Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakthroughs at 1.5 years post LPAO

I haven't given a hip status in a long time, so it's probably time to do so and tie that status with some breakthroughs I'm having on the ice.

I am at about a year and a half from my second PAO, which puts me at 1 year and 10 months for my first PAO. I was told at the beginning of this journey that I will continue to see improvement up to (and sometimes beyond) the two year post-surgery mark, and I'm hoping to see the progress continue.

I had a bit of a setback at the end of February when a car seat slammed into my knees, pushing my femurs back into their sockets abruptly. Before that happened I had been experiencing very little muscle pain. Now I am having more muscle pain with exertion, but Dr. Mayo thinks it could take up to 6 months to heal from that trauma. He saw me 6 weeks after the accident and noted that my abductors were very weak, and I'm working on getting that strength back - I think it was due to lack of activity right after the accident.

Hip status:
~My scars have faded into oblivion and can barely be seen.
~Certain muscles are still weak (hip flexors, abductors). When I say "weak," I mean "weak compared to what they once were." They are probably normal or better for someone my age. Skaters have strong hip flexors and mine were cut and atrophied to nothing, so building them back up so that I can do nice forward flare extensions on the ice is probably going to be impossible.
~I no longer have low back pain.
~I walk without a limp unless I'm really, really, really tired.
~I don't like to walk long distances although I can. It's not the best exercise for me as it puts the most pressure on my hip joints and can cause fatigue and soreness. For the same reason, I don't run, but I never did.
~I can sleep in any position.

Skating breakthroughs have been notable this past week. I am able to bend better and extend better. I have finally taken the training wheels (two-footing) off my FI mohawks and can push and extend on the FI edge before the turn. This is partly balance and partly strength. FI mohawks are considered an "easy" skill and it has taken me about a year to be able to stroke into them with confidence, but before this week I felt very unstable in that position solo.

I still can't do many turns that start with a FO edge (other than rockers and twizzles). The abductor weakness is probably to blame, as my legs aren't stable enough. I can't do FO counters (although I can do BO counters). I can't do the Argentine twizzle, but that's because it's really a counter. I can do the QS choctaw slowly with a touchdown but I think if I spent some time on it, it might improve. Can't do FO closed mohawks except slowly with a big touchdown but that should be no surprise! That will probably be the last thing to come back, if it comes back at all.

I can do full patterns of the Intermediate and Novice twizzle sequences and they are better than some of the kids' tests I've judged, if I do say so myself. Very happy about how those are coming along.

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