I am an old fellow that loves to run. I’ve been a recreational runner since my early 20's; however, a broken pelvis/hip 23 years ago gradually became a severe, post-traumatic arthritis of my hip.
My 5K run times got longer and longer – my running stride became a hobble – walking became limping and painful.
I delayed seeking a hip replacement for more than a year. I tried steroid injections, but they didn't help much, and gradually my range of motion became so affected that I could not put on sock or tie a shoe on the right side.
I knew (and all of my family and friends kept telling me) that it was time. I talked with two orthopedic surgeons, one closer to home, and Dr. Jeffrey Davis in Birmingham. I chose Dr. Davis because he offered to do an anterior approach with MAKO Robotic Assistance.
Even though the first two weeks post-op were tough, it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be. The pain was covered well by the medications. Although I had some problems sleeping, the whole team was always there to help and a change of meds took care of that.
Once I got past the first two weeks everything got better and better very quickly. I walked as directed, first just around the house with the walker, then two weeks post-op I stopped using the walker and only used a cane. Also, following my 2-week appointment with Dr. Davis, I began using my upright exercise bike, starting at 20 minutes with really easy resistance, and increasing the time to 30 minutes/day and increasing the resistance gradually as well. With the combination of walking and biking my strength dramatically improved.
At 3-weeks post-op I started walking outside with the cane, initially just a 10th of a mile, gradually increasing to a mile a day, and gradually walking longer and longer distances without the cane.
At 4-weeks post-op I walked 3 miles around my neighborhood just to see how that felt. It took me an hour and 15 minutes but it felt good, no pain, just tired. I continued walking a mile a day for another week but now without the cane at all, concentrating on good posture.
At 5-weeks post-op I walked the Honda 5K, completing it in 56 min. and getting a 3rd place medal for my age group!
Now at 6-weeks post-op my hip feels like I was born with it. I still have some range-of-motion issues that I am working on and I am gently stretching out, but I am walking and completely pain free. I do want to add that God was surely with me and if it weren't for His help I could not have done it on my own.
I have to say that everyone involved with my care were wonderful! From the Andrews' staff, to the St. Vincent’s staff. No matter if it was imaging or lab or the pre-op prep people, everyone was kind and caring and professional. I cannot say enough how everyone made the experience very comfortable. I certainly made the right choice!