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THR Former professional skateboarder recovery

hippiejump

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First of all, BoneSmart has been a resource I've turned to many times in the past 6 months. It's helped me understand my recovery better, helped me through some of the psychological parts, as well as helped me learn way more than I would have guessed about my new hardware.

That said, it's time to post about my recovery. Better late than never.

I had an anterior THR surgery on my left hip on October 14, 2019.

I wasn't surprised when I learned that I'd need the surgery. I was professional skateboarder for almost 30 years - physical injury was par for the course. I've broken most of my ribs (each on separate occasions), both collar bones, and my tail bone. No arm or leg bones, thankfully.

What was surprising how all consuming the pain in my left hip was. Walking was hard, not walking was hard, sitting was hard. Skateboarding was impossible. After years of abuse my left femoral head had built up a ridge of bone and finally ground away the cartilage of my hip socket. Another bonus was that in the right circumstances a tendon would get pinched between that ridge. When that happened, I imagine it felt very similar to getting shot with a shotgun in the same place.

After visits to various doctors I was given a choice: go for the total THR, or shave away the ridge. If I were 5 years younger, a THR wouldn't have even been considered. But because of my age, the THR also felt risky. I'll probably live long enough to wear out my THR. But shaving away the ridge would likely just kick the THR can down the road 5 to 10 years.

In the end I decided to go for the THR now.

Surgery went according to plan. No surprises there. My OS said I'd likely go home the same day, but I had some low blood pressure issues that made them adjust the plan. If I recall correctly, some of the pain meds would drop my blood pressure. I'd basically pass out when they'd start a new IV, and according to my wife, a lot of alarms would go office, and a lot of intense emergency-like things would happen.

Once home, I was humbled by how difficult the recovery felt in the first 6 weeks.

I'm grateful to the people here who have shared their recovery, because I knew I wasn't alone in how difficult recovery was. Without BoneSmart, I would have been utterly alone in my experience.

In any case, my pain levels gradually reduced. By month 4, I think my pain was far less than pre-op, though not totally gone. It'd shifted from my hip to the muscles in my leg, all of which seemed to be upset about the ordeal for a while. I was walking fine, stamina was back, could ride a bike, jog, had full range of motion, etc.

Today, at month 6, I still have some pain, maybe a bit more than a few weeks ago. And it's part of why I'm posting now.

A few weeks ago I started having what I thought were Covid-19 symptoms, which also feel a lot like pneumonia. I was tested, and it came back negative for covid, which is good, but now has me concerned about a bacterial infection.

I've also been noticing more pain around my hip. Not crazy, but noticeable. Like a 4 or 5 on my 1-10 scale. Emphasis on "my" since pain is a fairly normal thing for me. I've gone weeks with broken ribs before deciding to see a doctor. My 4 or 5 might be another's 10. To be clear, that's not a boast. If I were more attentive to my pain levels, I'd probably never have needed a THR and could have bought a Tesla instead.

So my question for everyone here is: how concerned should I be about bacterial infection of my joint, and is this pain potentially related?
 

Celle

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Hello @hippiejump - and :welome:

It's good to know that BoneSmart helped you, even when you weren't a member, but I'm glad you have joined us now.

Thank you for a very articulate summary of your hip history.

I'm glad to hear you don't have Covid-19.
I don't think it's likely that Covid-type symptoms could indicate a hip infection, but certainly this new hip pain needs to be assessed and sorted out.

While most surgeons aren't seeing patients at the moment, I think you should try to contact your surgeon. It may be possible to have a teleconference with him/her, via Skype or Zoom.

Have you started any different activities lately that might account for you hip pain? Any slip or falls?
Did the onset of your hip pain happen at the same time as you had the Covid-type symptoms? Did you have a fever, and do you have one now?
Do you have any swelling? Where are you feeling the pain - groin or elsewhere?

I won't be able to diagnose the cause of your pain, but the questions I'm asking are ones your surgeon will probably ask as well.

Have you tried icing your hip again, to help relieve some of the pain? Rest and Tylenol may help as well.

Do let us know if you are able to have a talk with your surgeon and what he/she says and does, won't you?
 
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hippiejump

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My concern with the Covid-19 symptoms was that it might not be Covid-19, but instead a bacterial infection causing pneumonia. I had fevers, coughing, aches, etc. I don't think I had any swelling in my hip.

As far as pain goes, it's located around the middle of the groin, towards the front. It might also be in some of the upper adductor muscles. It's most noticeable when bearing weight on my left leg (my THR leg).

Activity-wise, I did have an issue with a trampoline last week. Trampolines have always been a source of injury for me, and last week was no exception. I was putting together a trampoline for my niece, and had to hop off it at one point in order to avoid a more awkward fall on my face. My plan was to be like the gazelle I used to be, but I was more like a sack of potatoes.

That's my best guess as to what may have brought on the pain. The muscles around my hip made themselves known right as it happened, though things felt fine shortly after.

That said, in the past 6 months I've experienced what a lot of people have - doing seemingly normal things can make you feel like you were run over by a truck the days after doing the normal thing. Usually though I'd feel that the day after, not delayed by a week.

Another different activity: a reduced level of activity. I live in a place where Covid-19 is having a riot, taking a shocking amount of lives. Just leaving the home is risky, as I'm in a high-rise apartment, with a lot of residents. That means I've seen a lot less walking and bike riding in the past 5 weeks. Maybe it's time to start pacing and returning to my post-op exercise list?

I might try icing tonight. As much as I didn't like the idea of ice initially, it really made a huge difference in the early parts of my recovery. I'm not sure ice will help in this case though, as the pain is a bit too deep I think. We'll see. And of course I'll give Tylenol a go.

I'll be making my 1 year followup appointment tomorrow - I think I'll also see if I can chat with my OS or his assistant to see if they have any concerns about the pain.
 

Jaycey

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@hippiejump The jump off the trampoline will have angered soft tissues and muscles you have not been using. New hips don't like impact or excessive weight lifting. Ice and elevate and rest that hip. This should ease - just give it time.
 

CricketHip

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:wave:Hello @hippiejump , glad you decided to join us and loved what you posted about being a faithful lurker. :heehee:

Sorry to hear that you've been feeling under the weather and now have some significant hip pain. Of course that would cause you to worry.. and glad to hear that you are going to request a chat with your OS.
That being said, your lurchy jump off of the trampoline could definitely be the cause of your uptick in pain.
While waiting for your telemed call with your OS office, maybe try the old standard of icing several times a day and see if that helps. I like your thoughts of returning to some of the post op exercises and pacing inside, after your more prominent pain symptoms ease.

Well, now that you've made your debut, please stay with us? You have a very nice writing style and I'm sure many of us will be interested in how this situation progresses or wanes for you!
 

Debru4

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As I was reading your post these words resonated with me and reminded me of what a gift having my hip replacement was :
What was surprising how all consuming the pain in my left hip was. Walking was hard, not walking was hard, sitting was hard.
I am about 1 1/2 years past my replacement, and yet I still can imagine that horrendous pain and how severely it impacted every part of my life for almost 9 months. I am so grateful that I replaced that bum hip!

It sounds like you might want to try a "reset" and just pretend you just go home from your surgery. Take some regular acetaminophen perhaps, rest, ice 45+ minutes several times a day, and just be a slug for several days, only walking to meet basic needs. Then gradually work up to more walking, daily activities etc. I wouldn't be surprised if starting over after your increased pain and your fall didn't help out with the pain a lot. If it were me, I'd also probably want to check in with my doctor, which it sounds like you plan to do. Good luck!
 

Layla

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Hello :wave:
Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for coming out of the shadows to join us.
We’re happy to learn you benefitted from perusing the forum early on in your recovery.
I will look forward to following your journey, so please stay in touch. :)
@hippiejump
 

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