Running again after Hip resurfacing

I'm 45 years old and been a competitive track athlete and road runner since my school days. I developed Osteoarthritis of the right hip about ten years ago, but saying that doctors believed that it was my back at first. A scan about 4 years ago proved it was my hip. The cartilage was gone that much I had bone rubbing on bone. Despite pain I carried on running until two years ago I had to pull up in two separate races the Nottingham and Bridlington halfs. And the most annoying thing was not being able to put my sock on!!! Anyway, I went and had my hip resurfaced this year 2nd January 2007 at Chapel Allerton hospital, Leeds, UK, by Mr. Emerton. I went for epidural and a date rape drug to knock me out! Yes a date rape drug! I woke up and couldn’t remember a thing. I didn’t have a hang over or feel sick it was great.
As for pain I have no osteo pain that was gone after the operation. I do ache from day to day, but that’s muscle just repairing all the time.
I do get twinges of pain within the scar area and down in my leg. This is not severe and will go away as things heal.
Before you read the rest of this, please listen to your doctor and physio's. Read what text they give you on, what you can do and what you can’t do after your operation especially for the first six weeks. You will see below I break their rules! And this is only because I’m an athlete. And I only weigh 65kg at 5 foot 8 inches high. Your post op progress depends on how fit you are when you go in for the op.
Oh and positive thinking too!

Here is my progress report from 2nd Jan till now 16th March 2007 (10 WEEKS)

Tue 2nd Jan: Operation / Wed 3rd out of bed and on two crutches walking on the ward. / Friday 5th Out of hospital, go home Monday 8th Jan drove my car (automatic) / Friday 12th Jan walked on two crutches 1.5 miles. / Sunday 14th walking with one crutch.
Monday 15th walking indoors without crutches. / Tue 16th Jan went to my local Gym, health club and did exercises and swimming!
Wednesday 17th had my first bath at home. / Monday 22nd Jan off crutches for good, not using a stick. / Saturday 3rd Feb went into the countryside and walked 2.5 miles. / Monday 12th Feb started running on the treadmill at gym! / Friday 16th Feb put my sock on myself for the first time in a year or two. / Tue 20th Feb ran 3 miles on the treadmill. /

Thursday 15th March: Ran 2 miles on the indoor track with split times per mile at, 7min: 58secs & 7min: 26secs

Next week I'm running outside on grass and hopefully we should be running between 4 and 6 miles. Once I get up to 6 miles I can think about doing a 10k race. I don’t expect to race as fast as I did (6 min miling) but just been able to run again is fantastic!
Two years back I thought my running days where over.

Hip resurfacing has given me my life back, I recommend Hip resurfacing to anyone with Osteoarthritis of the hip.


  • Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!
    therer are at least two people who will need to read this

    Nigel Coe

  • Well done, Dave!

    Thanks for telling us your story. Your experience should be tremendously helpful and encouraging to the many runners who are starting to get a bit of wear and tear in their joints.
  • Wow, that's amazing! You must be delighted with the results.

    I think you've hit the nail in the head with your comment on post op recovery depending on pre op fitness - it makes a massive difference to recovery (and also to how much pain you have afterwards, IMO!)
  • Swimming is not a problem too. I'm am able to swim the breast stroke.
    Two main 'exercises' that have played a big part in my recovery are 'Running in water'in the pool and the 'Cross trainer' (ski machine)in the gym. Doing these has built up muscle and stamina. I started doing these excersises 10 days after my operation. With help from my health club they have give me an excersise routine to do in the gym.Im working on my core muscles and legs. It's important to wake up several muscles after the operation. These are the gluteus minimus and Gluteus medius, wish can go to sleep. Mine are slowly waking up!
    The main thing with recovery and excersise is to 'LISTEN TO YOUR BODY'.
    I'm going out for my first outdoors run tomorrow (sun 18th March). It's going to be on grass. It's to early to run on hard ground just yet. Once I'm sure I have a nice bit of strong muscle in my legs then I will do a little bit on road. I think the main thing will be to train 80 to 90% off road on grass and dirt tracks. Let you know how my first outdoor run goes.
  • Sorry! you will notice that I have changed my ID name from dave Thompson3 to Runagain. Sorry for the confusion!
  • Dave did you find that they were unwilling to do anything to you because of your age and artificial bits eventually wearing out? i presume even a new surface will wear out eventually given enough use.
  • When I was first refered to the specialist he told me to stop running to cure my problem and to take tablets and did not mention about the resurfacing operation. I was in tears when he told me that. I then went online and did some searching for other folk having the same problems as me and discovered this operation called resurfacing. I went straight to my doctors and he agreed with me that it was for me. I had to prove to my specialist that I was a suitable candidate. I had pain all the time and could no longer run and walking for more than 30 mins was very painful. My doctor informed my specialist that I was a 'competitive runner' of which I was. It was also affecting my general day to day health, such as not being able to do home tasks such as hoovering, lifting, bending. I started drinking and putting wieght on too! All this was in my favour and ticked all the boxes for being suitable for the operation. They will not do it if your badly over weight! If your an athletic and sporty young person you should be ok.

    My surgeon has told me this joint will last me a life time despite me carry on running. Natural body fluids lubricate between the joint. The metals they use now have come on a long way since the 70's.This is a good site for anyone wanting info on Resurfacing:
    The Full hip replacement tends to wear down.
    The resurfacing procedure is may for 'high mileage'!!! lol
  • Hi Runagain,

    I'm an ameteur runner (don't like the term 'fun runner') who had a history of serious hip degeneration problems bought on by a fracture that never healed properly when I was 14. I'm 39 now and 4 years ago the hip joint had degenerated so much I had a hip resurfacing op. That was in February 2003.

    Physio progressed well so I entered a Race for Life in the July of 2003. Walked most of the course that year but was hooked from then on. Have done loads of different 5 and 10k races for charity. Never did much sport before the op so my improved fitness has been very noticeable!

    Good luck with the 10k when you get to that stage, Runagain, my next one is in May. I agree with you and would recommend the hip resurfacing to anyone with Osteoarthritis of the hip.

  • Hi Ness3, It's good to know that I'm not the only one back running again after 'Hip resurfacing'. How long was it after operation that you started to run?

    I was suppose to run outside today for the first time but the weather is terrible (Snow blizzards!) So I decided to just run 2 mile on the indoor track did it in a comfortable 14 mins 38 secs. So pleased with that. One thing I have done is to change my running method from long strides to shorter and faster strides. This means less impact, I'm sort of shuffling! lol. I know another chap that does this and he runs Sub 1:25 halfs and 36 for 10K's. He runs like that because his knees are very bad. It's like watching that cartoon ,Road Runner' Mi Mi! LOL. But it works.
  • dave,hi mate. Ive got the same problem as you had. ( have a look at my profile) I had yet another appointment to see a consultant 3 weeks ago but this time I saw dr roger hackney at nuffield hospital Leeds. As I've read alot about resurfacing he confirmed what I thought. He's suggested that I see the same guy who did your op. Did you get the op done privately or nhs????? If you can give me any more details about the proceedure I would very much appreciate it. I would like to follow up with information on the subject and be able to help other runners who may have this injury.
  • Hi Martin,
    I had mine done on the NHS. I Saw the specialist / surgeon (Mr Emerton)in October 2006 and had the operation 2nd jan 2007!!! How is that for speed! However, I did wait months and months for the first few referals to the specailst. first time I went I was told to stop running call it a day! 2nd visit I was told ok do running but go steady. After 3rd visit and putting my case to him how suitable I was for this op and that I would benefit from it, he decided I could have the op.

    As for details about the procedure you can watch a graphic video of an operation. Mr Emerton does the op slightly differantly, I think he uses less cement on the joint.
    If you go to this site and click on VIDEO's then Click on 'MIRAH 2004' then chose your internet speed and watch! It is graphic, but don't be put off! The only draw back is you are left with a biggish scar. Mine is 8 inches but shorts do just cover it up. Do you run near the Chevin? I'm up in Yeadon.
    If you go private it cost about £12,000! Mr Emerton does do private surgery I believe.
    Anymore questions please ask.
  • Here is the link to the Mc Minn site:
  • On that website go and look up CASE STUDIES and click on Peter Webb. That is very interesting!
  • Hi Runagain,

    I started running in the July 2003, so about 5 months after my op. I started with a run-walk program that was advised on the Cancer Research “Race for Life” website. Like you I started running on grass: Went to a local park that had nice grassy areas to run on.

    Because my right leg was 3cm shorter than my left one for many years prior to the op I had developed some pelvis deformity. My muscles are (even now!) quite weak and so my stride length is quite short. Am thinking about going back to my physio to get advice about stretching/exercises cos would really like to be able to run a 10k in under 50 minutes. 54 is my best so far so have a very long way to go!


    When I went to my consultant in the midlands in January 03 he told me there was a 12 month waiting list. Was suffering so much decided to pay for my op and got it done in the first week in Feb that year at the Nuffield at Leamington Spa. It cost about £9 ½ K. Worth it though!
  • dave, thks for the information it's a great help. it's cost me about 30,000 so far in lost earning (two years now off work> I'm a service engineer working from home with my office 2+ hours away. I did try and go back to work it lasted 3 days the pain was too much. The charges put to me for the op was 7 to 10 grand so that will tally with your figures. I'm hoping the company will pay but its a wait and see on that one with as time not being a priority with them. I can't even walk next weekend with my moutaineering club who are going to clapham north yorks. I will have to go to the pub instead.:0))))))
  • ness, I know where you are coming from with paying for the op.I've been messed about so much with consultants all I want to do is get fixed. it's just not work i'm missing all the social end of things have gone down the pan.I'm having to take pills for sleeping at night. glad to hear you're on the mend it give me hope. Keep in touchxxxxx
  • Sympathies MF3.

    I work as a Teacher in a Special School so needed to be mobile to carry on doing my job. When it got to the stage when I couldn't walk without a stick & I got knocked over a couple of times in the corridor (not deliberately, accidentally when kids had temper tantrums/ran down corridors without thinking) I decided I needed my hip fixing before I lost my job!
  • Sorry Martin - MF4! Yes the constant pain killer taking is aweful. Hope you get sorted soon x
  • Before the op for years I was taking pain killers etc, more especially on nights as this was the most painfull time for me. Although i took the tablets the pain was still getting through if you know what I mean. I was on Solpadol & Diclofenic.
    Getting out of bed was bad too, very stiff and not able to put my sock on. Only in my 40's I felt like a 80 year old. social things to like you say Martin too. Not being able to go on long walks with friends and family, not being able to kick a football with my lad. And work, well it affected badly. I became very moody, depressed and just couldnt cope with any problems and the running up and down stairs was just unbearable. So I left work. And then I started drinking beer and even more depressed. The most depressing thing was watching other runners runing past my front window! And reading online my friends race results!
    I understand what your going through martin.
    It's going to be such a great day for me when I do my 1st 10k this year.

    Ness3: 5 months that great! Lets see if i can do a 10k within 5 months.
  • PS, I'm aching from the run today now! hehe. Nothing serious, no pain. A nice bath will do the job!
  • dave, i'm going to clapham this weekend with our mountaineering club. I've told the group thatI'll be doing my own thing as I just can't take the walks that they will be doing. 2 years ago I was going to run the marathon and run the 3 peaks race the week after but in the end I did'nt as the pain in the groin was starting to get too much for me. It sounds like I'll be first in the pub so all isn't lost.:0)))))
  • Martin,
    Do four laps of the local beer garden up
    Just dont drink too much beer! Have a good weekend. I'm not doing anything for a week now as in morning I back in hospital!! Don't worry nothing to do with my hip. I'm having a pollip removed from inside my nose and all my sinus tubes cleaned and enlarged.
    I'm in total metltdown mode. Happens when you get in to your 40's I think. lol
    Now this operation is more painfull that the hip op I know as I had it done some years back.

    Hey tell ya what I might consider doing the three peaks next year. (running) Something to aim for. Anyway Im off now. Catch you maybe later in the week, if my op goes ok!

    take care.
  • Runagain & Ness3, thanks for posting about your experiences.

    I've found out about another guy who's had resurfacing: Cory Foulk. See He did a marathon three and a half weeks after surgury and an ironman 7 months after!
  • Sorry, I meant to give the link to a more detailed account of Cory Foulk's recovery:
  • And I got it wronmg about the marathon - it was at 3 months post op.
  • Wow, that's amazing!
  • Nigel, thanks for that link. Very interseting story about Cory, but I dont think its wise for me to do marathons anymore. That's waht caused the damage to in the first place. I'll stick to 5ks, 10Ks and the odd half marathon.

    I have just come out of hospital from a nose and sinus op today and told not to run or swim for 10 days or i'll have lots of nose bleeds! So thats put my shedule back now.
  • that sounds brill, I would be happy just to be able to do some walking ago without pain. I've just come back from the pool. why do I always get some fit girl swimming in the next lane??? It just means I've got to work harder. :0)))))
  • dave, got my appointment through to see mr emerton on the 18th. I'm going to push it to get me under the chopping block as soon as he can although the private insurance company will have to pay I hope. cc uu :0))))
  • Hi Martin,

    great news that is! Good luck with your appointment. Mr Emerton is a great guy and surgeon ofcourse. Let him know my progress for me please, if you get chance!

    My progress to date three months after my hip-op:

    I have just recovered from my sinus and nose operations, been out of action since my last posting.

    BUT... Yesturday 'Monday 2nd April' I ran two mile outside on grass for the first time since my hip-op on Jan 2nd. Then after being happy with that two miler I decided to run tonight 'Tue 4th April' to run for the first time on the pavement and road! I ran steady and completed 'Four mile' in 36 mins. Average speed 9 minute mileing. I ran the first mile in 8mins 14secs, but realised that was just too fast for me. I felt sore and aching when I got home. I have taken some pain killers to help. It's just a case of waiting till tomorrow to see if It's still sore. If it is then I will cut the speed down or even distance. Infact go back to just off road. It was just really a tester tonight. Im not going to do anything above that this week, maybe some training in the gym.

    Good going I think for 3 months in and a 4 miler in 36 mins. Im very pleased with my own progress, FEEL GOOD!LOL

    Stay tuned!
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