At age 56 I was advised that a hip replacement
was necessary, my surgeon who had come recommended and was very experienced, had
been treating me for about 18 months for osteoarthritis and although I was a
very fit 56 year old (climbed mt. kilimanjaro in 2007) I was given the
impression that it was the only option.
I had my hip replacement in July 2008 and it was not a good experience. From day
one it did not feel right and I had an unexplained 'shift' at the top of my leg.
Every time I got up or sat down I sort of had to maneuver my leg till it felt ok
then it was generally no problem, however this did improve a lot over the next 9
However approx.10 months after the operation I
was getting pain around the joint again and some swelling that was not diagnosed
after two consultations, and not acted upon as quickly as I believe it should
have been. Through unusual circumstances (another story) I was not able to have
an arranged appointment with my surgeon, so, I decided to do some research and
find the most highly recommended surgeon in my area. Very fortunately I found a
different surgeon who agreed to see me and after approx. 10 minutes stated that
although he was not 100% sure without blood test confirmation he believed he
knew what the problem was and said it was ALVAL.
To cut a long story short I was admitted for an aspiration of the hip (they suck
out the fluid) within five days and revision surgery within 3 weeks where the
metal on metal (ball and cup only) were replaced with ceramic types. The
original cup was very badly aligned and the ball was almost dislocated. There
was a 'massive' amount of alval fluid, necrosis of the rota muscles (gone
completely) the abductor muscles and some of the main muscle. This has all been
removed and the main muscle tightened back up. I am only 5 days post surgery and
already I can feel a difference, I know it is early days but I am walking with
the aid of only one stick, there is no longer the 'shift' when I get up and down
the pain has gone and I just feel a whole lot better. I truly believe that
without the knowledge and skills of my new surgeon, I would have had some very,
very serious complications that really don't bear thinking about too much.
I can only reiterate advice previously given, if you are advised that hip
replacement is necessary make sure you have or find the best surgeon you can,
and make sure you are given all the options because you may not need a
replacement you may well be suitable for resurfacing. Also if you have any
problems insist they are diagnosed and explained to your complete satisfaction.
I will keep you posted on my progress