A couple of questions - 7 weeks until LTHR in Ontario


junior member
Jan 20, 2017
Ontario, Canada
Canada Canada
Hi everyone, I sure enjoy reading all of the info on this site. Comments are informative and so supportive. My nerves are sure setting in as I received my mail package from the surgeon with all of the "pre-work", including blood test order, iron prescription, upcoming appointment dates and times, etc. I have an appointment scheduled with an Internist, and wondered what that might entail, if anyone has experience with that. That is 3 weeks prior to an appointment with the Anaesthesiologist and pre-op Nurse. As well, the package includes info about anaesthetic- both general and spinal. I've had a general 25 years ago when I had an ACL reconstruction and was fine. I get the sense that spinal is the recommended approach but I won't lie - it terrifies me. The needle in the back, not being able to feel my legs and the chance of waking up. I feel like I'm 46 years old going on 9 years old just typing that but I know I'm going to fixate on this for weeks. So in addition to my first question about the Internist, I'd love to hear some comments from people who have had both or had the option to choose, or think I'm overthinking it! Thanks so much
Hello and welcome. You're absolutely right, this is a wonderful place to be both in the build up to and post Op.

I can help you on the spinal/sedation question. I too was terrified at the thought. I had almost reached the point where they'd have to catch me before they did it! My best advice to you is to talk to your anaesthetist and be completely candid about your fears, as I did. I outlined everything that bothered me about it and he listened then put my mind at rest by saying he would give me the equivalent of a double gin and tonic so I would feel so extremely relaxed I wouldn't notice a thing.

This seems to be the norm from what I've read and heard and I can honestly say it worked a treat. Don't be afraid to voice your concerns. Remember they come across this every day - after all, who wouldn't be nervous? All the staff experienced in this area and will do everything possible to make you feel completely comfortable.

You are bound to feel anxious in the final build up (as I and everyone else does) so I recommend you try and concentrate on getting all your THR survival kit together, make sure you have suitable clothing (easy to put on and take off), cook and freeze ready meals and make sure you fit in a hair appointment just before your Op. I found this helped to settle my nerves because I felt more in control.

Everyone agrees the waiting is the worst part. You're battling to get through and saddled with pain. Soon all of this will be behind you and you will be so much the better. I had 2 THRs last year (the second in November) and am thrilled with the difference this surgery has made. I am mobile once more and a much happier person as a result. Best wishes!
@JennsHip of course you are nervous. We were all in that space pre-op - even those of us who have had 2 THRs.

The internist is probably going to do all the pre-op checks. Here in the UK we go to the hospital weeks before our op to have this check. It's nothing more than just confirming that you are well and ready for surgery.

It's great you will be meeting your anaesthetist before the day. As Ms Muffet says - discuss your fears about the spinal. They will completely understand and do everything they can to ally any fears.

I was more scared about the spinal than about my first THR. But it is truly a non-event. They spray your back with a solution that makes it feel very cold. Then you lean forward - maybe hugging a pillow and that's it. In most cases you won't feel anything.

In recovery you won't feel anything from the waist down for a few hours. But honestly - this is a benefit as you post op pain is completely controlled. After a couple of hours you will start to feel your feel and be able to move them. The spinal will wear off and you will probably be asked to at least sit up on your bed. Depending on the time of your surgery you may even take your first steps the same day.

If you are at all worry about waking up during the op discuss this with your anaesthetist as well. Since you are having GA I doubt very seriously this would happen. But if you tell staff you don't want to see or hear anything they will watch you and make sure you stay out throughout the procedure.
Try not to fixate too much on the spinal, it really isn't bad at all. I was so worried about it! In the end, as Jaycey says, just some cold spray, tiny prick in back and all done. They gave me a sedative so I slept merrily through the op and woke up they were stitching me up. No GA after effects, had supper as soon as back in my room. I enjoyed the pain relief the spinal gave me for some hours after the op too.
Sam x

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I was very nervous about the spinal, but as everyone else has said... it was a non-event. I didn't feel a thing! I stayed awake for the surgery, but it's not nearly what you would expect... I felt completely detached from everything since I couldn't see or feel anything, basically it was just kind of boring... wish I had brought a book in with me!
As for the internist, it will just be going through a bunch of paperwork and making sure everything is in order for your surgery. Where in Ontario are you having it done?
I can echo everything others have said. I had never had a spinal before either and the idea was NOT very appealing to me. But after reading so many positive reports on here and my surgeon saying that was the way to go, I decided I needed to trust their judgment. I did not actually meet the anesthetist until the day of my surgery. They gave me the spinal and that was the last I remember until I woke up in recovery. One of the best parts about the spinal is that you don't have the nauseasness after you wake up. You wake up pretty much alert and ready to move on. I had my surgery at 11am and by 6pm they had me up and walking to the door of my room and back to my bed. Pretty amazing really!!

The waiting is hard but by reading both the preop and recovery threads, you will be able to be well prepared when surgery comes. I bought a couple pair of sweatpants a size larger than I would normally wear. They are easy to get on and comfortable. I also made a bag for the walker so I could go to kitchen for a snack or water bottle and carry it myself. Some use a small bicycle basket. I still use my dressing stick to get dressed. I also got a pedicure just days before my surgery and that was a nice treat to myself plus it was good to get my nails well trimmed.

I wish you well. Be sure to keep reading on here and post any questions in this thread. There are so many helpful and supportive folks who frequent this forum. Their help and support has been invaluable to me as well as to many others.

If you let the forum administrators know the exact day of your surgery and just what surgery you are having, they will put it in your signature on here. I believe there is a thread at the top of the preop page asking about June surgeries. It is also interesting to see who else might be having surgery the same day as you. I wish you all the best!!
Had a spinal both times and it was great both times! No groggy feeling post op and the numbing after effect helps with pain control. Dr will likely have you lean over and clutch a pillow, then put a cool gel on your back before the injection. Didn't feel a thing. For my second thr I was awake for a bit after the spinal and watched pre op activities. It was odd yet amusing seeing my numbed and stiff arthritic legs being strapped onto the surgical table.

Looking back, that was the last time I would ever have to experience that horrid OA hip pain, having numbed legs was bliss. You'll do great too !
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@JennsHip same surgeon. My surgery was only 2 years ago but I don't really remember much about the Internist so it must not have been a big deal. Just routine stuff.

As to the spinal... wow! I was impressed, having had general for several previous surgeries, it was fantastic. No nausea, no grogginess. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I did not even feel the needle they 'warned' me about that was going in my back. After that they instructed my to lay on my side and I remember nothing until recovery.
Just a huge thank you to those of you who have replied. Reading your comments has definitely helped easing my mind. I really appreciate it.

@confused newb I'm having it done in Hamilton though I'm from the Niagara area. It will be the anterior approach. I've enjoyed reading and keeping tabs on your recovery!

@JayP That's right! Same surgeon. Thanks for your comments!
Hi @JennsHip, I have 8 weeks till my bilateral thr on July 6, anterior as well, I don't want to do it but know I have to, to resume my active lifestyle. Terrified actually... but I have confidence in my surgeon and am trusting that all will be well. Welcome

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