Brian Rader Bilateral Hip Resurfacing Dr. Poole 2007
Before my bilateral resurfacing surgery on Oct 9, I posted to this website several times w/ questions and concerns. Many folks here took the time to respond and I was even able to speak with several people that had undergone bilateral resurfacing. All of this information was very, very helpful for someone, such as myself, who was extremely anxious about undergoing my first major surgery. Now that I am "on the other side" (the common phrase, I believe), I thought it would be appropriate for me to give something back to the community!
I went into the hospital very early (5:30am) on Tuesday, October 9. My surgeon was Dr. Colin Poole. Dr. Poole prefers a light anesthesia regime, which worked great for me. First, I was hooked up to an IV and given something to relax me (not sure what that was). Next, I was given Versed (also helps patient to relax, induces unconsciousness, and (perhaps best of all) causes amnesia). Then, I was given a spinal to eliminate pain. This was a great regime for me. I was not intubated (which was great!), and when the Versed was removed after the surgery I "woke up" immediately and was completely lucid with no nausea and zero pain!
After surgery, which took about 3 hours, I spent a relaxing hour or two in recovery before a fun ride up to my private room. The nursing and care staff at St. Luke’s was absolutely great. I cannot say enough good things about how wonderful the care that I received was. The entire floor was dedicated to patients undergoing joint/bone surgery and the nurses were familiar w/ the pain induced by these types of surgeries and not at all shy about administering pain medicine. The first night for me was very rough (like many other have posted). The transition from spinal to IV morphine and Toradol was very difficult. I slept very little and found it very difficult to get comfortable. I continued to have some difficulty w/ pain management until I was successfully transitioned to oral narcotics: Norco, Vistaril, and Diazepam. This combination has been really great for me and has allowed me to both rest comfortably (which is very important) and has also allowed me to begin moving around w/ walking and PT. One HUGE caution here is all these pain medicines (IV and oral) have caused consistent and at times severe constipation for me. I am successfully managing this now w/ 4 stool softeners/laxatives per day, copious prune juice and a diet that is heavy on fruits and very light on dairy and meat products. Before leaving the hospital I worked with physical therapy and occupational therapy. They made sure that I had the necessary skills to walk, shower, dress myself, etc. before leaving the hospital. They also arranged for the necessary tools (reacher, toilet riser) to be delivered to my hospital room prior to discharge.
At 3 weeks, I went in for my post-op x-rays and everything appears to be in place and installed correctly. At this time, I was cleared for outpatient PT.
Now, about 3.5 weeks after surgery I am really doing well. I am walking w/ forearm crutches around the block w/ little or no pain. I am moving around the house well and able to care for all of my own needs. I have just begun outpatient PT, which is already paying dividends in helping to improve my gait and beginning to work on my range of motion (which is bloody awful and has been for years (decades?)). All in all, my spirits are good and I have more hope for a pain-free and normal-functioning future than I have ever had before. I am still on pain meds, but doc said not to worry as the bilat is a very major surgery to undergo. I am in the process of weaning myself off the meds by increasing the time b/w dosing. Before signing off, here are some hints/ideas that worked well for me:
1. If possible, have someone stay with you in the hospital. Not only is this great from a companionship perspective, but also can
greatly improve your care and comfort. The nurses appreciate not having to be bothered for every little thing, and they also (I think) provide better care when there is family around.
2. Watch the constipation.
3. I know this is weird, but I really liked the catheter. Never had the "urge" to urinate. Eliminated the need to get up & go to the
head. I was worried about the removal, but it was no big deal at all. When the nurse took it out, it kinda felt like a large-stream
urination. Zero pain at all when removed and a huge convenience when it was in. Certainly not a big deal to worry about before surgery!
4. For me, 3 weeks was about the critical amount of time where I felt like I needed full time help. Having a full time partner to go
through this with me was really great. My wife was able to get the time off work & she took great care of me. From performing the many nurse-like tasks (some of which are not pleasant) to helping organize the medications when my mind was not terribly clear, having her around to help was wonderful. Best care imaginable!!!
5. Don’t be afraid to ASK for pain meds in the hospital. A lot of the time, they assume you are fine unless you tell them
6. Before each nurse shift change to the night shift, I requested that the charge nurse (head nurse for the floor) please assign an experienced nurse (not a newbie or a floater nurse) to me for the night. The nights were the most difficult time for me at hospital and having an experienced nurse really helped me.
Anyway, that’s all I can think of for now. If you have any additional questions, please email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to all of the people on the site for the help and support.
I am doing really well and so far my recovery has exceeded my expectations. I am 39 years old. Dr. Poole is from ID. He has about 80 resurfs under his belt. I was bilateral #1. He is a very good and kind surgeon, and I told him to do 2 only if he felt good and confident about it. I actually went "under" not knowing if he would do 1 or 2. He wanted to see how the first (worst) one went then see. I was very excited to wake & ask my first 2 questions: "1 or 2?" and "resurfs or totals?" (cause you never know, ya know). Please feel free to post on your site. Anyone who would like to talk about this further can contact me via email, then we can talk on the phone if they want. This was all very helpful to me. I want to give back.