Friday, September 12, 2008

Recovery from Hip Surgery - Month 9

Today is my 9th month anniversary post surgery and I would say I am about 100% recovered. I can walk and climb stairs without pain and ride normally. I have done 50 mile rides in the last month with no problems, although I am slower than pre-accident. So 8-9 months was the magic timeframe for me to total recovery.

Now, there is one thing that I still cannot do pain-free. That is running. The Ortho told me that serious runners who have my type of injury usually must wait 2 years or so before they are able to do a marathon. But, there are lots of variables and I know a triathlete who did the Ironman within a year of a serious hip fracture.

My experience (experiment of only one) would tell me that patience is a must for recovery. This type of injury does not heal quickly. The bones take 6-8 weeks to repair and the muscles need rehab for 6-12 months or more. Keeping my weight normal, doing PT religiously, working out with weights and being really focused on recovery helped me a lot. The muscles are agonizingly slow at getting back to normal, even with lots of specific training.

My biggest challenge during recovery was not to OVERDO. Several times I set myself back both physically and psychologically by being to anxious to recover. The weight training is the area that probably helped me the most, but also was the cause of setbacks. It is really hard to know when you are "training appropriately hard," versus "overtraining." I never really mastered that fine line. Overtraining was most likely to occur when I started to feel good again. My leg pain was minimal and I was feeling frisky. After a hard workout I would feel good, but the next day I was in lots of pain. Since I was motivated to recover ASAP, the overtraining was probably inevitable.

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