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Old 08-25-2022, 04:01 PM
hoyden hoyden is online now
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 110
Default RV-6 vs Hip Replacement Surgery

I am having left hip replacement surgery next Tuesday. I can imagine this will put a crimp in my flying. If you have had this done or know someone who has, can you share your experience with recovery and the process of getting back into the front seat? I will talk with the PT folks tomorrow. Stepping up on the wing is the most strenuous thing I do with that hip, and lately it has been quite sporting. But oh so worth it once I'm in. Maybe I need to practice stepping up on the wing with my right leg until things heal back.
RV-6 IO-360, CS
RV-9 QB fuselage
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Old 08-25-2022, 04:12 PM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 1,480

Best of luck to you. I’m confident that once you’re healed up from this operation, you’ll be in substantially less pain than you were before the operation.

You will likely be out of the airplane for a while. Partly because the mobility required to climb in/out and get yourself situated in the airplane, and largely because of your increased risk of deep vein thrombosis that will be exacerbated if you’re immobile, even something as simple as a one hour flight. A lot of your questions can be cleared up with an airplane-specific conversation with your orthopedist or staff, and perhaps more especially with the occupational therapist that will no doubt be a substantial part of your care.
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A (factory new), C/S
Dual Pmags
IFR equipped
AFS 5400/3500, G5, IFD440 navigator,
bunch of other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 08-25-2022 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 08-25-2022, 04:51 PM
Freemasm Freemasm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Orlando
Posts: 956

Attack the rehab and chances are it will have zero/near zero impact on your life. Our hockey goalie had the hips of an 80+ year old at 52 per the Ortho. That position plays **** with lower joints. He was in pain for years before that. Had both replaced two Octobers ago and was back on the ice, in goal the following February. Iíve had similar rehabs. It will hurt like a mofo but tear through that scar tissue and build the muscles back up and the odds are quite good youíll have that part of your life back.

My sincerest wish fo pr best of luck, Sir.
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:13 PM
daveyator daveyator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: adelaide, south australia
Posts: 219

Had my hip replaced last year, and can only say its the closest thing to a miracle I can imagine. Before surgery, I could not get onto my motorcycle, and could not see myself being able to ever get into a light aircraft again. I was at quite a low point. Within a couple of months I was back on the bike, and well motivated to complete my RV12.
A year later my only regret is putting up with the pain for so long. Good luck, and do the exercises😉
Cheers DaveH
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:18 PM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,679

You didn't mention the type canopy you have but if tip-up taildragger you may find pushing yourself up out of the seat to exit may be the most challenging. That first slide up the backrest requires pushing with feet and upper body strength. A slider is easier because you have handholds on the roll bar.

In any case, best wishes for a speedy and total recovery!
Sam Buchanan
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:41 PM
Jake14 Jake14 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 435

This may help
RV-14A flying 650 hrs
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:54 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 1,480

Originally Posted by Jake14 View Post
That thing is a great addition under any circumstances and I highly recommend it for anyone old enough to need hip surgery, even if they don’t need hip surgery. As great as that bar is though, I’m inclined to think that it wouldn’t be of much value in the post-op period after hip replacement surgery.
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A (factory new), C/S
Dual Pmags
IFR equipped
AFS 5400/3500, G5, IFD440 navigator,
bunch of other stuff
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:58 PM
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dpansier dpansier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Green Bay, WI (GRB)
Posts: 630

I had a hip replacement procedure called Super Path back in 2015, surgery on a Thursday morning, was up walking in the hallway by the afternoon and was released the following day. I rested over the weekend and was back doing normal things on Monday, I did have a 10 pound weight limit for a few weeks but no PT. Seven years later I would do it the same way.

Based on my experience, you will be out of the cockpit for 4 weeks.
Don Pansier
Green Bay, WI (GRB)

Antennas for Experimental Aircraft
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Old 08-25-2022, 06:49 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,839

I have no idea what a Super Path is but I had hip replacement surgery about 5 years ago and the first two weeks after surgery were pretty miserable although I was improving every day. You are going to need some help. I donít see you being back in the plane in less than 4 weeks and maybe not for 6-8 weeks.
Worth it in the end though. Hang in there
Santa Ynez, CA
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Old 08-25-2022, 07:36 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 3,267

I have to agree on the antisplat bar. It is the best option or extra I have installed on my plane. You will wonder why you didnt figure it out earlier and then be glad Alan did and made it so easy to install. Getting out is still a little like being born again but much easier!

And I got the cup holder too. I havent used that yet but it is there!
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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