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Hello from a newbie

Hi everyone. I came across this site when trawling through Dr Internet as you do. I just got the news today that I am going to need a total hip replacement in the next couple of years and to say I'm devastated is putting it mildly.

I'm only 50 years old and enjoy a massively active life- running, mountain biking, hillwalking, climbing, adventure racing.... pretty much anything that gets my hear rate up! I've lost over 50% of the cartilage in my right hip in less than 5 years so my prognosis isn't great (for voiding an op that is).

I'm keen to hear how everyone copes on a daily basis as I want to delay replacement for as long as possible. What can I try? I'm not overweight and clearly exercise isn't an issue. The pain is though- some days it's so bad I can barely walk, then others you wouldn't think I had an issue!

Do supplements work? How about CBD oil? Everyone seems to rave about that these days.


Looking forward to spending some time on the site and hopeful of some straightforward advise.


Thanks,

Kathy

Comments

  • AnnaAnna Posts: 100 mod

    Hello @kathywithadodgyhip and welcome to the online community!

    Hearing the news that you’re going to need a total hip replacement in the next few years after leading a very active life is bound to be quite a shock and it’s understandable that you’re feeling devastated. But you made a good choice joining the online community - everyone on here has been touched by arthritis in some way and we’re a supportive, friendly bunch. I’m sure there will be members who know how you feel and will give you advise and the benefit of their experience. I haven’t had a hip replacement, but I’ve had eight other joints replaced over the years and I’m so glad I did. My brother and best friend have had hips replaced and they are both back to playing tennis, mountain climbing and ski-ing! Both are glad they had the ops. I’m sure others will tell you similar stories, plus suggestions on how to deal with the pain in the meantime.

    Regarding exercise, Versus Arthritis have just launched a new forum called Let’s Move that promotes movement and exercise to keep supple and mobile and it takes into account pain that you may be experiencing. Here’s the link below:

    You might like to read up about dealing with hip pain on the Versus Arthritis site ( although it sounds like you’ve already been doing your research!). You might find some helpful tips:

    Best wishes to you, and do let us know how you’re getting on,

    Anna : )

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,561 ✭✭✭

    @kathywithadodgyhip

    Hi Kathy

    Nice to meet you. Sorry to hear about your hip 😕

    I doubt you need it being so active, but I've signed up for the 'let's move' campaign Anna mentioned I think any exercise no matter how limited is good. Sometimes people have steroid injections in their joints which seems to buy some time for some of them before surgery is needed.

    When I was first diagnosed I looked at all the treatments available OTC and herbal and 'natural' and concluded none made any difference to me. Since then I have changed slightly and take a multivitamin for vegans and extra vitamin D. The GP said I needed that one mine was low and initially she put me on some super-strong ampules of the stuff now it's OTC.

    As for Cannabis oil it's mentioned here:

    Best of luck and do hang around people here are so supportive!

    Love

    Toni xxx
  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 459 ✭✭✭

    Hi Kathy, I don't have much that I can add to the links Toni and Anna have provided for specific advice, lots of useful information there. But I can offer some empathy, as I'm in a similar position to you. I'm a young 61 and was a very fit fell walker and veteran of huge trekking adventures, and occasional horse rider and kayaker, and like you, the diagnosis that both my hips were in awful shape and one needs replacing soon came as a huge shock. I'd had some general pains down my left leg, but after a minor fall things spiralled, the pain ramped up exponentially, and a few weeks later I was told I need a new hip. I had no idea it was coming. I'm pretty sure my knees are awful too, but I manage that with pain killers and surgical strapping for long descents.

    I don't have "good" days, I have days when my leg isn't agony. The first few months were awful, thankfully during lockdown when I couldn't work anyway, but for some reason it's changed now, I think because I've learnt to manage it, or the injury caused by the fall (but which the xrays didn't pick up) has partly healed. However, it has still severely restricted my mobility. I was up on the local fells in January and now I have to hobble to the village coffee shop with a stick, anything longer I may need to stop for a rest, and the effort exhausts me. The pain is always there, it hovers around me at night or while I watch the telly, but really joins in the fun when I try to do anything. I was never a runner, but even running to get out of the way of traffic is impossibly painful, and results in an undignified display from the Ministry of Silly Walks.

    Literally while typing this comment I got the long awaited call from the hospital giving me a date for my steroid injection in 10 days (yaaaaaay!!) but there's no certainty about how much I will benefit from this. The mechanical damage to my hip joint will always limit my mobility until it's replaced, it simply can't move in certain directions now, pain or no pain, but I'm hoping the pain overall will be reduced. But the thought of never getting back out on the fells again is unbearable, they have been such a big part of my life, and who I am, since I was a child. It's practically my native habitat. I have tried to stem the depression by finding enjoyment in other pleasures - my garden in particular, which I can just about manage with a bit of grunting and wincing, and losing myself in this really helps me ignore the pain and actually enjoy myself, which is hugely important.

    I have also learnt that rest is key to managing the pain. Pushing yourself through the pain barrier is for fit people, but it's the opposite of how to manage arthritis. If it hurts, stop, or modify how you do that task. The inflammation must be allowed to settle. As the links say, maintaining muscle tone is important, so try to keep up a level of activity that your hips can cope with, however you do that. When the pain gets too much, find something that will distract you, which can have the effect of making the pain fade into the background (for me, gardening). I also find mindfullness or meditation (which I find harder) is helpful, since stress, or focussing on bursts of pain, does seem to magnify it. I've learnt that the random pulses of pain when I'm in bed or sitting down are to be sworn at then ignored, and for me this does seem to work, but I can understand that it doesn't work for everyone.

    You will be feeling a bit stunned for a while, I certainly was, and it's hard to get your head around it. But I've taken on board that there has been a role reversal. Previously my body was a means to getting me to great places and suffering some abuse on the way. Now it's my job to help my body along so we can continue the journey together a while longer. Might be different destinations, but the valleys can be as beautiful as the peaks.

    I hope you can get a pain management regime in place that works for you and helps you keep going as much as possible, but remember to be kind to your body, and kind to yourself. You both need some nursing right now.

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,561 ✭✭✭
    edited 23. Sep 2020, 08:03

    What a lovely kind post Lilymary🤗

    I am so pleased to hear you have your steroid injection date too. Great news I'll be with you in spirit as we used to say here 'in your pocket'

    Love

    Toni xxx
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