I had a right THR in Nov.2006 & a left THR on Oct.21st 2011.
My story began in 2002/2003 when at age 58 I began getting sharp pains in my groin when walking. Family doctor suggested hip problems , so I began my research. I went to Arthritis society meetings & heard orthopedic surgeon Dr. Smit from White Rock ,BC, Canada, give a talk on the Birmingham hip replacement. This sounded like a good alternative to a THR for younger active candidates. So after Xrays & even an MRI I was referred by my family doctor to Dr. Smit. This all takes several months, at best
Dr. Smit confirmed that I did need right hip surgery & that I was a candidate for a Birmingham hip, but that the wait times for surgery were 2 to 3 years. At that time the hospital where I worked was closed, so being out of work & close to retirement, I put myself on the wait list & drove to Mexico with my wife & 10 year old daughter, where we lived for 2 years. By the time we returned home in 2006 I had a noticeable limp & frequent sharp pain in the groin.
Dr. Smit saw me again with fresh xrays, & said my hip had lost too much bone over the past couple of years & I was no longer a candidate for a Birminghan hip. He suggested a large diameter ball metal on metal THR and operated in Nov.2006 putting in a Biomet Manum hip.
The recovery went fairly well, after a set back at my 2 week post-op physio visit by an aggressive physio resulting in a nasty bleed into the thigh.
Looking back I was active & walking fairly well unaided in about 6 months, although even a year later I could still not walk great distances. Just over a year post op I had a disturbing redness on the skin about 8 inches in diameter over the operation site. I can’t remember if there was bruising & I don’t recall any pain.
My family doctor thought it might be a hip infection & suggested the ER. I called my surgeon, however, & he didn’t agree but could not explain the symptoms. After many tests over the next couple of weeks nothing was found to explain this & now some 3.5 years later, there have been no further problems.
Now to my 2nd osteoarthritic hip. My left hip had been fine until Sept. 2010 when suddenly I had severe pain in my groin & couldn’t put weight on that leg for a day or two then symptoms disappeared & I was fine again. I did see my family doctor & he did order an xray. Radiologist report that the hip had not changed in 2 years. Good, I thought. Then in March 2011, after a long walk, I began to get groin pain which progressively worsened over the next month or so. Xrays again & a radiologist report not much different to the one 6 months before. This time, however, I was referred to Dr. Smit for an appointment on June 6th.
In the meantime , I was in Scotland in May & had to resort to walking with a cane with worsening pain.( I never had to use a cane previously with my right hip prior to surgery).
I saw Dr. Smit on June 6th & his interpretation of the Xray clearly differed from the radiologist. He said “I‘m surprised you waited so long to see me”.
Over the next 4 or 5 months I could not walk without a cane & the pain was excruciating.
On October 21st Dr. Smit put in another Biomet Magnum MoM on the leftto match the one on the right.
I’m now 11 days post op & able to compare this experience with the last. Both surgeries were done at UBC Hospital , where they have a terrific joint program & a great team of nurses.
1st operation Nov.2006. I was in 4 nights but should have been 3 ( bad snowstorm stopped everything). Op time 2.5 hrs. Spinal but unconscious. 6” scar
2nd operation Oct.2011. I was in 3 nights, could/should have been 2 . Op time 1hr 20mins. Spinal but awake through the whole procedure. 5” scar.
My first hip performs well & I hope this one will be the same or better.
I’m reacquainting myself with the recovery process but so far all going according to plan. I see the surgeon & the physio 2 weeks post op.
Dr.Smit said to treat my hip as I would a new car. Take care of it & it will last a lifetime.
Thank you Pat, for you wonderful web site, so full of information we hippies all need to know.
Bill, ( now 67 years of age & hoping to be fitter than ever in a year from now).