Hi. I am lifelong runner , hiker, bicycle commuter & triathlete with a specific question re. hip replacement recovery and running. Had anterior hip replacement on right hip March 2012. Before that did a lot of triathlons. Good quick recovery & back to jogging by that summer but did not run seriously as we did international work a couple of years with minimal running/ competition opportunity, then I had series of small injuries (not related to hip); last year it was a broken arm when I slipped trail running! I would like to return to long distance triathlons. However if I run more than 5 miles I get a “popping” in right knee. My physical therapist says it’s weak hips & gave me lots of hip strengthening work. I wonder if right hip perpetually weaker because of artificial hip& puts more stress on knee. Has anyone else in the community had this issue and do you have advice on how to specifically target/strengthen weak right hip? I do not get these problems cycling, hiking or backpacking. I do best on trail running and worst on flat pavement; alternating some with barefoot/toe shoe running seems to ease stress on knees. I thought about more work in minimalist shoes; something I could use for triathlons that would be easier on knees but easy to slip on? (unlike toe shoes which make you crazy in transition). Thanks for all/ any advice!
Hey all. I’m your standard once in awhile contributor. I’m notoriously overwhelmed with too much stuff to do– The Husband (author Weston Ochse) is deployed, my Dad had a stroke last October, I have three Great Danes (two of which are aging), and I work full time *and* still try to write fiction in my “spare” time while taking care of three houses (ours, the old one we haven’t been able to sell, and my Dad’s). What’s relevant here is that I had a hip replacement in June of 2012; my right hip had bugged me since I was a child, when I would occasionally get out of bed and literally collapse when I tried to take a step on the right side. I would “walk it out” (translation: lurch around) and ultimately be fine. It would go away for years, then come back. Then go away. As I got older the going away periods got shorter.
One day in mid-summer 2011 I wore green high heels to work, took a forward step, got a shot in the hip (which had been hurting more frequently), and this time it never went away. I had reached the point where I completely ran out of cartilage on that side. Apparently I had a genetic abnormality where my hip socket was smaller than normal (so same amount of pressure over a smaller area). In the course of the next year and the medical insurance controlling how fast I could get treatment, the top of the femur not only rubbed bone on bone but pushed upward about a half inch or so; I even had a last-ditch effort in the form of a fluoroscopic cortisone shot so I could enjoy a trip to Spain before my surgery (didn’t work and I broke down and bought a cane in Valencia, because I could hardly walk at all). The surgery went fine, my pain was awful because nothing (including all the Oxy, Percocet, etc.) stopped the pain. Then everything became a hundred times worse because I developed severe anemia. Long story short, ditch the whine, I recovered.
And let me just interject here that all the times in the 70s and 80s that I jokingly said “I’m going to end up having to get this hip replaced?” I WAS FREAKING JOKING!
Anyway, if I must admit it, I was 55 at the time of my total hip replacement (which the surgeon kept moaning was too young) in June of 2012 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. I asked about running once I got past the anemia and got the Fear Up response: “I did your surgery in about an hour and a half. I had to do a hip revision earlier this week that took me 4 hours. It will take twice as long to recover, a bigger incision, you’ll have twice the pain. This is what you’re risking if you run. Do low-impact exercises.” Nice guy, great doctor, but remember Charlie Brown’s Mom? Yeah, me too. And every time I think back on that conversation, I hear the doc’s words as “Wah, wah-wah, wah-wah” in my head.
However, the Fear Up response worked quite well on my husband, and he and the surgeon convinced me that there should be no more motorcycle riding, because “What if [I] fall on my right hip and end up needing a hip revision?” My motorcycle is still in the garage because I (::ahem::) haven’t gotten around to selling it. I know from a 2009 personal experience that I used to be able to bounce if I wrecked a motorcycle. Surely I can still do so, right?
So there you go. But if you check my Facebook page, you’ll see that ordered and on the way is a brand new pair of Hoka One One 2 Speeds.
I can’t wait to try them. The elliptical and weight training are great, I’ve lost 17 1/2 pounds between exercise and fairly healthy eating, but I want to run. I want the music in my ears at just the perfect beat. I want the breeze flowing past me (even if it is an Arizona 104 degrees). I want to peer at the landscaping in front of other peoples’ houses and be critical of their weeds. My husband has been in Afghanistan since April, and he has lost 50 pounds, discovered toe shoes are the only thing in the universe that DON’T make his military-destroyed feet hurt, and has just completed his first 5k. We could run together when he gets home. Back in the 90s, I could run 11 miles. Now, in 2013, I would be happy with my standard, pre-hip problem distance of 3 miles in 36 minutes.
So stay tuned. Cuz, you know…
I WANT TO RUN!
Dark Artist ~ Bionic Writer ~ High Desert Literary Heroine
On Christmas day 2005 I walked out of Wellington Public Hospital with a new hip replacement and no pain at last. If it wasn’t for the crutches I’d have thrown my arms in the air in celebration, just as I did finishing the Western States 100 fourteen years earlier.
Hi fellow hippies and hippies-to-be, I’m Alistair from New Zealand, “thanks” Tom for bringing us all together. I mention the WS100 mile ultra-marathon because during that last long run in 1991 my genes overtook me – Hip dysplasia, the family curse. Over the following years niggling hip pain deteriorated until I struggled to walk. You probably know the stabbing hip pain well.
After hip replacement surgery I began using trekking poles and was soon able to enjoy walking some of my old trail-running routes. I had dutifully listened to my hip surgeon who answered “No” to the inevitable question “Will I be able to run after a hip replacement?”.
One day though, about 5 years post-surgery, an old urge sneaked up on me. As I began my walk up Belmont Trig I leaned forward on my toes and started to run up the steep gravel track. My hip felt strong and it seemed such a natural thing to do. Since then I have spent many happy miles playing with and researching safe running techniques and learned a lot about running with a hip replacement, and myself.
My weekend runs range from two to five hours, although I have to sheepishly admit to injuring my right foot on a tough bush run about 5 weeks ago. It’s healing but, as I sit contemplating my unused running gear, I am reminded once again not to take running for granted.
Hi, my name is David Whiteside and I had a total hip replacement on my left hip just over 2 years ago on Dec 6th 2010. I’m 52, originally from England but have lived in the US for last 22 years, father of 3 and grandfather of 2, and my story starts about 20 years ago from my days of playing soccer. Initially my doctor’s diagnosed me as having Hip Bursitis and in my 30’s I should consider giving up soccer, but that was never going to happen. So I continued playing and going back every 2-3 years when the pain got a lot worse until 2002 when I got the correct diagnosis of needing as hip replacement within a year as it was already bone on bone. I have to admit, tears came to my eyes with this news as I enjoyed playing soccer so much. I decided to get a second opinion from a sports specialist and he agreed I needed a hip replacement but encouraged me to keep playing soccer as long as I could, what damage could I do. I started taking Celebrex and it helped for a couple of years until my body got used to it and I then tried other medications but none really agreed as much with my stomach. One of the guys I played soccer with told me about a natural liquid Glucosamine and Chondroitin formula he was taking which I took and it helped me a lot before I had my replacement allowing me to play for a few more years. By 2010 walking half a mile to the beach I would be limping quite badly and it would just get worse standing up while fishing. Having given up playing soccer 3 years earlier and now it was impacting fishing I decided it was time to take the next step, I was older, technology was better and what did I have to lose.
To prepare for this I started to run as I wanted to come out of the surgery strong as I hated the idea of not being able to walk and having to rely on people to help me. The town where I live in Florida, Indian Rocks Beach has a 5K beach run every April which was about a month out so I signed up for that and started training, running a couple of miles a couple of days each week. I hadn’t done anything for the previous 3 years since moving from NJ and had put on over 25 pounds. Come race day I lined up and set of down the beach and did well, running 26:46 and my hip didn’t feel that bad. I scheduled my surgery for December, outside the main fishing season, with Dr. John Kilgore who specializes in computer assisted minimally invasive surgery with Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida located in Clearwater. I carried on running each weekend but after a couple of months I could only manage a run once every other week due to the pain, it was like running with a plank tied to my left leg and I was dragging it along. However I persevered with it and the weeks leading up to the surgery I was up to 6 miles, running 50 yards and then having to walk 50 yards. Neighbors would stop when they saw me and ask if I needed a lift because I looked like I was in a lot of agony, which I was, but I continued with my training. In the education class just before my surgery I almost backed out of it hearing about how you had to put on socks, how long it would take it recover etc., even at 50 I was the youngest in the group, but given the lifestyle that was facing me if I didn’t do anything I decided to go ahead with the operation.
Come Monday, the day of the operation I went into the hospital and was scheduled to have my operation around 2pm but eventually went in around 4:30pm. The next thing I remember was waking up in my hospital bed with my wife Judy waiting by my side and a couple of tubes inserted in various places. I didn’t feel that bad, mainly uncomfortable but not in too much pain. The next morning the doctor came round and I was to get up and walk down to the nurses station and back. As I got up I felt dizzy and my blood pressure started to raise so I was put back into bed to rest another day before attempting it again. The doctors and nurses were great, the worst part was when they came into the room in the middle of the night waking you up to take blood samples and other stats. I woke up on the Wednesday morning and just hoped that I would be able to do it, I wanted to be home for the weekend and attend the gift exchange party we have in our neighborhood. The doctors came around and got me out of bed and this time I felt fine and was able to walk to the nurses station and back. As the party was on the second floor of a 2 story house I asked if I could practice walking up the stairs so I could go to the party. We went in the hallway and I practiced my sideways steps holding on to the wall and walked up and down the stairs. Success, I felt proud of myself and was put back in bed to rest. Providing everything was okay on Thursday morning and I could walk again I would be able to go home, which I did. I remember the car ride was probably the most uncomfortable of my life, and trying to get out of the car after the 10 minute ride I looked like an old man getting out. I rested that night and a physio was going to come out and see me the following day. I had been given a walker to help me, but when he came and saw me he gave me a cane and told me I didn’t need the walker. Later that day I went for a small walk around the block, by the weekend I went to the party and come Monday I wasn’t even using the cane. The following week after just 2 weeks off I went back to work, I’m a computer manager so didn’t have to walk that much or do anything that physical, I just needed Judy to drive me to and from work for a couple of weeks until I was cleared to drive. I would say after 2 weeks I was walking a couple of miles and by the third or fourth week walking 4 miles. I felt like I could jog and wanted to but the doctor had told me absolutely no running for 3 months until the bone had time to fuse to the hip.
Over the next few weeks I will cover the first couple of years with my new hip, my first 5K race after the operation, training a full year to improve my time for following year’s 5K, and then running my first every 10K, half marathon and marathon (Jan 2013) within 3 months of each other. Prior to that I had only ran about six 5K races in my life although I was always active with soccer. I will share my success, my motivation and yes, some of my struggles. Although I think I’ve been very successful it’s not been without some pain recently. I’m really glad I spent 8 months training before my surgery to prepare for my recovery, it gave me the desire to continue and to make me the runner I am today. I helped form a running club just over 12 months ago and I now run 5 to 6 times a week, to what my wife describes as an obsession. Now I’m excited about the possibilities of what I can accomplish, to see if I can achieve the various goals I’ve set for 2013, but worried about if my hip will hold up to all the training. I’ve lost the 25 pounds I had gained and now back to 165 pounds, which for my height of 5 foot 11 I think is healthy. I’m proud of my accomplishments and happy to share them with you, I just wish my parents were alive to share in this chapter of my life. I hope through my words you will also be encouraged to embark on this journey, for it is full of reward, adventure and new found friendships.