5 months PO after hip pinning

Wow, five months already – so theoretically I am almost at half time till I can go skiing again! Yep, you read that right. I have full intentions on going on the slopes again. I loooove winter!

I am actually a really good skier, I do blues and blacks, have good balance and don’t fall. Well, except that one time but that was just an incredibly super freak accident. My surgeon said it will take one year to do sports again, so… something to look forward to.

 

31735F75-62AA-461F-AE9C-F37527EFA35D

 

All together I really must say, if there ever is something like “perfect timing” for a hip fracture, it’s probably in the winter. I was laying low for the last few months but now that spring has finally found its way here and I am learning to walk again, it’s perfect to do it outside when everything is blooming.

 

E4E57751-70D5-41FB-A0B1-4C02022EDD07

 

~~~

Last week was a little bit of everything, hip wise.

I was really aching in both hips after my first mini walk in the park without crutches, but had big improvements only three days later and no problems at all and eventually I made it around the whole pond without crutches. (Walking really slow and limping towards the end.)

PT was going well, so well in fact I thought I still can go grocery shopping afterwards.     BAD  IDEA! I moved around like a 95 year old afterwards. Aching in both hips quite a bit and a miserable night as a bonus. Ergo – lesson learnt. PT and grocery shopping on the same day is still a big no no at 5 months PO.

~~~

PT itself was fine. We worked on balance, some exercises were okay, others very challenging.

 

Walking on a medium soft beam.

53D86206-A32B-4D76-88A0-D9D602768BE7

 

 

Two different exercises on a wobbly board. Keeping balance while it tips forth and back and keeping balance while it moves left to right.

469556D3-3769-4D4A-BD4E-977B6C7FB35A

 

Otherwise the same exercises as last week, which are about 15. The leg press, hip extension machine, leg extension machine, exercises with the big ball, clams, bridges, squats, exercises with a resistance band around my ankles, treadmill and so on.

We are also still trying to make my muscles fire correctly. My glutes are still hanging out in lala – land and refuse to fire when needed.

My PT did said I am doing a great job though but I still need finetuning.

~~~

I also saw my OS for a follow up appointment. Three X-rays with different views were taken and everything looks good.

 

  • No  AVN  but we have to monitor it closely from now on
  • No malunion or nonunion
  • The three screws are still in position
  • Bone healing and remodeling is taking place
  • Bone fragments that were floating around are gone
  • Major atrophy is visible on my op side

 

He was happy with my progress and told me again, it was a major fracture and does take time to heal. I am within the timeline of the recovery and got another script for 6 weeks of PT for range of motion & strengthening.
I asked about my good hip being cranky and was told, it is normal and expected for the circumstances. My R is still not healed yet and my L (which is an operated hip as well) is working overtime since five months. Once everything is balanced, things will calm down again.

In the end I was sent on my merry way with the recommendation “push yourself a little bit but don’t overdo it.”

~~~

Summary of what I “can” do at this stage:

  • I am doing my household at about 80% of my usual self
  • 8,000 steps a day, spread out over the whole day
  • Stairs – still Granny style. (L foot up, R foot on the same step. Left foot up, R on the same step; going down – R foot down, L foot on the same step. Ect.)
  • TM 10 minutes slow walking, Elliptical 6 minutes slow walking, stationary bike 10 minutes, no resistance
  • An hour PT every day
  • 700 yards/ meters in the park, crutch free, several times a week

 

And here is a list of what I can not do yet:

  • walk long distance
  • do stairs properly
  • sports that is anything beyond PT
  • carry something medium heavy or heavy

 

~~~

Things are looking good and I am heading in the right direction.

A9E4FD5A-9526-4F02-AEED-3A4690ABBE1C

 

 

 

Advertisements

Borderline 5 months PO

I am one week shy of 5 month post operative and doing really good. Particularly the past week.

In general, I am less aching after physical therapy, and I can tell my efforts with doing hours and hours of home exercises since many months are paying off and for the first time I really thought “things are coming together”.

 

CD40A1DC-EBC7-41EE-8D66-CBBD7A330A2B

 

My PT gave the green light for the treadmill and the Elliptical, only to “try it” and see how it feels.

I tried 10 minutes very slow walking on the TM and really focused on proper gait and good walking technique and the Elliptical was 5 minutes, also slow. Was okay, apart from things clicking in the back of the hip (probably the hamstring tendon snapping) but those five minutes sucked the life out of me. Wow!

I am not pushing it on the TM or the Elliptical, I am happy with 10 and 5 minutes for the moment. Those are new exercises and things have to get used to it again.

~~~

My exercises at PT are going well and I am now done with them in an hour.

I really see big improvement and last week there was a significant push in my recovery. My “slow and steady”approach is paying off.

There is still lots of work ahead but I feel really optimistic about my future and healing up.

 

47A843B2-8A8E-4B9F-9CB7-A45EEDBF6F44

 

My PT told me to try going to the park “without” crutches and see how far I get. He suggested going for 800 yards/ meters (once around the pond) but that is only happening in his little fantasy world.

I went for half of it. It felt okay, I was not in pain but on the way back I walked significantly slower and with more of a limp. A few hours afterwards both hips were aching, was not great but still tolerable.

Even though I did not go that far, it was a gorgeous day to be out. The trees were blooming, it was in the low 70’s and a picture perfect evening and I was one of the crowd.

 

3104451A-E889-40A2-9AA6-2E30482957A5

 

Next up? My follow up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. Let’s see what the X-rays will tell.

Slow but steady

17 weeks PO and still in the slow lane.

 

C23FB798-D3ED-4F90-9400-0B3ED506E0A8

 

No PT last week, I just did my home exercises and went for small walks. I am supposed to practice walking crutch free every day for short distances inside my home; from room to room is okay but my op hip tires quickly.

Preparing a meal in the kitchen for half an hour feels like I spent about three hours on my feet or changing bed sheets sucks real energy out of me for example and I need a break.

The simple task of “standing” a little bit longer like for ironing or cooking is not all that simple. I do see improvement to a few weeks ago but I am surprised how still simple things can throw my hip off and present me a crappy night in return.

I try to stay below 3,500 steps per day, anything over I am asking for it.

 

Crutch free I can walk about 50 yards/ meters by now, then it is clearly enough for my op hip. It’s a tricky combination, to have massive atrophy and a major weight bearing bone that needs to get used to bear weight again. Why easy if you can have it difficult?

This recovery puts a new definition to the word “slow” but this week my PT is back and I am back on track.

 

08C2F84A-94DE-46BB-B235-9C4961F017A0

Less is more

PO week 15. Crutches status? Same – outdoors 2, indoors 1.

My first attempt of “10 minutes walking without crutches inside my home” was a success but very, very slow. It also resulted in “two” angry hips for the rest of the day. Splendid.

 

film x-ray human's pelvis and arthritis at both hip joint

 

The next day I tried again and it already went much better.

~~~

My PT was impressed with my progress just within three days but I still did not get the green light for going crutch free at home. He was very clear on that. I should practice good gait and balance during my dedicated 10 minutes freestyling, work on lateral movements as well, “a few” small and short tryouts without my crutch are ok but for 98% – still one crutch.

~~~

Next to selected old exercises I was told to walk “8’s”, 5x to the left and 5x to the right, around the tubes which was not that easy, without my crutch.

 

8EC17288-C12B-4E6B-B01C-D79D0E701AAF

 

He checked my gait which was okay, considering, but needed some finetuning. I am very thankful for him checking it, because truthfully, this is my third hip surgery recovery and nobody ever checked my gait or balance before. Sucks.

 

We also want to focus more on exercises on my feet from now on, maybe even consider the treadmill and/ or the Elliptical soon.

 

17443DBA-C8F3-452D-A47D-E11AFCB09BC3

 

I did two other new exercises, which were okay as long as I stood on my non op hip but very difficult, standing on my op hip/ leg, holding my entire bodyweight. My op hip was not a fan.

It takes a lot of strength to stand on the operated leg, there is a lot of pressure in my hip/ groin/ leg and it is quite exhausting.

~~~

The aftermath of my PT was seriously  NOT  pretty. My good hip felt like it’s ready to come through the tummy, and even after spending  HOURS  icing,  both were really angry. Another wasted night, when my hips kept me awake till 5 o’clock in the morning.

 

I personally feel, my PT should adjust my home exercises from now and then. He keeps piling them on and on. I am at 2 hours daily home exercises now and it is stressing my hips out.

I am sure one could skip a few old exercises and it’d be better to focus on other, more advanced ones, which include walking, standing and endurance. Every week I ask if there is any adjustment with the home exercises and every week the list gets longer.

”Less is more” in my opinion and especially in this recovery.

I don’t want to end up with a stress fracture from a fatigued bone on top of everything. After all, even without the recent surgery, both hips were already operated hips and I knew what they could do and what not. The amount of exercises right now is more than double what I did before the ski accident.

No wonder my usually super duper left hip is stressed out to the max.

 

48FC2F6F-140F-4212-8DFA-327E6E0BEBDB

 

 

 

 

Attempting to walk

I am in my 14th week post operative in this very slow recovery. Progress is steady but things do take their sweet time.

 

2B1403F4-2F08-4FA1-8C7B-036FA2A1B1AA

 

PT was “interesting” to say the least.

I told my PT that the exercise, when I step on and off a very low wooden box, scares me because especially at the step off, I feel like my hip, leg and knee at the op side can not hold it and I am afraid of falling. What’s the response to that from my therapist?? Goes away and comes back with a box  DOUBLE  as high!!

I tried it and could not do it. Surprise! I was stuck on top of the box, my feet were glued onto it and I was so scared of trying it, knowing I already can not hold it on the lower box,  I was on the verge of tears.

The box was exchanged for the lower one again and I struggled away. What was that good for??

If I say “I can not do it”,  I am not joking. I know what my hip is capable of doing and what not.

~~~

I learnt a new exercise as well, to strengthen the quads.

 

 

 

 

~~~

But the definite highlight was trying to walk unassisted- without crutches! I only walked a few feet forth and back, and that super slow.

It did not hurt but tired my hip out, fast! The gait is awful at the moment, very stiff, wobbly, unbalanced and I feel like Pinoccio making his first steps. (I also did not look half as chippy as him…)

 

700F1928-01A9-41CF-B129-C7CDE6BA3AB9

 

 

~~~

The leg press was increased to 80 lbs. and that’s seriously enough now. I am not training for the Iron Man!

My list of home exercises is getting longer and longer and I am still on one crutch inside my home and on two outside. I am allowed “10 minutes per day” at home (which is  PLENTY) without crutches and should work on my endurance “standing” as well.

~~~

We are still waiting for spring to arrive. In the meantime I bundle up and go to the park with my husband as often as I can. I am already walking better and need less strength in the arms. Good stuff!

 

79C28BD8-5E1C-4D52-9D32-0CF58190A74D

 

~~~

Till next time. 🙂

 

F088D9F4-9511-4B30-8EDE-B0C39A03127B

Day 90 on crutches

Last weeks PT session with three new exercises, resulted in a rough night. I was really hurting and miserable and fell asleep at 5 am in the morning.

 

04A4D854-3DD0-4ED8-89DF-8DA16DBECB3E

 

My op hip felt the size of a grapefruit, and ached deeply. It was aggravated and swollen. On a pain scale a solid 5/10. I had to take the whole next day off to let things calm down again.

~~~

Since a couple of days my L hip also is acting up. I guess the left has officially had it for taking the majority of the load for many months. Right now I have two aching hips, aching for different reasons. Good times.

 

74748B2F-325A-419C-AABD-5C7E0DA4CA2D

~~~

I also had to set the record straight on what kind of surgery I had done. I overheard my PT talking to a collegue last week and was surprised to hear what my PT “thought” I had done.

When I told him the correct diagnoses and surgery technique, his response was “oh, you just had hip pinning done?” Said with a tone like “oh and I thought you had “real” surgery the whole time.” (What the….? Seriously!)

 

I am still convinced I am his first young hip pinning patient, and I am his personal guinea pig. He does give me good exercises and tries but sometimes he seems a bit clueless.

Oh well, I am sticking with him. It’s not like “other” PT’s will have a ton of experience with this. Again, young people usually don’t break their hip and old people often end up with a  THR  right away.

Leaves me – floating around in no man’s land.

 

06A0E778-7712-41F0-B123-8420A29B8F8D

 

~~~

I let him know about the payback last time too and he adjusted some exercises. We skipped the ankle weights but still kept the wooden box and squats going. The squats (only a 1/4 going down) are going well, the step up and step down on the wooden box I don’t know.

Some go well and at other steps I feel like either my hip or knee is about to collapse right under me. Weird.

Hopefully that gets stronger real soon, it’s an awful feeling if you don’t know if your leg will hold you or give in any second. (I’d be the type to reinjure myself  AT  the physical therapy office, I swear.)

~~~

What else is new?

  • I am still on two crutches outside my home but I am allowed on one crutch inside. Walking is getting better and a bit faster.
  • Stairs? Getting better but still only with two crutches.
  • My daily home PT exercises take me 1.5 hours
  • My crutch walking ability with 2 crutches is about 800 yards/ meters
  • I can bike on my stationary bike twice a day,  NO  resistance, casual pace for 13 minutes
  • Driving is okay within the 10-15 minutes range

 

A7BC144F-F158-4639-BD64-B773BAFD781C

Reality bites

Vacation is over, back to reality and PT.

A few days ago I made an interesting observation. Since I am 50% weight bearing when crutch/ walking, I figured, I am also 50% weight bearing when just standing. I tried it during washing the dishes on one day and prepping dinner the next day – bad idea.

We are talking five minutes, ten tops. I can not stand with the feet close together (no balance), only well apart, but even that gets achy very quickly and both times it ended up with me feeling miserable in both hips. I guess the good hip chips in with sympathy pain….

 

I mentioned it at PT today and after doing my regular exercises, I worked on weight transfer.

First, shifting  VERY  slowly and gently from my L foot/ hip to my R foot/ op hip and back, while holding onto a counter.

 

320422D7-2FC4-4D35-AF57-6AC52C272886

 

And after that, transfer the weight from the good leg/ hip to the op leg/ hip, one small step forward and very carefully back, while holding on to a counter.

It went well but  v-e-r-y  slowly and after I was done with it, my quad muscles kept twitching away on their own. It looked like fireworks going off inside my thigh. My PT said it is because of fatigue. Yep, atrophy in all its glory.

Both exercises from now on 20x per day.

 

(One step forward, feet together and one back. Counts as “one”.)

 

The leg press was increased to 60 lbs. today, 40x, very manageable.

~~~

Since I will see my OS later this week for my 12 week follow up, I had to fill out a questionnaire about my progress, what I can do and what I can not do.

I really had to try not to laugh when I read questions like “can you run? Can you hop? Can you walk around two blocks? Can you squat?” Wishful thinking at this point.

 

EA095790-F822-410F-97C5-C71AE2DB342D

 

~~~

My PT measured my strength, ROM and all different kind of angles, to give to my OS as a six week PT update. He will also request another prescription for PT.

  • ROM is still improving
  • Hip flexor – tight (what else is new?)
  • Strength is good
  • Angles are still getting better
  • most important task right now? Weight bearing, weight bearing, weight bearing.

~~~

Did I mention we are still getting medical bills for my ski accident/ hospital stay three months ago? So far it’s $ 38,000 which was fully covered by insurance. Go big or go home, right?

 

164FAFA6-13D5-443A-AF9C-F0EC9052A6A9

 

~~~

For now my whole focus is on the next appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. I would love to hear some news like “bone has started to form”.

My third month, full time on crutches – this is slowly getting old.

 

05B800C6-4C5F-4FF4-B280-107D5923F641