Waiting in Pain


I was first diagnosed (after several failed GP attempts) with severe arthritis in my left hip 2.5 years ago. I was offered a reasonable chance of implant surgery within 8 weeks! I chose to decline because I couldn't afford to finish working. I still can't! But after attempting to revive my efforts at surgery in July 2020, I now know what is the score. My two chosen clinics for referral have both chosen to completely ignore me. A third I contacted chose the same response - ignored my email. Half a million are waiting for treatment. The NHS is massively oversubscribed with potential customers. I managed to make contact with my GP (telephone only service nowadays) and he confirmed the above and that there is absolutely no way of determining a time scale for treatment - 12months, 18 months, two years.... Who knows?

My advice would be, if you have a young grandchild who could develop arthritis in much later life, put his or her name on the waiting list right away.


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @Nellasel - welcome to the online community!

    You were diagnosed with arthritis a couple of years ago, but declined the offered hip surgery then. As you have gone on you've changed your mind and have tried to re-start the surgery option, but have found that it's now very difficult to actually get a referral in any useful timescale or at all.

    Maybe try calling the clinics up as well as emailing, or scheduling a regular email / call once a week until you get a response. It may take a while, but that way you'll be at the front of their minds if a cancellation comes up or a space becomes available. Making sure that you're asking to go on their waiting list and you need a response to verify this - rather than asking for a definitive date.

    I'm afraid that's my best advice. The NHS has been really struggling recently and nothing is being done on time. It's even worse now with Covid, but t has been getting worse over the past few years. All I can do is wish you sympathy and suggest looking into anything else you can do to mitigate your hip pain and help you in the meantime:

    Have a look around the community and join in with the other conversations - the members are lovely and friendly and I'm sure you'll be made welcome 😊

    It's lovely to meet you,


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719

    Hello nellasel and welcome from me too. It's so worrying when joints are on their last legs (no pun intended ) and waiting lists are huge. This isn't a new thing for orthopaedics but it's got considerably worse with covid.

    My husband was one of the last to get a new hip before lockdown. His other hip is actually even worse. He was given a choice of which they operated on and he chose the most painful. Now he's back on the list for the other hip but the surgeon has been honest and told him he's no idea when it can be. Unfortunately, bone surgery is extremely hazardous when there is a virulent virus about.

    If you click on the 'coronavirus ' forum the 2nd thread down is a bunch of stuff from the Orthopaedic Surgeons explaining the situation in detail. It sucks but there would seem to be no way round the current problems.

    As a very old hand at both pain and joint replacements I would recommend exercises, distraction and, when necessary pain relief.

    As for our grandchildren I'm really hoping surgery will have changed beyond recognition by the time they might need it. It has done even in my lifetime. When I had my first knee replacements I had to stay in bed for 10 days.

    You have come to the right place for understanding about pain. We all understand it because we've all got it though we do rather wish we hadn't.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    Can you ask your GP for referral to a musculoskeletal consultant, and pain clinic. This may take you a step forward for some sort of surgical treatment, eg steroid injection or formally on the list for replacement, then the pain clinic to help you manage the day to day issues now. Meanwhile, as stickywicket suggests, distraction, analgesics and exercise are helpful. Try having s look at the exercises recommended for hip problems on this site, and the other links Shell suggests. I was referred in March, but am (if all goes to plan) having steroid injections next week, so some treatments are happening now,