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MC Hammer

Forging and Hip Relacement

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I know it's a bit personal to ask, but has anyone had hip replacement surgery and kept on forging?  Is it a career ender for blacksmiths or does it prevent an older guy from taking up smithing?  I figure this group is big enough that someone here must know or at least know another smith that had hip replacement surgery.

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I'm 32 and have had 4 hip surgeries. 1 being a replacement on my left leg. I started forging about 4 weeks afterwards. Very slowly and tender, but I did it. I had a right hip surgery 6 weeks after the left replacement. I waited 3 months and went back to work. I shoe horses full time. It'll let you know when you step or twist wrong. Have at it!!

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MC

I am a learning hobby smith.  Did my hip a little over a year ago.  It was bone on bone and hurt most of the time.  I started back forging about 2 weeks after I got home VERY gently ( self defense).  I could stand at the forge mid-summer for 8-10 hours on Saterday and go back out Sunday for some more.  Before it was about 4-5 hours and I was done (totally)for the weekend. My full time gig is construction sales.  Walking on wet muddy job sites, on and off scaffolding, up and down sometimes having to carry 80-100lbs of product.  My bad hip was taking its toll.  I find it hard to believe this would be a career ending surgery.  At least in my case my activity has gone way up my weight down and my give a darn has come back.  I can go for my 8-10 hrs real job and play in the shop at night?  Do your self a big favor and go get it done now.  I'm 56 and wish I had not put it off as long as I did.  Do all of the rehab!  Strengthen the hip and pay attention to any restrictions.  There are a couple of ways to put the new hip in so do your research and make sure your doc want to do the procedure you want. 

Papy

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Best thing I ever did.  I feel like a kid again.  Don't put it off if you have the problem.  I insisted on the Direct Anterior Approach. That is with about a 6" incision on the front of the leg/hip.  No muscles cut and quick recovery.

Let me know if I can help you.

Wayne

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I had one hip fixed and waiting on the other one now. Not a replacement, but some pretty heavy cutting and stitching inside. I started smithing maybe 7 months after the first surgery. Just make sure you move your feet instead of hard twisting between the forge and anvil and you should be good.

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had left hip replaced 2001, out of hospital in three days. right hip done in 2007. built a new 1200 sq ft shop in late 2001-2002. been forging professional til 2016 than retired after 38 years at it. go get it fixed.be4st thing i ever did. Smokey.

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You know that seems to be a consensus with all the folks I know that have got knee and hip replacements---they wish they had done it earlier!  However a lot of friends with back surgery wish they had put it off.

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I had back surgery (laminectomy) about 35 yrs. ago.  Was in martial arts at the time; about 4 months after surgery I was back at it and completed a black belt.  No problems at all.  If done correctly and by a good dr. there should be no problems.  I know of several friends who have had similar procedures, all with favorable results.

My wife has had both knees and one shoulder replaced, going in for the second shoulder replacement next week.  All due to severe arthritis and ligament damage.  All successful with no problems.  Like some others, she never regrets having the procedures done and wonders why she waited so long with the pain. 

Now her back is bothering her.  Too bad they don't do back replacements!  (Sometimes I think she could use a brain replacement, though...she doesn't read IFI thank goodness!!!)

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Thomas,

You are absolutely right about avoiding back surgery for as long as possible.

My sister is a physiotherapist (and osteopathic professional). She has been one for years.

A long time ago she told me that back surgery should be the last treatment attempted.

Why? Because surgery makes all other potential treatments impossible. It is therefor considered as a therapy of the last resort, when every other treatment has not worked.

And such back surgery is often not successful.

On the other hand surgery for bone or tendon or cartilage repair or replacement is a different story as has been mentioned by several other posts above.

SLAG.

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Left hip done 5 years ago. Birmingham appliance.    Right hip now suggesting it is due.  Started hobby smithing about 6 months ago.  doesn't bother my replaced hip at all.  

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When I first saw this thread I thought someone was trying to forge his own hip prosthesis! 

Seriously now, "back surgery" is a bit non specific. There are many procedures that work to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord. The one that is least successful, about 11% success rate is fusion.

Best back problem treatment you can think of is losing weight ... if you are overweight of course.

Same goes for knees. I had trouble with one knee, lost 5 kilos and no more trouble. it does take very little sometimes. 

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That's a relief to know there are many of you out there still forging with the hip replacement.  I've been having hip trouble for the better part of two years.  The local doc told me it was just arthritis and that he could inject me with regular cortisone shots.  I did some research and got a second opinion this week from one of the region experts on hips who does these surgeries regularly.  I was prepared for everything but what he told me.  I'm 45, and the doc came in and said my hip was shot and I needed a total hip replacement.  I was in such shock that my mind went blank for questions.  He knew I was a blacksmith and his only concern was if I was lifting extremely heavy loads.  That's a tricky question because as a hobbyist, the answer would be "not regularly".  I'm in the process of starting to build a smithy and thought "Nuts!  Maybe I won't be able to forge after this."  

Thanks everyone for sharing and encouraging me that there is plenty of forging that can be done after hip replacement.  I plan on scheduling a follow up with the doc to ask a million questions and get his opinion on the several ways the procedure can be done and on hip resurfacing where I keep more of my own bone structure.  I guess after this, metal will be a part of me literally :lol: 

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1 hour ago, Lars_ said:

There are a few "forbidden" movements after a hip replacement (*different per approach) to avoid dislocation such as internal rotation of the affected leg, adduction and flexion beyond 90°. These movements are likely to occur in a workshop but you can avoid them and work on alternative strategies with your therapist. 

I've heard that too if the replacement is done posterior. I had mine done anterior and I'm not limited on  those movements. I mean I shoe horses and bend, squat, twist, run and whatever else.

So maybe find a surgeon that will do an anterior replacement. And the incision is only about 4"

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In 2009 I had a bad car wreck with a drunk driver running a stop sign on a main highway. I got beat up kinda rough! Since then I've had my right shoulder rebuilt, left elbow repaired, 2 heart attacks, heart surgery and 6 months of back procedures with bunches of injections for pain that has had little effect. I went to a surgeon for back help to move some nerves and bone chips and disk damage and went to my heart doctor for an ok for surgery and was told to forget any type of surgery because of congestive heart failure--no surgeon will take the chance of finishing me off!     Last week I went out to my shop to see if I could do anything.  the worst problem was bending over and standing too long. I've been going to the shop now every day and feeling better every day. Weak and shaky but I've been there before.    After reading these reports on others problems  I gotta quit feeling like I'm finished with doing something I really like to do that I've been at for 60 years-- I'm 76.   

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Good for you Jerry. Activity and satisfaction of doing something are the best medicine. 

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Good for you Jerry! Being strong makes a lot of difference on all counts. Just keep an even strain and be patient.

Modern surgery is WAY ahead of what it was just a few years ago, I needed my left elbow reconstructed in 06. I fell off a tilt deck trailer ad shattered it, ball and socket and about 4" both sides. It doesn't have quite full range of motion but is pain free and works a treat. Worst complaint I have is a lack of any meat on the point and a screw just under the skin. Can't lean on that elbow at all.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Jerry - Way to stay active and not quit!  I had a neighbor who was cutting wood into his 90's, and not just cutting up some to burn for himself, but cutting up stacks of logs to sell the wood to others.  That guy was always doing something, always moving around and I think that is what kept him going.  

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What the other guys said, Jerry. Never quit doing what you love, even if you have to take it a little slower. 

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