November 4, 2007 I am 50 right now, but have been dealing with the hip pain for about 5 or 6 years. I’ve just had my 3rd Cortisone injection on Friday, 11/2, when I went to see Dr. Kuesis. My other ortho MD was right for THR and would not listen to anything else or refer me to anyone. I had a Cortisone injection last year in Oct. 2006 and then 2 days later went out walking because I felt so good, and then slipped on “black ice” and broke my fibula. So, I had to stay off anti-inflammatories (impede bone growth) and wait a year for bone healing. So, with the injection I got on Friday, I feel like a new woman, and I know from all that is offered on this site, that the hip resurfacing is my way to go.
January 9, 2008 I did have the lymphocite in vitro metal sensitivity test performed by the Orthopedic Analysis, Nadim J. Hallab, Ph.D. It came back as “Proliferation assays of lymphocytes expose to implant metals indicated a mild degree of reactivity to Cobalt, Iron, and high reactivity to Nickel.” However, as I reported before, there is a disclaimer at the bottom saying that this test has not be approved for diagnostic purposes by any institution or government agency.
I talked with my physician, Dr. Eugene Lopez, of Midwest Sports Medicine. He told me that the orthopedic community is 50/50 on this topic, as anyone who has researched this will know. There is no clear-cut answer, yes or no, that if you have a skin allergy to metal that you will have a problem with a metal implant. After discussing with Dr. Lopez and doing much research on this, and reading from this site, I have decided to go ahead with the hip resurfacing using the BHR. Dr. Lopez was trained by Dr. Ronan Treacy in Birmingham, England. Dr. Lopez has done 50 resurfacing since being trained. He told me he expects by year’s end to have done 100 or more. My surgery is scheduled for January 22, 2008. I will be keeping you all informed of my progress. I’m hoping Dr. Lopez will be taking pictures or video that I may be able to share on the site.
January 30, 3008 I’ve been trying to get on the site for a couple of days now to post my success story!! I’ve had a medical issue that’s been keeping me away. Low blood count has made me have a few dizzy spells and yesterday I did faint, but fortunately my husband was there to save me. Today is good… no dizziness, no nausea Yippee.
My surgery was 1/22/08 at Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village. IL, by Dr. Eugene Lopez. It was pretty amazing. I’ve done extremely well since the surgery, except for the blood count issue. The pain that brought me to this point is gone. I have basic surgical pain, soreness. My anesthesia was general and I had a pain pump for the incision that was taken out at 3rd day postop. I was also using a PCP (patient controlled pump), which I discontinued myself on Wednesday. Right now I am on pain medication, but as I said before, the pain is mostly surgical in that I am sore after doing my PT exercises, etc. I am using a rolling walker. I have a two-story home, and stairs are no problem. I’m having PT 5 times a week for the first week and then will be 3 times a week until seeing Dr. Lopez. Dr. Lopez was very adamant in telling me that for the next 6 weeks, be extremely careful, and then after 6 weeks, he will let me go. He doesn’t want me running a marathon, but that’s okay. Just to get back to being able to walk normally and rise from a chair normally is good enough for me. And, I will be able to get back to doing my speed walking and step aerobics. My 6-week postsurgical date just also happens to be my 30th wedding anniversary… what a way to celebrate!! I think I’ll have my hubby take me dancing!!
My stay at the hospital was very good. I had excellent care. Although I was unable to get to their “Joint Camp,” I did progress as well as if I had, as I was able to do all things from Joint Camp with my PT and OT. I was able to be in their gym on Saturday before discharge and had more practice on stairs. That was my biggest fear; however, stairs are now my best accomplishment. My surgical scar, of which I cannot see as it is behind me, measures 8 inches. I have staples. My first postop appt is 2/11/08.
I would highly recommend Dr. Eugene Lopez of Midwest Sports Medicine in Elk Grove Village, IL, for anyone wanting to do this procedure. He is a most excellent surgeon and is very excited and enthusiastic regarding this procedure. Dr. Lopez was trained by Mr. Traecy in Birmingham, England. Dr. Lopez has 50 plus resurfacing procedures to his credit. He told me his resurfacing patients are doing very well. I had to be tested for my skin allergy to nickel and took the blood test (lymphocyte reactivity in vitro), which is now being offered as a “promising” test for allergy to the implant. However, this test has not been deemed to be the predictor of implant failure or adverse reaction to the implant. I have allowed Rush University, Chicago, IL, to use my test results and information given to them for research purposes. Based on extensive research myself on the Internet, along with consultation with Dr. Lopez, I opted to still go ahead with the BHR. I believe my decision was a good one, as it was based on the facts at hand rather than assumption.
February 2, 2009 I am now 11 days postop and am getting stronger every day. At this point in time, it seems surreal that I had a hip resurfacing. I have no pain in the right hip at all. My pain right now is incisional and muscular. I was not exercising at all before the procedure, so am now dealing with the muscular weakness and repairing the muscle that had to be cut into for the procedure. I was unable to do anything prior to surgery due to the pain. That pain gone, I would say the pain I have is almost identical to pain you feel when you work out too hard. It’s a pain I have not felt in a long time, but a pain that is welcoming. Incisional pain, I believe, will go away after my staples are removed. They will be gone on 2/11/08. Can’t wait until that time.
I am doing many stretching exercises, along with strengthening, in physical therapy. I have been told by the PT to stand up tall and walk with even steps and to hold onto my walker with a very light touch… to be almost full weight bearing on the right leg. This is amazing to me, as I was not even full weight bearing before I went in for hip resurfacing. There are many smiles on my face as I glide through walking. The exercises, on the other hand, produce a scrunchy face as I try to strengthen the muscles.
I am so looking forward to the spring when I can get out and walk again or at least I am looking forward to the snow to be gone. Walking for me was my biggest exercise in the past. I look forward to getting out at about 5:30 a.m. to start my day with a crisp walk, clear the mind, relieve the stress. It is amazing how pain can cause you stress in all aspects of your life. My personality in pain was not pleasant, as I’m sure not many out there are.
I will keep you posted on my recovery. If you are a person contemplating this procedure… don’t wait. Find a surgeon close to you and get the ball rolling. I guarantee with a trained surgeon behind you, you will not be sorry that you went forward with it. Do it… Do it now. Don’t let another spring or summer go by with your pain level so high that it takes days to recover for doing simple chores. That was a high motivator for me. Last summer was probably the worst summer I experienced since the start of my hip pain. I could not do gardening, which left my yard in shambles. It made me very sad. Start your road to living… you won’t regret it.
February 9, 2009 recently had a RBHR (1/22/08). I opted for a general anesthesia. My reason was that I had a microdiscectomy in 1990 and was afraid of scar tissue. My anesthesiologist talked with me right before surgery and I was able to communicate to him about the pain issue and possible nausea with general anesthesia.
Regarding the pain, I asked the anesthesiologist to inject my incision before closing with a numbing agent or if I could have a pain pump at the incision site, which essential bathes the wound with an anesthetic numbing agent. Some anesthesiologists are totally in charge of pain issues while sometimes the surgeon is. This time it was up to my surgeon. However, because I had expressed my issue of pain with him, he said he would let the surgeon know. I woke up with the pain pump on the incision area. This was left in until the 3rd postop day. I did not have any incisional pain. I did have numbness on the inside of my thigh for probably 7 or so days. But, this numbness was a small price to pay for being pain free. I was able to get out of bed and do everything with this pain pump. I would recommend this.
Probably the biggest drawback with general anesthesia is the nausea issue. You have no history to fall back on as to your reaction to general anesthesia. However, again there is medication that combats this side effect. It is given to you through the IV before you go under and before you wake up. Also, you can have this medication given to you periodically throughout your hospital stay, also through the IV.
For me a general anesthesia would be my recommendation with a pain pump on the incision. Also, I had a PCP (patent controlled pump) that I was able to administer myself by pushing a button, also, through the IV. You administer your own pain medication on your need and it is automatically calibrated to deliver a certain amount of medication within an hour time span. If you push the button too much, it will not administer the pain medicine until the appropriate time. An alarm goes off if you press the pump too often within the hour. I believe mine was calibrated to give me a dose of Morphine every 6 minutes. I cannot remember the exact dose at this time.
February 12, 2008 I am at 21 days postop. I could not have imagined it going any better. Yesterday, 2/11/08, I did get my staples removed. I did take some pain medication before hand, due to this condition I’ve seemed to have developed that when I have pain, my blood sugar seems to drop and I start feeling light headed. I really don’t know where that came from. Staple removal went very well. A few ouches, but all in all, nothing that was excruciating. I couldn’t believe when the RN said she was done. She applied steri strips, but my incision looked great, no redness, puffiness. I can shower as normal and the steri strips can just fall off.
Dr. Lopez advanced me to a cane. X-rays were taken, and Dr. Lopez was very pleased with how they look. In his words I have a classic textbook positioning, the pin placed right, the femur cup is sitting very well on the femur head… everything looks excellent. He is very pleased. I will start outpatient therapy at his therapy facility site, as they have developed a hip resurfacing protocol. I was told that at six weeks postop (3/4/08) I will be allowed to do everything. Normally at the six week interval with hip replacements, they are given instructions for ADL’s (activities of daily living) and how to proceed from there; i.e., tying shoes, clipping toenails, getting on socks, bending over. Dr. Lopez said I will be given no instructions on this, as I will proceed as I would normally. That will be awesome, because I haven’t been able to polish or clip my toenails for at least 1 1/2 years. My husband will be most happy for this
I cannot stress enough how this hip resurfacing has changed my life. To think 2 short months ago I was living with such unbearable pain and looking at a life of Cortisone injections and eventual THR. What a life-changing event. With perseverance in finding a qualified surgeon and one who is very likeable and excited and enthusiastic about the hip resurfacing procedure, my life has been changed to a future of getting back to myself and doing the things I enjoy doing in life and just being me.
On Saturday in the mail I received my Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Card that identifies me as a recipient, along with my date of surgery and my surgeon, Dr. Eugene P. Lopez. This card I will carry in my wallet with pride. I am so proud to have this card and to be able to say that I was able to weigh all the medical evidence on hand, find a most capable and enthusiastic surgeon, and was able to make an intelligent decision to have this relatively new procedure performed.
Please, if you are living with such pain and find life to be not a friendly place to be right now, seek out and investigate the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System. Find a surgeon that you are most comfortable with. Most insurance companies are paying for this procedure. Because it is such a new procedure, they do not have a separate code for this procedure and are still billing it as hip replacement. The number one item on your agenda is to find a surgeon who is very skilled with BHR. Also, take along the questions on this site so you have a starting point to help you decide on your surgeon. Dr. Lopez was not my first choice. After asking a few questions from this site to the first surgeon I saw, it was clear to me that we would not mesh and I would not be comfortable with him. Thus, my search was short for Dr. Lopez, as my good friend directed me to him. I have not regretted that in any way!!!
For all of you contemplating this… be sure to ask questions on this site. You will receive a multitude of answers from many who have joined this site and have gone before you. Even though I have not met anyone personally, as we all have this common bond of living life pain free and wanting to share our experiences to help others, we are so very anxious to help others achieve that. Start your road to freedom from pain… find a surgeon and be ready to enjoy life by the summer.
February 26, 2008 I just started last week to do straight leg lifts in therapy, which was 4 weeks postop — I’m going outpatient right now. Everyone recovers at a different rate, and true it is what kind of shape you were in when you went in for surgery. My biggest goal right now is to strengthen my leg. My leg was very weak, as I hardly used it before surgery. Right now I am off the cane, except out in public. I also just started yesterday to do “marching” in place.
March 6, 2008 I was at 6 weeks postop on Tuesday, 3/4/08, and am driving, walking without a cane, went to a Bon Jovi concert at 5 weeks postop and totally enjoyed being able to dance in the aisle. Don’t wait — you are way, way too young to be putting up with such pain. All you described is exactly what I was going through before finding a surgeon that would do a BHR. I’m older than you, but very active. My biggest discomfort is my quad muscle is still a little weak in that I have just the slightest soreness, muscle soreness, at the end of the day. And, yes I still can’t bend completely over to tie my shoe, but everyday it gets better. That is, I believe, a stretching issue. I used a rolling walker until my first postop appointment at 3 weeks. My surgeon said he was going to be very conservative with me for the first 6 weeks and then let me go. I used a cane after my 3 weeks postop check, but by 5 weeks postop, I was only using a cane when out. At 6 weeks post-op, totally walking without any assistive device.
May 3, 2008 I haven’t given an update in quite some time, because I’ve been busy getting back to not only things I enjoy to do, but also stuff that is necessary to live I’m walking tall these days and smiling a lot. Life without pain is awesome!! Just a note to anyone still contemplating hip resurfacing… I cannot stress enough to get out of pain and live your life again!!! You will not regret it. Find a competent surgeon in hip resurfacing and go for it. Don’t wait any longer
I am happy to report that except for muscle soreness every now and then because I’ve taken on too much due to feeling so good, I am pain free. Happily, my outpatient PT ended on 4/10/08. Of course, some of the exercises I’m still doing, the stretches especially. While I can touch my toes now, I still can’t put my shoe on the usual way (that darn quad muscle) and putting on a sock still is hard, but manageable. It will come I know in the next couple of months.
I was released from my surgeon, Dr. Eugene Lopez, Elk Grove Village, IL, on 4/21/08. I will now be going back to him every year for five years around my resurfacing anniversary date (1/22/08) for x-rays only. Dr. Lopez is a very good surgeon, who is very enthusiastic to get the word out about this wonderful procedure. I thank him profusely for giving me back my quality of life.
I am able to garden and do cleaning again without regretting it for several days. I have started my walking again. This feels so good to go walking in the morning, to enjoy the sites and sounds of nature waking up. I am up to walking the distance I was walking before my hip pain got so bad that I had to cut, cut, cut it down and then eventually stop. However, the speed of my walking is not up to where I was, but this I know will come in good time. I am just grateful and happy to be without pain, that everything else is icing on the cake.
I am definitely a Happy Surface Hippy. I’m not an athlete, just your average woman that dealt with hip pain for some years and is now not having to work around the pain, alter my lifestyle due to pain, and be able to do all the good and fun things life has to offer. I have gone on all day shopping trips without having to sit after each store entered to get relief from pain. I’ve been told that I look taller now. I didn’t realize how much I was stooped over so I could get comfortable from the hip pain. Life is Good!