Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bilateral Hip Replacement Recovery Time and Answers to this Week's Search Terms

So you came here looking to find out just how long it takes?

The answer is:   well it all depends...  not really what you were looking for?  Probably not!
 I'm not completely there yet but I am back at work part time and a lot of my day to day activities are at a similar level to what they were pre-op.  The limiting factor now is fatigue rather than pain and as time progresses the fatigue is reducing.

The big thing that I have learnt through this process is that everyone is different.  People heal at different rates dependent on so many different factors.  I've read so many stories of single hip recoveries and the variances in those are incredible.  Some people are off and walking without a cane in a week, while others are in excess of eight weeks.  Bilateral just makes the variables in the process increase as there are two hips to consider.  I've heard stories of bilateral resurfacing that are better than ever within a month.  I think that a lot of it depends on how fit / strong / healthy you are pre-op as to how quickly you bounce back.

Not everyone is offered the opportunity to get both hips done at once.  This option is at the surgeon's discretion and will be based on how he/she determines you well you do.  Some surgeon's don't do them.  Their reasons for not doing both?  I don't know.  I could guess, though that's all it would be, a guess.  It is a longer surgery and would have more risk associated with it.   Some might weigh this against the risk of going under twice.

As you would have read in some of my earlier posts, I really do believe that the more you can do to 'train' for the procedure, the better your post-op results will be and how rehabilitation will go.  I've referred to it as prehab and pre-op preparation and for me this included diet, physio, exercise and mental preparedness.

Things didn't go exactly to plan for me but things could have been a whole lot worse if I hadn't made changes in my life to prepare for this surgery.

Another term that I've seen pop up in the search terms today is "hip replacement game".  I'm not exactly sure what that is and wouldn't think that it would be a very fun game to play.

"physiofirst", well yes I did but I'm not sure whether that was the point of the search.  If you are looking for Physios who can help you pre-op and post-op to get the best possible outcomes, I'd suggest the team at Body Leadership.  The bias I have for them has been earned through years of helping have the best life I can possibly have.  I'll keep plugging them because I believe in them and the difference that they can make in your life as well as mine.

This leads into "planning bilateral hip replacement".  The most important things that you can do is find a great physio who can help you create a pre-op program to help you get the best outcomes possible.   A healthy diet should also be a part of your pre-op planning to make sure that all your vitamins and minerals are in healthy ranges.

Getting all of the 'housekeeping' type things out of the way before you go into hospital is usually a good idea.  You aren't going to feel like sorting out your taxes when you get home.  I also got all of my insurances in order and made sure everything was up to date.  This was more me being having an irrational desire to have everything in its place.  I think it was something to focus on instead of what was going to happen.

I'm still getting queries about the four corners piece on MOM implants.  I have commented on this before but recently I have expanded on the earlier thoughts and posted the following on a website after someone referred to this 'terrifying documentary on BHRs' lumping in the Birmingham device with others that are not in that league.

I have MOM devices, specifically the BMHR. I discussed the MOM issues with my surgeon and did a lot of research before finalising this as an option for me. The program focused on the ASR recall, and this should not be used as a basis for all MOM implants as there are many that have been highly successful.

I would suggest reading Mr McMinn's response to the ABC Four Corners program at: as well as the other information on his site that shows his successes with a well placed, well designed MOM implant. There are many reasons to consider this as an alternative to THR if you are a suitable candidate, for example these devices are far more bone conserving and will make later revision easier for younger patients who are likely to require revision as some point down the track. As an example, I am 34 and even if I do get 20 - 30 years out of my BMHR's, I'm still looking at revision at 54 - 64.

Even for THRs, MOM implants allow less restriction to patients activities post operatively which is a huge benefit to active people.

Rumour has it that McMinn has started working with ceramic BMHR's for patients with metal allergies. If you are in the UK, I would seriously consider checking this out as even though they are new, McMinn's stats on his other devices are exceptional, including those that were done many years ago when they were new.

Cup placement is a huge factor in the success of MOM implants and research shows that those with a steep angle have a higher instance of edge loading and wear. It is imperative to seek out a highly skilled surgeon in this process. The site has a list of surgeons with 500+ surgeries with excellent statistics to consider talking to if you want more information on this procedure. There aren't too many listed for Australia. If you are in Brisbane, I can highly recommend Dr Simon Journeaux at Mater. He practices both publicly and privately. I went private so I'm not sure of what the wait times are like to see him publicly.

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