Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Six Months LPAO

Yesterday I hit the six month mark for my second PAO. The first PAO is just over 10 months old. I had totally forgotten about the six-month milestone until I wrote the date of my surgery elsewhere, and realized what day it was.

I am no longer thinking in hip milestones. I am also not thinking ahead to the next hip surgery, which is nice. I am having more and more pain on flexion with my left hip and my thought is that there is more ectopic bone growing. It also sometimes hurts when I am not flexing. This could also be normal healing pains of course; I have no way to tell yet.

I may need a final surgery to remove the ectopic bone some time in 2011, or I could just choose to live with my limitations, whatever they end up being, once all of the extra bone is done growing. Right now I am leaning toward living with it unless I am in constant pain and Dr. Mayo can assure me the surgery will correct that.

But right now I am not worrying about or planning for a future surgery, and that means I can go on with my life.

For those who are facing their own PAO recoveries, here is what 6 months feels like after bilateral PAOs. Note that healing is slower overall with bilateral PAOs so close together.

~My right hip almost never bothers me. Hip flexors are still weak, but getting better. If I walk a long way, or skate more than 45 minutes, or do any other type of physical activity that is strenuous, it might hurt or be sore the next day. This is muscle pain, not bone or joint pain, and tells me that I'm not fully recovered yet. ROM is better, although not what it used to be. All in all, I am happy with my RPAO outcome.
~My left hip has started to bother me more, as discussed above. ROM is very limited, and there is more pain now than there was 3 months ago. I still have a very slight limp on the left side - not all the time, but it comes and goes. I don't think my gait is ever entirely normal even if I'm not limping. Some days I don't think I am limping but Perry tells me that I am.
~Although I have lost weight since before my first surgery, I carry my weight differently now. Interestingly, I seem to carry excess weight in my hips more than before. Actually, it's just below my hips, not at the iliac crest but significantly below that. The technical term is, I believe, "saddle bags." Ugh.
~I am flabby all over due to lack of training and it is hard to create or maintain any muscle tone, especially in my legs.
~Working out is a double-edged sword. I know to build up muscles I have to work them, but if I work too hard I have to rest for a day or two (or three). So I have to ration my activity, and it never seems like I can really ramp up to any kind of "training" which will create true fitness.
~Some days my yoga class is so difficult I can barely get through it. Other days I do pretty well. I try to do yoga twice per week.
~I would like to skate 3 times per week, but right now I'm lucky if I can handle an hour once per week. It's just too taxing.
~Walking is something I do, but not as exercise. I should start walking on a track or other soft surface and work up to longer distances. Right now I am just not that interested in doing so. Elliptical trainer seems to cause less trauma to the hip, although I am not supposed to use any incline and it is hard to feel like I am getting a good workout. Too much resistance and I pay for it the next day, so I keep that low as well. Dr. Mayo cautioned me to move my legs fast with little resistance and it would be better on my joints.
~I still lift my left leg into the car and over barriers with my hands. I don't think this is normal at 6 months. I can do it without hands, but it hurts.
~I would love to try Body Pump or Zumba or Spinning - but right now I'm afraid of what that would feel like the next day!


Sam said...

Hi, I have been reading your blog for a while as you had your second PAO about 10 days before me. I had a reverse PAO combined with an open debridement on dec 1st 09. It has been quite reassuring to read your last post, as I too am having increasing pain in my operated side.

I saw my surgeon today and he isnt really sure why but thinks its a combo of massive inflammation around the joint, possibly a joint effusion and psoas irritation. I have been told to rest more and take more painkillers, giving it 3 months to settle down, then possibly need a scope to tidy up scar tissue (plus I STILL have some impingement!!).

I was quite despondant coming home today and very frustrated that I just have to sit out this recovery that seems to have lasted forever already), but seeing that you too aren't running marathons and generally back to normal yet either, makes me feel a bit better - so thanks! (not that I wish you to have pain, but I'm sure you know what I mean)

Sam x

ojulius said...

It feels good when you stop counting recovery days/weeks/months. :) Try the spinning! The nice thing is that you set the tension on the bike and how fast you spin. It strengthens those hip flexors without going crazy with weights. Practice pulling up on the pedals when you spin (sometimes, not all the time or you'll get the same soreness you get from lifting).

Louisa B said...

Hi there, as you know I read your blog and have my own.. frankly these blogs got me thru the last year and I have set up a facebook page dedicated to putting up great hip blogs and would ask if you would share yours on this site by linking your to the site, it will create more traffic to your site and give one place where a newly diagnosed person can find all good hip blogs. It is on facebook and called 'FAI Hip impingment blogs' and covers PAO and THR as they often over lap.
Your help to others will be much appreciated..
Many thanks Louisa

HipSk8 said...

Sam - I am sure I'll never be running marathons. I know I'll always have pain (my surgeon told me so before I even had my PAO), but it is all very frustrating to go from an active life to an inactive life.

Considering I'm about to be a grandmother I suppose that's appropriate! I guess I should take up knitting. LOL!

ojulius said...

Looking forward to hearing how spin class went! It's easy to overdo it if you aren't careful. Should have told you my first time I almost passed out on the bike! Wasn't paying attention to heart rate. Once I started wearing a heart rate monitor, all was good. :) Hope you had fun!