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Thread: an ode to recovery.

  1. #1
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    an ode to recovery.

    so i'm 10 days out from my second hip replacement and just came back from the gym (don't worry i did shoulders, not legs).

    the arthritis that required my hip replacement was severely exacerbated by a motorcycle crash in early october - i had been living with chronic severe pain for about 10 weeks. the good news is the pain is gone. funny how if you replace the whole joint there is a step change in the pain from severe to none at all. thank god for medical technology! that being said, i'm recovering from yet another significant injury/trauma.

    reflecting it seems that maybe 5 years of my life (i'm 52 - 10%!) have been spent recovering from some injury or another. i was an athlete in high school and college, and would've gone pro in lacrosse had that been available at the time. maybe best that it wasn't! anyways, i've had both acl's repaired, labroscopy on my hip, and now both hips replaced. non-surgical trauma's include countless sprained ankles (all when younger), over 10 broken ribs (3 different incidents), 2 concussions, 1 broken knee cap, 1 broken scapula, 1 broken metacarpal, multiple dislocated shoulders, 1 hyper extended elbow, 1 dislocated wrist, 2 disk ruptures, 2 kidney ruptures, 1 collapsed lung, and countless muscle pulls, partial tears, and tendonitis in various joints.

    what have i learned through all this? patience and consistency (and not overdoing recovery) are paramount to success. also, working with A GOOD physical therapist accelerates recovery and provides a sustainable base if some exercises are incorporated in regular program.

    at this point in my training, i've resigned myself to the fact that running is out, playing sports (active ones like basketball, flag football, lacrosse, etc) is out. my wife has taken the position that i can't race motorcycles anymore (a number of the injuries are a result of crashes at the track). i will not lift heavy (less than 6 reps). it's yet to be seen if my hips will be able to take squats and dead lifts again - but that is the goal.

    the most instantaneous painful injury was my first acl tear. i blacked out from the pain. the most significant post injury pain was a motorcycle crash where i was in icu for a few days with a variety of broken bones, internal injuries and road rash. the most immediately beneficial surgery was the hip replacement just mentioned.

    thanks for reading and letting me share. sometimes i do get tired of recovery (i took 6 days off from the gym after this most recent surgery). time to get back on the saddle, and hopefully my body will be good for awhile...

    i'd love to hear some other interesting injury/recovery experiences - some of them can be quite inspirational!

  2. #2
    Proximal is offline Banned
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    Dude, you are a warrior! Had my first hip replaced when I was 51, the second was 3 years ago at 54. Ballooned up to 35 pounds heavier than what I am currently.

    As soon as I got my second hip replaced, I felt so rejuvenated that I really got back to the gym more regularly - only to be derailed by a pituitary tumor that had my prolactin skyrocketing and completely shutting down my T and making weight loss almost impossible for me.

    2 years of cabergoline fixed that problem and then I started on TRT 3 months ago and here I go (fingers crossed my good fortune continues).

    I wore my hips out primarily with basketball and what has been hardest for me is watching gym members my age and older still playing regularly. I shoot, but catch myself getting too aggressive working on my ball handling (cross-overs & cutting, etc.) and know it is too much, so I'm almost ready to call it quits completely.

    There are those who run, ski, play aggressive tennis, etc. with knee and hip replacements, but the risk is simply wearing out or loosening the components too early. I've spoken with a couple of orthopedic surgeons and a big concern they have is the shear number of revisions they will be encountering in the upcoming years because the volume of joint replacements performed on younger and younger patients has been huge. They are fearful that there simply will be too many patients and too few surgeons. The point being is make your replacements last as long as possible.

    My surgeon has advised there have been documented hip-replacement dislocations with "heavy" squatting and leg presses. Personally, I use higher reps and medium weights on the leg press and as my strength and range of motion overall have improved I am doing the same with dead-lifts. I am still careful to not exceed 90 degrees too much and have no issues thus far. For cardio I stick with the elliptical , stair climber and bike.

    I am currently putting off rotator cuff surgery because I can still work around it and symptoms are minimal, but I know its coming. I am just not looking forward to the recovery time with that surgery.

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    thanks for the advice fellow warrior!
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    RipperAl is offline New Member
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    Just curious if you both still squat and if so what amount of weight do you use? I'm late 40's and broke my hip in 2000 and fully separated the femoral head and then got AVN so had another emergency surgery months later and they bone grafted from my tibia or fibia and fixed my hip again and got the blood circulating, I now have two pins and some wire holding it together and always sorta worry about how much I should lift.

    I'll be honest I was training last year with 300+ but this year I dropped back and feel safer using a bit less weight and higher reps, I haven't found many people with hip injuries like mine who squat to ask about this.

    These days I usually am doing 5/3/1 training and got on TRT late last year and feel so much better!

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    Proximal is offline Banned
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    It has been 15 years and if you haven't had issues so far, I guess you can "assume" all is well. But, did you ever do any follow up with your surgeon initially to ensure that the fixation was 100% and to get any long-term advice?

    The bottom line is that you are dealing with a fixation of a very vulnerable area of the body and it would necessitate a lot more caution. If you re-fracture you are looking at a hip replacement - not the greatest thing in the world, but certainly not the worse either.

    A hip replacement is a different animal so not really an apple to apple type of comparison, when discussing exercise. With a replacement, you can risk dislocation if you exceed the depth of the squat (90 degree should be max), and possibly with the weight. Wish I could give you more advice, but I'd say, stick conservative to put off the possibility of a hip replacement as long as possible. Hope this helps.

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    RipperAl is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximal View Post
    It has been 15 years and if you haven't had issues so far, I guess you can "assume" all is well. But, did you ever do any follow up with your surgeon initially to ensure that the fixation was 100% and to get any long-term advice?

    The bottom line is that you are dealing with a fixation of a very vulnerable area of the body and it would necessitate a lot more caution. If you re-fracture you are looking at a hip replacement - not the greatest thing in the world, but certainly not the worse either.

    A hip replacement is a different animal so not really an apple to apple type of comparison, when discussing exercise. With a replacement, you can risk dislocation if you exceed the depth of the squat (90 degree should be max), and possibly with the weight. Wish I could give you more advice, but I'd say, stick conservative to put off the possibility of a hip replacement as long as possible. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the reply, after the second operation the surgeon told me it was a success and the *only* thing I recall when he suddenly grabbed my leg and started spinning around in odd circles that it made a click in one spot, he noticed also but said it was nothing to worry about.

    I've had chronic pain for years from the operation and not sure what's causing it, X-rays show its not fractured and I can walk fine except the fixed leg is now about 1 inch shorter and I was on pain killers for about the last 8 years but quit them early last year, instead I am on the MMAR program now and using high CBD strains in a vaporizer, seems to have really helped a lot and unlike the painkillers I don't get sick if I forget to take it...haha.

    I was told my repair should last about 25 years but I hope it will last longer, I think I will stick to 225 for high reps instead of even bothering with 300+ sets anymore, I have no pain when squatting but would rather be safe than sorry.

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    Proximal is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipperAl View Post
    I've had chronic pain for years from the operation and not sure what's causing it, X-rays show its not fractured and I can walk fine except the fixed leg is now about 1 inch shorter I was told my repair should last about 25 years but I hope it will last longer, I think I will stick to 225 for high reps instead of even bothering with 300+ sets anymore, I have no pain when squatting but would rather be safe than sorry.

    A leg length discrepancy of that amount generally creates increased wear on the shortened leg (hip & knee joints) and generally creates some back issues as well, surprised that wasn't addressed with pads in your shoes, etc. The M.D. should be able to look at how much degeneration you have of the joint space in the hip, indicating how much DJD (degenerative joint disease/arthritis) you have in the joint. With your injury, your age, your activity levels and the leg length issue I'd be surprised if you didn't have quite a bit of DJD.

    Regarding the squats, I think its a quality of life decision. I've seen plenty of individuals willing to sacrifice surgically repaired joints and joint replacements doing things they absolutely love and can't do without. I have to think though that you can come up with alternatives to the heavy squats and deadlifts and still maximize your leg development.

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    RipperAl is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximal View Post
    A leg length discrepancy of that amount generally creates increased wear on the shortened leg (hip & knee joints) and generally creates some back issues as well, surprised that wasn't addressed with pads in your shoes, etc. The M.D. should be able to look at how much degeneration you have of the joint space in the hip, indicating how much DJD (degenerative joint disease/arthritis) you have in the joint. With your injury, your age, your activity levels and the leg length issue I'd be surprised if you didn't have quite a bit of DJD.

    Regarding the squats, I think its a quality of life decision. I've seen plenty of individuals willing to sacrifice surgically repaired joints and joint replacements doing things they absolutely love and can't do without. I have to think though that you can come up with alternatives to the heavy squats and deadlifts and still maximize your leg development.
    I haven't had any back issues so far and as for the wear on my hip joint I usually get an X-ray done each year to make sure its ok and so far the only comment over the years is that I have Osteoarthritis. They really and no explanation for the chronic pain I have had since about 2001 after the second surgery, I'm in Canada and they basically say its "non-surgical" and they told me just keep getting pain killers from my doctor for the pain, I got off them last year.

    I used to ride mountain bike a lot and that kept my legs built but these days riding a bike is uncomfortable and causes pain in my hip, not sure why. I did initially wear lifts for the first year on shoes however they seemed to cause more pain and maybe that's because the length is missing from the top half of my leg and not the bottom? They never have really measured me proper except when I went for a bone density and they technician asked how tall I was and I told him I was just over 5' 9" before the accident and he says I am not about 5' 8" and 1/4 and he also said my bone density was fine.

    Thanks again for all your comments and info, appreciated!

  9. #9
    Proximal is offline Banned
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    Ripper Al, my pleasure. I'm new to the forum and really appreciate it when guys give me advice about what I have little clue about - steroids and TRT. So I just want to contribute back with stuff I feel very comfortable about.

    Where is your pain BTW?

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    RipperAl is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximal View Post
    Where is your pain BTW?
    It feels as though its inside almost sitting beside my left testicle, seems when I walk many times I sorta have to make a movement to "unstick" my hip if that makes sense...doesn't feel like it did prior to the injury. I also still feel lots of pain on the two scars from both operations, if I bump against them even lightly it causes a lot of pain which I would guess is from the nerves.

    Since starting TRT last year though I seem to have a bit less pain, I am not sure why but possibly because I am doing even more exercise now than I have in the last 15.

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    so... i just had my second hip replacement, each as a result of osteoarthritis. in one hip i had pain in the location similar to where you are (deep groin) the other was in the hip flexor area.

    your arthritis may ultimately require a hip replacement - and they're not that bad at all.

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    Proximal is offline Banned
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    Yeah, your actual hip joint is in your groin region. I also remember a lot of pain right next to the testicles. Even if a hip replacement is in the future, nothing to lose sleep over.

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    Thanks for the info guys, I'm hoping if I do get a replacement one day its before I am 60 and would rather it not be too much older, just worried about any complications etc....last two operations were hell with recovery and now I know why a lot of old people die when they break hips :-)
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  14. #14
    Proximal is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartman314 View Post
    so i'm 10 days out from my second hip replacement
    So bartman 314, how ya doin?

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