Life Update - Hip Resurfacing / Replacement

I’m seven days past, on the other side of my Hip Resurfacing surgery which is a form of Hip replacement. A week ago, at a facility in South Carolina, I had the arthritis, the deformed bone removed; these elements replaced by metal implants. I’m amazed by modern medical procedures that will allow stability back to my left side, will allow me to walk properly again and maybe even run a few miles.


It’s been a nine month, arduous journey, one that wound through unfamiliar terrain, shrouded with fog of uncertainty. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined I would be in this place. A year ago, I knew nothing of this Hip Resurfacing procedure and the surgeon who would perform it on my left hip. Looking back, I can now see how the delays, changes, good and bad events have led me to this place, recuperating on the couch.


I’ve had issues with my left hip since 2017 and even stopped running in 2019. Increased pain coupled with other factors led me to seek the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon in August 2021.


The local doctor said I was a candidate for hip replacement surgery, but instead of a Total Hip Replacement, I should consider a Hip Resurfacing procedure instead. I learned that Hip Resurfacing removes less bone and would allow me to resume high impact activities. I was sold and scheduled the procedure for October 20, 2021.

Any surgery has risks and Hip Resurfacing has specific risks related to the implant used. My doctor stated he would only perform the procedure if he could source a specific branded implant for me. I won’t go into the details why but it is related to my frame size. Turns out Hip Resurfacing is very well suited for males but less so for females. The main risk is wear of an improperly placed implant which then sheds metal.


I proceed with the pre operative screenings, blood work, doctors appointments and cleared. I’m cleared at work for a 6 week leave of absence.


A week prior to the surgery, anxiety sets in. I pray, meditate and breathe. I prepare the home convalescing area and my friends are poised to help with meals.


The morning of the surgery arrives and I’m ready. 30 minutes before we plan to leave for the hospital, my surgeon calls me. He was unable to source the specific implant required for the Hip Resurfacing and would not be able to perform that procedure. I was shocked, bewildered and stressed. He gave me two options - come in for a Total Hip Replacement or be referred to a surgeon in South Carolina for the Hip Resurfacing.


I cancelled that morning’s surgery and opted to wait. I knew the South Carolina doctor was an expert with Hip Resurfacing with patients from across the country. Dr Thomas Gross publishes all his surgical outcomes in his website which also serves as an educational resource for Hip Resurfacing.


Four and a half months later, I’m finally recovering with a “southern hip”. I have nothing but great things to say about my experience with Dr. Gross and his staff at Midlands Orthopedics.


Looking back at the events leading to now, I can’t help but marvel at how everything worked out - personally, physically, mentally and even on the work front. I dealt with delays, lost X-rays in the mail, numerous phone calls, insurance changes but in the end, this is the way it was meant to be.


And since no post is complete without a photo, here I am convalescing with cat Louie and dog Charlie. I'm feeling great and looking forward to an uneventful recovery!


Barb  – (March 11, 2022 at 12:53 PM)  

Shirley, I'm sending you gentle hugs and a wish for a speedy recovery. I'm sure glad your procedure worked out for you even though it sounds stressful with the delay. Looks like you have lots of convalescent company!

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