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THR Help?

ReluctantHippy

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Hello all.

I was on this site two years ago but I can’t for the life of me remember my login, so please excuse the new account!

I am now 38, with DDH and very advanced OA on my right side and have been told a THR is my only option for a normal life. I went on the UK NHS list in February 2020, but sadly haven’t progressed much due to COVID, so I’m due to pay for private treatment next month.

I’m come a relatively long way from being absolutely adamant that I wasn’t going to get a THR initially, to reluctantly knowing that I must, but I remain completely terrified of what’s ahead and my anxiety has continued to grow over the past two years.

I am (maybe strangely) less concerned about the surgery itself, as my surgeon has an excellent reputation, as does the hospital I’m going to. My fears are all around recovery, especially post-op pain. Yes, I have pain now but it’s not constant and is mostly avoided if I avoid activity (one of the reasons I’m feeling sad and stuck as I am), so I’m aware that I’ll probably have much worse pain initially. I’ve also never been in hospital or had surgery. I’m incredibly frightened of negotiating what sounds like a very long and difficult recovery. I’ve been forewarned that I may need some grafting work, so I may also need to add recovery time on.

I must admit that sometimes I’m tempted to leave it until I’m in more pain so that there’s more ‘relief’, but my surgeon has warned me I’m already losing bone from the ‘polishing’, so there’s risks attached to that. I’ve spoken to a number of people who’ve had THR and their experiences vary wildly.

I’m also anxious about revisions and also any potential long term health effects of having a prosthesis in my body for longer periods.

At the moment I’m pretty sore, have extremely limited ROM and can’t walk without very noticeable referred pain in my back and knee. I’m painkiller free so I have no tolerance to anything, which my surgeon thinks is good news for post op. I’ve managed to stay fit with daily physio and some cross training.

I suppose I’m looking for some support from the people who’ve been through it, especially those who were so anxious before it. I know a lot of it is very unpredictable, and as such it’s probably unfair of me to ask for reassurance. I just don’t want my overwhelming fear of this to stop me going ahead.

Thanks for reading.
 

Pumpkin

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@ReluctantHippy
:welome: back to BoneSmart!
Administrators will be contacting you about merging your two accounts. Thanks for letting us know you were have problems.
but my surgeon has warned me I’m already losing bone from the ‘polishing’, so there’s risks attached to that.
@Jaycey is in the UK, I have tagged her to comment about the downside of waiting too long.
I’m also anxious about revisions and also any potential long term health effects of having a prosthesis in my body for longer periods.
I am not aware of any adverse effects of having a prosthesis in you body for a long period of time. You also have to consider the long term effects of being in pain and not being to enjoy all the activities you enjoy because of a deteriorating hip, and the effect on your overall health and mental outlook.
I suppose I’m looking for some support from the people who’ve been through it, especially those who were so anxious before it.
You will find a large group of members who are or have been very anxious before surgery, a normal response to having a major surgery.

New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Eman85

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I put mine off for over 30 years so I understand being anxious. I never had a doctor tell me I was losing bone. I can tell you that for me it removed the daily pain. The recovery isn't short but it's not that bad if you consider the gains. It sounds like you're in pretty good shape so the hardest part will be the patience required during recovery. You have to make the decision and once you do look at it as going all in for the recovery and getting rid of the pain. Honestly the recovery pain is no where near the shooting pain or the deep ache of a bad hip. mine didn't throb or ache it's just soreness in the muscles from being manipulated. I was surprised really as I though the bones would hurt but that wasn't the case. It's all muscle soreness and weakness.
 

Jaycey

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@ReluctantHippy I was in the same space as you are when I first found BoneSmart. I had put off even getting a diagnosis for years. By the time I had my first hip x-ray the joint had collapsed. Sounds like you are nearly there. Believe me, you don't want that pain. Waiting only makes the recovery longer.

The good thing about post op pain is that it can be controlled. Work with staff to get your pain management cocktail just right before you leave hospital.

We can't predict anything about your recovery. Most people take a full year to get back to normal. But there are many milestones during that time.

Please don't worry about revisions. They are not the norm. The reason you seen them mentioned more often here is that these members are not the norm. They stay with us longer due to complications. For every revision member there are many, many more members who have had their THR and are off living life again.

This surgery is life changing. Talk through your fears here - that's what BoneSmart is about.

BTW what is your surgery date and which hip. We will make a signature for you and get you added to our October surgery group.
 
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ReluctantHippy

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@Eman85 Thank you for responding. The endless dull ache I certainly have a lot, causing sharp pains when walking. The bone loss is due to the dysplasia apparently, since my socket is shallow and the femur is sort of ‘grooving’ it’s way in there. My surgeon is fascinated that I’m not in more pain, or that I’ve normalised it to a degree where I can ignore some of it. It’s the lack of function I really can’t bear, the hip just doesn’t work and all the flack is on my knees and back. I need a crutch outdoors and cannot really move my bad leg much. The stiffness is much worse than the pain for me, pretty unbearable. I am in decent shape, quite slim, and I’ve worked with a physio daily to try and be as strong as possible during this endless wait! Im fascinated how you managed to delay so long, how did you keep yourself so fit and well?
 
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ReluctantHippy

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@Jaycey As long as nothing goes wrong in pre op, it should be 13th October on my right hip. My left hip also has DDH but no OA, surgeon is hopeful I can get close to my 50s on that one! My surgeon is a revision specialist so has been clear with me that I will need a revision on this hip at the very least at some point, so I hope to bear that in mind but not let it take over too much.

Thank you for the kind response. My surgeon has said that leaving it will lead to (eventual) greater pain and disability. I haven’t got significantly worse these two years waiting, but everything is certainly harder, stiffer and I’m much more tired. I feel very aged! And I turn things down a LOT - a half mile walk without crutches will have me stiff and extremely sore for about a week after, so my world has become very small. I’m like a spectator in my own life, and I haven’t been able to walk and hold my husbands hand since we got married a few years back (including on honeymoon) because I need a crutch - that’s made me very sad.

I think I can handle a year - I’ve had ten years of deterioration so far so maybe a year going slowly in the opposite direction would be better! I also wish I wasn’t paying, but I’m trying to see it as an investment! I suppose I’m most worried about immediate recovery and those first few weeks I hear difficult stories about…
 

Jaycey

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You really can't predict if you will need a revision. But if you do it will be 30 years from now. Technology will continue to move on. Don't dwell on this. Focus on how your new hip will improve your life.

I remember that aged feeling. I was on crutches for 6 months waiting for my THR. I had never had to deal with mobility issues so it was very humbling.

I am so sorry you have having to pay for your op. There are literally thousands of patients waiting for these ops. It's so sad as I do know consultants desperately want to treat their patients. But without dedicated (and safe) orthopaedic areas there is just no option. Be thankful you can do this. Your hospital will be a safe area.
 
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ReluctantHippy

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There’s been some very strong Covid outbreaks at the NHS hospital here too, none at the private. I waited two years and when I saw him again (privately) a few months back he said he had nothing left for the year, some slots in January but I wouldn’t be high enough on the list, so anytime from March onwards but likely more delays. I’ve had four potential dates cancelled which has been a terrible build up and crash. No fault of the NHS at all, no one could have predicted COVID. My surgeon was generally upset that he couldn’t give me a date and very kindly said that no one should ever suffer like this and how sorry he was. They are good people trying to help people, they just don’t have the physical capacity for it.

I’d hoped this would have inspired me even more just to do it, but I’m still as terrified as ever. I’ve tried lots of different anxiety treatments but I think it’s because it’s a major surgery, and the unknown as I’ve never experienced anything like it. Lockdown was, like for many people waiting on surgery, incredibly hard as there were no walks or chances to really go outdoors without a lot of pain and difficulty. The isolation (I’m currently WFH) has been significant.

Im reading this and literally thinking “good god woman, go and fix your hip!” but at the same time I want to hobble off into the sunset and never face it.

Thanks for your patience.
 

subie2021

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I'm sorry that you're in such distress.
Take note that trying to live with a bad hip is not doing much good for your health. Compensating is throwing all your working parts out of alignment, you can't really do routines as they are meant to be done, stress hormones from pain amd worry are flooding your body, and bit by bit you're losing activities that made you, you.
Don't read any articles that go into detail on things that can go awry with surgery. We all know there are risks, but focussing on them doesn't help your frame of mind one tiny bit. I'd also stay away from advice from any Mr. or Ms. Downer who manage to have had the most horrible experiences in anything they do. You know who they are in your circle, avoid them. Talk to the optimistic Sunshines instead. You need your head to be filled with positivity. Generally these types of people can relate some difficulties also, but they deal with them and move on.
All the staff in the hospital are there to care for you and to help you get better. They are good at what they do. I know many many people in healthcare and I can tell you to them, it isn't just a job...it's what they love to do and it comes from the heart.
I had my hip replaced a little over a week ago, and I am absolutely gobsmacked at how fabulous pain control has been. I kept waiting for the hospital drugs to wear off and the agony to begin...and it never happened even for a moment. Not one second! On my first day home I followed my surgeon's drug protocol and found his first choice made me feel sick while keeping any discomfort at bay. He changed to a different much more agreeable drug, I took a dose, and decide I could put the rest in the cupboard because I just didn't need it, and could rely on over-the-counter pain relief for any odd aches instead.
You know how now you just hurt everywhere - your back, your hip, your knee, that spot on the side of your calf, everything is just sore and miserable? That was me, too. Every single day since my surgery, I realize that *nothing* hurts like that any more. I might wake up a little stiff, but that goes away soon and *nothing* hurts!
Yep, recovery will be lengthy and slow and boring, but it will end. Every day brings us closer to full recovery. Every day lets you reclaim a piece of the life you lost or are losing to hip pain.
Best wishes for some peace of mind going forward.
 

FCBayern

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I feel very aged! And I turn things down a LOT - a half mile walk without crutches will have me stiff and extremely sore for about a week after, so my world has become very small. I’m like a spectator in my own life, and I haven’t been able to walk and hold my husbands hand since we got married a few years back (including on honeymoon) because I need a crutch - that’s made me very sad.
Leaving all that behind you to live an active pain free life makes the recovery more than worth it @ReluctantHippy. I hadn't realized how small my world (which shrunk my wife's world as well) had become until I was healthy and I realized how much I hadn't been doing before. While it takes a full year for recovery, you will find yourself feeling much better than you do now much sooner than a year. You will find a lot of support and plenty of cheerleaders here on BoneSmart. I know the support helped me tremendously through both replacements.
 

Starmarie

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I would tell you not to delay. The longer you wait, the harder recovery will be. Post-op pain is not as bad as OA pain. Plus you get lots of good pain medication. Seriously, don’t wait. We tend to think we can deal with the OA because we’ve been accommodating our lives to get by. I could not walk for 5 minutes without debilitating groin pain and locking in the weeks prior to surgery. Now, 6 weeks post-op I’m walking a mile slowly, but it’s a vast improvement from pre-op.

The first time I was told that a THR was the only way to be “cured” I had the surgery booked within days. No regrets.
 

Eman85

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Im fascinated how you managed to delay so long, how did you keep yourself so fit and well?
I had the sharp pains and the dull ache from the time I was a teen, had pins inserted in my femur for SCFE when I was 14. What can I say beside I have a high tolerance for pain. Through those years I played sports up until I was 30 when a Dr. told me I'd better stop which is when I spoke to my first THR surgeon. All of our bodies are different and I was able to keep hiking and walking without any apparent limp, few knew I had any hip problems. I never took any pain killers and tried to keep the NSAIDS to a minimum but it was obvious it was getting worse. Mine reached a point of locking and making a low pop when it released.
 

Puggles

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Hi,
I have NOT been through it, but I wanted to tell you I
totalllllllly understand your fears !!! It is very scary,
isn't it? I hope that allll the wonderful support you'll get
here will help all your fears! (( hugs ))
 

JulieH

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Developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Reluctanthippy - I was born with ddh in both hips but not diagnosed until I was walking at 3. I had various surgeries throughout childhood, and the right hip was corrected but the left never was. My original surgeon wanted to do a replacement when I was 30, but when I was 24, I saw a different surgeon who told me to go away and not come back before 50.
I managed to hide ride and ski, and do everything that growing up i wasn't allowed 'in case it hurt my hip'. A couple of years ago I changed jobs, had to walk more and it finished off my hip. My left leg was 1.5" shorter than the right and the referred back ache, knee ache and the hip itself were being worse. I felt a complete failure going on the waiting list at 50, but it was my husband's logic that I may as well have time now when younger to be able to do things rather than wait until I'm older, when I won't be moving as much anyway - just to avoid potential revision surgery. I was scared, not of the surgery, or the immediate recovery, but in case I found no benefit having given into it.

I had my surgery on 19 August. The surgeon knows I intend to live a full life. I have a higher risk of dislocation because of the deformity in my hip, so he gave me a dual mobility cup. He reduced the leg length difference by an estimated 60-70% and my full foot now sits on the floor. I agree with the others, I get post surgery aches, pains etc, but I don't have the constant back ache I had, not the burning pain in the hip. My muscles despite being twisted for 40 odd years are adjusting well. Like you I was active pre surgery, and it helps post. From what I've experienced so far I think I will be able to do everything I did before, carefully, but without pain.
I'd say go for it.
 

Lisako76

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Hello all.

I was on this site two years ago but I can’t for the life of me remember my login, so please excuse the new account!

I am now 38, with DDH and very advanced OA on my right side and have been told a THR is my only option for a normal life. I went on the UK NHS list in February 2020, but sadly haven’t progressed much due to COVID, so I’m due to pay for private treatment next month.

I’m come a relatively long way from being absolutely adamant that I wasn’t going to get a THR initially, to reluctantly knowing that I must, but I remain completely terrified of what’s ahead and my anxiety has continued to grow over the past two years.

I am (maybe strangely) less concerned about the surgery itself, as my surgeon has an excellent reputation, as does the hospital I’m going to. My fears are all around recovery, especially post-op pain. Yes, I have pain now but it’s not constant and is mostly avoided if I avoid activity (one of the reasons I’m feeling sad and stuck as I am), so I’m aware that I’ll probably have much worse pain initially. I’ve also never been in hospital or had surgery. I’m incredibly frightened of negotiating what sounds like a very long and difficult recovery. I’ve been forewarned that I may need some grafting work, so I may also need to add recovery time on.

I must admit that sometimes I’m tempted to leave it until I’m in more pain so that there’s more ‘relief’, but my surgeon has warned me I’m already losing bone from the ‘polishing’, so there’s risks attached to that. I’ve spoken to a number of people who’ve had THR and their experiences vary wildly.

I’m also anxious about revisions and also any potential long term health effects of having a prosthesis in my body for longer periods.

At the moment I’m pretty sore, have extremely limited ROM and can’t walk without very noticeable referred pain in my back and knee. I’m painkiller free so I have no tolerance to anything, which my surgeon thinks is good news for post op. I’ve managed to stay fit with daily physio and some cross training.

I suppose I’m looking for some support from the people who’ve been through it, especially those who were so anxious before it. I know a lot of it is very unpredictable, and as such it’s probably unfair of me to ask for reassurance. I just don’t want my overwhelming fear of this to stop me going ahead.

Thanks for reading.
I totally understand your fear, I was afraid too when i had my hip replaced November 2020. I don't want to make it sound like it's nothing but I can say that it isn't nearly as bad as i feared. First, from the moment you first stand up, the pain is gone from that hip. 2nd, there is no painful therapy afterwards. Basically, other than walking around your house to keep you moving, and that's not hard, you sit and heal. It's a boring month, it's a frustrating month because it's major surgery and you will be tired. Once you are all done you will be such a better you!
 

Jamie

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Hi, @Reluctant hippy .... we only have a couple of ways to find your old account so we could properly merge your new one with it. That's always the best thing to do so we have your complete history under one account to reference if needed and to better tell your story.

You mention you cannot recall your previous username. Can you recall one or more email addresses that you might have used for the old account? I can find it by username or email address.

If you cannot recall either, we'll just have to go forward as if you had never been a member of BoneSmart. If that happens, please try to provide as much historical information in your posts as possible.

Thanks!

Jamie
BoneSmart Forum Administrator
 
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ReluctantHippy

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@Jamie Huge apologies, I’ve only just seen your earlier message. Jaycey also messaged and said she’d found it and was going to merge them. Thank you!
 

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