First consultant appointment tomorrow

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I'm so nervous! I'm not even sure why- I think just because I don't know what to expect or how long it'll be and it's in a hospital an hour and a half from home....I don't know why I'm even posting but I've been dreading this since the letter came through a month ago! It's for advanced osteoarthritis in my hip(s? Both really hurt but I don't know if the right one is sore because of the left one).

A friend who's had a hip replacement said they did xrays and blood tests at this appointment. I've JUST had xrays and blood tests with my GP in the last few weeks, I really hate blood tests so I hope they won't have to do them again. I'm such a huge wimp when it comes to anything medical and I'm so scared of hospitals!

Comments

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 223
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    Hi @Limpingandinpain i had a hip replacement operation five weeks ago. My first appointment with the consultant only lasted about ten minutes and didn't include an x-ray or blood tests. If you've already had an x-ray t wouldn't think there will be any need for another or at least not at this stage. The consultant did check the movement in my hip. Because your appointment is likely to be short it's vital to have a short written description of your symptoms and a list of the questions you want to ask. Also take notes during the appointment of the key points.

    Having agreed that I wanted to go ahead and have a hip replacement, after the appointment with the consultant I had a CT scan because I was having a Mako robot assisted operation and then two weeks before the operation I had an appointment with two nurses who asked lots of questions about my medical history, did another blood test and ECG, checked my blood pressure, weight, height, took swabs to check for MRSA. This appointment is another opportunity to ask questions.

    Hope this helps set your mind at rest.

  • Limpingandinpain
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    Thank you so much for replying. I hope tomorrow's appointment is short like yours was and doesn't involve xrays. I had them a few weeks ago, just before the GP did the referral to orthopaedics, so that he could confirm what was going on. He said that the left one showed no cartilage left at all and bone spurs I think?

    I could cope with tomorrow's if it was just checking the range of movement and talking. The one with the 2 nurses sounds more like something I would dread, especially the ECG which I have heard are very lacking in dignity for women! I seriously have such a fear of medical things and hospitals and get very easily embarrassed even though I know they've seen it all before!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I'll be glad when it's this time tomorrow!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Congratulations on getting on the ladder! Appointments with consultants are usually fairly brief and to the point. They will review your xrays, assess your range of movement and talk through your treatment options at this stage. They will also ask about your pain levels, how your mobility is affected and what pain relief you use. This is to help them decide what the next stage needs to be. It varies between hospitals whether they will do further investigations such as blood tests, ECG (they never did one on me) etc on the same day, but I find it’s usually fairly efficient once you’re “in the system”.

    I’m afraid I abandon all embarrassment at hospitals and just hand my body over to them to do with it as they will. It’s their job. They’ve seen it all before, every single working day.

    As others have said, make some notes while you’re there (they’re used to this) and take a list of questions in with you, as I guarantee your mind will go blank. (I’m pretty switched on, but consultants have this effect on me every time!)

    Hope it goes well and that you have an easy journey there. Let us know how you get on.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,425
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    Good luck @Limpingandinpain

    I understand your worries about your dignity and very much hope you will have a better experience than you fear.

    I had a recent ECG and it was a lady in private and she was very very considerate of my privacy.

    As @Lilymary says congratulations getting on the ladder!

    VERY best of luck!

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 43
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    Hope things went well for you at your appointment Limpingandinpain.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85
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    Good luck @Limpingandinpain, hopefully this is the start of your journey to recovery. Like @RogerBill, my first meeting with the consultant was fairly brief. He took a look at my movement, asked about my symptoms and arranged an X-ray as I hadn’t already had one done (this was a private appointment in a Spire hospital so he was definitely ‘on the clock’). I then went back into his office 20 minutes or so later and he showed me the X-rays, talked about why I was having the symptoms and told me there was only one solution (hip replacement), went through the risks and benefits, and asked if I had any questions. The only questions I had at that point were length of waiting list, recovery timeline, and whether the operation would eventually enable me to run again. He then agreed to put me on his private list and told me his secretary would be in contact. I clarified that my other hip was ok. He also went through some of the post surgery precautions, for me this was aspirin and compression socks. Some surgeons have blood thinners, some don’t insist on the socks.

    Had I known more about the variables involved, I would have asked him about the surgery approach (posterior v anterior), the type of prosthesis he would use and whether it would be cemented or not, etc. I got to ask these questions when I next saw him 30 minutes before my actual surgery.

    Try not to be put off by the thought of the things that will be done to you. I don’t think you are likely to have blood tests until you get to the pre-op stage, a couple of weeks before surgery. To give you an idea of what’s to come: The pre-op was with a couple of nurses and it included bloods, swabs, an airway check (in case they needed to intubate me), ECG, blood pressure, going through a questionnaire with lots of questions on health and on the home environment. Bloods were 2 vials taken from inside the elbow fairly quickly. I also had to go for a drive through Covid swab 3 days before surgery and then isolate. I was given some special shower gel to use on the night before and morning of surgery, and some pre-op drinks to use on the morning of surgery. I was given a brief bit of input on equipment to organise for my recovery.

    They took bloods again immediately before surgery and the following morning, this was to check on kidney function and haemoglobin. For the operation itself it was one prick to stick a cannula in my hand for the sedative and anything else they might need to give me, then another prick in the back when they gave me a local anaesthetic before inserting the bigger needle to do the spinal block. For the spinal, one assistant gripped me from the front and another from behind, to hold me rock steady until the anaesthetic was in and the needle back out. Maybe 10-20 seconds and I couldn’t feel anything other than the creeping heaviness. I was amazed at how little drama there was. The surgeon started working on me the instant they had me laid on my side. I chose to stay lightly sedated but conscious throughout. The whole operation was over in 50 minutes. The cannula stayed in place over night and was removed as soon as they had the blood works back and were happy with my kidney function and haemoglobin. It took a good 10 hours for the spinal anaesthetic to fully wear off. I was on a regime of regular blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen checks which reduced in frequency during the 48 hours I was in hospital. A physiotherapist got me out of bed on the first morning and got me walking with a frame. On the second morning it was elbow crutches. They took X-rays on the second morning. Basically you are released if your X-ray is ok, your BP / other measurements are is back to normal, you can walk up and down 2 steps, and are going independently to the loo.

  • Limpingandinpain
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    Thank you for your lovely replies.

    My appointment was actually OK, and fairly quick. He asked me a few questions about the pain, what pain relief I'm on, pushed my legs about a bit to check my mobility, showed me the xrays. He said.i really do need the surgery, sooner rather than later, but that things are taking a bit longer than they were pre-covid. He is thinking probably the beginning of the year for the surgery. I had to go and wait at a different bit to get blood tests then was able to come home. I was so sore afterwards because there was a big flight of steps up from the car park and orthopaedics was several corridors away!

  • Limpingandinpain
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  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,425
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    Well @Limpingandinpain

    that sounds really positive! early next year would be fantastic I am so pleased the appointment was far better than you might have feared.😊

    I hope you have recovered today after the exertions.

    Don't forget to let us now how you get on.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85
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    @Limpingandinpain Glad it was ok and hope you don’t have too long to wait. I am really glad I had the surgery.

  • Abigail
    Abigail Member Posts: 16
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    You won’t no your self . Had my hip done on 4 October doing well Can’t wait to be able to drive on Monday . All pain is gone got have my other one done as well so got get over this first take care

  • Blossom
    Blossom Member Posts: 8
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    Hi I have also got my first consultant appointment on Tuesday, reading your comment was like me completely, I am nervous of what they will tell me, I also have hip OA. Reading all the comments have put me at ease I know having an op would be best but it still makes me nervous.

    Take care everyone x

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85
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    Good luck @Blossom. The operation is manageable and is definitely worth it. Read my recovery story if you are in doubt. 2 months on and I am better than I have been for 18 months or so, and more or less fully recovered. Just a bit of tightness in the groin if I spend more than an hour on trail surfaces. Plus I still don’t sleep well, but then I have not slept well since the menopause.