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[THR] My Story

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by yoop, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. yoop

    yoop New Member

    Member Since:
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    I'm 48 years old. I was very, very active in sports all my life until about 40. I had played a lot of basketball 3-4 times per week, tons of baseball/softball 80-100 games per year thorugh my 20's. Once I reached my forties I started experiencing more pain each time I would work out or play. Lower back pain was my thing in my late 20's and 30's. Never had much hip pain other than normal exercise pain.

    At 43 I slipped on the ice outside my house and tweaked my right hip. Didn't think much of it, but did I find out quick just how bad off I was. I started getting some real pain 7 to 8ish at night that I couldn't bear. It was different pain, not just from working out. I went to the doctor and of course because of the lower back issues, this pain in my right leg was diagnosed as sciatica. Gave it a few weeks to heal and the pain didn't go away. Kept calling the doctor and finally they gave me an MRI to see what was going on. Pretty inconclusive, couple more weeks go by. I'm in agony at night. Just tried to suck it up. Doctor put in rehab for the sciatica......immediately the rehab person looks at me, does a few tests and says....you have a torn labrum in your right hip, I'm almost positive.

    He said his son was experience the exact same symptoms I was when he tore his labrum. They ordered an MRI with contrast dye and sure enough that was the problem. I left my small town and went to a bigger ortho center to see what I needed to do. Once the films and MRI's were looked at they could plainly see I had a nasty cam impingement that had shredded my labrum. I was 43 so they decided to do arthroscopic surgery. Although arthritis had set in bad enough where the labrum wasn't fixable.

    So I went through the surgery where they cleaned out the bad labral tissue and smoothed the cam. It was my first big surgery and required 6 weeks of crutches. I was use to pain so it wasn't so bad. Recovered well but was never the same again. Very achy with any type of exercise.

    Through this process I learned that my left hip had a much worse cam impingement but it didn't bother me like the right. At least not yet. I was also told by my spinal doctor when first looking at my lower back xray, that "wow you have a bad left hip".

    Fast forward to this spring, I was 47 and my left hip was really starting to give me some business. Even from simple dog walks or yard work. I golf a lot and I just was not able to play anywhere near where I once was. One day I walking up to a green and noticed how badly I was limping. I really started getting some heavy pain at night again in the left hip. As summer went by my golfing was down to a very minimum. Yard work (that had to be done) was all I could muster.

    I went to see my family practitioner hoping to get some pain meds to help me through the real bad days. I was told by looking at the xray that I had "mild" arthritis in my left hip. Use ibuprofen, etc. This was heartbreaking, ibuprofen...really? Mild, really? How could I be in all this pain....and real pain, not just the daily stuff I've had for 7-8 years. I decided to see a different ortho center and see what was really going on. It was eye opening.

    The doc told me I had 70 year old hips...there wasn't any beating around the bush. I needed hip replacement starting with the left hip. My appointment lasted less than a half hour and I was in the car headed back home on a 4 hour ride. I couldn't fathom how quick this appointment was and how quick the diagnosis was. I pondered it for a week or so and finally bit the bullet and scheduled my surgery for about 6 weeks later. I wanted to deer hunt first, and it was a good time for me to be sure this was what I wanted to do. I pushed myself hunting and it was apparent immediately this needed to be done.

    Today I am 3 weeks and 4 days post op. I am doing well as far as I can tell. My surgeon is 4 hours away but I have been able to keep contact over the phone. As of today I am 3 days off pain meds. I had a problem with the original pain meds (dilaudid), they made me itch something fierce so I was put on Vicodin 10 mg, and that was good enough to get me through the last few weeks.

    I am still experience some pain and tightness in the joint. As well as some minor burning sensations on the outside of the thigh. I had an Anterior THR. The last few days I have really been up and around moving with one crutch and doing a few things around the house, going to town a running one or two errands. Nothing too major. Seems like things are going well with the replacement. The last few days my right hip has been hurting as much as my replaced hip, because of the extra stress put on it. I haven't been able to sleep very well at night, I usually wake up every 2 hours or so, sometimes able to fall back asleep and sometimes not. I've been off work so I take naps during the day to offset the loss of sleep. I'm concerned about my sleep patterns, but hopeful they will get back to normal, which I haven't had in years.

    All in all I'm glad I went through with it and hopeful it will help my life become less stressful and painful.

    Sorry this is so long, but I needed to write all this down and thought this would be as good a place as any. People just don't understand unless you have been through the pain.

    Good luck to all who are thinking about THR, or are recovering. Keep you chin up and be grateful we had a condition that can be fixed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Cas

    Cas Senior

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    @yoop Hi there:welome: To the forum. So sorry you've had such a bad time of it. Some of us on here have also been waiting diagnosis for years as well so don't feel you are alone. We also know the excrutiating pain you've gone through before the op and we are all here for you. Take time to read the articles on here as they give you much more info that you would probably get from hospitals and PT also there are some knowledgeable advisors on here that can help with ANYTHING. They are really great! Also lots of amazing people who will help and support you along your path to recovery. Do you have a date for your second hip? Lots of people have them done in the same year. Keep us posted on how you're doing. Best of luck.
     
  3. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    @yoop Welcome to BoneSmart and congratulations on that new hip. You are on your way to life without hip pain.

    I'll leave you a bit of reading. The articles are not long but they might answer questions you may have about this journey.
    First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
    - rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
    - if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
    - if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
    - if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
    - never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!
    - be active as much as you need to be but not more than is necessary, meaning so much that you end up being in pain, exhausted or desperate to sit down or lay down!

    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
    Activity progression for THRs
    Home physio (PT)
    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?
     
  4. Tweetybrd

    Tweetybrd Graduate

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    @yoop Welcome to BS!! Sounds like you are doing well. Did they talk about how long until you can do the other hip? I am two weeks away from my surgery. There are a lot of things in your story that sound oh so familiar. Was really hard to wrap my brain around needing a THR at first.
    Good luck with the rest of your recovery. Get lots of rest. :)
     
  5. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    I have my second post op appt on the 17th where they will take xrays, and I will meet with the surgeon. I hope to discuss it with him at that point. He had originally said that maybe I wouldn't need it because of the original arthroscopic made the acetabulum round again. We'll see.

    Thanks for all the welcomes and well wishes
     
  6. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    Wow! What a story! It's obvious that the first time around you fell into the hands of hip arthroscopy enthusiasts, those who will manage to get a patient to fit the procedure rather than the other (correct) way around!
    That would be a first! Do you presently have much pain in that hip?
     
  7. chatterz

    chatterz Member

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    @yoop, welcome to BoneSmart! So glad you finally got some relief from that pain! I wish you a healthy recovery!
     
  8. Cas

    Cas Senior

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    @yoop morning how are you doing today? hope you're feeling a bit better.
     
  9. gardengal

    gardengal Member

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    It sounds like you are doing about as expected. If not driving yet, probably soon? Winter was hard but you'll be in great shape by spring and probably contemplating getting the right done.
     
  10. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    Finally slept for 5 consecutive hours. Yaaaaaahhhhhooooo.
     
  11. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    Been driving a little bit. Have to plow snow. We've gotten nearly 150 inches (yes 150) since my surgery Dec 12th.
     
  12. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    I posted a reply to you but somehow it disappeared. IDK

    Yes I do if I use it too much. You are probably right about the arthro, but I was 43, running about 2-3 miles 5 times a week. Pretty good shape. I thought it would be the easiest thing to cure the absolute awful pain I was in at night. I worked but my right hip has never been the same as far as range of motion, and strength.
     
  13. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    Jumped the gun a bit. Last two nights I've been up at 1:30 am. Having some set backs with pain. I've doing more and more during the day and it is catching up with me. Going to have to take it slower I guess, because apparently I'm not ready to do as much as I thought. Had to go back to a couple pain pills here and there.

    Are most people done with the pain pills at 4 weeks? I'm trying to stop them but there's a fine line between suffering and stopping them on the Dr.'s timeline. I've only had to take 2 in the last week, but I'm worried if I get any more active I will need more.
     
  14. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    No and there is no set timeline for stopping meds. You need them to get more mobile and you are already seeing the result of stopping too soon (lack of sleep and discomfort). See your family doctor if you are running out of meds. When you start forgetting doses is the sign you are starting to wean off meds.
     
  15. Cas

    Cas Senior

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    @yoop glad you've eased off a bit with the activities. We don't realise how much the op itself actually takes out of us! As for meds take then regularly on time they really help you get more mobile and go get more if you run out. I am still on paracetamol but am off all other strong meds now. I gradually started cutting down about the 6/7 week mark but everyone is different. There's no point in being in pain because it makes your recovery that much harder. Hope you are feeling better today, get as much rest as you can and happy healing. Carol
     
  16. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    It is so hard to get pain meds here where I live, or I suppose in the US in general. Every doctor seems like they assume everyone is a junky, they used to hand them out to anyone that came in with a hangnail....and now there are so many people addicted to them, the people that actually need them have to literally beg. I went for my first checkup 11 days post op and was trying to explain to the nurse I would need more...she actually told me "we try to get people to start weaning off after 1 week". I met with the PA at my appt and he said no it's 4 weeks and gave me 50 more with a take 1 every 4 hours as needed. If I would have done that they would have lasted me 9 days. It's kind of a point of anger with me because for all the pain I have been through before the surgery I was never given anything.

    Thanks for the replies. I took one pill and was able to sleep for about 3 hours so that was good. I feel like castaway rationing my last bits of food.
     
  17. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    That is totally irresponsible! That nurse has no right to be handing out that kind of "advice". Shame on her. I am so glad you spoke up at your PA appointment.

    Are you icing and elevating? That might take the edge off any discomfort.
    Very sad - but we see this happening more and more. Can you get an alternative to opiates?
     
  18. yoop

    yoop New Member

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    Yes icing and elevating, I'm lucky to be a business owner and can take the time off. I don't know how people would do it if you didn't have the paid time. I should have enough pills to make until my next appt...it's in 1 week and I have 15 left.

    This was the second run in with this nurse. They tell you to call in with any questions, and then when you do call in you get attitude like you are taking their precious time. I had a blood drain put in during surgery and after being released from the Hospital the holes from the blood drain were still draining and soaking my underwear. I went through three pair in the first night, so I called. She told me "Dr. x doesn't use blood drains so I don't know what you are talking about". Then the second run in with here when I called about the pain meds and she told me the one week thing. I said I have 2 pills left and am a bit worried, she told me I better break them in half. I did tell the PA all about it, and I intend to tell the Dr. on the 17th when I have my next appt. I had zero problems with anyone in the clinic or hospital...but the Dr's head nurse was my contact and evidently didn't like me or something.

    People are going through enough stress and pain without getting lectured 12 days out of surgery. Now I don't even want to call with questions, which apparently is how she wants it. The PA said, well she has to make lots of calls every day. The PA is awesome guy though, so I just said okay, and haven't spoken to the nurse again.

    The best part is I was so livid after the second call I wrote down all of my feelings at the time and saved it so I could remember the specifics. So maybe I'll show that to the Dr. or maybe I'll just email to the board at the Hospital. I'm not a complainer, or troublemaker for the sake of making trouble, but I don't think anyone should have to put up with attitude.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    I'm not a complainer either but if this has happened more than once I would at least say something to your OS. This behaviour could impact a patient's recovery. She is obviously trying to be a roadblock to information. I would report it just to insure others don't have to deal with it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Cas

    Cas Senior

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    @yoop that's just awful. I don't know what I would have done without my strong painkillers those first few weeks after my op. My GP said if I needed more just to let him know. And no I am not addicted to them so that is really not a good argument, they just helped me when I needed them. Is there anyway you can buy some elsewhere? Or some strong OTC meds at a pharmacy? Hope you get some more from your OS when you next see him.
     

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