Running after Hip Resurfacing
How long before I can return to full impact activities like running?
I advise patients not to return to impact sport for 1 year after surgery. For those patients who want to road run, I get them running on a treadmill at 10 months post-op and they resume road running at 12 months post-op. My unit published on activity level after resurfacing some years ago in a group of patients who followed those rules. In young men with a single osteoarthritic hip resurfaced, 92 % played sport and 62 % played impact sport. The ladies were not quite as active, but you can see from the publication that they still had an impressive activity level. In the total group their 10 year implant survival is 99.8 % showing that high activity introduced at a sensible time does not deteriorate the results.
Patients can resume low impact sports (biking, swimming, walking, golf, etc.) as soon as they are comfortable. For high impact sports (jogging, tennis, basketball, etc.), I recommend waiting 6 months since this is the window when femoral neck fractures most commonly occur. This is an evolving area in resurfacing and I suspect this time frame may shorten in the future. However, I would rather not have my patients be the people experimenting with post-op activity limits. There are enough patients out there that want to push it and will define the safety limits for all of us.
Weight bearing as tolerated day 1. Crutches/walker until OK with a cane or no aids. Non impact exercises from Day 1. Hip precautions for one month. Non impact sports at 6 weeks (e.g. golf). Impact sports and running at 6 months.
Dr. De Smet
Golf and aerobic gym exercises at 6 weeks. Begin impact sports and running gradually at 6 months. Extreme activities such as competitive soccer, skydiving, double black diamond skiing, ice hockey with contact at 1 year. I have patients who have returned to virtually every sport.
I advise my patients not to run or engage in high impact for 6 months post-operatively. The femoral neck regains its strength at that point in time.
6 months. After six months, patients are allowed to return to all sports. Patients have returned to running, skiing, tennis, basketball, softball, bowling, handball, soccer.
Typically, patients can run again at approximately three to four and a half months after surgery, but this is a patient to patient variability and it really depends on how strong their hips are and before they can do these activities, I like a certain baseline level of strength approximately ten pounds of 30 reps on each hip of the major muscle groups and that both hips are symmetrical. We don't yet know the long term effects of these sports (past 7 years) but I encourage patients to regularly exercise their hip muscles to unload the joint if they are going to participate
The best sports in my opinion are less impact---swimming, bicycling, elliptical----these are probably fine---the higher impact sports are more likely to lower the lifespan of any implant. I don't encourage running but the patients do it anyway--in one of our studies we found that 30% of patients returned to high impact sports--tennis, running, etc. after any hip arthroplasty Many patients resume skiing and hunting after resurfacing. I’m not a fan of skiing because of the problems with a potential fall but I have many patients that ski anyway---for more personal answer would have to contact me. Hockey is always pretty contact so hard to gauge---would have to see x-rays but probably waiting 6 months does not change cysts appreciably but again one needs to know what x-rays look like today--if cysts already well formed this could decrease chance--most cysts are miniscule and this would be an irrelevant factor.
I like patients to wait 6 months for impact sports to allow the bone time to remodel following the procedure. Starting to soon risks a stress fracture in the femoral neck. Once the bone is fully healed I allow full activity without restrictions. I have had patients return to running, cycling, skating, skiing, swimming, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. To see a video of me playing hockey with one of my resurfacing patients go to the following link. Tom Dolan's story. It was filmed by another of my resurfacing patients who you can see walking limp free in the stands.
Start impact activities at 6 weeks. Participate in impact sports after 3 months. No restrictions. All sports – you name it! One patient has even played basketball against me – and I don’t advise that for the faint of heart!
You may begin to play tennis, golf, and cycle outdoors at about 6-8 weeks postoperative. I like you to remember that the hip is still healing at this point, and heavy lifting over 50 lbs and impact activities should be avoided until you are 6 months postop. After 6 months postoperative, I remove all activity restrictions; it's your hip!
I generally try to have the patient avoid running and performing high impact sports for six months. Any activity needs to be individualized to the particular patient. This often depends on their bony architecture, muscle conditioning and overall health. Regarding the sports that I do not want my patient to participate in after surgery, again I tend to individualize it to the specific patient and their particular level of expertise. If the patient has not performed very extreme sports prior to resurfacing, I probably would not recommend that they begin afterwards because of the risk of potential injury. Patients have returned to many activities including full court basketball, running, jogging, martial arts, yoga, cycling as well as motorcycle riding and motocross racing.