Why I need a Hip Replacement - Part 1

I've had a few messages about me temporarily closing while I have my Hip Replacement Surgery, so I thought the best thing to do is write a blog post solely about it.

A lot say I am quite young to have a Hip Replacement at the age of 39, however I am actually right on schedule!

Perthes Disease

When I was a child I had Perthes Disease in my left hip. The experts seem to think I was born with it, however it wasn't actually picked up until I was in Year 4/5 junior school.

I used to always complain my knee hurt and I also limped. School Medicals couldn't find an issue and so it was dismissed. Eventually I was taken to our family doctor who performed some leg exercises on my and because I couldn't do them properly on my left side, he had an idea what was wrong and I was referred for an x-ray.

The x-ray results of course showed deformities on my left hip, Perthes Disease. It is also known as Legg-Calve Perthes Disease.

As time went on, my limping got worse and found my balance was off and I would collapse without warning. I was put in the waiting list to have an operation. It got worse as I couldn't run with my friends and because the limping got really bad - it was noticeable and kids being kids, I got picked on. 

My wonderful Grandma (my Dads mum) pestered the surgery and bless her heart she tired to get them to hurry up and get me moved up the list quicker. And you know what, she did just that!

Fats forward to the first year in senior school, I had my operation finally! Prior to that my Dad and my Uncle took me over to Sheffield Children's Hospital endless times for appointments and tests. My Grandma and my wonderful Dad were absolutely amazing. I was in Sheffield Children's Hospital for almost 2 months and my Dad stayed with me Monday-Friday and my Grandma would stay with me for the weekend. I don't actually know what I would of done without my Grandma and my Dad. 

The operation was a success and they put 2 long pins in my hip which should of stayed in. Unfortunately, my mum came over and discharged me while my Grandma and Dad had gone home for the weekend. All I will say is that in less than a month at home in my mums care, the pins had to be taken out.

I always knew I would need a Hip Replacement at some point during my adult life after the first initial operation. The consultant told me I would end up with arthritis- but I was always prepared and sort of expected it to happen once I hit my 50's, not while I'm in my 30's.

I've always had problems with my hip. I always limped as I ended up with one leg shorter than the other due to the initial operation. I always have lower back pain but I just tended to get on with it. 

Problems began more so when Covid hit and we were all in lockdown. I suffered everyday with a dull ache in my bad hip, pain and basically just discomfort 24/7. I kept going to the doctor telling them something wasn't right and I was always robbed off. Medication was given to me and they never worked. My hip then started to lock - if I was sat down and then get up, something would 'twang'. Sometimes it would come right in a few minutes and other times it would last maybe an hour tops. I kept going to the doctor and they would say I was too young for a Hip Replacement or to have arthritis there, again more medication was prescribed that didn't work.

Then in August last year (2022) I was at a family friends home having a couple of glasses of wine, when my hip decided to lock again. It would not come right and resulted in my husband having to come and carry me to the car. I wasn't worried at this point as I thought it would most likely come right by the time we got home. Nope, still wasn't having it and I could not walk. I then convinced myself that come morning when I wake up, it will all be fine. Unfortunately when I woke up the following morning it was still not right or stand up straight so of course I was so worried.

I managed to get an appointment at the doctors and I actually saw someone different. He listened to me and he said that I was infact the right age given my history that I will most likely have arthritis. The relief was incredible! He made a referral and gave me some decent strong painkillers and I knew things were going to get better. Someone finally listened to me!!! It took 2 years for someone to actually listen and take me seriously!!!

It wasn't long before I received a letter to go for my initial appointment to see a Physiotherapist called Gary. I was abit puzzled as I was expecting an appointment to see a consultant who specialises in hips. Anyway, turns out all referrals go to this physio guy so he can decide if you actually need a referral.

Gary was lovely, he knew everything about Perthes Disease and listened to me. He referred me for an x-ray and when those results came back it showed some arthritis but not enough to convince them this was the cause of my hip locking. So then Gary referred me for an MRI Scan. It took 5 months for me to get an appointment for an MRI Scan. Thankfully my hip had unlocked however I was walking with a stick. Fortunately the MRI Scan showed Severe Osteoarthritis and in definite need of a Hip Replacement!!!! I actually cried with relief because now they knew exactly what was going on and I wasn't imaging the pain!!!

This was February and since February my hip locked again and I have not been able to stand up straight or walk without having a walking stick. I have a stairlift and my husband has seemed to turn into my carer.  Thankfully I was referred to a surgeon and it's been abit of a whirlwind since then...

My surgeon sent me for a CT Scan and it showed exactly what was going on and why I can't stand straight. I'm hoping to get some photos so I can show you but I was shocked at how bad it was.

Anyway, I agreed to surgery as at this time I was having to sit in a wheelchair as I can only stand for a few minutes. I had my pre-op assessment and the date was booked for my surgery - Friday 12th May 2023. I opted to be put to sleep so when I woke, it would all be over haha.. 

In my next blog post - PART 2, I will explained what happened next.

I did arrive at the hospital, I did get booked in, and I was taken to theatre.

Unfortunately my Hip Replacement didn't happen but I will delve more into that in Part 2. 

If you've got this far, thank you so much! 

Hannah xx



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