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Don't be like me and wait too long!

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by mainegirl1, May 13, 2019.

  1. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    I had a RTKR in Oct 2016. Even before that in the fall of 2015 X rays were taken of hips and knees. The doctor ( not a surgeon) said there were degenerative changes in the knee and also both hips and "gee the femoral heads are deep"( meaning I had a recessed acetabulum. I had had all cartilage removed from the R knee in 1971 so I was seeking relief from pain there( yes after 45 years the arthritis had kicked in. I had been told I would have it by 1981).. I brushed off the hips. ( a little background I have always had some R hip pain since 1981 but off and on and not affecting hiking biking or everyday life). After 3 cortisone shots I got a RTKR not from the doctor who had given me the injections but from a nearby practice that is very compartmentalized and does knees and hips. Each surgeon does one or the other. This makes their volume of "their " joint high. And their reputations high.
    My surgery ( Oct 2016)and recovery were uneventful and I was walking and hiking though I did notice I could not lift my operated knee high and I had no idea why.. The ROM of the knee was fine.. The extension deteriorated each checkup while walking. I had had a LAD blockage stented, cancer of the uterus and the TKR in two years. I was sick of being sick. My OS of the knee followed me until this year and the replaced knee has been stable and nonremarkable. He thought that the lack of extension was due to the hip.. Bingo.. I was trying to bury that news!
    I tried yoga.. I could not get the knee within two inches of the mat when supine.. Crossing legs impossible ( but its always been difficult). Trying to put my right foot a foot away from my left.. Pain. Getting a GYN exam for my checkups from my GYN oncologist progressively difficult. You all know how important those are. They are currently impossible. My hip acts as a hinge joint and not a ball and socket joint
    Per my hip surgeon now things are that the femoral head is all eroded and there is impingement of the joint. The head is now cone shaped. I am sorry that I do not have x ray pictures to share.

    The hard part is that when I started to seek help for my hip I went to the same office which is highly regarded and ergo....backlogged. In October I was told by a Physicians Assistant to follow the ELF diet and turned away from surgery but advised to follow up with my PCP.. I found the advice about the Eat Less Food demeaning and told my PCP so when I visited her in April ( I did work to reduce weight! )She found everything else fine ( BMI 38 labs great). She must have pulled magic ( she is one awesome doctor who tolerates no bs )cause the next week I had a call from the surgeons office to come stat( May 1). I was approved for surgery for August 19 after that visit.

    Its a long wait til August 19. Things deteriorate so fast at some point. I misjudged the point.. I cannot get up of most chairs or get out of the car without pain.. Walking is OK for a mile and a half. Sleeping is not possible for an uninterrupted eight hours. Changing positions in bed is agony. I think that is the worst. I can bicycle but lots of you know how hard it is to get on even when you have to lay the bike down and take mini steps over. And its a senior bike!
    Acetominophen even 4000 mg a day does nothing. I have lots of stairs at home and they are OK but my other leg is getting the workout!

    I'm just jabbering.. Activity helps pass the time..
     
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  2. julesglass

    julesglass senior

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    Welcome to bonesmart. I don't know what to say... All I can do is give you a warm hug right now. I've not been down the road you have traveled however I understand the frustration of trying to figure out what is going on. Hang on there will be those here that can address your delema better than I can.
     
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  3. Ptarmigan

    Ptarmigan junior member

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    @mainegirl1 Fellow August Hotshot! I am excited to have your company as we while away the spring and summer waiting for our surgery dates.

    I think I love your primary! That was a nifty piece of advocacy.

    I am wrestling with my BMI. It was at 34 at my first consult but it’s down to 31 today (6 weeks later). I am motivated to lose weight right now, when I know it will reduce my risk of complications and make it easier to get around after surgery. ((By the way, I am following an anti-inflammation diet, not an eat less diet - which I agree was demeaning). My primary helped me with this.

    I found out here that sleep issues and pain issues are part of recovery, too. So my primary and I brainstormed ideas to improve them both now...kind of like a trial run for later. I started prehab. I am actively practicing stress management. I made small changes. The changes are helping.

    I didn’t think these small victories would make such a huge difference to the wait, but I find they do. I hope you can find some part of your present circumstances you can impact for the better - and then come tell us all how to do it!

    So nice to meet you!
     
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  4. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    :wave: and glad you are finally scheduled to get your life back!
    Oh how I know!:blackcloud: Been there, and it is a quite miserable place to be.
    I was most uncomfortable laying down and trying to sleep! Physical therapy that I was prescribed just aggravated my hips .
    No amount of any pain medication touches that bone on bone pain.:sigh:
    I should know...tried it all. Gave up.
    A heating pad on my lower back provided some comfort...but really no cessation of the pain.
    Great news that there is a "cure" for this with THR.
    Hang in there!:console2:
     
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  5. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    I think keeping occupied is key.. We have a little travel trailer and have plans for a couple of ten day trips this summer in between doctor visits. ( ugh I hate the pre op process).
    I did meet with the surgeon who I wanted as I know several who have used him and they cannot say enough good -also that he has been doing an anterolateral approach since 2006 and has done over 2000 surgeries. He does hip only. Yes a mass production line ( I am #3 for that day) but in some things I want someone who has done a lot.

    I could have had surgery Aug 5.. but my hubby booked us on a three day stay at a nice inn on Monhegan Island 10 miles off shore for those dates.. Accessible only by boat. September gets cold and I didnt want to wait that long!

    I do like photography and will occupy my time with that.

    I don't have access to my X rays but there are bone spurs and deformation of the femoral head. Curiously I still have cartilage.. ( how much vs normal I have no idea). It feels weird when I sit wrong and can feel the head moving around..

    My OS is experienced .. and close to retirement but modern in thinking.. He said NO PT for a month afterward. Just walk.
    @Ptarmigan.. I have had sleep issues forever. First with chemo in 2014 then wit RKTR in 2016. I have been advised never to go to bed with my phone and credit card. Its odd how my hip makes my replaced knee achy and stiff..
     
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  6. Elf1

    Elf1 member

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    :wave:Welcome to Bone Smart! These folks are totally awesome and have fantastic information to share to help us all along our way. If you have any questions just ask and either one of the moderators, the forum nurse or a member who's been there, done that will come on and help you with answers. Take care, try to take it one day at a time, hope you get as much sleep as possible between now and surgery. I know, that's pretty much impossible, I'm right there with you. Wouldn't know what a straight 8 hours was if it hit me in the face. We'll get through this with the help of our friends here.
     
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  7. leejaa

    leejaa post-grad

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    Welcome to the forum. You will find much support here and a great place to let out some of the stress from living with pain with people who understand.

    I am very sorry that you have to wait till August. I know what that feels like from my last hip and this one. You have had so many other health issues I can totally relate to just wanting to be "healthy" and not dealing with doctors. Sounds like you are incredibly strong person to have dealt with those issues but even the strongest get tired of the one more thing. It is so hard to get along when everyday movements and sleep are not there - right there with you. It is frustrating and annoying but soon we will get rid of that recalcitrant body part.

    With walking have you tried a cane or even better yet hiking sticks. I got some after my last hip because they kept me balanced so I could learn to walk evenly and were more supportive than a cane. I got mine on Amazon for around $20 and were adjustable to my height. The other thing I have done at home is put a pillow on some of my chairs to get the height up so it is easier to get up. I use a sock aid since I cannot get socks on without assistance and a reacher/grabber gadget to pick things up. Just some ideas that might decrease the intensity of the pain from movements. I cannot wait to use these in recovery again and not just to get by.
     
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  8. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    I have a cane from my TKR ( and gosh I hear they have to yank on your knee for a THR!). Same side! I tried using it.. its totally foreign to me at this time.
    I have had hiking poles for years.. Even before any aching joints I used them for hiking ( we live in the foothills of the White Mountains) I do use them on longer walks but still my back aches from something..gait.. I can lift a 65 lb canoe so the back isn't weak.. things just seem to spasm up. It could be because I can't get full leg extension.

    When I get up out of bed its quite painless. When I get up out of any chair I have to take about 30 seconds to straighten up. Seems to hurt less. Then when I start walking I am ok.
    For now..!
    I have a red chair I used for chemo that keeps resisting me taking it to the junkyard. It is a electric recliner / ejection chair.. It will almost stand you up. I hate looking at it. Not fond memories but each couple of years it has to remind me why it is there.
     
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  9. leejaa

    leejaa post-grad

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    Don't worry about your TKR and the THR and yanking. I already had one hip done after a TKR on that side and it was not a problem. The OS know what they are doing and know you have a joint replaced so do not pull in a direction it would not go.

    We all seem to have some remnants around the house from previous recoveries that haunt us and just when we think we can get rid of it - it is needed. Annoying but nice to have at the same time. I am using my sock aid, reacher, leg mover to get into bed and of course canes and hiking poles as needed. Walker and toilet seat are still in garage but I guess in 6m will be coming in so they can be ready for this recovery. At least I know what to expect.
     
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  10. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    I waited, but don't feel I waited too long. First problems as a kid, l hip pinned at 14. At 30 I had the replacement in my hand and told that was the solution when I was ready. I was ready when I planned it at 62 and it's worked out fine.
    My OS didn't recommend a cane, wanted hiking poles instead.
     
  11. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    Went to mandatory education class today. This is devoted to informing us about resources before surgery and what to expect during our albeit brief hospital stay. I wonder how many hip replacement patients get such a briefing? It took 90 minutes. We were told how pain management works: how PT works and how to schedule PT and meals and the importance of coaches and family members. IE you dont want to order a meal at an hour you are scheduled for PT.. Education is part of the multi hoop process. Curiously we were not informed on what pain management we can do before surgery... So far the occasional Tylenol before bad weather works well. Funny how pain is bad one day and not at all present the next..
     
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  12. Bergame

    Bergame new member

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    "Getting a GYN exam for my checkups from my GYN oncologist progressively difficult. You all know how important those are. They are currently impossible. My hip acts as a hinge joint and not a ball and socket joint"
    Two great points here by you. I noticed that few of those hip score questionnaires ask about sex and I bet NONE of them ask about getting into the gyn's stirrups. And your description of the hip being reduced to hinge functionality is spot-on, and an explanation I will be stealing to concisely convey what osteoarthritis has done to my range of movement.
    Wishing you days of the not-present pain between now and 8/19/19.
     
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  13. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    @mainegirl1 My OS had a very good program. Pre-op included a handbook and a 1/2 day class which included MRSA and Staph screening. We also completed all hospital registration so the day of surgery admission was streamlined. Class was split between the head of nursing and the PT. Covered everything about the surgery and recovery including preparing the house and all of the needs. Handbook included most all of the info along with every name and every phone # for all involved from the OS office and the hospital. Also each patient has a patient portal for communication with OS office 24/7.
     
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  14. SurreyGirl

    SurreyGirl post-grad

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    @mainegirl1 "things deteriorate so fast at some point. I misjudged the point.. I cannot get up of most chairs or get out of the car without pain.. Walking is OK for a mile and a half. Sleeping is not possible for an uninterrupted eight hours. Changing positions in bed is agony.:"…

    I can relate to all of this (particularly the pain in bed and turning over and lack of sleep) and also had to wait a long time for the op. I got my BMI down to 34 and the surgeon was still iffy about the op but things got so bad he went ahead.

    I hope I can encourage you, 9 months on things are SO different. I am not 100% re hip function yet but have very little pain unless I overdo it, can sleep 7 hours plus and driving is no longer painful. I can also get out of chairs without having to use my arms now. All great progress. My recovery was slow by some standards and I was glad I built upper arm strength to help me heave myself out of chairs in the early days.

    Best of luck and you have definitely come to the right place for help and advice. People are so kind here… Hang on in there!
     
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  15. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    I am not sure I will ever return to 100 percent function. My hip socket extends way over the head of the femur( which is totally buried). It may have developed when I grew. I have never been able to cross my legs. I have cartilage deep in the socket..but maybe none at the edge.
    I might have misjudged by 55 years...
     
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  16. Cecropia

    Cecropia member

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    @mainegirl1 You have really been through a lot. August seems far off, but at least you have some nice vacation plans while waiting.....to keep you busy....:SUNsmile:
     
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  17. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I think most attend some type of class at their surgery site prior to their op. Mine was a one on one with a nurse, filling me in on the what would happen from the moment I arrived at the surgery center, giving me a tour of the rooms, providing my prescriptions for all prescribed meds to fill and bring back the day of surgery, answering any questions I had. The nurse was kind, upbeat, had a great sense of humor and made it all feel easy breezy, no big deal which really put me at ease. I felt more confident about everything after our meeting. It found it to be a valuable experience.

    Wishing you comfort over the next few months. I hope you have an enjoyable holiday weekend!
    @mainegirl1
     
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  18. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 junior member
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    Thank you @Layla It should be a good weekend . A one mile walk in the woods Saturday with a naturalist to explore a new neighborhood trail with vernal pools. And on Sunday the admittance fee is waived at Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens! There is a lot of walking there but also numerous sitting spots to just enjoy.
    I was whining.. The only problem I seem to have is getting up and and out of chairs and the car. Driving is OK. Walking is odd as my back seizes up on the bad hip side after about a mile. When I walk a lot or bike the next day my hip is very vocal.. I have found that adhering to a regimen of 1000 mg acetominophen helps every six hours. Even if it does not hurt.. I was prescribed Tramadol prior to knee surgery three years ago .. I was screaming all night every night. Poor hubby. I would like to avoid Tramadol as long as possible
     
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