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Skiing after hip replacement? Anyone have any experience?

Hey Ballers, looking for a little advice from the community. Briefly, my situation is like this. 45 years old, avid slalom skier living in the Northeast and doing a little tricking for fun once in a while. Skiing into 38 and just starting to get through it once in a while. Without a doubt I will need to have a hip replacement before I am 50 years old, realistically I am probably ready for it now but just trying to hold it off as long as I can. Does anyone have any experience with skiing slalom after a hip replacement? If so, I would love to learn of your experiences. Thanks in advance.


  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,127 Mega Baller
    One of the guys in our club has his hip replaced last August. 57 years old. He was back into 38 off this year and back at Nationals. It has been very successful for him. He was in great pain before and seems as good as new now. I think if you asked him, he would say do it. But, I also know that he spent a bit of time looking for the right orthopedic surgeon that would carefully consider his intention to continue in this sport. I believe he found that doctor.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller

    I had hip replacements both sides: Right in 2005 and Left in 2011. Since I'm older (born 1942),
    I probably took longer to come back to water and snow skiing. For the first one, I let it go for
    years and years, until I had to walk with a crutch. Don't do that. Hope you have good insurance,
    as it takes a good bite out of $50,000. for everything. 2nd one was Medicare, so that covered
    maybe 97%.
    There is a newer technique, where they don't go in so far back, and it's called the "anterior"
    method, or something like that. Smaller scar, less muscle damage, faster healing. Think that
    Lucky Lowe had it done that way. You might get out of the hospital about the 3rd day. They
    get you putting weight on it rather quickly. Then, don't neglect the post-op rehab. And watch
    how you move around, particularly on stairs, ice, etc. Or you can have a fall and dislocate it.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,297 Mega Baller
    If you haven't checked into stem cell injection, you should before you go replacement. My friend's wife just had one replaced and one injected at Jacksonville Mayo Clinic. They did a ton of research on it. They will screen you to see if injection will work or not. 70% success rate of done. (They are probably pretty picky).

    She says they were off the chart for taking care of her.
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 88 Baller
    I've had both replaced (total, posterior) 4 years ago at the age of 48. I couldn't deal with the pain and not sleeping anymore. After I had them done I wished I had done it sooner. As far as skiing I'm a 15 off guy. Skied the course for the first time this past June. I had to take one year off for recovery. I followed rehab to a tee and have had no problems at all. I ski 2 X a day every weekend. The only thing I can't do is run. Never liked it anyway.
  • DekeDeke Posts: 398 Baller
    @slalom frog I had both hips done 12 weeks apart a year ago at 57 with the anterior approach. Initial recovery is very fast, though I had some muscular imbalance issues a year out that I am still working on. I say initial recovery is fast because you will be out of pain and gaining range of motion immediately, but it takes a while to get up to full strength and you can't really rush it. That said, I was ice skating in 5 weeks from each surgery. I was waterskiing again 12 weeks from the 2nd surgery. Playing ice hockey and snow skiing 6 months from the 2nd surgery. Much of the timing was based on the season because my doctor gave the go ahead for anything at 12 weeks. Admittedly, I am not at your level at waterskiing, but I don't see how it can be an issue if you take the time to rehab. The greatest positive with the anterior approach is that there is much lower risk of dislocation and they are not cutting through any of your muscles.

    Feel free to PM me.
  • slalom frogslalom frog Posts: 107 Baller
    @Deke Thank you very much for your feedback. Your situation is very similar to mine in the fact that you play hockey and waterski. Those are my primary 2 activities and timing recovery of the surgery would play a role when I schedule. About 10 years ago I had a "preventative" surgery on my left hip to slow down the degradation, as I have the same condition with both hips. I must say that the left hip is doing very well and does not bother me. My right hip though is progressing just as the doctor predicted, that I would have a replacement before I am 50. Unfortunately I waited too long to move forward with the preventative process on my left hip, rendering it to a point where it was not salvageable.

    Thank you to everyone for their contributions. It is nice to hear that there should still be waterskiing after hip replacement!
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    I need a new hip. I'm delaying it as long as I can. I'm glad I did. A couple days ago I hooked an edge fast on a T5. The release was a bit slow and I got pretty stretched. I'm sore today but I hope I can still perform well in the upcoming tournament. The fall might have dislocated or broken a replacement hip. Of course, a few more falls like that and I'll be forced to get a new hip.

    I can still sleep OK at night and am 100% on hand tricks (on good days) so I might not be as acute as you. I'll have to quit high level tricking when I get the hip. It might help my slalom as I really hurt now and I can't get close to my "normal" starting speed any more.

  • dbresseldbressel Posts: 39 Baller
    Underwent a left THR August 25, 2015. At 48 years old it was not on my list of things to do. Was told to hold out as long as possible and wait till 60. My skiing went from running regular 35's to not being able to get out of the water (L foot forward skier). I did all the therapy, had the MRI's, etc. Running, power walking was out of the question and cycling on flats was OK; but hills and standing-up over RR Tracks were very difficult. Swimming was really my only form of cardio. Got to the point that climbing stairs was difficult and yard work would take me out. I would be up at night with hip pain, and or knee pain. I have two sons 8 & 14 years old and the thought of not being able to just walk around Disneyland or anywhere with them was just crazy @ 48 years old. I gave-up on the skiing as just getting out of the water was to difficult. Now finding a Dr was another chore. I had some tell me; well, you know you will never ski again, you are grey on the outside and grey on the inside, If you cannot walk, then join a gym and swim. Their are allot of negative people in the profession. I finally ran into a friend who recently had a THR and was skiing again at 6 months with no issues. I met with Dr. Lannin in Palo Alto who was awesome. One of the things he actually said was --- "you want to ski again dont you". My reply was -that would be great, but really, I would be happy just to walk around with my kids at Disneyland (you can tell I am West Coast). Now, I am in the recovery phase and doing all the rehab and hope to start skiing again in 6 months. Good Luck!
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 88 Baller
    @Dekes & slalom frog interesting that you both play hockey. I also played. I was a goaltender and that was the main cause of my early hip degeneration.

    One small consideration is to request surgical adhesive (they my all use it now) instead of staples. You can shower immediately after you get home without worrying about covering up the incision.
  • slalom frogslalom frog Posts: 107 Baller
    @m_pags I as well played goalie. Stopped playing about 4 years ago because just the basic stance bothered me. I still skate out.
  • pwdrskipwdrski Posts: 19 Baller
    You'll be able to ski again, snow and water. The main thing is doing your rehab post surgery religiously! You need to get everything healed and strong again. It's a bear at first but push through it and you'll be back on the water pain free.
  • DekeDeke Posts: 398 Baller
    @m_pags the more I learn from my PT the more I'm finding that hockey or skating is pretty rough on the hips. Especially goalie! It is still a great sport and honestly it's why I got my hips done. Like @dbressel I got to where I could hardly walk, let alone do sports. And, it came on quickly so my decision was easy. Get my life back now and do stuff I can at my age or just be miserable and settle for just riding "it" out.
  • mopowpowmopowpow Posts: 318 Baller
    What @A_B said.... Check into stem cell therapy. My sister was told she needed hip replacement, and had stem cell therapy done last spring. She said it's the best her hip has been in a long time! She had her procedure done in Minneapolis. One warning, most insurance doesn't cover it yet.
  • DekeDeke Posts: 398 Baller
    @slalom frog I skated looong after I could barely walk. As in, I could hardly get home after playing. Not being able to skate was when my decision was made.
  • DekeDeke Posts: 398 Baller
    @dbressel I guess I was lucky. I considered two different surgeons and neither discouraged me from continuing any of my sports. Maybe I'll need revision surgery one day, but really the whole purpose is to live like the age you are. If you didn't do anything you'd be 90 right now. Good on you for doing it. Now be patient and stick with your PT.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    My wife skis after hip replacement. No issues at all.
    Jim Ross
  • waterskicoreywaterskicorey Posts: 137 Baller
    I had mine right hip done May 27 so it is 14 weeks post surgery today. I have not skied yet, was told to wait 6 months but have been riding my bike for the last 7 weeks every day for an hour, it's the best thing I ever did. I'm 53 and my PB is [email protected] and I plan on running it next year. Was told by my surgeon I would have no limitations, could do whatever I wanted, as long as I let it heal and get stronger. My advice is don't wait any longer, like I said it's the best thing I ever did, as I was in a lot of pain.
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 88 Baller
    I just had a 4 year follow up with X-rays last Thursday. Surgeon's comments: "Rock Solid, Virtually No Wear and Great range of motion". I have DePuy implants with ceramic ball with polyethylene sleeve (socket).
  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 165 Baller
    Well I am about to join the hip replacement club.
    Full Right hip replacement (back leg on ski) Surgery in a few weeks.
    Being this thread is 5 years old I was wondering if there were more recent ballers that have had this surgery and returned to skiing.
    If you returned to skiing how long of a recovery before you skied again.
    Any information, comments or encouragement will be appreciated.
    oldmanskier (Tom Smothers)

  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 428 Solid Baller
    Tom, I had BHR on Oct 7, 2019 by Dr. Thomas Gross in Columbia SC. Started skiing some in May this year. I now have zero limitations and often forget that I had the hip done. Dr. Gross' website is really informative; might want to check it out.

    I took opiate pain meds for one day to cover the ride home. Thereafter, only Tylenol. Pain was tolerable.

    The worst part of the whole thing was after surgery when the nurse said that if I didn't pee in the next 20 minutes, I was getting a catheter. I stayed in the bathroom 21 minutes trying my best to squeeze out a drop. I even no avail. Fortunately, I was still high on the pre surgical cocktail.

    @liquid d had his hip done and won Nationals following year. He was kind enough to discuss it with me and his positive vibe really helped me embrace moving ahead with it.

  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 165 Baller
    Thanks for the information.
    I live in Chattanooga and have a very good ortho hip doc here.
    He only does knee’s and hips.
    He did both of my wife’s knee’s and she skies without issue but she does not run the course.
    A guy in our club had a full replacement a few years ago and says no problem skiing.
    But he skies 30 mph 15 off so not much load.
    Thanks again for the information.
    I do not know how close you are to Chattanooga but if ever down this way stop by for a pull.
    Private lake called No Wake lake and I am one of the owners.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 561 Crazy Baller
    My buddy (now 62) had one done in the last 5 yrs; skis in to 32 off, 32mph. I am overdue for one as well. My doc said I could resume skiing in 12-16 weeks and said I could do everything I can do now; only difference is it won't hurt anymore.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,314 Mega Baller
    Don't sweat it. I waited 4 months to ski..just didn't want to press it. I was 75% at about 6 months. I had the BHR , so they go through the butt, and that muscle is the thing that takes the longest to get strength back. By 9 months i was running in softball like i did 10 years earlier. At the 1 year mark, it was as if it never happened.
  • TLABTLAB Posts: 4 Baller
    You will likely forget you had it done. I had a full HR ( anterior) on my front leg last July. Could have skied by Oct. but waited till March. First round of my first tournament this June scored 2 @ 41. Follow your Dr.'s instructions and you'll be fine.
  • slalom frogslalom frog Posts: 107 Baller
    I'm scheduled to have my hip replaced in late November. Reading this thread that I started 5 years ago is making me question which option is better for me: a traditional replacement or a "resurfacing" procedure? Any thoughts?
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 561 Crazy Baller
    @slalom frog I would leave that decision for your trusted surgeon to make with you.
  • BigGerald3BigGerald3 Posts: 51 Baller
    It depends on your X-ray findings, leg lengths etc.
    Most Orthopedic Surgeons do not do resurfacing. Head to SC and get an appt or PM me a pic of your xrays
  • BS74BS74 Posts: 44 Baller
    I had my left hip replaced in 2005. First, he got the leg length wrong and it was 1/2 in. too long (that really messed up my balance till I got used to it) Over a period of 11 years, I dislocated it 11 times. The bottom line is he botched it ( my new surgeons words) ! In 2016 I went to another surgeon and he took x-rays of hip and found that the cup was off by 27degrees. I went to another surgeon and he confirmed the 27 degrees. I had the hip redone in 2016 and it was a complete success and now my legs are the same length. (they only replaced the ball and socket as the ball is detachable. The thigh implant did not have to be replaced.) (balance affected again) I have no pain, no dislocations and now don't even thing abut it. I'm not trying to scare you but rather to let you know the importance on checking out the surgeons background and his success rate. In my first replacement I had to go to a doctor in my healthcare plan, a limiting factor. I'm sure they now more robotics to get things right. Lastly, in my last replacement the surgeon told me he had a newer "ball" that mey be more forgiving for our activity. It is a smaller ball inside a larger ball, thus, giving more flexbility. Most of the people I know did not have my problems, they had a better surgeon.
  • BS74BS74 Posts: 44 Baller
    Sorry misspelled a few words and it wouldn't let me edit. You will be fine, good luck!
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 428 Solid Baller
    @slalom frog There is much misinformation about BHR. Most surgeons do not do it and do not know how to to do it. After researching it, I decided it was the superior option for me. I sought out Dr. Thomas Gross in Columbia SC. Wow what a positive experience. His site explains the procedure very well.
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