March 14, 2010
I’m just out of Jan Palfijn Hospital in Gent after THR revision surgery on Friday. I promise to write everyone individually in the coming days, but here’s the story.
First of all the Belgian people in general and the staff of Anca Clinic and Villa Cento Passi could not have been nicer and have made the experience the best it could have been.
Dr De Smet himself has been incredible. It’s really important to note here that I am probably the first male patient of De Smet’s to lose a resurf to femoral head AVN. He’s been as concerned as me about the whole process here. I generally put this experience off to my poor genetics and that the blood flow in my femoral head never re-engaged properly after the resurfacing in December 2008. I had pain from the beginning that only got worse.
On Thursday evening, De Smet showed me the Profemur-L stem that would be paired with the 50mm Conserve head. There was never any chance of saving the resurf and this is the best possible result. On the last x-ray, the bone was completely gone — any longer and a THR would have been hard to do. De Smet confirmed during the surgery that the femoral cap was completely loose and he simply reached in and pulled it out with his hand.
So, the really good news is that the acetabular cup was fine and still perfectly positioned, and it stayed. In essence I only had half a THR operation, as I needed just the stem, neck and cap on the femoral side. De Smet also did his best to make sure my leg lengths matched up, and so far it looks pretty close.
The not as good news is that a sample of my hip capsule fluid may have had something into it, so I am on strong antibiotics pending culturing of the fluid for bacteria.
The surgery was on Friday at about 10 am. De Smet told me before I left the operating room that the surgery had gone well and he had saved the cup.
The care at Jan Palfijn Hospital was the best of my 3 stays, but I was ready to return to the Villa after 2 days.
The most amazing thing is that my pain is utterly gone. I hope no one out there ever experiences what I went through the last couple of weeks with AVN. I have post-surgical pain in the incision area, but there is no pain at all with weight bearing.
Lesson learned is that a big-ball THR is darned near as good as a resurf and better for me.
I’m due at the pool in half-an-hour for my first pool PT. Life is getting better by the hour.
LBHR 50/58 De Smet 13-Jun-06
RC+ 50/56 De Smet 17-Dec-08
RTHR 50/56 De Smet 12-Mar-10