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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Post-op visit

Today I ...
1. Drove myself for the first time since surgery. I didn't have any driving restrictions, but David's car has been in the shop (actually, we dropped it off at the mechanic's on the way to surgery, just running errands, lalala). It's nice to have my freedom, but it's a pain parking far away from the walkway in the garage at work, and clomping around on crutches for half a mile.
2. Got caught in pelting, pounding rain and had to slosh through it with crutches. I'm soaked.
My street, right before I took 5 minutes to get out of the car, wrap my bags all over myself, get my crutches out, etc
3. Had my first post-op appointment! I got my stitches taken out, except for one incision, which isn't healed yet. I'll probably snip that out myself this weekend.
Swelling is way down, except the far-left incision; bruising is healing nicely; almost as good as new! 
My doctor went over my surgery photos with me, which are still incomprehensible to me, but this one is important:
Or these are NASA images. I have no idea. 

Because it shows damage being removed, AND an intact labrum. Because the tear went around the very edge of the labrum, even after removing the damage, I was left with a minimum of 2mm of labrum all the way around! So this is very, very good news! I was worried about not having ANY labrum in the surgery area, so this made me happy.

A few comments from my doctor - damage was much worse than he expected based on my symptoms, but he was pleased that he was able to both remove the damage and preserve the labrum around. In fact, he expects this to be one of his most successful hip surgeries and predicts a full recovery. Since he is a very honest person, he told me, he rarely tells his patients that they'll probably recover completely, but he is quite happy with the condition of my hip. However, if this thin area of labrum fails, there is still hope - you can do a labral graft using a piece of the IT band. He would prefer that to just removal in a worst case scenario (Good to know there are options if this doesn't work).

I got a timeline from my doctor, too:
- Time left sleeping in the CPM machine: One more week
- Time left on crutches: Two more weeks. Dr. Van Sice leans toward the conservative side with weight-bearing, so even though many doctors recommend two weeks total, he wants that extra week. I am flat-foot weight bearing 20lbs.
- Time left wearing this brace: OMG minimum three more weeks. Seriously, I think I'll die. He likes 4 - 6 weeks in the brace.
- Time left before I can lift my leg up: Restriction lifted. It's time to use those flexors just a little bit! But within range of brace, which is locked at 90 degrees flexion.
- Time left until I can run....Well. My doctor actually gave me an answer to this. In fact, he announced it first thing. But I'm keeping it to myself until I hear from my physical therapist, who may have a different view. But it was good news  :)

So far, so good!


  1. Sounds like things are headed in the right direction. I'm kind of amazed the incision healed that fast! And yay good news about running. ;)

  2. Wow, pretty good news all around ... that's great Grace! I'll bet the good doc told you not to run ... ever ... that's my guess. Isn't is amazing that an area less than 1/4" in diameter can cause so much pain and be so debilitating in the human body? Weird. Glad you're mending!

  3. Glad it was such a success! Stay patient and be a good patient and you'll have a fantastic recovery.

  4. That's a whole heap of positives - apart from the brace time-frame. But even that will be over sooner than it feels at the moment. I feel like someone should start a betting pool as to how soon you can run. My guess is about three months but I only ever worked with 4-legged mammals so what would I know?