Jean Schmit 06/03/08 Dr. Rubinstein **VIDEO**
Young Mother with Hip Dysplasia & Osteoarthritis
June 3, 2008 Dr. Rubinstein
In the fall of 2002, I was feeding my one- year-old son a bottle before bed, and I noticed a deep burning sensation in my left hip. We had been doing yard work that day, and I chalked it up to too much edging of the mulch beds in the yard. I iced that hip, took it easy, and waited for the pain to subside. The following year I noticed that when I was teaching classes and I would rotate about the classroom, that if I stepped a certain way, I would get a ‘twang’ sensation in my hip, and then the deep burning sensation would soon follow.
I went to my doctor; he suggested taking it easy, losing some weight, and possibly acupuncture. I took it easy. I tried to lose weight. I did acupuncture. Nothing helped. I finally went back to the doctor, and he then sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. We tried injections of cortisone in my hip. That would provide relief for about 2 weeks. I started taking NSAIDS. I was trying everything I could to relieve that deep burning pain. I then unexpectedly became pregnant with twins – and that complicated everything! The hip problems became much worse with the weight gain of a twin pregnancy. It was then that I began falling whenever I was weight bearing and turning left. I was unable to sleep through the night.
Finally, when my twin daughters were 6 months old, I was sent for an MRI with a contrast dye, because my x-rays didn’t really look that bad, and I think the surgeon thought I was drug seeking! At that point it was discovered that I had a significant labrum tear, and minor hip dysplasia. The surgeon insisted that I must have had some traumatic injury – an accident, a fall … but nothing of the sort had happened. I was scheduled for a hip arthroscopy and debridement. The tear was ‘repaired’ and I took the recovery very seriously because I didn’t want to return to that burning pain again.
Six months after the scope, I was shoveling 15 inches of a heavy April snow in order to get my daughter out for an important doctor’s appointment. As I was throwing that snow over my left shoulder I felt a hard crack, and instantly that deep burning pain again. I knew at that point I had done it. I went back to the surgeon, had another MRI, and got bad news. The deterioration of my hip joint was progressing much faster than the surgeon had anticipated. I was then officially diagnosed with osteoarthritis. He felt I needed a total hip replacement. I went to 5 different orthopedic surgeons; 2 told me that I needed a hip replacement, and 3 told me to wait on a replacement until I was 50. At this point I was 37 years old; I had twin one-year-old daughters, and a 6-year-old son. I could no longer walk on uneven surfaces without paying dearly for it. I could not play on the floor with my girls, sled with my son or bike ride with my family, or swim. Every night I packed my hip in ice, had a drink and fell asleep on the couch.
At this point I figured that I needed to find other young people who needed new hips. I found a Young Total Hip group on Yahoo. When I posted my story there, Surface Hippy Scott found me. He suggested that I look into other options. I thought to myself, other options??? There are other options??? Scott pointed me to the Surface Hippy Group and I have never looked back.
I knew the importance of having the right doctors through other life issues (Maddie – ABCA3 – http://blue.wths.net/faculty/schmit/maddie.html ). I immediately asked who the best surgeons in Chicago were. Thankfully Dr. Scott Rubinstein was in my insurance network. I asked numerous questions on the Surface Hippy Site – and received so much support and encouragement. Vicky & Paul were such fantastic resources.
When I met with Dr. Rubinstein I asked him to tell me why all these other surgeons recommended a total hip replacement. He patiently sat with me and addresses every issue and concern I had. I knew instantly he was the correct doctor for my case. He put it to me this way: “You’re taking a gamble on getting a THR at 38 and hoping it will last your life time. If it doesn’t, you’re looking at a revision of a THR in your 70’s. Why don’t we gamble on a resurface lasting your lifetime? That way if you need a revision, it will be a much easier surgery. But I’m betting that the BHR lasts as long as you need it to.”
I am a school teacher, and already had used up my sick time for the school year, so my surgery was scheduled for the week after school let out. That spring, I could barely make it through my teaching day. I was walking with a cane, and counting every step.
Finally June came and I eagerly arrived at the hospital for the operation. I did not have an easy recovery. I had a minor complication after surgery (blood sugar related) that required me to stay 5 days in the hospital. Once home the PT was very difficult. I questioned if I had done the right thing. Then about 4 weeks into my recovery something amazing happened: I slept through the night. After that it seems like every week I can do something that I have not been able to do for years. Here I am downhill skiing at 6 months post-op on a very ICY mid-west hill:
I am now 39, and my twins are 3, and my son is 8. Since the surgery I have lost 30 pounds without much effort at all. (When asked what my secret is, I tell people that being able to move again is the key factor!) We play in the yard, we sled in the winter, we bike ride when the weather is nice, we go swimming in the summer. I edged my mulch beds in the back and front yard this past weekend – I do all of this without any pain! This past winter I began downhill snow skiing again, and yoga has a now permanent place in my weekly schedule.
If resurfacing is an option, please investigate it thoroughly. Get yourself to an experienced resurfacing surgeon – and then good luck. I hope you do not waste 6 good years of your life like I did – you will not regret getting your life back!