Hip Replacement

Licklelilly Member Posts: 29
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

Had my first appointment to see the consultant yesterday, had waited 39 weeks for this, so I'm feeling rather down in the dumps to be told I have possibly a year or two to wait for surgery! The pain is relentless, was told to manage the pain, not exercise as it would make it worst, and given some crutches. I am looking to see if I should pay for private treatment, is private surgery advised? I am 56, profoundly deaf (wear hearing aids) I'm not even sure if I heard the consultant correctly, as his face mask kept slipping to prevent me from lipreading properly. The whole appointment was very rushed.


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Hi @Licklelilly , and welcome to the crew. I’m sorry you had such an unsatisfactory consultation, and can understand why it’s left you feeling low, some of my consultations had the same effect on me.

    first,y, email your consultant and explain that you couldn’t hear him properly because of his mask and your impaired hearing, and ask him to highlight all the important points for you. Raise any particular questions you have in mind, keep it reasonably brief, eg bullet points, as they are more likely to pass over very long emails.

    It is correct that waiting list for hip or knee replacement is horrifyingly long, but they are gradually starting again, and private surgery is now happening. If you feel private surgery is the way for you, either discuss this with your consultant in your email, (cost, timescale, location etc) and if he isn’t taking on private patients, ask him to refer you to someone who is.

  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @Licklelilly - welcome to the online community!

    I see you have had a very disapointing meeting with a consultant, which you have had to wait a long time for and you've been told you'll have to wait een longer before you can have you're needed surgery.

    I second @Lilymary's suggestion to email the consultant and ask for the infromation in writing - you have evry right to do so and really I'd imagine a lot of people with perfect hearing would benefit form a crib sheet of the information they're given as well.

    Have a look at our information below on managing hip pain. The suggestion given ny your consultant on exercise is at odds with what we normally suggest - if you can move your joints gently, without pushing yourself into more pain, then it's normally beneficial to do so. It can help with pain, but this could be very different for pre-surgery, so feel free to ignore that part. I'd also like to mention that I personally find heat to be a good relaxer which helps pain. I do try to remember that cold helps with inflammation and heat helps with pain and tightness.

    At the bottom of this page on Osteoarthritis of the Hip there are some pointers on reducing strain on your hip, which I hope will help. It's the second to last paragraph which has the most help in this aspect:

    I do know the waiitng lists have been exceedingly bad recently. There have been a few people who have thought to go private instead of waiting. If you feel you have this option available to you it's not a bad one, but do look around and make sure you are comfortable with whatever you choose.

    I'm sure there are other people here who have gone private - it may be worth starting a discussion specifically to ask about that and seeing what people say.

    It's lovely to meet you!


  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 29

    Thank you  @Lilymary and Shell_H for your kind reply.

    I have since had a minimally invasive THR only last Wednesday 2nd June. I decided to use some money my deceased mum left me and go to a private hospital. I t was expensive, but I had surgery within one month of enquiring, plus I only had to stay one night, and I was discharged on crutches the day after op. It was only afterwards I found out that the NHS doesn't fund minimally invasive THR, which is odd considering its one night's hospital stay and a faster recovery for the patient because no muscle is cut, joints aren't dislocated and you are left with just a 3-inch scar! No general anaesthetic was used either, just an epidural and sedatives.

    However, here I am avidly reading @Lilymary recovery experiences! Because I too didn't feel that miraculous absence of hip pain the minute I hobbled on crutches! So the real pain begins now, with heaps of exercises! I wonder if it's because we had surgery during the pandemic that we've been left to our own recovery, bar one video physio due in 3 weeks time. Thank heavens for this community site, for the insight and support! I'll be on this forum every day, it really does help immensely!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Congratulations on your surgery! I’m interested to hear that you had minimally invasive surgery and that you were out the next day. I had mine done at a hospital that specialises in joint replacement and that wasn’t even offered. There’s no way I could have been out the next day, I was in far too much pain and too unstable. Where is your scar? Did they ‘go in’ via the side or front rather than rear?

    I had a spinal block and full sedation - I decided I really didn’t want to know what they were doing - and posterior surgery. I was discharged on day 4 - they did seven of us in one day and we all stayed in that long. Then a 6 week follow up face to face consultation. Apart from getting us onto crutches, the physio support was negligible - very unimpressed with that respect. Using my own physio now instead. As you’ll see from my thread, my recovery has been slower than most, so don’t let it scare you. Do keep posting on yours, I’ll be interested to hear your progress, as will others.

  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 29

    Hello @Lilymary

    Was a stroke of luck that i stumbled on the Hip replacement using Superpath key hole surgery whilst looking at my local private hospital website, it was Nuffield Heath in Hereford. The consultant who gave me the bad news about the long wait at NHS, also did private work at Nuffield, and eventually performed my op! Embarrassingly I was too squeamish to do any research into THR before the op, and didn't even realize it was a Superpath keyhole surgery till after op! However, I'm making amends now, and googling everywhere! I've sent 2 PDF links above. I've only just read the nice guidelines myself.

    Doesn't seem to have impressed the NHS too much! My scar is on the right bum cheek/side.

    Will write more later!

  • Cazbaz
    Cazbaz Member Posts: 71

    Hi@Licklelilly, glad you have joined us, it’s the best thing I have done, get lots of useful tips and @Lilymary and @stickywicket have provided the laughs I needed. I too had the spinal block and sedation which I found really good apart from the slight nerve damage that was caused by the actual operation,which I have been assured will get better, my hip also was pretty bad before, completely solid whatever that means. I only spent one night in hospital like yourself but didn’t have keyhole surgery as my scar is 6”, I was NHS but used private hospital, they were very good but only had telephone consultation with the consultant since the operation no face to face and all the physio has been done online or exercises sent in the post which I suppose is due to the current situation. Hope you get on alright and are soon mobile,

  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 29

    Hello @Cazbaz !

    Great to hear we have something in common, having minimally invasive THR, except you didn't have the Superpath keyhole. My scar is still taped up, haven't measured it yet, but I assume it's 10 cms plus a dot, not much shorter than yours methinks. My 'clips' come out next Monday, 12 days after the hip op, and I see the consultant face to face 3 days after the stitches/clips come out. Yet physio (virtual) is 3 weeks after the hip op, seems they have it backwards! The hospital was a bit dated and grim for a private one, food, and was I hungry, was average, I was a bit miffed at the custard creams, I remember a much superior Hobnob in an NHS hospital! I was sooo glad to get out in 25 hours, the rules were excessive or maybe that's just me feeling like a fugitive vaping under my blanket!🙄

    Yesterday I marked my week since the op, and my partner thought a walk to the village pub for a celebratory pint was just what the doc should order! I surprised myself at how far I could hobble, muscles understandably complained, but I suffered cramps in my hands from the crutches. I've been trying to catch up on others on here, so much to read and absorb, plus I mustn't sit too long, have to remember to hobble about now and again, and I promise myself, I must do exercises at noon! Procrastination is ridiculous, I even hand wiped the kitchen floor to put off exercises!😐️

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    @Licklelilly , It is interesting to hear about the very different approaches to what is effectively the same procedure, ie a new hip. I saw my surgeon 6 weeks post surgery, but as I was kept in for 4 days, I saw the surgeon twice face to face before I was discharged. Staples out at 14 days.

    From my view point I'm not that surprised that the physio starts 3 weeks post surgery. While initially they need to get us up and walking/doing stairs, the real hard work starts once the soft tissues have started healing; doing serious physio before then could aggravate that process. While your surgery was less invasive than mine, there will still have been a fair amount of disturbance to muscles etc - however it's done, it's a big op.

    I'm nearly 8 weeks in and my physio has started getting much tougher with me, and says I now have to push through the muscle pain, as most of the initial soft tissue healing is over by 6 weeks.

    Good luck with the hobble to the pub. I remember my first moonwalk was about 300 yards down the road. it took me about 20 minutes! It went past our pub, but given that I could barely walk sober and couldn't sit down without piles of fluffy pillows under my rump, we decided to give it a miss.

  • Licklelilly
    Licklelilly Member Posts: 29

    I saw my surgeon twice before op and once after, then another next Thursday. There was a bit of a palaver from the pre-op team the day before the op, they phoned me to say it was off, due to my high blood pressure! After a good cry the phone rang again to apologise for cancelling it and that my surgeon fought for me to have it. He was right, my blood pressure went to normal after the op, it was grit and relentless pain, plus worrying about the op that drove my BP sky high! I'm also the 4th minimally invasive op my surgeon has done, felt like his shiny new toy!😄