RBHR November 29, 2007 Dr. Valadie
I am a 50 year old female who had suffered hip/groin/knee pain for years, so finally 6 years ago I went to a sports medicine doctor, thinking the pain I had been feeling for a year was a groin pull. I am a firefighter, so that is why I thought it was just a pull, or a tear. After my visit with him, he felt is was more than a muscle/tendon issue, so he ordered x-rays. The x-rays showed bone on bone on my right hip. He then referred me to Dr. Alan Valadie. After sobbing to Dr. Valadie that I was sure my career was over, he explained to me about a THR, and that we could do that, and I may be able to still do my job. He advised me to hold off as long as I could, due to the fact that THR would only last so long. He prescribed Vioxx for me and we kept in touch. Vioxx was a MIRACLE drug for me. I know it did not work for everyone, but it took away most of my pain. I kept working and working out regularly to keep my weak muscles in my right leg from getting weaker. I compensated at work with my left leg, and worked very very hard in gaining very strong upper body strength, plus keeping my back muscles strong as well. A few years later, the FDA pulled Vioxx, and I found myself crying once again. My miracle drug was taken from me. I was put on something that didn’t work, and then finally Celebrex, which I have been on for 3 years now. Celebrex never eliminated the pain like Vioxx, but it helped. Finally my poor hip could not take it anymore. I realized now….that I was putting the civilians and my crew at risk, due to my weak leg. Climbing ladders and pulling hose was agonizing, letting alone climbing up into the fire truck. I went to my Doctor in August and said…I am ready…I can’t take it anymore. He told me it was a good thing I waited because I am a candidate for the BHR, which was approved in May of 2007 in this country. It was that easy. After new x-rays and scheduling…I had surgery on November 29th, 2007. My surgery went well. I had an epidural, because I freaked at pre-op…and they gave me that option which eased my mind. For some reason I thought if I was completely under, I would never wake up. Anyway, the surgery lasted about an hour in a half. Dr. Valadie told my sister once they opened me up I was much worse than he thought, but that everything went well. My recovery was good. 3 days in the hospital, with in hospital PT. Great nurses, specialized ward just for joint care, and a good experience. I used a walker for one day, used extra strength tylenol for pain (narcotics make me ill), and just dealt with the discomfort. I had 7 days of shots for clotting, wore my TEDS for 18 days, had in home PT, walked with one crutch for 10 days, drove at 14 days, and started outpatient PT, at 17 days. I had no complications and loved it when I got to the 6 week mark to BEND OVER!!!!! At 10 weeks I am doing great. Aggressive PT, for 4 more weeks as of this writing. I have an excellent therapist who is working very hard with me to get me back on that “fire truck”, as he tells me. PT is a key for me to get strong to get back to the job. I can’t go back to work until the 6 month mark, due to the femur head fracture thing, and heavy weight lifting. So, until that, I rehab, rehab, and rehab some more. I am a testimony for this procedure. What a wonderful thing!!!! Noreen Bradenton, Fl
January 31, 2008
Starting last week, I was finally able to lift my new hip leg, up about 2 inches off the ground while sitting in a chair. Now at 10 weeks I can raise it a bit more. It is all baby steps. Everyday, I would at least attempt to do what I couldn’t do..even if it was just once. Then one morning you wake up, and you could do what you couldn’t do last week. Patience, and diligence is the combination that has worked for me. PS: Prior to surgery, I could not lift that leg off the ground while sitting, nor could I cross it over the other leg…for years. I can actually cross my leg over the other one now…that was an amazing feat. I am 10 weeks however, and I know the restrictions of not crossing are for the first 6 weeks, so don’t attempt to do that until the proper time.
December 12, 2007
Hi Pat This forum has helped me, and through this site I have met a few other firefighters that have had this done. I live in Bradenton, Florida. My OS is Alan Valadie, and the hospital I went to is called Blake Hospital, and it has a special wing called the Joint Care Center. It is more like a hotel than a hospital, and the care was outstanding. I am lucky enough to have my Doctor and the hospital, in the city I live in. I met a guy through your site that lives in St Petersburg, and he is coming down here, to have his surgery and Doctor Valadie is also his doctor. My only nemisis so to speak right now are these TEDS….they are driving me crazy and I can’t want to get them off!!!
November 20, 2007
Hi. I am having a hip resurfacing on November 29th. I have severe osteoarthritis, caused by hip displasia. I had no clue I had hip displasia, or maybe I would have chosen another career. I am a 50 year old female, firefighter. I kept going for years through the pain, thinking I had a groin issue, only to find out it was bone on bone in my right hip. This was diagnosed 6 years ago. Thank God for Vioxx and Bextra, allthough we know they are off the market, but because of those drugs, which I called a miracle, I could manage my pain….NON-NARCOTIC. Anyway, I have been on Celebrex for years..and it never worked as well as the others. To make a long story short, I am looking foward to greater mobility, pain reduction and day to day living doing what I like to do and not have this physical restriction. I have continued to work out daily, except in the last month because the pain has gone from bad to worse. I have read many blogs and discussion groups online and thank goodness they are there. Its nice to see others function again, so I know that I just have to be patient and not rush my rehab. I will continue to read in this forum, so any other pointers anyone can give me would be appreciated.