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Fractured Neck of Femur/Pinning Not what I planned for 2020... broken hip and hip pinning surgery

mikepapagolf

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Hello everyone... I found this site a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post. I wasn’t sure what to write, so I hope this doesn’t end up being too long. Unfortunately, on the evening of 12/29, I took a hard fall on some ice while walking in a parking lot and fractured my left hip and elbow. I’m a healthy 38 y/o male, so after I fell a broken hip was not even in the spectrum of injuries that I thought possible. I actually got up and walked (with significant pain), so I thought I had just tore a muscle or something like that. I avoided going to the doctor that night because I didn’t think it bad enough to go to the ER. After a sleepless night I knew I should seek medical care but still didn’t think it was so bad that I should go to the hospital. So, I went to urgent care instead. The doctor immediately ordered x-rays and not long after that I was told I had fractured my left femoral neck and would need surgery. I still didn’t grasp the severity of the injury. The doctor sent me over to the hospital via the ER and I saw the surgeon in pretty short order. He described what I did and what he intended to do to fix it. He explained the possible failures and the long recovery ahead of me. He ordered me to 3 months flat foot or basically no weight bearing on my left leg. Oh, and I was out of state visiting family and was supposed to go home the next day. So, he also recommended a two week recovery with no travel. I had a better understanding of my injury... but still didn’t grasp the severity. I arrived at Urgent care at 8:30am on 12/30 and by 3:30pm I was off to surgery. So thankfully everything went quick... I really didn’t even have time to get nervous about anything. The surgery went well and lasted just about 2 hours with another hour in recovery.

Thankfully my pain was well controlled and I never felt too uncomfortable post-op. I spent 3 nights in the hospital and then was released. I spent the next few weeks recovering with my family away from our home, but thankfully we had a comfortable place to stay with family who was happy to have us there. After I was out of the hospital I naturally got curious and started researching the procedure I had and other information about hip injury. That’s when I really started to grasp what I had done and how bad it really was... this was a life altering event. Now, I’m planning to get better and I’m trying to stay optimistic, but the reality of the situation is that I will never be the same as before my injury.

I also discovered the high rate of failure of the hip pinning surgery. From many studies I found, to the posts on this site, there’s no denying that AVN or other issues abound. So, is there anyone here that has positive or successful stories with this type of hip repair? I feel like I’ve had a decent recovery with very minimal pain, but every time I get a little pain I think the worst. I have a follow up next week, so I’m hoping for some good news.

Oh, a few other things... this was my first broken bone, my first stay in a hospital and my first surgery. I really went all out. My family and I were able to travel back to our home. It was nice to get home and sleep in my own bed. Plus, we live in a much warmer climate than the place we were visiting. I also mentioned my elbow being broken... it was very minor and they didn’t even treat it. Now it feels completely healed and I have full range of motion with no pain. Hoping that’s a good sign for my hip.

I knew this was going to end up being too long... if you made it this far I thank you for reading all the way to the end. I also thank you in advance for your input and information. If I can be a resource to anyone else, please let me know as well. Thanks!
 

Jaycey

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@mikepapagolf Welcome to BoneSmart! Sounds like a nasty fall. Glad you are on the mend.

I wouldn't stress out about the recovery from pinning. We have many members who have had hips pinned with positive results. Later down the line you may need further treatment. But that is usually due to wear and tear.

If you are three months non-weight bearing please plan on your rehab starting at the end of this phase. Muscles will atrophy when you are not using them. But once you are fulling weight bearing you can gradually work to build your strength again.

Here are a few articles from our Library that might answer questions you have about this recovery.

Pain management and the pain chart
The Myth of Addiction
Pain and swelling control: elevation can help
Using Ice

Recovery Aids
How to Use Crutches
Warning about Armpit Crutches
Recliners

Blood Thinners
Constipation and Stool Softeners

Energy Drain
Sleep Deprivation
Post Op Blues
Accepting Help
 

Izabel

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:welome: and sorry to read about your misfortune on holiday.

I fell in a grocery store in December 2014 and cleanly sheared the neck of my femur ... VERY painful indeed! I was taken to hospital by ambulance and put in traction for five days before a THR was performed. I recovered well but unfortunately had misfortune befall me again in October 2017 when I edged the tip of the prosthesis through my femur in a fall at home and I started a new journey.

I am calling on @Fit4Family as she has had hip pinning following a fall and can relate to you experience.

In the meantime, stay with us for support, rest, ice, elevate and heal.
Feel Better.gif Izzy xx
 

Layla

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:wave: Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us. I'm sorry for all you've been through and I'm hoping you receive the consolation and reassurance you're seeking here. Wishing you comfort and all the best as you continue healing.
@mikepapagolf
 

Elf1

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@mikepapagolf welcome to Bone Smart, hoping you find some comfort and support here, the folks here are great and there's usually a few that have been there as well. Happy that you were able to finally make it home, it's always so much nicer to recover in our own surroundings. Please keep us posted on your follow up appointment. Don't worry about your post being long, this is the place to get it all out. :thumb:
 

Laskyd

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@mikepapagolf
So sorry to hear about your fall. I also suffered a fall and broke my femoral neck back on June 30. I had a pinning with 3 cannulated screws but in October i started having groin pain. Xrays showed I had AVN and I just had a THR on Jan 29.
The big difference between my case and yours is that I could not walk at all after I fell down the stairs. My femoral neck was completely displaced and it is those cases that have a high risk of avascular necrosis. Also you are a lot younger than me. I am 63 and that is a high risk factor.
A friend of mine also fell on the ice and broke her femoral neck. She was 66. However her fracture was not displaced and healed nicely with just the pinning. She is back to being totally normal with full mobility.
I think your chances are are very good that you will have a full recovery without needing a hip replacement.
 
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mikepapagolf

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@Jacey @Layla @Izabel @Elf1
Thanks to all of you for your information and words of encouragement. I appreciate your in-site. I’ll definitely keep everyone posted.

@Laskyd - That’s tough... I’m sorry your original repair didn’t work out, but I hope that your recovery for your THR is going well. I at least have some comfort to know that if I need it at some point it would be a positive outcome (after some more pain and patience). Though, I agree that I have a lot going for me in hopes of a good outcome on my pinning. My fracture was not displaced, the surgery happened pretty quickly, and my age is also a big factor. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, we have plenty of time to think of all the negative stuff... especially when you start to feel strange new pains - even if they’re minor. Thank you for sharing your friend’s story as well. I’m hoping for, and thinking that I will have a similar outcome, and will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again everyone!
 

Fit4Family

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Hello @mikepapagolf

So sorry to hear of your fall and surgery. Glad you had family to help you and that you are relatively pain free. Try not to imagine anything but success.

Early surgery, not displaced, young age and male, all put you on the success side of this equation. Give your bone the time it needs to heal. Eat well, get your calcium and vitamin D and wait for nature to knit you back together. It is a shock when your life suddenly changes, the same happened to me. Sending you my very best wishes that this is your last surgery and you are back to leading an active life very soon!
 

Chappyd

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I had a very hard fall two weeks ago in my garage. I slipped on a wet spot on the concrete, and was on the floor so fast, I couldn't believe it. Hit my right shoulder very hard, and my right hip took a somewhat smaller impact. I don't think I will ever not think about it when I am walking. About 4 days after that I had a previously scheduled follow up with my hip Dr, and the hip looks great, the shoulder not so much. Waiting for an MRI this morning to find out what is going on.
Good luck with your recovery!
 

Layla

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Hey there...
It’s your two month anniversary! I hope you’re doing well and hanging in there. Wishing you a great week
as you continue healing. Please don’t be a stranger
here. We’d love to follow your journey and continue to support you. :)
@mikepapagolf
 
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mikepapagolf

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@Layla Thank you! On one hand it's hard to believe it's been two months already, but on the other hand it seems like it was so long ago. I've been meaning to jump on and post an update.

I saw my PA last week and got a new set of x-rays. Thankfully it was all good news. The pictures showed that healing is taking place and there was no signs of failure or other issues. It was great to get that confirmation and know that those little pains that I feel aren't really a big deal. We're sticking to the non weight bearing status for the next month and then I should be good for full weight bearing after that. Overall I've been feeling pretty good and I've been fairly active - seeing the world from a different perspective while rolling around in my wheelchair. I've been spending more time at the office during the week, but trying to take it easy on the weekends. I manage our family business, so unfortunately I'm not able to truly take time off work. I did ease back into it, but I've had to be involved every day at some level since almost right after my surgery. It would be nice to not work, but its also nice to have the flexibility of being able to work when I can and from home or wherever (and not lose out on income). I understand it's a luxury that many people do not have, so I am grateful.

The PA also referred me to physical therapy and I've scheduled my first appointment for next week. I'm a little apprehensive about this because I don't want to be pushed to do something I shouldn't, but I also want to get the process started. So, I'll go and make sure that we take it easy and ensure we stick with my non weight bearing status. I am starting to get anxious about getting back to being independent, but I want to be sure I heal properly and fully as well. Thanks again for your compassion and advice!
 

Jaycey

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@mikepapagolf Glad to hear you are healing well. Please don't let PT push you in any way. I'm not sure how much you can do if you are still non-weight bearing! Just remember, you are not in training, you are healing from a major injury.
 

Fit4Family

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Happy to read your update @mikepapagolf You are making great progress. I would advise you to be very cautious with any PT. Give yourself a few more weeks. Bone growth doesn’t need exercise. Bet you exercise more than you think with working and getting in and out if wheelchair. Takes a long while for that bone to fully fuse.

Sending my best wishes Mike. Hoping this is a one and done for you with no additional surgery required.
 
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mikepapagolf

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Thanks guys... I will definitely take it easy and not let them push me. I won’t be walking on that leg until my 3 months is up. I’m envisioning it being more of a consult to see how they plan to move forward, but I will take it easy. Thank you for the reminders.
 

Hobbling Along

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Glad to hear that you are progressing well. It’s clear that different countries have different guidance. I am 12 weeks post op today.
I was told I could full weight bare at 7 weeks however it wasn’t that easy. So I remained with one or 2 crutches depending on fatigue.
Physiotherapy has consisted of a small amount of hydrotherapy and exercise.
so in water I can walk normally no limp. On land I have a trendelenburg gait. Initially it was quite severe but now much improved not perfect but improved. I can walk short distances using no crutch. Pain has all but subsided.
I mentioned that I was to have a DEXA bone scan. Did you have yours.
So at about week 9 I discovered full blown osteoporosis with a 24% refracture risk. No loss of height and vertebra are all fine. At 46 and male this was not expected to say it pulled the rug from beneath me was an understatement it was quite emotional. However from then I have taken without the fall and fracture I may never have known for much longer.
secondary investigations so far seem like no underlying reason other than maybe just genetically week bones. I am fit and active and no symptoms I was aware of prior. I have now stared calcium and vitamin D (calci-D) and biphosphonates to slow down the bone breakdown process. In theory it should improve density but has drawbacks so I will see how I go.
Anyway glad to see you are progressing I certainly hit a static block mostly with my impatience so I slowed things down and I seem to have progressed. Hoping the trendelenburg gait will disappear over time and physiotherapy but feel back to normal in regards to being able to sleep a full night even on the affected side which was my natural way. Anyway good luck in the coming months and hope you do well
 

Layla

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:wave:Happy Three Month Anniversary!
Hopefully you’ve received a nod from your surgeon for full weight bearing...or will soon.
Be safe and stay well through these days of uncertainty we’re all navigating together. :)
@mikepapagolf
 

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