Surgery

TwinCam88
TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
edited 11. Feb 2020, 05:49 in Living with arthritis
A year or two back I was diagnosed as having severe osteoarthritis following a motorcycle accident back in 1977 at the age of 18. Last year I had various assessments aimed at fitting a new knee but having had numerous x-rays was told that due to my left femur being so badly mis-aligned I would have to have a reconstruction of my left femur. This happened late November last year and involved the fitting of an external fixator with nail and screw. Now for 42 years I have lived with a left leg almost two inches shorter than my right but alas, I now have both legs of similar length however I do now have a lot of pain from my left hip as a result of the reconstruction work. I can only walk short distances with the aid of crutches due to the level of pain in my knee and hip but I am convinced that the hip pain will get better. My local council have awarded me a blue badge which helps so much with getting out and about but I still have to look forward to more surgery to replace the knee. That will not happen apparently until everything is sorted with my left femur.

I now have notification though that I have to attend a disability assessment at a location local to me even though the building has no parking near it and no disabled facilities. I'm guessing that this too will be a total whitewash in the same manner as the PIP assessment was. I look forward to the paper outcome of the assessment and a page or two full of lies and fabrication. Time will tell.

I do not ride motorcycles anymore but have to add that following the crash in 1977 I rode bikes for a further twenty five years. In fact, riding bikes was a huge leveller when it came to motivation for getting my knee to bend. These days I do not have the same amount of motivation.

Like most, I await the future with quite a bit of optimism but remain totally pragmatic.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you should ring whoever arranged your disability assessment and ask about parking and access. Do you have a blue badge? Most office blocks have BB parking spaces and often have disabled acces which might not be obvious from the outside eg an inner lift or a back / side door which is easier to negotiate.

    Keep plugging away with the exercises. Those leg muscles have a lot of catching up work to do but you'll get there.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh yeah I keep doing the exercises to try to bend my knee as I am told to but I really want to concentrate on trying to build up thigh muscles to be able to partially walk. It is amazingly painful as I am sure you all know. Regarding the disability assessment; the building is on a dual carriageway with no dropping off or picking up. The nearest car park is a few tens of yards away across the other side of the road. I simply cannot cross that road on crutches. Not to worry, what will be will be.
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh yes, since moving from Lincolnshire I have been awarded a blue badge. It is helping a huge amount.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sure your physiotherapist will know which exercises should take priority and I hope it all pans out right in the end.

    Meanwhile the disability assessment centre thing is just bizarre. Have you thought of asking for a home visit or complaining to your local council / MP / CAB?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 167
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    Just a thought, when you ring the centre ask about claiming expenses, if need be take a cab. Don't force yourself to do anything dangerous to your future health - it will be seen as though you are able to cope all the time with such circumstances. I also suggest taking a family member/friend with you. It's a big help to you personally having someone to help you remember all that was said.

    Good luck
    Wazz
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wazz and others, thank you for that advice. My assessment is to take place in a different town with parking facilities. I shall be taking a family member with me to act as carer and helper just to ensure I don't trip or fall.

    I am actually indebted to the original assessment centre for making the new appointment at the new location.
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Stickywicket, of course you are correct in that the physio guys know what is best when it comes to exercises. I remain a bit confused though with their obsession for bending my knee after the surgery over and above being able to walk again without crutches. Maybe one will only happen after the other has been achieved.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Believe me, it's nothing to what they'll do to your knee while you're under anaesthetic for a new one :lol: They bend things to places they haven't achieved in years. Bending is useful. My ancient TKR no longer bends far enough to get it into any back seat of a car and not all front ones. So 90 degrees is good.

    I'm very pleased to hear your assessment will now be at a sensible venue. Good luck with it m0150
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi TwinCam88 ,

    I like you had a bike accident in 1977 , some drunk driver left me with a broken knee & ankle & compound fractures , with compensation used it to get a Ducati

    two inches is alot and bound to through your hip out , is the assesment just for the blue badge , I have never been to one for myself but did for our son , hope it goes well , think they are looking how far you can walk ,
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Trepolpen, since my two operations in November and December my left leg is now around 5mm shorter than my right. My femur is now straight instead of being bent all over the place but of course my knee is still experiencing severe osteoarthritis. I cannot walk anywhere without my crutches and cannot stand without them unless I have another kind of support so if this assessment is based on walking then this is the state of play. Even with two crutches I can only walk for maybe 8-10 feet before I have to pause due to the pain in my leg and the stress on my arms.

    I obtained the blue badge by contacting my local council offices who helped me to sort it out. Having that badge helps so much with distances.

    Like you I also suffered compound fractures, my left femur and left tibia. I also smashed my left fibula, right collar bone, left ribs and damaged my left hand. The things we do for attention lol. I was mainly saved by the first person on the scene who was a fire officer and the second person on the scene who was a nurse.
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Regarding the physio which we of course now have to do at home, I currently have 66 degrees of bend. This has been achieved since the last op which was on the 23rd December. That op removed the external fixator from my left femur. The two ops though have left me with considerable pain in my left hip which has actually started to subside. I cannot use Voltarol though by Doctor's orders as it apparently restricts new bone growth.
  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22

    Right then, from February 11 to May 27. As you are all so well aware things have gone completely mad in the World with this Covid-19 thing but with regards to my arthritis problem I now have around 80 degrees of knee bend. Also, over the past few years I have had to get around using two crutches but now get around in the house with one. Out and about I still need two but that is for extra stability and security. I still make use of the blue badge which is such a huge help but since having my left femur reconstructed I now get much less knee pain. Most of my current pain comes from an old metal plate on my shin from the accident in '77. Things are definitely getting better as the months roll on and I am so determined to be walking with just a stick this time next year. Obviously I have regular telephone checks ups with the surgeon responsible for the femur ops late last year and he remains very positive as to the rate of recovery. So, who knows...? Maybe another Harley next year...? Joking of course. Life is so much safer without them (but notoriously more boring).

  • TwinCam88
    TwinCam88 Member Posts: 22

    Well, November 2021 ! I have to face the remainder of my life on crutches as it is looking as though I shall never be able to walk without them. To add to that I now have quite a bit of left hip pain presumably due to the operations to reconstruct my left leg but at least I am mobile. The accident that resulted in all of this back in 1977 left me with a large dollop of PTSD and then in 1987 on the death of my father a mental breakdown that terminated in chronic anxiety. I was prescribed phenothiazine medication for thirty years which I removed slowly from my life in the period 2015 - 2017, however in April of 2021 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease which I now have to cope with along with severe osteoarthritis and the inability to walk correctly. It seems rather odd to me that the phenothiazine I was prescribed blocks dopamine transmission in the brain while Parkinson's is caused by lack of dopamine transmission and the death of dopamine cells. Anyhow, there's nothing I can do now to sort this out; it is too late but no doubt, following on from my first ever PIP assessment and the lies that ensued from Capita, there'll be no point trying for another PIP claim and of course it shouldn't come to making multiple claims, get the thing done correctly from the outset. It is not nice to know though that this is what we are up against from our own government. At the moment I am still allowed to drive but have to take levodopa meds however the arthritis restricts my movement a lot. Such is life lol.