longer distances. I really felt strong and good about running in 2011. I easily ran 2 half marathons a month apartnand decided that halves were a better choice for me than marathons. But after the second half, I had pyriformis and flexor issues that I could not shake. Gradually my running became more painful. It was a grief to not be able to run with my friends. An x-ray this summer showed how advanced the arthritis has become. I have a hip replacement scheduled for January. I think I am still in a bit of shock to be planning this.  Sometimes I wonder if I am jumping the gun on this surgery. I just did a 5k comfortably on grass last weekend and definitely passed a number of people. But I almost did not run it because I was not sure my hip would hold up. I may be able to run more and faster than some of the general public, but I have to remember what I could do if I had a hip that worked.

This site has really encouraged me that my activity can improve with a new hip. Running is not my meaning in life but it sure adds joy and companionship for me.

 

 

Dave88011. Old runner, new hip.

Hello.  I just had a total hip replacement on Sept. 24, 2014.  I have a ceramic on plastic, posterior surgery.  I’m not that old, 51.  I’ve been running for over 25 years, and hope to continue for another 25…at least.  I’ve raced all distances from 5K to marathons.

When I asked the doctor if I’d be able to run with the new hip, he said “yes, but it’s not encouraged”.  He would prefer that I walk or bike for fitness.  Why?  Because the plastic liner won’t last as long with running as it would with low-impact activities.  I asked him how long it would last if I ran every day.  He didn’t know!  He just shrugged and guessed five years?

I thought my racing days were over and that I’d be lucky to run once a week.  But after doing a little more research, and reading some of the comments here, I’m encouraged that I will be running more than once a week, and racing again!

 

Tom – When you think you Can’t…..Think Dixon

90+ year old HipRunner Dixon did not let a hip replacement in 2008 stop him from competing in the USATF Masters National Championships.  He continues to work hard  to improve his running form, even going so far as to have a coach help him with his running form.  At 90 he has goals.  This is a lesson to us all, to never….ever…..give….up.  Way to go Dixon!  You are an inspiration to all of us.

Dixon’s Note:

Last week I met with a long time friend, good runner and, for the past 20 years, a runners’ trainer.  I explained to her my problem trying to move from a fast walker to a slow runner and showed her your message describing how I might accomplish this. She videoed me while shouting “heel” –”toe” after every ten or so steps and guess what I began to actually run!  First time since my hip replacement in 2008 except for the few times I ran a bit on a polyurethane surface track at a indoor track meet!

Damon- Next Steps

Hi everyone,
I just visited Dr. Bryan Kelly yesterday to follow up on next steps.  He feels I’m candidate for hip resurfacing as opposed to a THR because of my age (37).  He said that some of his patients in the NHL have hip resurfacing.  He referred for to Dr. Su who works out of his same practice and of course doesn’t take my medical insurance in network.  I need to follow up with a consult there.  The main concern is my dyplastic right hip has little to no bone coverage in the front and rear so how will the new ‘cup’ seat in the acetabulum.  I guess I’ll find out…

I did get a cortisone shot yesterday at HSS.  My arthritic pain had quieted down but I said what the hell.

Thanks again for all your support!  I found an awesome sprint Iron Man or aquathon in Randolph NJ in August that I plan to attend.

Damon

 

Pete – Training Starts Tomorrow!

It is obvious the fitter and stronger you are going into surgery – the better your recovery will be. Thank you, my hip brothers and sisters for helping me reach this conclusion. As a result, I have decided to use the 2 months I have before surgery to get into the best shape possible.

I’m going to get back to a lot of the stuff I used to do, like weight lifting, spinning, yoga, and maybe a few short runs (except I am going to try my last long run tomorrow). Do any of you have any suggestions as to specific exercises or equipment that might be useful?

I have taken stock of all my strengths and weaknesses. On the positive side, I have a great new family of hip runners that understands and supports me. I have a lot of “miles in the bank,” a positive mental attitude, and a head as hard as a rock.

My hard head can also be one of my worst negatives. Like racing, one of the hardest things to learn is not to start out too fast. I will have to fight myself to be smart about my recovery, and try not to take on too much too soon.

I am not in the physical condition that I should be. I gained 7 pounds since the summer to 165. I won’t share my waist line measurements. That increase is too depressing. But I will share an example of pre-surgery atrophy. My right thigh of 24 inches is a full inch larger than my left thigh. My right calf is 14 5/8 inches while my left is only 14.

Training starts tomorrow!

 

Pete – About Me and My Running

My name is Peter M. My old friends call me Sammy. In Central Park they sarcastically call me Speedy Petie.

When I was healthy I used to finish in the front of the middle of the pack. I guess you could say I was average when it came to speed. Instead, distance was my thing. I could run all day if you kept me watered and salted. Nonetheless, in my running club (NY Harriers) I am the slow, old guy.

I love to run. I used to run 6 or 7 days per week. The only reason I would take a day off would be to rest up for a race. I raced hard against myself every weekend. And during July and August I would run the Summer Series up near Mohonk Mountain and the trail races up in Kingston. That makes 3 races per week during much of the summer. I believe I’ve run more races than any other slow guy on the planet.

One of the greatest joys I have experienced in my life has been running the trails with my now 8 year old grandson, Mitchell. He’s so cute! He can’t understand why they don’t let him run the adult races. He is also very competitive. When he was younger he didn’t like the idea of me running ahead of him. He would grab onto my running shorts to slow me down. I long for the days when someone, even a small child, had to slow me down. I LONG TO RUN THE TRAILS AGAIN WITH MY GRANDSON.

That is why I have finally decided on THR. It was a long haul over these past 5 years, but I believe I am finally on the right path. As I stated in my previous post, nothing is worse than being reduced to a lounge chair while the rest of my real family races in the woods. After reading the posts of my esteemed brother and sister hip runners that precede me, I have a renewed hope and optimism that I may someday be able to resume this joyous family activity.

These days, I can’t run without heavy doses of narcotics. That’s no fun. So mostly, I don’t run. I have severe arthritis in my lower body, especially my knees and hips. One doctor said the root of my problems was not too many marathons. He explained I was born with hip dysplasia. This forced the rest of my body to adjust and compensate in an unnatural way. I guess all the running didn’t help. Just like an old dog, the hip dysplasia eventually wore everything out.

I’m no doctor, but I have become painfully aware of certain medical terms. Hip dysplasia simply means the hip ball does not properly fit into the hip socket.

Now, when my 87 year old mother nags me I tell her this is all her fault and it has nothing to do with my running. I was “born this way.”

I’m not sure if all my ailments are related to the hip dysplasia. I have my own theories as to how my stupid mistakes have contributed to my condition. I’ll save that sad saga for another post. In any event, some of the terms the doctors have added to my laundry list include: “severe diffuse articular cartilage loss and irregularity at the acetabular roof and superior margin of the femoral head, small subchondral impaction fracture, subchondral marrow edema at the femoral head, degenerative tear and deficiency of the anterior and superior glenoid labrum, degenerative spurring at the acetabulum and femoral head, left lateral disc herniation with mass effect against L-1, L-2, and L-3 nerves, spinal canal stenosis” and a few other suspected conditions that sound equally depressing.

Over the past 2 years I have consulted 3 of the finest orthopedic surgeons I could find. They were unanimous in diagnosing my need for immediate replacement of my left hip and eventual replacement of my right hip. I procrastinated so long in following their good advice because I feared I would never run again after THR.

Recently, I reached the end of my rope. The pain began to permeate every aspect of my life. I can’t run. I can’t walk without a severe limp. I can’t practice yoga, I can’t tie my shoes, I can’t sleep, and I can’t even sit without pain. At this low point in my downward spiral I decided I had nothing left to lose by going forward with the surgery.

My downward spiral ended the moment I happened onto this hip-runner web site. Instead of anxiety, despair, and trepidation I am now going into this with optimism, confidence, and hopefulness.

I will be 61 years old in December 2014. I work from my home in Greenwich Village as a self-employed CPA/Tax Attorney. I also spend a lot of time upstate in The Catskills. I have 4 daughters, ages 29 to 39, and 2 grandsons, ages 8 and 3. My youngest daughter is expecting my third grandchild. It might be nice to have a granddaughter for a change. But I really don’t care. Like they say, “10 fingers, 10 toes, and a high lactate threshold.”

Thank you for reading my story.