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Author Topic: Help Needed - Decision Time.....Am I too young? Do I have to just deal w/ pain?  (Read 3824 times)

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YoungMom

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Hello All.

I will try to make this short and sweet....as sweet as possible anyway :)  I am currently 29 years old and have had hip pain in both hips for over 10 years.  I was just recently diagnosed with severe middle wall arthritis in both hips.

My hips used to hurt when I would exhert them, like running or walking all day.  Now, unfortuanly, they hurt most all of the time and there is no reason for the pain at all.  I don't know if I should get surgery....am I too young?

I want to be able to play with my 4 year old daughter, but I can barely do anything but sit and watch TV with her.  I am used to being very active and feel like I am sentenced to just sitting and doing nothing for ever...or at least until I am older and should get the surgery?   Is the surgery worth the risk?  :'(

I feel like I need some advice  ???  Also, if I did get surgery, should I do both at once? 

Any advice would be helpful!! 

Stuck -
Jen

Lopsided

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Jen,

'am I too young?' I am sure everyone feels they are too young to get arthritis and be in need of surgery. I certainly did, and I am older than you.

'I want to be able to play with my 4 year old daughter' This is my main ambition too, to be able to play with my children. They keep asking.

'Is the surgery worth the risk?' It seems to be, you gradually get worse otherwise.

'should I do both at once?' I am going to ask my doctor that same question in a couple of days.

Hope this helps.

D


Proud To Be Dr. De Smet's First Uncemented Conserve Plus, Left, August 2010

ptaylor

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hi
i was diagnosed with arthritis of the hip and x rays proved this. i asked the specialist when i should get it done and he said i would know when. at the time i thought this was particularly unhelpful. i later talked to another doctor and he explained that what the specialist was saying was that when i was no longer happy with my lifestyle i would then want to get something done about it. the specialist couldnt determine when that would be. theres no scale of pain/inability to be active that he could apply. instead it is down to you to determine what you want to do and when.

i had pain in both hips and asked if i could get both done at the same time but in the uk this cant be done. i had a bhr on 1st april and am now getting to the point of being able to do some no resistance cycling in the gym. im hoping that the pain in the other hip was more muscular because it was protecting the other hip and it seems easier at the moment. the same rule will apply to this hip which is if it stops you doing what you want in your life then an op is the answer
all the best
phil

bothdone

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Hi Jen

I read your post and my first reaction was to feel sad at your health situation.   I was 50 before I had my first BHR and I really feel for you having to consider surgery at your age.

My suggestion is to seek the best advice you can from experienced surgeons and to read up on your options as much as you can.  Prepare a list of questions and ask thenm to different people.  Make a note of all their replies.  If you don't understand something ask for clarification until you do understand it.   I'm sure you can get some of your answers and experiences from keeping in contact on here.

Very best wishes to you.

Ed
LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008

Jeff

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Jen,
      Ed gives great advice.  Takes notes, & write down questions....no matter how trivial you may thinik they are, they're important.  I used this site extensively to answer many of my questions, much of which was answered here.  If not, your doctor can answer them.  Contributors to this site are compassionate and give sound advice from a conservative platform, they're great! Use them to your advantage!!
     I have heard from others on this site, that bilateral hip resurfacing is usually 12 weeks apart, but only your doctor can answer for sure.  Be sure to search out a good physician and get second opinions......Good Luck

Jeff

moe

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Jen, as the others have said you need to get more opinions from surgeons experienced in resurfacing. Being in constant pain is no way to go through life, especially at such a young age. Hip arthritis doesn't get better, only progressively worse. There is a window for resurfacing, if you wait too long you may not be a candidate. I was 56 when I had both mine done at the same time, it took a lot out of me but I feel 100% better, I am very active, no regrets. It all depends on the surgeon and patient for doing both at once. Good luck, moe
Bi-lateral, BHR, Dr Marchand. 7-13-09

YoungMom

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Thank you all so much!!  I really do love this site, it is a WEALTH of knowledge!!!  I saw one doctor so far and he said that I should try and live with it for as long as I can.....I feel like I have?!?!?  I have an appointment with another specialist next Thursday and I will take all of the advice and make sure to bring my list of questions in with me and write everything down :)  Thank you all and hope to hear more :) :-*

obxpelican

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Jen,

Yes, you are young for a new hip(s), BUT (big but) your life is not over, you will not die from bad hips, it's not cancer this is not some life sentence, you can get your life back but you need to make the right decisions.  Many hippies live very normal lives, before my surgery I could only walk very short distances, I could not coach my daughters softball team, I could not water ski, I basically sat around as your are saying.

Well, since my operation in August 08 I've done class III & IV white water rapids, I've gotten back to water skiing and I coach again.

Now, your decisions, don't settle for a doctor that is not REALLY REALLY experienced, Pat has many stories of people who have regretted going with a surgeon with only a little bit of experience.  I drove from Pittsburgh PA to Columbia, SC to find a great surgeon and I am glad I did.  As to your decision about whether to do both at once, talk to your doctor, ask some of our bi-laterals.

Don't fret this all many people are living good, active lives now, be one of them.


Chuck
Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

nysoccermom

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Jen,

I had pain in both hips and questioned whether I should have both resurfaced at my age (then 38). I was to the point that I needed to do something other than take lots of pain medicine and severely limit my activities. Like you, I had young children and found myself doing less and less with them and becoming more and more dissatisfied with my lifestyle.

In considering doing both, Dr. Su asked me "if your left hip (the slightly worse one) didn't hurt, would you still be here to see me for the right one" or something to that effect. I decided that yes I would. When I asked about doing both at the same time, he said that it was an individual decision but that I was young and in good health and should be able to tolerate it without a problem.

I had a bilateral resurfacing in November 2009, the week after my 39th birthday. I am almost 6 months out and while I'm not quite where I want to be yet, I am very much improved from where I was prior to surgery. I was worried about the bilateral, but the logistics of scheduling two major surgeries/recoveries with two kids in school and sports and a husband that travels frequently, tipped the scales in its favor.  I was so glad that once I had the surgery, I didn't have to "start over". I can't compare it to having had only one done but I can say that though it wasn't easy, it also wasn't as bad as I had feared.

As others have said, gather as much information as you can and go to the most experienced surgeon possible. Don't let geographical distance or insurance coverage prevent you from exploring all of your options to get the best possible outcome. Feel free to contact me if you have questions on the bilateral. Wishing you all the best.

Melanie
Bilateral, Dr. Su, 11/12/09

leggy

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Hi i am 54yrs & had hip problems for 10yrs, i am seeing a surgeon on the 26th of this month, hoping for a resurface.
I have had major pain for about a year now, it has got to the point where it is affecting my activities, personally, if it is affecting your lifestyle, which it obviously is, despite your young age, i would seriously consider surgery.
I feel too young to be limited by this pain, you certainly are, you have too much living to do to be restricted like this!!
My mother in law broke her hip last august, she had to have the surgery, she is 85, and was miserable stuck inside over the winter, she has now recovered enough to get out again, everyone needs to be able to enjoy the outdoors.
I am in the UK, although it is great,not to have to worry about cost for the surgery, i wish i could have more options over who does it. We are offered lots of different places to go on the NHS, but you want the best surgeon, rather than the most convenient place. I cannot afford to go private ,so i have opted to go to a hospital where i know other people in my circle have been, & had successful resurfacing, i will be asking how many of these op's he has done etc, but if i am not happy with the answer, i will be waiting a lot longer researching the surgeons available in my area. As it is, i could still have quite a long wait after my consultation. Anybody else on here in the Nottingham area?
Leggy ( not a pun, an old nick name )

Josephine18

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Hi Jen,

I sympathize with your story and relate to it very well.  Even though I was 37 when I had my first hip resurfaced, I was told when I was younger than you that I would have to have both my hips replaced before I was 30.  I too was very active, but over the years, I had allowed my quality of life to slowly erode. As the years went by, I did not realize how much I compensated along the way.  Ultimately, the realization of how much I had put my life on hold was my ďahaĒ moment.  My life revolved completely around my hip pain, and when I got to the point that I could no longer sit, sleep, or walk without experiencing extreme pain, I said enough.  I knew I owed it to myself and to those that depended on me to make the decision to regain a healthy quality of life. 

An experienced surgeon who has performed a large number hip resurfacings should give you a clear answer as to the structural status of you hip and whether or not waiting is advisable.  There is a window of opportunity to have a hip resurfacing that is dependent to a large extent on the health of your bone stock. 

I was supposed to have both of my hips done at the same time, but I ended up having to space them out due to logistics.   I very much had wanted to get them done concurrently, but looking back and having gone through the recovery process, I realize for me and for my circumstances, things turned out for the best.  When considering whether to have both done at the same time (assuming your surgeon tells you that is a viable option), you have to think about how much support you will have at home to help you and your daughter during your recovery.  Other questions that come to mind include are you going to be traveling to have your surgery and what would the logistics of that look like, do you work outside the home, how you are going to perform your daily activities of living, who will help you get out and about during your recovery, what will your weight-bearing status be for each hip, and what is your surgeonís protocol for time frames regarding use of assistive devices.

 Now, some eight months after my first surgery, I canít believe how the years and years of pain were wiped away by an hour and a half procedure.  My operated hip no longer causes me an ounce of discomfort.  I walk, sit, and sleep without any discomfort in that hip, and I was even able to have myself a shortened but sweet ski season six months after my procedure. 

YoungMom

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All of this information is great!  I am going to see a specialist on Thursday, Dr Jeffery Larson (West Allis, WI) has anyone ever heard of him?  When I read up on him online, he sounds good, but how will I really know???

How many hip resurfacings is a good number that I could feel comfortable with?  I know from reading that I want my doc to be very experienced, but typically what defines "experienced"?

Another question - If there are any of you that traveled to see a certian doctor, how did you make that work?  What was the process like??  Who was your doctor, and were you very satisfied?

THOUGHT......sometimes I feel like I can deal with the pain, but then I guess I realize that I am avoiding doing things that I want to do.....If I don't avoid them, I PAY for it!!!!  I am just worried that I am jumping the gun with surgery....just worried I guess  :-[   That thought keeps running through my head....should I or shouldn't I have the surgery?????   I think that I know my answer, but I am REALLY WORRIED about it.   I guess that really freaks me out because I usually and not a typical worry wart...but I guess this is not your typical "no big deal" sort of issue.........


I really wish I felt or came to a clear answer....YES .....or .......NO........ :'(

Thanks, Jen

obxpelican

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I would only go with the doctors who have 500+ or better, now a days there are plenty that have that amount of experience.

I went to Dr. Gross because of the positive comments not just about him, but his surgical assistant Lee and the office staff.  Dr. Gross and their staff know true southern hospitality, their hospital has a low infection rate and the hospital staff are top rated and they really know Dr. Gross's protocols so nobody is going to mess up your post-op care.

Here are some tips and info about Dr. Gross http://surfacehippy.info/hiptalk/index.php?topic=1512.0

Here is my experience with him  http://surfacehippy.info/hiptalk/index.php?topic=1055.msg6307#msg6307

Traveling to a doctor is not really that bad, we drove many hours back home and I even drove some on my 3rd day post-op.


Chuck

Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

YoungMom

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Thanks Chuck!!  So, did you drive down, have the surgery and then have someone drive you home when you were released from the hospital?

I really have my work cut out for me here, I REALLY want to amke sure htat I pick the right doctor!!!

Thanks,
Jen

YoungMom

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Another thing that I just remembered....at my last doctors visit with a specialist, I remember him saying.......if you find a doctor that will do hip resurfacing/replacment he/she probably has nothing better to do and I would seriously question their motives.

To be honest, that scared me and I really did not understand why he would say that....any ideas?   Maybe just a bad doc?

Kind Regards,
Jen

obxpelican

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Yes, we drove down, my wife drove back some and then I drove back some.

I drove back 3 or 4 hours.


Chuck


Thanks Chuck!!  So, did you drive down, have the surgery and then have someone drive you home when you were released from the hospital?

I really have my work cut out for me here, I REALLY want to amke sure htat I pick the right doctor!!!

Thanks,
Jen
Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

stevel

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Jen,

I flew first class on an Alaska Airlines 737 jet from Juneau, Alaska to Newark, NJ to have Dr. Su do my surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NY, NY.  I flew non-stop to Seattle (2 1/2 hours) departing about 7:35 AM Alaska Daylight Savings Time, changed planes after about a 1 hour layover, then flew 5 1/2 hours non-stop to Newark, NJ, arriving at about 11:24 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the same day (with a 4 hour time change).
Where do you live?  I notice you are seeing a doctor in Wisconsin on Thursday.  Have you considered Dr. Rogerson in Madison, WI?  He has an excellent reputation, has at least 425 hip resurfacings according to Pat's list and has a rehab pool similar to Dr. DeSmet in Belgium.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 06:13:45 PM by stevel »
Steve
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66

DonC

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A concern of decreased activity is that you will suffer bone loss and your hip joint will deteriorate that much more. When you don't put weight on your bones they become less dense. Also,as a women, there is an increasing risk of bone loss as you age. If you wait too long your density and femur head/neck could diminish to the point that you could miss the oportunity to recieve a hip resurface and be left with the only option of total hip replacement.

I flew from Florida to S.C. to have Dr. Gross do my surgery. Arrived on Friday after a 1 hour flight - Operation monday morning- stayed for 4 additional days and then flew home.
It was much easier than I had imagined.

I selected Dr. gross because he was the only surgeon in the U.S. doing an uncemented device. He worked with Biomet to develop the device and is the leader in this new technology. Be aware that there is not enough data to show whether this will be a longer lasting method. However, uncemented devices are now the majority and used with great success in total hip replacements  I don't see why resurfacing wouldn't also benefit from this new bone growth design.

Best of luck and get moving. (sooner rather than later)

Don


resurface

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Hard to add much more but... cement, cementless... doesn't matter.  There is no documented evidence that would indicate either approach is better.  Anterior or posterior approach?  No documented evidence for either approach.

That said, the best advise is surgeon experience and the results in his / her hands! The 500+ case level... again, no documentation but seems like a reasonable number.  One question  that has not been mentioned is, "Ask who they trained under?"  Best wishes.

stevel

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Check out the latest article posted on the home page of this website:  "New data reinforces the proven safety and effectiveness of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System."
The femoral cap is cemented and the system beats all other devices (US, Australia, Europe) for the longest time period.  The uncemented Biomet device has a relatively short case history and a relatively few number of installations.  A newbie will have to be supremely confident in Dr. Gross and the uncemented device and not expect poor results exhibited by the Durom and ASR devices.
When I was reviewing the devices prior to surgery, Dr. Mont stated in an interview that the devices were all the same, but time has proven otherwise.
Steve
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66

 

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