Lounge Doctor

Fractured Neck of Femur/Pinning April Fool :(

CogEngr

new member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4
Age
48
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Don't skateboard in the house. I wish I had followed that rule more closely!

On April Fools Day, I decided that it would be great to buy my teenage children a skateboard and show them how Dad did it 30 years ago... I looked great for about 15 seconds, and then it all went - quite literally - upside down. Wham, thud, ouch. Many of you can relate.

Did I mention that my wife was more than 1,000 miles away taking care of her mother, a cancer patient? Let's just say that when you call family on April Fools Day and let them know you fell off a skateboard in the living room and hurt yourself, it takes more than one try to convince them you're not joking.

So, somehow I manage to get on my wife's crutches from an old injury (she's almost a foot shorter than me!), get down a flight of stairs, into my car (excruciating!), and to the corner clinic. They tell me that they've never seen a hip fracture that can ambulate on crutches - I probably have a groin strain, but just in case, go get an X-ray the next day.

So I do... stairs, drive to get X-ray, (and stop to get gas, as one does), come home, and at 3pm in the afternoon, they call and say I have a complete fracture (well, that explains the pain!), and get to the ER right away. Call my wife, she books an airline ticket and goes straight to the airport; wonderful friends come and take our kids and dog, and me to the ER. After 9 hours in the ER (thank you, COVID) I'm admitted - at 3am. See the surgeon, who tells me I'm going to have surgery at noon. Then I start into Dante's circles of Hell, from fretting about the injury, to surgery prep/NPO, to the pre-op room, to the OR (where there is truly a monstrous contraption waiting for me). I have to say, though, that the hospital team here in MD (Suburban Hospital, Bethesda) was tremendous. Out of this world good. From the ER staff, to the ward staff, to the physicians, to the OS and OR team, they were really great. I'm very fortunate.

Also, when you're the youngest guy in the ortho ward, you get a nickname. I was "skateboard guy." Apparently it was in my notes... every time there was a shift change at the hospital, the new crew would come in and say, "ohhhh, you're skateboard guy!" I'll have to get a T-shirt made.

Surgery goes great - three cannulated screws, now I have FrankenHip - and the recovery begins. Out of the bed, on crutches, and over to the chair for a few hours that night; three-course meal; and one of the least restful nights in recent memory.

Went home the next day (Easter Sunday!) on orders for 50% weight bearing, take 2-3 short walks a day, etc.

For those just starting... the first few days are really tough. The leg lifter was essential to get in and out of the car, bed, etc. I was only on Tylenol (I declined the "good stuff" - I'm glad in retrospect, but I suspect that the "good stuff" would have made the first few days much easier.)

If you've read this far, and you're facing the beginning of your recovery, here's a short list of things to consider buying to help ease the first weeks - order these while you're still in the hospital:

1. Sock "putter-on-er" and remover. That was frustrating. I got this, and it was great: 2. A seat for the shower. I'm almost five weeks out and still can't stand in the shower. Worth every penny.
3. Soap on a rope. Or liquid soap. The first time I dropped the soap in the shower, I almost cried...
4. A raised toilet seat with grab bars. Trust me on this one. It looks bad, but it's not forever... and will save you a lot of pain. I learned that the hard way.
5. A fanny pack. Yes, it's silly, but being able to carry things whilst on crutches is huge. Especially a water bottle.
6. Bicycling gloves - the kind with pads on the palms. After a while, the crutches can really tear up your palms; I learned that one too late.

So, how's it been so far? It's been... sore. But making lots of great progress!

I went back to work the Monday after Easter - but with COVID, that just meant that I was sitting in the office rather than the living room. Since I was only taking Tylenol, I was fine to work. Not necessarily comfortable - but work helped take the mind off the other stuff. (Funnily enough, I had a 5:30P work call on the Friday before Easter; finished that call and went to the ER; back at work 8:30a Monday morning... how's that for timing?)

Moving around the first week was rough. Still a twinge of muscle pain here and there. Was taking 1000mg of Tylenol every 6 hours - I would wake up at night when it was getting close to time. Who needs a clock? Had to sleep on my back - couldn't sleep on my side (and I'm a side sleeper; that made things fun).

By week 2, all the twinges and muscle spasms stopped, and the pain was subsiding. Still sore, but better. Started walking outside a little - around the block outside. Had the first appointment with the OS after getting out of the hospital; got two X-rays, had staples out, etc. Everything looked fine.

By week 3, I was tackling stairs in the house (and sleeping in my bed again - hooray!). Longer walks outside - 15-25 minutes at a time, 2-3x per day. Had a big bruise come up on my inner thigh; by the yellow color, was an old deep bruise working its way out. Still a lot of soreness. A long tendon from my thigh down to my ankle was really sore; when I would wake up at night and move my leg for the first time, the inner thigh down to my ankle would be pins and needles for a few seconds. Not pleasant! Still couldn't sleep on my side. Would try, but pain in the thigh was too much.

Week 4 was a breakthrough week - at 3.5 weeks in, I had a day where everything just seemed to get a little easier. I'm still sore, still have some issues getting around, but really took a leap forward. I realized it that day, too, that it was a GREAT day.

In week 5 now - had my second pandemic birthday, and first on crutches! - and it's getting better. I'm ALMOST able to sleep on my side again; tylenol is down to 500mg before bed and another 500mg if I wake up at night. Meeting with the OS again next week; he expects - assuming the x-rays look good - that I will be fully weight bearing as tolerated next week. I have a long way to go, no doubt - but hopefully that will at least arrest the atrophy that I see in my legs. My affected leg is already 1.5" less in circumference than my unaffected leg.

All in all, I feel lucky - great surgeon, good recovery so far, no complications. And perhaps weight bearing again next week, too. Hooray!

I wish I had found this resource sooner - it's really, really great. Thank you!
 

Celle

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
45,324
Location
New Zealand
Gender
Female
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
Hello @CogEngr - and :welome:

I'm sorry to read about your accident. I think you had your fractured hip repaired on Saturday. April 3, 2021. Have I got that right? And which hip is it?
If you can tell us that, I'll add it to your signature.

I'll give you our recovery guidelines. They're written for hip replacements, but your recovery will be very similar.
Hip Recovery: The Guidelines

People are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help, but YOU are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. Try to follow this

6. Access these pages on the website


Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

djklaugh

FORUM ADVISOR
Forum Advisor
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
2,480
Age
74
Location
Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@CogEngr :welome: To BoneSmart. I think just about everyone on the orthopedic surgery unit gets a nickname - you were "skateboard guy" and I was the LOL ( in this context medical speak for Little Old Lady) with the bilateral hips. It's great to hear that you are doing well. And thanks for sharing your story :cheers2:
 
OP
OP
C

CogEngr

new member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4
Age
48
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Thank you, Celle and Deb! It's my left (thankfully, non-driving) hip, and yes, Saturday April 3 was my surgery. 1:20pm. Will never forget it!

I'll keep you updated! Again, what a fantastic resource.

John
 

Jockette

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
22,076
Age
65
Location
Delaware
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I broke my first bone (my arm) at the age of 40, rollerblading for the first time, borrowing my high school age daughter’s rollerblades, while she told me she didn’t think it was a good idea. I had done lots of roller skating as a teenager, so how hard could rollerblading be? Unfortunately I found out just how different it was. I lived in NJ at the time, and we were vacationing in Michigan, so it was a couple of days and a long ride home before I checked in with a doctor for xrays. Oh the things we attempt to do!

Best wishes for a smooth recovery!
 

Debru4

graduate
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
862
Age
67
Location
Colorado
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
It sounds like you are doing really well, and it’s clear from your post that you are pretty positive and upbeat by nature, which is wonderful. I liked that you shared some of the specific assistive devices you found really useful. Practical suggestions are so helpful!

After I had my hip replaced 2 1/2 years ago, I made a list of items that were super nice to have and some that were not as helpful.. I saved everything and loan the items out to friends when they have surgery. It’s nice to be able to share resources. Here’s hoping your recovery goes quickly, and smoothly.
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
25,779
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Let's just say that when you call family on April Fools Day and let them know you fell off a skateboard in the living room and hurt yourself, it takes more than one try to convince them you're not joking.
Funny....but not funny. You do have a great sense of humor. We thank you for the kudos in regard to the site. It is a great resource and I can’t imagine my recovery without it. I’m happy you found us and hope you will continue to share your progress and humor.
Happy Saturday! :)
 
OP
OP
C

CogEngr

new member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4
Age
48
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Thanks! A positive outlook helps everything... the uncomfortable nights and long days would get to you otherwise!

Today is my 5-week surg-iversary. Didn't need the 4am tylenol two nights in a row! I expect that will be hit-and-miss for the next few weeks, but I'll take every bit of improvement I can get.

The more I'm up and moving, the better it seems to be - which can be a challenge given long office days. My wife takes me on walks twice a day and I feel best after those.

Next check-in with the surgeon is Wednesday... crossing fingers! I know I'll be on crutches for many more weeks, but hoping I can go more weight-bearing on the leg. Anything I can do to stop the atrophy - it's really noticeable now.

Has anyone flown within a few months of surgery? I need to go to Texas later this month for family stuff - that's going to be an adventure. My first security scan with FrankenHip, travelling with crutches, etc. Oh boy!
 

Celle

MODERATOR
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
45,324
Location
New Zealand
Gender
Female
Country
New Zealand New Zealand
Has anyone flown within a few months of surgery? I need to go to Texas later this month for family stuff - that's going to be an adventure. My first security scan with FrankenHip, travelling with crutches, etc. Oh boy!
This article gives some advice:
Flying soon after surgery

Do ask for wheelchair assistance when you book the flights. It's a huge help and it makes the security checks much easier.
 

DGrant

member
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
184
Age
58
Location
Clovis, California
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
This reminds I need to get rid of my roller blades... not that I'm tempted to use them at all... I haven't used them since I was 40yrs old... but did alright with them back in the day. It was actually just arthritis that took out my hips.

Also proof that a fractured/pinned femur neck seems to take longer to heal to the point of freely walking then a total hip replacement. I had no idea that was the case. I was walking freely 2 weeks after my first THR... and although I'm not in any hurry this time, I'm pretty sure I'm on track for that this time... but we know only time will tell.

I hope you heal fully, and you don't have to deal with much more pain then you already have. It's the pain that we have to endure that's the biggest problem, and we only know that after the procedure to correct it.

Do know if the time ever comes, a THR sure sounds easier to me then what you've went through. I'm definitely no doctor, but I'm sure there's a criteria why they repaired your hip, and it sounds like you're in great hands... and you're definitely in the right forum for support and information. There's alot of that abounding in these forums.... and they have alot of experience with joints here.

Good luck with it, and hang in there.
 

DancerHips

junior member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
54
Location
Wisconsin
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
What a story! Your humor and positive outlook are inspirational. I just kept thinking of the song line (paraphrased), "100 bad days makes 100 good stories, 100 good stories makes you interesting at parties" Good luck going forward.
 
OP
OP
C

CogEngr

new member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4
Age
48
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Had my 6 week (ok, 5 and a half, but who's counting?) check in today - x-ray looked good, lots of hard callus visible. And, the best news... I'm cleared for weight bearing as tolerated, and I can drive again. :) Hooray!

It's amazing how quickly my affected leg atrophied. Even putting more weight on it for short distances makes those muscles awfully tired - time to get them back in shape!

Surgeon has me set up with PT now, and expects that I'll be walking on it independently again within a month. Going to start with more weight on it and two crutches, then step down to one crutch, then a cane, and if all goes well, become independent. The prospect of being able to carry things in my hands again is really exciting! It's the little things.

DGrant - to your point, that will be about 10 weeks from surgery to walking independently. Maybe 9 if I'm a really advanced student. Still a few months away from mowing the lawn and lifting the dog - but I'm savoring every bit of improvement!
 

Layla

SENIOR FORUM ADVISOR
Senior Forum Advisor
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
25,779
Location
Minnesota
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
The prospect of being able to carry things in my hands again is really exciting! It's the little things.
This surgery does make one realize how wonderful it is to do the little things that became so difficult, if not impossible, as our natural hip deteriorated. You have a grateful heart!
Thanks for sharing your encouraging update. May it only get better. :)
 

DGrant

member
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
184
Age
58
Location
Clovis, California
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Sounds like you're on a great track for full recovery. Keep it up and you'll be much better before you know it. Great report.

You mentioned security scan with Frankenhip(love it!)... my experience with my first hip is it depends on the level of scan.. I don't know about airline security, but the local courthouse security picked up my hip when I served jury duty a few years back.. they just had me step aside and doubly checked, frisked me a bit, questioned and wanded me, when I joked and said I'd show my scar they laughed and let me go through.. it was nothing more than a funny moment for me...and I'm sure they see it quite a bit.
When I went to a local fair though I passed right through the scanner.. nothing detected, nothing said. You'll do fine through any security I believe... and if not just offer to show them your scar. :)
 

Stephen1989

new member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
18
Age
32
Gender
Male
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Great to hear you’re being so positive CogEngr, I wish I could try and stay as upbeat as you.

I too had hip preservation surgery around the same time as you. Good that you’ve been able to put some pressure on it, I’ve only been allowed to toe-touch and I’ve been virtually housebound for the past 8 months as mine originally went undiagnosed for 6 months and the boredom and frustration has really got to me.

I’ve got my 6 week post-op next Friday with the surgeon and my first physio appointment on Tuesday.

I know everybody’s case is different, but your good progress and positivity gives me cause for optimism too.

I hope you continue to recover well.

Best Wishes

Stephen :)
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
35,475
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Has anyone flown within a few months of surgery?
I would discuss this with your surgeon or family doctor. Post surgery there is always the concern about blood clots. Flying also creates this risk.

Were you given any blood thinning medication post op?
 

New

Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
55,694
Messages
1,442,436
BoneSmarties
34,383
Latest member
Piratequeen
Recent bookmarks
0

Latest posts


Top Bottom