THR Second thoughts?

Lynne54

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I have seen a consultant orthopaedic surgeon tonight and have signed the consent form for right THR. He advised that I could either leave my hip alone (and I presume it gets progressively worse) or have THR. I am not sure why I now feel hesitant about having it done. One of my concerns is the life of the replacement hip vs sticking with my original hip and continue limping in constant pain. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Layla

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Why live in pain, not enjoying the things you love, when you have a better option.
The old school of thought to “tough” it out a few more years so your implant lasts your lifetime is a dying one. Joint replacement surgery is one of the most prevalent surgeries performed worldwide. The outcomes of these surgeries have become excellent based on a number of techniques changing over the years. The implants are durable and long lasting, with longevity much greater than before offering an increase in the likelihood you’ll never have to experience this procedure again, even more likely at your age. Also, you’re as young as you’ll ever be so move forward in faith and recapture life as you knew it. You can do this!
 

Coddfish

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The consultant must consider that surgery is your best option for the process to have got this far. I can only share my experience. My arthritic hip never really hurt but it became increasingly stiff and difficult to move from sitting to standing and vice versa. The amount of activity I could do started to reduce. I put off doing anything about it. I would variously blame my woes on muscle injuries (which were becoming common as I worked round the joint), or the inability to get into the swimming pool during lockdown. Sometimes it would indeed be a bit better but the general trajectory was only in one direction. I was terrified at the thought of surgery and recovery. The crisis point for me was when I could no longer run - something I find vital to my physical and mental health.

So I got it done. I was still reasonably fit when I had surgery last September, and that helped enormously. The operation was straight forward, no complications. Of course the first couple of weeks or so weren’t much fun but it didn’t take long to be literally back on my feet. By 8 weeks post surgery I was definitely in a better position than I had been before surgery. At approaching 5 months, I am fully recovered and happily running again.

Only you can decide. I doubt it will improve without surgery, in fact it will probably get a lot worse. The fitter you are when you have surgery, the easier the recovery is likely to be.

I should probably have got mine done a year earlier. If I have problems with the other hip, I won’t hesitate. I had my surgery privately because I couldn’t face the wait on thr NHS list, aged 64 at the time.
 

subie2021

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Don't be surprised, now that you've signed the consent for the THR, if your painful hip takes a wonderful turn for the better. But don't be duped! It's just a deceitful game on the doomed joint's part! It's likely only temporary and if it's anything like mine, will just as suddenly revert and get worse than ever.
I think it's not unusual to have doubts...Is it really that bad? Can I wait a while longer? Will it be worth it? Will I really do better afterwards?
Of course the decision for the surgery is yours alone. But I can tell you my experience is that the pain and incapacitation only got worse week by week. I gave up too much to accommodate the bad hip - fun times with my young granddaughter, road trips with my dh, my favorite outdoor hobbies, and more. I'll never get that time, or those opportunities, back.
Bu my new hip is giving me new chances to live the life I want to live. I don't regret the surgery one bit.
I wish you calm and peace as you move forward, whatever you decide. Good luck to you!
 

Pumpkin

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Lynne64,
All the best as you decide what to do.
Please post your surgery date, a moderator will add it to your signature, having the exact date will allow us to properly advise you.
Chris
 

Eman85

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One of my concerns is the life of the replacement hip vs sticking with my original hip and continue limping in constant pain. Any thoughts would be appreciated
I think you're past the point of worrying about wearing out a new hip. I waited over 30 years before committing but at 62 I felt it was a safe bet at that point. We're all hesitant even when we know the reality that the hip is shot and the pain is bad.
One thing to read and understand is the recovery guidelines and the realistic recovery timeline. It will seem like a lot to go through but as we'll all tell you it's worth it as that deep bone pain that keeps you up at night will be gone. So will that horrid sharp pain in the joint.
 

Hippielife

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Just to add what my surgeon said when I was ready to do hip surgery to remember that surgery outcomes depends on the bone structure left in hips and needs good bone for a good outcome.
Never wait to long , osteo damage could cause unnecessary complications and impact surgery outcome.
 

Hip4life

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All good advice. I waited. I followed the recommendations my PCP gave. And waited. Then it was impossible to ignore and guess what? I needed a hip replacement like, yesterday. It got bad fast and except for a little divine intervention, I might have had to wait months just to be seen. Don’t go down that road. You have your ticket in hand. Jump onboard that train! The longer you wait, the more damage can happen and potentially cause a longer recovery. Get back to your life. We’ve been there and are here to cheer you on! Blessings on your journey.
 

Caison113

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I had similar thoughts for a bit. It was very strange to me that a part of my body that I've literally had my whole life was going to be taken away, and then replaced with metal, ceramic and plastic bits. I mean, it's weird when you think about it.

But I will say, now 6 weeks post-op, that I am soooo happy with the results. I know people's mileage will vary, but all that pain, wincing and limping is gone. A bonus is that my lower back pain is gone too. Better a year early than a year late, in my opinion.
 

Going4fun

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Your consultant's words are confusing, don't really make sense to me. You can always delay the surgery. The surgery is rarely an emergency surgery. My mother was one of the rare people who had her surgeon order her to have the surgery because she was in danger of a hip collapse and at high risk of a fall from decades of severe arthritis and osteoporosis. Her case is relative rare.

So I'm not clear why your surgery is saying you can delay--that's pretty much understood ... Maybe your surgeon had patients accuse them of not making clear that the surgery was elective, meaning not urgent for basic health.

But the pain and the resulting diminishment of life, is what makes the surgery a positive health-promoting step. We cut back in ways intentional and unintentional to the point where our health and wellbeing and mood get negatively affected. Our view of life gets negatively affected because it's easy to go into avoidance mode. And the more you do that, the easier it is to avoid, and next thing you know your life is really limited and paradoxically you become really good at denying all this.

It takes some people more time than others to choose to go forward. That's fine. Do you like your surgeon? Many of us need to find the right surgeon--someone we really trust-- in order to feel safe about going forward.

It also helps to have a vision about a great future after the surgery, a vision about the things we want to do with our life that we've been missing out on. Again, the longer we delay, the more our brain gets weaker in imagining all the ways our lives could be better without that dreaded hip pain.
 

Elf1

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@Lynne54 you've been given a lot of great advice from the other posters and I agree. It is an individual decision that only you can make and understand perfectly the hesitation. I think we all go through some hesitation and/or denial before we agree to the surgery. It's pretty normal.

I know with me it kind of freaked me out that they were taking a part of me out and replacing it with foreign stuff. I had a spinal fusion previously and that didn't phase me, guess because they weren't really taking anything out, just adding to it.

I will tell you that I'm so happy that I went through with it and my right hip doesn't feel any different than my left. Actually my right (the THR) has way better ROM compared to the left. I won't lie, I'm 2 1/2 years out and still have some pain that I'm working on figuring out. BUT, compared to the pain i had before the surgery I'll take this any day! I wouldn't trade being able to get on the floor and play with my grandsons and chase them around. :egypdance:
 
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Lynne54

Lynne54

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Thank you everyone for your comments. My consultant said I can either have the surgery or do nothing. It seems strange that part of me is being replaced with something plastic/metal that in theory will not last longer than my own natural hip. However I know that my hip is only going to deteriorate further, and I have already stopped doing things such as countryside walks, going to the cinema etc due to pain. I am so glad that I have found this forum. Thank you again.
 

djklaugh

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@Lynne54 Arthritis rather gallops through my family. My paternal Grandmother, my Dad, me, my brother all have or had degenerative osteoarthritis. My poor GM and Dad did not have access to joint replacements as we do now and both suffered greatly from pain and dysfunction for years. My brother and I though have had joint replacements He - one hip, me see list below.

These days I don't even think of having 4 artificial joints ... until I sign in here :heehee: Yes it is sort of odd to think of having man-made parts but since they function well and I can live life without pain I am delighted that I have had the opportunity to get these surgeries!

And as for how long the implants will last :shrug: - literature estimates the current ones will last for 20-30 years ... and it could even be longer than that. Why spent time in pain and limiting your life when you could have years to be pain free and enjoy doing what you love?
 

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Hi @Lynne54 The UK has a National joint registry in which everyone’s hip replacement is recorded with details of whether it’s cemented, uncemented, hybrid, reverse hybrid and the specific models inserted. They then track failure rates over time. None of the implant types currently in use date back beyond around 2000, because that’s when cross linked polythene started to be used for the acebetular liner. Many current models are much more recent than this. You will find the failure rates for as many years as they have data. Most, if not all, are very, very low. So the likelihood of a replacement failing within your lifetime isn’t high. No surgeon can tell you how long they will last - I suspect modern implants will outlast most of their ‘owners’. There’s also the question of quality of life. Do you want to enjoy good years now, when you know you otherwise have your health, or worry about potentially needing a revision in your 80s?
 
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Lynne54

Lynne54

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Thank you for the information about the register. My late Mum and her sisters all had chronic osteoarthritis, and my father and his side of the family had rheumatoid arthritis. The comments received are so reassuring and helpful. I will add my surgery date when confirmed.
 

Jaycey

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@Lynne54 Going4Fun talks about a hip collapse. I had one - not fun! Waiting only makes things more complicated. There is more damage to the joint area and limping impacts so many other areas of the body. My LTHR recovery took over one year.

Are you on the wait list for surgery? Have they given you any idea how long your wait might be? The situation here in the UK is pretty dire!
 
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Lynne54

Lynne54

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Some NHS surgery is also carried out at private hospitals, so I did my research on who I wanted to do the surgery, found out where he also operated besides the NHS, and contacted his P.A. to find out which one I could attend for surgery etc. I have been told surgery will be in a couple of months, so fingers crossed. :)
 

Jaycey

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Oh yes, many private hospitals are being used for "elective surgery". Safer as you are not mixing with "ill" patients. Fingers crossed for you! :fingersx:
 
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Lynne54

Lynne54

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I must be crazy to have had second thoughts as my hip has-been so painful these past few days I have hardly slept. Yesterday I suddenly became frozen with pain in a shop and it took a while before I could move again. I made it to my car, got one leg in ok but had to wait 30 mins before I could manoeuvre the other. Now I just want to get the surgery done. This site is great and I appreciate the advice I have received.
 

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