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THR AussieHipster in Recovery

AussieHipster

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Wow, what a disaster this has turned out to be…

I got the surgery last Wednesday afternoon, on the 29th January. The surgeon had to do a small bone graft to repair the holes in my pelvis before he could do the full hip replacement. These holes were caused by the first core decompression surgery, as the first surgeon had penetrated my femur head three times, causing two new holes in the pelvis. The hip surgeon decided to take photos of the damage, which was clearly visible, and I think he wants me to pursue legal action against the first surgeon, though he was loathe to directly say so.

I woke up from the op in extreme pain. I've never felt anything like it. Unfortunately the hospital did not have the morphine sulphate that I was prescribed for post-op pain relief, so for the first night I only had a Ketamine drip for the pain. I had told them before the operation that Ketamine causes me to have extreme anxiety, so didn’t want to use it, but they proceeded to do so. After about 3 hours I had extremely bad thoughts about suicide, how bad life is, etc – thoughts I NEVER have normally. It was horrible, so I asked them to lower the Ketamine IV. They did so, making it about 6mg per hour; the result was a sound mind again, but terrible pain.

There was no doctor on duty that night, so they couldn’t give me any oxycodone tablets or a morphine drip, instead having to wait until 8am the next day before the nurses could get the right prescription to do so. So I spent most of the night almost screaming in agony… I actually did scream a few times :(

The next day my pain specialist and surgeon sorted out a new prescription that the hospital did have in stock. However, for the first 20 hours or so, the nurses mis-read the script, and gave me half what the doctors had ordered. It took me a while to figure this out, but when I did, I immediately contacted my pain specialist who sorted the issue out within an hour or two.

By Sunday I was still in extreme pain, but was able to walk around 10 metres with the aid of a walking frame. I figured I’d rather be in bed at home than in bed at hospital, so after a quick visit from the physio, I was discharged. Unfortunately my pain specialist only prescribed me enough pain killers for 3 days, so today I went to my GP to get another week’s worth, as my pain specialist had directed me to do. I had asked my pain specialist via email to contact them before I went to the GP, to let them know what to prescribe, but it seems she didn’t do so.


As a result, I’ve been prescribed enough of the morphine sulphate for another 36 hours, but I wasn't given any of the Tramadol I was also meant to be prescribed. I informed my GP that the morphine sulphate is barely working now as I’ve built up a tolerance over the last 3 weeks, and asked if he could swap it for an alternative medication of the same strength (I'd asked my pain specialist to direct the GP to do so, as the pain specialist had been rotating my pain meds for the last month or so). The GP wouldn’t do so until he heard from the pain specialist, and after I spent a painful hour in the waiting room, as he tried to get hold of her, he gave me 36 hours worth of Morphine Sulphate. No Tramadol. I’ve tried to get hold of my pain specialist myself, but she’s been busy. I’m left here post-surgery with just over a day’s worth of some of my necessary pain meds, but not all of them. I appear to be on the rather extreme end of the scale when it comes to pain from hip surgery, and I’m still suffering pain in my other hip, which hasn’t been treated yet. In fact, that one is worse than usual, as I’m having to favour it while I can’t put weight on the hip that was replaced.

I’m really angry that I’ve been left to suffer large amounts of pain, with the looming prospect of having no pain relief in just over a day. I don’t know what to do given that my pain specialist is unreachable, and the GP won’t prescribe anything until he can speak to her. I’m feeling hopeless and depressed about all of this, likely due to the huge amounts of pain I'm in, as I’m generally a very easy going person. I feel like bursting into tears, and wish I could rewind time to get the hip surgery done elsewhere…
 
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VSlowLife

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I am so sorry to hear all of this!

I’m really angry that I’ve been left to suffer large amounts of pain, with the looming prospect of having no pain relief in just over a day. I don’t know what to do given that my pain specialist is unreachable, and the GP won’t prescribe anything until he can speak to her. I’m feeling hopeless and depressed about all of this, likely due to the huge amounts of pain I'm in, as I’m generally a very easy going person. I feel like bursting into tears, and wish I could rewind time to get the hip surgery done elsewhere…
My surgery was two days after your surgery, but you had more damage. I have had the experience where the doctor writes a prescription, but the pharmacy does not have it in stock for a day or two. I do not know if that happens in Australia, too.

It’s so tough that you were given such a short prescription. I hope a staff member has a suggestion for you. I hope extra ice can help.
 

Jaycey

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Welcome to the other side @AussieHipster ! Sorry you had such a rocky start. I hope your meds are now sorted.

Here are your recovery guidelines.
Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
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 this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
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 a 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 history before providing advice.
 

Layla

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Hello @AussieHipster
Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us. You've certainly had a rough go of it. Let's hope going forward it will be easier as you look toward a brighter future. I hope you have some results soon in working out meds so that you're able to rest comfortably and begin the healing journey. We'll be here to support you so please don't be a stranger.
Wishing you comfort and a peaceful Wednesday!
 

Eman85

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Sorry to hear you're in such pain. Not very kind of the people involved to ignore you like this. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease so I'd focus at getting the pain specialist to respond.
I had a hole in my pelvis from a cyst on my right which was a surprise to my OS. Glad he saw it and addressed it, he filled it with bone paste made from my leftover parts. He told me it was no big deal and done every day. As far as yours it's different as your hip was worked on before.
We can't turn back time so I'd concentrate on going forward for a good recovery.
 

leejaa

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I hope you are also icing the pained area. Not like pain pills but considering how much pain you have it might help a smidge or more. I iced pretty much 24/7 when sitting or laying down or reclining. Also helps with the soft tissue swelling. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Pain control is so important. I hope you have some more meds soon.
 

ForumUser

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Sorry about your pain - most of us here can certainly understand.

Are you taking acetaminophen (Tylenol)? If you are not, you might consider discussing.

Icing and elevating? Given your pain levels, I would certainly do this - as much as possible. What was good for me was elevating the op hip a bit while on a short sofa with several pillows under my knees and feet, then then cloth only over the incision area with silicon ice packs. An hour or so, then bathroom break and walkabout, then back on ice and elevate. I did this for a couple of weeks, before I started decreasing the amount of time.
 
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AussieHipster

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Hey guys

Thanks for your support, it's much appreciated. I still haven't heard from my pain specialist, despite sending several emails to her reception. Their phone number leads to a national line rather than one directly to her office, but I'm going to try that again in an hour, as I have to go back to the GP in two hours. I have luckily found my hospital discharge papers, which I can show my GP to prove that I did get hip surgery, but unfortunately it does not cover my prescriptions.

As for those other tips, I'm still taking clonidine and paracetamol, as well as icing the wound often, but I'm still very sore. It got worse yesterday when I had to leave the house to visit the GP, as I had to do a considerable amount of walking to get to their office. I'm not supposed to be doing much serious walking, but I don't have any choice at the moment.

Fingers crossed today's GP is a little more understanding!
 

VSlowLife

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I have brought prescription bottles to show my GP doctor, to go over things. Hoping your GP can help.
 

leejaa

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Good luck with your GP today.
 
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AussieHipster

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Things just keep getting worse.

I still haven't heard from my pain specialist, after I've sent her 5 emails and called 3 times in the last 24 hours.

So I contacted the hospital pharmacy to see if they had a copy of my prescription plan, as they didn't give me one when I was discharged. All I had been given at that time was a receipt for the medicine I paid for then. Thankfully they did have a prescription plan created by my pain specialist, which they emailed to me.

I headed into my GP with the prescription plan as well as the receipt for medicines that I'd purchased at discharge. It shows that I had only been given enough pain relief to last until yesterday. As soon as I entered his office, he said he couldn't help me, and that my record had been flagged as doctor shopping...

I asked him how this could have happened, and he wasn't really sure. I asked him who would have put that flag on my record, and he didn't know, but said I should contact Medicare. I was beyond furious at this point in time, as once again I'm dealing with medical incompetence, but there was nothing I could do. I headed home and rang a couple of government agencies, and one told me that a doctor at my clinic must have flagged me. I should have been given a copy of the Doctor Shopping report, which I'll get tomorrow when I head back to the GP. I then rang my surgeon and explained what was going on, who put me in touch with the anaesthetist. She looked at my prescription record and said it was automatically flagged because I'd had prescriptions from multiple doctors. Which is true, as my regular GP took a month off work! All of the doctors I visited were at her clinic, and all had access to my file.

Long story short, I got prescriptions from the anaesthetist, but only 2 of the 3 meds could be filled today, and I spent half of the day walking around on my new hip. I'm in a lot of pain now as a result. I'm seeing my regular GP tomorrow as she's back from work.

I'm rather stunned at what a colossal screw up this entire process has been, starting with the botched initial surgery, then no pain relief other than Ketamine after the op, through to the dramas getting post-op meds. I'm going to make a formal complaint to the Health Complaints Commissioner, and am also pursuing legal action over the botched core decompression.
 

JoeGee

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I think by this point I'd be planning on how to inflict some pain on that pain specialist, what a mess, sorry mate. Hang in there as best you can until you can get it sorted.
 

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