I’m trying to document this hip surgery better so I can come back and track my progress. I looked back through my blog today and realized I never even blogged around the time of my 2nd hip surgery…I just had a few drafts that I never published. Bummer. So, I’ll just include some history in this one to get up-to-date.
After I started walking again after healing from my first surgery, there was a sharp pain that I would get when bearing weight on my right leg. The pain I was having just continued and I mentioned it to my doctor at my follow-up appointments. He set up an appointment for an MRA. That wasn’t particularly fun…the needle that they use is inserted all the way until it hits the bone. There was dye inserted and then pictures were taken. When I walked into that appointment I was in pain; when I walked out I was not! Even though I was glad I was pain-free, that just meant that my issues were definitely coming from within the hip joint. After getting those results (the MRA showed that I had a labral tear), my doctor scheduled me for arthroscopy on June 7, 2016. The pain relief from that cortisone shot lasted about a week.
I had my second surgery which consisted of repairing my labrum and shaving down some bone due to FAI.
When I started walking after the 2nd surgery, things got a little better but then they just got progressively worse. I would still get sharp pains when I walked, especially walking on any kind of incline. I couldn’t sit Indian-style anymore; my hip would stiffen up in minutes. Long drives were awful; by the end of the trip I had sharp pains when moving my foot from the gas to the brake pedal. Then my hip/thigh would ache for a day afterward. When driving and making a turn (I forget which side), it would cause that same sharp pain. Most of the time, my hip joint felt very unstable and very loose. Sitting was the worst. After just a few minutes, my hip and upper thigh would start to ache. I started having SI joint pain. I made an appointment with a back doctor and after tests, x-rays, MRIs,and physical therapy she thought I was still having hip issues. She asked me if I had considered getting a second opinion on my hip. She recommended Dr. Singer and I called that afternoon to get an appointment. Fast-forward several months later to August when I could finally get an appointment with him. He reviewed all my x-rays, MRIs, and history. He did some tests and answered all my questions. Then he told me that the only thing that would fix my problems would be a hip replacement. He said if it was affecting my quality of life that he recommended to just go ahead and get it fixed. I agreed and we scheduled it for 12/1/17.
I had kept myself busy up until now and I hadn’t really had a lot of time to think about the surgery, even though it had been scheduled for almost 4 months. I started getting nervous before the surgery; along with a weird grief-like feeling. It was like I was grieving over my hip. It sounds stupid but it was real. I felt like I was too young to be having this done…but soon hopefully I’ll be able to say that it was worth it!
12/1/17 – Surgery day
I had to be at the hospital at 7:30am. My surgery was scheduled for 10:20am. I got checked in pretty quickly and my nurse was awesome. The night before and this morning I had to bathe with a special antibacterial soap. Once I got there I had to wipe down again with wipes and the nurse had to wipe down my hip area two more times! The nurse got my IV in on the first try (which never happens). I will find out later that my original IV didn’t work anymore and they had to try several other locations. My family got to see me before I went back and the nurse gave me some Versed in my IV to calm my nerves. 🙂 I remember being in the OR and them telling me to sit up and hunch over so they could put the spinal in. I was already kind of out of it because I don’t remember them even putting the spinal in. Then I remember I had my arm flailing around because they were asking me to put my hand down lol. Then they got a “before” x-ray of my hip. Then I guess I really went to sleep because the next thing I remember is recovery.
In recovery, I remember waking up and feeling ok. Not too much pain, but I was very itchy. But shortly after (it felt like just a few minutes), I started feeling more and more pain. I asked the nurse for pain medicine. It was a constant, severe, deep bone pain in the thigh that just wouldn’t let up. One where you would catch yourself holding your breath because it was so intense. The IV medicine wasn’t touching the pain so I asked for more. I have no clue how long I was in recovery; it seemed like forever. I remember looking at the clock and it was somewhere around 3:00pm. The nurse said that once I could feel my toes they would take me to my room.
I got to my room and I think it was somewhere around 4:00pm. I realized the IV that they had put in before I went back to the OR was taken out. They obviously tried to put one in two places in my left arm and on top of my right hand. They eventually put it in my right wrist, right where it bends. This IV is very uncomfortable :(.
I waited a while for my family to come back. Once they got back I finally got to hear what Dr. Singer told them about the surgery. Dr. Singer told my family that overall he was very pleased with how things went. He said that my thigh would likely feel like a truck had ran into it…and that’s exactly how I would describe it. It still feels like that…ugh. He mentioned that the core decompression procedure that was done first didn’t look like it had helped anything because he could still see the areas with avascular necrosis. I asked the PA about this too and he said that core decompressions aren’t really done a lot anymore because the success rate is so low. So, even though it is not good that it failed, at least I know I wasn’t going crazy and the pain was real. If I had waited longer to get the replacement, the avascular necrosis would have only gotten worse; it would not have gotten better. So, knowing that now makes me feel even better about making the decision to get it done now. I second-guessed myself a lot over the past several weeks/months…should I wait to get it done? I was worried that people probably thought I was just faking being in pain because this whole ordeal has been going on for over 2 years now. I didn’t want to answer people with truthful answers because I’m sure they were getting tired of hearing about my hip hurting! So, I’m glad it’s done now. The doctor also mentioned that avascular necrosis could pop up in any other joint…but I’ll worry about that if/when that happens.
That afternoon/early evening, the nurse started giving me oral pain medicine, in addition to IV Toradol. She gave me two Percocet pills. Shortly after that, physical therapy (PT) came in and wanted me to get up out of the bed. I was so worried, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I only felt muscle soreness; the incision didn’t hurt. I stood up and started feeling a little dizzy. He wanted me to walk outside the room, but as soon as I got to the doorway, I had to sit down. My fingers and lips felt numb like I was going to pass out and I felt very nauseous. A few minutes later we went back to the bed and I laid down. That night when they brought dinner, I tried to eat a few bites but I would just gag with every bite. I eventually fell asleep and woke up around 11pm with my mouth watering (I do that when I’m about to throw up). Michael was asleep in the recliner in the room and I hurried and tried yell his name out a few times to get him to wake up. He got the puke bucket and I got sick. TMI…It scared me because looking at the vomit it looked exactly like Mackenzie’s stomach bile that was getting sucked out of her NG tube when she had intestinal issues a few years ago. I had never gotten sick on medicine/anesthesia before so I was thinking the worst. But I immediately felt better and ate a few crackers. Of course I didn’t sleep well that night with nurses coming in to check vitals and nurses coming into give different medicines.
12/2/17 – Post Op Day #1
I woke up the next morning and tried to eat a little breakfast, but still felt nauseous. The nurse gave me some Zofran and switched my painkiller to hydrocodone. That seemed to help. By lunchtime, I was able to finally eat and felt better. It was a good thing that PT didn’t come by until around 1pm. This time when PT got me out of bed, my incision was really burning/hurting. When walking down the hall, my hip and thigh muscles were so tight and very sore. Walking around felt good after I got going. Those first few steps are tough. He had me do some exercises in bed…ankle pumps, butt cheek squeezes, and exercises where you tighten your thigh muscles and try to push the back of your knee to the bed. He also had me try to do straight leg raises but I didn’t get very far with those lol.
12/3/17 – Post Op Day #2
Woke up this morning and slept pretty good last night. Physical therapy came in around 9am. We walked down the hall to the stairs and did about 15 stairs! We walked around the floor for a while. The more I walk, the less the incision hurts, but my leg and hip is definitely more stiff/sore today. By the time I got back to my bed, my pain was around a 7. The medicine didn’t help the thigh pain I was having at all. PT said I could be released whenever I was ready so I told Michael to come get me at 12:30 and we were out of there by 1:00. The car ride home was awful. My next medicine does was due at 1:45, so it was quickly wearing off. Michael dropped off Mackenzie and I at home and he went to get my prescriptions. I couldn’t wait any longer to take something so I took a leftover pill from an older prescription. It didn’t touch the pain either. Finally at the time for my next dose (4pm), I took two of my prescription medication and it eventually knocked me out. Our sweet puppy knows something is wrong and hasn’t left my side.
12/4/17 – Post Op Day #3
I’m trying to give my Tramadol prescription a chance to work, but it is just not touching the pain. I’m getting frustrated. I kept reading stories and hearing of people feeling so great after surgery and I just feel like shit. I’m walking very slowly and can’t walk without a walker. Even yesterday the physical therapist said, “I notice your gait is very slow.” Well, duh lady. My thigh will not stop throbbing. I really hope that gets better soon. The burning pain from the incision isn’t fun either.