L-hip Biomet cementless Dr. Gross
Day before surgery, August 30, 2011
So today I headed out with my wife Evonne to Columbia for my pre-op and surgery on Wednesday. I’ve been having some second thoughts, since I’m still able to run on my hip, about whether this is the right thing to do. I keep telling myself that I can do the surgery or keep Advil in business.
We got to Midlands Ortho at noon and had to fill out a few privacy forms, but I got called back after a couple of minutes for my bone density scan. This interrupted my game of Angry Birds on the ipad, but i didn’t want to complain. With the pin in my hip (slipped epiphysis as a child), my bone density was off the chart so it wasn’t usable. She scanned my other hip and spine and all looked well there, so they presumed density was good in my left hip. I have no idea about the validity of this presumption, but hey, they’re the experts!
I then went back to xray for more hip images. Right, left, right, both, etc. “can you bend your hip out for me?”. “no ma’am.” then we went to the exam room where I met Nancy, Lee, and Erin.
Nancy walked me through what to expect on the day of surgery and the days following. Lee also came in and looked at my ROM in the hip to be resurfaced. Erin showed me all about the polar care 300 and the use of crutches. They have this down to an art.
Dr. Gross then came in and I expected a brief preview of tomorrow’s surgery. After all, he’s a world class surgeon and probably stays busy enough without a bunch of questions to answer. You ever been to a doctor’s office and feel like you’re annoying the doctor? Like he’d rather move along to the next appointment? I have, but not with Dr. Gross. He spent at least 20 minutes in my exam room going over my case and his approach to MY hip. Awesome!
The pin from previous surgery poses a complication, as the pin may or may not travel through the projected route for the femoral component’s stem. A few scenarios, in order of preference by Dr. Gross:
1. The pin isn’t in the path and surgery proceeds as normal. Normal recovery time.
2. The pin is in the path; back out the screw that’s been in the hip for 20 years. This will free up the femoral component’s path, but will also leave a “stress riser” that weakens the joint. This means six weeks with only 10% weight bearing so the pin tunnel can heal. Same long term outcome, but slower recovery.
3. Backing out the pin may be impossible due to stripped head or something else. He will then bore through the pin which can be difficult given the tight working space. Normal recovery time.
In all three options, Dr. Gross assured me I’d end up with a good resurfacing, so that’s the the part that matters! I can live with a longer recovery since the long term prognosis is identical.
We finished the day with trips to the pharmacy, Target, and a Red Robin burger roughly the size of my head. A great day, and my nerves are better.
Day of surgery, August 31, 2011.
Well despite this nice comfortable bed at the new Holiday Inn, I got very little deep sleep. I got up several times in the night thinking I was late. I wasn’t late, especially at 3:37 AM!
We were told the hospital was small enough that I didn’t need to worry about going to the wrong place, and that was right. It is a small hospital, but it is only ten years old and was in excellent shape. When I walked in, two guys were working the front desk and said they would take the cooler and the crutches. Wow, talk about service!
I stayed in admissions for maybe ten minutes–I was the third surgery for Dr. Gross this day and had a 10:30 AM surgery time. I’m sure he gets in his groove by the third patient, so I felt great about that. After admissions, I went back to the surgery prep area where I had to have more blood drawn, oral pain killers, nausea prevention, etc. My wife Evonne was in that room with me until time to head into surgery. At some time in this room, I guess I tuned out as I don’t remember anything between then and my actual room where they took me after recovery.
So, ALL that worry about the spinal instead of general anesthesia was a complete waste of time. I got all the benefits of general anesthesia but none of the side effects. Awesome!
Each nurse that helped me during my brief stay knew exactly what to do and why they were doing it. Dr. Gross’ reputation is very good. All the staff talked about how much detail he and Lee have in their operating plans, and they really did think of even the smallest details. Pain management through cooling and medication made for such an easy day and night.
My best moment of the two days was when I found out the pin I have had in my hip for 20 years did NOT affect the placement of the cap, so I’m on the standard recovery schedule. Around 4:30 PM, Rachel the physical therapist came in and got me up out of bed for my first post-op walk. With a walker. Joy. This was cool knowing I had been in surgery just three hours before the walk. Back to bed and to watching TV.
The most unpleasant thing about surgery day was the catheter. Not bad, considering I just had hip surgery! With the pain management plan, I was able to sleep well the night of my surgery.
More updates to come…