Thursday, July 8, 2010

One Year Hippiversary

It is hard to believe that my RPAO was a year ago today. What a long, strange trip it's been.

This week we started the kitchen remodel that had to be postponed for so long due to my PAOs. I started to work on the kitchen project the day I was allowed off crutches after my second PAO. It's taken a long time to come up with a design, pick out every single thing that will go into the kitchen, order it all, and do the demolition. I couldn't have handled this project while I was concentrating on my hip "project"!

Blue the cat supervises kitchen demolition

I am very happy with my right hip's recovery at this stage, less happy with my left hip but it's still better than the alternative. I know that a full recovery takes up to two years, so it is good to know that I can expect even more from righty as time goes on.

Here is righty's status at one year post RPAO:
~The scar is almost invisible. I rarely notice it at all.
~Strength is about 80%. Stamina is about 70%. Flexibility is about 60%.
~Righty rarely hurts, and when it does it's muscle pain from overexertion. I haven't taken a pain pill or even Tylenol or ibuprofen for my hips since January (and that was for lefty, not righty).
~Righty can get tired with a lot of activity but I just need more time and training. My expectations here were low and I've exceeded them.
~However, I do need at least a day to recover from strenuous activity but that's probably true of most people my age. Well, not really, before surgery I didn't have this problem and I wasn't that much younger.
~I still get some tendon clicking when I SLR my right leg, but there is no pain associated with this. Otherwise no noise.
~There is no groin pain or any of the pre-PAO pain/radiating stiffness. I do have some stiffness after activity, but it's not the crippling joint stiffness. Now it's due to muscle weakness and tightness, IMO.
~Unless I sit for a really long time, I can get up out of a chair without groaning or walking like an 80-year-old.
~I can sleep in any position I want with no pain, turn in bed, etc.
~I can stand for fairly long periods of time, but still prefer not to, especially on a hard surface. I can feel it in my hip later if I do.
~The only improvements I'd like to see now are more strength, especially in the hip flexors, and lots more flexibility, although my flexibility now is probably what's considered "normal." I can hug my knee to my chest. Because lefty is so limited in turnout, I am trying to make up for it by getting more turnout on the right, which responds better to my stretching efforts.
~My screws don't bother me so they are staying in. Dr. Mayo countersinks them intentionally for this reason.
~Recently I've had some back issues; I suspect they are related to my hip issues but I am not sure.
~Oddly, balance is still an issue, both in yoga and skating. I thought I would have adjusted to my new alignment by now and since my balance was really good before, I'm not sure what to do about this other than allow time to work its miracles. Could be that my expectations are higher than most, and my balance is actually normal for everyday things, but not good enough for effortless skating or yoga yet.
~Skating presents its own challenges, which I have chronicled here, but in day-to-day life my right hip is generally a non-issue.

Would I do the PAO over again? If faced with the same decision, knowing what I know, yes, I would do it all over again.


Briony said...

Really interesting to read this. My surgery was much less extensive than yours (and for FAI, not dysplasia) but the recovery symptoms seem to be very similar - for my good hip, at least. (The surgeon wants to re-do my bad hip.)

I also have back issues related to my hips - tight/weak hip flexors and ITBs are the likely candidates for me. My physio considers my flexibility to be normal, but it is not normal *for me*. (Not that I was ever very flexible, but my body is protesting loudly at the change in dynamics.)

HipSk8 said...

Briony -
I also have the tight/weak hip flexors and tight ITBs so I am sure it's the same cause/effect.

I think my flexibility is probably considered normal for my age as well, but I was far more flexible before, so yeah, not normal for me and therefore distressing.

Sorry you might need your bad hip re-done. I would think a second opinion might be useful. Good luck!

Briony said...

It's complicated. I fell through a gap because my surgical notes were sent to a specialist sports physio, who then went off long-term sick just before my op. Consequently, I was sent to a different physio who had the wrong info and I didn't get the right rehab until nearly 6mos post-op. The belief is that due to the lousy rehab, where I had cartilage damage in my left hip (but no tear) has now torn. So I just need an arthroscopic clean-up - nothing major, and no bone-work this time.

I don't *think* I need a second opinion... The surgeon is annoyed that his handiwork has been messed up by the bad rehab, and he is doing everything he can to fix it for me. I have had a lot of physio now, and am actively pestering them to get on with the new MRA/scope!

Cassie said...

Happy hippiversary! I'm glad to hear your positive post (despite the few drawbacks). Keep up the great work!