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[THR] Going4fun new hip adventure

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Going4fun

Going4fun

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My six-month update ... some neutral news ... and a frightening possibility.

Met with surgeon, today, exactly 6 months after my surgery. I came emotionally ready to present my problems and my frustration with the pace of my recovery ... In response to a prompt by a good friend, who knows I often work hard to be "positive" in situations where being unduly "positive" interferes with honest exchange, I took about two days to get emotionally ready for the meeting. I came ready to present my concerns and worries and frustrations--I was determined not leave the surgeon's office feeling dismissed or unheard.

The good news is ... my surgeon heard me loud and clear ... and actually expressed concern to learn that I didn't walk without cane until week 9. His nurse, whom I have talked to multiple times, had told me by phone not to worry about my pace of recovery ... The surgeon definitely was more worried--the concern was visible in his face as he took notes--as I recounted the good and the bad about my recovery. I came ready, having literally practiced my spiel ... I spewed out the details ... the ups, the downs, what's good, what's frustrating and not soo good. I was so armed with detail that the surgeon really didn't need to ask many clarifying questions.

The "OK" news about my thigh that gets tired really easily ... he thinks I could be having a tight IT band problem ... or a trochanteric bursitis problem ... and he wrote me a script for PT ... He thinks the PT should focus on stretching and loosening my IT band.

The "bad" news ... he noticed that the device had dropped from its position immediately after surgery. He said he couldn't tell for sure if the device had fused with bone properly. He said there were some signs that it had fused well ... but that somehow ... and I didn't totally catch his reasoning here ... he'd feel better making that judgement in 3 months (9 months after surgery) ... or in 6 months (one year after surgery).

He told me to come back in three months and to call before then if anything felt really painful.

I'm stunned to be honest ... I didn't really think there was a possibility the device had failed to integrate with bone ... (though the thought has crossed my mind many times) ... And I wasn't anticipating that the device would have noticeably dropped on the X-ray. After the appointment, my mind jumped to revision ... OMG! ... but I reminded myself on the car ride home that I'm not in excruciating pain ... I danced 30 minutes non-stop. really fast! three nights ago ... I can walk a mile to a mile and a half with ease ... before I feel a lump in my thigh. The lump might come on earlier in my walks, of course, and it's possible I simply ignore the minor niggles I feel ... until later in the walk ... still ... I'm walking and I walk fast!

Also good: I'm taking far less pain medication than I took just a month ago ... and the IT band problem (or whatever the problem is) has seemed to ease with icing over the past two to three weeks.

I'll call the PT folks later this week. The surgeon emphasized that he wanted stretching and loosening work, not muscular work. Now my goal is to somehow enjoy my life day to day over the next three months ... and see how PT works ... even as the possibility of a BIG problem lurks on the horizon.

I'm thinking about asking for my X-rays ... and posting the latest one ... to see what Josephine says about how the device appears to be fusing with bone. I had figured that if the device were loose, I'd be in agonizing pain and wouldn't be able to run up and down the stairs as fast and as effortlessly as I do.

Kinda been the contradiction of my recovery: I could go up and downs stairs easily ... with no cane ... even as I needed a cane for walking.

I also know that a lot of devices drop ... a teeny bit (I think) ... over time ...without causing catastrophic problems. I think? ...

Thanks for reading.
 

Layla

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Hi Going4fun,
I'm sorry to read this as it obviously leaves you in a state of limbo. This news must be difficult to digest. My heart goes out to you as I'm sure this isn't what you expected out of your six month post op appt.
Hopefully none of the possibilities warrant a revision.

I was surprised to read this myself since I never got the impression you were dealing with anything adverse.
Rather than ask you any questions I'm tagging @Josephine to see if she has any questions or commentary regarding your visit with the surgeon today. I'm quite sure she'll want to see your x-ray, so I hope you'll obtain a copy soon. Wishing you only the best going forward.
@Going4fun
 

Josephine

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he thinks I could be having a tight IT band problem ... or a trochanteric bursitis problem
I think I said as much on a previous occasion?
I had figured that if the device were loose, I'd be in agonizing pain and wouldn't be able to run up and down the stairs as fast and as effortlessly as I do.
Not necessarily. It's a persistent and fairly strong ache but in no way agonizing.
 

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My dear @Going4fun , I am so sorry to read about this and your concerns. Hopefully this is just an IT band issue, and some stretching and loosening (and massage?) with the PT will deal with it. Keep us up to date with what is happening.
 
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Thanks @Layla for getting Josephine involved ... I'm not sure she had commented on my thread before ... maybe I missed it ... but I did see her comments on someone else's thread ... and this other person seemed to have pain coming from the same places I've noticed tightness ... and Josephine mentioned Trochanteric bursitis. Josephine mentioned a steroid shot as a fix for the bursitis ... my surgeon (for reasons I didn't fully understand) said he wanted to delay giving a shot for a few months.

@An54, I'm still a bit rattled by the appointment today. It's strange: I did (as in affirmative) want my surgeon to step back and think about whether a larger, or more fundamental problem could be in play. I DID want that. And I got it! The old be careful about what you wish for ... And he pulled back and narrowed his focus in recommending stretching PT for the IT band ... Still the idea that the device had shifted some ... My surgeon was trying to walk a fine line (and I was all over him with questions) ... He didn't like the shift in the device (it dropping down) ... but he didn't that that shift was necessarily fatal ...

I'll reflect on this some more ... I'm still feeling that I'm ready to take my hip out for a public dance spin ... nothing has changed there ... and I don't think I can damage the thing by dancing ... I have my next appointment in three months ... I'll remain optimistic ... and I will say this ... I know where I'll go for a second opinion if it comes to that ...

Thanks for the support folks. You know, I'm bummed ... but also relieved ... relieved that my surgeon IS not hiding in denial, not dismissing my reports to him ... He didn't block me ... and he's willing to go back to ground zero to make sure the doggone hip did successfully fuse with bone.
 

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What a positive response to an unsettling appointment! I'm so glad you felt your surgeon truly listened to you:)

The part where a little extra stretching could help---now that's the kind of news you want to hear. And then the part of about the device shifting-----not so much!

I hope the next few months pass quickly and you will get good news in 3 months. Have you thought about a second opinion, or are you pretty confident in your surgeon?
 

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I hope the extra stretching works for you and at least your surgeon is listening! Hope you do try the dancing. Interesting that he was concerned you were still on a stick at 9 weeks. I had not realised that could be a flag to a possible problem.
 
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I agree with everyone, @Going4fun, it must have been a very disconcerting appointment but you have handled it well--obviously concerned but not going into "freak out" mode. You have your marching orders going forward: make that PT appointment and try to work diligently with your therapist to see if that helps. Sounds as if your doctor is taking a "wait and see" position in terms of determining if there is a more serious problem so your job is to not obsess about that possibility but to keep moving forward. It does sound as if you've got a good surgeon, interested and caring, and I think that will stand you in good stead as you move ahead. Let's hope the next appointment will be more positive--try to hold onto that positive attitude and not borrow trouble. Do what you can, remembering to STOP if something hurts but don't stop living your life out of fear and constant "what ifs". We'll all be thinking of you, hoping you'll continue to post and let us know how you're doing. Sending positive thoughts to you this morning.
 

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Hi @Going4fun
Thinking of you this morning. I hope you had a good night's rest and are facing the day with a fresh hope that
this doesn't have to be worst case scenario. I'd appreciate having a surgeon who leaves no stone unturned rather than be dismissive. I was wondering what Jo's thoughts were on the device "dropping down". My guess is she'd be familiar. I thought of tagging her again but I will leave that decision up to you. Sometimes too much information can be unsettling and possibly that's why all surgeons don't give you all the possibilities and take the less threatening wait and see approach? Not asking you...just thinking outloud.
Wishing you peace of mind in the midst of all.
 
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Thanks for the support Layla, Barbaraj, SurreyGirl, Debru4. I'm feeling better today. This morning I came out of the house ... and the trolley that takes me to work was coming by my house. There was a red light ahead where the trolley would stop ... and after I crossed the street, I broke into a run ... and then when I saw the light changing to green, I broke into an all-out sprint .... to catch up with the trolley.

It was only a few minutes after sitting on the trolley that I realized I had sprinted ... hard ... for the first time since the surgery! I realized I wasn't hurting, wasn't sore ... just a niggle ... I took that as a good sign.

Yes @Layla I would love Josephine's thoughts on the hip dropping down, how to interpret the drop.
 

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The "bad" news ... he noticed that the device had dropped from its position immediately after surgery. He said he couldn't tell for sure if the device had fused with bone properly. He said there were some signs that it had fused well ... but that somehow ... and I didn't totally catch his reasoning here ... he'd feel better making that judgement in 3 months (9 months after surgery) ... or in 6 months (one year after surgery).
@Josephine
Are you able to comment on the above quote? Or is that not possible without viewing an x-ray?
In your experience does a device that's dropped from its position automatically lead to a revision?
Any particulars that cause the device to drop? We're all trying to understand and learn something here....
 

Josephine

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Might help more if I could see the xray.
 
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Thanks Josephine. I'll have to get the X-ray ... and maybe the original x-ray and the one from six months later.
 

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Isn't it amazing how you can do something, (like your sprint) and then later realize, "Wow, I did something I couldn't have done before surgery, or even a month ago following surgery?" I was pretty aware of certain milestones---getting rid of the compression socks, pain meds, climbing steps, losing the cane, etc. But the things that I am in the most awe of are the ones that happened gradually, one day I just realize I can do something with no pain or thought, and I have NO IDEA when it actually happened. Kind of like they say when you start forgetting the walker or cane you are ready to move on? I am nearly 9 months out, and it's exciting to realize how rarely I think of the hip!

Here's hoping your hip dropping/fusion issue ends up being a "non-issue" and everything is fine. I agree with @Layla ---for me, having information is always preferable to not, and having a doctor who is willing to share info and answer my questions is appreciated, and reassuring that I am not being left in the dark. Personal preference I know. :SUNsmile:
 

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Good morning, @Going4fun. I hope your equilibrium is back today. You seemed to handle the potentially difficult news (but jury is still out) about your hip but I am sure you were reeling a bit as you processed all that information. But that's cool that you were able to sprint without thinking about it, and had no ill effects--those are truly the grace moments in this recovery for me, times when you do something naturally and without thinking. Hope you have a great day!
 
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@Debru4, I know it is amazing that part of recovery is to move in a new way (without planning to ahead of time) ... and then to reflect back and notice the progress. There must be some life lesson in that! ... An adage along the lines of "take the small steps and you'll one day take a big step." Interesting.
 
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Thanks @Barbaraj, I had a visit with the chiropractor today (weak back going back decades) ... and while in town, I drove by the two physical therapy offices I have narrowed my choices to. Wanted to check out the location, what the buildings looked like, parking around the area, traffic, and so on ...

My resolution: put in a call today and get an appointment set up. I'm resolved to be optimistic ... but I feel somewhat demoralized. Just have to know this state is just a temporary state and get going with the PT ... and just make sure I appreciate that i can walk and move ... and I'm not in any kind of agonizing pain.
 

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@Going4fun ---during this recovery process I have become pretty philosophical at times, and have connected with a number of those adages that you don't really "get" until you are in the middle of one----like the "Go slow to go fast", or "Enjoy the Little Things in Life for Someday You'll Realize They Were the Big Things", and so on.

Your comment about "casing the joints" and having to get yourself in gear to actually make the appointment sounds so familiar. Just be sure the PT you do is the right PT, because you don't want to be one of the "PT set me back" statistics.



Just have to know this state is just a temporary state and get going with the PT ... and just make sure I appreciate that i can walk and move ... and I'm not in any kind of agonizing pain.
And you ended with my favorite...."Count Your Blessings"!
 

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Hello,
It's encouraging you're not in any great pain and are moving forward. With any luck this will be nothing more than a blip on the screen, looking back. I hope you can get a copy of your x-ray so Jo can take a peek.
You'll have to let us know how PT goes.
@Going4fun
 

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