Pain has gone

Hi, three weeks ago I was given a date for my hip op for OA. At much the same time I found that my pain was much decreased, that I could walk almost without a limp and go up the stairs in a normal fashion.

I have now started to panic that the operation that I pushed for because I couldn’t do my job and was constantly in pain, is unnecessary, I wouldn’t say the pain was agonising but constant and debilitating.

I’ve been laying awake at night worrying that I’m going to make things worse. I’ve seen the x rays and my hip has definitely deteriorated a lot. Has anyone else heard of this happening, is it all in my head?

Comments

  • SarahGF
    SarahGF Moderator Posts: 122
    edited 14. Aug 2021, 08:05

    Hi @Antx3, welcome to the Online Community! It's lovely to have you here.

    I see that you are having concerns that you might be having an unnecessary hip replacement as your symptoms have improved since you were given a date. 

    It might help you to know that with osteoarthritis it is normal for pain to come and go, as it says on this page:


    It might also be to do with a change in your activity levels, medication, diet, or stress. But this doesn't mean that the underlying damage to your hip has improved.

    It's absolutely worth discussing your concerns with your doctor, but as you say you were having significant difficulties at work as a result of your arthritis it's likely you will see a long term improvement in your mobility and pain level as a result of this surgery.

    Here's another link you might find useful:


    It's totally understandable to be anxious about an operation and I'm you will find many here who can empathise and offer reassurance. Do keep us updated and I hope you enjoy your time in the Online Community!

    Best wishes, Sarah (moderator)

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    Hi @Antx3 , I never had the pain going away to that extent, but I certainly had days when it was much worse, and then went back down to “normal” levels. As Sarah says, quite a few things can make it change, and everyone’s experience of pain is different depending on background fitness and muscle tone, the pattern of wear on your hip joint and even your own personal nerve system. On a day to day level, stress, over exertion etc can make it flare and then settle down again.

    no one’s going to force you to have surgery you don’t want, or when you don’t feel ready for it. but you can’t get away from what the X-ray is telling you, and it’s never going to get better on its own. And I’m afraid it will get worse. Do have a word with your surgeon and ask what would be the implications of deferring surgery, whether would you go back to the end of a long waiting list, could your hip suddenly deteriorate (the answer is probably yes, as mine did), is there anything you can do to better manage the condition meanwhile, eg physio, changed lifestyle etc.

    As for the surgery itself, it’s a big op, even though it only takes about an hour, but it is routine. They know what they’re doing, they will take very good care of you, and once you’re home and recovering the only way is up. Again, talk to your surgeon about your concerns, he will talk through the risks and benefits and address what is really worrying you, and that may help you decide what’s right for you, and when.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    .... actually, thinking about it, this happened to me! (It’s amazing how you start to forget how bad things were once you’re post op!). I had a spell of a few months between the initial collapse of my hip and the long grinding deterioration when it wasn’t quite as bad. In my case I think it was due to bits of debris in the hip that eventually settled into a quiet corner or dissipated, and then the real damage started as it was all bone on bone. It’s possible you’re experiencing similar. But I’m afraid it will only continue to get worse, and at best all you can do is defer the surgery a bit, as there will come a stage when your fear of surgery is greatly outweighed by your wish to be pain free.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 52

    every single time I have had to see the knee surgeon my knee pain has miraculously disappeared in the lead up to the appointment- and day after its back full force.

    The mind is a mysterious thing and I think can block pain when you are anxious about having a procedure.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,669

    Same as going to the dentist. The pain miraculously disappears🙄

    Don't lose sleep over it @Antx3 talk to your consultant. X rays usually don't lie do they? ((()))

    Love

    Toni xxx
  • Hi @Antx3

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I‘m pleased your hip pain has gone and that now you’re worrying whether or not to have the surgery you pushed for.  

    Thank you to Sarah, Lilymary sunnyside2 and frogmorton for sharing their insight and experiences around this.  I hope you have found the links Sarah shared helpful. You may also wish to post on the Life with Arthritis forum.

    Talking things though with the surgeon so that you are making an informed decision about what’s right for you is very important.

    I’m wondering how long you have before the proposed surgery. You are very welcome to call us on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 so you can talk things through with one of our helpline team. We’re here to help.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes

    Mags

    Helpline Team

  • Antx3
    Antx3 Member Posts: 6

    Thanks everyone, you’ve really helped. Pain still isn’t too bad but it is back which makes me feel I’m doing the right thing. 4 days to go now, see you on the other side!

  • Hi @Antx3

    Wishing you all the best with your surgery. We'll be thinking of you!

    Mags

    Helpline Team

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    The only way is up. We’ll be thinking about you! LM xx

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 38

    Hi @Antx3 I'm also scheduled for a hip replacement operation in a few weeks time and like you I have some good days which make me wonder if I should defer the operation. Other than the bad days, what convinces me the operation is necessary is the report on my hip x-ray. I requested copies of the x-ray image and report and suggest you should also. My report contained the comment: "Severe degenerative change in the left hip with complete loss of the superolateral joint space." I guess if you have a date for a hip replacement operation your diagnosis will also be in the severe or possibly moderate category. Or your arthritis might be diagnosed as a level 0 to 4

  • Antx3
    Antx3 Member Posts: 6

    Thanks RogerBill, when I last saw the consultant I asked to see the X-ray and I could see considerable degeneration from the last X-ray but I don’t think I’ve got time now to request a report as the op is next week. I have been working hard on the exercises which has probably helped and I’ve lost a stone and I was only 9 stone to start with. It’s all helped but at he end of the day I can’t do my job which is quite active so I think I’ve come to terms with the op now. This forum has helped a lot.

    Thanks everyone

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 38

    Hi @Antx3 very best wishes for next week. I keep reminding myself that hip replacement operations are a very well established procedure and that the techniques have been refined over many years and now have a consistently very high success rate.

    I know a few people who have had hip and knee replacements and they all emphasise the importance of exercise (you have to help yourself to ensure your best outcome). Until six months ago I used to enjoy eight mile walks but now can't manage more than ten minutes so, like you, I've been spending a lot of time on doing exercises to maintain muscle tone and build some strength in my legs and back.

    You might find your x-ray report is available to download from your GP's website or, if not, they should be able to email you a copy. I did this, but obtaining a copy of the x-ray image was a more long winded process.

    If you feel willing and able, I would be very grateful if you could keep us updated with the ups and downs of your progress and share any tips and tricks you discover. I'll be following in your footsteps in a few weeks time and, although everyone is different, there's no substitute for learning from others who have actually been through the same experience!

    Once again best wishes for next week and having worked hard on the exercises you can be assured you've done all you can to set course for the best possible outcome.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303
    edited 22. Aug 2021, 09:40

    As @RogerBill says, you’re in a good position to make a good recovery, but even those I know who had complications, including myself, all have said they don’t regret having surgery for a second, as the pre op pain was so disabling.

    If you want to follow one persons progress, I kept a blog going on this forum from the day pre surgery to a few weeks ago (New Hip Day) which you may find enlightening, and may also give you a giggle. If you could do the same, it’s really helpful to others to see the range of different experiences new “hippies” go through, and I found the support from other “hippie” forum members invaluable.

    Will keep all fingers (but not legs, obvs!) crossed for you next week.Next time you post the pain really will have gone! LM xx

  • Antx3
    Antx3 Member Posts: 6

    Happy to update but where how should I post it? I’ve stopped reading other people’s stuff now as I keep learning things that just freak me out further! See you on the other side

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    You can either keep adding to this thread, as technically the hip pain really will have gone by then, or you can start a new thread on the Living with Arthritis forum.

    Don't be freaked out. The docs know what they're doing. And all us other "hippies" have survived the experience with our own stories to tell. Here's hoping yours is the happiest success story. LM xx