Never would I have imagined that I would have to have a total hip replacement at age 51. Nor would I realize how hard a hip replacement was and what to really expect after having a total hip replacement. I had experienced on-and-off pain for over nine years on my right side but never attributed it to needing a new hip. Instead, I thought everything was related to a tear in my labrum, a thin piece of cartilage that goes around the hip. While I avoided surgery then, it never fully disappeared.
My hip replacement story
It took a year of physical therapy to get rid of the pain and I was back at running again, hiking, biking, skiing, and living my normally active lifestyle. Yet last summer I did a workout that was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back. I did a series of squats and twists with weights and the next day my right IT band was on fire. I thought it was just a sore muscle until it did not go away for weeks and only got worse. That is when I went back to my doctor and they did the X-ray that provided the surprising news. I had nothing left, was bone on bone, and could try PT but eventually would need a full hip replacement. I was truly stunned.
Once the news let out, the questions began. Everyone asked me, “Does it run in your family?“. No. My dad is 80 and still runs and never had a hip replacement. “Did you do something to make this happen to you?”. No, not really. I just lived my life. The questions stressed me out more than the news itself so I simply quit telling people.
I have been active all my life. Growing up, I was a dancer for 15 years, and a competitive swimmer for five years. I was a runner for 30 years. I downhill ski, Nordic ski, bike, and hike. But when I asked my surgeon why it happened to me so young, he simply said “Bad luck“.