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4 Months from onset of symptoms to THR?

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Fly4hire HB User
Lightbulb 4 Months from onset of symptoms to THR?

Hi all, my first post, and hopefully some here have had other experiences I can draw on for context in understanding my situation. I apologize for the length. Thanks for reading.

I'm 53.5, 6', 205, and up until several months ago was very active with hiking, biking, sailing, elliptical, gardening, weights, etc. not an athlete, but very physical, strong, and completely unimpeded by physical limitations.

4 months ago I attended a weekend music festival where I spent about 7 hrs a day standing. Towards the end of the weekend I was getting severe pain in my right thigh and groin. Sitting or lying only temporarily relieved the symptoms. I chalked it up to muscle strain, took some Aleve, and pressed on figuring it would get better with time and rest.

The symptoms did not get better but worse and I sought medical attention. My primary care Doc took X-rays and called me later that week and said I had severe arthritis of my right hip and was referring me to an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation for a THR Needless to say I was blown away with this. How could I go from no symptoms to a being a THR candidate in less than a few months?

The surgeon said based on images I probably had this for years and it finally presented due to whatever set it off, and it was progressive degenerative OA and was only going to get worse not better, but I get to decide when I can no longer live with it but I would definitely be seeing a THR or resurfacing in my future. I was already maxing out on NSAID's that were/are barely controlling the pain and he suggested we try the cortisone in the hip to buy some time. After doing considerable reading and talking to some other docs I decided to pass on the shot, as one source put it, it heals nothing, only works about 50% of the time, when it does work only lasts for several months about 50% of the time, increases chances of infection, and delays healing with a THR. I asked the surgeon about this and he agreed and said it was fine to pass. When asked about why he recommended it he said it works for some people and buys time while patients come to grips with the fact they need a THR. As he put it there are band-aids and fixes, and the only fix is surgery.

I belatedly took this info and embarked on looking into alternative therapies - doing PT, ginger, juicing, chondritin/MSM, etc. All my other joints feel great, the hip is getting worse and worse to the point where what was normal a few months ago is impossible and I'm all but sedentary to get through the day, and even then in considerable discomfort, NSAID's are marginal, limping severely, and frequently using a cane.

With much trepidation and still in denial I scheduled surgery. My Ortho has recommended a ceramic on poly THR as the best bet for long term wear vs. desired activity level (hi-impact is out after a shattered left knee 4 years ago from a skiing accident). Asked about resurfacing which another surgeon in his practice does he said he is concerned about lack of long term (10+ yrs) follow up studies, metal on metal issues, and feels the correct THR still offers the best outcome, and that the poly cup in the metal socket can be replaced years later if needed with far less complications with the pelvis bone stock than replacing the entire socket as would be needed in a revision to a THR from a resurfacing.

Now scheduled for surgery two weeks hence, still in denial that I really need this but my pragmatic side says I do, and hoping that I can get back to an active lifestyle again in short order.

I'd like to know if anyone else has had a hip issue present this rapidly, your choice of implants and return to previous activities, your experiences in rehab, and any possible experiences with alternative treatments.

Last edited by Fly4hire; 07-29-2013 at 08:00 AM.

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Florida
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fillycat3 HB User
Re: 4 Months from onset of symptoms to THR?

I started with loud clicking, not painful last spring 2012, and was told by pt it was my knne, fitted with a rigid knee brace that did nothing. It started to be painful with excrutiating stabs if I moved in the wrong direction, if the car turned to the left, and just got worse, especially with physical therapy. I had three agencies give 99up. My hand surgeon finally x rayed my hip after a scan of the knee didnt show anything new.
By now I am not able to stand up straught on my own. Have to lean, be. S over in the kitchen if I want to stand for a few minutes. Sitting hurts, laying jn bed hurts, I wake up with my leg ice cold and stabbing pains. I saw a hip surgeon in April who said he wouldnt touch me because the Rsd is not under control. The second surgeon, who had new xrays and an mri done, said i had holes in noth the left and right side but that i was too high a risk
and would only operate if i put a gun to his head. So back to hand surgeon who refers me to another surgeon, about 90 minutes away, who takes x rays, this was Tuesday so the others where now 2 months old, and comes in the room and says the bone is necrotic and I have to have a total hip replacement, now and surgery is the 14th of August. At this point my head is spinning.
What happened to me being too risky? What is necrotic as opposed to arthritic. Can you keep necrotic bone or does it have to come out? And how does it affect the out come of a hip replacement and recovery?

Old 08-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Fly4hire HB User
Re: 4 Months from onset of symptoms to THR?

My understanding is necrotic bone has to come out. My surgery is scheduled for the 14th also. Bummer you got so much run around before they got the diagnosis. There is lots of info out there on referred pain from hip issues presenting in the thigh/groin/knee. I saw a sports med doc first who immediately suspected the hip. Good luck on your surgery.

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