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Hip replacement and riding?

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  • Hip replacement and riding?

    I just learned I need a hip replacement and worried how this will affect my riding.
    Has anyone gone through this, if so are you still riding?

  • #2
    You will ride again just fine ~~~

    THR (left) 1-17-05 ~~~ riding and driving daily plus all the chores ~ search this as there was some good information posted ~ I was out 88 days total BUT ~ I was super worried & cautious actually freaked out as I had never ever been in a hospital since birth ~ glad to tell you anything about the "journey" ~ and you will be so very glad you had it done -- no more pain ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
      THR (left) 1-17-05 ~~~ riding and driving daily plus all the chores ~ search this as there was some good information posted ~ I was out 88 days total BUT ~ I was super worried & cautious actually freaked out as I had never ever been in a hospital since birth ~ glad to tell you anything about the "journey" ~ and you will be so very glad you had it done -- no more pain ~
      Thank you so much!! I'm terrified of surgery, but if I can still ride after...........all is good.


      • #4
        yes no problem returning to riding.........

        However some considerations based on your level of competition and discipline.

        Assuming standard procedure....

        There are lasting strength deficits of the lateral hip muscles after surgery.
        Compensations can include
        Shift to opposite hip
        Same hip tending to "stick out"
        Increased knee motion to make up for tendency to not flex the hip.
        There are others.

        Essentially you will need a regular off horse single leg strengthening program with focus on the hip.

        Good luck, excellent surgery and long term outlook.

        Medical mike
        equestrian medical researcher


        • #5
          I had a left total hip in fall of 04, was back on my horse at 30 days (sainted, quiet QH gelding w/ a friend leading him) and did a 4-day, 4 hrs/day horsemanship clinic at seven weeks on the same horse. Have been riding regularly since. I am especially careful not to get myself in a situation where falling is at all a likelyhood--riding is okay; falling, not so much.

          Given that, I will say that there is a lot to recovery; it isn't just healing the incisions. All of the muscle/tendon structure that has been guarding the painful hip, and probably shortened due to lost joint space, must be loosened and stretched to get back range-of-motion. I asked for a second round of PT at three months, when released from precautions, for just this reason.

          Good luck with your surgery. I know there are well-known BNTs in both dressage and eventing who have continued thier careers post hip-replacement (and certainly in other disciplines, I just don't know the individuals there).
          "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

          Spay and neuter. Please.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks to all for the info, I'm starting to come down from the ceiling.
            I'm in my forties and didn't think I had to worry about this "stuff" for a while!
            Knowing I will be able to ride, post surgery makes me more comfortable going through this procedure.

            Thank you again!


            • #7
              I have a 60-something friend who took a terrible tumble off her 'saintly' horse, and landed smack on her hip. THR was the outcome. She is back riding, swimming daily, living her life. She took a bit longer to get back on (about 4 months), but is a very cautious person by nature. Take the necessary precautions, do all the follow-up PT, but remember: you will ride again!!

              Good luck and keep us posted. The surgery, according to my dear mother, who has had both hips replaced, one easily, the other was a terrible fracture that required total non-weight-bearing, said the first time was a snap! This from an 80 year old. They had her up the next day with the first one (she fell on it, clean fracture) and walking on her new one. Pretty easy PT, and she was pain free in just a short time. She complained the most about her staple removal . That's the last time I hold her hand when she's in pain
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


              • #8
                riding hippies

                I had simultaneous bilateral THR in May 2005. I was back in the dog show ring in 6 weeks and back to riding in 8 weeks. My best advice to you would be to start getting as fit and strong as you can before your surgery, it will make a world of difference in your recovery. Then, work really hard at your rehab. There actually use to be a forum called "Hippies with horses" and if I can find it again, I will try to send it to you. I have found the hard way, that my new titanium hips are a lot harder than the rest of my body too. I do not recommend falling, but it is usually not the end of the hips, they seem to be truly bionic. Life with new hips is marvelous!!


                • #9
                  There is a thread in Hunter Jumper Artificial Joints
                  I had one hip replaced when I was in my early 40s and my other hip replaced when I was in my early 50s. Almost 60 now. Suggestions -get in shape before surgery and do your PT. Hip devices and surgical techniques have improved over the last 20 years. I wish I was just getting mine done now and getting one of the newer devices.
                  Good luck to you


                  • #10
                    Like the others said: get the PT exercises you'll be doing after the surgery and start doing them now. It will make your recovery that much easier.

                    I'm 18 month post THR of my right hip. Was back on my horse a 7 weeks, just walking around. Full lessons at 12 weeks (mine was a postier approach, a much more invasive technique than the anterior approach). Riding better than I ever was and the hip is pain free and much more flexible than before. In fact, I don't even think about the fact that my right hip was replaced.

                    I found that I had to stretch my mucles back out, as they had drawn and shorten over the years prior to my surgery. I wound up lowering my stirrups by 3 holes post-surgery.

                    If you've found a surgeon who has agreed to do the surgery now, go for it. Waiting only involves more pain and misery.
                    A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                    • #11
                      HA! Just had my left hip replaced in Jan.

                      I can sit the horse better NOW than before.

                      I wasn't allowed back on for 3 months - but took 5 (I had been on crutches for the previous year, so my recovery is a little slow).

                      It's taking some time for the tightness in the groin to go away...but it's going (again - not riding for the year and a half, and not being able to stretch at all in that timeframe didnt' help any).

                      The effects on the muscles seems to be somewhat dependent on the approach they use to do the surgery....there are whole bunches these days.


                      • #12
                        My horse wishes I hadn't waited so long...

                        I had so shortened my right leg, I had a crease in my boot and my horse was crooked. I had my THR done under local anesthesia, was out the next day, was in the barn two days after that and back to short lessons by four weeks post op.

                        I was 54 at the time.

                        Hurry up and get it done. Rehab is frustrating because it takes awhile but it is so worth it. Good Luck!


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by deacon's mom View Post
                          I had so shortened my right leg, I had a crease in my boot and my horse was crooked. I had my THR done under local anesthesia, was out the next day, was in the barn two days after that and back to short lessons by four weeks post op.

                          I was 54 at the time.

                          Hurry up and get it done. Rehab is frustrating because it takes awhile but it is so worth it. Good Luck!
                          Looks like I'm scheduled for surgery in Sept.
                          I'm not looking forward to it, but after hearing I can still ride, it's worth it.


                          • #14
                            I wasn't doing it if I couldn't ride...

                            I made it quite clear to the surgeon. He didn't have any issues and said I could get back on as soon as I thought it was comfortable and safe. The best part is how much my horse has advanced since I got it done. He appreciates my sitting evenly. Don't be worried...it's a very common operation. Like I said, I was wide awake. Didn't bother me in the least. I listened to my IPOD i the OR and couldn't wait to get home. You will need someone to care for you the first week or so. It doesn't hurt...but your leg simply won't work. Good strength will return by 10 weeks and then it just keeps improving each week.


                            • #15
                              Questions ??? just pm ~ glad to help

                              Originally posted by Gideon View Post
                              Looks like I'm scheduled for surgery in Sept.
                              I'm not looking forward to it, but after hearing I can still ride, it's worth it.
                              Whatever questions you may have yes ask the DR. first ! ~ BUT for "living" questions on what to expect and what supplies were helpful in my recovery Just pm - glad to help as I remember how nervous I was BUT no need to be,,, just some prep is necessary to make life after THR easier...
                              Last edited by Zu Zu; Jul. 12, 2010, 09:50 AM. Reason: spelling
                              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                              • #16
                                Google Bonnie Bonnello and Pikardi. They are heading to WEG's, representing Canada in Dressage. She has had hip replacement surgery and says she can ride better now that she has had the surgery.


                                • Original Poster

                                  I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the surgery. I watch Bonnie Bonnello and "wow", you would never know she had a hip replacement!
                                  After reading all the great feedback, I think I'm making the right decision. Thanks to all for the info and responses, you have made me feel so much better about this.


                                  • #18
                                    I had it done Dec 1, 09, and now I have to look at the scar to remind myself. Not only can I ride without pain now, but I just spent several weeks walking around ancient ruins in Europe in the heat. No hip pain at all.

                                    I had the minimally invaisive anterior approach, where they don't cut the muscles. It still wasn't a walk in the park. The first month was rough. I couldn't feed or do barn work for 6 weeks. I drove after two weeks. I did a lot of swimming in the warm pool in the gym. It was uncomfortable to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time.

                                    It all heals quickly after the first month.

                                    Good luck. Line up help the first few weeks.
                                    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                                    • #19
                                      Wow, all your testamonies have been encouraging. I had both my hips replaced 6/22. My right hip feels very good but the left feels far weaker and has pain. My surgeon said I could not ride until 6 mos. post op.
                                      It seems my progress is much slower than what has been said here. Kind of discouraging for me, but excellent for all of you!!



                                      • #20
                                        Don't know about the riding part, but my dad had his second hip replacement when he was 89. He recovered well - he was back to swimming and walking within 8 weeks. His recovery went so smoothly that if his cardiologist would give him the ok, he would have a knee replacement as well. (This from the man who argued with us for years about getting the hip replacement surgery. He is 91 now.)