Hips Don't Lie #3 - Orthopaedics following Hippiversary

One day I'll get back to writing biology-related posts and shut up about my hip...

For the history on the hip issue and the surgery that has changed my life, see previous posts Hip, Hip, Hurray! and Hippiversary! One year post-op

Yesterday I had the year-on orthopaedics appointment. Prepared to spend the usual 3-4 hours in the Manchester Royal Infirmary, the orthopaedics department was unusually quiet and I was in and out of there within 45 minutes! At least, I would have been, had I not got the time of the appointment wrong and mistakenly arrived an hour earlier.

It was a little disappointing that I did not get to see the surgeon who did my hip replacement, as both my physiotherapist and I wanted his personal opinion on whether I am ready to start building up towards running. Everyone has different views on how you should go about recovery and the level of activity you should embark on, opinion differs even amongst surgeons. I got the usual talk on thinking of the hip as a pair of shoes, which will wear out with more use and impact.

However, overall it was very positive. I mean, yesterday I learnt that I can squat in high heels, without ever having worn heels before. Well okay I started falling over after 3 squats, but still...

Apparently, the replacement leg has overtaken my "good leg" in terms of control and strength, so actually I should start doing my physiotherapy exercises on my other leg as well. That news produced mixed feelings – the pride at having strengthened built-up the replacement leg so much, coupled with the slight embarrassment of having let the other leg go. Not overjoyed at having to double my daily physio efforts as well, but overall I found the conclusion amusing.

As of very recently, my thighs are at last pretty much the same size – something I was conscious of proud of, given the increasing disparity in width and muscle mass between them before the operation, and the visible difference between them even a month or two ago. However, since yesterday’s appointment, I have realised that part of the reason for my thighs being the same now may be due to losing some strength in my “good leg” rather than simply acquiring more in the replacement leg. But let’s not dwell on that and but it down to a year of mind-numbingly boring physio exercises ;)

At six months post-op, I was supposed to have my first X-ray since leaving hospital. This was squandered by the cyberattack the NHS suffered in May or June which, por casualidad de la vida, affected the Manchester Royal Infirmary the afternoon I had my last orthopaedics appointment. So I was slightly afraid that, even though the hip feels fine, I might have somehow damaged it slightly in one of my occasional bouts of stupidity. X-ray was fine and the joint is a beaut. Avert your eyes if you wish to avoid seeing my pelvic bones, I have blacked out regions that may cause offence to the squeamish and the British (only kidding, British friends!).

Instead of finishing this post off with a mushy thank you to everyone again, I'll refer you to the previous posts...

Thanks if you've managed to read this far, especially all three posts. I'll quit the self-obsessive hip rambling now!


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