On coming back after surgery
By: Melissa Herman
I was increasingly unable to run without pain so I sought out the advice of Dr. Peter Loescher, an Upper Valley doc who specializes in athletic injuries like hips and knees at Alice Peck Day. He gave me some cortisone, which worked until I ran a 10K and my hip said, “uh...no.” Then we tried Orthovisc, but that didn’t do anything for me and eventually the reality of osteoarthritis due to hip dysplasia won out. So, I had a new hip installed by Dr. Wayne Moschetti at DHMC. Both doctors were great, and I’m THRILLED with my new hip. They said that 20% of hip replacement patients are able to run athletically again.
However, when I tried running again at 6 months post-op, it felt like wading through quicksand, achy and unpleasant. I couldn’t make myself go more than 1.5 miles at 12 min pace. I was really discouraged and figured I was not in the 20% category. Friends and relatives said, “running is bad for your body anyhow, give it up.”
But, I decided to give it one more shot before hanging up my track shoes so I showed up at the Under the Tree for the 5K and hitched my metaphorical wagon to an older gentleman going 11 min pace. I figured I would try to stick with him as long as I could and then either walk the rest of the way or call my husband to come fetch me. I ran the whole way!! My body decided that 11 min pace was normal and my achy legs just decided not to complain too loudly until after the race. When they did, it wasn’t the hip but the lower thigh and calf that were just not used to all that sustained exercise. It took about a few days to feel back to normal, but I have since learned that this is typical for athletes who have had to take a long time off for various reasons. Ramping back up takes time and effort. My body is not in the shape it once was but I am optimistic that I will get there with some perseverance.
See you on the course!