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Old 06-11-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
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bardgal HB User
Talking Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

I am 49 (just turned in May) and an ex-dancer... injured myself in high school at 16 when I fell out of a flying split on linoleum tile and landed right on my left joint, cracking the head of the femur. Of course, at the time, I had no idea how bad I had injured myself, only that it hurt like mad, and I couldn't sit properly (on the left side of my bumm) for six months.

FF to 2001. I had been running for 4 years (nothing big, about a mile a day), and was driving a 5-speed Jeep Wrangler. Every once in a while, my front left hip flexor would hurt. A few years later the regularity of that would increase, and a few years later, I developed piriformis syndrome on my left side. Had some x-rays taken in the fall of 2006. Both radiologist and first orthopedic surgeon saw nothing except outline of cycsts on the left joint.

Pain began to worsen (especially in bad weather and low barometric pressure.) PCP sent me to a different orthopedic surgeon because the first one was out having surgery himself (for which I will be forever thankful!)

New Ortho Doc took one look at my x-rays and said, "hmm... this shadow over here on the top of your left femur looks like it could be necrosis. Do you have your MRI slides with you?"
ME: "I haven't had an MRI."
Doc: "You're having one tomorrow."
(I am on an HMO and have the BEST medical group on the PLANET! Any of my Drs want an approval for something - they BLINK it into existence like Jeannie! (Frak, I'm old!)

MRI showed two hairline fractures at the top of the femur - which had taken 30 years to slow the blood flow down and kill the top of the bone. I've since been told my case is very rare since AVN rarely effects just one hip.

Doc said - "whenever you're ready, let's do it. You want to wait, fine, you want to do it tomorrow, fine." At first, I thought I'd wait until the end of the year after a trip DH and I had planned to go to the UK, then in February we took some friends to Disneyland and had an OMG moment. I'm an ex-employee, so I knew that walking the distances we were going to would not be easy. I went out and bought a folding cane. I really had to battle my ego and convince myself I was HOT BABE with cane, not old woman with cane. Once I got over my pathetic ego - and began using the cane regularly, 90% of my pain subsided. who knew?

I also realized I didn't want to be dragging my bumm all over Heathrow with a cane so we postponed the trip and I scheduled my surgery.

My surgery: minimally invasive, anterior approach on the Magic Ski Boot table. Implant is non cemented, titanium stem with ceramic ball - titanium with polymer lining cup. Surgery was a week ago today at 7:30am. Procedure took 3 hours. I opted for full anesthesia not an epidural. I didn't leave the bed that day, and was on a morphine drip with catheter (small slice of Heaven until everything makes you itch.) Thursday I got out of bed still attached to all my accouterment on a walker. Later on my wound drains were taken out.

Incision runs from the front point of my hip bone at an angle to the side about 4". (Must find some sexy tribal tattoo to cover in a year.) All stitches are subcutaneous and I have liquid stitches covering the length of incision. (Blessed is the shower.)

Friday I was detached from everything, put on oral pain meds. PT in the morning I got out on a walker - successfully went to the restroom, sitting normally, no problem bending 90 degrees - woohoo! Afternoon graduated to a cane. Made such an impression on staff that Doc came over and said, "I heard you were running up and down the halls on a CANE! Want to go home?" HECK YEAH!

Since I got home Friday night:
Have been on Norco (10mg Hydrocodone/325 acetaminophen) every four hours - yes I need it - more on that in a minute. Also have learned to give myself a shot of Lovenox every morning (HUGE for me, since I can't stand needles.) Also taking a stool softener Rx.
Use walker to get out of bed with usually.
Use cane to get up and down stairs.
Beyond that I can walk without assistance, just taking it slow and concentrating on correcting my gait. My left leg had so deteriorated that it being shorter than my right leg felt normal. Now that they're even, the left leg seems longer - so I have to really concentrate on not walking with a limp, which means using different muscles in my right leg as well.

Was horribly constipated until Monday night. The stool softener they gave me didn't do ANYTHING. I normally drink Chinese Mallow tea every night. I went back to that and now all is well.

Also learned to sleep on my back - trying to get on my side with body pillow, but still too painful.

I have had one visit from a PT on Monday, and she is coming again today to show me exercises.

I do not have the pressure stockings. No one has even mentioned them to me. I did wake up from surgery with the inflatable leg massagers which were awesome at first (when I had freshly shaven legs) but became unbearably itchy and sweaty within 24 hours.

I have more pain at night than during the day. I can feel my piriformis muscle tightening up to protect the trauma the joint has undergone, and it's pinching my sciatic nerve - not fun. The joint is tight, and bruised (nothing was cut, everything was moved and stretched so no surprise there.) It's just frustrating to read about people throwing away their pain meds immediately when they get home, but the people I know who've done that had major THR and were not putting any weight on the implant right away... so maybe I have to give myself a break.

I am icing it three to four times a day. This helps a lot.

At night I am taking one tylenol with my Norco to calm the pain.

Every day I discover new flexibility. I've been told the only restriction I have (for now) is no lotus position - basically do not get my left foot higher that my left knee if left foot is above right knee.

I drove Monday 1 mile to pharmacy (in between pain meds) to pick up the rest of my Lovenox (11 days total.)

I'm hoping I can be off pain meds for a few hours Friday day - have a hair appt! Very important!


Last edited by bardgal; 06-11-2008 at 08:09 PM.

 
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:40 PM   #2
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vallitoo HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Thanks so much for the blow by blow description.
I'm having exactly the same thing - and prosthesis in 14 days and plan to do as well as you have done.
Of course I was VERY interested in your driving resumption. I have a high automatic SUV and con't see why I'd have to wait 3 months.
Keep us posted and looking forward to hearing about your rapid recovery.
Vallitoo

 
Old 06-11-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
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bardgal HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Up until January of this year, for the last eight years I've been driving a stick shift Jeep Wrangler. I traded it in for a Prius, mostly because it hurt to shift - the gas savings is an incredible bonus!

My surgery was on my left hip, so it's just a matter of learning how to get in and out of the vehicle. What hip will yours be on?

Last edited by moderator2; 06-11-2008 at 09:05 PM. Reason: unnecessary quote

 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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bardgal HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Update Day 8:

More work with PT yesterday and was sore afterwards. She's ruthless and awesome.

Was going to try to make it to one of my best friend's eldest graduation today, so went off the Norco and doubled up on the Tylenol. Pain is just different, I don't have the loopy bliss factor, but a little tummy weirdness with no Norco, (which is why the gods made ice cream), and I decided to skip the festivities.

Going up and down stairs with just the rails, no cane.

Will most likely take Norco before bed, then just Tylenol tomorrow.

Still hoping to make hair appointment tomorrow.

 
Old 06-23-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Lynne720 HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

I just have a question which I suppose I really need to call and ask the surgeon but what is an anterior minimal THR as opposed to just a THR? How many different types of THRs are there? My hubby is scheduled for a THR of the right hip in 2 weeks and the doctor said he would give him an athletic hip since he is 46. Should I ask the doctor what type of approach he uses? Does it make a difference to know this?

Lynne

 
Old 06-24-2008, 12:32 AM   #6
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bardgal HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

update day 19:

Still finding I need lots of sleep (to heal.) Still need pain meds at night, and depending on how much I push myself physically during the day. The more I walk or go up and down stairs, the sooner I lose energy, and stamina. Sometimes my hip gets sore & stiff from too much working out and I need pain meds. Also must be careful not to sit at work desk too much... that also makes me stiff and sore.

Thankfully no longer on the blood thinner (11 days) so I can go back to regular diet. (No vitamin K with blood thinner - and it's in everything I eat - broccoli, salad, everything green....)

Have been running a low-grade fever due to healing, but this week that's pretty much gone.

Still using ice randomly when needed.

Incision all nice and healed, so I can soak in the tub.

Normally I feel GREAT - I just have to remember I had MAJOR SURGERY and not to push myself too much, because I run out of energy faster than normal. That is the frustrating thing.... I want to be normal NOW.

 
Old 06-24-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Lynne720 HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Bardgal, thanks for the advice. I left a message for the surgeon. I have lots of questions for him.

I only hope my husband heals as quickly as you. You really sound like a bionic woman!!

Lynne

 
Old 06-25-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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Lynne720 HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Hi Bardgal, my husband's surgeon called me back and I am even more comfortable about him going through this surgery than before. The surgeon says that he makes 2 small incisions and he says that the muscles, tendons, flexor and everything else that is in the way is NOT cut or disturbed. Its just moved to the side. I had some other questions that he answered as well. He assured me that my husband will be okay even though he has had a bad track record with back surgeries.

Thanks again for the advice. I will keep you all posted after the surgery which is on July 7th.

Lynne

 
Old 06-25-2008, 03:04 PM   #9
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bardgal HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Lynn,

That's great news! Please keep us posted. He's going to be be great!

Tally

 
Old 06-25-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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bardgal HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Lynn,

Just reading your other thread.... sounds like your Hubby also has piriformis syndrome - where the piriformis muscle tightens up because it's trying to protect the joint, and in doing so, it pinches the sciatic nerve. (search the web for piriformis syndrome.) I had gotten away from some of that using the cane prior to surgery - but it came back after surgery because of the trauma on the joint (your body is pretty clever.) Anyway - that is getting better (less painful) by the day, as my joint gets stronger. So if he feels some of that still after surgery, it should get better as his hip joint regains it's strength.

t

Last edited by bardgal; 06-25-2008 at 03:14 PM.

 
Old 06-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
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vallitoo HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

Hi again Bionic Goddess.

I wrote a few weeks ago re driving, and since then have been in and out of surgery at warp speed.

Went in on Wednesday afternoon and was home for lunch on Friday. Today is Day 3 post surgery.

No complications at all and am feeling just fine.

I'm 68 years old and I think the technique he used was posterolateral.
I haven't really seen the incision yet. I was awake during the whole surgery as I had a spinal.
Have really had no pain as I take oxycodone every 4 hours. I can walk quite well with crutches or a walker, and have climbed 14 stairs to get to the computer. My plan is to do the exercises regularly and sleep as much as I feel like.
Thanks for your cheerful posts. Vallitoo

 
Old 06-29-2008, 08:24 AM   #12
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lthomas HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

I got you beat. Missed a valut. Springboard was broken so coach had us use the minitrap instead. To compensate she raised the horse several positions. I was first in line. I told her I didn't think I could make it. Needless to say, I didn't. Torn (actually severed) ACL. She didn't let anyone else try.

I started having surgeries when I was 48. I had my first repalcement at 56. Started working to stall TKA on the other knee in 06. It will need replacing in 2-3 years at the present rate of decline. Hip started procedures this year. No extimate yet as to when I can expect the pain to outdo me, but they thing about 2-4.

So before I am 62 I will only have one good leg joint (I hope). I don't have any problems anywhere else in my body, never have. Overcompensation for all those years had messed up my entire leg on the opposite side.
__________________
L.Knee: Arthroscopy: '98, '04, '06; ACLrecon: '02; TKA:'06
R.Knee: Arthroscopy: '06; TKA indicated
R Hip: Arthroscopy '08;

Gymnastics is fun at 18 but not at 40.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 11:04 AM   #13
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PsycheDancer HB User
Re: Bionic Goddess! Anterior minimal THR (left hip) 1 week ago today...

I also was a dancer, and had the same surgery. I too was walking on my own in 4 days! This is the ONLY way to have hip replacement!!!

 
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