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Facing hip replacement, want advice

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  • Facing hip replacement, want advice

    OK, so the creaky hip has finally sucked enough happiness out of my life that I'm thinking about total hip replacement. I know I've seen threads about this, and if anyone wants to point them out to me, I would be grateful.

    My recollection is that a larger ball is better for riding, but what other points do you have for me? Which approach is best, anterior, posterior or lateral? How long until you could at least visit your horse, and then how long before riding? Thankfully, mare has a staff. (She's boarded.)

    It's my right hip, so I need to be able to swing it over to mount and dismount. My mare is 16'3". Were you able to dismount to the ground, or did you use a mounting block?

    Are you glad you did it?


  • #2
    Don't know nuthin' about tin hips - but my girlfriend had both hers replaced. One was a normal hip, the other she called a 'riding hip' and she said the difference was like night and day. She is in Ontario. The best thing, she said, was being able to mount and ride without pain. She just does trails now, but is so pleased with her new hips.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    • #3
      Mine was posterior. My 17.3 draft cross abscessed immediately following my surgery, so I was out at the barn, standing next to my walker, poultice-wrapping his foot, standing on one leg with my surgery leg sticking out behind me so as not to bend the hip. My surgeon would not have been happy, but my farm-sitter couldn't manage it and it had to be done.

      I got back on my steady-eddie QH gelding four weeks post surgery. Just walking, with someone leading him. Progressed from there to doing a three-day horsemanship clinic (in the saddle 3 hrs per day) at nine weeks.

      I used an upended Rubbermaid water tub for my mounting block; mine was my left hip, so I was mounting from the right. Had practiced this for most of the six months before surgery as the left hip just had no range of motion. A tall mounting block is a must. Swinging is less of an issue than the twist that the mounting-side leg has to endure; you can always bend low over the horse's neck to get you leg over. The first few of times, I dismounted onto my Rubbermaid tub--large target and could step right onto it. After that, I just lowered myself slowly and landed on the good leg only. Did I mention that my horse is a saint?

      Now, in the system I was in, I was supposed to be house-bound for three weeks, and stayed with a friend. Fortunately she was a horse-friend and was game to take me back to my place to tend the abscessed one.

      Am I glad I did it? It gave me my life back; no regrets what-so-ever!
      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

      Spay and neuter. Please.


      • Original Poster

        thanks! this is exactly the kind of info and encouragement I'm looking for.


        • #5
          Had a Birmingham resurface on left side 3 years ago. I couldn't ride more than an hour for the pain. Now the limit is under my seat not the hip. If you're under 60 get a second opinion from a surgeon that does resurfacing. (If the only tool one has is a hammer, all problems look like nails...) Same thing for hip surgery. There are many positives for resurfacing vs a total replacement.

          Take the "hip precautions seriously" the consequences are severe. You'll feel so good, it's easy to over do it. I pulled a hamstring doing stairs too soon, too fast. I always dismounted, landing on my natural hip the first year. Now I'm just aware of keeping the impact low... no leaping from the saddle. I've got my life style back. I'm glad for the new hip.
          Equus makus brokus but happy


          • Original Poster

            Hosspuller, I asked about the Birmingham resurface, and dr. said one of the risks is loss of blood supply under the cap, and then bone deterioration.

            One of the reasons I chose this particular dr. is she is willing to explore options other than surgery. But after looking at my x-rays, she said it seems inevitable. But you're right, surgeons want to cut.


            • #7
              Having had both hips replaced, I can truly say that the recovery is MUCH easier/faster with the anterior approach. The improvement over the posterior/lateral approach is like being on a different planet better. If I had had any clue how much easier it would be, I wouldn't have dreaded it so much or put it off as long. My doc goes all over the country teaching other surgeons how to do the anterior approach. People come from foreign places to have him do their surgery. Dr. Anthony Carter, Newport News, VA, is that good!!!

              Which ever way you go, have the surgery and get your life back!!!!!!!!!!!


              • Original Poster

                Incentive, were both hips done with the anterior approach?

                This is exactly the kind of info I'm seeking.



                • #9
                  I am "borrowed time" for my right hip. I lost 80 pounds and upped my joint supplements and was able to postpone it indefinitely. But i read this thread with great interest - where I might be able to get more time with the changes i have made on my own, I have seen the MRI and i know it is inevitable.
                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"