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Old 09-25-2015, 06:29 AM   #1
Cory Schmidgall
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Total Hip replacement

Good morning all,
I'm an CF athlete & L1 coach, I'm a week out from my first of 2 total hip replacements. My issues are hereditary and were fast forwarded due to my previous athletic background. Anywho, I'm curious if there are more of us out there that have returned to or are currently CrossFitters with 1 or 2 hip replacements?? I'm doing everything I can to get back safely and obviously I'll be scaling everything, just want to see if there are others out there for any advice or tips.
Thanks!
Coach Cory
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
Skip Chase
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Re: Total Hip replacement

Hi Cory.
I have 2 friends, Jesse Martin who is a Level 1 at CrossFit Anacortes in WA, and Brad Russell, a level 1 who lives in VA, I think. Jesse is in his 30's and had 1 hip replaced 2 years ago. Brad is in his 50's and also had 1 hip replaced.
Both recovered and rehabbed and are back to CrossFitting. If you are on facebook, you can friend me and search them on my friend list. I know they would both respond with any questions you may have.

Based on my personal experience, I can share with you some hope regarding 'life after joint replacement'. I've had 4 joint replacements, knees and shoulders.

Genetically, I have arthritis and couple it with a life of being a very active athlete with many injuries. When I discovered CrossFit in 2005 my knees were already bone on bone and I had my first knee replacement in 2008. Left shoulder in 2010 and right knee and right shoulder in 2012.

Thanks to CrossFit, I was able to enjoy the hope and faith that I would be back to 100% following rehab. Both of my doc's commented I would recover quickly thanks to the condition of my soft tissue.

I can honestly say my CrossFit training and the zone nutrition plan helped to accelerate my recovery. In 2012, when I had my knee in April and shoulder in August, my activity level decreased a lot that year, but I knew to dial back my zone blocks, and I didn't gain any unwanted weight. Also, the excellent nutrition contributed to my wellness and recovery.

Best wishes to you for a swift recovery.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:16 AM   #3
Cory Schmidgall
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Re: Total Hip replacement

Ok great thanks Skip!
Will be smart but can't wait to get back on it!
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:01 PM   #4
Sal Villani
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Re: Total Hip replacement

Hey Cory,

I had a THR in 2007 and started CF in May of '14 at 43 years old. The best advice I can give is to listen to your body and don't overdo it. More specifically, though, there are certain limitations that I embrace.

My doctor doesn't want me doing too much that would wear the joint down faster - no running, no jumping, no carrying of more than 40lbs for long distances, no bending at the hip greater than 90 degrees. I don't follow his advice that well. Instead, over the past year I strengthened the muscles around my hip and worked on reducing the scar tissue, all to be able to do all of the movements to some degree. And to have the muscles work to support and protect the hip joint. So far, so good.

I was seeing a private oly trainer to help with strength, who was also great at active release and stretching. My scar tissue reduced and my flexibility increased greatly. With the increased strength and flexibility, I felt more stable and in control of many of the movements. Now, I do most, if not all, of the movements and then scale accordingly to a my comfort level. For example, my short term goal was to squat 150lbs comfortably and with good form as a 1-3RM. I didn't push it, and over time, without even thinking about it, my 1RM increased to 250lbs and my 20 rep max is now at 190lbs. Again, this is comfortable for me. I am not pushing for a max as if I had 2 "good" hips.


Here's some general info on how I scale:
Squats - getting stronger, but I pull back a little because of the stress on the joint. A 55yo power lifter I know had a THR and still squats 400+. He has been helping me get deeper into the squat and I have no issues.

Deadlifts - this is a tough one. I am above 300lbs, but I tend to shift most of my weight onto my "good" leg - about a 65/35 split when the weight gets heavy. I could be close to 400lb, but it's not worth the stress on the joint.

Cleans/Snatches - I basically do power cleans/snatches. I am just starting to do squat cleans and snatches, but I have backed off on weight until I build up more strength. I am not comfortable with catching the weight in a full squat position yet. I do not aim for 1RMs with these.

Jumping - Step ups and not box jumps; no broad jumps; single-unders mainly. I just started double unders, but if I feel that I am jumping to hard, I back off to singles.

Running - I do run occasionally, but I scale to rowing.

Kettlebells - swings are great to build hip strength, but the movements have to be controlled.

Regarding rehab post-surgery: While I respect PTs for what they do, I have gone to a few highly recommended PTs for THRs, and honestly, for me, they were not aggressive enough and lacked an understanding of how the hip and pelvis tied into other body parts. Their goal was merely to strengthen the hip for a few weeks and get you out of there. This is 100% wrong. There is so much more that you and I (and others) as active people (not even CFers or athletes) should be doing that a PT does not teach - proper gait, stretching more than hip muscles, isolation, activation of minor muscle groups. I learned much of this since I started CF, in part do to my desire to stay injury free.

I hope this info helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to help.

Sal
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