By Jo – Southampton, UK
The CT images that my consultant, Mr Hussell had requested showed arthritis and degradation of my hip joint.
Mr Hussell was not certain, from what he could see in the images, that a PAO would be effective. He suspected that there might have been too much damage to the cartilage. He suggested that in order to determine whether to do a PAO or total hip replacement (THR) he could do keyhole surgery called an arthroscopy (scope).
In September 2013 he performed the athroscopy and inserted a camera into my hip joint to properly inspect the joint and condition of the cartilage. At the same time he “tidied up” the cartilage and removed some shredded pieces.
Unfortunately, having had the joint under traction for the duration of the operation left it feeling extremely unstable and I was left needing to use crutches for support quite a bit after the operation. However, the results were conclusive. I needed a THR! (Total Hip Replacement)
In February 2014 I went into hospital and had a 15cm long metal stemmed Exeter prosthetic inserted with a plastic cup, under sedation with a spinal block. I had no issues with the operation and even briefly “came to” at one point. I remember being told I was being stitched back up and that I should just snooze for a bit longer!
I spent 48 hours in bed before attempting to get up. The first couple of attempts didn’t go too well as I became faint from being upright. Eventually I was up and the Physios had me on crutches, partially weight-bearing, walking the corridors and even trying a small staircase on my first visit.
I spent five days in hospital before being sent home with a few simple exercises and some restrictions. I struggled to sleep on my back and suffered from terrible irritable legs. In a short space of time though, I started to see positive results from the exercises. What seemed impossible at the start were becoming more possible and I was gaining strength in my thigh and hip. I had no issues with my incision healing and have been left with an extremely neat, barely visible scar.
I got out and about as much as possible and was extremely thankful for the support I received from my family and the help with caring for my children. I soon began walking a couple of miles a day on my crutches.
I returned to see Mr Hussell at 8 weeks post op and was given clearance to drive again. At 12 weeks post op I started physiotherapy. Until this point I’d been using two crutches and partially weight-bearing on my new hip. At my first appointment I put my full weight on my new hip for the first time!
I had about 8-10 weeks of physio, slowly dropping to one crutch, then a stick, then using no supports at all. I’d limped so badly for so long before the operation that I had to learn to walk properly all over again. It was frustrating, but exhilarating! Towards the end of the summer of 2014 I was released from physio and had my six month check up with Mr Hussell at which he told me to go and live my life!
I’m now two and a half years post op and I love my hip. It doesn’t cause me any problems and I can now keep up with my kids, although I’m sure it won’t be long before they can out-run me! My left hip isn’t giving me too much trouble and I’m hoping it’ll be a long time before I need to have anything done on it, however, when that time comes, I will not hesitate in going for THR. I know my new hip won’t last forever, but I’m doing my best to stick to my restrictions to make it last as long as possible.
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