30 July 2008

Summer Update

So you may notice that these posts are signed by "Buppy the Puppy." His blog gets much more traffic than this one does, and it's written from his point of view, so signing them Francine Hardaway didn't seem logical, and Blogger doesn't seem to let you change your signature from blog to blog. Or if it does, I haven't bothered to learn.

But this is the latest and greatest on the hip replacement, which will be two years old in November.

I can now balance on my left leg. This is a big deal. Couldn't do it before the replacement, and couldn't do it for a long time after, because I also have a scoliosis that tilts me to the left. In fact, that's what probably threw the hip out in the first place. And then I have no arch on my left foot -- also a problem.

So now I recommend Pilates as a complement to yoga. Pilates has given me an even greater and more subtle sense of alignment, and how small muscles in strange places help you stand and walk. But if you are going to take Pilates, don't go to the gym or take a mat class. To get anything out of it, you have to use the Reformer, a wierd piece of equipment with an even stranger name. But the Reformer gives you the feedback you need to truly strengthen the correct muscles.

I probably should have known all of this before I trashed my hip!

15 comments:

ursula.s said...

Reading about Buppy the Puppy makes me miss my Katie! She is staying with friends in California while Al fights fires and I recover from my surgery.

I think my surgery has gone well and will be a success! I have no pain other than itching and swelling for surgical tape which I removed tonight. Hardest part has been to keep my leg straight as I was walking somewhat "pidgeon-toed" before the surgery.

I look forward to being able to do the things I've read that you are able to do! Especially to ride my bike again!

Thanks for sharing this blog! It was a great help before and after my surgery!

Carla Kienast said...

Dear Buppy: Thanks so much for your blog. I have hip replacement surgery Monday, 8/18 and have been searching for insights from real patients. Yours was great and I appreciate you sharing. I've had a lot of surgeries, but I've developed a fear factor for this one, so I'm trying to quell that inner beast with knowledge. Congratulations on being a powerful, wonderful woman in touch with life. May you have many blessings. Carla Kienast http://carlascorner.wordpress.com, www.streetcom.com

Martina said...

Thanks so much for his blog all the best.

Rose Marie said...

Hi Buppy.
My name is Rose marie, and I also had the same problems: left hip replacement with an underlying scolisis- the extent of it, only realised afterwith the appearent leg length discrepancy.I am 6 months post surgery and lean quite a bit to the left with a limp. It is quite distressing. I am doing pool therapy for the glutes, but I want to hnow specifically how yoga or pilates made you turn the corner.
Thanks

DeeBee said...

Ditto for me. I had THR on 8/6/2008 and am still working at physical therapy. I have a lot of pain in my right groin and it is scaring me that something is wrong. They tell me it's only been a month, but I can't walk without a cane. It's hard to know what to expect when the only surgery I've had was my tonsils out as a kid. I will check back for insight from you and others. I am willing to do whatever it takes to not live in pain.

Buppy the Puppy said...

No way you could tell if anything was wrong yet. Or walk without a cane. The rehab is long and hard if you want to go back to real activity. I would guess that the pain will go away, but not totally for a while because every muscle has been either cut or stretched. Remember: surgeons sell surgery. They don't tell you much about what you have to do after; they leave that to the PT, and the PTs are not very individualized in their programs. Tell the PT what kind of pain you have and demand a focus on the weakest muscles. I made a study of my body after my surgery.

Martina said...

What are summber thankso so much for his blog.

Anne said...

"can now balance on my left leg. This is a big deal. Couldn't do it before the replacement, and couldn't do it for a long time after"

Congratulations... nobody but a fellow hip replacement patient can really understand your accomplishment. I too can balance on my right leg now after a total rt hip in Oct 2005. THREE years and I am SO happy to show anyone who will watch me!!

By the way.. DEEBEE... I walked on crutches for almost 7 months!!! I had terrible pain in my groin for about 6 months. I worked with a trainer for about a year after that who really helped me build strength. It was SO hard to believe the pain would ever go away. Now I can hardly believe that I lived with so much pain for 28 years!!! It will get better!!!

christina said...

Hello, my mother has been told she needs a hip replacement. She is scared because she has scoliosis. Did you find that your scoliosis made your recovery time longer and did your doctor discuss how having this condition could make the replacement surgery difficult? I am trying to find some encouraging words for her and I think your blog will help. Thanks!

joe said...

I am currently trying physical therapy to avoid hip replacement surgery. I am not in terrible pain. No pain at night, only pain in the groin a bit when I get up from a chair. I do have scoliosis and am worried that will affect the outcome of the surgery I read Anne's post that she had terrible groin pain for 6 mos. after surgery. I'm thinking, why would I want to create more pain than I have by doing the surgery? I'm also concerned about walking tilted and leg length. Any ideas or comments. I'm 61.

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

Well Joe, I am now almost four years out, completely without pain, and able to do anything I want to do. I don't run anymore, but then I am 69 and no one my age runs:-) I do list a bit to the left, but I do a lot of Pilates and keep things as level as possible.

I had no pain after the surgery, but everyone's different. Most people do not, however. At your age, it should all be fine after the rehab, which you have to do.

But don't let them do it until you can't bear the pain; it's silly to undertake surgery until you are "ready<' which is what people told me. Ready means unable to live a high quality life.

Natasha Papousek said...

I've had a very crazy year. In January, my left hip pain got so bad, I begged for surgery. I got put on a waiting list. The doctor offered a cortisone shot -- which was wonderful for 6 weeks (during which time I discovered that my right hip really hurt, too). I pushed my way through the pain and finally got surgery on July 26 and got put on the waiting list for the right hip. Just as I was 6 weeks out on the left hip replacement, a spot opened up for the right hip -- and since I have an HMO, I jumped at the date which was September 30.

It has been 6 weeks since my right hip replacement and my strength is returning. The deep pain was gone right after I became conscious, but of course, the surgery is not a delicate procedure and muscles, tendons and bones get yanked around and bruised and need time to heal. At this point, I can balance on my left leg for 30sec and on my right for about 15sec. And I can walk 3 miles. The surgeon doesn't believe in PT, just lots of walking, but I have been doing knee lifts, squats and other exercises to rebuild my muscles; the doctor was amazed with how fast I am recovering. I still have muscle pain on the right side, but my left side is pain free. I no longer walk with any assistance.

And I have energy again. It's amazing how chronic pain just sucks away your energy.

I am glad you are back to yoga and using a Pilates reformer. My surgeon said I probably won't be able to do yoga again -- advised against ever sitting cross-legged or touching my toes. It's inspiring that you are able to do these things post-surgery.

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

Natasha, just check to see if your doctor thinks you are a dislocator or not. My surgeon knew at about six months that I wouldn't dislocate, and I gradually went back to everything...except running.

Now I might be wearing out my hip faster than some people by using it the way I do, but I am willing to take that chance because I have to keep my back moving.

At six weeks I wasn't touching my toes or crossing my legs either.!

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

Natasha, just check to see if your doctor thinks you are a dislocator or not. My surgeon knew at about six months that I wouldn't dislocate, and I gradually went back to everything...except running.

Now I might be wearing out my hip faster than some people by using it the way I do, but I am willing to take that chance because I have to keep my back moving.

At six weeks I wasn't touching my toes or crossing my legs either.!

jaytee said...

I had hip pain for 10 years...finally after many steroid shots I had THR on left side. It has been 5 weeks. Am walking with cane only but have also walked without it around the house. NO PAIN! My situation is I was a fitness fanatic and find myself wanting to stretch, touch my toes, etc and I know I push past the limits.

I begin PT tomorrow and will ask what my limits are. I have an eliptical and am desparate to use it again. How long do you have to watch the 90 degree limit? Can I sleep on my stomach again without a pillow between my knees?

Biggest challenge is not being able to bend down...to get things off floor, from bottom drawer, feed my animals...etc.

Any input of your status and experience is welcome!