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Post Hip op do's and dont's

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's also worth commenting that hip surgery, whilst usually a great success, can sometimes go wrong - nobody's "fault". One of my friends had big success with hip 1, then a disaster with hip 2. Some of the people describing their experiences are relatively strong and fit, other than the arthritis, but others will have a harder climb back, for a whole variety of reasons. Everybody is different - it's not a competition.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Most of the time it is our head that recovers last. A pro fixed the physical defect, but the mental damage is on us to get past, and it can be hard. Expect this and be kind to yourself. Nobody spends anywhere near the same amount of time on their head as they do their knee or hip, and yet we expect our full compliment of mojo now that our knee is fixed. Unrealistic.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just some additional thoughts on the head and body. I'm sitting with bags packed waiting to go to France, but in the meantime have been skiing indoors. On the head side I've been worried about having a fall onto the hip, but kind of wanting it to happen to get it out of the way. At the weekend I was knocked off my feet whilst stationary on skis. Whilst it was annoying, it was also pain and repercussion free. I've also had a fall whilst hill-walking without any consequences. Both these incidences were great to get out of the way and make me feel less tense. I've also taken to skiing in "impact-shorts", I'm not sure how much good they might do, but they again help with the mind.

As a final point, given that I had my accident shortly before Covid started I've just continued with all the exercises that the physios gave me plus others as a result of this I've lost significant weight and am almost certainly fitter than before the accident. It also means that the impact shorts fit inside my old ski trousers.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I'm glad this has prompted some good discussion and accounts of personal experiences. This is exactly what I struggled to find when trying to decide whether the time was right to get mine done. The medics can tell you about success rates, etc. but it doesn't tell you what its like to ski with a replacement.

As others have said, it's a big advantage to be in reasonable shape and have good strength in your other leg, etc. so delaying to the point where the arthritic hip is rendering you less active could be counterproductive. The possibility of not being able to ski afterwards definitely encouraged me to delay the surgery but, with hindsight, I might have been better to take the plunge a year earlier. Hopefully, the experiences people have shared here will aid informed decisions.

Finally, I'd echo @Ski lots comment on falling (or being knocked) over. These events are milestones along the path to 'the new normal' - getting past them is a necessary part of the progression. The main difference between these and 'first ski with THR' and 'first moguls with THR' is that the latter are conscious steps that you take when you feel ready (-ish!).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skiing with my new hip (12 months post op) was easier than skiing with a painful hip. The big issue for me was the mental aspect; the worry of a collision and falling onto it. It took me 4 full days skiing to get back to near where I was before, and still I was terrified of falling and didn't ski as fast as I normally would, or as smoothly. I had done a lot (by my poor standards) of strength and balance work, and lost a fair bit of weight in that 12 months. The new hip is less well protected by tissue than a natural hip and the fear is natural.

10 months later we skied again, and in the interim I had done a lot of mountain biking and my confidence was sky high. Yes, we had great conditions, but on this holiday I skied better than I ever have and after the 1st half day I didn't even think about the hip.

On the downside, my knee has gone downhill since and is not good enough for skiing. It gives me no pain when at rest and I can mountain bike on my ebike without issue, but walking anything over a KM is not good. Knees are a different beast and I am putting that off until I have to get it done.

My advice would be:
0 - 6 weeks DO exactly as your surgeon and physio say. DO NOT skimp on the exercises and walking
6 weeks - 6 months Keep pushing to your limits but don't put yourself in a position where you can have a fall or hyper extension
6-12 months As above but crack on with all exercises, increasing what you do as your confidence grows

Enjoy the incredibly feeling of pain free and increased movement. After my 6 week review the surgeon was that pleased he said i could go for a gentle ride on my bike. I did about 4 very flat KMs. after 400m I started to cry as by leg went up and down without turning out to the side and burning pain.

Enjoy, because it is the most incrdible, life changing op.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I very much agree with Frosty the Snowman's advice. Individual timelines may vary with age and fitness but my experience was very similar to his. I would have been happy (but for COVID) to do a ski trip at the 6 month point but stability and confidence did continue to improve up to at least 12 months post-op. Walking played a huge part in that continued improvement. It did wonders for balance and agility. It also made it easy to maintain motivation as, like Frosty, I was revelling in my newly pain free mobility. I also agree with his comment about the replacement feeling less protected by tissue - hence the impact shorts.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@fatboyfat, Very Happy snowHead
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