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Old 07-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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??Polio Hips??

I am the daughter of a polio victim and have been reading some of the threads here and I ran across the term polio hips.,

Can someone explain what this is to me. I am mom's live in 24/7 caregiver and need all the help and info possible. Thanks in advance

 
Old 07-13-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: ??Polio Hips??

Polio hips means that the hips did not develop "normally". If you look at a "normal" x-ray of a pelvis and the hips of a person who has had polio, they will look different. The whole pelvis of a person who has had polio that affected their legs are usually smaller. When I was pregnant, I was examined by my OG and he said that my pelvic opening was long and narrow, that they would have to do a c section. However, when I was 9 plus months pregnant, I had to be examined by another OB and my pelvic opening had changed. I had to "try" and have my son naturally. He was too big so I ended up having a c section, but that was no big thing. Also, the hip sockets tend to be shallower so that your femur pistons into your hip socket. While I was growing, there was an inch difference from between I was laying down and my legs were measure to when I was standing. I was told at 18 that my hips were going to be done by the time I was 18. When I was 24, I was having hip pain and went back to my ortho. He x rayed my hips and couldn't believe it, my hip sockets had closed in more. The only thing he could figure out why was that I rode horses hard, everyday for years and that my hip sockets developed out of the impact of riding. Fast forward 30 years and my right hip was bothering me. I went to see a highly regarded ortho and he wanted to do a hip replacement immediately. I told him I would think about it, walked out of his office and threw up in the bushes. My right leg is the one that works and I had been through my husband's two hip replacements and I knew it was going to be horrible. I went back to an older ortho that I had seen five years before when I got bucked off a horse and landed on my pelvis. He x rayed me because I was afraid that I had cracked it. At that time he said that my hips looked great. He re x-rayed my hips and compared the films. He said that my hips looked great and that hopefully, it was just a flare up. It was. He said that my hips were polio hips but they were great polio hips. If I had listened to the first young, uber ortho, I would be sporting a hip replacement. He was young, in the age that he was in his 40's. Most doctors that are not in their 70's or have not been in the Peace Corp in a third world country have never actually seen anyone with polio!

That is why you have to be really careful with your mother's health care. Surgeons love to operate, that is what they do. If someone does not fit the text book mold, they want to operate. I received a concussion three years ago. I was put on cymbalta and started failing. I had numerous MRIs and the nuero surgeon said that my neuro canal was small and that I needed to have my neck fused immediately. I told him NO. He threw a fit. Luckily, I have a great osteopath. He said to wait a year and have another one. I did and there was no change. I was either born that way or having polio at 11 weeks of age, helped it along. Until three years ago, I thought that osteopaths were right up there with witch doctors but if I had to chose only one doctor to ever see again, it would be him. I went to see him Monday for the results of the MRI and I hadn't seen him for four months. I had been having some back pain and my right hip had been making some grinding noises. He just moved some things around, he said my sacrum was twisted and I am fine. No grinding, no back pain. He is surprised because I walk with a long leg brace that I am not more screwed up than I am when I finally go to see him.

If your mother is having hip trouble, I would certainly not let anyone touch her that is not a post polio clinic. They exist. There is a great one in Southern CA, Rancho los Amigos. It is part of a county hospital so it is not fancy but they have the best and the brightest. Also in Canada and in Germany. Just because it is a very well respected hospital, doesn't mean that they know how to deal with people who have had polio. I had an MRI done in University of San Francisco when this all happened. The doctor who read my MRI said that there were white spots on my brain and did not know what they were caused by. I went home, googled, white spots brain polio. Up popped documentation that people that have had polio sometimes have white spots on their brain. It is not know why or what they are related to.

Also, when I was having all this trouble caused by cymbalta, I was told by more than one learned physician that it was post polio. I knew it wasn't because I did not have one problem before my concussion. I got to the point that I could barely walk to the bathroom, sometimes I couldn't. I have fought my way back during that time twice. This time for good. I hate it when people say that they used to be able to do things and now they can't. It just depends on how badly someone wants something. I have seen people who basically have nothing wrong with them just sit around to the point that they are immobile and die. Yes, it is hard, yes it hurts but it is possible. I was to the point that I could not even walk the five feet to our swim spa. I couldn't even carry a piece of paper. It takes time. It took me a whole year to come back but I did. Right now the only piece is my right thigh is not as strong as it should for stepping up on curbs, steps, etc. I am hitting the swim spa again to build it up. If I had listened to those doctors, I would be dead by now. To fuse my neck would have killed me.

Your mother knows what she can and cannot do. One thing I must tell you is to not beat yourself up if she refuses to do more. I have danced that dance with my own mother. She decided that it hurt to walk and pretty much quit walking and got heavy. She finally died of congestive heart failure. I beat myself up for a year after she died. I thought that if I had been a better daughter or danced just a little harder that she would have taken better care of herself and even tried. She was a PE teacher which made it all the harder. I remember telling her how hard she pushed me and told me that no one paid any attention. She just laughed at me and told me it was me instead of her. I had horrible nightmares after she died that she faked her death and I would see her somewhere healthy and fit. When I would finally catch up with her, she would tell me that she had to get away from me in order to get her life back. You can help your mother, but you cannot make her want to do something if she doesn't want to. I have known more than one person who had polio that would rather be in a wheelchair than wear a brace because they are ugly. My husband has a cousin who lost her marriage because she would not wear a brace and would rather be in a wheelchair or a scooter. Her husband finally got enough of it and left her. He had asked me for twenty years about braces and she wouldn't even listen. I guess it is all what each individual wants out of life. I have worn a brace my whole life and if someone doesn't like it, too bad. I am going until I drop. I would rather live my life to the fullest than live forever in an assisted facility like a hothouse flower. That is just IMHO, good luck.

 
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:42 AM   #3
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corkyskid HB User
Re: ??Polio Hips??

I am sorry I have not ben around to respond to your answer and thank you. Mom has done all the things she SHOULD not do and is now almost immobile. Bed to chair to bed except for the occassional trip to the potty.

Her fear of falling and very long recovery put a fear in her so deep she has never gotten over the fear. Falling off and on her entire life, she would always go into what I call her "fear funk" but she always would come out of it. This time she has not and refuses to try. Period.

But at 87, I just can't justify forcing or pushing her.

 
Old 11-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
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Re: ??Polio Hips??

Just do what you can for her and live your life. Please don't live your life thinking that your mother is not going to around much longer. My MIL has been holding her family hostage for over 30 years. She is now 96 and will probably live another ten years. Her hypochondria and rotten attitude has about driven her sons away. She wants nothing to do with her grandchildren or her DILS, she calls all of us "strangers". So we just feel sorry for what she has missed in life. That is all you can do!

People who get hurt falling are rookies! Those of us who fall on a regular basis know not to try and catch themselves and tuck and roll!LOL! I must admit when I was so sick from Cymbalta that I was afraid to fall because I had a heck of a time getting back up. I did though.

Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is no will, there is no way!

Good luck to you.

 
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