It’s nearly 11 months post-PAO and nearly 6 months post SDD and I am still alive and kicking (although, technically, I still can’t kick, with either leg). I know I have been lax in providing updates but honestly, recovery is a SLOW game with small steps forward. I have been in PT, off-and-on, since February, but recently my improvement, especially on my left side, is mostly stalled and in a holding pattern. That said, I have a bit of news and some updates to report. I also know that there are others who are going through similar surgeries and experiences that read my blog and I really want this to be a complete picture of what I have gone through (and continue to go through).
Right hip (PAO) first. My right hip is doing pretty well with any remaining pain located in either my right greater trochanter or in my psoas at the front of my hip. I’m hopeful that any remaining pain in these areas will get better with more time, keeping in mind that full recovery from a PAO is up to 2 years. The only other problem I have with my right hip is that the screws along my iliac crest do give me some discomfort — not sure if they are unscrewing themselves (which is possible) or if the swelling around the incision has finally gone down. I’ll get back to these screws in a bit.
Left hip (Surgical Dislocation). Left hip is not doing nearly as well as the right. I am finally off-crutch (for the most part) because my limp is gone (for the most part). However, I still have pretty significant pain in my left greater trochanter and psoas. The pain in the front of my hip seeps into the joint and sometimes I feel like the ball of the femur isn’t solidly in the joint which makes me wonder if I am subluxing my hip joint (click here – Hip Instability – for a bit of information on hip instability and subluxation). The pain in the trochanter can get pretty severe to the point where I sometimes need to use my cane or crutch, both because of my limp and in an attempt to take the weight off my left hip. The pain definitely gets worse 1) when it rains and 2) the more I walk. Which leads me to…
I’m having another surgery! Yes, that’s right, ANOTHER freaking surgery, and another holiday season sullied. I am having the screws in my left hip (and possibly the screws in my right hip) removed in late December (exact date tbd). Good news – it’s an out patient surgery, though I may be in the hospital overnight to ensure the pain is well managed. Other good news — other people who have had their screws removed bounce back within a few weeks after the surgery and typically move quickly beyond the holding pattern of improvement to actually get better.
I am scheduled to meet with my surgeon on November 18th for my 6 month SDD follow-up and anticipate that my physical therapy benefits will be up around that time. After my Dr. appointment I will know if any additional procedures (e.g., fluid drainage, scope) are required — I am hoping NO but we will see.
SO, aside from a new hair color (black and blue streaks), a new semester at law school (my second to last), and a new tattoo (amazing, huge, on my thigh, done by Seth Wood, and appearing at the bottom of the page [you can see the bottom of my PAO scar next to the bee above the flying bee]), that’s what’s new. Oh, and Happy Halloween!