Kizzy Slipped Cup - U.K.
My problem first stated in 1989 when I broke my back in a riding accident. I finally had the broken bits put into a Wray cage and my L4 L5 pinned and plated in 1995, so my pain tolerance is quite high! In 2003 I broke the pins and plates and had them removed. In 2004 I broke my left foot, and subsequently put unequal weight on my right leg for 3 months. At the end of this period I began getting groin pain in my right hip. GP's prescribed pain killers and a pain management course. They were convinced it was a return of the back ache, but I kept pushing and eventually in 2007 I saw a hip specialist. The hip problem was probably caused by the back problem as I have spent so much of my life walking funny. By this time it was too late to do any other work and a hip replacement was the only option. He said I was a prime candidate for the new Hip Resurfacing, so on the list I went. In the summer of 2008 I was offered a transfer under the NHS to the local private hospital. I jumped at the chance, thinking I'd won the lottery.
My first worry came when I saw my new surgeon for a consultation which was supposed to be just a formality. He said he wasn't happy doing a Hip Resurfacing on me as there was a report from one of the orthopaedic journals saying that Hip Resurfacing was unsuitable for a) women, and b) people with a hip joint under 50mm diameter. There was no way that I was going to just let him talk me into having half my leg removed now I had read all the info on Hip Resurfacing vs Total Hip Replacement. After a 20 minute argument he agreed to do the Resurfacing.
On 22nd September I arrived at the hospital at 6.30am as I was first on his list. He then came into the room and said I was 'less important' than the man originally designated last on his list and he had done a swap and I would now be going down at 2pm. 2pm came and went,
I'd had no pain relief or food or water since 11pm the night before. My instinct was to run, but my head kept telling me it would put me back to the bottom of the list and I couldn't live with this pain any further. I was finally walked to theatre at 4.45pm. The anaesthetist was an arrogant man and wouldn't give me the medication I know stops me from being sick, and took around 15 goes to get the needle into my arm. I came round about 7pm in agony. Strange I thought, everyone else said you come round and feel the instant lack of pain. Anyway, I was wheeled back to my room, throwing up several times on the way back. I lay in bed for 48 not daring to move other than when the physiotherapists were with me. They had me up on my feet, walking to the other side of the bed and back. Believe me it hurt, and that's from someone who walked around with a broken back for 6 years. I went down for X-rays on day 2, and the surgeon came in that evening. 'Oh' he said, 'that doesn't look right'. I'm afraid the cup has slipped. We will have to go back in and put another cup in.' Slipped my armpit. I was the 15th surgery he performed that day and he had either been too tired, too determined to prove me wrong or just plain negligent. I was kept off food for another 24 hours as the nurses thought I was to go straight back to surgery, not that it mattered too much as I was still violently ill. At this point he said he couldn't go back in until the wound had healed as there was too great a risk of infection.
So began 5 weeks of extreme pain. I went home to my elderly parents. Managed to come down the stairs in the morning and back up at night, taking around 45 minutes each time. I was in so much pain I didn't drink much as I found the trip to the downstairs loo way to painful, and getting up in the night was a no no. I went to my home after 4 weeks to give them a rest. I saw the surgeon on the Monday of week 5, and he said I would have to go through the 18 week NHS system again before my next operation and it would probably be a different surgeon. Excuse me, why had he not said this 5 weeks ago. I came out desperate and ready to end it all. The following morning I got on the phone to my PCT and explained what had happened. Within the hour they had made arrangements for me to go back into the private hospital and see the same surgeon. I chose to have him again as only he would be able to see where he had gone wrong. By Wednesday I was back in hospital, and surgery took place around 8am. I had a different anaesthetist and didn't once vomit. I came home to my parents on day 5 and back home on day 12. The surgeon admitted he had not prepared the site well enough and when he went back in, the cup fell straight out. I had therefore spent 5 weeks putting weight metal on raw bone.
I now have a 54mm dysplasic cup with 2 big screws in my pelvis on a 48mm head. I am currently 6 months down the line. I still walk with a big limp, especially when tired, and use a single crutch for walking further than a few yards. I managed to start looking after my ponies around week 12 post second op and driving around the same time. Over short distances I'm quite fast, I can walk the ponies out to their paddocks, muck out, carry water buckets and feed buckets, and have just started being able to climb through fences rather than having to go all the way round to the gate and I can cope quite well with uneven ground. I ride my bicycle several times a week, back to work full time, look after 10 ponies, a house, husband and teenager. I have given up the idea of riding a horse again as the fear of going through all that pain again is too much.
In essence, please read my story as a warning to choose your surgeon well, don't just go with who you are allocated. I've given up my dream because of this surgeon. At present walking without pain and a limp is my goal. Unfortunately hip number 2 is on the way out, and my back is playing up due to the twisting in my stride. Next time, the surgeon will have to be at the top of his game or I'm walking (limping) straight back home again. You have been warned.
.....X-rays coming soon....