Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Not So Hip

I've been fortunate in my life that, except in a few rare cases, reality has been better than my expectations. So when i went to an orthopedic specialist on Tuesday, even though my expectations were that i had some structural damage and might need surgery, i was mildly stunned to hear that i have degenerative osteoarthritis and my only real option at this point is hip replacement surgery.

From the x-ray it was pretty clear that the cartilage is gone from my left hip and i have bone against bone. The bone has been in contact long enough that cysts and spurs have begun to form. There doesn't seem to be any ameliorative therapy for this.

Most significantly for me personally, this essentially ends my marathon career, and certainly ends my quest for a sub 3-hour time. At this point i am not sure that i will be able to run at all, and I don't know how much if any of my martial arts i will be able to continue.

Needless to say i'm a bit depressed about this-- being the crazy runner guy has been my identity for the last several years. The brochures on hip replacement talk about how you'll be able to return to activities like bowling, golf, or shuffleboard; which makes me want to scream and throw things. I could do those things with one good leg. Still, given my nature i expect that i will find some new activity (biking, swimming, etc.) that i can pursue to ridiculous degrees.


Inky said...

Sorry to hear about your OA. Happened much the same to me. Went to the doctor saying my hip hurt and a few months later I had a new hip.
The brochures are like that because the average age for a hip replacement is 71. Though as techniques improve the age will lower. Hope by then they'll have updated the info.
And yeah you'll find something else - have no fear - just make sure it low impact :)

J said...

Sorry to hear that, Mike.

Make sure you get a second and even a third opinion before undertaking such a serious procedure. Even if they all tell you the same thing, it will help avoid mental traps down the road wondering whether it was really necessary.