I am 37 years old man, living in The Netherlands and I had done this year a L-BHR on 3 February and a R-BHR on 4 August, 6 weeks ago.
My story is pretty similar to most, but I would like to highlight some key learning’s during my process.
· Mid 2008 – first complain, stiffness and light pain to left hip. Annoying stepping in my bike and a bit of limping walking. I was thinking, it is something will go away by itself
· Spring 2009 – First X-ray – diagnosed arthritis to both hips
· April 2009 – First appointment with orthopaedic surgeon from Renier de Graaf hospital in Delft. MRI scan
· Summer 2009 – Complain to right hip getting more annoying. Severe pain to left hip after medium range walks. Unable to play normally with my young children. Sometime limping heavily. Impossible to run, difficult stepping in the car. Difficult sleeping at night. Quality of life reduced
· End of summer 2009 – 2nd appointment with orthopaedic surgeon from Renier de Graaf hospital in Delft. I was told that I was not eligible to hip resurfacing. Due to my age, he strongly suggested to hold on as much as I could as 2-3 THR’s during my life would be needed and very difficult to perform. He recommended a sport to increase muscular tone in both legs. Prescribed celebrex 200mg if needed or paracetamol
· October 2009 – Physical therapy did not help anymore. Quality of life reducing every day. Physical therapist tried to contact my family doctor to recommend chirurgical action to my case, he also suggested a second opinion. Appointment with my family doctor who discouraged me to go for a chirurgical procedure and to send me for a second opinion. Instead he prescribed me celebrex 200mg to take daily and recommended to change physical therapist.
· November 2009 – changed physical therapist, became “addicted” to celebrex 200mg which I have started to assume daily. Pain killers helped a bit to manage pain and to increase slightly the range of motion. My new therapist told me that he would buy me a bottle of wine if I was able to resist without a surgery to the following Christmas as the condition of my hips was really bad.
· September 2010 – even assuming celebrex almost daily, my quality of life commenced again to reduce. I was unable to walk 5 minutes (!) without pain and severe limping. I have heard from a friend that a new orthopaedic clinic was open in Delft: Orthopedium. I requested (with no room for negotiations) my family Doctor to have a second opinion
· September 2010 – First appointment at Orhopedium clinic with Doctor Bruins. Looking at the X-rays he was surprised I was still able to manage the pain and to walk as the condition of my hips was terrible in particular the left. He recommended to contact the “Hips Specialist” in Orthopedium: Doctor Eric Breemans (orthopaedic surgeon). He explained me that due to my age the best solution for me would have been a BHR. He suggested to go for the surgery as soon as I wanted.
· Winter 2010 – Situation getting only worst. Unable to go for grocery as the rotation of my hip when pulling the shopping kart was basically blocking me for 1-2 days. Impossible to sleep at night without 3-4 interruptions due to pain. Feeling extremely tired at the end of the days. Unable to play with my kids. Unable to walk over 100-200 meters without pain. Celebrex did not help anymore.
· January 2011 – Contacted Orthopedium clinic for an appointment with Doctor Breemans. I was booked for a visit within 5 days which is standard time at Orthopedium. Doctor Breemans had no hesitations to book me for a L-BHR surgery. I have asked him why at the Renier de Graaf hospital they were offering me only a THR. He said that he would go for a BHR and if needed change it to THR, but explained it had never happened to him.
· 3 February 2011 – 3 weeks after my appointment I had my L-BHR done. For big surgeries, such a BHR, Orthopedium clinic uses an operation room in a very modern hospital near Rotterdam: Vlietland Schiedam. I had a general anaesthesia since doctor Breemans prefers to use it for BHR procedures to achieve a better muscle relaxation. When I woke up in the recovery room I have asked the anaesthesiologist if Doctor Breemans was able to implant a BHR. She said yes and I was extremely happy, I was on the up!
· February / March 2011 – My recovery went smooth, I am not a sportive guy and I was following all advices for the first weeks after the surgery by the book and had a good physical therapy program ( I have bought my therapist a nice bottle of red wine…). By 13 days I was pain killers free. Only the right hip started to become more annoying. I was extremely happy of the result and could not wait for the R-BHR
· May 2011 – booked the R-BHR after summer vacation, had a date for 4 August 2011. If I wanted I could have my surgery done on 11 May but I preferred to wait a bit.
· June-July 2011 – started to assume daily celebrex 200mg to manage the pain to my right hip. At the end of July I was unable again to do simple things such as grocery, celebrex did not help anymore
· 4 August 2011 – My R-BHR. In the operation room Doctor Breemans greeted me saying “so…we go for another gold medal as the left hip!” he was again very confident and I knew I would have woken up with a BHR also to my right hip, so it was! When I was awake in the recovery room I was extremely happy to know everything went well, I knew I was really on the up, another “gold”medal!
· August-September 2011 – The recovery was even faster than my L-BHR, in 9 days I was off any pain killer including paracetamol, in 10 days I was driving, in 3 weeks I was walking without crutches, in 4 weeks I was biking in 5 weeks I was kicking a bit the ball with my boys (4 and 2 years old)
The 6 weeks check with Doctor Breemans was really positive and I will see him again for the 1 year checks. I do not have words to explain my thankfulness to him and his amazing team, I am walking again without pain and without limping and I can’t wait in few weeks to play some tennis again! My experience was extremely positive and my key learning’s to share are as follow:
1. For important matters such as a hip surgery, demand a second opinion if you are not happy about the first. Do not wait too long, it hurts and it is your own body!
2. Experience and confidence of a orthopaedic surgeon performing a BHR is essential. Doctor Breemans is a true ambassador of this procedure, he has performed more than 300 hundreds BHR’s and he is probably the most experienced for this technique in Holland
3. Orthopedium Delft is a clinic of top orthopaedic surgeons with a quality service truly focus to its patients, I would recommend it to everyone having problems to hips and knees
Finally I would like to thank once again Doctor Breemans and his team on behalf of my family as well, great job, it is so rewarding by all means to live pain free!