Hip Spacer is a Nightmare
I was born with bilateral hip dysplasia – a very severe case in which I basically had no hips. A had multiple surgeris from age 3 – 12 and then, finally my first replacement at 19. The first replacement (left) lasted 9.5 years. It was titanium – then the latest and greatest. Unfortunately, titanium is a soft metal, aso when the cement cracked, it damaged the femora implant and I need another complete THR.That one was botched (long story). The next on that side (different doctor) worked well and lasted 23 years, but no one bothered to warn me about osteolysis – the plastic of the socket breaking down the surrounding bone into Swiss cheese – even though it was well-known in the medical community 15 years ago (fortunately, my right hip was revised in 2008 using a plastic in the socket that doesn't cause this damage; it's at 13 years and counting). Last May, I had my fourth revision of the left side and I picked up a staph infection, resulting in emergency surgery in July (I was going septic) , followed b 6 weeks of IV antibiotics – during which we discovered a couple of new antibiotic allergies – followed by oral antibiotics. Months of excruciating pain and joint instability later, I had a cement spacer implanted recently. It is a NIGHTMARE. When I awoke in Recovery, I was terrified by the movement, pain, and noise of the spacer. was told all are normal, but no one warned me to expect them. I've been home for 2 weeks now, getting around within the apartment on crutches (20% weight-bearing), but the spacer shifts constantly – even when I'm not moving sometimes. THis is so much worse than following THR and revisions! And, of course,there is no real healing (except for the incision) until after the next surgery, tentatively scheduled for July 15, assuming the infection is gone and the custom joint is ready then. Oh, and I'm now allergic to the IV antibiotic I used without issue last year, so I'm on a new one. At least the allergy wasn't to the Vanco in the spacer!
Would love to hear some "light at the end of the tunnel" stories from people who've been through this.