Hip Surgery

Bob Dobbalina

Billy Hamilton status
Feb 23, 2016
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Anybody have hip surgery stories?

If you're keeping score, my hip flexor/groin zone has had a nagging pain since August last year. I had my primary check it out, she ruled out a hernia, mentioned it could be referred pain from a disc issue. I rested it for a few weeks. I was still able to run and exercise, but I didn't surf.

Meanwhile, my back did have a disc problem at L2-L3 which ended up overshadowing the hip issue that I had already been dealing with. I had back surgery in April. I kind of figured everything stemmed from the same issue and anything lingering was just something I would overcome with rehab.

My PT suggested getting an Xray to rule out misdiagnosing any actual hip issues and contributing them to my back. Lo and behold! The Xray shows arthritis in the hip joint and a deformed head of the femur. I have an MRI this afternoon to gauge the likely damage to the labrum.

Now I'm looking at potential hip surgery. Has anyone gone through it? I'm told it's not too taxing, but damn. Another 3-6 months of not doing anything really sounds terrible.
 

Belchfire1

Nep status
Jun 27, 2013
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I'm going through a similar injury. Same type of pain, no surfing for the last few weeks. Saw a specialist and we got x rays, no arthritis or anything going on. He recommended an MRI, but my insurance didn't deem it "medically necessary" so I gotta do PT for 6 weeks and see if it improves. Dr mentioned maybe a tear or something on the labarum. No surgery is being prescribed yet, but you never know.
I have a friend who has had double hip replacements (he's under 50) and besides being sidelined for a short while, he's still riding BMX bikes jumping etc with no issues.
There is hope.
 

Woke AF

Kelly Slater status
Jul 29, 2009
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check out the minimal invasive replacement, small incision in the butt.

 

gbg

Michael Peterson status
Jan 22, 2006
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I'm going through a similar injury. Same type of pain, no surfing for the last few weeks. Saw a specialist and we got x rays, no arthritis or anything going on. He recommended an MRI, but my insurance didn't deem it "medically necessary" so I gotta do PT for 6 weeks and see if it improves. Dr mentioned maybe a tear or something on the labarum. No surgery is being prescribed yet, but you never know.
I have a friend who has had double hip replacements (he's under 50) and besides being sidelined for a short while, he's still riding BMX bikes jumping etc with no issues.
There is hope.
Your hips might be tight. Stretch.
 

surf-shot.com

OTF status
Feb 10, 2008
298
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Anybody have hip surgery stories? . . . Has anyone gone through it?
I had hip replacement a year and a half ago. Probably like your hip, bone was grinding on bone due to cartilage loss and the ball on top of the femur was worn and no longer round. The surgery was early in the morning and I was walking that afternoon. I didn't have any pain and didn't take any pain meds. The surgeon recommended no impact as in no running and remaining seated and spinning while cycling in order for the artificial hip to last 20 years.

L-hip-2D-crop.jpg

long version: I noticed left leg no longer had full range of motion. Trusted GP took x-rays and explained “this is what a healthy hip looks like and this is where your hip is at now”. He said hip replacement was standard but he expected better solutions in two to three years. He recommended biting the bullet and waiting for technology to catch up. I researched stem cell injections from Total Sports Medicine Center in Las Vegas but guessed that total hip replacement was inevitable. I changed jobs and got different health insurance, and since a year and a half had passed since the first diagnoses I contacted a new doctor who sent me to a surgeon. Of course, the problem with the surgeon was all he has to offer was surgery but his expertise and thorough explanation of the situation was impressive. He said no one was going to be regenerating cartilage in the near future. Research was concentrating on hearts, lungs and brains that would be life-saving as opposed to cartilage that would be quality of life. There was an item in the news about creating tissue for knee joints with a 3D printer but it’s probably not going to be used on humans any time soon. He explained the difference between anterior and posterior hip surgery and estimated 90% chance of a good outcome if I had hip surgery now. He said if I limped along until the joint collapsed we were looking at a much different procedure with a 60% chance of favorable results.

On the day of the operation, went in very early in the morning and woke up early in the afternoon with a new hip and no pain and no worries. They get you up on your feet and walking right away and I passed my surgeon in the hall. He asked “did I just do a hip replacement on you?” then took out his phone and videoed me hopping on one foot and then the other. He had the nurses shaking their heads.

Laird Hamilton had hip replacement about the same time and he told Rogan he has no restrictions at all. He expects his artificial hip to last 10 to 30 years. I think my surgeon doesn’t like running in general but I would be happier and healthier if I could run for 5 to 20 minutes three times a week. Please let us know what your doctor says and good luck with your hip.


 

Bob Dobbalina

Billy Hamilton status
Feb 23, 2016
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MRI is in. As usual, the initial read is scary. I'm hoping the appointment with the surgeon next week calms some of the bigger fears.
 

grg

Miki Dora status
Mar 11, 2006
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Tuna Town/Baja
Had right one done 2 years ago and was awesome. No more pain, more flexibility, etc. = game changer.

Fast forward 2 years later. I got an infection and needed a Hip Revision and that the worse thing Ive ever had to go thru.

Getting Left Hip done in a week.
 

Autoprax

Duke status
Jan 24, 2011
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How did you get the infection?

What is a revision?

I had back surgery and I think it was 3 years to really get over.
 

grg

Miki Dora status
Mar 11, 2006
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Tuna Town/Baja
How did you get the infection?

What is a revision?

I had back surgery and I think it was 3 years to really get over.
Almost impossible to trace back BUT I think and surgeon agrees that it came from me getting a Staph infection (more than once). I tend to get them surfing in Baja as my local zone is entering and exiting water with sharp rocks. Always leave water with a cut and bleeding. So now I wear booties down there all the time.

A revision is where they have to remove everything to fight infection.

So I had a surgery to remove the implant and they put in a plastic antibiotic spacer. The removal was Anterior but what was normally a 45 min surgery took the surgeon 3.5 hours and was a PITA he said. I healed too well and was alot of work to remove and pulling a huge part of my femur with it connected to the implant. He chiseled off and reattached using zip ties to hope it get back together which it did thankfully. Had to get blood transfusions because I lost alot of blood

That is a no weight bearing spacer and i was on a walker for over three months. I then went to a nursing home via ambulance service because I couldn't walk or take care of myself without assistance. Quite the experience at 54 years old and was there for about a month before I told them I needed to GTFO there.

My muscles in both legs atrophied and was skin and bones.

Had a PICC line to mainline the juice to fight the infection and that was 24 hours a day and infection was gone in 3 months. They test with a long needle in your hip to draw fluid as well as blood work.

All clear so now time to put in new replacement that is not as robust as the the OG and I will never be the same as a result. Can still surf etc but I can tell a difference. That surgery they went in Posterior and had to hack my muscles to do so and that was gnar and still kinda healing from that.

Basically you dont want to have to go back in for 10-30 years and I did in 2 so im pretty f&cked if they have to go in again soon :(
 
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GWS_2

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Aug 3, 2019
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Yikes. My Doc warned me about surfing in polluted water. Or after a rain. Any kind of sinus infection, any kind of infection, bomb it with antibiotics. We get a rainy winter and I'm spending a lot of time out of the water now. It sucks, but I don't need that kind of a horror story. I can barely tell anything at all was done to me. I forget it's there. There's a certain pro surfer that is on an artificial hip.


And here he is torture testing his prosthesis

 
Aug 22, 2008
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I had the same issue in 2012 -- essentially fell badly skiing, ripped my labrum, revealed that I had an abnormally shaped femoral head. Got surgery at hospital for special surgery and am so much better. The surgery was in July and that winter I lived in Jackson Hole and skied 70 days. (seriously) Now that said, the return to being semi decent at surfing has been a harder, but it might be because I also have 2 young kids and live in New England. Before this happened I had been living in southern cal and surfing alot for about 6yrs... this injury and my inability to surf after, and then the recovery from the surgery really did set me back for a while. At this point though my main issue is just being too fat and not surfing enough (I'm very negative, I'm 210lbs and ride boards 5'8-6'4 so its not like I'm that fat ha...) I wld say in practice now I need to stretch bc my hip gets tight but I am very active overall. There was period in 2012 where I was freaked out that I wld never ski or surf again -- luckily I was saved by the surgery. Its worth noting that this happened in my early 30s and I think it wld have been harder if it happened now to have the same outcome
 
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grg

Miki Dora status
Mar 11, 2006
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Tuna Town/Baja
once I got the right one done I noticed very quickly I needed the left one done. I learned over many rears how to deal with my pop ups with right one f&cked up. Being regular foot the front leg "get up" has been challenging especially with lack of movement. Bigger the wave and later the drop helps alot.

I go to Old Mans on a small day with Glider and can barely get up. Have good days and bad for sure. For a minute I thought my surf career was over but getting better post Revision.
 

Bob Dobbalina

Billy Hamilton status
Feb 23, 2016
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Thanks for the insights everyone.

I had the consultation with the Ortho Surgeon. You know you are getting young when you look at your doctor and think, "Man this kid is young".

1) The scary part. The MRI tech picked up what could be a tumor near my sacrum. It probably isn't, but we are going to take a second MRI, this time with contrast dye, to look and be sure. I already have blood/urine tests annually because my doctor said it would be more beneficial than poking my booty hole at my age to check for cancer, so think we are ok. My dad died of prostate/colon cancer at 61 so I try to be cautious. It has nothing to do with my hip issue.
2) The femur cam is, indeed out of shape, convex rather than slightly concaved (this was clear on the Xray). The evidence of the loss of cartilage in the "cup/pelvis" portion of my hip is evident as well. The MRI images confirmed the labrum tear that the doctor anticipated. His manual exam showed my rotation is pretty minimal. My core is still weak from basically a year of litttle to no meaningful exercise outside of rehab with a sore back and bad hip.

3) I'm still considering whether to do a cortisone injection to try to rule out whether some pain is still referred from my back surgery or if it is all hip related.

4)The surgery option is arthroscopic, not a hip replacement. They would go in from the front, shave down the femur head, clear out the torn labrum, and pack some cadaver tissue in to fill the hollow space that they remove. 3-4 weeks on crutches (I live on the 3rd floor. no elevator.), Roughly 6 months for recovery. Rehab time and effort would actually be much easier and shorter with a replacement, but the doctor says that it's not really justified at this point. A full replacement could likely be on the table within the next 10-15 years.

ugh