Little big milestone

5 months/ 1 week PO

 

I finally reached walking one mile in the park, at 5 months PO hip fracture! I was very proud of it, did it quite well and when I told my PT, his very first question was “did you time yourself?” Huh? I am happy I could walk it, I could seriously not care less in what time. Weird.

In the past week I walked my precious mile three times. It goes a bit better each time but still takes a lot out of me.

 

At PT we increased the height for practicing doing steps. Now it’s an 8 inch height, which is pretty much the standard height for stairs.  I can manage my staircase twice a day now – the “normal” way. But twice is  MORE  than enough. I feel it in both hips pretty much right away and it takes a tremendous effort.

~~~

Tomorrow we are going on vacation. My PT told me to take the crutches along. Just in case my hips get angry. Makes sense but I was kinda hoping I was done with them, but I am a good patient and take them along.

 

4A060BD5-5B76-4C2B-8539-D63C14CFC7E0

 

~~~

The Elliptical is up to 8 minutes on level 1, medium speed. I am happy with that. Lots of little improvements happening.

Pain is almost gone, the hips take turns in being achey and it of course depends on how much I do. Overall I feel pretty good and if it wasn’t for the lacking strength and endurance in my R op hip/ muscles; doing sports and moving faster on the staircases, I’d say I feel almost normal.

 

Girl drawing smiley face on to a wall

~~~

So now I can pack my suitcase.

Forget the cute shoes, it’s comfy sneakers with good support, icepack, Ibuprofen and crutches. Hooray. But I will make the best of it. I will have to choose wisely what I can do, judge walking distances and I will probably make friends with every single bench in sight. Hopefully this will be the last vacation with crutches.

As I said to my OS already, last time I saw him “the subject hips is not just getting old – it  WAS  old already five years ago” (when this “oh so fun journey” began).

 

See ya.

86782BD9-55C5-4FEF-BB22-3E3FFDBEF633

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

 

 

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.

4.5 months into the recovery

Yes, I am still at it.

Recently a lot of people acted very surprised to hear I am still using my crutches or I am still in physical therapy. Well – surprise!

 

E490D669-C570-44EF-8C0D-7474C1A54911

 

***

I saw this T-shirt the other day, maybe I should get it. Hmm…

 

8CBDE9EE-F288-4B56-8FBE-514C434B2832

 

At 4.5 months PO I can:

  • crutch-walk around a pond which is a “good” half mile/ ~ 1000 meters
  • walk “without” crutches maybe 100 yards/ meters and then it is clearly enough
  • do stairs “Granny style”
  • walk without crutches “indoors” but for anything outside my home that requires more than 15 minutes of standing or walking – two crutches
  • drive a car again with nearby errands to run
  • stand longer at home (ironing, cooking etc.)
  • do about 4,000 steps per day
  • shower without a shower bench

 

EF41D5B0-3BB8-4101-A1D2-9594EDC3DEB3

 

Since this week I have my PT’s permission to do “small community stuff” like go in the post office, grab a coffee or get some groceries without crutches. I do not have the okay for going to the supermarket and do a full weeks grocery shopping without crutches yet. Basically quick “in & out” errands.

I am still taking advantage of an online shopping service for getting my groceries. One orders online and picks it up curb side. Very convenient!

~~~

PT is going well. I continue to improve strength and when my range of motion was measured, I had gained another five degrees on all movements in the last six weeks.

My gait is also getting better. I am walking faster than two weeks ago and am keeping my upper body nice and straight. It still looks “robotic” though as my PT charmingly called it. My op side has good  ROM  but when I am walking it looks stiff and wooden.

(This is who my walk reminds me of…)

A61E2105-47BC-4003-9264-726191177592

~~~

Since a little while I also have clicking going on in the front of the hip and in the back. It does not hurt so I don’t think it’s the labrum getting stuck, but some tendons snapping over the hip. I am not too concerned about it, I think it will settle with time again when everything thing is more balanced.

~~~

In physical therapy we are working a lot on strengthening right now. Still doing the leg press, leg extension, hip machine, using the big ball for doing 2/3 squats along the wall and elastic bands for various exercises. (I really have to watch my PT closely, sometimes he tries to sneak extra weights on the machines without telling me and I can not do it.)

 

Sideways stepping. (Burn baby burn!)

D4D304E5-5329-4C56-9C2F-FC851C38B230

 

Walking like an “ice scater”.

 

 

Another exercise I am working on is trying higher steps. I am still doing my staircase at home “Granny style”, or “the hospital way” as my PT likes to call it but I am practicing  now a bit higher steps.

8109394B-86BB-4A8A-8986-79781D5068A5

 

I should  NOT  try my whole staircase with the new technique yet, it’s too early and too much for my hip still.

~~~

So, that’s about it at this point, let’s finish with a laugh. I saw this picture the other day and thought, “hm, I guess my ski injury is so uncommon, it did not make the cut. Lucky me.”

 

7559DC31-9DF3-4DCB-B6BE-48B85779D809

 

 

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

4 months PO after hip pinning

4 months post operative and yep, still very busy with my recovery.

Inside my home, for short distances, I am off my one crutch but still need many, many breaks throughout the day. Outside I am still dependent on both of them.

 

CDDB5C71-BEAC-489A-991D-E788038C2BA8.jpeg

 

 

I can crutch/ walk about 800 yards/ meters by now but I doubt I would have the strength or endurance to do a full grocery shopping in our local supermarket without my crutches. Just not there yet.

~~~

Last weeks physical therapy only took place once with a collegue of my regular PT. (My PT had a baby and is taking a few days off.)

 

723659F8-9848-4A7C-8246-430C44EA4BA9

 

To summarize it – the guy was a joke and a waste of money & time.

He never looked once in my file, gave me only a handful of exercises to do which I did 10 weeks ago already and was more gone than there. I would have been happy just doing the exercises from last time and getting his input, instead I was sitting around, waiting for him to come back again.

I will wait till my regular PT comes back and continue with him. He seems to know me by now and I know him. Lots of home PT to do in the meantime.

~~~

Another big achievement is, I can do stairs again. Not all the way, the smooth, fluid motion; still Granny style, but it is improvement.

My op hip is okay if I stay within my limits, as well as the good hip. Both get stressed out and tired quickly and lately my left iliospsoas is giving me grief as well, it goes into spasms and really aches. Reminds me of the recovery of my second hip arthroscopy, the mirror image. Surgery on the L, angry hip flexor on the R.

The other day I read “the hip flexor – the queen of compensating”. (Makes sense but I have other names for it…)

 

57BBC298-5B04-46D5-8BA4-4D2AB599D6D4

 

I am now in my 17th week on crutches and I sure hope it’s coming to an end soon. Let’s see what my PT will have in store for me when I see him next.

 

D3F3E46A-9CC1-4C6D-A4A9-A43C5AC2AAA6

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