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Recent Total Hip Replacement - Page 2

post #31 of 73


I was diagnosed yesterday with bone on bone and a candidate for a total hip replacement. I have not been able to tie my shoe for over a year. i had months of PT.  I ski approx. 81 days per year and ski very fast. My problem is as long as I ski the hip does not bother me. It's the other things like tying my shoe, moving around soreness, needing to sit and uncomfortable sleeping. I know it sounds crazy but skiing and riding a chairlift is painfree, Now I am contemplating surgery and really nervous that this procedure will affect my skiing. I am almost willing to live the pain to be able to ski the way I do.

Anyone have insight?

post #32 of 73
You might contact weems to get his insight. He is getting a hip replacement this season.

post #33 of 73

Thanks Mike,  just wondering which type is better there seems to be a few different options with materials and procedures.


post #34 of 73
Originally Posted by ski81 View Post

Thanks Mike,  just wondering which type is better there seems to be a few different options with materials and procedures.


Talk to your PT, there are several options for surgery & I'd bet he's seen them all.  Then speak to your doc about how the glutes are impacted by their particular approach.  Some surgical approaches & techniques spare more of the muscles you will need for a solid single limb stance!


post #35 of 73

Greg, I had total hip replacement surgery in November. I skiied yesterday for the first time this season and made a dozen solid runs on hard, fast snow at the local hill. I felt like I'd won a million bucks! If anything, I was skiing better than I had in years! I'd been putting the surgery off for a few years. For me, I first felt pain while skiing, then climbing stairs, and eventually walking more than a block. The deciding moment was when I had to cancel a summer hiking trip to Switzerland with my wife. My guess, (only a guess) is that if you don't feel pain skiing now, you eventually will. Like many people say, I wish I'd done this sooner. Here's a related article from the Globe. http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/ski/articles/2011/02/10/give_up_skiing_not_so_fast/?page=1 Best of luck, John

post #36 of 73

Thanks John, Great news on your progress. Well now that I have seen the X-Rays I am more aware of the little quirks that I had while skiing last weekend. You are right there is pain there but I never paid alot of attention to it until now.  I found out that this doctor uses ceramic rather than titanium. Any thoughts on that. The procedure is through the posterior where they just set the muscles aside rather than cutting them. I guess this is the more modern method.


post #37 of 73

ski81, my wife (and ski bunny) is 11 days post hip replacement surgery. The doc did an ateriolateral minimally invasive arthroplasty. Metal femur with plastic head and acetabular cup. You mention a posterior entry. My understanding is that is the old way of doing it and involves more trauma to the supporting musculature. My wife's incision is on the side of the hip. The doc told us that he will do the posterior procedure only if the person has very large musculature which prevents entry on the side.

As for my wife's recovery, it is looking very promising. She was on her feet the day after the procedure. She used a walker for about five days, and then progressed to a cane. The therapist who comes to the house told her yesterday that she is about four weeks ahead of where she should be. In fact, the therapist was so impressed with the quality of the work and recovery, she wanted the docs name for her own procedure. Today, she is still using the cane, but only for security. She is walking outside as well - all 11 days post op. Doc says typically his patients are at 100% at about 6 weeks. While I would have thought that incredibly optimistic, I believe it.

By the way, three weeks ago I skied  at Vail with my 87 year old uncle who had his hip done a few years back. More I hear about, more I am impressed by this procedure and the renewed quality of life it gives people.

In case you are interested, this is the link to the doc's office. http://www.falmouthortho.com/RodrigueBio.htm 

I wish you the best of luck. And happy trails!


Edited by deliberate1 - 3/29/11 at 12:13pm
post #38 of 73


What a wonderful recovery story. I sounds like your wife focused extremely hard to progress so fast. She will be ready for ski season before you know it. Your wife has a Titanium head which to me seems much stronger than the one my Doctor is proposing.  I am meeting with my doctor on Tuesday and am concerned with his Ceramic approach and will discuss that with him. I guess he needs to know that this is about skiing not walking! Ha,Ha. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts.


post #39 of 73

Greg, my pleasure. What you are facing is undoubtedly quite daunting. It probably took no small amount of soul searching to come to the decision. I think it is a good idea to tell the doc what your expectations are regarding skiing. We were very lucky that my wife's doc is a skier as well. So he gets it. All I can say is that everyone I know who has had the procedure done just raves about the results and their improved qualtiy of life. Many similar stories are posted here.

I forgot to mention the experience of a good friend of mine who is THE most committed skier I know, and one of the best. He just turned 70 and has had both hips done. I can keep up with him - only when he lets me.

Let us hear of your progress.

Warm regards


post #40 of 73

My apologies for not responding sooner. I went through exactly the same mental and physical pain some of you are describing - see my posts above - putting off any kind of op until I had no choice. When I had surgery Sept 24 of last year I could hardly walk and the bad leg was so weak I could no longer clip into the spd pedals on my bike. After the op the surgeon told my the hip was totally destroyed. Let me just net out my experiences.

1) I had the total replacement, titanium head. My surgeon went through the options with me and recommended this for maximum stability, knowing how much skiing meant to me.

2) After all the agonizing, totally freaked out at the thought of not being able to ski again, I found myself in the same ward as a guy who'd had the same op the day before, and is a patroller on Blackcomb. He said quite a few patrollers have gone through it and were back skiing full time.

3) I was walking unaided, riding my bike and swimming 1.5k stints long before Christmas. First day back skiing was Feb 14 with lots of ice on the hill. I was very nervous for the first run, stuck to greens and blues for a while but felt totally in control and quite strong.

4) By March I was skiing everything on the hill, double-blacks, off piste, mashed potatoes, the whole deal. Had my first fall - butt plant - day 3, first over-the-handlebars early March, several double-ejections since (I'm on din 7-8). No ill effects. My son says I'm skiing better than ever. The patroller in my ward is back on full-time patrol and doing just fine. Our local hill closed yesterday and I 've managed to get in nearly 270 runs in 9 weeks. The only signs I've had anything done are a slight ache mid-thigh at the end of a hard day, and if I try back-to-back days I'm certainly not as strong on the fixed side second day.


Saw the surgeon for a check-up last week. He's a little concerned that I don't push it too hard and is warning that if anything does go wrong, it could go seriously wrong. I don't ski recklessly, keep my speed down, make lots of turns, keep my days short, pay lots of attention to my gear. But I can tell you I feel born again. I really regret not having this done earlier. The other hip is on its way out too, probably to be done next year (after ski season) but I'm not going to let it get as bad as the first one.

One thing I found over the past few months is that you have to keep up the other activities to help the recovering leg along. It's so good to be able to ski again but it's a sport that's quite tough on your body and doesn't provide the range of exercise your recovering leg needs. I do as much walking, bike-riding and swimming (including kick-board lengths) as I can.

Hope this helps. I received great support from the folks on this thread before I went in for my op and I'm so grateful. We're lucky people. Our parents had to grit their teeth and give up on much of what provides pleasure in life. Let's live it to the full and happy skiing to all of you.

post #41 of 73

Thats great you were able to ski in only 5 months. From learning of my condition and the help of a cancellation I had a new hip in 4 weeks.  I had my hip replacement 2 weeks ago. The surgery resulted in a Titanium shaft with a ceramic head and a polyethylene cup with no cement or screws. The incision is only 4 inches long and I walked out of the hospital the next day on crutches and am now on 1 crutch. The thing my doctor was more concerned about was that I not only was bone on bone but my leg was an inch shorter than the good leg. He walked into my room at 5:30 the next morning and said: I fixed it! Your leg is fixed! He was so excited. Then at 9:30 the PT came in got me up on crutches and as I walked out of the room turned the corner I stopped in my tracks and that is when I understood what the doctor was talking about. I was now standing taller, shoulders square, felt more confident with my straight posture and the view was different.  After I left the hospital I weened off the meds and now take Tylenol when needed.The PT is here every other day and am faithful with my exercises on the off days. I am looking forward to a quick recovery and will following the doctors do's and don'ts.

post #42 of 73

Glad to hear these updates.


After 2 total hip replacements in January and April of 2010, my husband was able to do some limited skiing in the late spring of last season.


This season he has skied over 60 days so far and is doing better than ever.  We are both thrilled with his results, and would recommend that anyone who is considering this surgery get it done sooner rather than later.

post #43 of 73



Great to hear your story.....so much like mine. Started skiing Whistler in '67 and skiing has been a very integral part of my life, I went thru the same process - had pain in my right groin off and on for 6 years....but it would come and go. The past 2 years it got worse monthly and I thought it was just tight muscles until my physio suggested an xray and it revealed bone on bone....that was July 2010 ...saw the surgeon Sept 9th and had the surgery Oct 22nd. In January felt the familiar pain in the left hip and my surgeon said that I had about 6 mos to 1 year left in it....so had the left hip replaced May 13th. I got the Biomet Magnum Metal on Metal so that I could resume skiing at a more than a groomed slope level. I am very excited about skiing the powder, glades and steeps again. Seems surgeons suggest not to go to that level but I as an expert skier ...think that the risk is minimal. Good be encouraged by your experience. I have not heard of any skiers having issues due to skiing hard.....due to the size of the ball ( 2 3/8" ) dislocation is not an

issue and the MOM joint last 30x what metal on poly does so should last my life. Bring on the snow....deep and steep!

post #44 of 73

Great to hear.....! I have had 2 hips replaced in the past year ( Oct 10 and May 11 ) and am ready for a great ski season starting in January. Any concerns when you went for the first few times .....I keep hearing from the surgeons that I can never go to the level I was ...... I do not mind eliminating the big hard bumps but still want to ski the deep and steeps and smaller softer bumps....think that should be good. What is your experience......can't imagine being on the slopes and not skiing my way! ?

post #45 of 73

Great stuff, inspiring.

post #46 of 73

Reserving my spot in this thread. I broke my hip in 2005 in a motorcycle crash. Minimal displacement of acetabulum and no surgery (got to spend 2 fun weeks in an old age home as the youngest guest by 20 years). Two years ago had arthroscopic surgery for FAI. Helped a bit, but last year things started to get worse. I can't touch my toes any more and buckling boots or tying shoes is challenging. Saw a hip doc two weeks ago and was basically told that total replacement is a question of when, not if. Lots of arthritis in there. The real problem is that the limp has caused my pelvis to tilt and now my back is really acting up. Need to do some PT and swimming before the season starts. I've been hanging in my inversion table a bit and that helps. But the pain is really bugging me. No way I'm doing surgery this time of year. I'll tough it out this season and reassess in the spring. Either do surgery then or see if I can eek out another year. Funny thing was when I was trying to make appointment with the doctor, the intake nurse asked my date of birth and quickly dismissed that there's no way I could be a candidate - I'm too young. I'm 47. Too many years of skiing big ice coast bumps means I have the joints of a 65 year-old. Oh well.


Here's a scan of my latest x-rays. Hip on the left in the scan is my problematic left hip.


Hip Xray.jpg

post #47 of 73
I was just at an Update Session today w/ one of our surgeons. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif We will begin using an anterior approach soon to spare / preserve more muscle & allow for better alignment!! We're talking about active folks leaving the hospital on post op day one & an expedited recovery!

Best of all, this method has zero post op precautions.
post #48 of 73

These posts are very helpful.  It is nice to know you can be so active after a THR.  My Mom needs one but is postponing it and I keep telling her it won't get any better.  You all rock!

post #49 of 73

I had a total hip replacement this past April. I had skied 81 days last year and as you can imagine I was freaked out by the thought of a hip replacement. I have been skiing for the past month and the hip feels better than ever. The first few runs was like trying on a new baseball glove, by the 3rd day I forgot about the hip and continue to ski and have not lost a step.


For anyone who is contemplating the surgery my only advice is stay regimented on the therapy. I continue to ride a stationary bike 1 hour a day  6 days a week in the off season as well as a physical therapist stretching me out one day per week.




post #50 of 73

new here so don't know if this thread is recent... i was told i need a new hip and it hurts like hell. i could only ski a run or two last year due to the pain and i am missing the whole season this year. i live in colorado so i can ski. i cannot believe people here that need new hips are actually skiing. here i am trying to decide if i really need this when i can barely walk after a life of racing/training. sounds like i do. also dealing with spinal stenosis with pain down both legs, butt, etc. anyway, i will watch this thread. j

post #51 of 73

I had my hip replaced 1-1/2 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Last season I did ski 55 days and was able to ski bumps and picked up exactly where I left off. The first run was like trying on a new baseball glove. After that it was just GREAT. I could ski stuff I used to avoid. 

I will say that today I actually have to think about which hip was it that was replaced. I nor anyone can tell that I had this procedure done. The trick was in the re-hab. I rode a stationary bike for 10 miles 6 days a week for an entire year and my physical therapist would stretch me twice a week and now only once a month. He has me doing squats, lunges and leg presses as well. It is hard work but in the end worth it. I truly feel 10 years younger. 

post #52 of 73

Thanks for posting.  I'm looking at the anterior approach with one of the Stryker devices similar to ski81's sometime next spring.   Whistler67, how's you hip? 

Some of my very active friends love their resurfaced metal on metal hips, but most of the doctors I've talked too, prefer the ceramic?

post #53 of 73

my doc is using a ceramic with some plastic cup for me. he has done thousands of these ops, anterior approach so i'm good with his decision. he is a former alpine racer as am i, alpine/tele. the pain is really bad now, mostly from my back but i'm thinking that hurts due to hip. seems that when the joint gets totally bone on bone the pain settles to a steady level but when my back goes it is bad. vicodin won't make a dent in the pain. good luck...

post #54 of 73
Originally Posted by jellero View Post

my doc is using a ceramic with some plastic cup for me. he has done thousands of these ops,


That's a good sign.  Who's doing your procedure? 

post #55 of 73

My hip was replaced with a Titanium shaft, a Polyethelene cup and ceramic head. I cannot tell which hip was replaced and stopped thinking about it 6 months ago. I continue my faithful workouts and do squats sets of 15 with 300 pounds (never thought I would be able to do that again) once each week and ride 18 miles a day on a staionary bike 4 days a week. All is Good. My physical therapist stretches me each week and I still have a way to go as far as my limited reach goes. The scar tissue restricts me from tying my shoe comfortably. This will take a few years to get back, the progress here is slow but noticeable.

post #56 of 73

Have you skied since?

post #57 of 73

Tagalie, that was a great email, I'm surprised you were going at it so strong 6 months out, as full healing is about 1 year!

Was the Blackcomb patroller you mentioned a full time Pro patroller, or a volunteer patroller, and was he able to pull sleds, do kick turns and ski moguls with his new hip?

post #58 of 73

I had the same proceedure as Ski81 on 2/11/13,  So far, so good.  


I went to the local club last night and saw the Guess Who.  Great show, but I'm paying for it today.

post #59 of 73

Just thought I should post here again after my return to skiing recently.   I had a THR two seasons ago and sat out the first season to rehab.  Then in October of 2011 a back injury forced me to sit out last season as well. Frankly, I was beginning to doubt if I would ever get back on skis even though I was an avid skier (40 years and former Montana ski bum) .  Then two weekends ago I went up to our local hill and did a 3 hour test run.  It felt amazingly good and I had no pain during or after.  I did not ski that hard , but felt like I could have done more.  Then last weekend I went back and skied much harder and longer (even some small bumps) .  It feels great to be back and now I realize how much I missed it.  I did keep myself somewhat in touch during these two lost seasons because I do a lot of inline skating and go to the rink whenever I can to get on my hockey skates.  That helped a lot to give me the confidence to come back.  Good luck to all in my same predicament.   It is doable.    Vic 

post #60 of 73

Good for you.  I hope you get out there and kill it.

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