Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Chapter: Dr R.

New Chapter: Went to my new hospital and met with Dr. R. It was strange going to an "adult hospital" to meet with a hip surgeon ;). At Children's it's all bright and warm and friendly.....and loud! It has fishtanks and balloons....I know, I's a kids hospital, but being a patient at a hospital there is something to say about a comforting atmosphere. Nothing agaisnt my new was just so bare and "hospitaly" . The waiting room was the size of a cubicle for Dr. R unlike Dr M.'s large colorful waiting room with stickers and stuff ;) I just started feeling anxious in gave off a pretty depressing vibe..there was no covering it up..I was in a hospital!
I brought my hip book with me that weighs so much now that D had to carry it. My hip book contains all my Dr's reports, all my surgical reports along with the pictures they give you post surgery, as well as my PT papers, Dr's Notes, Cd's of my X-rays and MRI's. This is actually very helpful to have when you have a situation like mine, because when you see a new Dr. for a chronic situation it gives them a full medical view of the area of concern. After 4 years of surgeries, recoveries, etc. I forget a lot of what has happened now..dates, how many cortisone injections, etc. this is why the hip book helps and all my Dr's have found it very helpful too. So to you fellow hipsters out there I guess I would suggest having a hip book if you don't. 

I waited about an hour in the waiting room (this seems to be the average wait time in a surgeon's longest wait time was 4 hours!) Name called:
First up was another Dr who introduced himself, but I forgot his name..oops! He wanted to get all my basic info down, took my MRI and x-ray cd's and loaded them into the computer, and did a physical exam of me. Then took all the papers from my hip book he needed and left the room. About 5 minutes later him and Dr. R came in.

My first impression of Dr. R is that he seemed very nice and put together, he was older than Dr. M, and he was a guy who wanted to get to the hour visits like I had with Dr. M (and I don't think there will be hugs either ;))  Dr R and the Dr whose name I don't remember (sorry doc) started looking at my MRI's together like I wasn't even in the room... discussing my hip and all the problems they saw..I didn't completely grasped the whole converstion..they were having fun using real high level medical jargin ;) I really wanted in on this conversation....I should have went to medical school!

Then Dr. R said to me "I know all your hip surgeons, we actually have all been on my boat together" I wanted to say..well that's nice's good you all keep operating on me, so you can afford to go sailing around together...oh snap! ...but I kept my big mouth shut and said something like.."that's cool". ;) He then proceeded to do a physical exam on me pointing things out to Dr "I don't know his name". At that point he asked to see my surgical incision, and then told me to have a seat. He told me he had a long conversation with Dr. M about me and my hip which I thought was good...he got right to the source!

Dr. R then opened up his brief case which I though was just a regular briefcase, but the surprise was on was filled with hip parts! He then put a fake hip in my right hand and then went on to say...." You are a tall girl so you could handle this size metal ball, but you are also still in child bearing age, so we will go with a  ceramic ball. I don't think we should go with a ceramic pocket, because it could actually squeak at times, and then you couldn't sneak up on we can put a plastic cup into the metal socket instead which will give you a chance to do a lot of weight bearing on this hip, and still also be able to have children if you choose to do so...but if you do you may have to have a c-section instead of natural.  I just looked at him with the fake hip in my hand and a few tears rolling down my cheek and said, "Are you saying that my hip is definitely damage to the point that I have to have a hip replacement. That all three surgeries to fix my hip didn't do all!" He said, .."Yes!"

Even though I thought this would be the outcome I didn't think it would be so clear and definite..especially because of my age and all the surgeries I did to fix my hip. I wasn't expecting my reaction ....which was a mixture of sadness, anger, and panic! All the questions I had for him started slipping out of my head into an abyss somewhere, and for the first time I had nothing to say. Eventually I came up with a few questions mostly about recovery. He said the average stay in the hospital is 3 days, they put the hip in using a minimally invasive hip replacement procedure through your posterior region, so he wouldn't being going through the same area that has been operated on before. He did say I was at a disadvantage with 4 surgeries done in my hip (well I guess the screw removal was a waste of time since now I am removing the whole damn hip...ok I am still a bit angry ;)), but he has worked on many people in their 20's and 30's with similar situations. He said after that I would be home for a month with visiting nurses and PT and then within 3 months I should be walking on my own, but it could take 6 months or longer to fully recover. The goal would be that I would have a full functioning hip that could do all the things that I can't do now...pretty much the hope is that I can have my life (and hip ) back!..and that would be amazing!!! I don't remember what life was like with out this pain anymore.

At this point my body feels very weak has been through hell to put it mildly this past year. I have huge muscle loss in my right side along with the other issues (tendons, IT bands, bursitis, sciatic nerve, etc), so I have a lot to think about when choosing when I should do this. My physical therapist said to me that he feels this will be great for me, but he would like me to get a little stronger first so I have the best chance for this surgery to be a huge success. I also have a call into Dr. M. to discuss my visit w/ Dr. R.  So to conclude this very long new chapter: Going to get myself a new hip! When :TBD ....will get back to you on that :)


  1. So happy for you Sarah! I know it must be terribly frustrating that you've went through all these surgeries, for what now may seem like nothing, but it has all been a journey that is going to lead you back to life as you remember it before all of this hip junk began.

    I am surprised to hear that you will not be walking on your own for 3 months. I thought THR's were generally easier to recover from than FAI surgeries, and that people are walking on their own within just a few days?

  2. Thank You soooooo much Kate! and for reminding me about the positiveness of this journey and the end result. It can be up to 3 months on crutches or a all depends..they get youu walking the day after surgery...but to go from walker/crutches to on your own he said could take up to 3 months and that having my other surgeries puts me in a little bit of a disadvantage..but you never know I could get my wonder woman powers back and recover faster (fingers crossed)!!! The first month you can dislocate your replacement easily if you are not very careful so there are a lot of precautions and from there it all depends on the person. I have been googling THR websites all day trying to get more info since I have about 100 questions now that I left my apt w/ Dr. R. I will keep you updated. Thanks for all the support and I hope all is well with you :)

  3. Have you considered or asked about getting a hip resurfacing instead. For somebody as young as you this could be a much better option than THR.

  4. @Anon: The Dr mentioned it..but he said it would not be an option for me..I was still in kind of a state of shock..I didn't actually ask him why..and I usually good with the questioning. He said THR was my only option..minimally invasive THR. I am going for a 2nd opinion in a few weeks to just ease my mind.

  5. Sarah- what has your research taught you in terms of materials? I know he is recommending a ceramic on plastic, with a posterior approach. What are your thoughts on that? Any research on the direct anteriro approach? You are not a candidate for metal on metal bc you are still in your childbearing years, but are there other options? -susie

  6. Hi Susie,

    I actually called him the other day with those specific ?'s but have not gotten a call back yet. Going to actually try to call back now. My PT guy said the anterior approach may not be good for me because of scar tissue and other surgeries and that is where the issues are..i am trying to do a lot of research now to ask ?'s at my 2nd opinion apt and to ask DR. R. Thank You :)

  7. Sarah, have you had your second opinion yet?


  8. Hi Lisa, I am actually going this tuesday feels like the wait has been forever, but almost here and then I will hopefully have a plan in action for who is doing it and when. :) Hope all is well with you! Sarah