2 years after my total hip replacement

Looking back 2 years since my operation with Marcus Bankes at Guy’s Hospital London UK, I have to say it certainly was the right thing and best thing I could have done. At the time, I felt far too young (41 years old – not that young but young for a joint replacement) and too ‘sporty’ to have this operation and frequently questioned why me?? However, I was literally disabled, with the most horrendous limp lurching from side to side. I used to try and disguise my limp by walking with a large umbrella or using Lily’s push chair as a rollator frame. I mean how bad was I? I was in complete denial about my condition trying to continue on as normal. Nic and fellow physiotherapy colleagues often demonstrated how badly I used to walk!

I often thought once Lily was born (in October 2010) and after losing my pregnancy weight my pain would improve. It didn’t improve. It just deteriorated and my limp became slowly more and more pronounced and my muscles wasted. I could barely walk 50 metres down the road before the operation in May 2012.

Now at nearly 24 months post total ceramic hip replacement I am doing really well and for a physiotherapists expectations I am very happy with my progress. I would say I have 100% pain relief when comparing the pain before the operation and now. Of course there are a few things I have to still work on and that is continuing with the exercises to strengthen my hip abductors, gluteal maximus (buttocks) and the deep abdominals or core and quite frankly these exercises are ongoing for me. My physiotherapy colleagues say my walking is normal now and you would not know there was a new hip lurking underneath the surface. I can walk with speed which is an important part of rehabilitation especially concentrating on extending my hip and pushing off through my big toe during walking.

Running is more of a challenge. I lost so much leg strength pre operation it has been really hard learning how to run for a bus again or chase Lily on the scooter. Even 2 years later I am still gradually gaining strength to be able to do this. Lily said to in April 2014, ‘mummy jog with me’ as she scootered. I say to her ‘I can’t’ which is rubbish because I can (but it is still with a slight limp) but I find it still really hard to switch my brain on and do this action. It is like I have completely forgotten how to run or jog, it is coming back slowly but it is really slow.

All in all though I am happy. I will continue to exercise and strengthen my body regularly and practice being able to run equally on both legs. Having said that although I will work on improving my running, since my total hip replacement my actual running days are over. This is not negative as I have dealt with it and find lots of satisfaction keeping fit through cycling, strength work, swimming, hiking and now skiing. It really is not the end of the world when you realize running is not the be all and end all. Off to the gym later…