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THR Police officer in need of THA

user138

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Hello, I’m new here. I found the forum through a google search and saw some police officers/firefighters who had THA and I was hoping for some feedback. I’m a 36 year old male Municipal Police Officer for 10 years with a SCFE in my left hip that caused severe OA to the point where my only option for treatment is a THA. I have no other co-morbidities and I am in good physical shape otherwise. The Dr said I will be able to return to full duty after the surgery with no restrictions. Has anyone else found that to be true? Has any other officers found it difficult to return to duty? I find myself terrified and on a roller coaster of emotions from feeling like my body has betrayed me.
 

djklaugh

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@user138 Welcome to BoneSmart! :welome: Yes we have had police officers and firefighters who have had hip replacements and returned to full active duty. Most recently @Humbleservant - a police officer - went through this and is now back at work. here's a link to his recovery thread - https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/left-thr.64220/

Do you have a date for surgery yet? If so we will create a signature for you just let us know.
 
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user138

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I did not go yet, I get a surgery date in the next two weeks. Thank you for the information, seeing @Humbleservant ’s story is an inspiration. I hope his recovery is still going well.
 

Celle

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Hello @user138 - and :welome:

I think there's every chance that you will be able to return to active duty after a hip replacement, as long as you take enough time off work to allow your hip to recover.
Recovery from joint replacements takes a long time, as long as a full year for some people, but you should be able to do most things by about 12 weeks.

We usually recommend taking about 12 weeks off work and then doing a Phased return to work .
Some people with demanding jobs, such as firemen and paramedics, (and possibly police officers) may need to take a little longer.

Here's some reading, to help you prepare for surgery:
If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Going4fun

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Yes there are officers on this board who have returned to work. Some aren't currently active because they're back to their lives.

Heads up: your idea of a hip replacement is clouding your understanding of the new generation of hip replacements. You should easily be able to return to full work. Now, recovery takes time, so I don't mean a month later you're ready to run full out and chase someone, but yes you can get back to your job. Full recovery typically takes a year, but you should be able to return to full work long before that.

Your surgeon is part of a growing number who are confident that the devices can withstand aggressive activity. My surgeon placed no restrictions on me. I just finished a week vacationing hiking and walking up hills and mountain paths and jogging. Just an occasional slight soreness. I also lift weights.

I imagine I might run more in a week than a typical officer has to run in a week. Not meant as an insult or anything--I'm only imagining here. I can stand and walk as much as I'd like and bike as well.

I literally do not think about my hip when I engage in sports or walking ... except to think, "dang, my new hip is so good! Aren't I fortunate!"

Again, the full recovery takes a year. So check your short-term disability coverage and take every bit of that that you can. You won't need a full year off ... The recommended scenario here is 12 weeks/3 months off.
 
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user138

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@Going4fun I truly appreciate all of your input.

I don’t run well right now, but I’m still not a sleeper! I HATE to run, so I’m positive you run more than at least me.

My main concerns are getting into a scuffle and something being knocked loose. I’m also concerned for being able to support all of my heavy gear, especially since my holster sits on my left side.

I have sick time I’m going to be able to use then I can return to restricted desk duty until I am released from the doctor, so I am lucky in that regard. The doctor told me that due to my age and physical condition (non smoker/drinker, no known health problems) that I should “bounce back no problem.”

I must admit that of all of my struggles and roads I have walked, this is by far the most frightening to me. I truly do appreciate that you people that have been through it are here to share your experience and support others.
 
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Going4fun

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The way I understand it: brutal falls that would harm the old hip would harm the new hip. That's my crude understanding. But you won't have to be "cautious" because of the device.

Your surgeon knows you're a police officer right? Assuming the surgeon is reasonably good, they'd tell you if they thought the new hip would interfere with your job. The best surgeons don't really want to overpromise.

You won't walk around worrying about your hip when getting into a confrontation, if that's your worry. Or let me put it like this: you won't feel some instability in the middle of a confrontation that distracts you. The body begins to trust that hip and so you don't really spend mental time thinking about it--except when you marvel at the stability of the device (which I do all the time when I'm running).

You'll gradually build trust in the hip during your recovery and you'll feel how stable it is. It is not "gently" in there. In the USA, most total hips are uncemented, meaning the devices attach to our bones, grow into our bones. That device is in there solidly. The devices have a special porous surface that allows the bone to attach to the device. I know: amazing.
 

Eman85

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Not a police man but I had SCFE and pins in one hip. You can read my thread, I waited to have mine replaced. There isn't a day that I don't think about the fact I've had THR and it's not just because I'm older or anything about pain. I still do everything and anything I take a notion to, but I use more caution and it is on my mind when I do things.
 

Humbleservant

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@user138 welcome aboard! I am glad u found this place! What a wonderful help it has been for me and my family, all these wonderful people! I had all the same nerves as you! It took several different meetings with different surgeons until I found the one that supported me and what I wanted for me and my family!

I had THR March 1 and back full duty June 1 with all the gear! Obviously my operated side is still weaker than the other, and I have some tweaks and twangs here and there but man I tell you I have no arthritic pain and it is a blessing!

I almost turned around the morning of my thr bc I was afraid, but I’m sooooooo glad I did it!!! Soooo much relief! I’m able to sit on the floor, pick up my kids, play with my kids and have returned to normal activity, which prior to surgery I was in so much pain even tying my shoes!

my operated hip is still adjusting to the added weight of gear but light years better than before and no pain, just feels weaker!
Any questions fire away!
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome! Thanks fo joining us. I think you’ll love it here. Lots of support, encouragement and camaraderie.

I find myself terrified and on a roller coaster of emotions from feeling like my body has betrayed me.
Yes! We get it. We’ve all been there. You will adjust, you will get through it. You will even get to a point in time afterward where your hip is not in the forefront of your mind. We’ll be here to walk along side you through it all, so please stay in touch.
Wishing you comfort as you wait for your surgery date.
 

Ropeslinger

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Hello, I’m new here. I found the forum through a google search and saw some police officers/firefighters who had THA and I was hoping for some feedback. I’m a 36 year old male Municipal Police Officer for 10 years with a SCFE in my left hip that caused severe OA to the point where my only option for treatment is a THA. I have no other co-morbidities and I am in good physical shape otherwise. The Dr said I will be able to return to full duty after the surgery with no restrictions. Has anyone else found that to be true? Has any other officers found it difficult to return to duty? I find myself terrified and on a roller coaster of emotions from feeling like my body has betrayed me.
Hello, welcome to the forum.
What can I do to help? Feel free to message me anytime.
 
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user138

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Thanks @Ropeslinger. At this point I’m no longer afraid of the operation, I’m afraid of what may become of my career. Many people who have had the surgery, as well as the doctors are telling me that I will be able to return with no problems. I’m afraid the command staff will attempt to force me out.
 

Ropeslinger

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Well, that's always concerning but you are protected lawfully with regards to you position within the department. I am a retired Chief of Police. If you are given the clearance to return to duty after surgery and recovery, any retaliation by command staff regarding your abilities will be deemed hostile and they know it! You will be able to perform as good if not better than prior to THR. After recovery you will be able to utilize your leg and hip as well as before.
They cannot go beyond standards to "see if you can handle the job" !
 

Going4fun

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I mean, can you go do a consult with the union. Lots of police departments have strong unions. And it may calm your mind to go talk with a rep on this. Seriously, you want to dump all worry of this kind out of your mind because the surgery is enough worry.

Just a reminder, you really will be able to run harder and faster, and be more stable and stronger and fit after the surgery. Not immediately but over the course of a year. So your performance compared to now will only improve. Are you getting that? Sometimes we can intellectually get it but not really feel it or believe it?

I'm not an officer, but I'm FAR more fit than I was before surgery. I exercise far more frequently and far more aggressively and walk and run far longer and faster than before the surgery.
 
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user138

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@Going4fun I appreciate what you are saying to me. It’s just hard to wrap my mind around it being on the outside right now. I did get to consult with a rep and they told me to cross one bridge at a time. They seemed a little dismissive of me, but they assured me I have nothing to worry about. I guess it’s a relief to know that there is a senior guy to me who went through the same thing. He’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, hopefully I can follow suit.
 

Puggles

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Hi,
I'm new here and nervously awaiting a THR, so I completely understand
all your fears. I'm really
glad you found this forum! I have gotten SO much great information and
encouragement! :) (( hugs ))
 
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user138

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I got a surgery date of 8/4 which is very soon. The surgeon is extremely confident that he can fix me and give me my life back which is very exciting. The surgeons strict recovery parameters are unlike any others that I’ve seen, he told me to simply walk as much as my body will allow with no PT for 8-12 weeks. He did tell me that once I’m fully healed I can return to my life with no restrictions.
 

Jaycey

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Well done on getting your surgery date @user138 ! Your surgeon's approach seems to follow the current trend and I am impressed realistic timeframe for waiting for PT. Hips don't really need PT. But you may want to work with someone to work on strengthening that op leg so that you will be fully fit for work.
 

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