Skiing 7 years post ceramic hip replacement

I am 7 years post hip replacement in May 2019. I cannot quite believe how quickly it has  gone and generally how good the hip has felt.  The operation has removed 99% of pain and I’ve had no or very few issues with the hip. Occasionally you get the odd ache outer hip, groin or mid thigh but it is something that never really lasts and changes with exercise especially strength work around the gluteals. The only real physical issues I have are discomfort with my lower back. but that is manageable.

My 5 year hip review at Guy’s Hospital summer of 2017 with my surgeon Marcus Bankes was good. He told me that Guy’s Hospital do not routinely do the 5 year review for the ceramic hips as their outcome has been good that its no longer necessary. Good news all round!

I had a total ceramic hip replacement in May 2012 after sustaining a hockey injury in 1995 where l landed hard on my great trochanter or lateral/side of hip and develop a deep groin pain thereafter. I recovered after 3 months and managed to get back into my normal activities. In general I was really good at throwing myself around and injuring myself during sport and exercise. However, it was probably not just the sports I did, but also a possible congenital problem called hip dysplasia. I never knew I had hip dysplasia until Mr Warwick Radford Orthopaedic surgeon at the Lister hospital, London told me this in 2002. He kindly said i would need a hip replacement in the future, which of course I barked at! But, I guess the seed was sown.

Hip dysplasia means you have shallow hip sockets and the head of femur (ball) is not fully covered by the acetabulum (socket). Interestingly, I always had groin tightness and snapping pain from time to time during my twenties so whether this was my first signs of hip issues I will never know.

In the end and what finished my hip off, was the weight gain during pregnancy. Its funny because I truly thought that as soon as I lost the pregnancy weight, the pain would go.  Sadly, it didn’t and in fact the pain just got worse. I developed a really bad limp and my pain levels were a biting 9/10 whilst walking. I had a dull ache in the hip at night which would wake me up. My limp was unavoidable and frankly terrible. I could not even run after my toddler. My hip movement was becoming more limited especially into flexion and adduction. But I was also losing hip abduction and external rotation and could not to sit cross legged on the floor. Doing the breaststroke leg kick became impossible or even lifting my leg over my bike cross bar was becoming very hard to do.

7 years post THR, I can do everything, rock climb, ski, hike, cycle and swim. However, jogging or running isn’t particularly comfortable. I still feel my leg is weak especially around the hip and thigh. I know a lot of people re-start running post hip replacement but I have accepted running is no longer on my list of things to do. The fact I do not run anymore is ok and I have found a lot of enjoyment from other sports and activities.

Next stop – off piste skiing the Haute Route…. (perhaps hiking it first)….