COLUMN: More hiccups in recovery process

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Thankfully, Bruce didn’t opt for performing some self-maintenance on his right hip recently, but instead left it in the hands of the experts. No structural damage to the pelvis or the replaced hip, but he’s in recovery from a near fall.

Well, I ‘graduated’ from my physiotherapy at Peach Physio recently, but worried my other hip was in deep trouble.

The new left hip is in good shape, according to Yolla, the physiotherapist.

Over the past two-plus months, I’ve gone from using a walker to a cane, to no assistive devices.

Yolla, who has been incredibly supportive throughout the healing and strengthening, seemed as happy as I am with my progress. The left hip is pain free, and the muscles around it seem to be in strong shape.

Meanwhile, as I was celebrating being done with in-person physio, I had a near fall on the Canada Day weekend. While coming down our back steps onto the patio to enjoy some fine brisket with friends Michelle and Jay, I nearly fell. I caught myself on a nearby table, and thought that was that.

Except it wasn’t.

My right hip was in a great deal of pain, particularly in the morning when I first got up.

A trip to the doctor’s office resulted in an X-ray. I was worried I had either fractured the pelvis somehow, or, worse, messed up the surgically repaired joint (fixed in 2015).

Fortunately, both are intact. But as I type this, I am ordered to take it easy for a time to let things heal.

Now, if I can just get rid of the damned clots in my lungs and left leg, as well as the right leg pain, I’d be happy. The left leg is still a bit swollen at times, while I have periodic discomfort in my chest due to the lung clots. And I get winded quite easily.

I also got the thumbs up from Dr. Turnbull in late June. He’s the orthopedic surgeon who gave me the new hip. He’s quite happy with my progress as well.

 

Feedback

As I speak about my hip, phone calls and visits from the public remind me why I share my personal health issues with readers.

For starters, a reader was recently in the office taking out an ad when she asked me how my hip was doing.

It turns out, she’d had one of her hips replaced too….about a week or so after mine was done in early March.

This lovely lady was still walking with a cane, but said she’s a bit of a slow healer.

Well, if I heal as quickly as she does in 30 years’ time, I’ll be happy!

I also received a call last week from another older woman worried about her hips and knees. She too was in her 80s and mentioned the concern over such invasive surgery.

While I don’t think she’s sat down with an orthopedic surgeon as of yet, there are less invasive procedures these days as compared to the total hip replacement that I have gone through (twice). I don’t know a great deal about these procedures, but there is at least one local surgeon who, depending on the damage to the hip and socket, can go through the front to operate in a much less invasive procedure.

The total hip replacement involved cutting the lateral muscles of the leg. Recovery is based largely on how fast that heals.

When I left the hospital, I could barely lift my left leg, and was under instructions to not try to move it laterally. The early stages of physio was to just let the physiotherapist move it for me, encouraging the muscles to move, but not really engage.

As time progresses, the lateral muscles become the prime area of focus for strengthening and recovery.

If any of the information I have shared over the years helps even a few readers make their decisions on their own issues, then it’s worth it to me.

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