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Author Topic: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement  (Read 2429 times)

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Hippychick

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contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« on: August 22, 2011, 09:20:47 PM »
Hi all!  I am so glad to have found this website and read stories of encouragement and even some that didn't turn out the way people hoped...I am 40 y/o female with no significant medical history at all.   From age 4, I danced, tumbled, skated, skiied, and generally any activity I could find.   My father, developed arthritis in his hips as I was growing up and had both hips replaced when he was between 60-65.   I never gave much thought to his condition until 3 years ago.   I noticed I had a "catch" in my left hip.   It felt like it needed to "pop" and it would be okay.   I was on vacation and didn't pay much attention.  As the year wore on, I began having intermittent episodes of the same thing and began walking with a noticeable limp.   After much procrastination, I saw an excellent orthopedic surgeon who began by asking me if I had ever worn braces on my legs as a child.   I was shocked!   I said no, why?   He told me I had significant dysplasia and he was very suprised I never had any problems.   He then said I had a torn labrum and signed me up for orthoscopy.   That was in July 2010.  I came through the surgery with no complications and he told my Husband that he saw a "touch" of arthritis, but nothing too bad.    Like many of you, I did notice an improvement for a bit.   But the last 3-4 mos. has become unbearable.   I have to pick my foot up to put it in the car and often take the stairs one at a time.   When I found myself in tears because of the pain and dehabilitating affect this is having me, I desperately sought a second opinion.  A month ago, saw another surgeon, who took xrays and basically said on a scale of 1-10, my left hip is a 6/7 (10 is the worst) and right hip about a 2.   I asked about physical therapy and he essentially said come back when your ready for replacement.   And sort of as a P.S. said "oh yeah, I do resurfacing too"   It has left me confused, devestated, and wondering what to do.  The thought of limping around like my dad for the rest of my life is horrifying to me.    I have two small children 3 & 5 and when I have to tell them momma can't play with them bc I have to rest, it kills me.   I am already on anti-depressants and for a long time, dealt with this using denial, but it's becoming evident that I either fix it, or face the rest of my life miserable.    I just feel like I'm too young to have such a major surgery....but at this point, if it makes me feel better, I will take it.   I would love to hear from anybody about 3rd, 4th opinions or others that had conflicting medical reports and what alternatives are out there.   Thanks for letting me share my story.   I tend to hold things in and just saying this makes me feel better.   My husband, bless his heart, doesn't realize the extent of my limitations and pain and how embarrassed I am that I can't keep up or my children can go up and down stairs faster than I can!  It's very frustrating and depressing...but enough of the gloom....would love to hear from you!  Thanks again....

einreb

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 09:35:58 PM »
This is a decent read...

http://www.grossortho.com/forms/Hip%20Resurfacing%20Vs%20THA-6-6-2011.pdf

Its obviously biased, but theres not much there that i would argue with at all.
40yo at the time of my 2/16/2011 left hip uncemented Biomet resurface with Tri Spike Acetabular cup by Gross

hernanu

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 09:51:36 PM »
Hi and welcome to the site, this is a great resource, filled with people who have gone through what you are. I think you'll find the best stories for you are people who are Moms, who had the same kind of decision to make as yours.

I also faced the problems you did, at an older age, but not by much - I was 46 when they began. It began as a slight hitch that would happen every great while, then noticed my activities getting affected. I noticed that I became "worse" at things like soccer, basketball and martial arts. Nothing dramatic at first, just shortening stride, less stamina, lower flexibility. It got worse at a fairly rapid pace, until a few years later, moving my daughter into her college dorm was agony. I had the pops, the lowered flexibility, pain on stairs, etc. that we have all confronted. The worst was a trip to Ecuador with my daughters when I had to bend to get into the tiny cabs. I knew I had to do something after that.

I went to reputable surgeons in Boston after going through everything to avoid surgery. I tried stretching, physical therapy, ignoring it (that was my idea), deep tissue massage, breathing exercises, you name it, I probably did it. The first two surgeons I saw (well experienced surgeons at a Harvard teaching hospital) told me that I had no cartilage on one hip (left) and only about 10% on the other. They shut me down on resurfacing, saying they only did THR, and would not recommend resurfacing because of the dangers of metal ions. I came out confused and conflicted, but I did not want the restrictions of a THR as they described them - no activity other than walking, etc.

I sought out a resurfacing surgeon that had a lot of experience (800 at the time) in resurfacing, Dr. Snyder at Newton-Wellesley hospital. I went through the initial conference thinking I may not be a good candidate based on the reaction of the other surgeons, but he was very optimistic and I scheduled my first and second procedure at the same time. The first was a year ago (almost to the day) and the second in late Nov. of last year. Best thing I've ever done. I am now pain free in the hips, back problems have gone, I feel very optimistic and my activity level has sprinted forward.

I am not unusual in this site. The best part of our stories is not necessarily about returning to our sports or activities, but the important things like running with your kids, going bicycling with them without pain, my kids noticing my face not contorted in pain frequently. It's something not usually mentioned, but your pain hurts those who love you, and they are happy to see it gone. My brother in law just had it done, and my niece and nephew mention that most times I see them.

Don't worry about the emotional roller coaster. We have all gone through hard times emotionally due to this. It is a wrenching thing to face, then to agree with yourself to go through the surgery and then actually do it. Make good use of your loved ones, they are a great asset when you are in turmoil. It's Ok to be upset, it's an upsetting thing. All I can say is that for me and many others here, the result is amazing. You are in a tough spot, but there is a great solution to it (speaking for myself only). You will decide on your own how and when to do it, but I can recommend it as the best thing I've done for myself.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 10:52:30 AM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

bothdone

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 10:47:33 PM »
Hi Hippychick

I read your story and was moved by it.  I'll start by wishing you the very best and hope that you can reach a decision that you are happy with.    I had my left resurfacing at age 50 and my right at age 54.   I can honestly say I have absolutely no regrets in having them done.   After I'd heard about resurfacing it was what I wanted.   

You will get a lot of support from people on here and people will be ready to answer any questions you have.

Very best wishes

Ed
LBHR 25 May 2004
RBHR 19 March 2008

obxpelican

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 11:56:11 PM »
First understand you are not going to die from a bad hip, second you will get your life back, so many on here have, although you will hear some failures but if you choose your doctor carefully you will have probably a 98% chance of success. 

You will read of some issues but you have to understand that this is a support site and many of those with the great outcomes leave and move on with life.

Depression is VERY common, but, once you gain your life back and you start doing things that you've been missing it all changes, I was very depressed 6 months pre-op, I could only walk 50 yards before I had to sit.   Now I am back to normal, although the only good joint I have is my artificial joint at this point but none of my other joints are nearly as bad.

If you choose the right doctor the surgery and post-op is not bad at all to deal with.  Look for a doctor with a good pain protocol and one who has done >500 surgeries with low failure rates.  Greater than a thousand would be better, but >500 is not that bad.

Good luck.


Chuck


It's very frustrating and depressing...but enough of the gloom....would love to hear from you!  Thanks again....
Chuck
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb
8-6-08

DGossack

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 02:20:57 AM »
Ditto what the others have said.  I just had my left hip done three weeks ago at age 50.  I was also told to deal with the pain and come back for a total hip replacement when I couldn't stand the pain.  Fortunately I found this site and six months later I have a new hip.

You can read more of my story at fullmetalhip.wordpress.com.

You will find out a lot of great information on this site.  Your questions will be answered by people like you that have had similar experiences.

Best wishes on your journey.

Dan
LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 8/1/2011
fullmetalhip.wordpress.com

got2newhips

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 05:32:47 AM »
Welcome to the site, you're at the right place!!  I'm 49, and had both hips done by Dr. Gross a month ago.  My life gets better every day.  While I'm early in recovery, I go to my kids athletics, run errands, go to dinner and do things that I would have avoided a month ago WITH NO JOINT PAIN!! 

My story started much like yours, when I was around 40.  I've been athletic all of my life, and was in great shape at the time.  It started as a little twinge in the front of my left hip while I was walking on a treadmill.  I figured that it was just a strained muscle or tendon, as I'd been running quite a bit and playing lots of golf while walking.  It bothered me off and on at first, but didn't really limit what I wanted to do.  Fast forward a couple of years, and I was still doing everything, but relying on my right leg to support me.  At that point I finally broke down and went to a sports ortho guy who did x-rays; him: "has anyone ever told you that you have arthritis in your hips"?  me: "no; so can you go roto root it out or something"?  him: "nope, you'll just have to live with it until it hurts bad enough to have your hip replaced.  By the way, your right hip is pretty advanced too".  I was stunned.

So I went to the web and started learning about total hip replacement (THR).  I hated what I read, so lived in denial, and increasing pain for another few years.  My life progressively started to slip away from me.  I stopped doing most of the things that I loved.  I kept coaching my kids sports, but the pain was incredible, and the hobbling around was embarassing.  I was grumpy all the time, and planned every step I took in advance.  My research eventually led me to this site, and I started to focus on resurfacing, as I wanted to get back to doing sports without all of the THR limitations, and the physiology of resurfacing just made more sense to me.  At this point I saw the most highly recommended hip surgeon in the Dallas area.  He gave me his THR pitch.  I asked him about resurfacing.  He said he didn't really know much about it, but thought that it was mostly experimental and preferred to stick to what he knew worked.  He showed ZERO compassion or professional curiosity.  That sealed it for me.  Given the openness of the doctors and others from this site, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Why not take a shot at getting all of my activities back...worst case would be a THR somewhere down the road that would be much less complicated and risky that revising an existing THR.

That said, I lapsed back into denial on how bad it was for another year, until I hit the wall late last year.  I suddenly went from alternating between "bad" and "terrible" days, to just "terrible" ones.  I could barely walk from my car to my office, let alone get through an airport for the travel that my job demanded. My friends and colleagues all said how painful it was to watch me walk, and asked me when I was going to get my hips fixed.  I finally had to give up coaching my son's baseball team, and started every day in pain that I knew wouldn't get any better.  It was time. It was a scary decision; facing up to the fear of actually doing it, but knew I had to move on, or my life would spiral down.  My wife was really happy that I'd finally made the leap.

I doubled down on my research, and narrowed it down to a local surgeon who had done about 300, and Dr. Gross.  To make a long story short (happy to share more if you'd like to PM me), I chose Dr. Gross and made the first possible appointment to have both hips done in the same week (both hips were so bad the I literally didn't have a good leg to stand on, and he recommended that I go ahead and do both, as my recovery from a single would likely be slow with the other hip still being shot).

Fast forward to a month ago.  Travelled from Dallas to South Carolina on a Sunday, had surgery on Monday and Wedesday, flew home that Saturday.  Surgeries were a non-event. Was thinking at the hospital that I couldn't believe I'd waited so long....Was up walking hours after each surgery, and attending my kids events within a week of getting back home. NO HIP PAIN!!  I'm now 4 weeks post-op, and am about ready to ditch the crutches.  Muscles are sore, but no grinding, piercing joint pain.  I have hope again.  I joke around.  I'm confident that tomorrow will be better than today. I've a long way to go, but am on the way to having my life back!!

Good luck with your research and decision; we all work through this in our own time for our own reasons.  As others have said, this is a great place for learning and support, don't hesitate to jump in!!

Richard 
LH Biomet Uncemented - Dr. Gross/Lee Webb 7/25/2011
RH Biomet Uncemented - Dr. Gross/Lee Webb 7/27/2011

jjmclain

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 11:53:08 AM »
Richard, great story! Thanks for posting!

DGossack

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 02:44:56 PM »
Richard-

Thanks for sharing.  These are the stories that can make a difference in a future hippy's life.

Dan
LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 8/1/2011
fullmetalhip.wordpress.com

Luann

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 05:57:44 PM »
Hippychick,
 
 Read Richard's story as many times as it takes, insert almost all our names on this website in place of his. He said it exactly like I would have.
 I was 45 when I had it done. Now 14 months later, I have my life and sanity back. I was scared and nervous, too. It is absolutely normal to feel that way. You have to get to the point where the thought of NOT having something done scares you more than the surgery itself. Good luck, Lu
F age 45 right hip C+ Dr.Sparling 6/02/10

Hippychick

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 03:27:47 PM »
BLESS YOU ALL!!!!  Honestly, I am in tears (happy) to hear your stories...it is so wonderful to know that I am not alone and hear all your courageous stories and how it has returned you to the life you knew you should be living~after so long, you begin to wonder/feel "crazy" b/c it is so emotional.  What's more ironic is that I am actually a therapist who deals with this in clients everyday!!!  I am going to start my research TODAY and "get on with it" as my Mother would say!  Thank you again~you can't imagine the relief this has brought to me...I will keep you posted...and my personal motto... "a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step  (one that is pain free!!!)"

Luann

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 01:38:06 AM »
HC,
 So glad we could ease your mind a little. This website was and still is a Godsend for me, too. We are thinking about you. Good luck on your journey and keep us posted.   Lu
F age 45 right hip C+ Dr.Sparling 6/02/10

steveallan

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 12:34:48 AM »
Hi, you mention try getting a surgeon with .>500 behind him. I checked with mine again today 1300 thr and 140 hr, is this not enough. I am nhs so cannot chose a certain surgeon.

maxx6789

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Re: contemplating hip resurfacing vs. replacement
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 01:35:20 AM »
i think we all agree that "more is better" but 140 (in my opinion) is NOT a trivial number. when i was doing my research, i read multiple surgeons answer this question (i think their answers were on this, pat's, web site) ... the numbers they used varied from a low of like 10 to 500 with various numbers in-between. if i were you, i would ask ... does this surgeon have a GREAT  reputation? are they doing hip resurfacing on a REGULAR BASIS now (are they currently doing hip resurfacing weekly, etc)? are they CONFIDENT that hip resurfacing will provide you with the best chance to meet your long-term activity goals?

the surgeon i choose had only done 300 resurfacings (and over 5000 total hips) but he had a great reputation, said he does 1 or 2 hip resurfacing per week, and was confident hip resurfacing was the best option for me. i am only two weeks post-op, but so far so good!!! my operated leg is pain free and feeling stronger everyday.
Left BHR Della Valle, Sept 14, 2011
Right BHR Della Valle, April 4, 2012

 

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