Thought it was time to report back on my lovely new hip! I had by
left hip resurfaced on Friday 16th Nov with an Adept device in the
end, as this gave my surgeon better sizing options than the BHR. My
surgery was carried out at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt
Orthopaedic in Oswestry (UK) under the care of Prof James
The actual procedure was undertaken by one of his excellent team,
Mr. Andrew Bing. Prof has completed 500 resurfacings in the past 10
years, and his team another 600 in the last 5 years under his
supervision. As a UK citizen all this was courtesy of the NHS after
being on the waiting list for just 4 months.
Enough facts and figures, this is how it went! I was admitted the
night before onto a ward with a superb team of nurses, health care
assistants, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. I met the
anaesthetist that evening and I was delighted to see it was Dr.
Connry who had anaesthetised me last year for a hip scope and who
had done a great job. Can’t say I got much sleep that night but
luckily I was first down to theatre before 9am so I didn’t have to
wait too long. In the end I opted for a GA though up until a few
days before I had thought about having it done with a spinal and
sedation! I chickened out of that and I think it was the right
decision for me! Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery and
feeling pretty good. I drifted in and out of sleep there for another
couple of hours I think and arrived back on the ward at about
1.45pm. All the usual disturbances every few minutes for obs (or
that’s how it seemed!) and I quickly felt quite awake.I had a
morphine pump which I could administer myself, a saline drip and
some nice oxygen to help me along and no pain due to a lumbar nerve
block. My husband arrived at 3.30 and I was so pleased to see him!
The rest of the day was spent very quietly a little bit to eat and
drink and lots of naps. I was still comfortable and only used the
morphine a couple of times in the night, more to help me sleep than
due to pain! The next adventure was getting on to a bed pan, a bit
of a balancing act and I will spare you the details!
Day 2 The block had worn off but I was still experiencing very
little pain. The worst thing was the discomfort of sleeping on my
back and that made me ache, and the muscles in my left thigh felt
like I had climbed several mountains! Nothing in the drain and that
was taken out early in the day, an ouch moment I admit. In the
afternoon the PT got me up on my feet and into an armchair,
unfortunately I only stuck that for about 10 minutes before feeling
woozy and like I might faint so it was back into bed. That was a bit
of a low point as I was enjoying being out of bed! By the evening
all the lines came out and I’d only used the morphine 6 or 7 times.
Nice to have them out and easier to move about.
Day 3 Still not getting much sleep what with the comings and goings
on the ward and failing to come to terms with sleeping on my back!
Had my first walk using a frame this morning, only about 20 feet,
but great to be on my feet. Sat in the chair for longer with no ill
effects. Lots of visitors, my Mum, brother, and best friends in the
afternoon. Impressed them with a walk to the nurses station and
back! Husband and eldest step daughter this evening, they could see
a real improvement in me.
Day 4 Very tired, sleep deprivation taking its toll. Up on elbow
crutches this morning, got to the bathroom under my own steam!! 11am
PT had me climbing stairs, 2pm OT had me getting in and out a car,
moving around the kitchen, getting onto the bed independently and
getting my own underwear and trousers on! Nice to be able to do
those things again without asking for help. Signed off as safe to go
home by the therapists, but staying in another night so I can see
the consultants the next day.
Day 5 Prof arrives early to give me the once over. Asks to see me
walk and tells me off (in a nice way!) for "shufffling along", tells
me to walk properly and push through the toe of the operated leg.
"Yes of course it hurts" is his response to my look of fear! He was
right of course, I did need to walk properly and it didn’t really
hurt as much as I expected! He made me walk back towards him
floating the crutches off the ground which was a bit more
challenging, but I did it. He declared me "category green", ie able
to go home and do everything normally, sit on low chairs, lie on my
side, bend, twist etc. The therapists are rather more cautious and
say the exact opposite, but admit that it is the Profs confidence in
the resurfacing procedure he uses that directs his approach. As a
patient this is a bit confusing but we have settled on the "do what
feels right for your body" and that is how I plan to continue. This
afternoon my husband takes me home. It is a cold, damp, grey English
day, but fresh air has never tasted so good! The car journey home is
only 40 minutes and I count my lucky stars to be living so close to
one of the best (and with the cleanest operating theatres in the
world) orthopaedic hospitals in the UK. It is great to be home!
Day 6 to now Settling back into routine and getting better every
day. No pain to speak of, just a bit sore around the incision and
muscle aches in the thigh. Went for a short walk down the road in
the sunshine on Friday. I think my biggest problem will actually
come from my right wrist, I had an STT fusion a couple of years ago
which has left my wrist unable to bend back and I therefore have no
"spring" in my wrist. That tires before the legs do! Since yesterday
I am only using 1 crutch around the house and that increases
independence hugely of course.
Prof Richardson’s philosophy is that for the first 3 weeks post
surgery you spend as much time as possible on your feet and walking
about to stimulate bone growth into the replacement. Weeks 4 to 6
you then do the exact opposite, stay at home, keep walking to a
minimum and let the whole thing "bed-in". After that you work at
getting back to doing everything as normally as possible. I imagine
therefore, weeks 4 – 6 will be the toughest, feeling able to do
more, but not!
Well, that brings us up to date, I will give you an update next
week. But for any one out there trying to make up their minds
whether to have the surgery, I would say "go for it"!
Best wishes and thanks to all those who have gone before me, with
your stories and words of encouragement.