Molly Crews - THR after labrum repair
Date of surgery: 05/02/2012
Surgeon: Dr. Benjamin Holt
Hospital: Boone Hospital, Columbia, MO
Prior to surgery
When did you first notice symptoms and what were they?
In July of 2009 while on vaction, I started noticing my left hip would seem to "lock up" and felt like it needed to be "popped" back into place and was stiff. I started developing a limp off and on and didn't seek medical consultation until 2010.
What was your medical diagnosis (traumatic osteoarthritis, congenital hip problem, avascular necrosis, etc)?
Initially I was diagnosed with a torn labrum. But I will never forget my Orthopeadic Surgeon asked me if I had ever worn leg braces or had problems growing up. I said NEVER...I had never broken a bone or had any sports/dance injuries. He said that it was very suprising because I had significant dysplasia. I said "You mean I have the hips of Forrest Gump????" I was never a professional dancer, but did ballet since age 5 until I was in college.
What forms of treatment did you seek before considering surgery (chiropractic, acupuncture, medications, bodywork, physical therapy, herbs, etc)?
I had the torn labrum fixed but it didn't provide much long lasting relief and things started decompensating so I sought the advice of another surgeon. He told me in no uncertain terms to "come back when you are ready to have hip replacement" I was floored and asked him was there anything I could do before resorting to surgery. He said it would be a waste of time. I had tried steriod injections but they offered very short term (1-3 days) relief. I was scared to try Chiropractors because I read that it could do more damage than good. I wore out several heating pads in the last few years!
How did you change your work habits, lifestyle to accommodate the hip problem?
I became very slow and all my movements were "calculated" and I did what I could to limit movement. I had to park as close to stores as possible. Often I had to use the shopping cart as an assistant to lean on. It was miserable.
How long an interval was it from the onset of hip problems until surgery?
Almost 3 years
What factors, physical, emotional, financial, etc. influenced your final decision to have surgery?
I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the progression of my limited range of motion and pain. I had two small children and I couldnt be physically active and play with them. I felt so depressed like I would never feel good again. I did lots of research on the internet and talked to as many people as I could who had also had the surgery. I was worried that at age 41, I was going to be told I was too young or to wait and suffer as long as I could. That seemed so ridiculous to me. When I finally met Dr. Holt and he said with no hesitation that he thought I was a good candidate and he recommended I do it and I was so relieved!
Were there other dancers you spoke with that helped you?
Not personally, but did lots of research online.
What influenced your choice of surgeon?
My first ortho surgeon referred me and I really trusted him.
How long were you in the hospital?
What kind of prosthesis did you get (e.g., ceramic ball/ceramic liner? poly liner? highly-crossed linked poly liner? all metal?)?
I think it was a combo...
Did you have any complications in the hospital?
The only real problem I had was the first night, I had been laying in the same position for so long and the "heavy duty" surgery pain medications were wearing off and the regular pain meds weren't touching the deeper pain. A nurse had told me I could have had a spinal IV (sort of like a epidural) if I needed it, but then that nurse's shift ended and the night nurse didn't understand what I was telling her, so I finally just cried myself to sleep....
Anything else to say about your in-patient experience?
I had a great experience and have absolutely no regrets!
Did you have any complications, especially unexpected difficulties, after you got home?
No, in fact the physical therapist came the first time and said I didn't even need it b/c I was already moving and stretching without my walker. I had to take Coumadin for a few weeks after surgery which was sort of a pain b/c they change doses everyday based on your bloodwork...but not that big of a deal.
What steps did you take toward recovery? (Physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, medications, bodywork, herbs, etc.)
I had two sessions with physical therapist, in home and normal pain medications for the next few weeks, but I was up and moving around without assistance in no time!
How long did it take you to really feel recovered (6 months, one year, two years?)?
I felt relief from the pain immediately!!! I returned to walking on treadmill and jogging after 6 weeks. Prior to surgery, I could barely walk 30 min. on treadmill at 2.5 mph. I had to use my arms to support myself....but after surgery, I was able to "jog/run" for a mile at 4.5mph!!
Do you do other physical exercise (e.g., Yoga, Pilates, biking, swimming, etc.)? If so do you modify what you do in these activities?
I use elliptical and treadmill. Occassionally I swim. I would love to return to dancing, but haven't done it yet.
How has the surgery impacted you professionally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially? Is your life different now? Did you have any outcome, good or bad, that was different from what you expected? Any other thoughts to share?
My regret is that I didn't do it sooner and I wasted so much time in physical discomfort. My right side wasn't as severe as the right but it will have to be replaced within the next few years. I definately won't hesitate to do it again. It changed my life and when I went back for my first follow up with Dr. Holt, I took my kids and my husband with me b/c I wanted to share how much he had changed my life and how grateful I was to him for giving me my life back!!! I hugged him and told him he had literally changed my life and I would be forever grateful~it was definately spiritual. And when I realized one night that I was dancing and shaking my hips again I almost cried! I have always loved to dance around to hip hop music and now I can do that again....its a game changer for sure! I was lucky to have insurance but I will still be paying off my surgery for a few years, but it was worth every cent.
Submitted April 12, 2013