John W's Hip Resurfacing Revision Story 2009

Hip Resurfacing Story

December 11, 2009

I'm 1 week post op and my doc does not want me to walk too much. He is focused more on range of motion issues so I'm doing a lot of stretching (easy stretching not like hard yoga or anything). On the other hand, if I had one, I could have been on a stationary bike the minute I got home from the hospital. I could get around much easier on 1 crutch or with a cane at this point but the doc insists on 2 crutches for at least 3 weeks.

Stairs are not an issue for me because I was doing them the same way pre-op.

I'm 10 days post op (Dr. Boettner at HSS). Have to agree that HSS is amazing

December 22, 2009

I actually waited for a year and a half before getting my resurfacing. The first two Docs I saw when I started to have aggravated hip pain wanted me in surgery the next day for a THR. I found this web site and then called Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. I was trying to get Dr. Su but he wasn't on my plan and they referred me to Dr. Boettner. After an examination by Dr. B, his first question was, "Why are you in such a hurry to get your hip replaced ?" He took a conservative medical approach and we monitored my hip condition regularly. At the end of October, this year, he stated that the window for resurfacing was closing. 5 weeks later I had the surgery and now I'm 18 days post op. If you've got a good doctor, trust his/her judgement. Pain is not always an accurate indicator for when the procedure is necessary. My pain could have been "tolerable" for quite some time but by the time it became intolerable, I would have had no choice but THR.

Revision Story

May 26, 2010

I had bone on bone OA. On 12/3/09, I went in for a right BHR. Things did not feel right afterwards. I felt like I had a softball stuck in my hip and that my operated side leg was significantly longer than the non-surgical side. I was told that this feeling was "normal" and that it would pass. It did not.

I was told at my 6 week follow up that due to my extreme bone density, the acetabular cup wasn't able to be set deep enough. There was at least a 5mm discrepancy that resulted in an uncomfortable offset and leg length discrepancy. I was told to give it time and it might work its way in. It did not. The joint itself became stable, however the pain and discomfort in and around the joint was worse than it was pre-op.

At about 12-14 weeks out, I was advised that I should have the acetabular cup revised and that there was an 80-90% probability of success. Went in on 5/21/10 and once again I drew the short stick. It was explained to my wife while I was recovering, that they were only able to get the cup in another 2-3 mm and this would not be enough to alleviate the problems I was having and that they were at the point of risking nerve damage so they converted to a large head MOM total hip.

So now I'm 4 days post-op and trying to wrap my head around this and how I can be a victim of my own good bone health. And seeing that denial and bargaining aren't on the table, I guess I'll be rotating through anger and depression for quite a while before I reach acceptance. Although I had tried to prepare myself for this potential outcome, it wasn't until after it actually happened that I realized how totally committed I was to resurfacing and how much my future plans were predicated on a successful outcome.

My understanding is that because the femoral component was already in place from my first operation and needed to be preserved, this made access to the acetabulum more difficult than a regular resurfacing. The choice of replacement acetabular components was also limited due to having to match the size of the existing femoral component. When the decision is made to go to THR and the femoral head is amputated, I just have to assume that it opens up a great deal of space (relatively) to work in and provides a wider choice in sizing of components.

The point of my post was not to disparage anyone but to blow off a little steam because of my unusual situation. There are many posts on this board where people had bones too brittle for a successful resurfacing, sometimes not discovered until the actual surgery. We don't often consider that there could be problems at the other extreme end of the bell curve. Outside of rboehmer's case and mine, I had heard of no others. Pat certainly has access to way more statistical info than I. And as she also stated (but far more eloquently) sometimes s*it just happens.

My surgical team is highly experienced, highly successful and highly recommended on this board, I would not hesitate to use them again.

December 3, 2010

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my short lived resurfacing. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, if I had to do it over again, I would have waited until my pain was intolerable and just gone straight to a THR. After 2 surgeries in the last year (BHR and revision to THR-described in other posts), I am more uncomfortable now than I was pre-op. Although I actually have a better range of motion, I now feel every step I take, get sore after sitting or standing too long and walk with more of a limp.
Six and a half months out from my second op and I still carry a collapsible cane with me "just in case". I'm not "supposed" to have a leg length discrepancy but from inside my body it sure feels like one. I can only walk comfortably with a lift in my shoe (non-surgical side). My unnatural gait has led to back pain and tendonitis in my heels.

And to top it off, 3 days before starting a new job, my metal hip started to squeal. Not just squeak, but squeal like I had stepped on a cat or something. Luckily, it settled down to squeaking like a rusty gate and was gone before my first day at the new job.

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