Jodi

HAVE A QUESTION: I am 43, have left hip dysplasia that was diagnosed one year ago. Due to the loss of cartilage and deterioration of my joint, I have to have a THR. I have been getting cortisone injections, which have helped immensely. My first injection lasted 8 months. However, my second injection was three months ago, and the pain is coming back. Daily pain. Hurts to sit too long, and I sit for a living. Wake up with pain, always achy. I have pain in my buttocks, off-centered to the left, and I have some pain going down my leg now on the inside thigh that feels like a nerve pain (that’s the only way I can describe it). Are these symptoms anyone else has experienced?

My surgeon told us in August that I will need surgery “within two years,” and it is all dependent on my pain. Since I am young, we are all trying to wait as long as possible for the THR. There are so many factors I am considering as to when. I know there’s no crystal ball out there to say GO NOW, or WAIT, etc. But I really would like to talk to anyone who has a similar situation for advice. My mother had a left THR three months ago from hip dysplasia, but she is 68. Big difference in age.

Can anyone give me advice, info, their personal story so I have something to gauge my situation on? I am discouraged today because it’s only been three months, and the cortisone is not working like the first shot.

And to top things off, I am getting married in July next year. I am so worried if I wait, I won’t be able to walk down the aisle (beach wedding) on my wedding day. I’m not sure if I should wait, or just schedule the surgery.

The other factor that is huge is cost. I have a high-deductible health plan, and after meeting with my insurance agent, my costs are going up next year, along with everyone else’s. I’m afraid if I don’t get the surgery done at least next year, that I won’t be able to afford it in 2018.

Sorry for the long story. Can anyone help me? I am feeling so down right now and unsure what to do. Thanks in advance.




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  1. Helen says:

    Hi Jodi,

    I am in a very similar situation with my right hip. I am 48 and have had hip pain for the last 4 years. I thought it was coming from my back but it turned out to be a torn labrum. I was shocked to hear I have dysplasia in my right hip and that THP was my best option. My first cortisone shot gave me 1 week of pain relief then I was referred to an arthroscopic surgeon who was going to try to repair the torn labrum but when I arrived for my pre-op appointment he decided that by the time I healed from the surgery it would be time for THP so there was no point. He has done 3 more cortisone shots over the past year. They last about 4 months but by the 3rd month I am having enough pain to cause limping. It is the limping that is a major problem for me as it triggers my back problem. Also, it is my right hip and driving aggravates it even when I have cortisone on board.
    Stem cell injection ($2,000-$3,500 and not covered by insurance) was suggested as was Synvisc ($1,000-$2,000, also not covered). Both of these options didn’t seem to offer much more than 6 months of possible pain relief and they cost about as much as the surgery copay. While stem cell injections might help the labrum to heal, the dysplasia means it is going to get damaged again so I’m not looking at years of pain relief with either choice. So, I think I have decided to go ahead with the replacement this spring. Haven’t booked it yet but we have teenage kids and we like to hike for vacations and I have finally decided that I would rather have a properly working hip while I am young enough and healthy enough to enjoy vacations with my family rather than putting up with all this pain for another 1-2 years like 2 surgeons want me to do. Neither could give me a good reason to wait.
    I think THP is reasonable at your age especially if you aren’t going to start running marathons on your new hip. All of my surgeons (even the ones who want me to wait) say “THP will fix all your hip problems” as they breeze out of the room. My hip arthroscopist, my physical therapist and my gynecologist (consulted because the cortisone shots are giving me wicked hot flashes) all think THP now rather than later is the logical way to go.

    I finally found a well respected surgeon last month who said he would do a THP when I decide I am ready. Just having that choice handed to me was a big relief.
    Good luck with your decision-making. I know how this can get you down. Whenever I am feeling depressed about it I try to focus on the fact that at least we live in a time and place where we can have this problem fixed. Imagine if it were 50 years ago!

  2. Allison says:

    I had my first THR when I was 29. You can read my story on here too. http://hipdysplasia.org/patient-stories/adult/allison/

    If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read some of the other stories on here. There are a number of us who have had THR before age 40. For me, my decision on the timing was more on the mental side of things, not the physical side. I was told “I’d know” when it was time, and while that’s true, I definitely had doubts and thought I was doing it too soon. But looking back, I’m glad I did it when I did, even if I’ll need a second one later. Just don’t feel like you’re “too young.” If you need it, you need it!

  3. Sandra says:

    Jodi,

    Here is my story, I hope it helps.
    I just left my ortho. He said I am going to have to have a THR. I am 43. I have suffered through this mess for 5 years. I am nervous, understandably so, but I am done with this limiting my life. In 2012 I was diagnosed with a torn labrum. In 2014 I had a labrum repair surgery and bone shaving to try and correct an impingement. I had 3 months of PT and my previous Dr. told me I would most likely need a THR if the surgery didn’t work. I had problems walking after the surgery, problems that never went away. In July of 15 I slipped in the shower, then in August I fell in a parking lot. Both accidents were caused by my inability to walk or even step normally. After the fall in August, I became 100% reliant on a cane. I am about to go to 2 canes. I refuse to focus on how young I am to be getting such a surgery, but instead, focus on how young I am to have to deal with this pain and limitation. I am thankful I can have the surgery, but it is not without some hurdles. I have to go through heart testing, cardio fitness testing, blood testing and I have to remain off work (I have been off since Thanksgiving). I had a steroid injection in August; it lasted about 4 weeks. I had my last steroid injection in early November; it lasted 4 days. My Dr. told me the shots will become less effective as time goes on. My pain radiates through my groin, down through my thigh to my knee and also in my lower back. I can’t stand for more than 5 minutes and can’t sleep at night without being awoken with horrible cramps in my leg. My pain is like someone running a knife from my knee, up my thigh, to my groin and then on the side of my hip. The pain in my lower back is a dull ache. I am not looking forward to this long process, but if I don’t have the surgery the pain will last a lot longer than this process to get the surgery. My Dr. said it is a defect in my hip and nothing I could have done would have prevented this from happening, he also said I have a less severe form of dysplasia in my other hip and I will need to have testing every 12 months to monitor that hip. He also said I may never walk normally because my soft tissue has adapted to the defect and chances are it might never re-adapt to a fixed hip.

  4. Chelle says:

    I am 48 and have been suffering with symptomology of hip dysphasia for 6 mos . 2 nd opinion directs THR as the only thing that will fix the congenital issue , very unnerving , however, I am convinced there is no sense in suffering with this any longer than neccessary , I don’t have other medical problems ,am I missing anything ?

  5. Chelle says:

    I am 48 and have been suffering with symptomology of hip dysplasia for 6 mos . 2 nd opinion directs THR as the only thing that will fix the congenital issue , very unnerving , however, I am convinced there is no sense in suffering with this any longer than neccessary , I don’t have other medical problems ,am I missing anything ?

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