Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Hip Situation

I saw my orthopedic surgeon last week so that he could decide if the month of physical therapy had helped my hips.  Well, the first three weeks did, but then someone new overworked me the first day of the last week and I developed a lot of pain.  So the last week I had to take it very easy.  

On the bright side, my range of motion and strength improved. On the darker side, my physical therapist was sadly shaking his head as he heard and felt all the clicking going on in both hips... And both knees.  Ugh.  

To date, I'm still very sore since that fourth week of therapy, but the first three weeks did make me feel better.  Oh well, the PT was just a hopeful try toward smoothing down the frayed cartilage that showed on the MRI.  I wanted to try it before having exploratory surgery.

As my doctor explained it, an MRI doesn't always show the complete picture inside a ball and socket joint such as the hip.  He said it's possible that I do have a large tear that the MRI couldn't image.  It's just the nature of the beast.  *sigh*. So my next step is an X-Ray-guided injection directly into the inside of my hip joint.  It's supposed to hopefully, block the pain.  It might also permanently block all sensation in that leg.  That's why I'm worried about having that done.  I've got a nasty tendency toward that leg collapsing when I can't feel it.  And then I fall, hard, like the giant on the severed beanstalk.

Cortisone injections directly into the joint can cause joint deterioration, so I won't allow it more than once.  He said I will have to keep a very detailed day by day journal on exactly what and where I feel pain and weakness, in order to decide the next steps to take.

If I do have to have surgery, I'll admit that I'm a little scared.  I won't know if it's just a matter of trimming the tear, or stapling the tear back into the bone, or a hip replacement at some point.  I don't want to wake up and be unable to walk, much less run.  

Well... when I do have surgery, there are a few things I'll have to insist upon.  First, that the anesthetist weighs me so that they can get the dosage correct.  Last time they didn't even ask, and I woke up early.  Then I panicked and started fighting the wires and restraints that were attached.  I just remember waking up terrified in a doorway and the nurse being pretty freaked about it too.  What happens if I wake up during surgery and panic?  There wasn't any rational thought there -- just fear.  I suppose I'll tell them what happened.  I will also insist on going to the bathroom a couple of times before surgery.  The nurse just shrugged it off, but that was an embarrassing reality to wake up to. *Sigh* 

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