Martial Arts Fun: Hip Replacement 1

If you’re a regular visitor to this site, or even a hapless repeat wanderer, then you have almost certainly noticed me complaining about my degenerate hips. The study of Martial Arts is one of my greatest pleasures and proudest achievements – unfortunately the piper has now demanded payment… the cost, although painful, has been settled and I’m now back on almost full bounce.

Some weeks ago Mr RightSide went just too damn far, literally: measured from the left side I was 6’4″, from the right about 5’10” (at a guess) – ridiculously exaggerated tick-tock gait, 20% mobility in the joint, risk of joint fusion and fed up with breakfasting on Codeine and Tramadol just to function ‘normally’. After years of worsening issues I finally passed my internal ‘Risks vs Benefits’ threshold & had the right hip completely replaced with some funky new ceramic contraption in a super-high-tech polymer socket.

2 days in hospital – had the procedure Tuesday afternoon, kicked out Thursday afternoon. In some ways not as bad as expected, in others considerably worse.

The Op
My least favourite part of the op (strange sentiment which suggests there were ‘favourite parts’) was the spinal diamorphine: hunching over while somebody pokes a needle between your vertebrae into your spinal cavity can best be described as ‘uncomfortable’ – yet minutes later the outstanding effectiveness of the process became apparent with a 100% absence of sensation (and voluntary control) below the waist – always a risk for one reason or another… This initial discomfort was quickly forgotten as the surgical team proceeded to securely and very tightly strap, clamp and tie me to the sinister looking dungeonesque framework that was to hold me in place for the surgeons to work their magik – a disturbingly interesting and surreal process remeniscent of that unfortunate misunderstanding at Madame de Sade’s ‘Sports Therapy’ clinic.

It was at this point the anaesthetist asked me if I’d like a little sedation to make me woozy – it seemed rude not to, so I said yes – 3 tenths of a second later I had been teleported through a tear in the fabric of space-time to the Recovery Room, with the procedure completed, over 2 hours into the future.

Barring my concerns around time travel paradoxes, all had gone well – my legs were back to being the same length as each other, although I initially suspected they’d grafted onto my body the right leg of a much heavier MMA fighter who’d just taken a serious and prolonged beating, some of it with his own leg. Despite this I wasn’t in too much discomfort – it was already apparent that the gnawing ache and machine-gun hip-socket clicks, which had plagued me for years, had gone.

Post Op
Well – back home less than 48 hours after the Op, having convinced the Physios that on crutches I was only a minor risk to the life and limbs of others, and that I could successfully negotiate hormonal labradors and stairs, sometimes simultaneously.

There’s no way of glossing over the facts here – it is rather sore post-op – fortunately I’m armed with some rather excellent pain meds: Oxycodon liquid for rapid response, Oxycotin tablets, Dihyrocodeine and others – make no mistake, when these tablets say on the packet ‘May cause drowsiness’ they are not kidding, fortunately they also do a good job with the pain.

Changed the dressing after a shower just now (4 days in) surprised at the size of the wound..!! My previously cute dimpled butt looks like it’s been through a tree shredder – in future it shall have to be known as an arse of character and, sadly, not one of cuteness. 26 skin clips holding it closed (the wound, not the butt)..! I took a photograph but nobody (really… nobody) deserves their pysche scarring that badly… not a pretty sight.!

Oh well – couple of weeks I’ll be bouncing around like a Ninja..!

Hip Number 2 (left) is also in a slightly sorry state – think I’ll be leaving that for a year or so though.


Week 3: Swelling mostly gone, normal activities with one-crutch assistance, pain levels at ‘mild discomfort’. Sleeping on back on sofa next to Triumph – there is a vicious rumour circulating that I snore if on my back. This is not true… I wasn’t asleep.

Week 4: No crutches, back on Triumph (cruiser riding position provides natural support), occasional knee discomfort (knee takes bit of a hammering during the op).

Week 5: No discomfort, no limp, scar fading rapidly, sleeping in whatever position I like. Awesome.

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