Today is New Years Eve and also the day when I had my ski accident, broke my hip and had to have emergency surgery last year, December 31. 2017. (If you want to read about it, go to blog post “A new years to remember”.)
So from now on, this day has a whole new meaning to me.
I will summarize what “one year in my life after a subcapital hip fracture” was like. It was NOT fun and I hope to never, ever have to go through this again.
This is how my pins looked back then and still do. They are still in my hip and staying in.
Here is the timeline:
- Accident and emergency surgery on the same day, just hours apart.
- 3 day hospital stay
- Crutches and 6 weeks toe touching (= 10 % of weight bearing on operated leg)
- PT started 2x/ a week at PO week 6; 1.5 hours each time.
- After PO week 6 I added V-E-R-Y gently a tiny bit of body weight, week by week.
- Full time on crutches – 14 weeks
- At PO week 14 I started weaning off crutches, took me another 6 weeks. Total time on crutches – 20 weeks = 5 months.
- I believe it was around PO month 4 that I was allowed to drive again.
- Went to PT for 5 months, 2x/ a week and continued at home every day after; in the beginning up to 4 hours daily, then 3 hours, 2 hours, now I am at 1 hour.
Total cost of everything, hospital/ surgery/ meds/ PT etc. – a sweet $ 50.000!
My PT was a nice guy and tried his best but since this is not a common injury for a 44 year old AT ALL, I was his first ever “young adult – hip pinning patient” and a bit of his personal guinea pig, to see which exercises work and which don’t.
I am now 1 year after my accident/ surgery and the advice I would tell others is this:
- make research about this injury and recovery, read as much as you can about it and brush up on hip anatomy.
- CRUCIAL: stay on crutches as long as you are told!!! This injury is not a joke and it takes time to heal. You can not rush it. Your body will take the time it needs.
- Take your pain meds. I chose not to take them at home, it was a personal choice and the pain was brutal. Now I know, it would have been easier if I would have taken them.
- Add weight to your operated leg gently and carefully.
- Do your PT exercises daily and as told but at the same time, “listen to your body”. If it hurts, back up. Be ready for a tough few months, working really hard at PT!
- Keep up with your exercises even after official PT is done. PT helps you get started, it’s up to you to keep up the maintenance.
- Don’t go for “too much/ too soon”.
- Be patient. It all is very time consuming and will take a long time.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Every patient is different, starting at the age, fitness level, what kind of fracture and surgery they had; different orthopedic surgeons and PT’s have different philosophies and everybody heals at a different pace. There really are not two patients alike.
- And last – try to stay positive despite everything. Unnecessary negativity will not only make the whole experience more miserable as it is already for you and others, it uses up energy that you could be using otherwise. So, focus and be patient.
I really did not see this whole circus coming and could have nicely skipped the experience but one takes it step by step. With a little luck, everything will fall into place eventually and hopefully better things are around the corner.
For the new year I wish for no major health problems. A year without an accident and no hip surgery for a change; I don’t want to see a PT office from the inside or be a regular at my OS office. Not too much to ask, is it?