Friday, June 29, 2012

Crutches 7 Months Post-Op


At 7 months post-op I am still using my crutches.  I usually use my crutches to go to the mall, grocery shopping, or when I am going out to eat downtown and will need to walk more than a block.

I am not using my crutches when I am around the house, to walk into Starbucks if I have a close parking spot, or to pick up my medication at the pharmacy during non-busy hours.

I am slowly using my crutches less, but I am still in a lot of pain when I am not using my crutches.

My surgeon said that it is smart to use my crutches when I am out and about.

I have spoken to other people who were on crutches for 8, 9, 10 months or even over a year, but those people had been in a bad car accident and had broken multiple bones.  Ouch!!  But luckily they told me that they fully recovered.  At least I have some expert crutch company with those people.

Well, the sunshine came out and I am off to take my crutches out and about and I plan to take a swim today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

7 Month Post-Op Visit with Surgeon

The 7 month post-op mark is a big deal because it is when many patients feel better and when many athletes return to sports.

Then why am I not feeling better?  That was THE QUESTION for my surgeon and I didn't even have to ask because my surgeon knew that's what I was thinking.

Before I met with Dr. Sampson I took two hip x-rays to compare with my last post-op x-rays from a few months ago.  Dr. Sampson needed to compared my x-rays.  My joint space hasn't changed which is good.  I have a little bit less joint space on my surgical hip but not a huge difference.  My joint space is about .3 mm more or less.  .3mm isn't a fantastic amount of joint space but it is good enough.   Overall my x-rays look good and there hasn't been any further deterioration. 

My mobility is good and what Dr. Sampson could tell from my great mobility is that there are no adhesion inside my hip joint.  There may be some adhesion in hip flexor and surrounding muscles but those adhesion can work themselves out.

Okay, so why am I still in pain?  One reason I am still in pain is because my rectus femoris muscle is still healing from the surgery.   Dr. Sampson took part of my tendon from the rectus femoris muscle to graft me a new labrum.

Another reason I am still in pain is because a lot of my soft tissue inside my hip joint was frayed.  Dr. Sampson cleaned the tissue out to smooth out my joint, however little particles of the tissue are still floating around in my hip joint causing inflammation.  I just need to wait for my body to get rid of that tissue in my joint.

Also, since Dr. Sampson grafted a new labrum, that new labrum could still be healing.  All these things could be causing pain at 7 months post-op.

Dr. Sampson said some patients just feel better after 8 months or after 9 months post-op.  It is just a waiting game.  I have to be PATIENT!  At 27 it is hard to be patient, I just want to get on with my life.   I need to wait at least a year before considering a revision surgery.  A revision surgery could consist of cleaning up any adhesion inside my joint.  I have another follow up visit with my surgeon in November which is the 1 year anniversary of my surgery.

There is also a possibility that my hip may never feel good.  Ugh!  I don't want to think about that.

Dr. Sampson also sent me home with some Flector Patches samples.  Flector patches are an awesome anti-inflammatory patch that actually worked for me.  You change the patch every 12 hours.  It defiantly took my pain down at least 2 points.

Okay, well I am off to go be PATIENT and play the hip waiting game.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

7 Months Post Op

It is almost 7 months post op and I will see my surgeon in one week. My hip has been making small improvements but I am nowhere where I want to be.  It is really frustrating.  I do feel better than I did before my surgery but I have nowhere close to a normal hip.

Here are my improvements
  • I can ride stationary bike up to 60 minutes lowest setting medium speed
  • Go to the gym and do some low impact excercise
  • Improved strength and increased muscle mass
  • Good range of motion in my hip
  • Swim with little increased pain afterwards
  • Walking more without my crutches
  • On a good day I can walk around a grocery store while leaning on a cart and get most of my grocery shopping done
  • Some days pain levels can be as low as 3 without medication
  • With medication, I can have pain level 3 and be able to walk with a normal gait
  • I don't need my crutches around the house and I don't use them if I go to Starbucks or Subway as long as there is no line.

And now onto the Pain
  • Increase in pain with any standing or walking
  • My hip cannot take any sort of impact without increase pain
  • I am have 5-7 pain levels more days than not
  • I can't walk more than 10 minutes without increase in severe pain levels
  • My walk is slow and I must walk gingerly
  • My gait is usually not normal
  • I need my crutches when I leave my house to go shopping or if I will be waiting in line.
  • Some days I am in so much pain I don't want to get out of bed (like today)
  • Still have week hip flexor muscle and week thigh muscle
  • I can't go for long walks, go to carnivals, travel without my crutches and severe increase of pain.
Overall I am making small improvements.  I am grateful that I can ride a stationary bike and go swimming for exercise but I am really upset that I am still in so much pain and can't lead a normal life. I feel like there are so many things I can't do and that I am missing out on.

My surgeon said if I am not feeling better after 7 months we will need to start thinking about what to do next. I am anxious to see my surgeon.

Emotionally I definitely have ups and downs as well.  Some days I feel like crying but don't have the energy to do so.

On another note, I am thinking about starting a diet such as an anti-inflammatory diet and taking dietary supplements to see if it will help with inflammation and make me feel better.  Diets are sooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard though.  I will keep you updated and let me know if you have had any success with diets.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Happened?

Don't ask me what is wrong with me if you are not prepared for the answer.  Every time a leave my house up to dozens of people stop to ask me "What did you do to yourself?", "Did you hurt your knee?", " What did you do to your foot?" , "Were you skiing?", "What happened?" and so on.

As I begin to answer I can see people eyes begin to glaze over partly of all the medical conditions I have and all the medical terms that I use and partly because the nature of my injury is quite boring.  Here it goes:

I have a congenital condition (I was born with it).  I have a femoral acetabular impingement (FAI), hip dysplasia, femoral retroversion (out-toeing) caused by slipped capital femoral epiphysis, which all led to the degeneration of my labrum and avascular necrosis.


Sometimes this leads to more questions.
"How long will you be on crutches?"  I am not sure, maybe another month maybe indefinitely.
"Will you need another surgery?"  Yes.
"When will you have surgery?"  I am not sure.

Sometimes, on rare occasions, someone actually has this condition or a similar condition or they have a sister or daughter with this condition.  Like the nice man at Whole Foods who helped me out to my car.  He had his first hip replacement at 30 because of avascular necrosis.

So the point of this post is don't ask me what is wrong with me if you don't want me to tell you because I will tell you alright.  I was thinking about making post cards with diagrams to hand out but that might be too much.  I am actually getting pretty tired of telling people my boring story about my congenital condition.

I wish I had a more interesting story to tell for my injury like......
  • I was a professional skateboarder and ran into a pole
  • Professional surfer and got bit by a shark
  • I witness a bank robbery, tackled the robber and got shot in the foot
  • I'm a ninja, ninjas get injured too.
  • I was trying out for the part of Laura Croft in Tomb Raider 10
  • I met Jet Li, he is not as nice as he looks
  • Bar fight
  • Dropped by tattoo gun on my foot
  • Went skydiving and my shoot didn't open
  • I work at Fringe Division and my toe got cut off while walking trough the portal to the other universe
  • Plane Crash
Does anyone have any other suggestions of what I should tell people happened to me?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6 Months Post-Op

6 Months Already?

It has been 6 months since my surgery and I thought by now I would be feeling much better.  I am making a small amount of progress, but it is very small.  I am still using my crutches when I leave the house but not around the house.  I think I am more mobile when I am around the house though.  I am getting more housework done without being in too much pain.

Also, I am taking a pain medicine called Tramadol, as needed.  Tramadol helps to take the edge off of the pain when I do too much.  I usually take it at night only on days when I overdo it, which can be once or twice a week.

I am disappointed that I am not making more progress.  I still can't go to the grocery store without my crutches, or go to the gym without my crutches, or go anywhere where there will be too much walking.

The inflammation in my hip has gone down from when I went to Alaska.  Thank goodness.  I could not get out of pain when I was in Alaska.

I have been swimming, going to the gym, and stretching without too much increase in pain.  That is good!! I am still riding the stationary bike for up to 50 minutes which I couldnt even dream of doing before surgery.  By secret goal is to be able to take a spinning class, but that may not be for awhile.

I see my surgeon at the end of June and that will be my 7 month post-op visit.  My surgeon said many patients take 7 months to feel a difference in their hip because there is tissue floating around in the joint causing inflammation. 

In the meantime my other hip and knee are hurting from all the extra weight that my left side is taking.  This happened to me during my first surgery also.  I hope that the pain lets up on my left side of my body.