Week 7

Source:  Week 7    Tag:  pelvis x ray

The long awaited six and a half week check-up with Banksey was fast approaching and I couldn’t wait to hear something along of the lines of “you can wean yourself off the crutches now.” But this wasn’t the case. The X-rays showed that my pelvis is yet to reconnect; the hip socket reconstruction was so severe that the bone still has an inch to grow until contact is made.

If you look closely you can see the cuts above (where the screws are) and to the right of the femoral head (ball part of joint), which freed the socket from the pelvis. This enabled the socket to be rotated anticlockwise so the socket covers the femoral head. My left hip dysplasia isn’t as bad as the right was but you can still see that the femoral head is partially uncovered and the socket slopes upwards instead of flattening out.

Unfortunately, as adult hip dysplasia and PAOs are relatively new, many doctors and consultants misdiagnose the hip pain even when a dysplastic X-ray is staring them in the face. If you’ve had ongoing hip pain which hurts to walk through at times, heard your hip(s) click and clunk during day-to-day activities, or experienced your hip giving way whilst walking, you may have dysplasia. Request an X-ray and ask to see it. Watch out for sloping, shallow hip sockets and mention dysplasia if need be. I suffered pain for a year before I sought help and then only had to wait three months for the correct diagnosis/bombshell news. Luckily the first consultant I met (Dr Ward at Kingston hospital) knew exactly what he was looking for on the X-ray and referred me to Banksey for surgery. I’ve read and heard a variety of stories about women seeing many consultants and waiting years for accurate news let alone surgery. My hip twin for instance was passed around the houses and suffered for five years until a Doc finally identified the issue and referred her to Banksey. Diagnosing dysplasia isn’t the only tricky bit but finding an experienced surgeon who alleviates the problem and doesn’t make it worse is the next task. Banksey specialised in orthopaedics for 5-6 years, then specialised in PAO for another 5-6 years so he really is the crème de la crème of performing PAO’s in Britain. For more information about dysplasia visit his website: http://www.bankes.com/hipsurgery_2011/hip-dysplasia-and-PAO.html

The downside to the disjointed finding is that I am to remain on crutches for another six weeks. 50% weight bearing for three and then 80% for three to encourage blood circulation and stimulate bone growth. So close but yet so far from the complete independence I desperately want and thought was imminent. Thankfully my dad has agreed to stay with us for the next couple of weeks to continue helping me out. On the plus side, Banksey did reassure me that the screws haven’t bent, the infection is on it’s way out and it’s normal to still be taking morphine at night. He also explained that I can attempt some hip rotational movements and can lie on my right side now. – It’s been tried and tested and I’m pleased to report no pain or problems this time round.

Before surgery I knew that certain bodily changes would occur such as: my leg muscles getting smaller (atrophying), arms getting toned and bigger (hypertrophying) due to the use of crutches, and possibly weight gain with Christmas on the horizon and an inability to exercise. My predictions were accurate on all accounts… My hockey thighs are no more; I could be mistaken for a boxer with my upper body; and my weight temporarily fluctuated. However I wasn’t aware that I would be 2cm taller, have a bigger hip and tonnes more back pain. As my right hip socket has been rotated it has pushed my femur (leg) down and out. The leg length discrepancy is pretty obvious to me when I stand or walk as my hips are noticeably wonky and I have to stand with my feet a foot apart to level my hips out. It shouldn’t cause too many problems (other than affect my back) and I’ll have to put up with it until my left hip is corrected. My slightly bigger right hip is visible on the X-ray if you look at where the greater trochanter (the knobbly bit to the left of the femoral head) is in vertical comparison to the iliac crest (upper rounded part of my pelvis), and then compare it to my left hip (right of the X-ray). The increased back pain is largely down to crutches so regular physio treatments will have to do until I’m off the sticks. So ladies, if you want to be that little bit taller, I’d recommend double PAO ;)

Aside from seeing Banksey, I was really looking forward to my check-up so I could see my hip twin Natalia again. We're still in regular contact so were aware of each other’s check-up date and time. It was so good to see her and Tom and we had a good catch-up in the hospital. She’s progressing really well and is ready to slowly come off the crutches. Natalia also had a visible stitch poking out of her wound but unlike me, decided to leave it. Banksey removed it at the check-up and I immediately regretted cutting mine. The infection has caused my wound to be very red and dry but whilst showering, I still notice a slight opening and what looks like either a stitch or a scab at the top of my wound. I wished I had mentioned this to Banksey and had him investigate but I missed my opportunity. During my shower the following day, I was virtually 100% sure that it was the stitch I could see and decided it was time. Andy sterilised the tweezers and watched as I pinched the white thing. It was a massive relief when this came out…

I’m a little envious of Natalia’s wound as it looks very clean and tidy still. My tiny line of a scar is very much long gone as you can see in the picture. With the stitch finally out, my skin can close up and hopefully heal properly. I wondered whether this partially caused the infection, but who knows. At least I’ve completed the course of vile antibiotics and nipped the infection in the bud.

In six weeks I have another check-up with Banksey to discover if the bone has grown and my pelvis is reconnected again, and he’s put me on the three-month waiting list for my left hip. This is later than initially thought and unfortunately can’t happen sooner as I’m not able to fully weight bear yet and I need one functional leg to rehab the other. I only have six weeks on crutches, then six weeks off crutches to increase my right-sided strength in preparation for the next surgery, and now that I’ve been given the green light to up the reps and sets of my hip, leg and abdominal exercises, I’ll be ready for it!

Lastly, I have had a few enquiries about how I’m keeping busy with my abundance of spare time as I haven’t really talked about it in a while. I’m afraid to say that 2013 hasn’t seen any knitting thus far after my failed attempt at a hat turned me into an angry knitter again. I plan to recommence this week however. I’ve been sucked into watching more day time television but no more Jeremy Kyle don’t worry. Sorting my tax return and temporary benefit money is quite time-consuming, and I’m working my way through a couple of boxsets; The O.C. and Homeland. Two months off work is not fun at all, and knowing that I'll be doing it all again in April means I need to think of more things to keep busy. Suggestions are welcome. TTFN