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Total hip replacement and riding after revision surgery

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  • Total hip replacement and riding after revision surgery

    I got my THR nine years ago (at age 31) after a bout of avascular necrosis (running injury). I was walking unassisted after 3 weeks and never looked back. Truly, once things healed I rarely gave it a second thought. I've been very active - following protocols as far as no running and sticking to low/no impact sports, but I probably have been a little hard on it.

    I bike and work out on the elliptical some, but my sport of choice really is rowing. I started my warmup for a rowing workout (indoors on an erg) about ten days ago, and on the third pull, my stupid hip dislocated. It did roll back in on its own and we made a trip to the emergency room just to be sure I hadn't cracked the prosthesis.

    On followup with an orthopedist, things are not looking so good; there's been some bone loss around the acetabulum and that part of the implant has rotated some. Even I can see this for myself on the x-rays.

    I have no pain, and the joint has stayed put since the one dislocation. I'm seeing a THR specialist in two weeks, but the "R" word, revision, was mentioned. (I hated, HATED the doctor I was scheduled with - who doesn't even do hip replacements and really couldn't and didn't tell me much - and have switched practices. Without going into detail, it's a Mega McOrthopedic Practice and their professionalism could use a major overhaul).

    So here's where it's horse related! I had JUST started looking into becoming a re-rider and asking for recommendations on trainers and barns with good lesson programs when all this happened! Needless to say, that's on hold pending further medical consult. It's my understanding that THR revision is more complicated than the initial replacement, with a longer recovery time and a higher chance of dislocation for several months following. So I'm not even sure about resuming AFTER the surgery. Since I'm in no pain right now and the hip feels totally stable I don't expect to be under the knife in short order, but I'm sure I'll be given guidelines to delay surgery for as long as possible.

    I know there are a number of THR riders on this board. Have any of you had revision surgery, or been told you need it? Has it caused problems with riding, or have you been told not to? I HATE this - I was so looking forward to starting lessons!

  • #2
    I just had my first, and God willing wont ever need to hear the 'R' word....

    But...the one thing that I've heard from an advice on THR and riding is a recommendation against taking it up after THR. Apparently there is more comfort on the ortho's side re: people who already ride not falling off or something (which is kind of silly if you think about it).

    I would expect the always use a mounting block, dont fall off, etc. advice to apply.

    What type of riding were you looking at taking up?


    • Original Poster

      Well, I really had an eye on getting back into jumping. I did used to show a the local level, up to 3', and was hoping I might be able to work back in that direction. However, I don't have so much interest in showing as I do in just riding and improving for my own sense of accomplishment. After a few months of lessons I had planned to look into maybe leasing a horse.

      I hate this. I resigned myself to the fact nine years ago that my road racing days were over. Now I'm pretty sure I will be losing competitive rowing as well. Rowing is low-impact but the hip angles involved are, uh, pretty extreme. So I probably won't be able to ride either?

      I can see it from the orthopedist's point of view. A fall could end up being a very big deal, and one thing we THR people do NOT need is a broken femur. Still, I go nuts without activity. Lots of activity. And I have always missed my horse days and was really looking forward to getting back into it.


      • #4
        I have had a THR ~ 1-17-05 - out of the barn for 88 days ~ since then everything fine riding & jogging ponies with jog carts... chores ... I go for my check up this month and plan to ask about this REVISION and all involved and if I will ever need it and what the rec for horse activties would be afterwards - will post on 2-23-2010 after my apt.
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


        • #5
          I turned to driving

          I had THR 4/06 & 6/06. Herniated disc L4-L5 during surgery. It's a risk. I was unable to do much of the recommended/necessary PT following the surgery. As a result, I've got a useless psoas muscle. I tried to return to riding, but it always hurt and the psoas is what keeps you on the horse if there is sudden movement. I had a couple of nasty falls. Scary after a THR.

          Now I've got an 11.2 h cutie-pie who enjoys pulling me around. I'm taking lessons and meeting some very nice people. It's a new and fun challenge. I'm not sure how far we'll go, but I'm surrounded by CDE competitors. It looks like fun!



          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
            I have had a THR ~ 1-17-05 - out of the barn for 88 days ~ since then everything fine riding & jogging ponies with jog carts... chores ... I go for my check up this month and plan to ask about this REVISION and all involved and if I will ever need it and what the rec for horse activties would be afterwards - will post on 2-23-2010 after my apt.

            Oh thank you! Please do - my appointment with the new guy is on the 24th. He's THR and sports med both, so hopefully he is skilled at dealing with athletes who HAVE to be engaged in some sort of activity or they go mad (and take everyone around them on that trip too!)

            Hopefully you will not need a revision for many, many years. I knew before I had the 1st surgery that I'd be in for a revision or two due to my young age (well, young for THR). I just didn't quite expect it this soon.

            I'm just particularly down because it FINALLY looked like I might be riding again soon! And now this. . .


            • #7
              I will be glad to ask my DR. any questions ~ he has said in the past that he believed my hip would last my life time - in spite of the fact that I had it earlier in life than most THR people. Keep your spirits up - I believe you will ride again !!!.
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "