Orthopaedic referral

Whiskey26
Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88
edited 3. Apr 2023, 09:15 in Living with arthritis

The Registrar at my GP surgery is referring me to Orthopaedics, due to an increase in pain in my hip ( diagnosed with severe OA in both hips in Oct 2020). I've been out the house 4 times since Christmas, as it's so painful some days. It's a good job I'm a bit of a homebird and done mind being at home. The question I have is ...does anyone have experience of their first Orthopaedic visit and what it may involve? Apart from giving birth twice and the odd rounds of stitches as a child, I've never been in hospital. I'm ashamed to say at 58, I am absolutely terrified. Please help!

Comments

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    Hi

    Orthopaedics are generally lovely and want to help.

    Make sure you tell them everything about your pain and how it affects your life,. Including feeling and being housebound. Tell them what you used to do and what the Arthritis has stopped and what you want to be able to do again. Walking, exercising, going out, grandchildren, housework, personal care are all some if the things that are good to relate.

    X-rays and scans don't always reflect the pain or how it affects us.

    They'll also want to know about any treatment you've had, medications your on and any other illnesses you may have. I find it helpful to write/type it all down in some sort of order so you don't forget anything which is easy to do if you're nervous.

    It can also help to take somebody with you who knows what you're going through.

    You will probably also have your legs and hips examined and manipulated. I try to remember not to take any painkillers before I go so they get the whole picture if your real life!

    Love n hugs and good luck

    Trish xx

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88

    Thank you @Trish9556 for your message. I appreciate the things you've said and advised me to say. I agree that taking notes is a great idea, as usually there are things we forget to say at the time aren't there!? Can I just ask....when you say they examine legs and hips, is this clothed or unclothed (in underwear)? Have you been through a replacement yourself?

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    Hi @Whiskey26

    I've not had a replacement myself at this stage but expect you will remain clothed (possibly having to remove socks and shoes) while they move your legs around to see what movement you've got in your hips and how much pain there is when they do.

    I have however seen more than my fair share of surgeons, and orthopaedic surgeons in my life :)

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88
    edited 3. Apr 2023, 15:36

    Thank you @Trish9556! I feel so silly being ' scared' at my age and even though the thought of regaining some of my life back in the future is something I will look forward to, the thought of an operation fills me with dread. I hate needles!

  • Nfk_gal0617
    Nfk_gal0617 Member Posts: 39

    Hello Whiskey 26, I think of hospital as a tunnel needed to be traveled through to get to the light at the end.

    Trish has some very good hints and tips, knowing what to expect is half the battle for those of us who like to know. Sadly the NHS is so time pressured that we just get the info they need to give us sometimes. Do write your questions down. I find it helps me prioritize the important questions and it helps off load the round and round thoughts that keep me awake at night. We also all get out into the corridor, after the appt, and think ' Oh blow or * I forgot to ask'!

    Having experienced 6 general anaesthesia myself I'm hardened to hospitals, all surgeical wards have been ok post op, some better than others.

    However I can understand your apprehesion as visiting elderly relatives in a general OAP ward have not been a good experience for me.

    I was with my daughter when she saw the hip surgeon. I do not recall her having to undress when physical examined by the surgeon, just to see what movement was possible. She wore a dress and stretchy leggings. Lots of ' how is day to day life effected and what are your pain levels' (do not hold back) showing and pointing out the problem on the xray and giving his view. The xray had been done before.

    Getting a referral is a gift in these days of jumpimg through hoops with GP appts, physios, xrays etc and diagnosis,. Getting an op in a timely manor is another battle, (My little rant over).

    You are half way there, try not to get too nervous and miss out on a better quality of life, easier said than done I know.

    Take care, Nfk gal

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88

    Hi @Nfk_gal0617 Thank you so much for your message. Both yourself and @Trish9556 have made some very valid points regarding writing lists and making sure I tell the person concerned everything that I loved to do and that I no longer can do. Gardening was my hobby and I can still do a little bit, but anything involving bending, like planting in borders, weeding etc, has to be done by either of my two daughters. I'm grateful for the help, but it's not the same as doing it myself and I long for the day I can do it independently. It helped greatly in the past with my mental health. You touch upon general anaesthesia and that is one thing that frightens me. I don't know if I would have the option for a general anaesthetic, but I do not want to be aware of anything or see/hear anything either. Apologies for the long rant, but the only people who understand are the people who have experienced the same or similar.

  • Nfk_gal0617
    Nfk_gal0617 Member Posts: 39

    Hi again Whiskey26, I have three relatives who have had hip replacements. Two for definitely did not have a general. You are given a pretty good sedative and a nerve block for the op. One said they could have done with a catherter when back on the ward as they still could not feel much after several hours. Hope this is not too much information!

    I'm sure your concerns have come up before, make sure its on your list.

    I too like to garden, but have to pace myself and not go too mad when ok. Trying to reduce my pots this year as I cannot manage the watering cans anymore. Might try and look into a hose fixing for my water tanks, but then I would proberly need six, could be costly. I dont think I could turn or push the fixing in place or grip strong enough to drag the hose around. I'll have to give it a bit more thought before finding a solution that works maybe.

    Take care, Nfk gal

  • Whiskey26
    Whiskey26 Member Posts: 88

    Hello again @Nfk_gal0617 Great minds think alike! I too have reduced my garden pots. I have a very small courtyard garden ( paved, with borders on two sides and a gravelled area with a small shed and room for a small table & chairs in the summer). I used to have lots of little pots scattered around with bedding plants and the like, but the constant deadheading and watering and sweeping up of petals began to take its toll and my daughter ended up doing it. So to make life easier for her and for myself if I'm well enough to get outside, I have invested in much bigger pots and less of them and put evergreen shrubs in, instead, some with flowers. Less watering, hardly any petals to drop. Win win! Thanks for the info on your relatives, that's good to know. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of my appointment, whenever it may be!