Thrill Rides

Spring is officially sprung and in the spirit of renewed activity, my hips have been busy little bees the last week!

As I previously noted, I had been having an increased amount of pain in my right hip (really, the space between my right hip and groin) in the last few weeks. I was able to walk short distances but longer walks and lifting my leg definitely made things worse. Climbing stairs was mildly painful and I had been using my cane everyday for support but in general, the pain never exceeded a loud grumble…until this past Tuesday.

I felt fine at lunch but as I walked up several flights of stairs and out of the subway the pain in m right hip (the hip that had the PAO surgery) became utterly excruciating, like the most awful ache with moments of stabbing pain like mini ice picks! I only had my cane with me and nearly sat down on the sidewalk since I could barely drag myself the 1 block down the street to my office. I leaned on my cane, pain shooting into my hip with every step, and dragged myself back. By the time I made it I was in tears (this is only the third time I have cried since the PAO in December). I frantically called and e-mailed Dr. Sink who was able to get me in the next day (which I was so incredibly thankful for – he fit be in between surgeries). Luckily the pain mostly went away when I sat so I either sat or reclined the rest of the day. I started using crutches again that night, for the first time in 6 weeks. I started to worry that I would never actually get better, that I would always be in pain, that my next surgery would have to be postponed indefinitely.

At my appointment the following day, they took 4 x-rays and determined I did not have an new stress fractures. They also determined that the non-union of the pubis bone had not repaired itself (although a tiny bridge of bone, maybe 1/8th the width of the break, appeared to be growing). The pain was thought to be caused by one of the tendons (the rectus femoris or iliopsoas) — either that it was aggravated or that it had become stuck in the osteotomy site (basically, that the tendon rolled into the space where the bone was supposed to have grown and got stuck there). I was prescribed anti-inflammatories + the anti-inflammatory patch I have been wearing on my hip. I was sent for an ultrasound (with contrast) and injection of lidocaine and cortisone (into the sheath of both tendons). The ultrasound showed that although the tendons were not in the break that moment, they were each sitting right on either side of the break (and the pain could have been caused by the tendons rubbing on the edge of the break or they could have been stuck for a bit of time).

The cortisone injection took several hours to kick-in but by 10pm I noticed that my hip was feeling better. The next morning it was WAY better — honestly, it hadn’t felt so good since my surgery. For the first time in months I could put on my socks without pain. And walk? Back to normal – if not better! The pain had decreased about 90% and has since settled to a decrease of about 80%. I slept a ton and took it very easy the rest of the weekend – even let my sweet husband GK push me around in a wheelchair at the auto show. I was feeling so ‘normal’ today, though, that I let myself take a short bike ride today (bike riding is one of the few activities that doesn’t hurt if you have hip problems).

I have to be evaluated by Physical Therapy at HSS before I can get back to working with my physical therapist again. I may also need another cortisone injection before or after the surgery. It’s also possible/likely I will need another surgery on the right hip to fix the torn labrum (another pain) and non-union but not until the Open SDD is healed.

Oh! And on that note – the Open SDD is set for May 8th (1 month from today). My sinuses are healing wonderfully (follow-up with ENT this Wednesday) and my BIRTHDAY (my 36th) is this Thursday, April 11! Time to start revving up — it’s gonna be a busy busy spring!

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