7.5 months PO, R hip pinning.
We just came back from vacation and it was a good test to see where I am at. It was a pretty active few days, nothing too crazy but still, challenging enough for somebody in my situation.
What I learnt was, “speed walking” is not my friend, nor are many “uneven, high” steps, uneven ground or long distance walking. (All in one day…)
The mentioned uneven and challenging ground.
For example – we did a day trip and first thing – a pretty long walk on uneven ground. I thought I was smart by walking behind some senior citizens (they had the perfect pace for me, as pathetic as that is…) but we were told by the tour guide to speed it up and put “a bit more passion into it”.
I did the walk but on the way back my knees were really shaking.
The day was pretty challenging and in the evening I had NOTHING left. Zero. I was limping heavily; walking very, very slowly and was exhausted. Once home, I fell onto my bed and slept for two hours like in a coma, only to wake up in the exact same position, pretty much like this guy…
What I learnt this vacation was, 10.000 steps are not 10.000 steps.
I can do 10.000 steps/ day now again but it is a h-u-g-e difference if I accumulate this with many, many short distances (grocery shopping, household chores, doing the Elliptical etc.) OR if I have to crank it out in several long distance marches. Definitely not the same thing.
Was I surprised by it? Not really, since this is hip surgery recovery No. 3 and it was a more severe injury, more invasive surgery and yep, more time on crutches than after the first or second surgery ( FAI & labral tear).
I have lost A LOT of muscle mass during my time on crutches (20 weeks) and it takes forever to get it back. Probably around two years for me, but I was happy about what I could do.
We had to take one day off, to recover and give my hip some rest but otherwise I did everything. Walked over lots of gravel and uneven ground, climbed up to see waterfalls and iceberg lagoons, hiked around the crater of a vulcano and did a good amount of sitting in busses too.
Hiking around the vulcano crater and taking a well deserved break.
I had to do the activities my own speed and choose my walking paths more careful than others but I did it. Most of the times my op hip and surrounding muscles started aching in the evening which was okay. That’s why I brought the icepack along.
So I know now I can walk in an airport without wheelchair assistance and I can do a whole vacation again. Endurance on vacation was at about 40 % to where I was before I broke my hip.
I still need more overall strength and endurance in my op hip, glutes and quads, strengthen the knees as well and work on muscle imbalance. Unfortunately this will take its sweet time.
Some people can just go ahead and really crank it up in the gym to see faster results. Good for them but it does not work for me. My body heals slowly and what I have going for myself is persistence and consistency with my hip friendly, PT based workouts, patience and time will work for in my favour.
But the good news is, even though I am not as strong yet as I want to be, I see improvement to a few months ago and considering where I am at in my recovery, I did really good.
I am happy. The trend is still going uphill.