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[RC] Total Hip Replacement - Phil Gardner

I was diagnosed with AVN in January of this year and had Bi-lateral hip replacement in May.  Both femur head had collapsed and I was on crutches for six months. It turns out that I also have AVN in both shoulders and two days before my hip surgery the ball of the left shoulder collapsed too. 


I was really lucky in the surgeon I had.  He told me that most doctors would tell me that I shouldn’t ride after the surgery, but he was doing the surgery so I could ride again.  So, I very carefully got on my most reliable horse 35 days following the double hip replacement and rode around our arena for 15 minuets.  I worked my way up to ridding 3 hours, then had the shoulder replaced in August.  Now I am starting to work my way up in riding again, I actually managed to take a horse out on the Tevis trail by myself the first time this week.


If you have AVN, you have two choices, be a cripple in constant pain or get the joints replaced.  The surgery isn’t easy, but is easier than living with a destroyed joint.  I still have some discomfort in my hips.  I have been told by others who had a hip replaced that it really takes a year before you feel normal again.  The range of motion in the artificial joints isn’t as great as with your natural joints.  My horses are going to have to become resigned to me dragging my leg across their rump when I mount and dismount.  I think that having water bottles on the cantle is a thing of the past, perhaps a camel back is the answer. 


Phil Gardner