I posted this as a comment at “Jan’s Story-A View from the Other Side” I wouldn’t mind contributing this as a guest story. I’ll have more to add after I go through my next round of tests. Thanks!
I developed AVN of both hips. Had to have the left one replaced. It had totally collapsed 30 days after the initial diagnosis and I didn’t want to live with it that way at age 54 so I opted for surgery. The right side resolved on its own (thanks goodness!). I’d been on steroids about 3 years before the AVN reared its ugly head but had stopped taking it except for occasional bursts. Too late and I didn’t know, the damage at that point was just beginning.
For the surgery, I had a spinal and that was fine except it didn’t work. I was like “Excuse me, I can still feel and move my leg!” The anesthesiologist poked me with a needle because he didn’t believe me. I couldn’t see where he was poking and I yelled “OW!” So he had to administer more anesthetic. He said if I ‘d been a 200 lb guy, he would’ve proceeded with GA but since I was only 100 lb girl, it was easy for him to do another injection. I asked the anesthesiologist if he’d waive the use of sedation during surgery so I could hear what was going on. He didn’t but the dosing was light so I was able to hear my ortho sawing through my femur, reaming out my acetabulum then pounding in the prosthesis. That was pretty cool actually. I have a medical background so not much bothers me. The worst thing is poking at the lower half of your unfeeling body and how weird that feels. It didn’t even feel like…me. I had a lot or pain after surgery. I can’t take most opiates so my pain control was practically nil with just tramadol. I complained and asked for Fentanyl which I’d never tried. My ortho told me some of his patients didn’t react to it like other opiates. Amazingly, I had no reaction to it so bye-bye pain!
That was on a Tuesday. Went home on Friday. Where I lived then had stairs and no elevator . I had to pull myself up using the railing while my sister watched helplessly nearby. There really wasn’t anything she could do. I survived. The day after I got home, my sister took me out to dinner. I wanted to go but darn, I had to navigate those stairs again. I made it with effort and it was worth getting out to do do something normal!
I had a home nurse check my coumadin every day and had a PT come to my home 3 days per week. She even removed my stitches! 17 days after my surgery, I was driving my 5-speed sports car. 4 days later, no more crutches or walker. Woohoo.
All in all, I’d say that it wasn’t the worst time of my life. I lived alone so I found very creative ways to accomplish things around my home during that time, especially with my cats. Poor guys. It’s 4 years post-surgery and the ceramic on plastic replacement gives me minimal trouble. No running, no high-impact activities, no more skydiving, no water or snow-skiing. But I can walk!
I did have to go to the ER a week after the surgery. I developed blood clots in each leg. They checked for PE but the imaging was inconclusive. Because of that I had to stay on coumadin for three months. They wanted 6 months and I said “No!” and haven’t had any problems since.
6 months after the THR, I had a 3-level cervical fusion. Now that surgery was easy. In one morning, out the next afternoon. No pain at all. But that has now become a “failed” fusion and I’m looking at revision surgery but I am going to wait. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. Today I see the endo to do a work up for Addison’s. I really don’t want to have to start taking steroids again. Wish me luck!
Thanks for your site. I always like hearing about other peoples’ experiences with their THRs,