Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 week hip update

Can you believe it? Yesterday marked 4 weeks since my hip surgery. While most of you probably feel like it was just yesterday (considering I haven't exactly been silent on the subject in this blog), Hubby and I were talking last night and agreed that it feels like months ago. This is a good thing by the way because it means that the pain, discomfort, and worry seems worlds away. Already the sharp edges have been blunted in our memory. The human brain is wonderful isn't it?

So where am I at right now?

Well, here's the good: I'm walking almost limp-free; bicycling at the gym and around the neighborhood for 10-15 minutes at a time; squatting and doing walking lunges; my scar-mobilization is going well and all I'm left with is 3 small pink lines on my upper thigh; the numbness in my "bits" is gone; my blood popsicle is going down; and I've gained-back a good 80% of my pre-surgery range of motion.

The other stuff (not necessarily bad... yet): The clicking I had pre-surgery (and that I partly did the surgery to alleviate) is still there through the same planes of motion; the skin/flesh of my thigh is still pretty sore and I still have a numb spot on my outer thigh; my IT band problems seem to have returned; I can't sit down for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time; and I have pain in my hip joint, radiating around my knee in a certain plane of motion only while weight-bearing.

The latter is the most concerning to my Physical Therapist. At first she thought it was tight hip-flexors but I've been doing those exercises and the only way I can reproduce the pain is when standing/weight-bearing and at the same time have my leg behind me (like when pushing off from a long stride) or when standing on one leg, engaging my glutes, and leaning slightly to the side.

Lay me on my back, on my stomach, kneeling on the floor to do a hip-flexor stretch and I'm like a damn rubber band. Yesterday at PT she had me in the most bizarre position, laying on my stomach as she knelt behind me, putting my knee on her shoulder while pressing down on my pelvis to ensure my hips remained square and in contact with the table. She was trying to "get to" the place where I'm feeling the pinching but no matter how high she went, it wasn't replicating the pain. I got an awesome quad stretch and seriously impressed her with the flexibility of my lower back (yay yoga!) but it didn't address the issue at-hand.

It could be partly the IT band (because of the relation to knee pain) but after eliminating every normal hip flexor stretch she knew, my PT pulled a face of concern and said it could be joint related. To which I asked, "That will go away right?" And to which she shrugged and said "I hope so."

Real comforting.

So, my biggest concerns right now are:

1) My numb patch on my thigh is not going away. There's a chance this could be permanent (ack), although I've got another month for it to 'clear up' under normal prognosis.

2) The clicking I wanted to get rid of is back and I've been told it may never go away. Um what!?

3) The new pinching pain I'm feeling and that I didn't have pre-surgery, may be joint-related and may signal something still wrong in there. A new something.

Ok, ok. It's like 4 weeks and I get that the jury is still out... there's still healing to be done by my body and I am absolutely going to give it time. I totally see that I am a lot further along than I expected (or than was predicted), overall I'm impressing my PT with my progress relative to my timeline, and I'm not in a ton of pain. BUT I'm going to be REEEEAAAALY PISSED if I end up in the same place I was pre-surgery but now with a new joint pain and a numb spot on my thigh. You can see how, if you went through all of this, you'd be slightly concerned too, right?

But then I've been concerned about a lot of things related to this surgery that wound up not being anything to fret about. So, I'm not going to focus on it. I'm going to do everything I can to get better, keep-on keeping-on, and reassess 4 weeks from now.


Mala said...

Slow down there...its only been 4 weeks. You're already doing way better than a lot others.

e said...

The pain that wraps around your knee could be bursitis. I had the same thing, and a shot of cortisone and some deep tissue massage made all the difference. What happens is that the irritation in the hip inflames the bursae, and that in turn tightens the muscles along the thigh and around the knee. I would try googling hip bursitis, and see what you find.

As for the clicking: I had that too, about a month later, as a matter of fact. My doctor said that it's normal, it's scar tissue that later works itself out. It's quite likely to go away by itself.

Seriously, don't worry yet about the pinching pain. I've had all kinds of new pains, pinching, tightness, blah, blah, blah. It all seems to work itself out as I heal and do PT and exercise.

They told me 4 months to get back to normal (including running), but I'm pretty much back to normal after 3. So in another 4 weeks you might be all set, and if not, it won't be long after that.

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