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Author Topic: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death  (Read 4109 times)

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CEK001

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Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« on: November 11, 2011, 06:22:22 PM »
Hi everyone.  I am brand new to this site.   I am 43 years old and I have HR scheduled for Dec 14.  I'm scared to death.  Actually crying as I write this... Not of the surgery, but of going through this all for nothing...

I should start with my backstory...

I've had 2 previous arthroscopic hip surgeries for labrial tears due to FAI.  In fact, it seems to have had surgery every 2 years - this next one is just about the 2 year anniversary of the last one. 

The first one they just cleaned up the tear.  The surgeon said he couldn't believe I was walking as I had so many tears. I actually had run on the tears for months before I broke down to see a doctor.  I'm a marathon runner and to us, what's a little pain.  (although, when it got obvious something was really really wrong, I did stop running, and right before the surgery I could barely sit without severe pain)

The recovery was hard the first 2 weeks due to terrible amounts of swelling, but after that I was up and about and back to running.  Then the tears started to happen again.  This time, the went in and did oestoplasty to shave the bones to fit better.  While overall I was moving better after surgery, I ached for months.  Finally, I got the go ahead to start running again.  It was a slow start, but eventually started to train for the Army 10 miler.  One bad run last summer and I decided to back off and stick to 5 miles on the treadmill.  At least I was still running.  Then last April, I did a hard run, then went scuba diving, then went dancing (I was on vacation) - it seemed all these activities at once did me in and I came back unable to walk.

I went to my surgeon and he said I have OA and he had never seen such a severe case progress so quickly.  6 months prior I had no signs of OA.  While he thought I needed resurfacing, we decided to try cortisone and PT for a while (I just couldn't wrap my head around OA and a replacement)  I was in such terrible pain, but had a little relief.  I went back to see my surgeon again a few months later when I realized there was no cure for OA.  He recommended Dr. Mont in Baltimore.  We also decided to try another cortisone shot.  This time, it was a miracle.  I was able to run (ok, a mile or two, but I was running), could walk without a limp. I couldn't bring my knee to my chest, but hey, who needs to do that!!!  I had some restrictions and a little pain here and there, but I felt great.

This was the state Dr. Mont saw me in.  He said I looked fine and he doesn't treat xrays but pain.  He said I could keep getting cortisone shots every 3 months for the rest of my life if it helped.  But no running as I could damage the bones and then no longer have a window for HR. 

As the cortisone shot began to wear off (only really lasted about 1.5 months and the pain slowly came back), I am back to constant pain.  I went ahead and scheduled the surgery but now absolutely terrified!!!!

Not of surgery, after 2 I'm a freaking pro at this.  Of not getting better.  Of being back here in a year or two or even 5 in the same place.   Of not giving cortisone more of a try.  Of waiting too long.  Of waiting not long enough. 

Dr. Mont also said I will have no limitations on running and can start as soon as 3-4 months post-op if I wanted.
 
But am I being foolish just to be able to run again?  Should I continue the cortisone for a longer period, knowing I'm pretty young and I will most likely wear out the HR in 10 years.  It would mean cycles of pain and feeling great, but there would be lots of good times.  I feel odd that I'm doing the surgery even though Dr. Mont said I wasn't in pain so I shouldn't do it.

Everyone who knows someone with a HP/THR said their biggest regret is waiting too long.  Which is what is driving me to just get it done. And I know how quickly the pain can come and how severe it can get...don't feel like waiting around for that...  But what if I get it done and I still can't run. 

I have nowhere to turn and feel very scared.  As I write this, it actually is clear there is no reason to wait and a cycles of good and bad between cortisone shots is not a life to live.  But it doesn't make it less scary....

Thanks for listening and letting me cry on your shoulder... :'(
Christine

Dan L

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 06:45:10 PM »
Christine;

I completely understand, I started to panic about 4 weeks before my recent LBHR (Dr Brooks, Cleveland Clinic Euclid, October 2011) and can certainly identify with those emotions.  The good news is that with an experienced surgeon, this will help you if the experiences of many here are true.  Try to focus on the end point and what is to come, that helped me deal with the pre surgery anxiety alot, and the idea that I waited too long does seem true for me also.

I went through 2 rounds of injections in the past year (one time in both, once in right only [4 weeks before surgery]) and they helped for a while, but were temporary.  Both labrums for me were torn also and OA is the problem in my case as well.  The last year had been a dramatic decline, at 50, and pretty active (hiking, lanscaping, dogs etc, etc) but also realized I was at a point where I needed to do something.  Took some advice from the Dr from early this year and lost substantial weight and changed eating behaviors to keep it off, which helped a bit but not as much as hoped, but was ready for the surgery by early October.

I'm doing very well now 5 weeks out, and looking forward to getting off crutches if all is well next week during 6 week follow up.  No more pain in the hip joint after about 2 weeks after the operation, and most of what was there was muscle and tendon pain, not the joint itself.   Almost no prescription pain meds, just tylenol for me, after week 2.  I'm following the home excercise plan to a T and will do so for the first 12 months, and although the recovery is no walk in the park, it gets better virtually every day.

I did learn that my surgeon does not recommend further shots, at least in part due to risk of infection (about 1/2 if one percent per injection chance of that complication), so for me the idea of nursing along the other OA hip with injections is probably not going to happen.

Fooloish just to run again? Hard to say for you, but for me, the idea of not being able to walk, hike, garden, take my dogs ot etc without pain was more than enough motivation to get it done, as those things are pretty important to me, and I am very glad I did.  At 50 I know I have to accept some limits-- but with the surgery from a doc who has now done over 1100 of them with almost no major complications, -- gave me the confidence I needed to see better times ahead with reasonable limits that may or may not be a big deal.

I'm also confident this hip can last a very long time if I follow what I'm told, so maybe you'll get more than 10 years.

It sounds trite, but being positive is really helpful, and for me elsewhere in my life that has not always been easy, but I'm doing pretty well with that approach.

I hope it helps, and best of luck, it's almost certainly to get better once you are healed up, just give yourself enough time and positive thinking to get there.

Dan
LBHR Dr Brooks, 10/2011; RBHR 2/2012

Dannywayoflife

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 08:18:48 PM »
"knowing I'm pretty young and I will most likely wear out the HR in 10 years"
Why will you wear out a hr in ten years? There are guys like cloud londis the tour de France winner who does around 30000000 cycles a year his hr is still going strong! As is Corey foulks who has done more ultraman tris than anyone else! He's run thousands and thousands of miles, still his is in fine shape.
I'm 28 and am a former super fit guy who trained in mush thai for 15 years and numerous grappling arts, as well as being a reserve infantry soldier and running arounD like a loon carrying silly weight.
I'm not particularly worried about wearing a hr out. I intend on modifying my activitys slightly but I'm still going to box and do judo and jujitsu and other phys with my surgeons blessing.
If you have arthritic change in the joint and it's effecting your life impersonally would be co should a good hr surgeon.
Cortisone can preclude you from having hr as it is toxic to bone quality and so should be used sparingly and with care.
I'm no MD mate but these are the steps I've taken and although I'm having a rough home in hospital right now im confident my life will be back on tack in the next 12 months.
All the best Danny
Train hard fight easy
LBHR 10/11/2011 Mr Ronan Treacy Birmingham England
60mm cup 54mm head
Rbhr 54mm head 60mm cup 12/02/15 Ronan Treacy ROH Birmingham England
;)

CEK001

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 09:07:54 PM »
Thanks!  The closer I get to the date, the more I panic.  But just writing my feelings down on paper actually was healing. 

And I am taking the lower number of expected life of a HR as I do not have a great track record.  After 2 surgeries, I lost all hope that this will be it (the last two were suppose be "it" after all). 

But hearing both your thoughts on injections does help solidify that that is not an option.  Getting this done is my only option.  And waiting serves no purpose.

Thanks for letting me get it all out!!!
Christine

hipnhop

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 09:13:34 PM »
Christine,  Keep your head up.  This is why we get this surgery - so we can become active again. I had my right hip done in March and I can explode on a treadmill, however my un-operated hip hurts like hell and stops me after a few strides.  I don't support Cortisone because of my personal bad reaction to it only after two injections spaced six months apart.

Be careful.

If you have Dr. Mont on your team, you got a good team. He is one of the best. I am working with these jerks at Kaiser that are trying to force me to get a THR.  I don't know about you but I plan to wear this bad boy out in ten years. I want nothing left but a few scraps of metal.  Then I going to wear the next thing they put in me.

There is not enough discussion about the mental side of what we go through. I've been there and sought help. It made all the difference. T

Stay strong Sis. There are many good people on this site. Stay connected.
Hip
3/2011 and 2/2012 HR Dr. Craig Thomas

Boomer

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 10:02:46 PM »
Christine,

Best thing of many good things said to me on this website was the following.

"Scared. Don't be scared. This is when you get your life back!"

I'm scheduled to get mine back on November 30. You are going to get your life back too.

You have to believe.

Danny and Hip know better than me. Listen to them. Follow the other Hippys.

Boomer
RBHR with Dr. Rector on 11/30/2011
LBHR with Dr. Rector on 6/11/2012

PistolPete

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2011, 10:36:03 PM »
When is your surgery scheduled for?  I just had mine on Monday and like you was very nervous.  Early last week I got an ear infection and was actually excited because I thought I could postpone my surgery.  That didn't happen and I went thru as expected.  The surgery and post surgery are not a walk in the park.  However, in the long run things will be 1000 times better.  I'm a Martial Artist and own a Martial Arts school so being in shape and active and being able to kick and grapple are imperative.  This is why I chose to do the HR. Once you're completely healed there are almost no limitation with what you can and cannot do.  I'm 35 years old and I honestly plan on beating the crap out of this hip when I'm ready to go.  If I get 15-20 years out of it I'll be in my 50's and the need to be as active won't be there. 

Reading your post it's clear that your passion is running.  If you do what you're currently doing you're not going to be running. After your HR surgery and recovery I would bet you have a 95% chance of being an active runner again.  If you continue doing what you're doing you prob. have a 5-10% chance of being a runner.

I understand that you're nervous because the Arthroscopy wasn't sucessful.  I had Arthroscopy scheduled two weeks before my HR but cancelled it because of the low success rates esp. with OA.  You've made the right decision and will be in great hands.  Take a deep breath and think of your quality of life post surgery.  It will all make sense.

jjmclain

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2011, 11:31:31 PM »
Christine,

I had my surgery November 11, 2010, exactly one year ago at age 48. I turn 50 on the 25th. This surgery gave me my life back. I am a triathlete (competing in mostly IMs and half IMs, so marathons and 1/2 marathons are tacked onto the end of my races) and will be getting back to racing next year. I never thought I would be running pain-free again, but I am, and so can you. Surgery will enable you to run again...just be patient, do the PT, ease back into running slowly, and you will be running marathons again soon.

June

David

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 12:55:33 AM »
Christine...literally the thorn will be taken out of your paw...
David
RBHR Dr. Su 8/29/2011
www.jayasports.com

Pat Walter

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2011, 01:12:08 AM »
Hi Christine

Welcome to Hip Talk - land of bad hips and repaired hips   8)

You normally are not given more than 2 or 3 cortisone shots because they destroy cartilege and joints.  So doctors won't just keep giving them to you.  Some people have taken too many and their hips deteriorated too far to be able to have hip resurfacing and ended up with THRs. 

Dr. Mont is an excellent hip resurfacing surgeon.  There are a lot of Mont patients on the discussion group and stories on the website.

I also wanted to comment on several peoples thoughts that their resurfacings might only last 10 years.  I expect mine to last a lifetime because there is no reason it can't.  Many people have had their resurfacings more than 17 years so far, so there is no reason to think there is a limit on the length it will last. Basically, the actual hip components don't wear out - it is the bone growth around the components that wear out and stop holding the components in place.  That same thing happens with the long stem of THRs. They only last as long as the are help tight in the bone.   So it is not the device that determines how long it lasts - it is your body.  So I would not plan on having another surgery at 10 years - it could last a lifetime. There does seem to be an opinion by some medical experts that running and hard impact sports may make the components loosen quicker in athletes than regular folks.  So many people try to be a bit more conservative in their activities after their resurfacings since they have their lives back again.  Doesn't mean you can't run, but you might want to be a bit more conservative after your heal. Everyone has to think about what changes they want to make in their lives.

I am glad you are here.  The folks are very supportive as you have already found.  Keep in touch and you will get thru this.   You will be very happy to get your surgery over and back to being active.  You have really been thru a lot.  I hope you have a quick recovery.  Many of us had easy recoveries.  I used one crutch for 3 weeks, then did not need one.  Some people use them for months.  We just don't know ahead of time how quickly we heal - it just depends on our bodies.  It is good to plan on the long recovery and expect a quick one.  Most people are in the middle.

Good Luck.

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

Pat Walter

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2011, 01:15:46 AM »
Dan L

Welcome to Hip Talk and congratulations on the BHR from Dr. Brooks.  He is one of the best.

Would you please take your post above and post a new topic under Hip Stories since it is good to have it there too so other perspective Dr. Brooks patients can read about your experience.  Name it something like "My Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Brooks or 5 weeks post op with Dr. Brooks.  Something to identify your story and your doctor. 

Meanwhile, great to have you here and good luck.

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

hipnhop

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2011, 03:09:02 AM »
Listen to Pat, I am one of those people who had his hip cartilage and tissue destroyed by Cortisone. Not fun and I could not walk at all.  Lucky to be able to still have HR.  You will get through this and running the Army 20 miler with a I'm a Hippy Shirt - I'll join you and we'll be two Hippies.
3/2011 and 2/2012 HR Dr. Craig Thomas

John C

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2011, 06:11:42 AM »
Hi Christine,
I just wanted to echo some of the thoughts already written here.
Numerous cortisone injections may do extensive damage to your hip, making a future resurfacing difficult.
A too had arthroscopy, which only helped for a short time. I do not see that relating to how long the resurfacing will last.
My surgeon told me after my surgery, that he fully expected my HR to last the rest of my life, and he seemed very sincere in that forecast.
I am not a runner, but at 60, my HR allowed me to get back into running all over the tennis courts almost every morning, a sport that I had given up for over 10 years because of my hip prior to surgery.
Best of luck.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

Woodstock Hippy

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2011, 09:36:11 AM »
Hi Christine,

Like Winston Churchill said ''the only thing to fear is fear itself''. 

I've been a runner for thirty years. with 18 marathons, numerous half's, 1 ironman, plenty of half IM's, several ultra-marathons under my belt.  I saw a doctor for arthritis in my right hip two and a half years ago and he started me on cortisone and told me to stop running.  I took up long distance mountain bike racing and everything was good for a while.  The first shot lasted almost a year before the pain came back.  Then six months. Then I needed it in both sides and it didn't even last a week.  That's not the answer.  I'm having bilateral hips this Tuesday and I can't wait to get it done.  A month ago I was running again but in big pain, then walking for two hours but having a tough time getting home, now the pain starts in five minutes and standing still feels like my muscles are on fire.

Like Pat said, after your surgery it's a good idea to change your running goals and get away from the long distances on the road.  Trail running is bigger than ever and much easier on the body.  My plan is to do open water swim races, mountain bike races in the 6 hour to 100 mile range and try to get my 5K running time under 22 minutes at 62 years old.

We had a good time wearing out these joints, we can have just as good of a time with our new ones.  We just have to respect them a little more!
Bilateral, Dr Scott Marwin, NYU Joint Disease Hosp, 11/15/11

hernanu

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2011, 03:48:16 PM »
Hi Christine, you've gotten some great advice here, will chime in with my own take. It is scary, especially if you're used to having great control over your body. It feels like a betrayal of sorts, having put as much work as we have.

Like Woodstock says though, we have had a great time with what we've done, but there is no reason not to continue with a good life. Many have gone back to what they did before, others have switched to something just as good. You are taking the best step, I believe to go on with your life as happily as possible. The relief I've felt has been incredible and now my hips are becoming my best feature  ::).

The OA won't go away, and from other hippy's accounts, the shots are just temporary and in some cases people felt like tey accelerated the problem, so only from my opinion (yours is the one that counts), you are going the right way.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Aerial

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2011, 10:35:52 PM »
Hello- I am a fellow marathoner although I have not run for almost three years due to my deterioting hip.  I am having my surgery with Dr. Gross and he said I could return to running but he does not recommend marathoning.  I am absolutely fine with this ( short pain free runs would be great).  As my surgery gets closer, I am excited about "getting the thorn out of my paw" as someone else coined it.  Try to be positive.  Think about how good it will feel to be pain free!  As I get closer to surgery I have had several epic running dreams.  Perhaps our bodies tell us what we can and can not do!  I'd like to think mine is telling me I indeed might run pain free again....that is want keeps me going and excited about the surgery. Good luck!

PS- I also had surgery a year ago for labral tears and FAI.  I never recovered from that and my OA progressed at a rapid speed too.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 10:38:49 PM by Aerial »
Right hip resurfacing with Dr. Gross on 12/5/11!

23109VC

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 06:25:33 AM »
Christine...

I was in your shoes 9 months ago...I was really anxious about the surgery....I knew I needed to do it but I was scared.  I worried about all the what ifs, and things that could go wrong...in the end you just have to make peace with your decision to have the surgery and have faith your surgeon will do a good job and that you will have a good result.

I was at the point where I couldn't tie my shoes...limped 24/7 and was in constant pain....even in bed at night....laying totally still.i was in pain.  I was on pain killers and anti inflammatories for years......at first they helped...then they only kept me from being in debilitating pain.  I went off them for a week to see what would happen and I woke up one AM in agonizing pain unable to move....that scared me....

As surgery approached I was worried....but a lot of people here encouraged me that it was nowhere near as scary as I had built it up to be in my mind.   In the end, the most painful part of the surgical experience was the IV......seriously.  Even the post op painwasfarless than myarthritis pain preop.

It was so cool to wake up.....start to sit up....and when i  ormally would have startd to feel a shooting pain n my hip joint....there was nothing...my hip was "quiet" as i called it..... Amazing.

I wish I had done it sooner.  I truly feel like I got my life back.  I can play with my kids and enjoy the outdoors without constantly being on pain.  Ther are days where I don't even think about my hip.something's agent totally forgotten the old pain.....I often catch myself doing something and then think that I couldn't do it before surgery...or that if I did try it before, it would have hurt a ton.....and I really appreciate just being pain free.

The constant pain takes a toll on you.....and it is so wonderful that it is gone.

Congras on taking the steps to get surgery and get yourself fixed.  If your result is like mine...it is like a miracle fix!

Be brave....it's so worth it to have done!

IM me if you have any other questions!

Sean
Sean
Dr. Gross- Biomet uncemented, 2/23/11

Anniee

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 04:05:54 PM »
Christine, lots of good advice from people who have been through the process of deciding to have resurfacing surgery.  Yes, it is scary, but so worth it to get rid of the pain, and back to an active life!  OA does not get better by itself.  Cortisone shots are a temporary solution.  I did not have any before my surgery, because I was afraid that I would tear up my hip joints if the shots got rid of the pain.  That was before I knew that those shots can have bad effects on the bone and surrounding tissues.

I think once you have the surgery, you will be like most of the rest of us, who wish we had not waited as long as we did to get our lives back!
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

Luann

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2011, 08:40:20 PM »
Christine, chin up girl!!! I am a former athlete who also thought I was tough until the prospect of HR and sx came up (feel free to read through my posts!) I cried and cried and cried... then I realized how lucky I was to live in a day that I even had a chance of a "fix" (ie- modern medicine rules!!) and that I cared about quality of life more than anything. I became more scared of what I would end of like in the near future (on major drugs and immobile?) more that the sx, and how long it may last (I was 45 when I had it done). I am doing fabulous now, could run if I so desired (I save my activities for equestrian events) and decided I just better enjoy the HR while it lasts, be it 5 years or the rest of my life. Worrying just wastes my precious time! Anyway, get several opinions (from Drs who have done A LOT of HR's) and weight all your options. It sound like eventually you will have to have some type of sx done. I decided, being in my mid 40's, I was done with pain and limping around. Good Luck, hang in there, being a little scared and or nervous is normal. Lu
F age 45 right hip C+ Dr.Sparling 6/02/10

CEK001

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Re: Surgery Scheduled and Scared to Death
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 03:15:50 PM »
Thanks everyone!  My surgery is next Wednesday (Dec 14) and as it gets closer, I'm actually getting excited to get my life back. It was just hard to get my hopes up after 2 prior surgeries!

Christine

 

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