Thank one of the regulars on another forum for pointing this thread out to me
My story - I had a displaced hip when I was 13 (I'm now 34) - the soft part of my femur had collapsed and buckled under the strain of me growing, and this caused the hip to dislocate. Cutting a long story short, they relocated it and pinned it, with the pins themselves being removed a couple of years later.
Over the last 20 years, it deteriorated slowly at first, and then far faster. By last summer, it had got to a point where the hip and socket had virtually completely fused, and the pain and discomfort was getting out of control. I couldn't drive for more than 30 mins or so without needing a break to "free" it, walking for more than one hour was not possible, I was looking for excuses to not do the various hobbies I have (diving, 4x4ing, etc - I'm an ex-mountain biker but we'll get to that!) and basically I had had enough. Plane journeys were torture, sitting down for more than 30 mins at a time was agony - it went on and on.
I had a full hip replacement at the end of August and would recommend it without reserve. Timeline - I was up and walking with a walking frame 2 hours after the operation, and was told I could come home the day after.
I was only using one crutch 2 days after the operation, and then one week later was using a walking stick. Within the next couple of weeks I was walking unaided. OK, I was limping as the muscles were weak from a) being cut and b) not being used in the last few years for support (the joint had fused, it was self-supporting!) but they're far stronger now.
The improvement in quality of life has been incredible - all the activities that most people take for granted have now been returned to me after a long time, and it's negated any need to consume anti-inflammatories en masse like I used to, so that's good news for my stomach.
The hip is not a particularly difficult item to replace - it's a fairly basic hinge, if you like, and is very accessible. I think my operation took 2 hours or so but my condition was very severe.
The technology is now so impressive that there is every chance the hip will not need replacing. Surgeons are reluctant to say this but it's true. Previously, the hip balls used in the implants were undersized compared to a normal hip, and would wear and get loose, then need further replacement. In the last few years, the large-head metal-on-metal hip has made this far less of a concern - the hip ball is larger than a fist and is stronger than the ones you were born with !
It should also resist wear very well - previously implants would have their own lubrication which could wear out, but this one uses your body's own fluids so it shouldn't be an issue. I was concerned about dislocation as this was one of the reasons I was reluctant to get the operation done - the surgeon told me that if I really, really wanted to, like pushing my left foot against my right thigh in an effort to dislocate it, even when the operation was just complete it would be next to impossible, and now it's set (i.e any time after 4 weeks) it's as close to impossible as makes no difference.
Impact sports ? They're not recommended but within reason shouldn't be a problem (one person I know with the same type of hip implant as me is a serious triathlete, and it hasn't slowed her down at all, which also answers the question of whether you can run on it). Cycling is fine as it's non-loadbearing but to be honest I would be hesitant to ski, snowboard, etc on it - but that's just me. I want to look after it a bit !! I can't see a couple of weeks snowboarding each year doing that much long-term harm to it.
Seriously - the game has moved on - these implants are not to be compared to old technology, and that's one thing I would advise people to be mindful of when they research this operation. Concerns that were relevant as recent as 5 years ago may simply not be relevant any more. Ignore the internet and speak to a reputable surgeon.
Cycling is one of the main things I had to give up with my previous hip issues, and that is no longer a concern, so I might be back on here looking for buying tips having been out of the game for so long !
Any questions - let me know. But the whole experience has been nothing but positive.