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Hip replacement & dive training

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Hoomi, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Hoomi

    Hoomi Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson
    I guess she won't be disproving the adage that "middle-aged white women can't jump" at the local amateur 2 on 2 basketball tourney, eh? :D I tried teaching her tennis way back when we were first married, but her depth-perception is just off enough that managing to hit the ball was always a real challenge, and particularly the way her hip has felt for several years, running was already out of the question. Some days, she was doing good to just be able to walk (that was easier to understand when we saw the last x-ray they took before the surgery, and could see the femur almost all the way out of the hip socket).

    She does have good bone density, and one of the last x-rays taken after the surgery showed excellent bonding between the bone and the prosthesis.

    I might have more trouble diving with my beard than she will have with her hip.
  2. SoggyPretzel

    SoggyPretzel Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Orlando
    I don't see why this would be an issue. There is less stress on the hip joint underwater than while standing on land. If the extra weight during egress is an issue, she can learn to do an in water don and doff so she is not carrying the extra weight while under the effects of gravity. I think Alert Diver (the DAN publication) just did an article about diving with a back problem, and that is one of the things they recommended. DAN might be a good resource to ask, but definately give the surgeon the final word.
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Again, it's going to depend somewhat on her degree of rehabilitation AND the conditions under which she dives! Walking in and out of Puget Sound is not a high-impact activity, nor is reboarding our boats. Doing New Jersey wreck dives in 10 foot swells is probably not a good idea.

    The best person to make a recommendation is her orthopedic surgeon, I think.
  4. sberanek

    sberanek Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Champaign, IL
    I have a shoulder replacement, a pin in my right hip, and am in need of a total replacement on the left. I have a condition called avascular necrosis due to having to have been on steroids for my lupus. Basically, the steroids caused the blood vessels in the major joints to wither and die off, leading to lack of blood flow, leading to irreversable bone death.

    I haven't had any problems and even did my rescue course within 6 months of the shoulder replacement. Since I'm young, the doctors want to put off the replacment as long as possible. The pin hasn't caused me any problems and has sucessfully reinforced the right hip bone.

  5. fisherdvm

    fisherdvm Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    I agree, floating in the water poses no risk for any disabilities. My only worry is boarding and entry from a dive boat in rough water.

    Posing such a question to an orthopod is a little unfair if the man/woman has never walked off a dive boat in 4 foot sea. I guess the key point here is, diving is a risky sport. If you get hurt, don't blame the doctor.

    Sberanek, I guess I would be a little anxious with osteoporosis, hopefully you've had bone density testing done. I slipped and fell on a diveboat assisting my son once when a wave hit... My right hip still aches from a year ago. I have seen others hurt slipping and falling off diveboats before.... Clumsy folks like myself shouldn't be on a rocky dive boat, I guess.
  6. Hoomi

    Hoomi Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson
    I know there are very real risks to activities like Scuba diving. Even a strong, healthy, young person in prime shape can end up injured or killed by some freak occurence. It happens.

    I have a quote posted in my lab at work that says:

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - "WOW! What a ride!"

    Maybe part of this was watching The Bucket List recently, and starting to think, "If a doctor told me I had one year left to live, what would I want to do or try in that short time I had left?" and then thinking, "How do I know I have more than a year left anyway?"

    Last year at this time, none of us thought my Dad would be in hospice with only a few months left only a year later. He can't feed or dress himself any longer. He needs lots of help just to get from the bed to a wheelchair. I wonder sometimes what he wanted to do that was always put off for "someday", or held off because, "I might get hurt." Well, "someday" ain't gonna happen, and the cancer proved that you can stay "safe" in your home and still get hurt.

    Last night, I started discussing with my wife the idea of taking lessons, and she objected just a bit to the cost. She said it was too much to pay for her a birthday present, and I countered with the fact that we would both be taking lessons for that cost. We could call it my birthday present this year also, if we're that concerned with the money.

    I asked her, "Haven't you always wanted to learn to dive?"

    She said, "Ever since I was a kid."

    I told her so have I, since watching the Cousteau specials on television as a child. Heck, when I was a little kid, I wanted to join the Navy when I grew up because I thought every submarine had big picture windows in the front like the Seaview on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

    Do we wait until we suddenly find ourselves with a known, finite deadline for our Bucket Lists, or do we quit waiting for a someday that may not ever happen?

    So long as the surgeon doesn't give us a reason she shouldn't, I think we're going for it.
  7. fisherdvm

    fisherdvm Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    I guess when one say hip replacement, one should defined if it is a surface resurfacing like the Birmingham hip, if it is a metal to bone prosthesis, or if bone cement is used. As I understand, Mike Landis returned to competitive biking within a few months of his resurfacing and won like 2nd place. But the bulk of his bone is not removed.

    My wife's orthopod said that the longevity of the more recent hip prosthesis is better, as they do not use bone cement. He said the older ones has to be replaced as the cement comes lose, and they become unstable. He claimed that the newer ones are very sturdy, and that only the plastic cap needs to be replaced as they "wear" out.

    I guess if I had an artificial hip, and I am relatively young, I would want to milk as much time as possible from it. And if it means giving up diving off a dive boat - that would have to do. It took my wife almost 3 months to recover from her first hip (some folks are fully recovered in a few weeks), I am not sure I would ever push her into diving.

    But I can see diving in tropical weather with a 50 cu ft tank is not too bad. Especially if you are smart enough to remove your gears before entry and exit. I guess you better build up your biceps so you can help get her gears into and out of the water.
  8. Hoomi

    Hoomi Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson
    I just talked to her Orthopedist, and he said he doesn't see any reason why she shouldn't, and added that he thought it would be great exercise for her.

    It looks we have scuba lessons in our immediate future, and a Fiji trip in 2010.

    (Oh, and Fisher, I think you mean Floyd Landis, who had the top spot on the TdF podium in 2006, but lost the title on a doping allegation.)
  9. DepthCharge

    DepthCharge Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: upstate NY & Lake Worth Fl.
    I've had my hip replaced, (arthritis due to an old injury) was back to diving in 3 months. No problems doing it. Actually easier to put on my fins, more flexibility.
  10. rickyd

    rickyd Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    Osteoarthritis - the cartilage is thinning in both hip joints. I'm no where near where your wife was yet, but will get there in time - bone on bone. Right now, I can deal with it. At least I now know what the problem is. I just need to be cautious lifting weight - ladders/stairs and heavy unbalanced loads are a problem.

    I only boat dive - beach diving is not for me. So far, I'm OK getting into my gear and jumping. No problems during the dive, but I also have not been in any strong currents or swells exceeding about 4 feet since the hip problem surfaced. Getting back on the boat, I get out of my gear on the stern dive platform ( or in the water ), and have the deckhands take the gear and return it to my dive station. That way, I'm not navigating up a ladder on a moving boat with 80+#'s weight on my back.

    BTW - I leave a very good tip - more than I normally would - for all the extra assistance. The guys on the Peace have been great herein SoCal. I'm hoping the Spectre crew is just as accommodating on the 19th.

    I started diving at 50 - 6 years ago. Don't put it off ! ! ! ! I have no intention of letting a few parts that are wearing out stop me :wink:

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