OA with limited movement rather than pain

So many people seem to be in so much pain pre op with OA whereas I really only struggle with mobility in the hip joint making walking really uncomfortable. I now can barely get on my bicycle, but I am ok when actually cycling. I can't do half the yoga moves anymore. I am on the list for a THR and now worried I will have more pain than I do now. I feel a fraud as I am lucky not to be in constant pain but my x-ray clearly shows the OA and the need for the joint replacement and being fully mobile in the hips again would be a dream. Anyone else the same?

Comments

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 198

    Hi. You aren't a fraud. There are people with minimal OA that are in agony, and there are people bone-on-bone without pain. We are all different. I've been bone-on-bone in my two hips for years but left was unbearably more painful than the other which xrays have shown it's equally damaged but painless and with much more mobility. Stiffness is one of the symptoms of OA, when osteophytes, grow out as extensions of the bone (spurs) trying to fix the cartilage. Depending of where these "extensions" are, they can press nerves, tendons, or whatever is around them so bone damage isn't exactly the cause of the pain. What you have is very real, painful or not.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 232

    @JPT if your X-ray clearly shows the need for joint replacement you are not a fraud but I do understand what you say. I felt I was a fraud too until the final few months before my replacement when the stiffness and pain increased. I had resisted a replacement for far too long until I reached the stage where I could hardly walk, sleep or really do anything. I don't think we always realise how we compensate for the stiffness/pain and find other ways to do what we want to do. What @Nurina says makes a lot of sense too.

  • JPT
    JPT Member Posts: 21

    Thank you @Nurina and @Janlyn - your comments and experience are invaluable to someone experiencing fear going towards this major operation. It is true that when I realise how little movement I have in my left hip, something has to be done. I tried to ride my bike the other day and other than lying the bike on the ground to get on it I cannot get (either) leg over the cross bar!

    My surgeon has notedto my GP that there is degenerative arthritis with sclerosis, a large femoral cyst and reduction in joint space and only 20 degrees of movement in my left hip so I guess this confirms it - something drastic has to be done!

    I'm getting used to the idea of being incapacitated for a good number of weeks after the op with the goal that I will gain more movement again. I am just not looking forward to being in more pain post-op than I am experiencing in general now.

  • Janlyn
    Janlyn Member Posts: 232

    @JPT I understand all you say and admit I felt exactly the same. It's six weeks post surgery for me tomorrow and I can honestly say that my life is already so much better. Looking back it was never as bad as I imagined. I was very nervous for the first few days. I was very stiff and slow moving around, but actually was eating and chatting within an hour of surgery. I was up and moving around within a couple of hours with help. I would have been allowed to go home the following morning but chose to stay another night to increase my confidence in walking/managing steps and bathroom visits. Once home I found I moved around slowly, it was difficult climbing a whole flight of steps for a few days and my leg was like a lead weight and difficult to manoeuvre into and out of bed. But everything else was fine apart from disturbed sleep.

    I really struggled to sleep on my back but in the grand scheme of things being pain-free, with minimal painkillers, was a real surprise. Just recently I have started to realise how much pain I was in previously. After surgery I was driving within three weeks, and immediately found it easier to get in and out of my car than I have done for some time. I went to the theatre last week and found my usual seat much more comfortable. I hadn't realised how much I shuffled around to try to get comfortable previously. Even if I never make any more progress than I have already made I would say from around three weeks post-op my quality of life has been better than previously and my pain was reduced immediately, although replaced by weakness and numbness for a few days. Exercises became easier after a few days and once outside and walking my strength and mobility have increased daily. I do have to be careful not to overdo it - a few little walks, exercise, activity are better than all at once, but the advice from the physios has been wonderful.

    I know we are all different but I find I'm following a familiar path and others following me are similar. Before surgery I concentrated on what might go wrong never daring to believe it would go right.

  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 198

    The bike issue happened to me when we went to Antwerp. We were so happy to use a bike in such a bike friendly city so we got a week pass to use the cycle shared scheme. The bikes had a very low top tubes so old people and disabled can ride them. When I tried to climb up the bike the first time, I couldn't lift my leg over the tube. I had to put the bike on the floor, put my foot on the other side of the tube and pull the bike between my legs. I started pedalling but the pain was excruciating. When I had to put the foot on the ground at red light I was like having a sword inside my groin. I had to walk my bike to the next dock, crying because I ruined a fantastic day. That was my last time I used a bike.

    Like @Janlyn say, we all think the experience of the surgery would be awful but we know thwt it can't be worse that the disability we have. I don't think anybody could be as freaked out as I was the day before. I can't say the first days were easy, but they passed quickly. In two weeks, I don't have pain, just a little discomfort that is getting better minute by minute. My depression has been converted into hope. I see everything around me brighter and beautiful. Just read the hip replacement diaries here to see that we all have, give or take, the same progression. Good luck!

  • JPT
    JPT Member Posts: 21

    Thanks @Nurina and @Janlyn - you are both giving me hope and reducing my pre op anxiety.

    Keep going with your recoveries, you are both doing amazing x

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 153

    @JPT

    Everyone is scared, it's normal! And yes, it's a major op., but a routine one these days, with techniques improving all the time. My friend told me about her mother, who'd had the op. some time ago, and who'd been in hospital for two weeks afterwards. It was an overnighter for me and the majority of people on here.

    It's the waiting that's the worst, isn't it? You get to a point when you just want it over. It will change your life and you'll be fine. Take care.😘

  • JPT
    JPT Member Posts: 21

    @swimmer60 thanks 😊yes, the waiting is now the worst! Once it's done it will be forwards only and hopefully thinking about the future positively, planning holidays, getting back to sailing, cycling, (probably jogging not running again though) and doing normal stuff again 🤞

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 381

    @JPT no, I can't see anything fraudulent about only being able to move 1mph! I don't think I would dare try jogging or running, but cycling looks as if it might be possible, and then I might start thinking what was all the fuss about. I came pretty close to it the other day after obtaining some knee physio but ever since been too busy to try again.