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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

Hiya hippies!

balleteach - the Dr. said the cortisone could last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on the patient. I find that an amazing discrepancy -- and Ripanco said hers lasted 8 months! And I've been reading the posts but I guess I just missed the ceramic post... I'll have to look back to find it.

MrsLinda - you'd be surprsed to hear the cortisone shot was almost pain free! They inject a "cocktail" which includes a local anesthetic, which numbs the injection site as it goes in. You can barely feel it! I don't think anyone really likes needles, and I was thrilled it was so easy.

Ripanco - Yes, I too was disappointed the surgeons I've met have been so narrow minded, but they've found what works for them and are sticking to it! :) And I'm definitely not stuck on ceramic, just interested in it more than other materials and want to find out more. As it is, I have an Aug. 17 surgery scheduled for metal/plastic. (I figure I can always cancel if I change my mind.) Thanks for the link, I'll check it out...

Happy Independence Weekend! No offense to our UK friends... :) Greg
Hi Hippies! And welcome, FadedSun! Nice to have another 'victim' younger than I am (I'm 37), and I'm so sorry you're having such pain. I feel for you!!! I think most everyone here will agree that if you're in terrible pain, DON'T PUT IT OFF! Find great surgeons in your area and meet with several if you can, then make your decision ASAP and set a date for your THR. If your left hip is fine right now, you may be able to get away with just doing your right one first.

But the most important advice I can lend is to look into getting a CORTISONE SHOT! I had one three weeks ago and it will probably hold me over for 4 months until my November surgery. Cortisone is truly a wonder drug, at least it was for me and several other people here who've had to buy some time. And the injection doesn't even hurt because they make a 'cocktail' of cortisone along with fast-acting lydecaine (I think that's what it was), which deadens the injection site as the needle goes in. Brilliant. A month ago I could barely walk at all without horrible pain (left hip), my left leg was hanging about 1/2" lower than my right and I had an awful limp. Now I'm (temporarily) pain free and have no noticable limp!

So my big news is, I have finally chosen a surgeon (after meeting 4 of them) and the type of parts I'll use: metal on METAL! Surprise, surprise. It turns out all three options (metal/metal, metal/plastic & ceramic/ceramic) have their own drawbacks, but for me I chose metal on metal because of my age and it's longevity/durability, as well as the ability to implant a larger head for greater movement. The drawback is that it increases metal ions in the blood (especially for the first two years, then tapers off a bit), but in over 20 years of use no studies or cases have shown any connection to risks of cancer or any other diseases. And I discovered that almost all of the doctors I asked "What parts would you use on yourself?" chose metal on metal. (I just couldn't get past the fact that the ceramics have a TINY chance of breaking, which would be a disaster! It's only a 1 in 25,000 chance... but I'd always worry about falling while skiing, etc.)

So that's my story... hip replacement scheduled for the first week of November!
Hope everyone is doing well... Greg
Hi to Greg and Faded Sun. Like both of you, I have not had THR yet or a
hip resurfacing as yet and am in constant pain. I have danced all of my life
and I have bone on bone osteoarthritis of my right hip. I am 60 years old and
have never had surgery of any kind. I have a surgeon lined up for a THR but
and interested in the hip resurfacing which the FDA should approve of in
September Like you said Greg. I am looking for a large ball and socket and I
want Metal on Metal since it does not wear out and you can do more things
without having to be worried about restrictions. Hip resurfacing for me is
better since they do not cut the femur but resurface and cap it with a metal
ball and s pin that goes into the femur. There is less chance of dislocation
with this new procedure. Greg you mentioned Cortisone shot for relief of pain. What helped me the most is acpuncture, I have had 35 treatments and I
go once a week and It is remarkable what it has done for the pain and the
stress that my entire body is caring because of the pain from the hip. Please
let me know,Greg, how you are doing and how your surgery went. I live in
Los Angeles also and am curious to know which doc you Faded Sun
from my dance experience, sciatica pain starts in the buttock area and crosses the but and runs down the side of the leg across the ankle...sounds
like you are having what the doctor told me was referred pain from your hip.
That usually runs dowon the front of the thigh and into the groin area... I
hope you will feel better soon....Mrs Linda I guess it is hot in New York but
right now but Los Angeles is miserably hot right now...hope your stretching is
coming along seem to have the best attitude ever...Good night Karen
[COLOR=Navy][I]Good Morning My Hippie Friends! Hope eveyone is doing well.

[B]Faded Sun [/B] ~ Welcome! It's always nice to meet someone new. I definately would not wait if you're in that much pain. Greg and Karen said, find a "temporary" solution to the pain until you can make arrangements for that hip replacement. I'm 55 and walked around for years with pain in the thigh and groin. I thought I pulled a muscle! It was the hip. I had my THR last August and it's nice to be pain free; in that hip! The other is going. But it's no where as bad as the left was. That one can wait.
But don't suffer if you don't have too.

[B]Greg [/B] ~ Congratulations on finding your Surgeon! So you still say that cortisone shot is working? That's wonderful!! The next time I see my doctor I'm going to ask him if he "mixes that cocktail" with his shots. If he says "yes" then maybe, just maybe I'd consider one for the right hip if I need it. I'm such a baby..... :rolleyes:

[B]legallyblonded[/B] ~ nice to see you again! YES it's hot here in New York!!! We're suppose to get some relief by the weekend. But I'll believe it when I see it! Yes my attitude is good. It has to be...I'm still having some difficulties with the stepping up and over. But, if this is how it's to be, then that's it. I'm still doing my exercises and this week with all the humidity, I've had to go back onto my drugs. :( I was so proud of the fact that I didn't have to take anything for pain or stiffness that I almost didn't take them . But I've been very stiff and achy; both hips. So, why suffer? But the pain is DEFINATELY not like the pain I had prior to the surgery!

Well time to get going here. I hope everyone has a nice day and a cool one!

Linda[/I] [/COLOR]
FadedSun - Ultracet is a pretty powerful drug, it always helped me when I absolutely needed it. I hope you find something else that works; you should definitely ask your doctor about alternate pain killers, cortisone and acupuncture.

legallyblondied - glad the acupuncture helps, I was planning on trying that myself until my 'miracle' cortisone shot. As far as L.A. doctors, I met with two names you'll hear often: Lawrence Dorr and Robert Klapper. Both are well respected, both only use metal/plastic. Dorr does a 3" mini-incision and Klapper does the longer incision. Dorr uses a computer to check leg length (which apparently isn't ALWAYS accurate) and Klapper will just tell you he "measures twice and cuts once" which doesn't mean much to me. Then I met with Herbert Huddleston in Encino. He has a great reputation (as good or better than the two more "famous" surgeons), is open to all materials (although suggested metal/metal for me), uses a mini-incision and explains his very clear, sensible method for restoring leg length accurately without computers. After I met him it was an easy decision.

And MrsLinda - for goodness sake, if you're in pain get that cortisone shot! Any minor pain (if any at all!) you'd experience for a few minutes from a needle would be NOTHING compared to how your hips feels now! Trust me, you'd be so glad you did. :)

Melting in this 101 degree L.A. heat... Greg
Hiya hippies! Thanks for asking about me Ripanco, I'm fine actually, not much to report... except I have surgery scheduled for Oct. 26 (metal on metal, posterior mini-incision). So I still have over 2 1/2 months to make my peace with my bad old hip before I get rid of it! Cortisone shot is still working beautifully (after 5 or 6 weeks), and I'm sure the daily swimming helps too. Going to Pittsburgh for two weeks this month to shoot a minor role in a movie (I'm an actor and filmmaker), so I'm REALLY glad I got that shot! All else is well... Been reading these posts diligently and copying text for things I might find helpful after surgery--like Ripanco's bath tub tip! Keep 'em coming... Greg
Ken, It sounds like you are doing great only 6 1/2 weeks from THR, considering the complications you went through. I bet by 3 months after THR, you will notice a HUGE improvement. Just keep doing what you're doing and stay as active as you can. Swimming is a great exercise for cardio and natural stretching without strain. Most YMCA's have indoor pools. Maybe there is one near you that you could check out. Good luck and keep posting with any questions you might have.
All of my Hippie Hipster friends... Isn't it wonderful the way the board has grown and added so many new posters. I thought this would happen because THR is becoming so prevalent nowadays and there is such a need for first-hand info about the surgery and recuperation. Even though our experiences are different, we can all relate to what is happening to each of us and chime in with suggestions and ideas. Most doctors haven't actually gone through THR, so they can only feed us statistics and what they have observed from a medical point of view. Those of us with THR KNOW what we are talking about from experience and can share with anyone interested.
Greg, I'm also happy to have you back and hope your cortisone shot lasts you until your surgery. We will all be here for you when you come home from the hospital an official new Hippie Hipster! Take care everyone. Talk to you later...balleteach
Thanks friends for your kind remarks!!!

Balleteach, yes I will indeed remember PATIENCE....... to the best of my ability.
Chris, I was limp-free before surgery because I had a cortisone shot (2 actually) that was working beautifully.
Ken, yes they do insert catheters while you're under anesthesia -- my doctor always does for women but only sometimes for men. He thought since I was young I wouldn't have a problem, but honestly the catheter was a blessing.....once it was in. So nice not to have to worry about relieving yourself while in that hospital bed.

So I'm doing well, just trying to figure out meds, how to sleep, etc. HATE sleeping on my back and look forward to asking the PT on Monday when I can try sleeping on my good side. My back just kills me after about 2 or 3 hours lying on it. Experimenting with pillows, lying flat, sitting up etc. How soon did you all sleep on your good side?

Also my coumadin levels are high, so we're trying to adjust. And meanwhile I'm being very careful! Biggest problem is I'm just exhausted from too little sleep. I take naps often. Night time is the worst because of my back. But the hip feels great and walking is pretty much a breeze! I actually can walk slowly without crutches or anything -- but I don't because I know I shouldn't!!

Later....... Hip Greg with one G on the end :)

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