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Saturday, July 31, 2010


Today was a very interesting day on the hip front. At school the fellows were giving out free treatments and I decided that I could go. It wouldn't hurt and it would probably make me and my hip feel better. Well, it may or may not have been a good idea.

At my medical school there are some doctors who specialize in musculoskeletal medicine (physical medicine and rehabilitation to be exact). Well, I saw somebody who is training under the doctors here and apparently I am still so sore because all my muscles and fascia are warped into weird positions and cause me pain. I had my treatment today and the fellow used a new fascial technique that, well, to say the least, hurt A LOT. To be quite honest, it might have been the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. Although this might bruise and cause severe discomfort now, it should reset my fascial pattern (which is screwed up all the way to the hip joint itself). Sigh, so I am REALLY, REALLY sore now.

The thing that was bad about the treatment, besides it hurting so much, was that it really didn't make a difference because the fellow couldn't "get in there" enough to release the fascia, and, we were in a wide open setting and he didn't feel comfortable a) uncovering the butt, groin region and b) making me cry or yelp because of the pain.

Apparently this, if done correctly, hurts like the dickens, but should reset everything so as to help me recovery very quickly (after I have recovered from the treatment itself). This is a new an up-and-coming technique that they are trying out here at my medical school.

Although I didn't get any benefits (ie increased ROM), the fellow is going to talk to the doctors (two of them here do this treatment) and will see if they can fit me into their schedule. There is at least a month's wait list to see these doctors, but, seeing as I work in lab with these doctors on a regular basis, they would work me in. So, I wait in limbo for yet another doctors appointment. Hopefully this will give me relief after some pain....but then, maybe I am being masochistic and just seeking pain without potential benefits.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

8 Weeks Post Op

I seriously can't believe that it has been eight weeks, two whole months, since my surgery. It seems like just yesterday I was being wheeled into the operating room getting ready to have my last hip fixed.

Things are still rather sore but manageable. I will be happy when this recovery is all over with and I can start increasing my activity levels to a normal level again. I wonder if I will be ble to run again? I love, love, love running! Before I do any impact activity I will ask my surgeon. I have an appointment at the 6 month mark just to check in with him to see how things ended up.

At this point, I hope I am happy I did the surgery as it is too early to tell if it hasn't made me worse than before. But the groin pain is gone and the locking is gone (I think, but I can't really tell since I can't extend all the way yet).

All I can say is that I am happy that I only have two hips! ha.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slowly, Slowly, Slowly...

I am quite impatient and wish that one day I could wake up and say, "hey, I feel better." But, alas, this is not the case. Things don't ever seem to get better from day to day, but when I look back at where I was two weeks ago, I suppose things actually are better. I am much better when I don't do a heck of a lot.

I try to do my physiotherapy exercises every other day (which is about as much as my body can handle.) It is really nice since my school has a wonderful gym. My physiotherapist from home has set me up with a tonne of strengthening and ROM exercises. Both she and I are pretty confident that I can go through and progress through the rehab on my own since I have a couple of advantages: a) I have done this before on the other side and know what I was doing b) I am in medical school and I have many doctors / fellow students with whom I can ask questions should the need arise. I will go see a physiotherapist if I find that I am not improving as I would like, but for now it is well.

At the gym I do various exercises and things. I can do about 10 minutes on the eliptical which is a feat in and of itself. (I can only go forward though, since the backward motion is too taxing on my still very weak quadriceps). I do lots on the exercise balls: bouncing up and down to loosen the hip capsule, one legged squats rolling the ball under the operated knee, and much more. It feels really good when I do it, but the next day things get quite sore. Mostly just the actual joint itself. I still am unable to walk without a limp because I can still not extend properly. Mind you, it is SLOWLY getting better than it was, it is still noticeable in my gait.

So all in all, no real major progressions, but small improvements in ROM and strength. The things that bother me is that I require so much more sleep than last year during school. I suppose this is my body's way of letting me know that I have to take it easy! As well, the fact that my other hip is more sore when I walk on it than my most recently operated hip makes me a bit uneasy (since this is what happened post op after my first scope....I am guessing it is just my paranoia setting in!)

Until next update,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Returning to School = Unhappy Hips

I have officially returned to classes for two days now and wow, my mind is ready to go but my body isn't. I don't have a choice but to increase my activity. I have 26 stairs just to get to my bedroom in my apartment. Also, all of my food is on the lower shelves in the kitchen which requires me to bend over to get my food out. It certainly is the little things that hurt that make my life difficult at the moment.

I find that the worst time of day, besides at night before bed, right after my morning lectures. I sit in a lecture hall for four hours straight. When I go to get up and grab some lunch I can barely walk across the street to my apartment. But, I go slowly and can make it there in time to eat, take some Ibuprofen and Tylenol and then go back to class for a couple of hours more of lecture. All the sitting is killing me. But, I suppose I am managing the best I can.

Funny thing is that my other hip is actually more sore than my most recently operated hip. I think it is from bending whilst standing on my right leg that has it irritated. I know this hip isn't 100% so it doesn't surprise me that it is protesting a bit. I guess no, or very minimal, bending over for me for the next. Hopefully it calms down because having two sore hips really sucks!

So I have gone backwards a bit, but I expected this. I am sure that it will get better as I get stronger.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Phone Frustration

Well, I was supposed to set up an appointment to see my OS during my Christmas break and I am having a terrible time getting a hold of the secretary. I called yesterday and had to call back this morning because she didn't know when he was taking his holidays. So I called back today and she was too busy so she called me back later. I was waiting my my phone but then my phone line went cooky and I couldn't answer it, so I have to call back on Monday, but I am traveling 11 hours in the car to get back to school. So I can't call Monday either. To makes things worse, it looks like I will have my appointment on Jan. 4th, so that means that I will be missing two days of school. This really sucks because it puts me behind the eight ball to start off the semester, but I guess it is worth it to get the final closure on the hip situation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

6 weeks Post-Op

Hey, hey. I am now 6 weeks post-op. Although things are going slowly, they are going forward, this is a good thing. I am still extremely stiff. I don't necessarily hurt too badly, but I am so stiff that anything I do takes more effort than it should. Thus I get more tired than I used to before surgery.

I have about 90 degrees of flexion and moderate external rotation, aDduction, and aBduction, but still almost zero degrees of internal rotation. My muscles are feeling stronger and less sore all of the time. But as my muscles relax, the joint itself isn't relaxing very well. I do all the things that I am supposed to do, but it doesn't seem to make any difference, I still can't extend or straighten up. Kind of frustrating.

As far as the incisions go, they are doing well. The one that I was worried about having a suture in it actually has an abscess under the skin. Sometimes people get this from the subcutaneous stitches. The doctor said that if it was a stitch, it probably would be red and inflamed, so it most likely isn't a stitch. But there is no real way to tell. But both the surgeon's fellow and the nurse didn't seem like it was a very big deal at all.

Yesterday I had my follow-up as well. I saw my surgeon's fellow prior to seeing my surgeon. The fellow was great, he was definitely from Australia! Man, I love the accents! :) But he was thorough and explained the radiographs, the pictures from within the joint, and looked at my incisions. He even printed out a copy of the operative report for me to read later. (this absolutely thrilled me). I saw my surgeon for about three to five minutes. He re-explained the pictures and then told me that I should make an appointment just to check up with him on my Christmas break. So I don't see the surgeon until I am about 6 months post-op. Hopefully things are as great as they will be and I'll run into and out of the office for good. I think that I have been about 15 times to the surgeon for both the right and left hips.

I was also explained that I didn't necessarily have a labral tear (although the operative reports it as a tear) but rather a frayed labrum. I also had chondral delamination at the base of the fraying. Which also was taken away. This is slightly concerning since I am only 25 and have cartilage damage. But it is gone and hopefully for good. The cam-impingement was substantial and necessitated that they use additional approaches to cut and shave the extra bone. This explains the bruising in the anterior and most lateral portal - since they had to exchange the bone shaver and the scope back and forth to remove all of the bone.

So as it stands things are healing well. I am tired of having a stiff hip that doesn't seem to be healing very quickly. It is so weird that I don't have any doctor's appointments until December or January now (I still have to schedule my follow up with my surgeon). I always have something planned! Xrays, arthrograms, specialist appointments, etc. This may very well be the final stretch to a life that is not ruled by my hips. I have the hope of someday having a day that I do not have to think about my hips. To be honest, there has not been a day since June of 2007 that I have not thought of my hips. I can't even imagine what it is like to not think about my hips while I move, walk, stand, or sit. I assume that I will start thinking less and less of my hips so the transition to a 'normal' life will be gradual. Very scary thought (in a weird way). I don't know how to put it, but in a way, it is like a chapter in my life is coming to a close. For the last three years I had to deal with hip pain, doctor appointment after doctor appointment, imaging test after imaging test, surgery, recovery, more appointments, surgery, recovery. This will come to a close and there will be a time that I don't need to have so many health things going on. It will be great, but that learning as a patient will be lost. Having said this though, I think that being a patient for two surgeries within 2 years of each other is enough patient learning for a while. Let's hope that the hips hold up for the rest of my life! (or at least for many more decades).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting Busier

Well, it appears as if I have missed my five week update. I did take some pictures, but I didn't have time to post them up. Ah well, I suppose a 6 week update in the next couple of days will suffice.

As far as the hip is feeling, it is slowly getting better. Each day I wake up feeling great. I can walk without a limp if I don't take full steps. But as the day progresses it gets more painful and then I can't extend backwards at all and I limp. My goal was to go to my surgeon without limping, but this is not going to happen unless I suddenly wake up tomorrow without a tight anterior hip capsule. (Which is highly unlikely).

So tomorrow I go see my surgeon for my six week follow-up. I get radiographs done a half hour before my scheduled appointment. I really can't wait to see my radiographs and arthroscopy pictures from inside my hip. Also, I am going to see what he thinks about my one incision. It just doesn't feel right to me. Having the slight troubles with the sutures for the past couple of weeks, I am concerned that I have a stitch inside. But this might simply be my paranoia setting in. I bet that he says that it is just scar tissue. But, nevertheless, I have to ask him just to be sure.

Another exciting thing about tomorrow is that my brother is coming home and going to drive to my appointment with me. I have to drive out of town to the large teaching hospital for the area and it will be great to travel with my brother. I don't get to see him much and he has come home to spend some time with me before I head off to school next week. Given that having an appointment out of town takes the entire day to drive there, have the appointment, and then drive home; it will be great to have sibling company!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Last Suture (hopefully)

Today I noticed that one of my incisions had a bluish hue to it and thought, "Hey, my stitches were blue!" So I decided to numb it up with an ice cube and then I put a pin into one side of the incision and pulled out about 1.5 cm of blue, nylon suture material! 5 weeks after the surgery I shouldn't be pulling out suture material. I will definitely have my surgeon take a good look at all of the incisions to make sure that there is not any more underneath the skin. I wouldn't be surprised if one incision still has some in it since it is very hard under the skin; although I suppose this could be scar tissue.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Decent Day

Today was a decent day, ALL day. I think that this is the first full day that I have not significantly deteriorated after dinner. It was great to fell decent in the evening. Although this was helped with a bit of acetaminophen, but still, it is a step forward. Another first today as well, for a couple of minutes I actually forgot that I had surgery! It only lasted briefly since I thought I could go up the two steps out of the living room with a bounce in my step. Alas, my hip is not ready for bouncing of any kind; and he told me as soon as I did it.

So, as it stands now, the things that I need to work on is my hip extension (hip capsule still stiff as anything), quadriceps strength (still significantly atrophied), and ROM in all directions.

Comparing this to my last scope, I was off crutches now and walking with a slight lurch to the affected side due to the gluteal muscles all being cut (ha, I checked my old blog). But, I did not have this anterior tightness that would not go away. One thing that struck me about my notes from last surgery, is that I already thought that my left hip had a tear! In fact, I noted the same groin pain and catching only two weeks after my first scope on the right side. Amazing how much has changed with my hips since then....healed up on hip and got the other done. Oh how sweet it will be when my hips are fixed and I can live like a normal 25 year-old without hip pain? And be active? I haven't been active at all since 2007. I can't wait!!!


P.S. I certainly hope this offsets some of the negativity from my previous post!