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EvanS188 10-03-2012 11:50 AM

Active Young People Who Have Had A Hip Replacement
I had a hip replacement 8 weeks ago and am trying to find other young people who have also had this surgery. I'm in my late 20's and was extremely active prior to the deterioration of my hip. Initially, my physicians thought I had a torn labrum and I had surgery in December. However, during the procedure my physician found the problem was far worse and it was determined that I needed a hip replacement. Three days before my December surgery I ran 10 miles and I led an extremely active lifestyle (weight classes three to four times a week, long-distance running on the weekends, spinning classes, TRX, etc). Exercise did not cause the necrosis, my left femur simply died. I still exercise everyday, but I am severely limited. I can do the elliptical, but only on the lowest setting and as of a few days ago I could ride a bike; however, recently the muscles around my hip started to hurt and pinch when I walk up and down the stairs and I can no longer ride a bike.

I've been in physical therapy for the past 4 weeks and because of my age and activity level, I've recovered very fast. I've read a few of the other blogs from people who are months post-op and still walking with aids. I'm walking around on my own and am very mobile, but am having setbacks in terms of getting back to my prior activity level. I realize it takes a lot of time and that I may never return to where I was (I know I cannot run again), but how much time? Also, please consider that I am in my late 20's, thus the recovery time is different.

The resurgence of pain concerns me because my post-surgery activity level is minimal and not exercising is not an option for me. Please do not respond that the exercise has exacerbated the problem. I am working closely with my doctor and physical therapists and this is not the case. Also, as I previously said, my activity level was very basic. If I were to cut back on the exercise then I wouldn't be exercising at all.

If you are young and active and have had this surgery please let me know of your recovery time and how soon you were able to get back to exercising. Exercise is the best part of my day, it is what I look forward to and not being able to exercise has been the hardest part of this entire procedure. Also, when I say "exercise" I am referring to more than walking or basic yoga. If this applies to you, when were you able to bike long distances again, take spinning classes, group exercise classes, and so on? Additionally, if, like me, you have struggled with the inability to exercise because of this surgery, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for any advice you can provide. Good luck with your own recovery.

SweetPeainSF 10-06-2012 02:09 PM

Re: Active Young People Who Have Had A Hip Replacement
Hi there -- welcome! I've had three hip scopes (first at age 30) and still struggle with pain. I almost wish they had replaced the joint.

I am back to swimming, 2500-3000 yards 3-4 times per week. I can cycle, but only on a stationary bike, and I put the seat up very high to avoid that "closed seated" position.

I realize that you are working with your PT and MD, but here are some ideas for returning to activity. If you have access to a pool, you could either walking or aqua-jog. The water will decrease the amount of pressure on the joint and provide resistance to help you rebuild muscles. The more muscle strength you have, the more supported your new joint will be. Yoga or Pilates might be good options, but make sure you are clear on positions to avoid. (I mention this because replaced hips can dislocate, which sounds incredibly awful, but you probably already know this.)

As far as resuming activity while avoiding pain, listen to your body. Recognize the difference between the types of pain that come with work and with tissue damage. I advocate a ten percent approach: find a level of activity you can tolerate, then add ten percent per week. Increase either intensity or duration, but not both in the same week. This should help you avoid injury, which could lead to a drop-off in activity.

I hope your recovery goes smoothly!

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