Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Five Weeks Post Surgery

Hard to believe it is five weeks already. As the first week or so went very slowly each new week seems to appear before I know it. . While I don't feel it on a daily basis when I reflect on the past week I can see the improvement.

It is about 10 days now walking without any aid. While I still have a limp (which I understand may be there for about six months and not unusual) it seems to be lessened by the day. I still have to be careful with bending over as there is still the possibility of dislocating the hip until the hip capsule fully heals, typically in about 8 weeks.   I had my 2nd session of physical therapy last night (more about the therapist measuring leg length later) and there is improvement in range of motion. On most of the machines and exercises they are increasing the weights as the legs are getting stronger. I wish I started a week or two earlier. I can stand on the surgical leg carrying all of my weight which is necessary to do some of the exercises.My fourth ride post surgery was 25 miles which is an increase of five miles at about the same average speed. Click on the link to see the stats.http://connect.garmin.com/activity/15810119. Sleeping is still somewhat of a challenge however if I get the pillows just right between my legs I can sleep on my side. My favored side to sleep is the surgical side and look forward to that in about a week.When I am just sitting around or relaxing the pain is totally gone. Finally

Now to the leg length measurement. When I went to the therapist last week I asked her to measure the discrepancy between my leg lengths. One of the main challenges for the surgeon during hip replacement surgery is to get the leg lengths as close to the same as possible.  When I walk I can clearly feel the surgical leg is longer or hitting the floor before the other. While lying down I  had my family try to see the difference in the lengths and the surgical leg appears to be about half an inch longer. This is border line unacceptable as the goal is to have a goal of no more than 1/4" and if true orthotics would be necessary.

I found the results of the "professional" measurements very interesting. She first individually measured the length of each leg while I was lying on a table. This was done two ways. First a point is determined on the pelvis and the tape was stretched to a point on the ankle bone. Secondly she started from the belly button and measured again to a point on the anke bone. She did this for both legs. Both legs were approximately the same length. She then while still lying down on a table making sure I was square  and pararallel to the long sides of the table  determined that the surgical leg was extended (didn't say longer) about half an inch past the other leg. So while both legs are about the same length  the surgical leg visually appeared to be extended or longer. My pelvis and  or back might not be perfectly straight and a possible cause. During surgery they re-attach the tendons to the bone, repair and re-attach the muscles. It is impossible for the surgeon to get the exact same tension on the parts as pre surgery. So the joint will slightly shift as the parts adjust over time and return to their proper tension.This should probably take another month or so and hopefully will cause both legs to reach the ground at the same time.


  1. Is the pain a lot less than you had before surgery? Still worth it?

  2. My experience with pain from what I gather is not typical. I had what I thought was an upper groin pull for about a year which gradually got worse. When I felt some pain around the side and back of my hip I went to see the surgeon who told me I needed a hip replacement. He said to wait until it got really bad and then have the surgery. After a bit of research on the internet I found a common theme. Almost everyone said they wished they had the surgery sooner as they needessly suffered waiting. Just about everyone was happy with the result.

    As for me as I mentioned in my posts I rode 40 miles 4 days before surgery. So I was never in great pain. As of now my pain is already better than before surgery and in another month or so feel good as new. Once diagnosed the hip can not improve and only get worse. so it makes sense for you to get it fixed as soon as possible.

  3. Very pain after the surgery. Keep rest after the surgery.

    Hip surgeries