March 14, 2010
I’m just out of Jan Palfijn Hospital in Gent after THR
revision surgery on Friday. I promise to write everyone individually in the
coming days, but here’s the story.
First of all the Belgian people in general and the staff of Anca Clinic
and Villa Cento Passi could not have been nicer and have made the experience
the best it could have been.
Dr De Smet himself has been incredible. It’s really important to note here
that I am probably the first male patient of De Smet’s to lose a resurf to
femoral head AVN. He’s been as concerned as me about the whole process here.
I generally put this experience off to my poor genetics and that the blood
flow in my femoral head never re-engaged properly after the resurfacing in
December 2008. I had pain from the beginning that only got worse.
On Thursday evening, De Smet showed me the Profemur-L stem that would be
paired with the 50mm Conserve head. There was never any chance of saving the
resurf and this is the best possible result. On the last x-ray, the bone was
completely gone — any longer and a THR would have been hard to do. De Smet
confirmed during the surgery that the femoral cap was completely loose and
he simply reached in and pulled it out with his hand.
So, the really good news is that the acetabular cup was fine and still
perfectly positioned, and it stayed. In essence I only had half a THR
operation, as I needed just the stem, neck and cap on the femoral side. De
Smet also did his best to make sure my leg lengths matched up, and so far it
looks pretty close.
The not as good news is that a sample of my hip capsule fluid may have had
something into it, so I am on strong antibiotics pending culturing of the
fluid for bacteria.
The surgery was on Friday at about 10 am. De Smet told me before I left
the operating room that the surgery had gone well and he had saved the cup.
The care at Jan Palfijn Hospital was the best of my 3 stays, but I was
ready to return to the Villa after 2 days.
The most amazing thing is that my pain is utterly gone. I hope no one out
there ever experiences what I went through the last couple of weeks with
AVN. I have post-surgical pain in the incision area, but there is no pain at
all with weight bearing.
Lesson learned is that a big-ball THR is darned near as good as a resurf
and better for me.
I’m due at the pool in half-an-hour for my first pool PT. Life is getting
better by the hour.
LBHR 50/58 De Smet 13-Jun-06
RC+ 50/56 De Smet 17-Dec-08
RTHR 50/56 De Smet 12-Mar-10
April 02, 2010 3 week update on THR revision from C+
Today is 21 days out from my revision surgery for AVN that
cost me my Conserve resurfacing. Just so others don’t worry
too much, I have the rather dubious distinction of being the
only man in almost 3000 that De Smet has resurfaced that has
had this happen.
Dr De Smet did a fantastic job, and not once did I
experience any pain after surgery that compared with what I
was going through before surgery. I had no morphine pump
after surgery, and as I’m allergic to codeine, I got
by with only extra strength acetaminophen for my minor
My C+ acetabular cup was perfectly positioned and stayed in
place. I was given Wright components with a Conserve
big-ball head and Profemur-L stem.
I was released from Jan Palfijn Hospital on post-surgery day
2 and was in the water 3 hours later at the Villa Cento
Passi — just like the resurfs.
I always tell people that the first time in the water is
when it clicks in your brain that you are now home safe, and
everything will be getting better from here.
Not to brag, but I ran circles around the resurfs, and it
was nice for once to be the one who got to do all the extra
stuff that makes the rehab go even faster.
The care at De Smet’s rehab facility, the Villa Cento Passi,
is superb. Koen has a unique and winning formula for getting
through hip replacement surgery. From the nursing care to
twice-daily physical therapy to the food, everything works
As of today, I am finished with heparin stomach shots, done
with TEDS, and finished my course of 5 grams of antibiotic
per day at noon today. I walked the dogs through the woods
for over a mile, and I’m about to head to the basement for
the exercise bike (21 minutes) and then into the pool for
Evelyne’s pool regime, followed by a leisurely swim.
It’s 80 degrees in Atlanta today and life is good! I had one
of the most unfortunate experiences that can befall a
Surfacehippy, but with the right surgeon, I’m well on my way
to finally having a life without hip pain – after 10
years of dealing with constant pain.
Bill in Atlanta
LBHR Protrusio Acetabulum De Smet 13-Jun-04
RC+ Failed due to AVN De Smet 17-Dec-08
RTHR Wright Conserve De Smet 12-Mar-10