Hip News

Posted Wed, 06/17/09

I'm scheduled for hip replacement surgery on Friday, 26 June 2009. I finally found a doctor I'm comfortable with, and one who does not assume he walks on water just because he holds a medical degree. It was a long time in coming.

The most recent x-rays show that my left femur head has completely collapsed. As those of you who frequent my blog know, the condition was not caused by an accident or by an aging disease, but rather by the prolonged use of prednisone at the direction of several doctors in 1996-1997. The medication was prescribed to treat a severe reaction to hair dye, although it only arrested the symptoms temporarily. None of the dozen doctors I met with back then tried to figure out a long-term solution to the problem.

The continued use of prednisone had the lovely side effect of cutting off the blood supply to my left hip, causing the bone to die (also known as Avascular Necrosis). Had I known what the prednisone was doing to my body, I would have gladly suffered through the chemical rash instead.

What I'm getting in the upcoming surgery: a titanium stem and attachments, plastic cup, and ceramic ball-joint for my left hip. According to my doctor, hip replacements used to last for a maximum of fifteen years but with the ceramic may last my lifetime (assuming I live another forty years).

Internal view of the hip from Everyday Health

The surgery should also correct my severe back pain as well. Because of the deterioration of my left hip bone over the last decade, the left leg is shorter than the right. This has caused a lopsided pull on the left side of my body, creating excruciating back pain in the process.

I am certainly not looking forward to another surgery and hospital stay, but the pain has reached well beyond what I can reasonably endure. Actually, the constant discomfort (to put it mildly) has been ferocious for the last few years so I know the procedure is long overdue.

My inherent dislike of medical procedures and warranted mistrust of doctors has put me off at almost every turn, but I can no longer ignore what it has done to my health and the basic ability to function like a normal person.

Perhaps by the time my birthday rolls around near the end of August, I'll be able to dance a jig on the kitchen table. Not likely, though...

*Related post: Mish Masher Saturday (11/28/09).

Note: Hip image from Everyday Health.

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