October 24, 2016
In 2010 I got my right hip resurfaced by Dr Edwin Su (story here). This past Friday (10/21/2016) I had the left hip done, also by Dr Su at HSS. The main difference was the amount of time spent in the hospital. I was discharged in less than 24 hours this time while the first time I was in the hospital for three nights. I did crash a bit on Saturday night when I got home, but that was more because I allowed myself to get overtired than any other reason. I did not experience the nausea that I experienced while walking the first time. I did experience it briefly when I got home while walking to the bathroom early in the morning. It did not recur.
This time around, there was no PCA. The only pain relief was oxydocodone. I took two 5mg as necessary. I never felt like I needed more. At this stage (Tuesday 10/25) the recovery does feel a bit easier and faster than before (and that was pretty good).
I will likely go to the PT next week
Mike’s Original Story
May 10, 2010
Prior to my surgery, I found these stories helpful, so I determined that I would post my own.
I am a 60 year old man, 200 lbs and in otherwise good health. My right hip was bone on bone and I used a cane. My other joints are all in good shape.
I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 for a 9 am surgery. I was with my wife and the admitting process went pretty smoothly. HSS makes sure they are talking to the person they think they are talking to by asking you to spell your first and last names and give your date of birth. A lot of people ask you this. It is the HSS version of ‘Hello’. After the operation, this is accompanied by “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain?” and “Did you pass gas yet?” It is to the Hospital’s credit that every person I encountered appeared to care about all the answers. Let me say right off the bat that if I ever need any joint surgery (and I hope I don’t), this is the place I want to be. After I was washed and prepped I was wheeled into the operating room. I remember watching the lights pass overhead while the gurney made the turns. It is a cinematic cliché, and I was comforted to think that I was in a movie. Then I remembered that even movies that turn out well have way more drama than I want in my life. I remember being placed on the operating table. It looked at little odd. There was a piece a bit larger than a bicycle seat where my butt went (I was placed facing upward) that was separated from the other pieces of the table. Now that I think of it, it was likely not the operating table but some intermediary table. My anesthesia for the operation is an epidural with sedation, so sometime here I got some sedation. That is all I remember until the recovery room.
Very early in the recovery room I had a problem with pain. I recall saying my pain was a 7. I was outfitted with an Epidural PCAhttp://www.hss.edu/anesthesiology-acute-pain-service.asp. I recall pressing the button and seeing the message that nothing was being delivered. They acted very quickly to bring the pain under control. They gave me something by mouth first. When that did not help enough, they injected something directly into the epidural connection. That was the end of my pain. From then until now (5/9) my pain has never exceeded a 3.
Around 3:00 I was wheeled into my room and I was pretty comfortable. They had me stand up and try to take a few steps. I did not get far, not because of pain in the leg but because of nausea.
Sure enough they had me up again in the morning and I got out the door and about five feet down the hall when I got nauseous again. At this point a woman in crutches passed me, looked at my pale face and said “Every time you do it, it gets easier”. It seems obvious but it helps to be told that by a fellow patient. I tried to pass on that wisdom at every opportunity. It makes you feel like part of the team. Screw the private rooms. When you encourage your roomie, it is like pressing the button on the PCA, only better. As far as pain is concerned I was still on the PCA, but it was in a mode where it was not delivering anything unless I pressed the button. I think I pressed the button once. I got one Percoset (5/325) by mouth at night. The PCA came off on the evening of Day 2. One thing you should be prepared for is the inflatable leggings that they attach to you. They inflate about every 10 / 15 minutes. During the day they are merely annoying but at night I kept waking up expecting to find some alien grabbing my feet to drag me off for some rectal probing, saying “Every time you do it, it gets easier”. Hey, I was heavily medicated.
Dr Su visited me. He basically said “We needed to be in there. The joint was in bad shape, but the bone was strong. The operation went well”.
On Day 3 (Wednesday), the PCA was gone. I took one Percoset by mouth at breakfast in anticipation of physical therapy. About 10 am the PT trained me on crutches and I walked down the hall to the physical therapy room, where I went up and down the stairs. This is pretty much where they want you to be. You go up and down stairs; you are out of the hospital. I did it again about 3 pm. Unfortunately, I also had a little nausea, so I did not make the cut. When Dr. Su came to visit, I told him about the stairs, but left out the nausea. He asked me if I wanted to go home and I said “Sure!”, so I spent the rest of the day a little confused about when I was going home. I still had no significant pain. I took a Percoset in anticipation of the morning PT and before sleep.
I am going home today. They gave me another PT session, demonstrating some standing exercises. I was given all my discharge instructions. The Hospital makes all the arrangements for a visiting nurse and physical therapist. I went home at 12 noon. My day beyond that was uneventful, except that my sister-in-law made me a large pot of rice pudding. Good. Very good.
My days since have been refreshingly uneventful. The weather has been good so I have been walking around my suburban cul de sac explaining my crutches to curious children and neighbors. I have two problems;
• Muscle cramps, mostly in the operated leg, but a few in the other one.
• I have a rash around the incision and on my back (the incision itself looks good).
I expect these will disappear in time, though I will discuss them with my doctor.
One important factor in my excellent experience is my loving wife, who I notice appears only briefly in the account above. That does not do her contribution justice. I adore you Virginia.