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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

I've encountered posts from people who resume xcountry skiing after successful THR. Downhill might be another matter and it isn't surprising that your surgeon would caution against it - they probably consider that there's too much chance for injury to risk wrecking your new hip. Many people bike after THR - I don't see why you couldn't. Same with hiking and exercising. Some (most?) surgeons will likely caution against running or jogging after THR. This is because it's a high impact activity that will accelerate the wear of your bearing. Ceramic/ceramic and metal/metal bearings generate far fewer wear particles than metal/poly bearings. Ask your surgeon which kind you will receive. As you interview surgeons, be sure to lay out your expectations for activity after you have recovered. He will tell you if they are realistic.
Also, surgeons may differ in their opinions on what is a prudent level of activity for THR patients. It's probably safe to assume that they will not recommend any high impact sport. Of course there are always a few patients who ignore this and do whatever they want. And maybe wear out their hip prematurely and need a revision sooner rather than later.
I've had both hips replaced. I was a few years older than you but I can now walk miles, use several exercise machines at the gym (elliptical trainer, stationary cycle, and I walk on the treadmill sometimes). I do free weights and also do my PT exercises to keep my hip muscles toned so they can hold everything together!
There is also a new surgical procedure being done in the US recently that might be worth your investigation: hip resurfacing. The device used has been recently approved by FDA although the surgery has been done abroad for years. It involves capping the head of the femur with a metal cap instead of cutting it off as is done in total replacement. The acetabulum [pelvis] is treated similarly in both surgeries: it is routed out and a metal cup is inserted. As you interview surgeons you might ask about this procedure also but don't be surprised if you encounter surgeons who don't perform it because it's relatively new in the US and it may not be appropriate for all patients.
When you choose a surgeon, keep in mind two factors that are important: first, the surgeon should perform lots of hip surgery procedures on patients like you. second, the hospital that the surgeon uses should host lots of hip replacement surgeries. Look for surgeons who are board certified in orthopedic surgery AND FELLOWSHIP-TRAINED in adult joint reconstruction or similar specialty. Many people get hung up on personality and I can tell you that personality or likeability are not the most important criteria for surgeon selection. Many ortho surgeons are not that affable but are wonderful surgeons who get fantastic results.
Start drafting a list of questions that you have about all aspects of your upcoming surgery & take the list with you to your appointment.

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