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THR THR @ 33

BigDon

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Howdy

I found out in April 2020 that I needed to replace my right hip. Moving on to nearly a year later, my health insurance has ticked over and I am scheduled for surgery start of May.

I have a background of hip problems and surgeries to remedy, labral tears, impingement,cartilage degeneration etc. Now I have severe arthritis in my right hip.

I have had a year to wrap my head around what was initially a shock and am now I believe ready for this.
However there are reservations and perhaps these things are common so any feedback or insight would be great.

pain - I’m ok, I don’t suffer from crippling pain all the time, however I get sore and that can vary from stiffness and minor pain to quite painful resulting in a limp during most prolonged activity and after.

my age - I’m 33. There is an underlying notion that hip replacements are for older people and you should not get one if you’re young. I’m aware the requirement of revision is higher for younger patients.

expectation - a conversation with my hip surgeon the other day got me thinking. “ what is normal “. I have battled hip issues for 12 years, my good days are my normal, but what is that in relation to a normal functioning hip, and will the outcome of a new hip be vastly different? I know only I can find the answer to that, but it’s a thought I keep coming back

when - are you ever 100% ready for this?
Every situation of course is different, I know I do not have another ten years left in my hip. I am faced with the probability of revision even if I was to try and wait another few years, but what is to gain from waiting if it’s only for a marginal amount of time?

if you have any advice or similarities in your story I would appreciate the feedback.

cheers
 

Humbleservant

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@BigDon glad to see you found this site that’s helped all of us with and through these issues.
I’m 34 and just had my left THR after some years of up and down pain, sometimes it was not bad and others pretty severe! I have 3 little kids that I could really only play with doing any given physical activity for a short time before pain kicked in and It would seriously limit me with other activities because I knew I would pay for it! And at 34 and you being 33, that’s no way to live! If you have bone on bone and u wait too long it could cause more damage, more issues to possibly need dealt with and a longer recovery! 33 is not “too young” with hip replacements lasting 30+ years, that’s 30+years of no pain in your hip, 30 years of doing what you used to do without pain again.....
you will be ready for it when your sick of the pain and sick of having to do things AROUND the bad hip or sit out of things because of the bad hip.
As far as surgery itself I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to back out! Even on the drive in the day of I wanted to turn around! But I knew the quality of life I wanted to have with my family so I proceeded in and it was the best decision! Tho I’m only almost 2 weeks post op, I only have a little swelling left...... but outside of that and maybe a little uncomfortableness because I just had major surgery I’m so happy I did it!
l hope this helps you out a little and feel free to fire off questions because these caring people here are always here for you! Have a great day!
 

Jaycey

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I get sore and that can vary from stiffness and minor pain to quite painful resulting in a limp during most prolonged activity and after.
You will find this will get progressively worse. Hips can go from tolerable to horrid overnight. At least that was my experience. And limping around for years only impacts your recovery.
There is an underlying notion that hip replacements are for older people and you should not get one if you’re young. I’m aware the requirement of revision is higher for younger patients.
Old school thinking! We have members who are teenagers. Yes maybe 30+ years down the line you might need a revision. But think of all the living you will do in those years.
but what is that in relation to a normal functioning hip, and will the outcome of a new hip be vastly different?
There will come a day when you forget about having a replaced hip. It will feel totally normal and function that way as well.
are you ever 100% ready for this?
Yes, but you must accept the fact that your hip has failed. Time to get it replaced and get on with living. Focus on the future and what life will be like when you are no longer planning activities around a sore hip.
 

FCBayern

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Hi @BigDon and :welome: to BoneSmart! Just about everyone has reservations about a surgery like this. I know I did as did many others here. There is really very little benefit to putting off THR if your joint needs it. It just means living in at least some pain, and typically limits your activities because you don't want it to hurt. On the flip side, the worse your joint is when you have THR, the harder your recovery will be. I have yet to hear anyone say they wish they waited to have surgery, but many have lamented the fact that they waited too long. I will leave your our pre-surgery guidelines below, you may want to pay particular attention to "Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip".

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Eman85

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I'm the guy that had the replacement part in his hand at 30yo in 1985 and had my first THR at 62. It's all up to you. You look at your situation the positives, the negatives, the risk and you make YOUR decision.
 

Going4fun

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So what are your goals? How would you like to live?

You're 33, and so the logic in favor of the surgery is that you are young and you want to be vibrant and able to move and exercise without pain.

Don't worry about revision down the road. Surgeons are constantly improving their techniques, for primary surgeries and revisions. Revision in 30 years will be more advanced than revision today. And there are some great revision success stories right now!

Hip replacement is an elective surgery. Rarely do surgeons say you have to have the surgery now. But that's fine because it's a surgery that is all about embracing life, improving life. There is the stopping of pain which is a major goal and outcome but the cessation of pain opens up all kinds of vistas.

You are likely avoiding all kinds of activities more than you know. Because of pain we unconsciously and consciously reduce walking and all kinds of activity. You're probably worn down from the years of pain and don't quite realize how much it has limited your life. In order to put up with that pain, we do some kind of minimization and distraction in our own minds. You can stop playing that game and go out and live.

Yes, fear is part of the process. I don't know if anyone goes into surgery with no fear. You can share your fears with your surgeon's office and let them talk you through them.

Lots of life ahead. You like your surgeon?
 
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BigDon

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@Humbleservant

Thank you for responding. I took the time to read through your thread and your story sounds very similar to mine. Back / Groin pain along with the hip. You had pre op nerves and uncertainties, how do you feel about those reservations now you are on the other end?
 
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BigDon

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I'm the guy that had the replacement part in his hand at 30yo in 1985 and had my first THR at 62. It's all up to you. You look at your situation the positives, the negatives, the risk and you make YOUR decision.
@Eman85

Thanks for your reply. What made you wait until later in life to have your hips done, and if you had today's methods / technologies available would you have committed yourself to surgery in your 30's?
 
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BigDon

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So what are your goals? How would you like to live?

You're 33, and so the logic in favor of the surgery is that you are young and you want to be vibrant and able to move and exercise without pain.

Don't worry about revision down the road. Surgeons are constantly improving their techniques, for primary surgeries and revisions. Revision in 30 years will be more advanced than revision today. And there are some great revision success stories.

Hip replacement is an elective surgery. Rarely do surgeons say you have to have the surgery now. But that's fine because it's a surgery that is all about embracing life, improving life. There is the stopping of pain which is a major goal and outcome but the cessation of pain opens up all kinds of vistas.

You are likely avoiding all kinds of activities more than you know. Because of pain we unconsciously and consciously reduce walking and all kinds of activity. You're probably worn down from the years of pain and don't quite realize how much it has limited your life. In order to put up with that pain, we do some kind of minimization and distraction in our own minds. You can stop playing that game and go out and live.

Yes, fear is part of the process. I don't know if anyone goes into surgery with no fear. You can share your fears with your surgeon's office and let them talk you through them.

Lots of life ahead. You like your surgeon?
@Going4fun

I love my surgeon. Sadly i have already been through 9 Hip surgeries and two clinical trials for cartilage regrowth. He has been there every step of the way. His name is John O'Donnell and was the first surgeon to perform 10,000 Hip surgeries. I have trusted his advice on all my hip surgeries but also other surgeries that I have had. ( a lifetime of contact sports - AFL, plays havoc on the body )
 

Going4fun

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So if you trust your surgeon, go for it.

Oh and yes, if I were in your position I would have the surgery. In fact, in a way I WAS in your position. I was 56 and I could actually walk pretty well. I didn't limp. I went running on the treadmill two weeks before my surgery. It hurt afterwards of course and I didn't run for long.

But my surgeon said I was in the borderline area: with me, he didn't necessarily want to strongly recommend the surgery unless I was totally for it. Well, I had delayed for seven years since my initial diagnosis, and I was totally ready.

Friends of mine were shocked to learn I was thinking of surgery. They couldn't tell that my hip was off or that I had excruciating pain when I went out dancing (my hobby) or tried to run for more than ten minutes. And I was "only" 56. Well from where I stand right now, my decision is a no-brainer.
 
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Eman85

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I'm the guy that had the replacement part in his hand at 30yo in 1985 and had my first THR at 62. It's all up to you. You look at your situation the positives, the negatives, the risk and you make YOUR decision.
@Eman85

Thanks for your reply. What made you wait until later in life to have your hips done, and if you had today's methods / technologies available would you have committed yourself to surgery in your 30's?
At 30 I went to a few OS and especially at that time the general opinion was I was young and it would have to be redone as the parts didn't last. I was pretty active and the replacements weren't going to stand that either. Basically even though my factory parts were defective in some ways they were better than what man was making. After waiting and having THR's I can't argue the point and don't regret waiting. I got my money's worth out of what I was given. Add to that the fact that I never had a job where I could take months off or the best of health insurance. Then later in life when I had the insurance and the FMLA was in place I had a job that would terminate me, which they did when I had my THR. So when my situation was right I made my decision.
 
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BigDon

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I'm the guy that had the replacement part in his hand at 30yo in 1985 and had my first THR at 62. It's all up to you. You look at your situation the positives, the negatives, the risk and you make YOUR decision.
@Eman85

Thanks for your reply. What made you wait until later in life to have your hips done, and if you had today's methods / technologies available would you have committed yourself to surgery in your 30's?
At 30 I went to a few OS and especially at that time the general opinion was I was young and it would have to be redone as the parts didn't last. I was pretty active and the replacements weren't going to stand that either. Basically even though my factory parts were defective in some ways they were better than what man was making. After waiting and having THR's I can't argue the point and don't regret waiting. I got my money's worth out of what I was given. Add to that the fact that I never had a job where I could take months off or the best of health insurance. Then later in life when I had the insurance and the FMLA was in place I had a job that would terminate me, which they did when I had my THR. So when my situation was right I made my decision.
It makes sense why you waited. Luckily now the parts seem to be a lot further advanced.
 
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BigDon

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Update - I used to train in the Gym religiously, this took up a hole in my life when i stopped playing football. Moving on the past 1.5 years i do not train all that much anymore due to how stiff and sore i can get. Along with that I now play a lot of golf competitively and for leisure.
I decided to commit to a leg strengthening regime moving into the surgery. 2 days ago was day 1. Today my lower back is incredibly sore / fatigued and stiff. I have OA in my SI joint due to my hip troubles.
Today I'm reminded how limiting things can become and reinforces that this surgery is probably the best outcome.
 
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BigDon

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Today i have received my pre op paperwork, admission time and fees.

I am required to get Blood tests and an ECG within 2 weeks out from the surgery, along with washing with chlorhexidine 3 days out from the surgery. I was also given at my last consult medical grade antibacterial wipes which are required post shower for wiping down the body 72 hours out from the surgery. I trust this is all normal practice.
I am having my THR done anteriorly which i understand minimises the recovery time, an 8 inch cut i believe.
With May 3rd approaching quickly ( under 5 weeks ) it is now becoming a regular thought. I am ready for the surgery, however that does not mean it is non the less confronting and anxiety inducing. Come the day of surgery i will be quite restless. I trust the anaesthetist can assist with relaxing me.
 

Celle

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With May 3rd approaching quickly ( under 5 weeks ) it is now becoming a regular thought.
Is May 3, 2021 the date of your surgery, @BigDon? I think that's the first time you've mentioned the date.
I'll assume that's the day and do your signature, but please correct me if I've got it wrong, won't you?
 

Celle

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I am having my THR done anteriorly which i understand minimises the recovery time, an 8 inch cut i believe.
While having an anterior hip replacement may initially give you a slightly easier time, the total time for recovery, whichever approach is used, is still going to be about a full year. It really does take all that time for all your tissues to recover completely, although you'll feel close to normal long before that.
 

djklaugh

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@BigDon Yes the pre surgery antibacterial washes are standard procedure for hospitals every where. It's to reduce the chance of any bacterial that might be on your skin could get into the surgical site. All the pre op things you mentioned are also standard -- just the surgeon and hospital making sure you are in optimal health for the surgery. All a bit of nuisance I know but well worth the time and effort!

Even with an anterior approach you can expect recuperation from hip replacement to take longer than you wish it would. Take it slow at first!! Trying to rush things could actually set you back.

As I recall the hurry-up-and-wait run up to the date of surgery is the worst part! "Anticipation is making me wait" (Carly Simon) was my go to song during that stretch.
 

Eman85

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All of your pre-op procedures sound like what I did. I also attended a class and was swabbed to check for MRSA and Staph and was given a gel to swab my nose with. Be cautious about the approach speeding up your recovery time. There have been many that were very disappointed that the anterior approach resulted in the normal recovery time, best to read members posts and be prepared.
 

Humbleservant

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@BigDon congrats on the surgery date! Everything preop sounds on track! I never had to use any wipes or soap before!

I had posterior on 3/1 and my surgeon said recovery was pretty similar and my incision with posterior is only 4-5 inches! Hurry up and wait it is!

On day of surgery I told the anesthesiologist I was nervous and they gave me something to relax me and it did a SWEETTTTT job at relaxing me and I was ready to go after that! Hurry up and wait for now and prepare beforehand with things you will need and need to do depending on what help you will have, ie: what your going to go home with from hospital versus what you need to get like crutches, walker, cane......some necessities is ice machine, ice packs, toilet seat insert, grabber, plenty of pillows and chair pads and raising items you use all the time in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen up to a suitable height!
 
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BigDon

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@Humbleservant thanks for replying.

The medication administered to relax you, was this administered just prior to surgery or when you arrived?
 

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