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Author Topic: any second thoughts prior to surgery?  (Read 2162 times)

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lizard

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any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:05:16 PM »
Now that I have set a date, my hip feels better than it did.  Not normal, but better.  Maybe it's a trend in the right direction?  Maybe it's just a good day?  Maybe I'm just not being patient enough? Did anyone else go through this feeling of whether to go forward or keep waiting?  I would like to be able to run again, and I know I can't do that unless I have surgery, and even still it's no guarantee.  But maybe I would be able to bike and swim (I couldn't last month, hurt too much.  Now I can swim a bit, but still not bike).

Joe_CA

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 05:34:43 PM »
Hi Lizard.

I bet many here have second guessed their decision to undergo this surgery many times, especially as the surgery date draws nearer. I didn't do this however, because I waited many years too long because I was unaware of this type of surgery. Another common theme expressed here is that many state that knowing what they know now (after surgery), they're critical of themselves for not getting the surgery sooner. I'm definitely in this category (I'm currently 4 months after bilateral surgery).

This is just my two cents, but if you can't even bike currently, then I'd say it's time to get something done. I could even bike a little (it was painful though) prior to surgery. And you'll likely find out that post-surgery, biking comes back relatively easy. I was on a stationary bike after 2-3 weeks, and have mountain biked (carefully) at the 2 month mark. For me, biking was something that came back quickly, though you'll only have perhaps 75% of your strength back in the first several months.

I totally understand how you can be hesitant to undergo surgery on those days where your hips feel almost normal. However, if your condition is anywhere close to being bone-on-bone, then you will probably soon have far more bad days versus good days in the years to come.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
Bilateral patient
Dr. Gross
December 12, 14 2016
Biomet (uncemented)

catfriend

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 06:32:14 PM »
I was having a series of "good days" at the time of my surgery. It made me wonder if I could put it off even a few months. However, even on good days I had reached the point where I was still feeling pain all the time, and I could no longer take walks/hike, or kick my legs while crawlstroking. After all, I didn't really want surgery, I just didn't want to be in pain anymore. The two were not compatible, so surgery it was. Here's the deal: arthritis never gets better. You may have good days and bad days, but it's never going to heal up. You will only get worse over time.

I experienced a lot of anxiety beforehand, especially as the surgery got closer. I needed the anxiolytics as soon as they put a line in. What you are feeling is normal.

If I had known I had full on arthritis sooner I would have had surgery sooner.

Robert224466

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 11:31:29 PM »
Every time I visited a surgeon for a consult, my hip felt better! And before the surgery it was great. My friends made fun of me and I went for it. Couldn't be happier 8 months out.

MattJersey

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 06:55:13 AM »
I am pretty sure I asked the same thing ahead of my surgery. Very odd, perhaps our fears are generating adrenalin or some optimistic endorphins are kicking in to mask the pain ... But very definitely I had several doubts, it doesn't feel bad enough (today) or perhaps I can wait a little longer.


I think you will, like I did, feel your regular pain again soon (don't worry!) and when that time comes reassure yourself and feel more confident you have made a good decision. Best wishes it all goes well for you, no reason to think it won't, as it has for most everyone on this forum and many others besides.

28 April 2015, RBHR Mr McMinn

petemeads

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 12:50:12 PM »
My surgeon said the right hip had about 2 years to go but the left needed prompt attention. Almost to the date my right hip suddenly became permanently painful (during a hilly hike). I should have gone to see him after Xmas but waited until now because of booked holiday in March. I can still bike (and set a PB yesterday over 20 miles) but running is too unpleasant and walking is very limpy. Despite the great success of my left BHR, having had my best running and cycling year in 2016, I still try to find reasons to defer the next op!
Waiting to see what my surgeon says on Wednesday, hoping I am still suitable for BHR and that he is prepared to do the job...
In your case, getting it done ASAP is a no-brainer I reckon.
Age 69, LBHR 48mm head 18th Nov 2014 and RTHR 36mm head Zimmer ceramic/ceramic 2nd May 2017 by Mr Christopher Kershaw, Spire hospital, Leicester UK.

Boomer

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 01:21:53 PM »
lizard - Life is passing you by. You are living in pain. You are missing out on lots of fun stuff because of your bad hip. Get it fixed and get your active life back. No reason to wait.

Good luck to you.

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

Granton

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 02:33:42 PM »
The night before my first bhr, I remember considering getting up and going home. "What am I doing here? It's not really THAT bad."


I did not have that with the second one. I knew that it was worth getting it done.
David
Rt BHR Nov 1999
Lt BHR Oct 2013
Mr D McMinn

vonhouser

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 06:59:03 PM »
@Petermeads, love the term "limpy"!


I think there is another question, what do the X-rays show? Are you bone on bone? I was, and that was the deciding factor for me, because after that, you are just wearing away at the integrity of your bone, which you need for a successful surgery.
49 yo Female
Wright Conserve+ with Koen de Smet
Scheduled December 7th, 2016

mmooney42

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 04:04:51 PM »
Lizard,

I think I cancelled 3 scheduled surgeries prior to going through with it.  I had a lot of anxiety about the surgery.  Eventually, the pain became more severe and more consistent.  I realized I was declining to play with my kids in the yard because I knew my hip would hurt.  By then I realized I knew it best to get it done.  But to answer your question, I second guessed it many times.  I just passed my 3 year anniversary and there are times when people will ask me about my hip, it takes me a second or 2, to remember which hip I had resurfaced.

Best of luck.

Matt
Left Hip Resurfacing, Dr. Robert Marchand, 4/2/14.  Age 44 at time of surgery.

lizard

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 10:01:12 PM »
Thanks, all your replies have been very helpful.  While I'm not bone-on-bone yet, all the orthos I've seen agree it's just a matter of time, and I definitely can't run.  Only 6-7 months ago I finished a great triathlon season!  I hit rock bottom pretty early on -- lost lots of cartilage even though I stopped running.  At that point it hurt to even move.  Now I can swim (if I minimize the kicking) and bike, but I can't stand long or walk very far before the pain kicks in.  But I am on an improving trajectory compared to where I've been. But I know although it may get somewhat better, it will eventually get worse.  I'm terrified of the surgery.  It's so permanent.  I am a radiologist and I see too much, y'know.  My doctors here are not big fans of hip resurfacing, so they think I should wait as long as possible before getting THR, but that's not what I think is best for my very active lifestyle, plus I'm only 47.  They are saying that bcs THR would likely not last my lifetime.  I plan to live to be 110!  But I think my chances are better with hip resurfacing.  Of that I have no doubt.  My fears are complications, or ending up worse than I am now.  I feel like I've been tainted by the hope one of the local orthos put in my head -- that I might recover enough to do all the things I want to do EXCEPT run, and that if I do it so young I will need revisions to the point there are no options.  Anyway, I'm definitely a believer in hip resurfacing, I'm just scared and wonder if I should put it off.  But since I feel it is inevitable, and the stars aligned with my schedule and Dr. Gross' schedule, perhaps the universe is sending me a message that I should close my eyes and jump on May 10!!

petemeads

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2017, 11:02:15 AM »
Hi Lizard, I am due to get my second BHR on May 2nd (5 days time) and have been through the pros and cons many times. I have the benefit of being 66 so devices do not have to last so long (and have a friend with a 20 year old BHR as reassurance) and believe that a well-fitted device should last forever - my first one has already done several thousand miles on foot and bike and last year was my best for ages. Unfortunately the other hip went bad very quickly just before Xmas and the X-ray looks awful. Yes, there is a risk to all surgical procedures but does having a perfect result first time give you more confidence or are you pushing your luck to expect the same? I don't know for sure but I hate being crippled, walking is unpleasant and running requires dosing with Ibuprofen. Biking is surprisingly almost unaffected so I am managing to stay fit and will use my static bike for recovery.
I hope we can compare notes as we set sail on our new journeys!
Age 69, LBHR 48mm head 18th Nov 2014 and RTHR 36mm head Zimmer ceramic/ceramic 2nd May 2017 by Mr Christopher Kershaw, Spire hospital, Leicester UK.

chuckm

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2017, 01:57:38 PM »

Hey Lizard, it really seems like orthopedic surgeons and their groups that cannot do hip resurfacing never endorse it. Sadly, it seems like it comes down to the fact that hip resurfacing impacts their total hip replacement business. There are few stories, if any, where a THR surgeon refers a patient to a resurfacing specialist.


Surface hippies tend to be independent critical thinkers and we can do our own research. I was utterly disappointed in my own local surgeon, who was still quite young, when he recommended me to suffer ten more years and then get a THR. But, after studying resurfacing, it was an easy decision simply by the data alone. And, the fact that resurfacing will not prevent you from having a primary THR if something were to go wrong. Why wait and suffer? At 46 years old I went to New York City to have mine done.


Pain control is so advanced nowadays that the whole surgery is quite painless. As far as being permanent, yes, you want this to be permanent. It is that good.


Chuckm
Left BHR 11/30/12
Hospital for Special Surgery
46 years old

Joe_CA

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 05:55:24 PM »
Hi Lizard,

As you know, this important decision affects you and your health, so only you can decide if and when to undergo this major surgery. Yes, it's major, but as others have stated here, when you chose an experienced surgeon, the chances for less than optimal outcomes are exceedingly small. Experienced surgeons publish failure rates at less than 2,3 percent. And this isn't simply post-surgical failures that occur within the first several months. These are failures for all the active patients that are performing all sorts of hardcore activities going *ten-plus* years out, including patients who have complications that are not related to the skills of the surgeon and/or the device (e.g. some unlucky patients have poor bone quality).

So, IMHO, your choice to wait should not be founded solely on focusing on what could go wrong. And as chuckm stated above, be skeptical of the advice and opinions provided by surgeons who do not perform hip resurfacing. These physicians appear to be unfairly biased against HR due to a variety of possible factors, whether that be the loss of potential business, or a reliance on anecdotal accounts of failures by inexperienced surgeons etc. Probably the most disappointing and eye-opening episode of my story was my interactions with my local surgeons/sports-medicine doctors. Their failure to provide me with an informed and honest assessment of HR was a let down to say the least. And my story wasn't unique. I'd guess most of us experienced the same exact pushback from our local surgeons.

The part of your reasoning which allows me to *not* provide encouragement to rethink your choice to wait is the fact that you're currently satisfied with what you're able to do athletically, and not in any great pain. Nobody should feel compelled to undergo any surgery if they're not properly motivated. So if you're happy right now, then wait. In this website, they always say "You'll know when you're ready.". Then again, they also always say (and that includes me), "Damn, I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to do this!". :-)

So please continue to visit this site, and do your research. Hopefully you will at least be able to lessen your fears of the (rare) downsides of this surgery.

Good Luck.
Bilateral patient
Dr. Gross
December 12, 14 2016
Biomet (uncemented)

lizard

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2017, 07:22:04 PM »
Dear Joe_CA,


Sorry if I said I was happy with what I can do now.  I absolutely am not!  I can only bike with sometimes no pain.  Occasionally swimming feels okay.  But I can't walk much or stand, much less run.  And I have 3 boys ages 7, 9, and 12, so I want to be far more active than I can be now.  So I am ready.  I feel secure with my decision, and even a bit excited!

Joe_CA

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2017, 07:49:10 PM »
Oooops. Sorry Lizard. When I first read your last message somewhere I interpreted that you were definitely going to put off your hip resurfacing since you were on an "improving trajectory" from your recent triathlon season, and that you could still bike and swim etc and you would be okay with that for the time being. But after reading it again, it appears you're not doing so well, can no longer run, and merely apprehensive about the surgery. My bad.

It's still your decision of course. I think most of us would recommend you go through with it, the sooner the better (including keeping the May surgery date). If you're as fortunate as myself, and several others in this thread, you could very well have an excellent recovery, and should be very pleased with the outcome. Dr. Gross's patients have a very small rate of permanent complications. I'm no tough guy by any means, but I personally had almost zero stress thinking about the upcoming bilateral surgeries. I kept thinking "Bring it on, and let's end this pain!". The reason I was not apprehensive was after researching here (and other sites), it was clear to me experienced surgeons have the procedure down to a routine. Now it would have been different for other types of surgeries of course (e.g. spinal surgery). I probably would have been sweating up to the very moment they knocked me out. But since you're closer to the day-to-day inner workings of the medical field, I understand why you may be a little scared.

Okay, so you have my opinion. I wish you luck on your ultimate decision.


Bilateral patient
Dr. Gross
December 12, 14 2016
Biomet (uncemented)

karlos.bell

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Re: any second thoughts prior to surgery?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2017, 07:28:58 AM »
 8) ;D Nope not at all.
Being on crutches for 8 years and in chronic pain is not a good idea of a life IF!!! there is some help on the horizon. Set your goals low and if you get back into running then its a major achievement not a let down.
Do your home work on the surgeon and make them aware to do the best for you.

Along those lines
Keep positive through others experiences, if you get back into running that would be so awesome.

Cheers K
2019-2020 THR Left & Right COC Revision Zim Continuum cup with Biolox Delta Cer Liner, Biolox Delta Cer Head 40mm 12/14 Taper, CPT Stem Cem.
2019-2020 removal of Hip Resurfacing due to Metal Toxicity Cobalt - Chromium.
2011-2013 FAI hip surgery failure
2007-Injury wakeboarding with FAI Hyperflexion

 

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