Friday, July 10, 2009

12 weeks post-op

Finally made it to 12-weeks post-op. This is the de facto time period that most surgeons, including mine, allow hippys to perform most all activities (with a few exceptions) and begin to regain the mythical lost flexibility.

I can now officially do things like play golf, ride my bike on the road (oops, already been doing that) and flex beyond 90 degrees (been doing that, too). I have been doing most things I have wanted to the past few weeks, even though some things I wasn't really cleared to do. I have never felt like I pushed my body too hard, so I haven't been concerned about overdoing it too much. I had a bad hip for so long I know the signs to look for.

I don't have much of a limp anymore and most days I really have no limp at all. Some days I am a little sore and it comes back but by and large I'm walking better than I have in ages.

The biggest things for me are fitness and flexibility. I graduated from riding the bike on the trainer to riding on the roads a few weeks ago. I haven't ridden a bike for any period of time since I was a kid, and I never really rode a road bike, so this is all new to me (not to mention I have a new joint).

I don't consider myself a health nut but I am probably a fitness nut or even an aerobic nut. I love the feeling after a hard aerobic workout. I was totally hooked on running before my surgery. Now I'm getting totally hooked on cycling. I've always had strong legs and I now have the best aerobic capacity I've ever had. Seems like a perfect mix for cycling. Of course I'm still doing a lot of learning, but I'm looking so forward to becoming a better rider.

The other big thing for me is flexibility. I've had over 23 years of limited flexibility. With this new hip I'm working on getting that flexibility back. I've been slowly working on it the past few weeks and get gradually better each day.

I can easily put on socks and tie my shoes now. Doesn't sound like a big deal unless you can't do it. In the months prior to my surgery after virtually any run I couldn't lift my right leg without using my arms to assist. You should have seen me try to get into a vehicle. Already I have no problems lifting my leg after a hard bike ride.

I can almost do a full hamstring stretch but not quite there yet. I want to be able to pull my knee up to my chest but can't do that yet either. I need to find a therapist who can help with this, because I'm not sure I can do this myself. I have to keep on top of this or I'll never get the full flexibility back.

I still have some soreness and really expect it for many months, even up to a year. This was a major surgery and even though I've made what I feel is tremendous progress, it will take time to get back to normal.

I probably push myself a little too hard at times but I feel it's better for me to stress the joint a little to stimulate improvement.

I have my first ever bike race tomorrow. I'm only doing the 20 mile option. I could do more but being my first I thought it best to be conservative. I'm nervous but excited. Hope it all goes well.

Guess I need to go dust off the clubs now.

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