Most had had a periacetabular osteotomy, PAO, in the recent months. The PAO is a procedure I know very little about but I do know the longevity of the treatment longevity is very sporadic and individual. They were all very interested in my progress as for some a hip replacement is the next treatment in the pipeline.
Conversation was flowing, all exchanging stories of our hospital stay and how our progress was going. It made me realise just how important it is to have someone to discuss the little tips and tricks with and just to talk to someone who can fully empathise.
Half way through a new lady joined the conversation,
‘Excuse me, are you Lily? I’ve been reading your blog!’
In my last blog I wrote how weeks 3 & 4 had been my hardest, well this last week, week 5, has been the most exciting. My two rules for the first 6 weeks post-op, crossing my left leg past my bodies mid line, or lifting my knee to my chest to create an angle less than 90 degrees, were lifted on Monday and I can tentatively start to push my body towards normality.
There are still lots of things I should avoid doing, crossing my legs with the operated leg on top, or bending to touch my toes without rotating my knee out slightly, but these will become less important with time.
And there are things I should always avoid. Contact sports are high on the list, a big impact to my hip is unlikely to damage the hip socket and dislocation risk is minimal, but the biggest concern is fracturing my femur. A fracture at the end of my prosthesis could cause a whole host of problems so reducing this risk is always best.
Long distance running is not highly advised. A marathon puts extreme strain on your joints, especially with a joint prosthesis, and the training can be more damaging than the event. A hip replacement isn’t invincible, wear and tear decreases their life span, a lifespan I wish to extend as much as possible so running is off the cards.
Slowly, but surely, I am increasing my walking ability and strength through physio and hydrotherapy. I am using muscles I didn’t even know existed and had never used before, largely due to my years of adapted walking style. Who knew you used your abs, or lack of in my case, to walk!?
My recovery is still in its infancy and every time I move I am consciously switching on the correct muscles so with time it will be instinctive and subconscious. It is so important that I stay motivated so my progress doesn’t slow down. My motivation is getting back to sport!