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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Post-op visit - right hip

I snuck away from work yesterday for my post-op visit, ten days after surgery. It was kind of sad - it was my last time seeing Dr. Van Sice, and that's depressing. He's starting his own practice out of state, which is good for him, but I'll miss him a lot. He's an excellent doctor and a skillful surgeon. And if you are ever in Florida (where he's moving) and need hip surgery, I wholeheartedly recommend him.

We started with x-rays, which showed the difference in bony impingement.
Then Dr. Van Sice showed me the images of the surgery. I wish I'd taken them home like I did last time, because this was pretty interesting: for one thing, you could clearly see the labrum lifted off the bone. You could also see the stitch anchors being inserted in the bone, and the bright blue stitches sewing my tear back up!
This isn't my hip, but it shows the stitch anchors and the sutures! From here. 

We'd already gone over details of the surgery while I was putting my contacts back in right after surgery (I hate talking to people without my contacts: I am afraid I will misunderstand them without visual cues. I'm pretty blind), so I didn't have a lot of questions about the procedure, but Dr. Van Sice laid out the timeline, since a repair heals differently from a debridement.
First two weeks Crutches with touch-down weight bearing only. Expect more pain, since more work was done in the hip than last time (ie, stitch anchors and stitches). Start PT.
Third week: Begin crutch-walking: weight bearing, but with crutches to assist. Allow pain to guide how much work your arms do vs. your legs.
Fourth week: Start using a single crutch on opposite side; wean off crutches.
By 28 days post-op, should be fully weight bearing AND can get rid of the brace.  Last time I was supposed to keep the brace for six weeks, but I gave up around four weeks, anyway...
Range of motion restrictions are mainly lifted at four weeks, though some cautions extend to six weeks.
Pool running can commence immediately following closure of wounds and 48 hours with no drainage. Exercise bike with low/no resistance for up to an hour a day is encouraged. Elliptical can happen around week 8 or 9, pending PT approval.
Running starts week 12, when the labral stitches are all nicely healed!

Meanwhile, my nurse brought in her trainee, whom I know from Tulane! because she's going out for maternity leave soon. New nurse was supposed to take my stitches out, but the disposable tweezers were hard to work with, and as she kept tugging and probing, the nurse started actually getting grossed out and had to sit down! So I took my own stitches out. Yes, IN the doctor's office. It's akin to self-checkout at Lowes.


  1. You are so hardcore!! Only reading the details are making me lightheaded. Speedy recovery, chica!!

  2. Agree with Ririnette. I made my own bowl of microwavable soup when I was sick, but taking out stitches is a different league. When you start running in a few weeks ... DON'T go too fast or too far. We all know how you are.

  3. Ha ha. That's just a bit funny - taking out your own stitches cause the nurse couldn't cope. That nurse needs to take a teaspoon of cement and harden up.

    1. Seriously. How is she going to cover for an ORTHO doc?! In her defense, it was her first day, and she has always worked in pre-liver transplant, which is essentially a desk job.

  4. Dang, I can't believe you took your own stitches out. You are so freaking tough!

  5. You are HARD CORE! Haha, when I had my face stitches, I could barely LOOK at them. I peeked one time and immediately put the bandage back on. Then every time I cleaned the area, I did it without a mirror. ICK!

    I'm glad you have a timeline. It seems realistic and positive. 12 weeks… I know you're on the countdown!

  6. YEAH!! Not grossed out by much here. Taking out your own stitches is super cool..
    So, immediate pool running is going to be great! Will you do it with or without impact? I like the deep water kind, but so much work to stare at the same pool. Kindof like a treadmill, really. If I were you, I'd treat myself to a water walkman (If you don't already have one), as a reward for being such a good patient and following doctors orders on the crutches. :) Excited for you!

    1. That's probably a good idea! I got so bored last time! It's no-impact for now until I am off crutches, but I last time I stuck with no impact for awhile. I don't actually want to start at all until I'm fully weight-bearing, because I don't want to take crutches on the slippery marble floor by the pool. I almost slip there just in my bare feet, let alone crutches.

  7. Mmm breakfast and self-stitch removing. Thanks! ;) Hopefully you won't need any future hip services until you are 70 and move to Florida too. Here's to quick healing!

  8. Nurse needs a change of career. Wow.

    But I'm glad that this apparently went well and that the recovery will be quicker this time (*knock on wood*). And to repeat my coach's words to me "after getting all this done, you're not allowed to ever get injured again!"