So glad to have come across this forum, as I was beginning to think I was the only one that freaked out most Orthopedic Surgeons when I mentioned downhill skiing, post hip replacement. Therefore, as a female, now over 70, with both hips replaced, I'm going to add my 2-cents worth.
When the first hip was bone-on-bone, skiing was almost impossible and my stay-power was quickly driven by pain. After walking out on two surgeons (same diagnosis) who almost went into cardiac arrest when I mentioned my passion, downhill skiing. Then i found one, who himself was a snowboarder, who understood my passion, and was up-to-date on selecting a prosthesis to fit the lifestyle of his patient, but said no skiing for one year, which I obeyed. By this time the pain was debilitating.
I had the surgery in August for the first one, waited my year (missed one ski season), and then the next season, I hit the slopes. I was skiing on a heavier ski and quickly figured out I needed to do some research on a lighter ski for women AND a lighter weight boot. This was because sitting on the lift, the heavier ski and boot pulled too much on the hip and knee.
I found that much lighter weight in the Atomic Cloud 9 and the Atomic Live Fit boot (only 2 buckles). Blizzard was in the hunt; however, no local dealer, so opted for the Atomic. I've not regretted it one minute and it was the right decision. Like one other poster, I found that I put more uphill ski weight into place, to take pressure off the downhill hip. Skied that winter, no problem, but my surgeon cautioned me to "be careful" so I have slowed down considerably, and worry more about some idiot crashing into me than I do about my skiing. He also told me that if I had not been skiing for over 30 years, he would not support learning to ski.
Then, 2 years later, the other hip went kaput. The diagnosis was the same...bone-on-bone and generally, he said, 2 to 5 years after the frist, the 2nd one goes. I had that one done in late January, after skiing early January. The next year, after the one-year clearance by my Dr. on January 26, on Feb. 5, I was on a plane to Colorado and ski I did. Snow wasn't very good that year, but with care I got along great.
My surgeon realized that (for my age) I'm considerably more active that my peers, so he selected a prosthesis with a deeper socket than the "cookie cutter" prosthesis. He told me I'd have to do something "really stupid" to dislocate it. That seems to be the bigger concern of the medical community----dislocation. So, I am careful when on the slope and in my daily life. However, the replacement really gave me a new life. I ski, I bowl, I walk three-miles a day, I mow my own yard, and do anything one would do without replacements. It has been 5 years on the first one and 3 years on the 2nd one and on Jan. 28, 2014, I will be headed to Winter Park for some skiing, but careful skiing.
And like everything, so much depends on your surgeon. One sees people suffering after hip replacements as well as knee replacements. Others, go through that initial healing process, and never miss a beat. It is all about finding the right surgeon.
Thanks for listening. I was just happy I did not have to give up my winter passion. Good luck to those facing this surgery. Be cautious of your surgeon and how they come across. As I said, I walked out on two and then found the perfect one.