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Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

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Old 03-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
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Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

But I'm ok with no hip resurfacing.

Had a good visit with my surgeon today. He is a good communicator and took lots of time with me after taking more xrays of hips. He took time to just chat, explain his background, review xrays, draw pictures for me, etc.

He does 6-7 hip replacement surgeries a week and says infections and complications in his patients are rare. (I've heard that from other doctors too about him).

Both hips are affected, but right hip is the worst. He says that often when worse hip is corrected, the other feels better and may be able to prolong any surgery for left side indefinitely (This is what another surgeon told me three years ago too).

He reviewed the different types of equipment and explained that I was not a good candiate for resurfacing--one due to bone density in hip area and also because with females, this type of procedure leaves you vulnerable for later fractures. He said if I were his wife or sister, he would not let me have resurfacing. My xrays showed bone cysts in femoral head area and a bone scan that I had taken yesterday shows osteopenia (not osteoporosis yet, but density not good enough for his comfort). Apparently when the do resurfacing, you have to have strong bone stock in the hip socket.

But, explained prothesis he recommends will have a larger head suitable for younger and more active/fit patients--far less risk of dislocation later. And, he told me that based on my age, level of fitness he'd expect a 3 day hospital stay (He does surgeries on Mondays and generally if all goes well discharges on Wednesdays). Actual surgery would be around one and a half hours.

There is a pre-op class that he'd send me too run by a nurse whose had bilateral replacements. The anesthesiologists and social workers are also there to answer questions and he said that family members and friends are welcome to attend. There's also an interactive web site that has just been developed by his department and they're going to send me the password and apparently that site will have lots of info.

He'd expect me to be able to go home rather than a rehab facility based on level of current fitness, but that social workers would be available to assist in hospital if it looked like I should be discharged into a facility. (There's one within 10 mins of my house). He thinks I'd need assistance, two weeks tops. Then, after that, Id probably be able to go back to work (short days at first) if I wanted to do so. Driving would be restricted until about 6 weeks after surgery because it's my right leg and I need to be able to jam on brakes in traffic.

Anyway, I need to talk to my family members about their schedules, since I live alone and they will have to come stay with me. And, of course, need to talk to my boss and my second in command (who works part time) to see what's best. I'd like to wait till end of summer/early fall so I'd be in good shape for the holidays, but also not stuck in Houston 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity.

Thanks for everyone's encouragement. I'm sure I'll have loads of questions, once I settle down.


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Old 03-29-2008, 01:30 AM   #2
liverpool sue
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Re: Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

maggie, what a great posting. i'm sure it will help a lot of people understand the whole hip surgery thing. i believe that a lot of people just assume that resurfacing is the way to go for younger patients, but as you have explained, there's a lot more to take into consideration. i'm glad you're happy with what your doctor has advised you, you seem a very positive person and i'm sure you will make a great recovery when you eventually have your surgery. i always think knowledge is power, and you're certainly very knowledgable about your own situation, it's the not knowing and not understanding that makes many people anxious and nervous, so as i've said, i think your post will help many people who come here for advice.
good luck to you.

Old 03-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #3
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Re: Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

Thanks. I'm going up and down--actually feeling down today--the doctor did mention that I'd most likely have a 1/4 inch difference between right and left leg after surgery because left hip is also impacted and its short right now too. He said this would be corrected whenever the left hip is done. He didn't seem to think this was a big deal. In reading posts here, I am assuming this discrepancy could be significant for my gait, but also be corrected with orthotics. I've worn orthotics before and didn't find them to be a big deal. But, today, I feel worried. I'm more mentally prepared for the right hip surgery and not at all ready to think about the left hip--mostly because it doesn't hurt me right now.

I'm also just generally fretting because I've never had any surgery before (not counting tonsillectomy as a child) and I have some fear that this is the beginning of a decline into feebleness, etc. (being over dramatic I know ) but, after moping out loud at the gym this morning, a friend reminded me today about a saying her mother had along the lines of "everyone's got to have something" as they age and key is to take care of yourself and have a good attitude....Her mother is in her 80s and perking along fine after several surgeries and illness. She just refuses to see herself as sick or an invalid...So, I keep trying to remind myself that this is just a biomechanical issue and I'm fortunate that it is something that can be improved, if not totally mended. Sigh. My family members are asking me to consider August as a date. Doctor is booked a month out, so August is open for him. Will discuss with boss,etc. But, August gives me lots of time to work out fears. I mean, I'm much calmer now than I was when I first started checking out postings here--it's a relief to have one place where I can ask questions and worry openly.

Anyway, thanks for your support! I really appreciate it.


Old 03-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

Hi Maggie,
I am just sending some good wishes your way and support. I am having my hip done in May and this will be my first biggie surgery.
I think your friend is positive and think good things. I have a family member like that and she is discustingly healthy and I swear it is because she wills everything away!
My friend had her hip done and one leg was longer after. She had lifts put on her shoes and you can't even tell. She isn't getting her other hip done for a long time and she is in her 40's.
I am 62 but even at my age I don't like this being dependent on others. I miss walking and sleeping without pain anymore so I am looking forward to this blasted surgery so I can be better and you too...Good luck to you...

Old 03-31-2008, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

My hubby had is hips replaced when he was in his early 40's. His hips were bone to bone and he was having to use a cane and actually should have been in a wheelchair. He kept putting surgery off because he had never been in a hospital before and he was scared.
He had one hip done and 4 months later the other one. His only regret? That he didn't have it done sooner. He was in the hospital 5 days for the first one, 3 days for the second one. He used crutches afterwards. At home, he found his best choice for sitting was on a bar stool.
He did need help at home though he was given all kinds of gadgets to help pick up items, put socks on etc. but it was in the hospital he needed me the most. If a nurse moved his tray away and left the room, he couldn't reach to get it back. He needed help to get up and they would forget to come back for him. It seems to be the sign of the times though, as I just had back surgery and had the same problems, different hospital.
He had a revision done last year on both hips as after 16 years the plastic cup wore out. He was out of the hospital the 3rd day. It would have been sooner but he has hemolytic anemia so they kept him in another day. He recently found out that some of the plastic is behind the hip so he is going to have to have another total replacement. He's not in a big rush for it. In the meantime all these years he has enjoyed playing golf, continued working and has been painfree. It will be a relief for you to get this behind you.

Old 04-03-2008, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: Finally Had my consultation--No Hip Resurfacing for me

Thanks Sunshine 12. Good luck to you too! I will be interested to read about your experiences. Mel 152, I appreciate hearing about your husband's experiences.

Last edited by Larimergirl; 04-03-2008 at 09:49 PM. Reason: add sentence

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