Dislocated hip following hip replacement.

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 Anthony Hirst 04 Sep 2021

I am having a full hip replacement next week. Having spoken with a number of climbers who have had the operation I am very posotive about returning to climbing. However yesterday I spoke with a climber wo is an orthopedic surgeon and he made me aware that there is a possibility of dislocating the joint. Has anyone who has had a hip replacement had a dislocation through climbing.


Tony Hirst

In reply to Anthony Hirst:

I had a similar concern a couple of years ago - my surgeon demonstrated that it would be challenging to dislocate a modern hip prosthesis (larger head than used to be used). The biggest concern is immediately post-surgery and this depends on the approach used. I actually had "no hip precautions" after surgery, which made me quite happy.  

 petemeads 04 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

I have a 6 year old metal resurfacing (big ball) and a 4 year old ceramic/ceramic replacement (medium ball) and with both I was bouldering carefully at 8 weeks and jogging. There are forums for hippies, both American, HipRunner and SurfaceHippy and dislocation is almost never mentioned, I can only remember one unfortunate who had serial dislocations but he was already operated on multiple times.

It seems to be a rule not to bend beyond 90 degrees for the first few months but many surgeons do not bother to advise this nowadays - and the pain would probably stop you anyway early in your recovery.

I could detect my ceramic bearing 'floating' a tiny bit whilst sitting a few days after the op but this went away very quickly - that leg was lengthened by 4 or 5 mm, maybe as a way of keeping the ligaments/tendons with a bit of extra tension to avoid dislocation?

None of my acquaintances has had a dislocation despite being active climbers or bikers. I seem to be the only one that has carried on running to any extent - most people's surgeons advise against running but mine said I would not be able to break my ceramic hip!

Good luck!

 jon 04 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

Get your surgeon to show you a prosthesis and to demonstrate how it can become dislocated. If it dislocates easily, go elsewhere and choose another type. As pneame says, modern prostheses with large dia heads are very difficult to dislocate. I have both right (2010) and left (2019) and have tried very hard to dislocate them without success! It's a very successful operation that will simply change your life. 

 Moacs 04 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

I had left hip replaced just over 2 years ago.  I think if you just do what your body naturally allows, you'll be fine.  I was shown the position thyey put your legs in to insert it (which is also the easiest way for it to come out) - imagine a sitting position with back and calves vertical and thighs horizontal.  Now lift the foot in the plane of the claves (i.e. outwards). above 50o is dangerous.  I've decided not to ski anymore as this is the likely action of catching an inside edge. As I don't fly anymore anyway, it's no biggie.  Climbing, even wide bridges, is fine as long as I put my foot into position in a controlled way.  I don't boulder, because I don't want uncontrolled falls.

Overall, an absolutely brilliant, life-changing op.

 Bob Kemp 04 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

When I got my hip replaced the only advice from my consultant (who was a climber too) for climbing was to avoid stepping through (across my good leg) and up with the outside edge of my foot above knee height. (I'm sure there's a name for this move...)

 Ian Carr 04 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

As with all the other positive comments....

Operation before Xmas and climbing after three months. I’m now stronger on the mechanical side. Did endless exercises in the recovery period especially glute work.

I’ve had the advice of a ‘possible’ dislocation  for a very high step. But I’ve just learned to do things differently. Likewise, I’ve also been warned not to do cross through moves as that puts the new joint at its mechanical limits.

hope it goes well for you...

In reply to Anthony Hirst:

My mum had a hip replacement and she was told that certain movements risk dislocation such as crossing your legs. Find out what those specific patterns to avoid are for you and avoid them! Work your climbing around that. Best wishes with the op

In reply to petemeads:

Gentlemen we can rebuild him, faster, stronger,...


 Jenny C 05 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

A friend (very modest climber but keen kayaker) was concerned, but also reassured when told that the pain involved in dislocating the hip was such that there was pretty much zero chance that it would pop out accidentally in normal activity (obviously a traumatic fall would be a different matter).

 HB1 05 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

Like many others on here I find l have no real problems with my hip replacement. In fact I like it so much l'm thinking l might have the other one done sometime. I run off-road regularly and trip up quite often. So (nearly 4 years) far so - good luck!

 Anthony Hirst 07 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

Thanks to everyone who has replied to my topic with advice and support. Looking forward to rehabilitation and climbing again.



 Matt Clifton 08 Sep 2021
In reply to Anthony Hirst:

Like most others I've been fine since a THR at end 2017 - i was told not to step inside but TBH it's been fine when I've done that.

The only climbing move i felt discomfort on/ wouldn't now do was torquing off a foot look in a horizontal break.  Cycling (road) is fine (but it was pre-op anyway for me.  Like anything the greater damage is more likely from a fall - i now use a clip stick to reduce risk of a groundfall.

For me rehab was really positive and it was an immediate improvement on the pre-op organic hip.

Good luck

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