Monday, March 8, 2010

8 Months RPAO

Why we chase the zamboni ... from a distance!

My RPAO is 8 months old today. It's easy to assume that 8 months after an orthopedic surgery the patient should be all better and have nothing left to say. Not so with periacetabular osteotomy, which my physical therapist is quick to let me know takes a full two years to recover from, and even then I will never be as strong or flexible as I was before. So chronologically I am really only one-third recovered from the first PAO. Plus the fact that the right side wasn't anywhere near recovered when I had the left side done, and the recovery has been more challenging.

Despite all that, I am happy with my right PAO. Compared to pre-surgery, I no longer get the crippling stiffness and pain after walking. I no longer have the stabbing groin pain or difficulty sleeping on my right side. I don't have lower back pain unless I really exert myself. I don't have knee pain.

In fact, I rarely have pain at all, except in the hip flexors which get sore. I do have weakness though. I still have some stiffness after exertion or sitting for a long period of time. It takes me a few steps to hit my stride when I start walking (and since I'm still limping on the left side, it's hard to tell how good the right side really is). I can do most housework, although I do get sore or tired if I do too much vacuuming or kneeling to clean or garden. Getting up from the floor is not as easy as it used to be, but I can do it. I still have to use my hands. (I think this is more a limitation on my left side than my right.)

For most of my day-to-day existence I don't think about my right hip because it functions just fine. For that matter I rarely think about my left hip because it functions close enough to fine not to limit me. It's only in the gym, in the yoga studio, or on the ice that I feel as if I am living inside someone else's body.

My hip flexors are weak despite working out like a mad dog in the gym. Every PAO patient is probably in the same boat. They tell me to be patient and this gets better. My other leg muscles are still weak, but less noticeably so than the hip flexors.

Some flexibility has returned, but despite regular stretching and yoga class I seem to have hit a plateau. I hope this is not as good as it gets. I can no longer do a nice leg extension or attitude position even with assistance. I have some turnout, but not as much as what I had before (which was less than normal). I know there has been improvement because my right is much better than my left and again I must be patient. Ah, my lovely spirals on the ice -- wish I had those on video!

I am religious about doing my PT exercises, hitting the gym, and stretching and yet progress is very slow. This is the reality of what a very slow recovery is like.

Just tellin' it like it is!

1 comment:

ojulius said...

You are religious about those PT exercises and your hip flexors are still giving you trouble? Wow, all this time I thought it was because I was just blowing off my PT. Hmmmm..., well, they do get better over time. Maybe my surgeon was right when he told me I didn't need any PT.