Spinal block vs General

peggie Member Posts: 6
edited 4. Mar 2014, 18:30 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone

I have got so much information from all of you, thank you.

I am having my first THR on the 6th March. I am in so much pain now and can barely walk at all.

In my area the hospital prefer to do the op with a spinal block.( I'm not sure how I feel about this). I know we are all different but I wondered if any of you would be willing to share your experiences of having a spinal block.

It's a scary time and although I am desperate to have it done because of the pain and how restricted I am, I am really nervous.



  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Peggie and welcome to the forum. I guess it's an exciting time but also a scary one. This is a major operation but also now a very common one one, indeed, one that has changed millions of lives for the good.

    Spinal or general? I've had both with no problems and, whenever I have another op, I won't mind in the least which. The main thing is a new lease of life afterwards.

    There are a few 'new' THR people on here and also krisbe who is in the same situation as you ie about to get a new one. I hope you both have as much success with them as I've got with mine.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome Peggy
    I've had 2 THR's and for both I've had spinal blocks. I think most surgeons prefer that nowadays and then they get you up a couple of hours after the op :wink:
    I've had a general for a badly smashed ankle about 5 years ago and was violently ill for the rest of the day ugghhh :cry:
    I wasn't offered a GA but def. would prefer the spinal block.

    Hope this helps a bit

  • kathbee
    kathbee Member Posts: 934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Peggie
    I had a Total Knee Replacement on Monday and came home yesterday, actually I am an old hand at this as I had my first TKR 18 months ago and have had a hip replacement 3 yrs before that.

    For all 3 ops I had the spinal, for me, its the best way as I don't like general anaesthesia at all. Also you don't have any pain as the spinal lasts quite a few hours and by then you are already on pain relief, mine was paracetamol and tramadol every 4 hours.

    I was fine every time and most likely than not you will be too.
    Don't worry too much about it, easy to say I know.
    I had excellent care each time and was up on my feet on the second day and home the day after that.

    Luckily I have hubbies' help at home so we manage quite well.

    Good Luck
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Peggie
    I had my THR 7 months ago with a spinal block and sedation..I did think I would be awake but drowsy, I remember nothing :) ..I think it is much easier on you than a full anesthetic, it takes a while to get it out of your system..good luck with it I hope you have a good recovery..x
  • Sarah01
    Sarah01 Member Posts: 192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Peggie,

    I'm just over 6 weeks post op after having my 1st THR. I couldn't have a GA as I am asthmatic. I had the spinal with a sedative. I was asleep the first 30 minutes of the op. I woke up and spent the rest of the time chatting with the anesthetist. I thought I would be worried about waking up but it was fine, I was asking so many questions. When the op had finished, the surgeon looked over the screen and told me the op had gone very well. I asked him how bad the hip was and he showed me my old hip (not to everyone's taste but I found it interesting seeing my old hip).

    I wasn't in recovery long which I think is one of the benefits of the spinal. I was back in my room 2 hours after I went down to theatre. As Barbara said it does take a while for the spinal to wear off. I had my op at 11am and I started getting feeling back the early hours of the following morning. I didn't need pain relief until the spinal had worn off, which is another reason I am glad I had one.

    I hope everything goes well with the op

    Sarah x
  • Julie37927
    Julie37927 Bots Posts: 35
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had anesthetic 3 times in my life and each time was a night mare. My first time I had it, I went blind for 3 weeks. At the same time I vomited for 4 days straight. UGHHHH, lost some weight though :lol: . It took me 1 month to recover from the toxicity of anasthetic in my system. I understand sometimes you don't have a choice, and it's better than an un-anesthetized surgery, like in the old days!!! Anesthetic, while a life safer can also be very harmful to your body. Many surgical side effects (death being one) are attributed to the anasthetic not the surgery itself. Since you have a choice, you are lucky. Thank your lucky stars!! and GOOD LUCK!!
  • Fionabee
    Fionabee Member Posts: 146
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Am a bit late seeing this. My Mum had a THR under spinal, with something else to make her a bit woozy. Post op she saw one of the surgical team who asked her bow she thought it had all gone, she said "absolutely fine, but I don't think those workmen should have been making so much noise near operating theatres". Well the workmen she could hear were the surgeons at work on her hip!