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Heather Moyse on the road to recovery after hip surgery

["<p>Heather Moyse has gotten rid of her brace but she's still on crutches after her hip surgery. </p>"]
["<p>Heather Moyse has gotten rid of her brace but she's still on crutches after her hip surgery. </p>"]

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DENVER, Colo. — Heather Moyse is finding it hard to stay off her feet.

The double Olympic gold-medallist is recuperating from hip surgery, relegated for the past six weeks to crutches, something she admittedly isn’t thrilled about.

“It’s been pretty tough hobbling around,” said Moyse in a telephone interview from Denver, Colo., where she is spending the holidays with her family.

On Nov. 5, the 36-year-old had her second hip surgery, a procedure done in Halifax by Summerside native Dr. Ivan Wong, who also did Moyse’s November 2012 surgery on her right hip.

The latest surgery came as no surprise to the athlete and motivational speaker, as an MRI done in 2012 revealed her left hip had been damaged.

“The doctor was actually surprised that it was my right hip that was bothering me because the left hip looked worse in terms of damage,” said Moyse. “The idea of having to go through a recovery twice was not appealing to me, so I actually considered doing both hips at the same time.”

At the time she was training in two sports, with the goal to represent Canada at the Rugby Seven World Cup and in bobsled at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

That would have extended her rehab “probably by two to three months because you don’t have the one leg to support yourself while you working on the other leg.”

Since her left hip wasn’t causing her discomfort, Moyse put off the second surgery.

But last summer, the pain started, prompting her to have the procedure.

This time, there was more work to do. Wong had to repair the labrum — torn in two places and “shredded” — and shave bone spur off the head of the femur and from the front of the left-hip socket.

A ruptured ligament was repaired, a piece of loose cartilage removed and a micro-fracture made into the bone, in which stem cells and CarGel were injected. Moyse explained the gel acts like “scaffolding” to protect stems cells as they regenerate. She was the first person in North America to have the gel injected into her hip.

To allow that gel to do its job, Moyse has had to stay off her left leg for six weeks.

“It is extremely frustrating, especially now because I don’t feel as fragile,” she said of being on crutches. “Your hip feels very inflated from the fluids they put in there, and it feels very loose. You just feel very cautious because it feels so detached from your body.”

On Wednesday she was scheduled to lose the crutches and start the road to recovery.

“When I put weight on it, it will give me a much better idea of how far I’ll have to go.”

Forever the optimist, Moyse has never worried that the injury and subsequent surgery could possibly end any future athletic goals.

“I just know that I want to rehab to the point where if I did decide to go back then I would be at a point where I could do that,” she added. “In a way it’s a blessing that I don’t have anything because I have a bit more time and it is not as stressful.

She’s looking forward to throwing away the crutches, getting stronger, starting to run again and, yes, even wearing heels.

DENVER, Colo. — Heather Moyse is finding it hard to stay off her feet.

The double Olympic gold-medallist is recuperating from hip surgery, relegated for the past six weeks to crutches, something she admittedly isn’t thrilled about.

“It’s been pretty tough hobbling around,” said Moyse in a telephone interview from Denver, Colo., where she is spending the holidays with her family.

On Nov. 5, the 36-year-old had her second hip surgery, a procedure done in Halifax by Summerside native Dr. Ivan Wong, who also did Moyse’s November 2012 surgery on her right hip.

The latest surgery came as no surprise to the athlete and motivational speaker, as an MRI done in 2012 revealed her left hip had been damaged.

“The doctor was actually surprised that it was my right hip that was bothering me because the left hip looked worse in terms of damage,” said Moyse. “The idea of having to go through a recovery twice was not appealing to me, so I actually considered doing both hips at the same time.”

At the time she was training in two sports, with the goal to represent Canada at the Rugby Seven World Cup and in bobsled at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

That would have extended her rehab “probably by two to three months because you don’t have the one leg to support yourself while you working on the other leg.”

Since her left hip wasn’t causing her discomfort, Moyse put off the second surgery.

But last summer, the pain started, prompting her to have the procedure.

This time, there was more work to do. Wong had to repair the labrum — torn in two places and “shredded” — and shave bone spur off the head of the femur and from the front of the left-hip socket.

A ruptured ligament was repaired, a piece of loose cartilage removed and a micro-fracture made into the bone, in which stem cells and CarGel were injected. Moyse explained the gel acts like “scaffolding” to protect stems cells as they regenerate. She was the first person in North America to have the gel injected into her hip.

To allow that gel to do its job, Moyse has had to stay off her left leg for six weeks.

“It is extremely frustrating, especially now because I don’t feel as fragile,” she said of being on crutches. “Your hip feels very inflated from the fluids they put in there, and it feels very loose. You just feel very cautious because it feels so detached from your body.”

On Wednesday she was scheduled to lose the crutches and start the road to recovery.

“When I put weight on it, it will give me a much better idea of how far I’ll have to go.”

Forever the optimist, Moyse has never worried that the injury and subsequent surgery could possibly end any future athletic goals.

“I just know that I want to rehab to the point where if I did decide to go back then I would be at a point where I could do that,” she added. “In a way it’s a blessing that I don’t have anything because I have a bit more time and it is not as stressful.

She’s looking forward to throwing away the crutches, getting stronger, starting to run again and, yes, even wearing heels.

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