Continuing the surgery saga, yesterday was my first appointment with the surgeon. He answered all my husband's and my questions thoroughly, was very reassuring, offered non-surgical options, and completely allayed my concerns about having a total hip replacement done.
This is not a minor procedure, but he's done thousands of them and, as he said, once the knife goes in, it's "all business." He took a lot of time with me, much more than I expected. My husband and I both left feeling reassured that we'd made an informed decision, and the best one for me.
There are two non-surgical options. One is using a cane and continuing to have pain until I can't stand it any more. I'm already there.
He also said we could try cortisone injections in the joint, but he allowed that since I'm at stage 4 as far as loss of cartilage goes (that's the end of the line), injection therapy wouldn't last long or provide much relief.
I go for pre-op testing and X-rays January 7, and surgery will take place Monday, January 18.
I feel as though a yuuuuuuge weight has been lifted. There's plenty of time to prepare and learn more about what to expect. One thing we were specific about was the length of time for the surgery. Without hesitation he said 35 minutes from time of incision until closure. The less time, the better, as you reduce the opportunity for blood clots and infection.
I can expect to be in the hospital two to three days, although some patients go home the following day, and no rehab hospital time is expected, which was a complete surprise. Being somewhat competitive, I'd absolutely like to go home the next day. Heck, I'd go home the same day if it was possible!
The only physical therapy he mentioned was in-hospital, post-surgery, which was another complete surprise. I'm going to push for at least some post-op PT, in order to have the best opportunity to regain full range of motion.
The worst news from the appointment, but something I already knew, was that my running days are over. An artificial hip joint is something you really need to take care of. No running. No ladders without assistance. No risks, basically, that might end up with a broken leg, hip or pelvis.
But he said I could walk "a hundred miles a day" if I wanted to.
I can't wait!