4 days and functioning after a hip replacement

4 days and functioning after a hip replacement

Being a former college athlete, it was a natural choice for me to go into my line of work as a fitness/personal trainer and gym owner. I’ve been fortunate enough to develop a career that has spanned over 25 years (and counting.) I have always been in tune with my body, but given the physical nature of both my work and personal life, it’s normal to have wear and tear. About 10 years ago, I started noticing a discomfort in both of my hips. Being used to soreness and post-workout recovery, I just ignored it, made slight adjustments in my workouts and daily routine and proceeded with life as usual.

Skip ahead to the beginning of this year, and that discomfort I had over the years gradually changed to a high level of pain, which became difficult to ignore. After a few doctor visits, several x-rays and a severe osteoarthritis diagnosis for both hips, the decision whether to have my hips replaced became first and foremost in my mind and led me to Dr. Ritesh Shah at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.

Naturally, my number one concern was the post-surgery down time and how long my recovery would keep me out of work.  With living expenses and two approaching college tuitions, an extended absence from my job was out of the question. I also had significant concerns about a lengthy break from my workouts and from the many physical aspects of my everyday life. In addition to that, there was always the worry of risks that go along with any major surgery, which made the decision to proceed with my left hip arthroplasty a difficult one.

If I only knew then what I know now…

Let me put it this way: The decision to have my right (other) hip replaced in two months was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.

My journey

I decided to document my recovery in a video diary highlighting the first 14 days after my surgery. I wanted to have a truthful and honest record of the highs and lows post-surgery, both as a personal reminder for myself and for those who might be considering joint replacement surgery.

Within a matter of hours after the surgery, I was walking without the help of someone else. The next day, I was climbing stairs. And I was back at my labor-intensive job full time in four days. By day ten, I was even shooting hoops with my son.

I expected to recover quickly, but even I was surprised at how easy it was. In fact, I was relatively pain-free the whole time. I chose to go easy on the pain medication, and even without it, the pain level could only be described as minimal – that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some discomfort.

Engaged in my care

I personally attribute my very quick recovery to a few factors:

  1. The skill and training of the medical staff at Advocate Health Care, in particular, Dr. Ritesh Shah.
  2. My pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery rehab.
  3. My good physical condition and positive mental attitude.
  4. My willingness to get up and move right away.

I would like to say to all those considering or debating a hip replacement that my experience was nothing short of excellent.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely! And I plan on it. My right hip replacement surgery is in just two months. I just wish I would have done it sooner!

Watch my journey below.

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  1. No question, this guy and his recovery are amazing. But a word of caution from someone who had the same surgery, with Dr. Shah, 2 weeks ago today. While I am 10+ yrs older than him, and not a lifelong athlete, I would hate to think a person facing hip replacement should expect this quick recovery. Dr. Shah is an amazing surgeon, and definately gives you the confidence that your recovery will be quicker than with the standard hip replacement surgery (Dr. Shah does a new, less invasive procedure) I am no where close to this guy’s stage of recovery. Every day is a little better, and i feel stronger today than i did a week ago. Being positive and having an amazing PT person and nurse also aids recovery. So, if you, or someone you know will be having hip replacement surgery, my advice is to work at your own pace in recovery. Be positive, and know that all your hard work will pay off.

  2. Great chronicle and highly motivating, thank you for sharing. It would be great if you could provide an update with regards to the types of leg exercises you now perform.

  3. Karen A Witkowski October 4, 2021 at 12:53 pm · Reply

    I am a 63 year old competitive female triathlete who is scheduled for right hip replacement this Friday. I have been able to stay distracted until this week. I find myself depressed every time I read through the pre/post surgical literature. I ran a half marathon 10 days ago. I do realize that everyone is different but this blog/video was so encouraging as there really isn’t a rehab protocol for high level athletes. I have a PT that will work with me. I will be sending her this video. Thanks so much for sharing and bringing some hope to me!

  4. What a load of garbage.
    Don’t expect to be able to do much at all for the first week after hip replacement surgery.
    You will have intense pain, zero mobility, loss of appetite, nausea , struggle to use the loo, struggle to get washed, dresses etc

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About the Author

Goran Mladenovic
Goran Mladenovic

Goran Mladenovic is a 52 years old husband, father of two and owner and head personal trainer at his gym in Glenview, Illinois. On April 25th, 2017, he underwent surgery for a complete left hip replacement.