Author Topic: Newbie - Petrified  (Read 1669 times)

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Newbie - Petrified
« on: February 15, 2011, 09:33:17 PM »
Hi All

As you could guess I am new to this site.

A quick background for you.

I am a 39 year old male from New Zealand.  I used to be a very sporty kid playing a number of different sports to a high level. 20 years ago (I was 18) I underwent a spinal fusion (L4/L5).  That failed so four years later I had another.  Last year after 20 years of ongoing pain I had another back operation to take the pressure off a nerve in L2/L3.  Through the reab I underwent it was discovered that I had significant osteoarthritis in my left hip.  It hurts to walk, sit, sleep and my only outlet, cycling, is becoming more and more difficult to undertake.

I has a meeting with a surgeon earlier in the week regarding a hip replacement which he advised as my joint is now bone on bone. His major concern was how a difference in leg length, which he said would be likely, would effect my back.  He also then went on to tell me that in 4-5 years my other hip will also need doing  He then went on to mention a colleague of his that had been doing hip resurfacting.  He is fully trained and bought the procedure into NZ and apparently does 3-4 ops every week (and has done since 2003).  I am meeting with this surgeon over the next couple of weeks.

I am petrified of this procedure as I am worried my back problems will come back with a vengence.  I am unable to play with my young kids and everyday activities are difficult.  I have also slipped into depression. 

Is anyone else in a similar/or have been in a similar situation as mine?  Hip resurfacing sounds like the best bet but I really would like to hear from those of you who may have had a bad back before undergoing a hip resurfacing.

Thanks in advance


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 09:47:34 PM »
Leg length difference does happen with hip resurfacing, but it's not real common, especially with an experienced surgeon.  Even if by some chance you end up with a leg difference there are options, such as inserts etc.  Keep in mind, if you start listing to one side like I did you are also liable to hurt your back, in fact sometimes it even causes knees to hurt too.

Take a list of questions you have with you, make him answer, make sure to ask how many surgeries he's done, how many revisions he's had to do.  Some newer doctors sometimes hedge their bets and change to THRs mid surgery, ask him how many times that has happened.

You are taking the correct steps, relax this is not a life threatening issue, it's something you'll have to get done to get your life back.

Best of luck to ya mate!

RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 10:05:50 PM »
I've had lower back problems for several years.  No surgery, but diagnosed as "severe degenerative disc disease" back in 2003 or 2004.  Diagnosed with OA in both hips about two years ago.  LBHR last Friday and RBHR coming up on 3/11.  I am thoroughly convinced that the hip problems greatly exacerbated the symptoms in my lower back because I haven't been able to stand up straight for quite some time.  I've been walking bent over because of the hips for at least several years and I'm sure that this has put undue strain on my back.  I have no back pain right now and am hoping that my new posture will greatly reduce any future back problems.

My advice would be to schedule the resurfacing ASAP.  Get it done, and you may find that it improves your back situation.

Good luck!!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 10:08:27 PM by FlbrkMike »
Dr. Ball
56 years old
LBHR 2/11/11
RBHR 3/11/11


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 12:48:04 AM »
Hey Critzz,
I had bad back problems and knee problems before surgery. In fact I kept telling my doctors before I found out i had hip problems that my back is super bad. Well since surgery most of my back problems are just gone and knee problems as well. Every once in a awile my back will be a little stiff but it is minor and lasts a very short time. It was compensation walking that was killing my back before surgery and now things are mostly just all good for me. Good luck and believe me a hip resurfacing surgery will be the best thing that will happen for you.

11-7-08  Bilat/Dr.Ball/ASR


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 01:11:35 AM »
Hey Critzz, I agree with Wayne...

Four years ago I went to the doctor for Back Pain, only to discover some if not all the pain was caused by some of the cartiladge had shifted from the hip.  Our whole body needs to work in unison as any chiropractor would tell you.  I had my right hip done last week and so far, so good.  By the way, as I mentioned to another on here... I took the advise I read online to prevent bed sores and to also relieve back pain, to buy a 4 inch mattress topper, the egg crate design, for my post op.  I should of invested in it a long time ago, great for the back! I normally slept on my side before surgery to prevent back pain, but no problems sleeping on my back now on this thing after surgery.  Good Luck!  Brian


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 04:49:55 AM »
Before my first BHR in 2004 I had a terrible limp.  I hadn't realised how bad it was until I saw myself limp past on a video.  It still sends a shudder donw my spine to think about it.  A physio friend pointed out how the limp was affecting my back and suggested I get the hip seen to without delay.   I got it done soon after.

I still get aches and pains but nowhere near the permanent "toothache" of a bad hip.  My aches and pains are largely caused by strenuous activity (cycling, rowing, long walks, and, at the moment, the occasional jog) and by the fact that I'm now nearer 60 years old than 50.    ;D

I can't advise you what to do but can suggest you get the best advice you can.

Very best wishes

LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 06:18:12 AM »
Hi Critzz,
your situation is very similar to mine.

I had a fusion 17 years ago, L5-S1.
Sorted my back problems back then and has been great for years since, I've been participating in many sports on a regular basis.

3-4 years ago I started getting left lower back/buttock and groin pain which I immediately assumed was my back.

After many consultations, xrays, an epidural and a back MRI my consultant told me that my fusion looked in excellent condition (some disk degeneration but nothing serious) and that he thought maybe my hip should be looked at.

A simple xrays later and bingo!
Bone one bone in my left hip and yes, my limp was putting pressure on my lower back big time.

I'm now 17 days from my surfacing and the difference is night and day.
No pain whatsoever in my back, buttock or surrounding area.
I have some groin pain and obviously some pain from the trauma of the op, but nothing comparatively speaking.
The groin pain is normal and mainly due to the manipulation during the op and heals over the weeks, as does the operative pain.

I am already walking up to 2 miles per day (on crutches) with hardly any limp. I can also walk (in the house) without any crutches almost normally.

My advice would be get booked in ASAP mate, you won't look back.

Good luck with it all ;)
Motor Racing nut now with LHBHR ;)

Tin Soldier

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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 10:51:05 AM »
Critzz -

If you know that you have to get both sides done, then maybe you ought talk to the surgeon about it doing both within a few months, or at the same time.    I would think that would reduce concerns of being out-of-symmetry and I think we can all agree that being symmetrical is huge when it comes to your back.  My right hip isn't all that painful, but the images show less spacing and the doc is basically saying I should do both within a short period, why wait?.  Also, the hips are THE major hinge in the body, if it's gummed up, the rest of the body will compensate and that's what everyone here is saying.   

I'm 42, similar problems, back isn't too bad, but it has been compensating a lot.  I walk like Frankenstein after an hour of working in the yard.  Geez, I feel like too.  I'm hopeful that after my first RS next week, the back pain will reside, as well as some of the knee pain.

There's tons of info on the site and everyone here is happy to provide their experience.  Stick around, these folks are great!
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 10:55:51 AM »
There seems to be many hippies with back issues, including me, with the consensus that getting your hips sorted out helps your back.

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


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Re: Newbie - Petrified
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 03:59:03 PM »
Agree with many posts that the two are often related.  For me, I began having lower back issues years ago and always thought it was my back.  A couple years ago playing tennis for a couple hours would have me unable to walk straight for 3 days.  I stopped the tennis as a result but still had some issues with the back.

After resurfacing Dec 20, I have had NO back pain and it is easy to see that the hip was causing me the issues.

Good luck with your follow up!
Right BHR December 20, 2010 Dr. Gregory Martin


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