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Struggling with Decision

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Hotrod97, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Hotrod97

    Hotrod97
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    I'm scheduled for bilateral THR on 10/23. I'm 47 and some days my pain is better than other days and really struggling with whether or not I should wait to get this done. I've been living with this for 5-6 yrs just know the old saying that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I really don't have much trouble sleeping, just can't bend over to pick things up, can't tie my shoes, can't walk up hills, all the little things I can't do but really don't suffer from major pain.
     
  2. Tomgirl

    Tomgirl

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    Hello Hotrod97, Like you I have been living with this for 5-6 years. I was in denial for most of those years but it just kept getting worse and I started to think about how I want the next 5-6 years to be. Definately not like this, so I decided to go for it. Now I have made up my mind about it I really just want it done NOW but have to wait till mid November. It's really made me focus on how restrictive things were and I need to change all that. So here goes.....
     
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  3. dapplega

    dapplega

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    Hello @Hotrod97

    We are fairly close in age and I can fully relate to how you feel. Here is a link to my thread: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/one-week-away-and-second-guessing.43189/

    I had my surgery one week ago today and recovery is going well.
    The people on this board are very helpful with working through the thought process.
    In my case I don't feel there was a black/white answer...
    3 OS had same diagnosis and told me I would need the surgery, the question was only when. Was it worth struggling for 3-5 years with surgery hanging over my head (perhaps having the pain get much worse but saving a few years of wear on the replacement) or better to get it over with.
    I was still struggling with my decision right up until they put the sedative in my IV... I was scared (still am) about what my post op activities will be like, how active I can be, will it wear out my joint faster, etc?...
    Post Op, my Anesthesiologist came to my room to talk to me. He is one year younger than I am and told he had bilateral replacement at age 39. He was an iron man athlete before but is still a very active competitive cyclist. That made me feel a bit better. :)
    I'm only a week in but things are going well. A major part of the struggle for me was the decision whether to do the surgery. For folks in extreme pain it is an easy decision. For folks like us (lucky not to be in excruciating pain but seeing our window of activity shrinking) it can be a very agonizing decision...
    Best of luck to you in your process...
    D
     
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  4. Strod

    Strod

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    Same age, similar history and symptoms and I did also wonder the same. Bottom line for me, this year my right hip has got significantly worse and its not going to get better, I have felt physically restricted so have decided to act (under direction of SWMBO). I'm in on 18th October for right side THR. The left side is also showing symptoms (compensating perhaps?), but not bad enough for replacement just yet. Hopefully, after recovery, getting the really bad hip done will alleviate the early symptoms manifesting from my less-bad left hip for a while. But only you can gauge what is right for your situation, good luck with your thought process and decision making (its not easy)!
     
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  5. Susiean

    Susiean

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    Hi there

    I had hip dysplasia and had surgery at the age of one I am now 51 years old
    My story is a little different as I only needed one hip done. I really had wanted to comment because I followed these boards A lot before my surgery I had actually booked it and cancelled it at least five times. I should have had it done at least 10 years prior to this past February when I finally followed through. I was scared to death and I came up with every excuse in the book including telling myself that the pain wasn't that bad.

    Because I had waited so long I had terrible arthritis what was supposed to be one and a half hours turned into a three hour surgery. I had a fantastic new surgeon who used what he called the Cadillac of hip replacements . He kept telling me it's the most expensive device he is ever used. All I know is it's titanium.

    Because I had waited so long he needed to use something that he was able to maneuver my hip into a new position on my pelvis, my left leg had been one and a half inches shorter than the right for many years and I didn't even know.

    Prior to this, surgery was something I haven't dealt with in adult hood other than a C-section

    When I woke up I felt no pain, I refused to use the morphine pump as I was petrified of medications, especially pain medications. I took the blood thinners and with a lot of encouragement from all the nurses I finally took a couple of extra strength Tylenol which I continued to take every four hours. For about a week.

    I can tell you yes I did have pain but not excruciating. I jumped through all of the hoops I needed to to be able to go home. I had studied all of my personal care instructions I followed all the rules I had a nurse come in who changed my dressing and the physiotherapist come to my house for the first six weeks. I even ran out and spent $1200 on an elliptical machine that the surgeon said would be fine to use after six weeks.

    So there I was doing everything I was supposed to and at about week eight I started to have severe lower back pain. And again I would refuse to take anything because I'm pig headed that way. I started off going to an out patient physiotherapist for a couple of weeks which did not help me at all. I got to the point where my sick benefits were ending and I needed to apply for long-term disability.

    Through LTD I requested that they pay for physiotherapy and I went to a place that my surgeon deals with. I found a wonderful therapist who initially struggled to get any good results until she started using intramuscular stimulation. For anyone who doesn't know what this is she puts a needle deep into the muscle it's very small but goes deeper than acupuncture and then it gets and electric zap. When this happens especially in the beginning when my back was so tight that I couldn't stand anyone to even touch me it is very painful but I grew to have a love-hate relationship with it. It makes your muscle jump and loosens things up. Within the first few weeks of this treatment I started to feel a little mobility a little relief. Between this treatment and the manoeuvres that she does on my back with my hip and trying to realign my pelvis I actually feel like I am very close to being on the road to normal.

    I have to admit I had several points where I felt like throwing in the towel . I don't blame my surgeon or anyone else, this is all on me because I waited too long for my surgery. If I'd had surgery when it was first recommended to have it, my recovery time would have been much better and I would not have all the back issues that this delay caused. I am very thankful that I have such a wonderful physiotherapist a great surgeon and a fantastic family Doctor Who have all helped me get through this.

    I honestly believed I would be wearing high heels and learning how to salsa dance by six weeks after surgery .

    I wanted to share this on the pre-surgery boards because I want people to understand how important it is not to delay surgery out of fear. I also wanted to share that I had lost hope after surgery due to the amount of time it was taking me to recover , I am still on that road but I am finally starting to feel like there will be an end to it that one day hopefully within the next few months I will go back to feeling how I did long before the hip pain started.

    Please go into surgery with positive thoughts and continue to work hard, have a great support system and you will get there.

    Cheers
    Susiean
     
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  6. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Despite what others have posted here, I'd strongly advise this advice: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

    Very few hip surgeons in the UK require their patients to have PT or even home exercises. It should also be noted that I have far fewer UK members on here having problems than US members do! There's a moral in that somewhere! :wink:
     
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  7. Susiean

    Susiean

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    Hi Josephine,

    I'm actually in Canada. I felt after reading your post it seemed somewhat negative, and very opinionated. I told my story as this was my journey, and felt that if I could help anyone in anyway that I would try to do that. I needed physiotherapy as I was so off kilter for so many years that my back was screwed up. I was ready to crawl into a ball and give up. I suffered from depression, and I could barely move. Maybe some people are fine just walking after surgery and have great success. But everyone is different. Please keep that in mind when giving out advice. As I stated in my post. I had a fantastic surgeon. I know that being in Canada had nothing to do with the years of abuse my back took due to my delay in surgery. Please try to be more heartfelt. I know exactly how I felt before surgery when I was creeping these boards. Contradictory information can be very upsetting.

    Regards
    Sue
     
  8. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    You really don't need to be in agony to have joint replacement. In fact, I found the recovery easier on the hip I had replaced as soon as it started to complain. A matter of weeks versus over one year.

    Hips can go from tolerable to horrid literally overnight. I waited far too long for my first THR and the hip finally collapsed. Believe me, you don't want that pain.

    Get it done and get on with living!
     
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  9. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

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    @Hotrod97 Another double hippy, like me? :cheers:
    6 months out, feel like a brand new person. Feel 15 years younger, look better, standing straight and tall, stamina better every day.
    Absolutely no regrets.
    Not all without issues...check out my thread...but oh my stars ...what a difference it has made in my life and how much brighter my future seems to me.:SUNsmile:
     
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  10. GrannyC

    GrannyC

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    I agree that sooner rather than later is better. You have limited abilities now due to your hip. I was in the same position. Not long after scheduling my surgery, my condition started to decline quickly so I was very glad I had the surgery coming. You will have a rough period immediately following surgery but it quickly passes. They usually give you enough pain meds so you are not in pain but it is tough not to be able to move like you are used to. However, I found recovery to go much faster than I anticipated, although I on,y had one hip done. I would recommend you read the recovery threads of some of the bilateral that come to mind such as @Mojo333 ,@Irish Joe , @gaulsuerou . It will give you a better idea what to expect. If you go to the Recovery forum, you will see other bilaterals there. They are identified as a bilateral at the beginning of their thread. I wish you well...
     
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  11. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

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    Coming up soon @Hotrod97 .
    New life coming right up.
    Wondered how it seems to some but I actually prepared myself by figuring I'd be hating life for the first weeks...and comforted myself but praying all would be temporary.
    And it worked! First weeks so rough, first months minor stuff (especially looking back)...and now...Great Days, only super minor stuff...definitely nothing like that debilitating hip pain.
    I'm a bilateral bionic wonder...:chuckmarch:
     
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  12. Bumblebee

    Bumblebee

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    I have to admit I too am struggling with my decision, surgery now or later. @Jaycey makes a good point about recovery may be easier if one doesn't wait till it's very bad. It's fear of the dreaded "what ifs" I'm afraid.
     
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  13. Tomgirl

    Tomgirl

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    I'm definately of the 'go for it' type girl now. I waited far too long, deep down knowing it was never going to get better. My 'what if's' are now -
    I can't enjoy lovely long walks like I used to.
    Can't enjoy holidays
    can't find out what else I may be capable of at the gym - not really a gym person but really surprised myself with the progress I made.
    can't enjoy retirement next year. Worked so hard for the past 48 years, is retirement to be so inactive?
    can't go dancing
    Just so many things I want to do!
     
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  14. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Perhaps if you share what your "what ifs" are we can address them? Many of us have been down this road - some of us twice. Lots of first hand experience here.
     
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  15. Bumblebee

    Bumblebee

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    What if I'm in more pain afterwards
    What if they damage a nerve
    What if it doesn't improve my symptoms because they weren't all hip related
    What if I need revision surgery at 80 yrs of age.
    What if my leg feels longer and it creates a limp.
    What if I develop a blot clot
    What if scar tissue develops and I have continued pain lying on my side
    What if I develop an infection
    What if I need a blood transfusion
    What if I develop an allergy to the material in the prothesis
    What if I have a bad reaction to blood thinners
    What if I picked the wrong surgeon

    I won't go on as I am beginning to sound like a raving lunatic even to me.:tantrum2:
     
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  16. Mojo333

    Mojo333 Forum Advisor

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    Nothing is assured. What if you can spend life with no more hip pain ?
    What if you don't do it ?
    How long before your quality of life degrades to the point where you find no pleasure in Anything because of chronic pain?
    What if you would heal better at younger age?
    What if something goes wrong?
    I DO get it.
    I'm blessed. No regrets...
    What if it magically fixes itself?
    Pretty sure that can't happen.
    It's a leap of faith with all due diligence in picking surgeon etc...
    I'm biased...it redeemed me.
     
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  17. mcopt

    mcopt

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    You sound like a normal informed person to me I am 6 weeks away from a bilateral procedure and believe me I have asked myself all of those questions and more but I know if I don't go ahead I am defiantly going to spend the rest of my life in pain and disability that is the only certainty. I am scared I admit it I have done many challenging things in my life and this is probably top of the list but I HAVE to believe I will come through this one ok as virtually everyone does. There are absolutely no certainties in life we all have to and do take risks everyday . I have to reassure people I refer everyday that their cataract surgery will be ok everyone is terrified to have that done but without exception post surgery they are all happy said it was nothing like they feared and wished in many cases that they had had it done sooner . Bit like hips I think . Be brave we will get through this life challenge.
     
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