Are you contemplating having a Girdlestone procedure and, if so, why?
Please, can you tell us a bit more about yourself, so we understand what has brought you to this point?
I can't think of anyone on BoneSmart who has had a Girdlestone. It's usually a procedure of last resort, only done when nothing else is possible.
Instead of a Girdlestone, most people are given a total hip replacement.
@lyn12 I have a sort of girdlestone, but, I have not got a femur so it is all done with my spacer being attached to my artificial knee. I have had 3 artificial hips but suffered infection and sepsis over a 10 year period. This spacer has been in situ for two and a half years, I really lead a normal life I drive and walk with crutches of course its not always easy but quite possible. We are going to have one final go with a hip, but if all fails again I know I can manage the same as I am now. Good luck if this being suggested to you, I do know it is possible to convert to a hip at a later time.xx
I had an infection which required 20 total hip replacements. There wasn't enough bone for a 21st, hence the girdlestone. So they cut the top off the femur. Are you saying it IS possible to convert to a hip at a later time????? How is that done? Thanks
@lyn12 - did the same surgeon do all those hip replacements?
I think it would be a good idea if you look for several different opinions from surgeons who specialise in problem hips and who work out of a larger city, from a hospital with a reputation for excellence.
No, went to Mayo, Cleveland, and Jackson. Had my first THR in 1991 by my wonder guy. Lasted 10 years with NO problems. Then it wore out so got a revision. That dislocated, another revision. And that one got infected. Mayo and elsewhere tried to get rid of the infection. They all failed. I had so many revisions at the last attempt (the 21st surgery) there wasn't enough bone left for another THR. Hence the only options were amputation or the Girdle procedure.
Was intellectually ready for it but not emotionally. Having a wheelchair and walker is killing me. I was very active before. More depressed everyday. Surgeon did say that depending on the difference of the length of my legs, one day I might be able to wear one of those built-up shoes and 'walk' again with help.
Someone here said that they can some kind of surgery AFTER a girdlestone. Anyone else aware of this? I'd appreciate any info. I should add I have no pain and take a ton of antibiotics. Thanks to all.
Thank you for trying to explain what happened. So, when did you have teh Girdlestone procedure, and which hip is it?
I'm not sure what sort of surgery clodaghcove had, but I think a lot does depend on the length of femur that you have left. The surgeons at Mayo will have more idea about that and I think your best course of action is to talk to them about it.
This is only my personal opinion, but since you are now free of pain and infection seems to be controlled, even though you have to take multiple antibiotics, I would be inclined to leave things as they are for now, rather than going for any more surgery and running the risk of possibly stirring up infection again.
I had the Girdlestone about 3 months. I know im not healed yet - still thigh very swollen. wouldnt go back to Mayo - surgeon terrible, didn't talk to me (and i'm a biologist and know medical terms.) Get this - my nurse had never used a bed pan and didnt know how! Cleveland was no better - the surgeon there was so over confident that i watched him prescribe more surgery WITHOUT looking at my x-rays. All in all the best guy I had for the girdlestone was in Jackson MS. My local guy was fabulous but he doesnt do complicated procedures.
Glad you joined us but I sure do have so much sympathy and respect for your situation after enduring almost 20 years of revision surgeries and fighting infection.
You have to be one tough lady.
I don't know what your "new normal" will look like but I have read much about the procedure since you piqued my interest/concern.
There were varying accounts of life after girdlestone...
A lift in the shoe, certainly, and walking aides seem to be the terms on which patients were able to regain mobility.
We have had a member who commented on another's thread about his girdlestone being converted back to THR, but his situation was certainly far different from yours and he did not have all of the revisions and bone loss you have suffered.
Pain free did seem the common theme with the people I read about even with struggles with mobility.
I feel like your tenacity and persistence could make you one of the outliers as you go forward.
Just got to let that hip heal now and we would love to follow you on your journey back to health.
Healing hugs xxxx
For all you folks having THR or TNR, you should me able to get your life back after healing - wonderful
I'm newly in a chair and I don't think I can do it anymore. Not being able to do everything in life I love has devastated me. Every day I fade away from what/people made my life joyful. I had the girdlesone procedure (all hip cut out) so no hope of 'getting well. I don't know long I can do this (3 monrhs from surgery.)I know people live rich lives in a wheelchair. But how? I know there's no alternative for me except for amputation which I won't even consider.
So for all your folks who have come to terms with your disability, what was your secret? Friends have suggested prayer but I don't feel anyone is listening. I would so appreciate any advice from anyway.
I'm so sorry you are struggling and feeling so distraught.
I wish I had good answers and hope that some of our members who have had harder outcomes can share their coping 'secrets'.
I cannot say I know how you feel, because certainly I do not.
I do however sympathize, truly, and know that after your incredibly long battles with your unsuccessful surgeries, that it's hard to stay positive when your body and mind have been there through so much.
I have read some encouraging stories of life after girdlestone though I know it means decreased mobility.
Hugs, dear lyn xxxx
@lyn12 Can you try and find some sort of support group for people in your situation? There are certainly lots of people with varying degrees of disability living full lives. I think it's about coming to terms with what you have now and figuring out a way to move forward.
Or do you have a good friend or relative you could talk to about this?
I've has 21 hip hipsurgeries,last one was girdlestone - whole hip removed. i went from weight training/aerobic to a chair. I'm very depressed (it's been 4 whole weeks), how do you from an active person to nothing without losing your mind? Beside depression,have severe anxiety? Any pearls of wisdom from those who feel the same way? I really need help.
Lyn....my heart goes out to you for all you've been through with your hip. Please see Jaycey's post above for what I consider to be the best advice for you. You need to talk with professionals who can help you determine where you are now and what is possible in the coming years.
As I'm sure you know, the Girdlestone procedure is not done much these days, so you won't run into a lot of people who can share experiences with it. But you have had care at some of our country's leading hospitals, so I must assume this procedure was what was needed in your case. Most people who have it report significant reduction in their pain and discomfort. Is that the case with you?
Although there is leg shortening, compensation can be made for that with orthopedic shoes. Has anyone discussed that with you? Also, physical therapy may be possible to strengthen your hip and buttocks muscles. All this plus the addition of some crutches may give you a level of mobility. Is that something that has been talked about?
There are motorized wheelchairs and scooters that are options to get around if you are not going to be able to walk. There are also exercise programs for people who are in a wheelchair - either permanently or temporarily as they heal.
What are your living conditions? Do you have someone living with you that you can depend upon for some moral and physical support? Are you at home or in a facility? What services do you currently have for help? Have you talked with you family doctor about the depression you are feeling?
I'm sorry to bombard you with a bunch of questions, but until we know what avenues you've taken to help yourself, it will be difficult offer some suggestions.
What a journey you’ve been on, Lynn. I’m sorry you had to experience so many surgeries, endure infection and ultimately the Girdlestone procedure. While you’re feeling anxious and depressed right now, hold onto hope. This can change and with some counseling and a support group if you’re willing, this may open avenues and give
you a passion for something new that you’ve never dreamt of. You may meet and add new friends to your existing circle bringing back joy and a fulfillment to your life. Please begin researching and reach out when you feel led to. Know that we’re here for you whenever you need us. You’re not alone.
Thank you all for your kind and understanding comments!! I sure wish I could find a support group around here - I've checked and there's nothing. It's been 4 months since the surgery and I'm not getting better, worse if anything. I am getting a built-up shoe for my shorter leg next week, so that;s one step closer to "walking with assistance." Hubby says I'm facing a marathon not a sprint- he's healthy and very fit of course. If I could find things to do it would help pass the hours. I counsel people who are suffering from severe grief over the loss of a pet (petlossgriefcounselor.com). But that doesn't take up much time.
How do I make a new thread? Also has anyone started a support group in person or online beside this one which has been a God send! Thanks again.