From “The Other Side” – Dr. Mont
Had my resurfacing done by Dr. Mont at Sinai in Baltimore on Feb. 13, and am progressing slowly. The arthritis pain is gone, as is the lower back pain I used to wake up with on the side of my (old) bum hip. I think the staff and facilities at Sinai were top-notch (with a few relatively minor exceptions). Also, I have read others describe Dr. Mont as not being very “touchy-feely,” but my experience was different — even on surgery days, he popped in to see me twice daily, and even tried to crack a few jokes. Nice guy.
Since I read messages from this board almost every day in the months before surgery, I’d like to share some info I think might be helpful to others:
Pre-Op – I regretted not strengthening my abs more. Getting in & out of bed, especially at home, takes good abdominal muscles, at least for the first week or 2. The leg lifter tool does help, though.
General Anasthesia – While I cannot imagine going through this procedure without it (i.e., epidural only), it really hit me hard. The nurse told my wife that the anasthesiologist appeared to have “stepped on the gas” pretty hard that day for all his patients. I was knocked out around 12:30 PM., surgery lasted around 3 hours, and I didn’t open my eyes until around 7:30 PM.
Before surgery, the anasthesiologist (for whom English is not his first language) asked me, “Do you drink?” I thought it was a broad question, and tried to narrow it down for him, but he then seemed dismissive. Not sure why he asked this, or the relevance. Maybe he was trying to tell me I’d need a stiff drink afterwards!
I also had awful nightmares for the first few nights after surgery — a side effect? I don’t know, maybe.
Autologous Blood Donation – I gave 1 unit pre-op, and was given a transfusion 2 days post-op because of a fever. Takes 10 minutes to donate, and 6 hours to put back in! I was under the impression that if I needed a transfusion, it would be during surgery. FYI.
Night Sweats – What’s up with these? Finally subsiding after around 2.5 weeks post-op. I have heard it is a reaction to the general anasthesia, but no one has told me definitively what caused it. First few nights home, woke up shivering in a pool of sweat. Started sleeping on layers of bath towels – much easier to peel them back than to change bedding in the middle of the night.
Constipation – Read that this is a side effect of narcotic pain killers, but couldn’t fathom how uncomfortable it would be. Load up on water, fruit, juice, and laxatives. My surgery was on a Monday, and I was completely off the Codeine by Saturday, though.
Physical Therapy – The PTs at the hospital are young, athletic, and very upbeat. However, almost universally, their attitude seemed to be, what did I do to myself to require hip surgery at only 41, like my poor athletic form was somehow responsible? As far as I know, I didn’t do anything. Slightly annoying, but I didn’t let it get to me.
Home Nursing – My insurance co. paid for a “nurse” to come to my house every other day to change the dressing, and to remove the staples. Long story short, this service is a joke. I should have done the dressing myself, and gone to a hospital or my doc to get the staples taken out.
Showering – Finally got to take one 15 days post-op, after the staples were removed. (I did not try the Ziploc bag maneuver, but was tempted). Definitely one of the top 5 showers of my life, even though I have to use a shower chair. Man, it felt good.
Cabin Fever & Patience – From what I’ve read here, Dr. Mont seems to have conservative post-op limitations, relative to some of the other surgeons, e.g., no more than 20% weight bearing on the new hip for 5 weeks (2 crutches), and then 50% for the next 5 weeks (cane or 1 crutch). This means he wants his patients to take it easy. I’m getting a little antsy to do more, but am not going to push it. Also, I did not have a feel for how much longer it takes to do everyday things, e.g., getting dressed, shaving, etc. Can’t rush these things.
I know that it won’t be long before this is behind me & that I made a good decision, but it is (for me, anyway) slow going in the initial post-op recovery period.
Thanks to everyone who posts here for all your good info, and please feel free to email me if you have questions about any of this.
Eric 2/13/06 Dr. Mont C+