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View Full Version : Recovery & Swimming After Hip Arthroscopy



ElaineK
November 25th, 2014, 09:03 PM
Have any of you had hip arthroscopy? If so, I would be interested in hearing your experience post-op. I would like your suggestions on how to keep fit before I am allowed to return to the pool, and I am interested to hear what your return to swimming was like after recovery.

My surgery (psoas release and possible labral tear) is scheduled for December 17, and I was told it would probably be three weeks before I am allowed to return to swimming (no kicking allowed), 3-4 months before I can return to full swimming, and 5 months before I can return to competition. How does this compare to your experience?

Thanks!

mmlr38
November 26th, 2014, 11:33 AM
A member of our team just had hip arthroscopy last year to repair a torn labrum. If you're interested, I could put you in contact with her (if so, send me a private message and I'll get you her email.). I don't have any personal experience with this procedure, but I believe she did some stationary biking fairly soon after the surgery and was back in the water in about a month. As you mention, I think she was told not to do much kicking and that she should never do breast stroke kick.

ElaineK
November 26th, 2014, 07:02 PM
A member of our team just had hip arthroscopy last year to repair a torn labrum. If you're interested, I could put you in contact with her (if so, send me a private message and I'll get you her email.). I don't have any personal experience with this procedure, but I believe she did some stationary biking fairly soon after the surgery and was back in the water in about a month. As you mention, I think she was told not to do much kicking and that she should never do breast stroke kick.

Thanks! I just sent you a PM with my e-mail address. Yeah, I have a feeling my frog days are over for a loooong time. :sad:

mmlr38
November 28th, 2014, 01:48 PM
Got it! I just sent an email to Hailey and copied you in on it, Elaine.

ElaineK
November 28th, 2014, 04:23 PM
Got it! I just sent an email to Hailey and copied you in on it, Elaine.

Thanks, Fly Trap! I'll check it out now...

drjohnmullen
November 29th, 2014, 04:43 PM
I'm a physical therapist and have worked with a few swimmers returning from hip labral repair. Recovery depends what type if labral tear you have for adequate recovery times. Overall, breaststroke kicking will be the toughest kick to restore after surgery and may always cause some discomfort.

ElaineK
November 30th, 2014, 10:04 PM
Got it! I just sent an email to Hailey and copied you in on it, Elaine.
Thanks so much for getting me in touch with Hailey. We talked on the phone, and she gave me a lot of helpful information. Thanks, Fly Trap!


I'm a physical therapist and have worked with a few swimmers returning from hip labral repair. Recovery depends what type if labral tear you have for adequate recovery times. Overall, breaststroke kicking will be the toughest kick to restore after surgery and may always cause some discomfort.

Yeah, I have a feeling my frog days are over for a long time. :toohurt:

Allen Stark
December 1st, 2014, 09:52 AM
Thanks so much for getting me in touch with Hailey. We talked on the phone, and she gave me a lot of helpful information. Thanks, Fly Trap!



Yeah, I have a feeling my frog days are over for a long time. :toohurt:

Once a frog,always a frog,even if you can't swim like one(hopefully just for awhile.) I am sure recovering will be challenging,but I have faith in you.

orca1946
December 1st, 2014, 12:10 PM
My hip surgeries have caused my to really think about every inch of the frog kick. I have actually gotten better from just legal to OK now!!

mmlr38
December 1st, 2014, 01:26 PM
I'm glad to hear that you were able to get in touch with Hailey and that she gave you some good info!

Hailey does do breaststroke on occasion now, so hopefully you're able to make a full recovery and get back to swimming like a frog as well :)

orca1946
December 2nd, 2014, 02:41 PM
Elaine - keep us posted after the day of repair/replacement .Best wishes for you!!!

Sojerz
December 2nd, 2014, 04:27 PM
Good luck Elaine - hope they are able to successfully repair the labrum, and that you are able to regain your kick. Will be a good chance to work on the other strokes.

ElaineK
December 2nd, 2014, 06:01 PM
Once a frog,always a frog,even if you can't swim like one(hopefully just for awhile.) I am sure recovering will be challenging,but I have faith in you.

:bighug: Thanks, K.F.! :angel:


I'm glad to hear that you were able to get in touch with Hailey and that she gave you some good info!

Hailey does do breaststroke on occasion now, so hopefully you're able to make a full recovery and get back to swimming like a frog as well :)
Thanks, Fly Trap! I sure hope so! :groovy:


Elaine - keep us posted after the day of repair/replacement .Best wishes for you!!!
Thanks, Orca! I appreciate it!



Good luck Elaine - hope they are able to successfully repair the labrum, and that you are able to regain your kick. Will be a good chance to work on the other strokes.

I haven't been able to kick breaststroke for the past two months, so I've been working the most on freestyle. Running on 3 cylinders makes backstroke more difficult as well, but surprisingly, fly is fine as long as I don't kick hard and just let my legs flow.

Thanks for your good luck wishes!

Bobinator
December 6th, 2014, 09:17 AM
Good luck with your surgery Elaine! I will be sending positive vibes your way!

ElaineK
December 6th, 2014, 03:31 PM
Good luck with your surgery Elaine! I will be sending positive vibes your way!

Thanks, Bobinator! :D

moodyrichardson
December 8th, 2014, 04:34 PM
Good luck and a speedy recovery Elaine!!

ElaineK
December 8th, 2014, 06:18 PM
Good luck and a speedy recovery Elaine!!

Thanks, Moody! I read about your FLOG on the other thread. Congratulations on your 400 miles this year! My goal was 425, but I'll have to settle for just short of 400.

moodyrichardson
December 9th, 2014, 11:39 AM
Thanks, Moody! I read about your FLOG on the other thread. Congratulations on your 400 miles this year! My goal was 425, but I'll have to settle for just short of 400.

Will I see you in Atlanta next weekend?

ElaineK
December 9th, 2014, 07:21 PM
Will I see you in Atlanta next weekend?

I'll be there! :bliss: My surgeon said I wouldn't do any structural damage by competing this weekend. Pain will be my guide as to how hard I can push it. I haven't been able to race or train race-pace since the Georgia Senior Games in September, and breaststroke kicking is completely out. My "race" pace will be at about my 3K pace, and my surgeon wrote a note to give Ed Saltzman saying I will not be able to kick breaststroke in the 400 IM or 100 IM.

I signed up for 10 events, and I hope to complete all of them. All I need to do to finish out (and win ) the Georgia Championship/ Grand Prix (whatever it's now called) Series is legally finish one race, and I'll win for the third year in a row. At this point, I don't want to lose!

See you at Georgia Tech! :banana:

ElaineK
December 18th, 2014, 04:20 AM
https://elaineiakstravels.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/goin-down-in-a-blaze-of-glory-post-mordem/

The link above is a recap of my previous post. Moody, it was great seeing you there, even if it was for a brief greeting at the blocks!

Yesterday, I had my surgery, and the doctor said it was a success. :applaud: There was indeed a labral tear and a lot of inflammation in the labrum, so he did a repair in addition to the psoas tendon release.

I feel fine when I don't move my leg and hip, but trying to walk on :toohurt:is excrutiatingly painful. Thankfully, I have a rolling office chair and hard flooring throughout our house, so I'm scooting around quite well! Now, if I can just figure out how to walk on my crutches without having to move or lift my right leg, I can get to the gym and use the SciFit machine for an arm spin. ​:dunno:

Swimosaur
December 18th, 2014, 08:05 AM
Yesterday, I had my surgery, and the doctor said it was a success. :applaud:

Excellent news, Elaine! May your recovery be swift and as painless as possible!

Bobinator
December 18th, 2014, 08:41 AM
Yay Elaine! Listen to your Doctor and recover patiently and in the way he/she prescribes you to do. Good luck!

Swimspire
December 18th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Hi Elaine, good luck with your recovery! See if you can work with your doctor on finding out what you might eventually be able to do in the pool so you can stay active without compromising the healing process. Keep us posted!

orca1946
December 18th, 2014, 11:13 AM
Stay out of the water until incision is healed - you DO NOT want an infection!!! Do your rehab & exercise gently until given the go ahead.

mmlr38
December 18th, 2014, 11:37 AM
So glad to hear that the surgery was successful! Now the healing process begins. Recovery isn't necessarily fun, but it is a process and a challenge at which I'm sure you'll be very successful with your great attitude!

ElaineK
December 18th, 2014, 11:48 AM
Excellent news, Elaine! May your recovery be swift and as painless as possible!

Thanks, Swimosaur!


Yay Elaine! Listen to your Doctor and recover patiently and in the way he/she prescribes you to do. Good luck!

Thanks Bobinator! I am a very good patient (I had to be, because my father was a doctor; I learned well.) :agree: I do exactly as I am told, but I do push it as far as I am allowed. For example, I asked when I could return to the gym and work my shoulders on the SciFit machine (it's like a bicycle for the arms). I also wanted to know when I could do my rotator cuff physical therapy exercises. My doctor said, "As soon as you feel up to it." I replied, "How about the day after my surgery?" He said I wouldn't want to, but if I felt up to it, go right ahead. Guess where I was this morning? :D I figured out that if I rest my right foot on top of my left, I could get around on my crutches relatively pain-free. I'm now 13 hours out since my last Percocet, and I only took two yesterday. My surgeon did an awesome job!


Hi Elaine, good luck with your recovery! See if you can work with your doctor on finding out what you might eventually be able to do in the pool so you can stay active without compromising the healing process. Keep us posted!

Thanks, Swim'! I discussed this with my doctor and physical therapist before surgery, so a plan is in place. I won't be able to get back in the water until my stitches are removed and my doc gives me the go-ahead; I see him on January 2 for that. At that point, I can get in the water, but I won't be allowed to kick for 3-4 months. It will also be two months before I am allowed to start strengthening my hip in PT. He estimates I will be able to start competing in 5 months, but it looks like I'll have to miss the National Senior Games in July. Three of my qualifying events were breaststroke, and that will be the last thing I will be able to do in swimming. (I haven't been able to kick breaststroke since September.)

As soon as I can get back in the water, I plan on doing feet first scull, breaststroke pull with no kick, water walking with a breaststroke pull, and maybe mix in some Noodler toys for some variety.


Stay out of the water until incision is healed - you DO NOT want an infection!!! Do your rehab & exercise gently until given the go ahead. See above; I got it covered! ;)

pmccoy
December 18th, 2014, 02:06 PM
He estimates I will be able to start competing in 5 months,Gonna miss you in Auburn (again :badday:) but I'm glad everything went well and you are on the way to recovery.

Allen Stark
December 18th, 2014, 02:09 PM
I am glad the surgery went well. I hope your recovery is swift and complete.

ElaineK
December 18th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Gonna miss you in Auburn (again :badday:) but I'm glad everything went well and you are on the way to recovery.

I'm really bummed about missing that meet again! It has always been one of my favorites, especially because that's where I met you, your teammates, and Swimosaur. Connor Bailey always does a fabulous job running the meet, too.

Thanks for your message, Peter! Please pass along my best holiday wishes to your team. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family, too!


I am glad the surgery went well. I hope your recovery is swift and complete.
Thanks, King Frog! Hey, I was talking with Skip (Frank Thompson) at the St. Nick's meet, and I learned all about the "King Frog" that came before you. I had no idea there WAS one before you! To me, you are the one and only "King Frog". :D

Happy holidays to you and your Seal Girl! I hope she is doing well!

orca1946
December 19th, 2014, 12:47 AM
You have us on the forum to lean on!!

Bill Sive
December 19th, 2014, 08:44 AM
Elaine,

Glad to read you are doing well.
Speedy recovery.

Holiday Wishes,

ElaineK
December 19th, 2014, 12:26 PM
You have us on the forum to lean on!!

:bighug:


Elaine,

Glad to read you are doing well.
Speedy recovery.

Holiday Wishes,

Thanks, Orca and Bill! Best wishes to you both for a happy holiday season!

orca1946
December 31st, 2014, 06:03 PM
How are you doing Elaine? By the time you read this it will be 2015 a new year for you & all of us to have a better year!!!

ElaineK
December 31st, 2014, 07:17 PM
How are you doing Elaine? By the time you read this it will be 2015 a new year for you & all of us to have a better year!!!

I beat you to it; we're not there yet! Thanks so much for checking in; I appreciate your concern. :agree:

It seems like my recovery is going better than what I was told to expect, so I'm a happy camper! :ohyeah: The pain has been less than expected; I took far less than the Oxycodone I was prescribed. I'm now just taking Aleve and doing just fine with an ice pack if I start feeling a little sore.

On Friday, I get my stitches out and get to return to the pool (no kicking). :bliss:

Happy New Year, Orca! :party2:

Allen Stark
December 31st, 2014, 08:30 PM
That is good news.Heal fast !

mmlr38
December 31st, 2014, 10:05 PM
So happy to hear about your healing success, Elaine! Keep it up! I know you'll be back in the water in no time :)

orca1946
January 1st, 2015, 11:57 AM
I also weaned myself of the oxi within 2 weeks after my many operations. Good stuff in the beginning, but it has some side effects that are not so good. A hint - 1st time back in the water - just stand there & feel the presence of the water around you. It's like a hug from a good friend! Take it easy starting back. You're whole body took a shock & will return, it takes time. I really need to meet you at some national meet. I missed you at Mesa nationals.

ElaineK
January 1st, 2015, 05:55 PM
That is good news.Heal fast !


So happy to hear about your healing success, Elaine! Keep it up! I know you'll be back in the water in no time :)

Thanks, guys! :D

Bobinator
January 1st, 2015, 05:58 PM
Happy 2015 Elaine! You're going to have a great year!

ElaineK
January 1st, 2015, 06:05 PM
I also weaned myself of the oxi within 2 weeks after my many operations. Good stuff in the beginning, but it has some side effects that are not so good. A hint - 1st time back in the water - just stand there & feel the presence of the water around you. It's like a hug from a good friend! Take it easy starting back. You're whole body took a shock & will return, it takes time. I really need to meet you at some national meet. I missed you at Mesa nationals.

Oh, I will, and I plan on giving it a BIG hug back! :bliss:

Our community's indoor pool is just on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows that divide it from the gym. Every day, I've been in the gym using the SciFit arm cycling machine, and I just stare at the water. The few times there was somebody swimming, I just stared at them with envy. (Although, I was happy for them, I would have preferred being in their lane instead!)

I will be very careful! Before my operation, pain prevented me from kicking, so I got pretty good at just pulling all of my strokes and using my good hip and leg for balance. It should be an easy adjustment when I return to the pool; however I'll probably just swim freestyle for quite awhile to be safe.

Yeah, we messed up at Mesa! We should have met then. Perhaps sometime in the future we'll cross paths (or lanes!).

orca1946
January 3rd, 2015, 01:01 PM
Nationals in 2016 I age up so I will be going up . is it N carolina?

ElaineK
January 3rd, 2015, 02:18 PM
Nationals in 2016 I age up so I will be going up . is it N carolina?

Yep! See you there! :cheerleader:

2016 Nationwide U.S. Masters Swimming Spring National ChampionshipGreensboro Aquatic Center (http://www.greensboroaquaticcenter.com/), Greensboro, North Carolina
April 28 - May 1, 2016
Short Course Yards

2016 U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship
Mount Hood Community College (http://www.mhcc.edu/aquatics.aspx), Gresham, Oregon
August 18-21, 2016 (preliminary)
Long Course Meters

orca1946
January 4th, 2015, 02:15 PM
COOL ! I age up to 70 OMG !!! I'm getting old but still am at it!

moodyrichardson
January 6th, 2015, 11:59 AM
Hey Elaine! How is it going? Have you been in the pool, since you got your stitches removed? Hope your progress is going well!!

ElaineK
January 6th, 2015, 03:47 PM
Hey Elaine! How is it going? Have you been in the pool, since you got your stitches removed? Hope your progress is going well!!

Yep! I posted on the "Swim Happy" page. My first day back was Saturday, and I've been in each day since then. :D Since I won't be permitted to kick for another 3 months, I am doing all my yardage pulling and sculling. I'm only putting in 2,000/day to save my shoulders, but they are 2,000 yards of pure heaven! :bliss: After my swims, I do my PT exercises, including a lot of rotator cuff exercises to keep my shoulders healthy. They're going to have to carry the load for quite awhile yet. :weightlifter:

Thanks for your post, Moody. I appreciate you checking in and wishing me well! :agree:

__steve__
January 6th, 2015, 03:57 PM
Welcome back to the water, be careful on your shoulders ;)

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2015, 09:24 PM
Isn't water great. When I was rehabbing my shoulder, I did 2 weeks of drylands only. That seemed fine at the time, but when I got back in the water I felt home.

Bobinator
January 6th, 2015, 10:02 PM
I'm happy to hear you're back in the water Elaine! Enjoy, be smart, and you'll be back sooner than predicted I'm sure!!

ElaineK
January 6th, 2015, 10:17 PM
Isn't water great. When I was rehabbing my shoulder, I did 2 weeks of drylands only. That seemed fine at the time, but when I got back in the water I felt home.


I'm happy to hear you're back in the water Elaine! Enjoy, be smart, and you'll be back sooner than predicted I'm sure!!

Thanks, Steve, King Frog, and Bobinator! It IS great to be "home" again, and I will be very careful not to screw it up! :agree: I definitely won't be walking miles around Montreal (or anywhere else!) any time soon. :nono:

orca1946
January 7th, 2015, 11:26 AM
I'm glad to see you are back home in the water.Please don't overwork your shoulders.

ElaineK
January 7th, 2015, 05:08 PM
I'm glad to see you are back home in the water.Please don't overwork your shoulders.

Thanks, Orca! I'll be careful, I promise. :D

orca1946
January 7th, 2015, 07:19 PM
Well, I'm not going to practice tonight in Elgin, il. It's -2 right now and going down to -13 at midnight!!! I'll do extra at the gym on thur.

ElaineK
February 3rd, 2015, 06:54 PM
I posted this to my blog on January 28. It's all good! :D
http://elaineiakstravels.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/hip-hip-hooray/

Bobinator
February 3rd, 2015, 10:14 PM
I posted this to my blog on January 28. It's all good! :D
http://elaineiakstravels.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/hip-hip-hooray/


I'm glad to hear you're doing well and back in the pool Elaine! This is great news!

Queen
February 4th, 2015, 08:29 AM
So glad you're doing well! Really not looking forward to my surgery... but you give me hope that it can be better when I'm done.

I feel like this now :cane: but hope to feel like this :bliss: very soon!

Sojerz
February 4th, 2015, 03:53 PM
Good to hear Elaine - you'll be bench pressing Volvos when your done!

ElaineK
February 4th, 2015, 04:01 PM
I'm glad to hear you're doing well and back in the pool Elaine! This is great news!

Thanks, Bobinator! :D


So glad you're doing well! Really not looking forward to my surgery... but you give me hope that it can be better when I'm done.

I feel like this now :cane: but hope to feel like this :bliss: very soon!

Good luck with your surgery, Queen. Just make sure you do exactly what the doc and physical therapist says to do (and not do), and you'll be back before you know it! :agree:


Good to hear Elaine - you'll be bench pressing Volvos when your done!

:lmao:

ElaineK
March 8th, 2015, 02:48 PM
This will be my next Wordpress blog post:

Gettin’ My Kick On

Farewell, pull buoy, it’s time to get my kick on! You became my new best friend on January 3 when Dr. Andrachuk said I could return to the pool after hip arthroscopy surgery, “…but NO KICKING!”

On February 9th at my follow up appointment, Doc gave me the green light to start working with my physical therapist, Chip Ransom on a more advanced strengthening-focused program. Still, though, I was told I had to wait another month before I could add hip extension with resistance to my program. My blue and white-striped pull buoy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pull_buoy) would have to continue being my pool buddy for another four weeks.

“Is it March 9th yet?” Not to rush time (It’s already going by fast enough!), but that was the question I felt like asking each day leading up to the magic day my legs would be allowed to do their horizontal happy dance.

Don’t get me wrong. Any day I can be in the pool doing anything is a happy day. It has been pure joy, even if I had to create an entirely new framework for what a “best time” was for a practice race. Swimming a best time with only my upper body is entirely different than having all four limbs running full steam ahead. My pull buoy best time for my 500 yard freestyle is 50 seconds slower. It didn’t matter, though; it was just as exciting to hit the wall and look up at my watch at a new best pull buoy time as it was when I was running on all four cylinders.

In memory of my last two months of rehab, here’s a look back by the numbers:

2,000 – The total number of yards I swam each day, averaging six days per week. Even if I felt like swimming more, I limited my yardage to protect my shoulders. (Swimming with a pull buoy and no kick is ALL shoulders.)

200 – The maximum number of total yards I swim butterfly for the same reason.

55 – Miles I have swum since I was allowed back in the water on January 3rd.

51 - Days I have swum since my first plunge back in the pool.

45-60 – The number of minutes I average each day doing my physical therapy exercises for both lower and upper body.

45 – The number of repetitions I do of each exercise.

30 – The number of different exercises I learned in PT that I added to my master list to pick and choose from on any given day.

1 – The number of shoulder-friendly stroke revisions I made to reduce stress on my rotator cuffs. I adopted the Scapular Plane Swimming Technique which emphasizes keeping the hands and arms within my peripheral vision at all times. On recovery, the elbow stays lower to the water but is still kept higher than the wrist.

0 – The number injuries I sustained while training exclusively upper body with a pull buoy and no kick.

:bliss:

__steve__
March 8th, 2015, 03:09 PM
Keep it up. Have fun tomorrow!

ElaineK
March 8th, 2015, 04:24 PM
Keep it up. Have fun tomorrow!

Thanks, Steve, Iwill! :ohyeah:

orca1946
March 8th, 2015, 11:29 PM
Swim long and prosper!

ElaineK
March 9th, 2015, 09:41 PM
Swim long and prosper!

Thanks, Orca! :D

moodyrichardson
March 13th, 2015, 12:11 PM
Glad that you are back to full power! Are you going to Spring Nats?

ElaineK
March 13th, 2015, 10:34 PM
Glad that you are back to full power! Are you going to Spring Nats?

Thanks, Moody! I wouldn't say I'm back to full power just yet. I'm running on four cylinders; however, I'm running more like a cheap American gutless wonder :help: rather than a zippy sports car :bolt:! My times are slowww. :whiteflag:

Since my doctor said I can't compete until May, and breaststroke kicking will have to wait even longer, I'll have to miss Spring Nats. :badday: Instead, my first meet back will be a funky little Senior Games meet in Gwinnett County. I'll have to use a dolphin kick for breaststroke (as I did for St. Nick's), and I won't be pushing it 100% yet.

Have a blast in San Antonio, Moody, and good luck! :cheerleader: