Walking

Before surgery, I had a funny walk.  The top of my femur was jammed into my hip socket, so I couldn’t fully extend my left leg back during my stride.  As a result, I developed a pelvic tilt.  When I stepped forward with my right leg, my left butt would rise.  My wife said that I looked like a giraffe when I walked.  Below is a video of me walking the day before surgery:

My limp and shortened gait caused a nasty bit in the front of my hip, called the iliopsoas, to weaken and tighten.  Before surgery, I could barely move my left leg out to the side, so my groin is also tight.  But the hip resurfacing surgery improved the structure of my hip, so I am developing greater range of motion.  Physical therapy and disciplined exercise will make the muscles around my hip stronger and longer.  I am walking with a cane, and I still have a limp, but my stride feels better.  Below is a video of me walking three weeks after surgery:

Don, my PT, said I have to relearn how to walk.  He said that I should be purposeful when I walk.  I need to focus on keeping my hip forward while extending my left leg back and pushing off my big toe.  Don said walking is an important part of my recovery, but that I should not make it my main form of exercise until the muscles around my hip are stronger.  Otherwise, I may slide back into my old bad habits.  Fortunately, my hip feels good on a stationary bike, so I spin to keep in shape.

I hope that physical therapy, spinning and mindful walking will help me build enough strength and balance so that soon, I can lose my cane.  When I’m strong enough, I should be able to walk like this:

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