January 23, 2021

My Hip is a Lying Bastard

Shakira famously said my hips don’t lie. You may have noticed, but I am not Shakira (shocking to some, I know). And my hips are bastards

Abridged Timeline

On Thursday the 21st of January, 2021, I went to the urgent care in Rio Rancho for my left hip. I’ve had pain and impaired range of motion for years now, but this week the pain and discomfort, especially at night, went from very bad to unbearable. Urgent care gave me a Toradol injection IM in the left glut and told me to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon.

The injection helped, but it is and was intended as a temporary measure at best. So that night I called New Mexico Orthopedics and was able to make an appointment for the next day, Friday the 22nd of January, 2021. At 11:15, or there about, I was seen by Dr Brown here in Rio Rancho. X-rays were taken, and then the doctor delivered this assessment:

You win the gold star. That is the worst hip I’ve seen in a long time.

He scheduled me for total hip replacement on February 18th, 2021 at Kasemen hospital in Albuquerque. And, of course, a follow up with him at the clinic up here in Rio Rancho for two weeks after on March 5th, 2021

Looking Forward

Obviously, any surgery caries risks. Dr Brown was very candid in his assessment and discussion of the risks of a total hip replacement. He and I agreed that it is the best path forward at this point. The joint will continue to degrade, causing pain, restricted range of motion, and possibly more dire complications, if left untreated. The current state of my hip and not being able to flex the hip joint even 20 degrees is not sustainable.

The total hip replacement has an expected life of 20 years, after which it will need further surgery; it will need to be replaced again. This is regrettable, and I am the first to advise not borrowing trouble from the future for comfort today. However, it is not an uncommon, if not mundane, procedure to re-replace a hip. It’s certainly better, in my opinion, than 20 years of my hip in its current state without surgery.

My right hip is not great either, and will probably require surgery in the coming years. The combined effect, of both hips degeneration, is that my gait is FUBAR So I will need physical therapy after the surgery. Everyone needs PT after a hip replacement, but I expect that it will be critical in my case. I am actually excited for this, as it means I will be able to get back to walking regularly! Taking a walk is something that I used to enjoy, but in recent years have not been able to indulge in due to the state of my hip.

Questions

If you’ve made it this far, you likely have questions and I apologize that I likely don’t have the answers for you. I will try and keep people updated as it gets closer to the date of surgery. Your kind thoughts and well intentioned prayers are gratefully accepted.

Hail Kirke, Regina Pharmakeia!


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