Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Hips Don't Lie

Apparently my hips are on backwards. Seriously.

So on Tuesday--a few weeks shy of my 35th birthday--I will be having hip surgery.

It all started innocently enough. I was having some soreness on the outside of my left hip. I thought I had just tweaked it playing basketball or something. It didn't hurt too bad, but it bugged me quite a bit. And it just wouldn't go away.

Luckily, my friend RB came to the rescue. He's in Utah for his last year of medical training, specializing in hips. Last time I saw him, I suckered him into giving me an impromptu hip examination (in the visitors' center at the Salt Lake Temple).

"Huh," he said, followed by a pause. "It's probably not a big deal, but you might want to get some x-rays just to make sure."

I didn't really want to get x-rays to make sure, I just wanted the pain do go away with me actually doing anything.

But it didn't.

So I got the x-ray. RB looked at it and said I needed to go to a hip doctor--and actually hooked me up with the specialist he's training with.

A Trip to the Hip Doctor

The visit to the doctor resulted in more x-rays and the doctor looking at me, leaning back, putting his hands behind his head and saying, "Looks like you have femoroacetabular impingement."

Huh? Who shot who in the what now?

Long story short--and I'm sure I've got the facts all wrong here--the head of my femur bone is shaped kind of funky. As a result, it's not fitting into my hip socket right and I've torn my labrum, the ring of cartilage around my hip.

So, the doctor will go in arthroscopically and fix the labrum tear and then shave off some of my bone so there will be more room for my hip to move around.

Recovery Fun

As pleasant as the operation sounds, the recovery will be even more of a blast. Here's what I'm planning on:

  • Week 1 -- Basically not getting out of bed. I'm allowed to have a pillow behind my head but sitting up is forbidden. I'm curious to k now how I'm going to navigate the stairs in my house or take a shower. On the other hand, I figure a week in bed will give me enough time to watch the entire series of Friday Night Lights for the third time. 
  • Week -- Still at home, but moving around a bit on crutches. By this point, I anticipate Traci will be pretty sick of having me around.  
  • Week 3 and 4 -- Back to work, starting half-time and working my way up to full-time. Still on crutches.  
  • Week 4 - 10 -- Still no lifting more than 10 lbs. I told Tate I wouldn't be able to pick him up after the surgery. "But you can still play with me, right?" he asked. "Um, as long as we can play without me leaving the bed." I have a feeling he's not going to be too happy about that. 
  • Three months -- I should be able to start running (but I hate running, so why would I want to do that) and play some basketball. 
  • One Year -- "I won't think about my hip at all," said the rehab girl. The only problem is that I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to get my other hip fixed as well. So this time next year, I'll probably be writing this same post, just about a different leg. Bummer. 
So that's the plan. Pretty nervous. I feel pretty bad about the major inconvenience this is going to be for Traci and the family. 

Wish us all luck. 

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