A lot has happened since my last blog – I’ve been busy on the work front, have commenced by Personal Training Course, completed quite a few trail running events (locally and overseas) and been in for surgery to get a troublesome hip injury sorted.
But I’m back and looking forward to getting back to my writing – some big plans this year, which I’ll be blogging about in the next few weeks.
Just over two weeks ago I had an arthroscopy on my hip to shave off some errant spurs on the ball of my hip and inspect and damage to the labrum. Apparently I have a congenital problem being hip dysplasia which means the socket of my hip joint isn’t fully formed and predisposes me to hip problems – including development of spurs.
I was experiencing some serious pain when running up hill and down hill (which as you can imagine is a fair amount of any trail run) but couldn’t work out why. X-rays and an MRI later Dr. George found the problem and referred me on to an Orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Manny) to sort me out.
After some discussions, Dr. George said I was ok to compete in the runs before my surgery that I had signed up for, as long as I could put up with the pain and accepted that I wouldn’t be particularly quick. Since every ultra has an element of pain and I’m a long way from being quick anyway, it didn’t sound like much of a change from the norm!
To be totally honest, there were a few runs when the hip caused me a fair bit of discomfort, but each and every time it was worth it. Being out of commission at the moment is no fun at all!!!
The surgery went well and I felt pretty good afterwards all things considered. There was a bit of cartilage damage and I’ve got arthritis in my hip. As a consequence of all these things I’ll be looking at a hip replacement down the track – c’est la vie.
I guess in some ways I’m quite lucky – If I was a golden retriever or a Labrador with hip dysplasia, I would have been been prevented from breeding by neutering!
Now I know I might sound like a bit of a sook BUT even thought it hasn’t even been three weeks, I have already come to hate my crutches.
- Yes – I know I need to use them to ensure I heal properly.
- No – I don’t want to delay my recovery by not using them and doing more damage.
- Yes – I know 4 weeks isn’t really that long.
But I still hate them. I miss running. I miss driving the car. I miss being able to just move at will to do what I want. And if I’ve dropped them once, I’ve dropped them a hundred times!
So it got me thinking – I’ve only got a week and a bit to go on crutches… what else are crutches good for?
Here’s a few ideas that come to mind…
- Martial arts fighting sticks –that you can swing around like your Jackie Chan with a “Heeyaah”.
- Awesome pointer for highlighting things you want given to you.
- Multiple purpose sports equipment – putter, hockey stick or pool cue!
- With a few minor adjustments maybe a fishing rod.
- Garden stake for holding up freshly planted shrubs.
- Whack a brush or cleaning cloth on the end and use it for taking down cobwebs on the ceiling.
- A javelin that I can hurl into the distance once I’ve done my time. (On second thoughts, might need to hold that one as it looks like I may have a few extra rounds of hip surgery ahead!)
I’ve gone from running at least 40+ kms a week with a few gym sessions on top to doing practically nothing but hobble around on crutches. My physio is pleased and thinks mine will be one of the fastest rehabs she has seen from this type of surgery – but not quick enough for me.
I’m on the bike now – albeit on the wind trainer and only for 5 minutes at a time with little or no resistance – but it ramps up next week. Today I started the hydrotherapy and within a week or two I hope to be running in the pool.
I was the youngest one in the heated exercise pool by a fair number of years. My crutches were kept company by a walking stick and I felt silly as I was doing little more than walking, stretching and balancing. At the end of the day I don’t care what it looks like – I know that there is little value in pushing things too hard and doing more damage.
It is less than 17 weeks until the Surfcoast Century is on – and I want to run the solo 100km race again. So while I hate my crutches – I know they are critically important to a successful recovery. So now that I have got his out of my system – it’s back to rehab and getting my body ready – do as my Doctor has told me and be guided by my Physio.
p.s. I still hate my crutches.
I had an arthroscopy at 24 to fix a torn ligament and trim some torn cartilage. I also have hip dysplasia and a short leg that were undiagnosed for 20 years which has obviously given me no end if extra problems including osteoarthritis. My 80 year old nana is in better shape than me!
After my arthroscopy I was down to using one crutch after 1 week and completely off them for short walks (>2 miles) after 2, pretty much healed by 3. Yoga helped me! I did it right up until the night before my surgery. I also walked a lot, walked just over a mile, very slowly on my crutches 24 hours after being discharged.
I’m waiting to get referred back to my specialist to talk options as I am on pretty strong pain meds and am still in a lot of pain.
Is there any other exercise you’ve found helpful? I’m struggling walking my usual 5+ miles a day (pain after 1), my bike is fine when in on it but have to get the crutches out once I get off it and struggle to swim coz of the the hip pain and my back isn’t doing so great right now.
Thanks for reading, I’m finding it very ineresting to read your journey 🙂
Hey 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. Sounds like you’ve had a tough run. Hydrotheraphy worked pretty well for me and finding exercises with limited impact was helpful – like the elliptical machine / cross trainer. My surgeon recommended an injection called Durolane which is injected into the joint. I found it helped enormously and enabled me to reduce the anti inflams. I think the key is build up slowly and follow the instructions from the doc and the physio 😉