Most of you know I had a mini hip replacement last year. Since then, I have met quite a few women - of all ages - who do my barre class with a hip replacement or post-hip surgery of some nature.
I have been very fortunate to teach Kathryn's mum weekly and when Kathryn came to my class, my first observance was that she obviously had dance training. She is super flexible, elegant and disciplined in her moves. Her alignment and technique are so impressive! Kathryn has had a double hip surgery and she's still in her mid-20s.
The beauty of modern hip replacements is that they are for life. No need to go back for "servicing"! And you can still move like a dream. I hope you find Kathryn's story inspiring and if nothing else, that you consider your hips today and thank them for all the things you can do because they work.
Cat: Can you explain what procedures you've had done on your hips?
Kathryn: I started with a physio at a pilates studio to help strengthen my muscles.
One doctor told me I just needed strength training, another sports doctor told me I would need bolts in my hips and put me on the highest dose of Voltaren for a few weeks.
|image from balletballetballet.tumblr.com|
After both surgeries, I went through 'rehab' strengthening the muscles in my bum which were extremely weak.
When did you first notice a problem and what was the process of diagnosis?
I used to dance but I stopped during year 12 (2009). I decided to take it up again the next year (2010). I initially thought the pain was just because I hadn't danced in a while but then it got to the point where I couldn't do anything without feeling pain.
What was your fitness and activity routine like prior to surgery?
I used to dance regularly, and go to the gym on weekends. Not being able to do this was very hard. And being told by earlier doctors and physios that I would never be able to move properly again was horrible.
However when I met my surgeon, he reassured me I would get back to full function and I did :) (minus dancing)
I felt I gained a much greater appreciation for my body and my awareness of muscles and movement. Did you experience this, or were you already very aware?
I have so much more awareness of my body and what it can and can't take. Because I have shallow hip sockets which caused they think caused the damaged, I had a great deal of flexibility which I initially thought was normal. However after surgery, after them tightening my hips, it took me a while to get used to it and realise that it was more normal than what I felt before.
Are there activities you avoid now as a result of surgery?
I avoid running (although this was part of my recovery), only because I don't like it. However the impact on concrete does effect me eventually.
I don't avoid anything I just may not go 'flat out' or to the full extent. For example, in standing lunges, that really deep bend in my hip as well as having to hold my body weight eventually impacts my hip.
I still have to be careful and conscious of the muscles I use, because I know I still have a tendency to clench the front of my hip rather than activating my bum muscles.
Favourite places and teachers for yoga and pilates?
I go to One Hot Yoga for hot yoga, reformer pilates, and recently started hot mat pilates. All teachers there are great!
(Cat's note: Check out One Hot Yoga!)
Favourite 3 yoga poses?
I don't do yoga as much as I used to because I'm loving reformer pilates. In pilates I love all the leg and ab stuff.
In yoga, I like warrior 2, side plank, and pigeon pose
What would you tell anyone with a very active lifestyle (like us!) who may require this operation and feels fearful or confused about it?
It's such a scary thing to confront, especially being young. But I would recommend it to everyone, but also finding a physio and surgeon that will do what is best for you. I still have some pain sometimes, but no where near what I experienced before surgery. It's worth the few months of surgery then recovery for a future that doesn't involve a hip replacement!!