Friday, January 8, 2010


I have had a couple of recent comments on my blog . . .it must be the time of year for hip surgeries! So, here's some miscellaneous info:

Adductor pain -- Yes, I have had very tight and painful adductors almost all of my adult life. Remember that the cause of my labral tear was that my hip sockets were too deep and had too much bone with resulting impingment. From what I understand, with a congential hip defect, the muscles that are supposed to be involved in walking are pretty much shut down leaving others to pick up the slack. For me, I never had any glute muscles -- at all! The adductors basically took over - performing a task they were never meant to perform. After surgery, it took a long time to build my glutes and convince them to work while convincing my adductors that they could relax. I still work on stretching both right and left adductors daily. It's a lifetime of problem for me and probably will never be perfect but I am making great progress.

The adductor issues also seem to be involved with IT band, TFL and psoas issues. When one flares up, adductor issues follow. What I have noticed helps tremendously is focusing on glute med exercises and really amping up all glute exercises for a few days. Lots of stretching and using the foam roller to work out the tough spots even though it will bring tears to my eyes sometimes.

Using a surgeon other than Dr. Philippon -- NO!! :-) I had my right hip done almost 7 years ago. I feel incredibly lucky that I saw a wonderful hip dr here in Indy who diagnosed my issue and sent me off to Dr. Philippon. He could have easily replaced my hip and I would have been none the wiser but he didn't. Dr. Philippon was in Pittsburgh at the time and had just moved there from Florida. It wasn't nearly as organized and I came back to Indy and did physical therapy here with weekly phone calls to Dr. P's pt in Pittsburgh. I knew at that time that my left hip was going to need surgery but I tried to put it off as long as possible. Mistake!!

When my left finally caused me more sleepless than restful nights, I went back to see my hip dr here in Indy to get an arthrogram done. He told me that there was a dr here in Indy doing labral repairs and suggested that I go see him. I did. When I asked him about protocols after surgery, he indicated that he didn't follow any of Dr. Philippon's protocols. When I asked him about the technical aspects of the surgery, he admitted that he would never be as technical as Dr. P but felt he could effectively repair the tear that I had. He also told me that he did about 15 repairs a year whereas Dr. Philippon does about 15 a week.

Knowing the success that I had with Dr. Philippon, I elected to go back to him. While I was in Colorado doing rehab for 6 weeks, I was amazed at the number of patients who came to him to "fix" their repaired labrum. I soon realized that Dr. Philippon is the last hope for many patients who have been butchered by other surgeons who claim to know how to do this surgery. There is a reason that most pro athletes go to him for this surgery.

I realize that, for many reasons, everyone can't see Dr. Philippon but if it is possible he should be the first choice for this surgery. It's definitely expensive and not convenient unless you live in Colorado but it's your life and your ability to be pain free and live your life. I wouldn't change one thing.

And, lastly, realize that recovery takes time. Even though there are teeny, tiny scars, it's big surgery. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are moved, stretched and generally jostled around during surgery. Muscles that may have never worked before will be asked to perform and muscles that are used to being in charge will be asked to take a backseat. It takes lots of pt work and time but the end results will give you a new lease on life.

I will continue to update and check my blog so feel free to comment and I will respond. Best of luck to those of you who are just beginning the journey. Know that you will be in the "hip club" and I find that we do a great job of swapping stories and supporting each other. No one knows the pain and recovery like another hip patient.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One No-No

Apparently wearing 4" heels is still not a good idea. Hip did fine but all the muscles that support the hip told me I was crazy last night.

Today it is snowing in Indy -- looks like we have about 3 inches or so and it is snowing like gangbusters so you know what that means ------ZIPFY!!!! If there is never another post on this blog, it means: Zipfy 1; Me 0. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here's to 2010!

Here's an update for anyone curious. I feel fantastic! I simply cannot believe the difference that having 2 good hips actually makes. I have had chronic lower back pain for most of my adult life. I thought I had been cursed with my mother's back problems. Wrong! Now that both hips are functioning as they should be, my lower back issues have disappeared. I would occasionally get back spasms so bad that I would cry . .literally. Those are gone. I love to cook but had all but given it up because I couldn't stand on my feet for hours. That's over. I can stand on my feet for 8 hours with no resulting consequences. I would have to consider whether I was having a good enough hip day to go for a long walk. Again, gone. I can walk wherever, whenever and for as long as I want. No pain during and no consequences after. In fact, I haven't found anything yet that I can't do because of hip pain. I have finally accepted the fact that I am fixed. As you know, I had doubts after surgery with all of the muscle madness but it was really just that. I am good!!!

It's been 8 months since surgery. In some ways it seems like it was yesterday and in others, it seems like it was years ago. Looking back on it now, the only thing that I would change is getting the surgery sooner rather than later. I put it off way too long thinking the issue would go away. It didn't; it got worse. Now I regret that I lost the time limping about and being miserable.

As 2010 was approaching, I thought a lot about where I have been and where I want to go with my life. I suspect that turning 50 had something to do with that too. For the first time in years, I didn't have to think about something and then think that I couldn't do it because it would hurt my hip. Add to that the strength and muscles I have gotten from pt and strength training and I am in better shape now than I have been in 10 years. These could possibly be the best years of my life.

We are expecting 5 inches of snow in Indy today and tomorrow and I am surfing the web to find the best sledding hill around so I can go try the new Zipfy. Wishing I was back in Colorado so I could really give it a good run but Indy will do until I get back out there . .. hopefully sooner rather than later. I would still like to figure out a way to get out there and learn to snowboard this year even though every time I say snowboarding people try to discourage me. What is up with that???

It has been awesome to hear from fellow patients. Sometimes I thought I was the only one going through this and I might be crazy but then I would hear from someone who had the same issues and I felt so much better! So, thank you! We should all meet up sometime when we are 100% and celebrate our new leases on life.

So, here's to 2010 and a year when I get to finally live without restrictions!