@mamie I agree with JK. A good friend had a total hip replacement 10 years ago and has never had a problem with it.
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@jbro my first surgery was an emergency surgery done by a local doctor and not the specialist I had originally consulted with. The specialist and I were not planning any surgery because my bones weren't healing (radiation damaged) and felt any surgery was a high risk for infection. So we didn't discuss the options you mention. I already had an advanced infection at my first surgery.
I've had four surgeries, but never had a hip replacement hardware. I had broken bones that would not heal (radiation damage) that got infected. The last surgery was on 04/2017 removing some more bone from the top of my left femur (girdlestone) and removing the front part of my pelvic bone (due to infection). Note that this surgery was way more drastic than a regular girdlestone surgery. It was my fourth surgery, removed lots of bone, and I had a problem with the femoral artery, so I ended up with three large incisions instead of one. My muscles are finally getting stronger, but without the bones in there, my hip area is definitely unstable. Also since part of my pelvic bone was removed, my muscles don't work like they used to–the underlying framework is gone. A couple of times, I've tried to do too much physically which resulted in a terrible muscle spasm in my hip and thigh with pain that lasted for weeks. I need to learn to be more gentle with my efforts to recover.
My bones will not fuse together as they might for some people–they are too far apart. I think the scar tissue will continue to form in there which will add more stability over time. I've gotten a lot stronger since January of this year.
I am currently not able to walk without some external support. I am able to use crutches for short distances, but prefer a rolling walker as it is more stable and I can sit when I get tired. After the last surgery, it took several months before I was able to walk with a rollator. I was using a wheelchair until then. A few more months before I was strong enough to use the crutches. Now I am able to go up one step (or a curb) with both the crutches and the rollator. I have been able to go up a few steps at a time with a sturdy handrail on one side and a crutch on the other side. I avoid stairs. I don't walk very far with crutches. I can walk much farther and faster with a rollator. I am hoping one day to be able to walk short distances with a cane or one crutch, but I don't know if I will ever be able to walk unassisted again. I have difficulty just standing in one place for more than a few seconds.
My left leg is about 2.5 inches shorter than the right. I had the sole modified on my left shoe to add 1.5 inches. It makes walking and standing easier.
I use pillows when I sleep to help support my hip. I don't recall being immobilized after surgery. They used foam blocks on one side just for support. I use a leg lifter to get my leg in bed. It's a long stick with a loop at the end. I have to use my hands to reposition my leg sometimes or roll over in bed. I have to lift my leg with my hands into my car. I would not be able to drive a stick shift–I have an automatic transmission in my car.
I take Doxycycline forever to help prevent infection from flaring up. When I went off the antibiotics the last time, I had an infection within a month and was back in emergency surgery. They call it suppression therapy.
I definitely have less pain after the broken and infected bones were removed. But it took a few months to feel better because I had such a big surgery.
Whatever PT they give you, do it. It helps strengthen the muscles you need to walk. You can do it! The body is an amazing thing!
Wow! You have been through a lot. I’ve had 4 surgeries in the past year. A few PICC lines. One spacer. One of the surgeries was to remove pelvic and femur bones because my doctor thought the infection was in the bone, which is why it came back. Anyway, the antibiotics I used were vancomycin (IV) until I had a severe allergic reaction, then they switched me to daptomycin (also IV). After a few weeks of that I switched to oral doxycycline which I am to take forever. Suppression therapy they call it. It took about 5 months after the last surgery for the hip wound to heal and stop draining. After the 3rd surgery they used a wound vac to help it heal, but I don’t think it really did that much after a certain point. Probably because there was still infection. I hope you get some resolution to the infection.
Aug 3, 2017 · Chronic Pain members - Welcome, please introduce yourself in Chronic Pain
I have slight scoliosis and spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra) that causes nerve pain in my feet.