Monday, August 22, 2011

Hip hip boo!!!!!!!

I've put aside blogging for a while. I had no idea what to write about!

Well, now I do! A lovely two month ago, I started experiencing extremely terrible pain in my right hip after working a couple of hours. I've had similar types of pain before, generally after working a long shift at work. I always pegged it as typical long day, legs/feet hurt, no big deal. After getting myself on a chair or bed for a few hours it always went away. Well, mid-June the pain started eating at me while at work. It gnawed around my groin and almost felt like I would have to pop my hip area. After dealing with multiple shifts with this groin-wrenching agony, I decided to see a chiropractor.

So, I finally get in with one, and have an upper and lower back adjustment. Upper back = felt heavenly for weeks! Lower back/hip= felt good for about three hours. That was on a Friday. I still had a ton of pain over the weekend. The next Monday, I finally call my primary and set an appointment. When I went to the appointment a few days later, the doctors were concerned with the pain caused by their movements. They set me up for a bunch of x-rays after the appointment, which were weird and uncomfortable. Get a call back the next morning saying that the x-rays were clear and they wanted to do an MRI. So, I go in for an MRI. I felt somewhat good that my hip was throbbing while I was in the long, skinny machine because there was no way it was nothing.
The next few days, I was starting to feel better. I had been resting a lot, not overdoing it on my feet, and being careful while moving around. I thought maybe it was getting better. I heard back from my primary saying that I had a labral tear and he asked how it was feeling. I was feeling much better, so we both assumed I was getting better. It was around the fourth of July, was working a lot of hours and enjoying time with my boyfriend and family. Life was good.
Until a few days later, the pain popped up at work again. It was excruciating and I could barely hold back my tears as I worked. Luckily my manager was super nice and found me a tall chair to sit on to check out customers, but the pain was not manageable. I was sucking down pain relievers like candy and those barely helped. After a few more days, I finally call the doctor again who refers me to orthopedics. I had to wait another week and a half to see a professional, which seemed like torture. I had to get a work release starting July 15th. I kept it easy around the house and tried not to do anything to trigger the pain in my groin. At this point it was worst when I just stood and often cracked when I walked (not a comfortable feeling). 

When I saw the orthopedist in sports medicine in mid-late July, she said she needed another MRI with dye in the hip joint and she wanted me to start physical therapy. She said she was pretty sure I had a tear with my previous MRI, but since there was no dye she could not see as clearly as she would like. So I went in for the new MRI. First they had to take me to a side room and inject a lovely needle with anesthetic and dye into my right hip. Thank goodness for numbing spray, but it felt SO WEIRD. The anesthetic felt so wonderful for a few hours and I had almost no pain. I was hoping it would last, but by the end of the day the pain was excruciating. I had to wait until August 4th to see the same orthopedist again.

Physical therapy didn't last too long. He gave me a few exercises to keep up at home and we tried some electrostimulation therapy on the joint, and the pain relief was short lived (less than an hour).

So, August 4 rolls around and I see the orthopedist. She provides new information which I have not been told. She said that my hip socket did not match the ball of my femur from the x-rays taken in JUNE (and they said they were fine :-\) and that the MRI indicated a labral tear. She referred me to an arthroscopic surgeon to review my case... more waiting. Next appointment was August 16th. I was going nuts with all the waiting. I had been out of work for a month, I lost an internship opportunity, I could barely get out of the house, I couldn't exercise, and getting terribly depressed.

New appointment brought some more shockers. Found out my labrum was about 3-4 time bigger than an average person's (the doc kept referring to it as a MONSTER >>;;). He explained the angle of my femur was not in enough, so that was creating such a large area in my hip socket. He said he could fix the tear, but since the tear was not related to trauma or injury he was afraid that it would just re-tear. So, then he told me he was talking to another surgeon to see whether an open-hip surgery would be a better option.

WHAT?!?!? Open... hip... surgery... WHAT?????

Ushered into another set of more awkward x-rays. These were so particular that I had to stand in all sorts of funky ways. It was odd and unusual; my x-ray tech obviously did not do a lot of that type of x-ray. She would do one, then have to call and check for approval or suggestions for a better x-ray, then shoot some more. 

Last Friday, I got a call right before the offices closed. Two surgeons collaborated and decided that the open-hip surgeon wanted to see my case. Arthroscopic surgeon is convinced this is a better option for me. I got an appointment set up with the new surgeon on September 6, though I will continue to call to see if I can get in a cancellation slot. I also learned today that the procedure in question is called a Periacetabular Osteotomy. 

This... has not been my year health wise. I figure right now I'll use my blog as a type of therapy while I'm going through my hip issues. I know I will be going through a lot more pain and hard work for many months to come. So, come here for all the latest updates! I will also start posting some other stuff; I think other kinds of writing and whatnot will be good for me as well.

On a lighter note, I graduate with my undergrad in November!! Yay!


  1. Did you ever get a diagnosis? I've had hip/knee/elbow/ankle pain the last year, seen a million different medical professionals and I haven't been diagnosed. Surgery was suggested at one point, but brushed off. I hope you find a solution on your road to healing. I definitely feel your pain, girl!

  2. Oh I'm really sorry to hear that Hannah! Have you been observed for rheumatoid arthritis? I've heard people with it can have wicked pain in any joints.

    I haven't gotten a definitive diagnosis yet, minus the fact I have borderline dysplasia. I think it's funny they only call it borderline, cause this hurts way too much for what I would consider 'borderline'. I keep learning something new every time I see the doctors, so I hope to get a better idea of what exactly is going on soon.

  3. I got tested for RA and a million other things. When the tests came back "clean", my doctor basically said "You're healthy," as if I wasn't still hurting. I haven't been back since (that was in...April.) I think (although this hypothesis has been ignored by medical professionals) that my joints are hypermobile, and my muscles aren't strong enough to support my joints. So as of right now, I'm trying to do strength training to strengthen all my joints. We'll see what happens!

    Don't you love that about doctors?! Too bad they can't literally feel what you're feeling, eh? haha

  4. Oh ya, completely! I'm sure if they felt that way they wouldn't believe it's nothing.

    You mention hypermobile joints... have they checked for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome? I know a friend who has that and causes her pain.

  5. I honestly don't know all of what the doctor checked for! He rambled off a huge long list of things they were checking, and then told me I was fine all around when the tests came back.