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[REVISION THR] Fractured femoral prosthesis

helenium

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Hi all,

I found BoneSmart sometime after my previous surgeries so had never set up a recovery thread.

Nearly seven weeks ago I had a very nasty shock. Such an ordinary action - I was walking towards the dishwasher with some breakfast dishes, sudden pain in my left thigh, suddenly completely unable to weight-bear. To cut a very long story short, my left femoral prosthesis had fractured :flabber:. Completely snapped in half. I was in hospital for a month, and I’ve been home for two weeks. After five years, my greater trochanter is now attached, and I’m told my revision surgery (described as absolutely massive!) went really well indeed. I have a wonderful surgeon.

Each day I resolve to set up a recovery thread, I nod off … and put off for yet another day. The tiredness is worse than any previous surgery. The leg is more swollen than any previous THR. I’m not sleeping too well at night. I’m constantly hungry! I know from all my previous reading here on BoneSmart that all is completely normal and I’m not at all worried by any of it.

I’ve been instructed to rest, rest and … rest! To allow time to heal and for the bone to grow. I can weight-bear so long as I use two crutches. It takes forever to do the smallest thing. And it doesn’t matter, I’m on the “other side” and recovering. I rest, elevate and ice; eat and sleep; and repeat …! My previous reading here on BoneSmart has given me the confidence to know how I want to handle my recovery. Thank you all!
 

VSlowLife

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Welcome! Glad to hear your surgery went well and I hope your healing goes well, too. I know nothing about femoral implants fracturing and I am sorry this happened to you.
 

Layla

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Hi @helenium
Welcome!
Thanks for coming out of the shadows and formerly joining us. It will be nice for you to receive some of the cheer, support and encouragement you've offered others.

I'm sorry for the accident that led to your surgery. Hopefully your pain is well managed. I'm sure you've read the Recovery Guidelines elsewhere on the site. I'll leave you a copy below.

You're definitely experiencing Energy Drain as your body uses energy first to heal, not leaving much else for you to function on. Take advantage and sleep as our body does it's best healing while we're asleep. Make sure you're icing for 40-60 mins, no less, and do it several times per day since you're resting often anyway. It will help ease pain and swelling.

Wishing you comfort and will see you around! A great rest of the day to you!
 
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Layla

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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 these
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
6. Access to 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 the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Jaycey

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@helenium So sorry you had to have such a massive revision. It is pretty unusual for anyone to have this type of fracture. Was it a faulty implant?

In any case you are now on the other side. Just take the slow and steady approach. You already know the drill!

We are here for you!
 
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helenium

helenium

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Thank you for the welcome @Layla. Yes, out of the shadows at last!

Just to clarify, no actual accident. Even in hospital, staff assumed I had fallen or done something to cause the fracture. Not guilty!! The top half of the stem had loosened to the point that there was no longer any contact with the bone. The lower half was very well bonded with the bone. The cause of the fractured prosthesis was metal fatigue, no fracture of the bone at all.
 

Jaycey

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@helenium Snap - I was posting as you were answering my question. Wow - luckily this doesn't happen often. Glad you are now on the mend.
 
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helenium

helenium

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@Jaycey - I've been told I was very unlucky! I can but hope that this revision is a blessing in disguise. Although I can't test it yet, I feel as if my balance is perfect, unlike the previous revision. My greater trochanter has been re-attached using a technique that wasn't available when the previous revision was done. Fingers crossed (but not legs!) that the bone heals this time and that I have improved function of this hip. My surgeon has used a fairly new procedure which wasn't available at the time of my last revision and I'm not allowed to actively abduct while the bone has a chance to heal. I'm told that the femur has been opened up the full length too! Lots of bone healing going on here.
 

RinTinTin

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OMG @helenium... this century didn't start well for you. Yes, you were very unlucky! I am so sorry you had to endure all those surgeries. Hopefully this is the end of it and the start of a new era for you!
Fingers crossed!
 

Mojo333

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Hi @helenium
My old pal. My old cheerleader. So sorry that you had to go through all of this and shame on you for not starting a thread so I could send my best Mojo your way.:friends:
I'm glad you are feeling that once this surgery trauma subsides, that hip is feeling more stable.

Lots of healing hugs and do stay around and keep us updated.
So good to see you on the forum.:) :-) (:
 
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helenium

helenium

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Aw thanks @Mojo333

Looking on the bright side ...
An extreme way to go about it I know, but I feel as if I belong on the forum now :) !
The acetabular cup was fine and didn't need revision. That must be why this is the first THR where I haven't felt as if I'm sitting on a golf ball or the TV remote!
 

Debru4

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Wow---what a shock that must have been! You sound like such a positive, resilient person----a role model for us all:) I am pretty stunned by your long list of procedures in your signature, starting at such a young age. I hope your recent surgery is your last for a good loooooooooonnnnnngggggg time! :flwrysmile:
 
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helenium

helenium

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Thanks @Debru4:wave:. I admit I was somewhat stunned to hear the result of my x-ray, although I just couldn't imagine what could have happened to cause so much pain and muscle spasm.

Just thought of another thing I learned from this experience. Despite 3 THRs and a TKR on the right side, I discovered I can hop on that leg!
 

Mojo333

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:tada: well, how about them apples?
Wait...how often do you hop?:flabber:
No hopping yet!
Oh my stars...I will worry for you!
 
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helenium

helenium

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Don't panic @Mojo333, I'm not hopping now!

For my first week in hospital I was stuck flat on my back unable to move. I had a two and a half week wait for surgery, so I asked my surgeon if there was any chance I could try sitting in a chair, otherwise I would have been lying in one position for nearly a month before I was upright again. They decided I could try, if it was too painful then I'd be flat on my back again. So I managed short sessions in a chair with my leg supported, and short hops (on the 'good' leg) to the bathroom on crutches. Such a luxury!
 

Izabel

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:welome: helenium. I know you have been lurking and looking for some time but I couldn't find you! So pleased you came on board!

My goodness, you have been through a lot and I can only imagine how painful it was when you had your fracture. I cannot describe the pain I felt when I slipped and fell and cleanly sheared the neck of my femur (Grade 4 break). I was in traction for five days when it was decided it best to replace the hip. That was the beginning of my journey five years ago.

Are your misfortunes due to avascular necrosis or arthritis or osteoporosis ... or none of the foregoing?

Please take care ... sending you wishes for a good recovery.

Hugs for You.jpeg Izzy xx
 

Debru4

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I'm sure if my femur fractured, I'd be hopping on the other side as well!:yikes: I can just picture you frantically hopping to stay up when you felt that horrid pain......and all of this was just 7 weeks ago?

30 years ago when I was pregnant with triplets (who were supposed to be our 2nd child, but ended up being 2, 3, and 4:heehee:) I had to spend the month before I had them on modified bedrest. I could still walk in the house on a limited basis, and could lie down or sit wherever I wanted. Even that moderate limitation made me want to howl at the moon. I can't even imagine how awful it must have been for you to spend those weeks in the hospital prior to your surgery.

You really are a bionic woman, aren't you?!?!
 
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helenium

helenium

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Hi @Izabel. Thanks for the welcome and your good wishes. You have been through so much yourself and yet you remain so cheerful, positive, and supportive of others. I love reading your posts. My initial THRs were because of osteoarthritis, unfortunately neither were very well done.

@Debru4. My fracture 7 weeks ago was to the metal stem, not the femur itself (fortunately). But it still meant that I was unable to move. My surgeon has since opened up the femur in order to remove the broken stem!

It will be so good to get outdoors again. Today it's a high of about 13*C in my part of the UK, along with rain showers. I need to join Izzy in Portugal to sit outdoors in some sunshine!
 

Barbaraj

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Wow, what you've been through sounds pretty horrific, @helenium! But so glad to read that new techniques were available to do repairs this time although, really, it's just time for you to take a break from surgery, right? You've been the gauntlet and it's time for some permanent healing and no more hospital stays! Best of luck to you as you start this next (and, I hope, FINAL) phase of recovery!
 

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