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Broke my hip socket – Any advice for the future?
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Broke my hip socket – Any advice for the future?

Hi to all,

I had a skiing accident in 2000 and broke my right hip socket (Acetabulum) at age 20. During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon (Prof. Thierry Judet) fixed me up by inserting 10 x 3.5cm screws with two metal plates (see attached xrays). During the next 6 months, I would spend my days in physical re-education to strengthen my leg muscles and relearn to walk. In my bad luck, I had been lucky as I was able to walk again and continue to have a normal life.


Twelve years later in 2012, my accident hasn't really negatively impacted my life but I'm starting to feel pain and it's worrying me. The doctor has prescribed Clonac 50mg tablets (http://www.itsmyhealth.com.au/medicines/clonac). It relieves pain and reduces inflammation and I think it works as the pain disappears for at least 15 hours.

The surgeon hasn't really explained much about what physical activities were recommended or not after my surgery. Prof. Thierry Judet told me “You can continue your life same as before”. From what I read, the worst would be jumping or running. Walking, swimming or bicycling would not worsen my condition but I would appreciate if someone could confirm that. Could I really do one hour of bicycling every day (I ride to work) without it having an impact on my hip socket? In my situation, isn't all movement and friction bad in some way? The more the femoral head rubs against the acetabulum, the more damage is created to the cartilage in between?

I am quite an active guy and must often decline to go hiking in the mountains because I'm afraid to accelerate the deterioration of my hip socket. Should I be worried by doing intensive efforts such as hiking or walking long distances?

I understand I will need a hip replacement in my lifetime and it is a major surgery. How much mobility will I regain after? Walking should be ok but will I have to completely give up activities such as hiking? In terms of pain, when would I know it’s time to get the hip replacement surgery?

I'm currently traveling in Australia for a year but when I return to Montreal, Canada, I will get an MRI and see what the orthopedic specialist says. Xrays do not give you the full picture. There's not much they can do except prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory medicine, right?

What should be my strategy for the future? My objective is to delay as much as possible the hip replacement surgery.

Thank you so much for your help & responses!
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