Joint replacement and other surgeries delayed due to pandemic

Posted by Bob @plantbased2, Mar 26 9:39am

I got a call from my Doctor saying he needed to postpone my spacer removal and implant of hip joint due to the pandemic. This was the day before my surgery. I am betting I am not the only one to have to wait. I of course have no idea when this will change and I am wondering if anyone else is waiting and if they are worried about the temporary hip joint. I am having more pain than I was because I have been fairly “non compliant” and walking more without my walker or crutches.

Hello @plantbased2, welcome to Connect. I'd like to start by inviting @tooyoung, @mrfish, @linjane, @gncellist to this discussion as they have all talked about living with spacer in their hip and may have some advice for your situation, even though it may not be the exactly same experience. Many of the members talking about hip spacers have participated in these discussions, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hip-spacer-is-a-nightmare/ and https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-kind-of-mobility-can-i-expect-with-an-antibiotic-spacer-in-my-hip/.

@plantbased2, is your pain more intense when you are active and not using an assistive device? Knowing your surgery was delayed, if you go back to using your device do you think it will help alleviate some of the pain in the meantime?

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Hi Justin, I have to use crutches or a cane to keep the pain under control. I do walk from the kitchen sink to the stove without a device but not around the house or for sure out side. Ibuprofen 2 times a day seems to be all I need. But I am sure if I don't use something I will be in way more pain. I am worried about breaking, dislocating the spacer or even splitting the femur. I had a staff infection after my first surgery in October. So after 6 weeks of antibiotics with a pick line in my arm every 8 hours I am ready for the new hip. It has been 13 weeks now as of March 27th. I wonder how long I can go with a temporary hip. Thanks for contacting me!

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I had a spacer for 5 months following a staph infection. I wasnt allowed to fully weightbear but 50%, and at that most most other people weren't allowed to do that,so.considered myself lucky. My understanding of the device is they are not very strong and could break so using crutches, walking frame is a must. I ended up with 5 lots of surgery on my hip and wouldnt wish this on anyone. Please take care and don't take chances.
Good luck with the eventual replacement. I am at present now awaiting a shoulder replacement and have many reservations about that. I can sympathise with your wait.

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Thanks so much for your reply. I need to use my crutches more. I have been just using a cane and it seems OK. I have a hard time sitting around as the weather improves and I see things to be done outside. My wife and I have our adult daughter living with us going to college on line who is willing to do a lot. She has had a ankle fusion so she is somewhat limited doing yard work. You are right I need to be more careful. I sure do not want to be hospitalized for a broken hip joint. Do you feel like your hip replacement went OK after the infection? I had a shoulder surgery years ago. I found that to be hard to say the least. Remember ICE is your friend when you do have the surgery, and make sure you use it liberally. I was glad to hear from someone else waiting for surgery! Take care and stay healthy.

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Hi Bob, I have had three left hip replacements in the last 6 months. The first to replace the bone on bone joint. Became infected at 5.5 weeks. Staph infection in joint. Spacer put in, with 6 weeks PICC line every 8 hr. Antibiotics and no weight bearing. After that course of antibiotics and good test results, the surgeon allowed 50% weight bearing until I had the 3rd surgery on Feb. 25. Just last week, via telephone consult, the surgeon said I could go to full weight bearing as tolerated. So happy about that. Trying to be patient and allow my body time to get stronger, but it’s hard. The reason my surgeon told me 50% weight bearing was to protect the spacer as evidently, they can loosen at any time, and then you’re really going to be limited in what you can do. You really don’t want to have emergency surgery right now. So, please, try to listen to your body and go slow. Even now, I use the walker when I’m really tired and I can tell it takes so much weight off the hip. But using a walker is no fun. But it’s better than all those weeks at no weight bearing having to use a wheelchair. Best of luck to you.

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@lilypaws

I'm using Tymlos right now for 6 weeks, it's an injection to to increase my bone mass. I'm on the 3rd week. I am praying that by the time I finish with the six weeks they will be doing elective surgeries. I have depression and anxiety, but handle it by doing puzzles on the computer. Still a hard time, because I get side effects from the Tymlos. Sad because I had to give my dog away because I could no longer take care of her. She's at a good place now and doing very well, but I still miss her very much.

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Sorry to hear this. Hope it will work out for you. I have bone loss also. I am on Alendronate. I am having problems with my shoulder and hip. Are you have any of those problems as well? They are talking surgery on my right arm. I have had 4 injections in about 3 months.
I am sorry to hear about your dog. Hopefully when all is done you can bring your fur ball back home. I wish you luck. Hang in there. It has to get better soon.

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I'm using Tymlos right now for 6 weeks, it's an injection to to increase my bone mass. I'm on the 3rd week. I am praying that by the time I finish with the six weeks they will be doing elective surgeries. I have depression and anxiety, but handle it by doing puzzles on the computer. Still a hard time, because I get side effects from the Tymlos. Sad because I had to give my dog away because I could no longer take care of her. She's at a good place now and doing very well, but I still miss her very much.

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@lilypaws

I'm using Tymlos right now for 6 weeks, it's an injection to to increase my bone mass. I'm on the 3rd week. I am praying that by the time I finish with the six weeks they will be doing elective surgeries. I have depression and anxiety, but handle it by doing puzzles on the computer. Still a hard time, because I get side effects from the Tymlos. Sad because I had to give my dog away because I could no longer take care of her. She's at a good place now and doing very well, but I still miss her very much.

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Hi @lilyoaws and @1mymom1952, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

Lilypaws, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Joint replacement and other surgeries delayed due to pandemic" I did this so you can meet other members talking about surgery delays, such as @ltsally @plantbased2 and @lotsofpain
You may also be interested in this discussion:
Reducing Hip Pain while waiting for replacement: Suggestions? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hip-pain-2/

Lilypaws, you mention bone loss but not what type of surgery you were scheduled to have. What surgery was delayed?

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@lilypaws

I'm using Tymlos right now for 6 weeks, it's an injection to to increase my bone mass. I'm on the 3rd week. I am praying that by the time I finish with the six weeks they will be doing elective surgeries. I have depression and anxiety, but handle it by doing puzzles on the computer. Still a hard time, because I get side effects from the Tymlos. Sad because I had to give my dog away because I could no longer take care of her. She's at a good place now and doing very well, but I still miss her very much.

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@lilyoaws, Good morning and a big non-hug welcome to the joint replacement group on Connect. Somehow you got a double dose of depression and anxiety. As if that wasn't enough, you had to find a good home for your dog. That was a sucker punch to me. I lost my final Cavalier just as I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to care for her after my last surgery. Perhaps she gave me the ultimate gift. I am still grieving and have set up a small altar. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. It does make me smile as I walk by.

Would you please share your side effects from Tymlos. Evidently the clinicians wanted to do everything possible to make sure your bones would be strong enough through the surgery delay. Was that the reason for 6 weeks? I am starting month 10 of 18 months of Tymlos Injections.

Is your replacement a hip? I am not sure from reading the post about what surgery was scheduled. What else have you been doing to remain comfortable while waiting? I also do puzzles on my computer. I like the ones with bright colors, interesting streets, and boats.

What would make your waiting time easier? Let me know and I will see if I have a magic wand for you. To start, may I suggest yoga stretches and mindful meditation. My sangha does Zoom yoga on Tuesdays and then a meditation on Thursdays. We have been together for several years and have bonded with the best super glue for similar souls.

May you be safe and protected and free of suffering.
Chris

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@azdiane

Hi Bob, I have had three left hip replacements in the last 6 months. The first to replace the bone on bone joint. Became infected at 5.5 weeks. Staph infection in joint. Spacer put in, with 6 weeks PICC line every 8 hr. Antibiotics and no weight bearing. After that course of antibiotics and good test results, the surgeon allowed 50% weight bearing until I had the 3rd surgery on Feb. 25. Just last week, via telephone consult, the surgeon said I could go to full weight bearing as tolerated. So happy about that. Trying to be patient and allow my body time to get stronger, but it’s hard. The reason my surgeon told me 50% weight bearing was to protect the spacer as evidently, they can loosen at any time, and then you’re really going to be limited in what you can do. You really don’t want to have emergency surgery right now. So, please, try to listen to your body and go slow. Even now, I use the walker when I’m really tired and I can tell it takes so much weight off the hip. But using a walker is no fun. But it’s better than all those weeks at no weight bearing having to use a wheelchair. Best of luck to you.

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Hi Azdiane, So happy you can do full weight bearing. How is that going now? I hope you are getting stronger every day. I did talk to my Doctor last week and he told me they beginning to discuss when they may be able to do "elective" surgery again. He was hoping to be able to give me a idea when surgeries could resume in a week or two. Today is 19 weeks from the day I had the joint spacer put in. I am really tired of not being active. I am usually very active and worked full time. I am lucky that I live in a very rural area in Colorado and so we are not exposed to many people. The Hospital I go to is UC Health University of Colorado. It is huge with thousands of people coming and going. I have a great support group here with my wife and daughter. You are very correct I sure do not want to have emergency surgery now. I am trying to stay on the porch on sunny days and let my daughter do all the stuff on the property I want to do. Best of luck to you too.

Liked by moonlightlady

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@1mymom1952

Sorry to hear this. Hope it will work out for you. I have bone loss also. I am on Alendronate. I am having problems with my shoulder and hip. Are you have any of those problems as well? They are talking surgery on my right arm. I have had 4 injections in about 3 months.
I am sorry to hear about your dog. Hopefully when all is done you can bring your fur ball back home. I wish you luck. Hang in there. It has to get better soon.

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Thank you Julia@1mymom1952. My shoulders are fine. I did have my right shoulder replaced some years back. I mostly have pain in my right hip, buttock, and sciatica down my right leg. I have degeneration of my spine, which has caused a scoliosis and my L4-5 and s-1 has stenosis. Sometimes the pains not too bad, but mornings are the pits. Bless your heart. I know pain is not fun. Is your surgery for your right arm a shoulder replacement. If so have it done, but just to let you know it is a hard replacement, but my shoulder replacement feels great. My surgery will be a fusion of my spine from T10 to the pelvis. It's a big surgery, but I just want to get it done, but with the Covid-19 virus they are not doing surgeries yet. I have 3 more weeks on Tymlos and then I was suppose to have my surgery, but will have to wait and see if they open up doing surgeries. Yes, I really miss my dog, but after the surgery I wouldn't be able to take care of her either. She's at a wonderful place, where we always boarded her and they asked to please let us have Lily we love her. She 14, but still very healthy and she's so much happier there. Sorry this is so long.

Liked by moonlightlady

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@colleenyoung

Hi @lilyoaws and @1mymom1952, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

Lilypaws, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Joint replacement and other surgeries delayed due to pandemic" I did this so you can meet other members talking about surgery delays, such as @ltsally @plantbased2 and @lotsofpain
You may also be interested in this discussion:
Reducing Hip Pain while waiting for replacement: Suggestions? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hip-pain-2/

Lilypaws, you mention bone loss but not what type of surgery you were scheduled to have. What surgery was delayed?

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Hi Colleen, I'm to have a fusion on my low back from T-10 to my pelvis. It's a big surgery. I have degeneration that has caused a scoliosis and my L-4 and L-5 and S-1 has stenosis. I have done everything I can do to not have surgery. Hey you got the Lilypaws correct. When I put Lilyoaws by typo mistake. Wanted it to be Lilypaws.

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@artscaping

@lilyoaws, Good morning and a big non-hug welcome to the joint replacement group on Connect. Somehow you got a double dose of depression and anxiety. As if that wasn't enough, you had to find a good home for your dog. That was a sucker punch to me. I lost my final Cavalier just as I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to care for her after my last surgery. Perhaps she gave me the ultimate gift. I am still grieving and have set up a small altar. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. It does make me smile as I walk by.

Would you please share your side effects from Tymlos. Evidently the clinicians wanted to do everything possible to make sure your bones would be strong enough through the surgery delay. Was that the reason for 6 weeks? I am starting month 10 of 18 months of Tymlos Injections.

Is your replacement a hip? I am not sure from reading the post about what surgery was scheduled. What else have you been doing to remain comfortable while waiting? I also do puzzles on my computer. I like the ones with bright colors, interesting streets, and boats.

What would make your waiting time easier? Let me know and I will see if I have a magic wand for you. To start, may I suggest yoga stretches and mindful meditation. My sangha does Zoom yoga on Tuesdays and then a meditation on Thursdays. We have been together for several years and have bonded with the best super glue for similar souls.

May you be safe and protected and free of suffering.
Chris

Jump to this post

Thank you for your nice reply. It was good to set up an altar. I buried part of my first dog ashes under a stone that said my Beloved Dog. I still have the rest of her ashes and when Lily goes I'll probably put some of her ashes under the stone, but the rest of their ashes will be put in my ashes when I pass. Sounds a little far out. Huh? Give yourself time to grieve and if you are able and want to get another older dog, not a puppy.
I can't do yoga, but do pray a lot and l listen to Christian Music while I do my puzzles on the computer. I like to do animals.
I will be having a fusion on my low back from T-10 to my pelvis. It's a big surgery, but I'm looking forward to having it. I have degeneration which has caused a scoliosis and my l-4, l-5, and S-1 has stenosis. I can't go for walks or do Yoga and just standing hurts.
I have pain in my right hip (scoliosis is on the right side) down my buttocks and sciatica down my right leg. I also have pain in my right leg. You wanted to know my side effect on the Tymlos. Light headed, headache, fatigued, sometimes upper stomach pain. My endocrinolgist may have to change it. I am to be on it for 2 years.
Many Blessings and free of pain,
Jeanie

Liked by fiesty76

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I'm sorry Bob. I'm Lilyoaws. I am also waiting to have a fusion done on my low back. It's the pits having to wait. I have to be on Tymlos to increase my bones for 6 weeks before surgery anyway. I just finished the 3rd week and hope they are open to doing elective surgeries by then. My thoughts are with you. Many Blessings,
Jeanie

Liked by fiesty76

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To: Lilyowas. I read your post. I have had at least five surgeons tell me the operation you are having is what I need. I, too, have stenonis so bab–I get epidurals ever so many months. I asked the pain doctor why I got them and he said he his doing this to keep me from having the surgery. So, I have the pain which radiates down my leg also. I had my veins stripped in my right leg (same one) in 1980. Sometimes I have to get up and move because of the pain. I am so afraid of having the surgery. I am on at least two web sites where people have had the back surgery and are in horrible pain. Therefore, I choose not to have the surgery. I don't really want any surgery at my age. Although, I may have to have a hernia in my stomach repaired. I have had so many operations, I just feel that my age has a lot to do with recovery. When I got a shot in my back, the lady doctor pinched her first finger and thumb together, no space in between, she said: Your spine is like this: there is no room even to get a needle in between there. She said: It's just like when your garden hose gets a kink in it. So, I'm living with the pain. I take pain pills which I get from the pain clinic.

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