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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


Hi folks:
I have a long and weird medical history that starts out with "car/train accident in 1989." That accident resulted in a broken femur, among several other traumatic bone injuries. I was in traction for two weeks for the femur, then had open hip surgery to put an intramedullary nail down the middle of the femur to hold it straight as it healed. In 1991, the nail was removed.
I started having hip pain in that hip in 2007. It was variously diagnosed, over the years, as bursitis, SI joint inflammation, a bulging disk, a slipped disk, a spine issue, and I did a lot of PT. A LOT. Nothing really worked, so in 2010 my GP sent me for a back MRI. Much to everyone's surprise, my back is fine - no slipped disks, no bulging disks, everything totally normal.
So off I went to the orthopedic surgeon, who started treating me for bursitis. PT and cortisone injections. It helped - for a bit. About a week after the injection, the pain would come back. And it [U]hurt[/U] - not just my hip, but radiating down my outer thigh. I wa finding it hard to drive, to walk any significant distance, to go to the gym, to do yoga, to play with my kids. My orthopedic doctor thought it might be a good idea to just go in and get the bursa out - he suspected that scar tissue from the previous surgeries might have wedged itself between the IT band and the bursa. I had an arthroscopic bursectomy and scar tissue removal in February of this year.
Immediately afterwards, I felt MUCH better. For about three weeks - and then the pain came back. I did 12 weeks of hard core deep tissue massage with PTs who had very pointy fingers in an effort to break up the scar tissue. Finally, the PTs told me that they were really sorry, but they couldn't help - there was too much scar tissue, it was too strong, and it was pretty much adhering to everything in my leg.
I started pursuing a diagnosis of some kind. I saw a rheumatologist, had ultrasounds, had MRIs, saw a second orthopedic specialist, and the only thing anyone said was "Damn. That's a LOT of scar tissue in there."

Today, my orthopedic surgeon said that he thinks the only way we're going to solve the problem is with an open hip surgery where they go in and physically remove the scar tissue. To prevent adhesions from reforming, he wants to put in some kind of a barrier (I'm not really all that clear on what kind - he says there's several types to chose from) that would prevent the muscles and tendons from adhering to one another. The barrier dissolves over time, the way dissolving stitches do, and they're usually used in abdominal surgeries that have a high risk of adhesions.

At this point, I'm willing to do just about anything. I'm seeing a pain management doctor because the amount of pain this is causing is just crazy. My MRIs show nothing torn, nothing out of place. The ultrasounds show scar tissue, and lots of it, gluing pretty much everything in my hip and thigh together. Any movement I make with that hip yanks on something and hurts.

Has anyone had an open hip surgery? I mentioned that I've had two, but it was 22 years ago and I was hospitalized for multiple bone traumas. The recovery from the open hip surgery was so unremarkable I don't even remember it - it wasn't like I could walk anyway.
Also, has anyone had a large amount of scar tissue stripped out of a joint?





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