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Pain seems to have gone - advice

*cat*

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The pain started about a year ago in my groin with stiffness.

I managed to carry more or the same as usual using heat patches, groin support and some ibuprofen. I’m a keen walker but things started to get worse. I had an xray done in April and I was told my hip was as one would expect for someone of my age. Had a three day walking holiday which I just about survived and then went to NYC for 5 days which is when the pain became excruciating. Sciatic pain and basically pain everywhere on my hip and leg. Couldn’t walk anywhere.

Got home and saw a private physio who helped with some of the inflammation and hip stiffness but I still couldn’t walk. Sat around for a couple of months doing nothing! Took some Naproxen which didn’t do much.

Saw a private surgeon who took another xray and you could see there was hardly any cartilage left and on one side bone on bone. He said to come back in 3 weeks and tell him what I wanted to do. But like a miracle over the last ten days my pain has become less and less. I can walk again with a few twinges but nothing much.

I have no idea what I should do !!! Will the pain come back? I don’t think I could put up with it again so I’m in a real dilemma! Any help would be appreciated.
Caty
 

Eman85

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Well it's basically all up to you. The cartilage isn't going to grow back and the pain will return. I had the same type things happen. My hip would flare up really badly at times and then other times I'd forget about it. I kept going until I felt it was time for a THR, I knew it was coming 30+ years ago just waited until it was right for me.
 
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*cat*

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It just seems such a hard decision when the pain has more or less gone but I definitely don’t want it back ! So I guess I’ll have to think very hard about when to have a replacement done ...
 

Josephine

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It's an illusion - don't fall for it! Our bodies are very good at showing us what's wrong and then, when the brain tells them something BIG is in the offing, it shrinks back like the eye pods on a snail! But if the surgeon says you hip is fit for surgery then believe him! As cat said, the cartilage won't grow back so no point in prevaricating!

What I will do for you is leave you my score sheet which, if you print it off and fill it in, will give you a very good idea of where you are at, quality-of-life wise! Because, at the end of the day, that's all that counts!

BUT do be honest with your answers!
 

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Lea61

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Hi @*cat* I have been dealing with hip pain for many years. I am at the point now that I am very limited in what I can do and finally realize that now is the time for surgery. I had periods of time when I felt better than other times. I was fortunate to have summers off (as a preschool teacher) and I found it amazing that my hips were so much better during my vacation months. As soon as I returned back to school, all the discomfort came crashing back. That may account for your feeling better now too. You mentioned that you sat around for the last couple of months not doing very much and not you are almost pain-free. You may find that once you return to normal activity, the pain return. In any event, it's nice to have a break from the discomfort, whatever the reason. Your hips will certainly let you know when it is time for surgery.
 

Rascali

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Watch out for that Ibuprofen, it's really giving you some bad advice. It sold it to me several times, but you're eventually going to be in a much worse place than you want to be...
 

Jaycey

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In my experience hips can go from tolerable to horrid literally overnight. One day you are moving around. The next you are clinging to everything near just trying to walk.

If you are already bone on bone in that hip it's time. Do it now as the next phase could be a collapse. Believe me, you don't want that pain!
 

Mojo333

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Hi. Welcome to the forum.:)
I had an xray done in April and I was told my hip was as one would expect for someone of my age.
I didn't expect my hips to be shot at 53..

Sciatic pain and basically pain everywhere on my hip and leg. Couldn’t walk anywhere.
Exactly how mine was off and on, until it was finally on and never off. Sleep became impossible and though I have always considered myself tough..I feel my overall health declined die to chronic pain.

Saw a private surgeon who took another xray and you could see there was hardly any cartilage left and on one side bone on bone.
Not going to get better! Even with a reprieve from severe pain..not going to get better.
I'm glad I was able to replace mine at once and am back to life in a big way.
I say, do it sooner than later.
This should be the best time of our lives!
Best of luck with your decision.:ok:
 

Bionic

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Hi @*cat*
You sound the same as I was about 4 years ago. The pain was really bad and had been for months but I was shocked when I was told I should have a hip replacement. I went on the NHS waiting list and by the time the date for my pre op came the pain had gone. I felt like a fraud so I cancelled everything. BIG mistake.
I did get by for another couple of years but the pain came back with a vengeance and I had to admit they were right. Of course by that time I had lost my NHS place. I was so desperate at that stage I couldn't wait so paid for it to be done privately. It's probably the best money I have ever spent. The OA pain went immediately. I have now been told the other hip and one knee need doIng but, having spent most of my money, it's got to be NHS this time.
If you are really unsure it might be wise to go along with the NHS and by the time your turn comes round you will probably have made your mind up one way or the other. The waiting list where I live is about 12 months. Do you know what it's like where you are?
 
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*cat*

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At the moment we are insured with my husbands job but he’s likely to stop work next year so I guess if I can get it done privately it wouldn’t have to wait ...

This was my xray in April - osteoarthritic changes are present in the left hip joint with marginal lipping, subarticular sclerosis, acetabular cysts and joint space narrowing superiorly.

Does that sound bad enough ? I’ve no idea what stage that puts me into... any idea ?
 

Mojo333

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I don't but @Josephine, our nurse advisor certainly will. I just tagged her. But it certainly sounds bad "enough" and as I said, it won't improve.
If I had gotten my diagnosis sooner, I hope I wouldv'e opted to do it earlier. Waiting until your body is worn down from chronic pain and sleep deprived is not optimal.
Plus, Now I am now back to what I consider to be 95% perfect hipwise, so I can be productive, have fun, and get on with life.
 

Josephine

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I guess if I can get it done privately it wouldn’t have to wait ...
That might be so but I wouldn't bank on it!
I’ve no idea what stage that puts me into... any idea ?
What does it matter about what grade you are? I've known people with absolutely horrendous xrays and yet their symptoms and quality of life weren't too bad. Conversely, I've also known people whose xrays didn't show much and yet they were almost in a wheelchair. You take the evidence of the xray along with the evidence of the patient's history and story.

BTW, did you print off that document I left for you earlier?
 
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*cat*

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Yes I did, thank you but because my pain has virtually gone I’m now finding it hard to make a decision !
 

anny

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I'm 12 days out from my second THR.....the first one was a reasonably easy decision because although I wasn't in bad or constant pain, the spurs had 'locked' my hip so that I couldn't quite straighten up, and I was limping a lot. The surgeon said it was pretty bad, worse than it had appeared on the xray. When it came to the second one it was much less obvious.....pain was marginal and it wasn't affecting my mobility at all. In fact, I started to wonder if it had actually just been referred pain from the first one, and it didn't need doing at all. However, the surgeon said it was bad enough to do, and as there;s a chance I might have to stop my private insurance I was worried it might suddenly collapse and I'd be stuck waiting for months to even get onto the public waiting list. Probably doesn't sound like it, cos I've been whinging like mad about recovery, but I am glad I had it done, because the surgeon said that one was as bad as the first one and definitely needed doing sooner rather than later.

What we have to come to terms with is that hips don't heal themselves....they may go into remission, you may be able to put it off for a while, but don't you want the best hips you can while you are still young enough to make the best use of them? And bear in mind that the longer you string it out, the less fit you'll be to maximise your recovery. Sneaky things these hips.....always keep you guessing! :heehee:

@*cat*
 

Mojo333

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What we have to come to terms with is that hips don't heal themselves....they may go into remission, you may be able to put it off for a while, but don't you want the best hips you can while you are still young enough to make the best use of them? And bear in mind that the longer you string it out, the less fit you'll be to maximise your recovery.
Very well said!
I agree wholeheartedly.
I never in my life had hip replacement to be in the realm of possibilities!
Thank goodness for it though!
 

Chaotic

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Thank you for posting this! I am also 45 and my remission from pain has made me feel like a fraud as well. One thing I have noticed though, I have modified my entire life. Special chair, special sitting/standing desk. I know how long I can sit before it hurts, how long I can stand, or walk before it hurts. I walk slower, more deliberate. I’ve learned how to sleep so I don’t hurt. I don’t do as much as I used to. All of these changes have led to my not hurting right now. Nevermind the 5 months of last year that I spent hurting. I’ve had this on and off for ten years before i was “bad” enough to see a doctor and get the diagnosis. I’ve reviewed my search history and I have saved topics on hip pain going back over 5 years. If that’s not telling, I don’t know what is.

Again, thank you for posting the very thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. Bottom line for me, I want to live my life, not structure it around pain. RTHR June 6th, 2019!
 

Mojo333

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You deserve to have a pain-free life and all the above modifications were in my repertoire until none of it seemed to help any longer.
It will be so nice to see you recover and get on with your life!
Roll on June 6:egypdance:
 

linette333

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Hi @*cat* . I really understand your dilemma. I have had a similar experience. Last December my hip x-rays showed "moderate arthritis" and I had very little pain in the hip when walking. (My pain was in the rest of the leg!!) The surgeon maintained that the hip was responsible and so I very reluctantly put my name on the NHS waiting list in January after being told the waiting time was 14 weeks. I asked about going private and was advised by all to stick with the NHS and to use the waiting time to come to a final decision. This was good advice as the hip then deteriorated and I am now in a lot of pain - I now have no doubts! The wait was as short as they said, as I was originally offered a date in April.
Good luck with your decision!
 

CPH

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Good and bad hip days WERE very common place for me from June 2018 (when pain started) to March this year. On many days my knee bothered me more. In March I went back to Ortho and new X-ray showed significant degeneration - bone on bone in right hip (totally different from prior year). He told me only solution was THR. Totally in shock at that point. Also on that particular day pain was only a 3. He saw my hesitation at his diagnosis and said that given the scheduling timeframes I should at least get surgery scheduled.....could always cancel, but He assured me that I would not regret it and the pain WOULD get worse and if it wasn’t scheduled I’d have to wait til it could be. Well in only 6 weeks its become horribly painful. Now if I walk on it too much I am down for the count, so last couple of weeks I’ve been mostly house bound going out for short periods only. Good news is In 12 days I will be on the other side moving toward getting my once active life back. So glad I got it scheduled when I did. Everyone is spot on....the hip won’t get better, it will get worse.
 

Ptarmigan

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In winter ‘17, I rose to leave a table and discovered my hip wouldn’t unbend or bear weight. Within a couple of months, I had a noticeable limp, my first X-ray, a very contradictory “read” of the X-ray, and a referral to a surgeon (which I ignored). My PCP reviewed the X-ray later that year, saw only mild arthritis “consistent with aging” and diagnosed me with trochanteric bursitis after a physical exam. I went on an anti-inflammatory diet, lost 30 pounds, and was pain free for more than a year. In the fall of 2018, the symptoms returned, and I sought care with a new team of providers and better insurance in early 2019.

My second X-ray was definitive. My right hip is irreparably damaged (bone on bone, bone spur, bone cyst). So, it has become a question of when, not if, I will need to have my hip replaced. For me, there have been emotional and practical considerations. On one hand, my hip won’t heal itself and I am not willing to settle for a life of chronic pain and limitation. On the other hand, this evidence of my very human frailty has rattled my self-confidence, and I have struggled with fears of dependency and loss of personal dignity.

And then, one day, I realized my ambivalence was behind me and I was ready to commit.
 

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