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  1. #1
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    Recovery from hip hardware removal

    Has anyone on this board had surgery to remove their hip hardware?

    I've had a pin and screw in my right hip (femur) since 2003 from an mtb accident, and will finally be taking everything out later this month. Specifically, I am interested in hearing what kind of recovery you had post-surgery.

    The hardware pretty much looks like this: http://www.positive-way.com/recovery...eup-of-pin.jpg

    Both surgeons I talked to indicated that the surgery would take less than an hour (full anaesthetic), and that I would be full weight bearing and walking out of the hospital the same day. I've been told to "take it easy" (nothing extreme) for 6-8 weeks so as not to break the hip again, but otherwise no restriction on activities/cycling. I will be setting the bike up on the trainer before I check in to the hospital.

    Any comments or advice on recovery are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've got the same implants. I broke my hip in '05. They don't bother me and I never plan on taking them out. I presume you had problems with yours?

  3. #3
    Roll Out Jeremy
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    Hip Replaced

    At 52 yo I had a total hip replacement. That was 3 years ago. It was a really good thing to do. It is completely pain free and as strong as ever. They cut one muscle for that surgery. That made recovery a little more intense. Removing your hardware should not involve cutting a muscle (ask your doc). If that is true it should heal up easy. I have no restrictions from the THR.
    Ollie Ollie Oxen Free
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  4. #4
    I like waterboarding...
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    Back history: broke my femur, and chipped the side of my knee off about 10 years ago.

    Surgeries
    1st - remove the screws through the knee (they were causing mobility issues. About a year post accident.
    2nd - remove hip fixation screw holding the top of the rod in place. Caused pain for many many years (Dec 09)
    3rd - knee resurfacing and medial shelf issues (dec 09)

    I had the 2nd and 3rd surgeries performed about 2 weeks apart starting at the beginning of December. I was snow boarding on the family vaca Jan 14th without any problems...

    The hip muscles will be a little sore depending on what they have to do to gain access to the fixation screw. You shouldn't have any mobility problems as they are not messing with the joint itself. I took one day off work post surgery to hang out around the house and rest. Was back at work the next day on crutches, which i really didnt need. The following day (3) after the surgery i was walking unassisted with a tiny gimp. by the end of the week all was good.

    I'd give it two weeks before resuming any light exercise and then just slowing increase the amount of exercise... You should be back and running in less than a month.

    Edit: Are you keeping the rod? I still have the rod and two screws above the knee. I opted to leave the rod in place since it was fixed at the top of the hip and bottom of the femur. If you only have a fixation screw at the hip holding the whole setup together they will pull the rod for sure, but if you have hardware above the knee the rod will likely be left in and they will only take the hip pin out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinosaur
    I've got the same implants. I broke my hip in '05. They don't bother me and I never plan on taking them out. I presume you had problems with yours?
    Yes, the pain in my hip while cycling has gotten worse in the last 1.5 years. It's only at high intensities, but I climb a lot and it usually starts to bother me about 15 minutes into a climb.

    I had the screw in my knee taken out in '04 because it was bothering me, and later had the option to take out the rest of my hardware. However, I wasn't too anxious to go under the knife again and wanted to see how it went.

    It took three years for me to be able to ride hard again, and I had 2-1/2 decent, relatively strong years before things started to go south last year. In addition to the hip pain getting worse last year, I developed a clicking sensation in the knee (same leg) and can't really drive hard on the climbs. I've done physio/sports med and had a fitting, which improved the pedal stroke/knee tracking issues I was experiencing, but the surgeon feels there is good chance that removing the hardware will improve the hip pain.

    Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the surgery, and being able to sleep comfortably on my right side again. (Right now, I feel the screw when I sleep on my right side.)
    Last edited by sanrensho; 09-13-2010 at 11:12 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymilkexpired
    Edit: Are you keeping the rod? I still have the rod and two screws above the knee. I opted to leave the rod in place since it was fixed at the top of the hip and bottom of the femur. If you only have a fixation screw at the hip holding the whole setup together they will pull the rod for sure, but if you have hardware above the knee the rod will likely be left in and they will only take the hip pin out.
    Thanks a ton for the advice.

    Snowboarding is also at the back of my mind, as I need to decide this month in order to get our season's passes.

    I also had the screw in my knee removed after one year, I could actually feel the screw impinging in that area and I'm glad we acted quickly to take it out.

    There is only the hip pin and one fixation screw left (top of the hip), so they will be taking both out.

    I suspect that next year I will be moving on to address issues with my knee. But either way, I'm glad to be moving forward so that I can really hammer climbs again.

  7. #7
    I like waterboarding...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanrensho
    Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the surgery, and to being able to sleep comfortably on my right side again. (Right now, I feel the screw when I sleep on my right side.)
    This was exactly the same reason I had mine removed. For 7 years I couldn't sleep on my right side. Was horrible, and frankly, im amazed now that i put up with it for so long.

    I also had the same problem with the screw grinding against the muscle when climbing or pushing really hard on the flats. I learned to live with it for so long. Then one day i got a hair and wanted all the **** fixed lol.

    My knee clicks and pops on occasion and if I get it in a funky angle while powering on the bike its uncomfortable but its livable. I'm sure knee replacement is in my future based on how badly i damaged my knee.

  8. #8
    I like waterboarding...
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    Have you had an MRI of your knee?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy
    Removing your hardware should not involve cutting a muscle (ask your doc). If that is true it should heal up easy. I have no restrictions from the THR.
    Yes, I'm being told that they will not need to cut any muscle. Great to hear that you are doing well with the THR.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymilkexpired
    My knee clicks and pops on occasion and if I get it in a funky angle while powering on the bike its uncomfortable but its livable. I'm sure knee replacement is in my future based on how badly i damaged my knee.
    Quote Originally Posted by mymilkexpired
    Have you had an MRI of your knee?
    We haven't had an MRI done yet, and I suspect it might take a few months to arrange once I'm in line.

    To my knowledge, I didn't damage my knee in the original accident. (My front tire slid out on an S-turn, I landed softly but squarely on my right hip, heard a snap, and that was all she wrote.) But last year I started to develop a constant clicking sensation in the knee, both while riding and walking up stairs. Like you say, it's livable (but feels weak) and my sports med doc doesn't feel that I am doing any damage by continuing to ride on it.

    I guess I'll be seeing my sports med doctor this winter to look further into my knee.
    Last edited by sanrensho; 09-13-2010 at 11:13 AM.

  11. #11
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    I have no input on this subject, but I had to say... This thread is full of *cringe*. I am in pain just reading about your stories. GLTY in teh surgery.
    Poast count x10...

  12. #12
    I like waterboarding...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanrensho
    I guess I'll be seeing my sports med doctor this winter to look further into my knee.
    You may have a shelf or a plaque under the knee cap. My December knee surgery involved a plica issue and the trimming of some of the cartilage for pain in the knee. The pain is gone but I have clicking and popping issues. Not sure if the trade off was good? lol


    http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cy...vial_plica.htm
    Last edited by mymilkexpired; 09-13-2010 at 12:25 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymilkexpired
    This was exactly the same reason I had mine removed. For 7 years I couldn't sleep on my right side. Was horrible, and frankly, im amazed now that i put up with it for so long.
    Same here, I couldn't sleep on my right side and I had them removed ASAP. I would roll onto my right side and the pain would wake me up at night.

    Titanium screws.... (check out the new penny, I only noticed that recently).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Recovery from hip hardware removal-pins.jpg  

  14. #14
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    I kept all my removed hardware to date too!!! I'll post pics when i get home.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdrewguy
    Same here, I couldn't sleep on my right side and I had them removed ASAP. I would roll onto my right side and the pain would wake me up at night.
    You kept the pin in?

    The hip screw is absolutely the worst for camping (sleeping on a thin pad).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanrensho
    You kept the pin in?

    The hip screw is absolutely the worst for camping (sleeping on a thin pad).
    Oh I don't recall them putting in a pin, just the 3 big nasty looking screws.
    This was also a result of a mtb fall, those bikes are dangerous.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdrewguy
    This was also a result of a mtb fall, those bikes are dangerous.
    D*mn right, I will take suicidal squirrels any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by mymilkexpired
    You may have a shelf or a plaque under the knee cap. My December knee surgery involved a plica issue and the trimming of some of the cartilage for pain in the knee.
    Thanks, will definitely look into this.

  18. #18
    It's not easy being green
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    Dude, it's no big deal. In 1985 I got thrown off a horse into a phone pole, had a hip fracture fixed with a Richardson screw, looked just like yours, a plate up the femur into the hip ball. A year later I had the thing taken out. It was like two pounds of hardware. The surgery was nothing and I was walking that day. It will heal stronger without the screw when the bone fills in. I unfortunately had muscle cut when the fracture occurred that has never grown back, but the removal was easy. Just remember to ask for demural and not morphine! You'll be riding in no time.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    It was like two pounds of hardware.
    Hmmm, I never thought of the weight weenie aspect of the internal body hardware. Maybe I should get some of it cleaned out to help my hill climbing! I have the same femur stuff which has been there for 11 years (roller blading), and more junk in my arm that is 12 years old (snowboarding).
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

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  20. #20
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    Good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by sanrensho
    Yes, the pain in my hip while cycling has gotten worse in the last 1.5 years. It's only at high intensities, but I climb a lot and it usually starts to bother me about 15 minutes into a climb.

    I had the screw in my knee taken out in '04 because it was bothering me, and later had the option to take out the rest of my hardware. However, I wasn't too anxious to go under the knife again and wanted to see how it went.

    It took three years for me to be able to ride hard again, and I had 2-1/2 decent, relatively strong years before things started to go south last year. In addition to the hip pain getting worse last year, I developed a clicking sensation in the knee (same leg) and can't really drive hard on the climbs. I've done physio/sports med and had a fitting, which improved the pedal stroke/knee tracking issues I was experiencing, but the surgeon feels there is good chance that removing the hardware will improve the hip pain.

    Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the surgery, and being able to sleep comfortably on my right side again. (Right now, I feel the screw when I sleep on my right side.)
    I guess I'm lucky. My compression screw bothered me for a couple of months. Now I have no problems sleeping on my right side. It did take more than a few years to get total strength back in my injured leg (I have a ti rod in my femur). I do a lot of climbing also. After almost 5 years I can now get out of my saddle when I climb. I can't run at all. I can walk, just no running. Breaking a hip is brutal. Hope I never have to repeat it. The best part is I had a great surgeon and my health insurance covered everything.

    Dental implants are another animal. 2 implants, plus the crowns, cost me a trip to Hawaii (or a new bike). $7,000. By the way- Gatorade is really bad for your teeth.

    Good luck. Let us know how you progress.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinosaur
    It did take more than a few years to get total strength back in my injured leg (I have a ti rod in my femur). I do a lot of climbing also. After almost 5 years I can now get out of my saddle when I climb. I can't run at all. I can walk, just no running. Breaking a hip is brutal. Hope I never have to repeat it. The best part is I had a great surgeon and my health insurance covered everything.
    All this time I thought I was behind the curve. After three years, I was able to start hammering out of the saddle and even do intervals, though with frequent but somewhat manageable knee tracking issues and a bit of hip pain.

    I can walk pretty straight now, and even run--for about a minute or two, and it feels pretty bad afterwards. And standing for any length of time leaves me with a stiff back. I believe it's because of the leg length discrepancy that resulted from the break.
    Last edited by sanrensho; 09-14-2010 at 07:55 AM.

  22. #22
    I like waterboarding...
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    KT Tape can also be your friend to help with the knee tracking issues.

  23. #23
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    I had almost identical piece of HW as OP put in 10 years ago and had it taken out 19 months later. Doc said same thing, be extra careful for 6 weeks. I had a lot of pain when it was in, been perfect since taking it out.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for all the info and also the words of encouragement.

    I'll make sure to update this thread after the surgery is done. I'm looking forward to receiving my baggy of hardware from the hospital and (hopefully) walking out of there!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukbloke
    Hmmm, I never thought of the weight weenie aspect of the internal body hardware.
    Progress report to come, but I just weighed my hardware (stainless steel Gamma nail and one screw) and it came out to a hefty 300 grams. We don't get the titanium stuff due to public health care.

    At this point, I am being told 10 weeks on crutches while the bone is growing, no biking during that time (except for a stationary bike and if/when I can tolerate the pain).

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