Public High Lakes Forum Trail Blazers Seeking input regarding off trail hiking after hip replaceme

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    • #82075

      As a 62 year old off trail hiking enthusiast trying to decide whether or not to have hip replacement surgery, I was hoping I could connect up with someone in the Trail Blazers who has had a hip replacement who can give me a “real life” idea of what level of hiking I should be able to do after having this sugery. I would greatly appreciate any input anyone could provide. I can be contacted at:

      Dick Schwartz

    • #89006
      Sandy McKean

      I can’t tell you much, but I can tell you that once a couple of years ago I was coming down the Ira Spring trail after having x-countried in that general area. Near the parking area, I overtook a woman in her 70’s who was also coming down. I decided to walk the short way to the cars with her even tho I was moving somewhat faster than her. She was doing great, just a little slow. It turned out that she had BOTH knees replaced in the relatively recent past. She loved hiking and wasn’t about to give it up. She had not been to the top of Bandera or anything, but she did say that she had just done 2000′ vertical that day!

    • #89007
      Bob Burnell


      It’s unfortunate that you have hip degeneration and pain. I do have some good news for you however. I had to have my hip rebuilt a couple years back and now have unrestricted, pain free mobility with the new hip .

      Many have very good results with total hip replacement (THR) and I was about to have that done. I spent a fair amount of time researching to find out how well people recovered from their procedures. After extensive research (there are forums dedicated to this topic) I discovered there was another / newer process that made more sense for me. The procedure I had is called hip resurfacing. It replaces the ball and socket but does not sacrifice your femur (THR does) and preserves your natural geometry. Hip resurfacing is still major surgery but the recovery is relatively quick standing / walking same day. Stairs by day 2. This procedure is still not mainstream in the states but has become much more widely accepted recently. Most insurance companies are now considering it a reimbursable treatment (not the case just a few years ago). Hip resurfacing has been used with significant success in Europe and India for the last 15 – 20 years. We are very fortunate to have a pioneer of this process in the NW (Dr. James Pritchett). Many have travelled abroad at their own expense to have hip resurfacing done rather than THR.

      The link below is to a site that specializes in this procedure and has great a x-ray that shows a patient with one THR and one resurfaced hip. The difference is clear and this site discusses the pros and cons of both.

      Some specifics regarding recovery and limitations:
      I started walking in days, hiking within weeks and was pretty much free to resume normal activity including strenuous / off trail hiking/back packing within 90 days. I chose to skip one season of snow skiing after surgery. I have skied for 2 seasons including a significant amount of off trail and the hip presents no problems at all. The reason I’m going on about the skiing is it that it is harder on the hip than even the most difficult of backpacking (at least for me).

      I will send you an e-mail also but wanted to post this in case anyone else is faced with this decision.
      Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more info.

      Good luck and I truly hope this helps


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