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  1. #1
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    Hip Replacement Surgery

    Hello,

    I haven't been on this forum for over a year and I haven't been able to ride my bike since fall 2013. In May/June of this year, I started getting bad pain in my right hip. I finally saw an orthopedic surgeon a few weeks ago, and I need a total hip replacement. I saw the surgeon again last week to schedule the surgery (March 10th). The femoral head in my right hip is almost completely worn out. I have seen the x-rays and it isn't pretty. They have no idea how this happened to me because I am only 28 years old. It is a condition called Avascular Necrosis (AVN), which can strike people at random. AVN means that the blood supply to the joint slowly declined, and the femoral head wasn't receiving enough oxygen or nutrients so it slowly died. I am currently able to walk and work, but with significant pain and a bad limp

    I really missed riding my bike this year. I would like to know if anyone else here has had to have a THR, and how was your recovery? How long did your recovery last? Are you able to ride your mountain bike again?

    Thank you!
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  2. #2
    ^ That's what I do
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    Anybody?
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  3. #3
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    I know a young woman (I think she's about 35 now) who was born with congenital hip dysplasia and has had three (!) hip replacements -technically one hip replacement and two revisions- since her mid- teens. She's a certified Spin instructor and she mountain bikes, no problem. I was riding with her one time when she crashed and landed on that hip right in front of me. I was freaking out but she was was fine!

    Do what you need to do to regain your quality of life. Choosing the right surgeon is crucial. Make sure he does *many* hip replacements every year and has a great reputation at the hospital, specifically on the ortho floor.
    Never give up, never surrender.

  4. #4
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    I also suggest that you join a forum called Bonesmart. There you will receive support, advice, and encouragement from other "hippies", some of them surprisingly young!
    Never give up, never surrender.

  5. #5
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    I have two friends who have had hip replacements.

    First friend took about eight months to full recovery. He now mountain/road bikes, bump (mogul) skis and plays recreational soccer and tennis He was 36 when hip was replaced and is 45 now.

    Second friend is 42 and had his hip replaced in June 2014. He has been riding mountain and road bikes again since August 2014 (he was released for road bike but started riding his mountain bike without doctor's permission). Both say they feel better than they can remember and are very happy with the results.

    As LadyDi stated, make sure the Ortho is skilled with hip replacements for athletes and has a good reputation. Ask to talk to previous patients if possible.

  6. #6
    ^ That's what I do
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    Thank you for responding. The next time I see my surgeon for the pre-surgery consultation, I'll ask him about riding a bike and other activities that I like to do. He's a highly respected surgeon in my community. The leader of his orthopedics team did a surgery on my shoulder 12 years ago, so I think that if the lead surgeon hired my surgeon, then he must be good at his job. He's board-certified and does many hip replacements every year.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  7. #7
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    Reputation: Moementum's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your AVN. Floyd Landis had the same problem from a crash. I had Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in 2009, both hips at the same time. BHR is similar to THR but a bit different also. I returned to road, mountain, hiking, weight training, no restrictions. I also crashed and fractured a femur last winter but returned to full activity level. THR can involve some restrictions depending on the device used and the surgeons skill. You really need to do lots of research for a great result. Surfacehippy has lots of information on mostly resurfacing but also THR. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    My dad (70 years old but very active) just had one replaced - old motorcycle injury - recovery was fairly fast. He is two months since surgery and pretty much back to normal. Apparently there have been a lot of advances in this type of surgery. I don't know what the doc would say about riding at this point though. One thing I thought odd was apparently getting the exact length of the leg to match the other is a bit tricky. My dad ended up with about about an 1/8 inch difference. Not much but enough that he can tell.

  9. #9
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    I had a DOUBLE hip replacement done last January due to necrosis brought on by the heavy prednesone doses prescribed by my doctors while fighting Ulcerative Colitis.

    The recovery has been slower than I would like, but I can ride. The hardest part was (and still is for my right leg) is getting my leg over the top tube. I have a full 45 degree rotation in my left but my right that was in way worse condition prior to the surgery has only 30 degrees. So I am having to train myself to mount the bike on the driveside which is counter intuitive to the previous 20+ years of riding.

  10. #10
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    Hopping_Rocks, sorry I didn't see this thread earlier, been a bit busy of late. I just had my 2nd full hip replacement (the left) on Tuesday, and the first (the right) 4 years ago this coming March. I'm also relatively young -at least for these types of procedures- at 48. When I first started having symptoms of hip issues when I was 41 or so, I did everything I could think of to avoid having the replacement as I was under the impression that life would cease to exist post-procedure. As a professional skier/snowboarder/MTB'er, I couldn't imagine being reduced to the most basic movements in these and other sports. I spent too much money, too much time being bitter and angry, and too much time being in pain by delaying the replacement, and within a week of the first hip replacement I knew I shouldn't have waited so long.

    With the left hip, I could probably have held out another 6 months or more, but with that first experience in mind, the sooner the better this time. The reason why is that I was back on my bike -on single track- 16 days post-op after the right hip procedure. By the next ski season, I was skiing -if not at my former ability, just under it- and was better then I had been in years the following season. That said, I didn't feel that everything was completely healed/recovered until about 18 months after the procedure, but either way, the belief that I'd be infirm for years and never get back to my quality life was dead wrong.

    There are a few precautions I take with some activities, including biking, but they don't impact my skill or enjoyment level other than being a bit more cautious. With this recent replacement on the left hip, I'm hoping to be back in the saddle by the 6th of February and am confident that I can do it.

    So, while it sucks that you are so young, it's not the end of the world and with some determination and work, you'll be back to where you were before you started to feel the symptoms. It helps that you are young, and it will help you even more if you are in decent shape before you go in for the surgery. For the right hip, I was in ok shape but had to stop riding 3 weeks before the procedure. For the one this past week, I rode all the way up to last Sunday and am in much better shape this time around and thus expect a faster recovery. If you can get out and ride or do some other good cardio activity as well as tone up your leg and back muscles, than do it, even if you have to medicate yourself heavily, it'll be worth it for your recovery.

    Be sure you've discussed what type of prothesis you'll get with your doc and know the pro-cons of them. I have metal on metal which has gotten a bad rap due to one company's issues with wear, but mine are a different compound and have no issues with accelerated wear. You'll want to ask about the estimates lifetime of your options -metal on metal, metal on plastic, plastic on plastic- especially as you are so young that you'll almost assuredly have to have them replaced in the future.

    After your procedure, do your PT as recommend and then do even more, and try putting your leg over your bike 3 weeks or so post-op. If you can get on and off without major discomfort, take it out for a spin. There isn't much weight on the leg while riding so it's actually better then walking around the block on crutches as some PT's will ask you to do.

    Here's a little "report" I did a few years ago on my recovery from the first one if you feel like some hopeful support: A year outdoors, or: Life as I knew it didn't end (pic heavy TR of sorts)

    Good luck and drop me a PM (or hit up my website and send me an email) if you have any questions.

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