Old Hipster – The Final Post

Last in a series of over-sharing dispatches on musculoskeletal health

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Hey campers, here’s a quick last update on my post-hip-surgery recovery for the half-handful of you who’ve been following along – and readers who may be facing a similar operation in the future.

Last Wednesday I had a three-week follow-up doctor’s appointment. The X-ray (at right) shows the implant is aligned and calcifying into place. Cool! I was worried because, as I began to get more mobile after 11 days of bed rest, I could feel shifting in the joint. I was worried that the implants were breaking loose.

Apparently it was just the stretched tendons, ligaments and muscles that result from surgery. “No problem, that’s normal,” said Dr. Poole. It’ll all tighten up quickly if I rehab conscientiously. The main thing I’ve got to be careful of is dislocating the joint because of the loose ligaments. So the doc lifted most of my activity restrictions.

Yeeee haw! It’s training time!

I’ve already done several multi-mile hikes and a lot of stationary biking, and it all hurts much less than pre-surgery, less than a month ago. And the more I use it, the better my hip seems to work, and the less stiffness I have. Today I go hiking and road riding. No trail running for at least six months though.

Considering all the drilling and sawing, and the huge lump of metal that got hammered into my body, hiking rough trail -pain free- only 23 days after surgery is an amazing demonstration of modern medicine, not to mention just how resilient human bodies really are.

So, all you high mileage hikers, if you’ve got a hip that’s hurting every step of the way, don’t wait as long as I did to get it fixed. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. –Steve Howe