Patient Stories

Elizabeth Blake

I was born with a congenital dislocated hip but this was not picked up at birth. My grandma comment i was not crawling right as a child, to keep her happy my mum took me to the GP. He inturn to keep her happy sent me to the hospital where at 13 1/2 months it was disgnosed. Fortunaltey it is only my left hip but surgery was required to re build my hip. I dont remember it causing me any problems growing up as a child but when i look back a family photos i notice my left leg never flexed like the right did. I was followed up until the age of 18 then discharged.
I went on to work in the orthopaedic industry as a marketeer for a medical devices company. As time went on i noticed i was getting less and less range of movement from my hip and by my mid thirties i was starting to adapt my activities to accomadte this. I learnt new ways to put on socks and different stretch excercises after gym sessions as i couldnt do things theway other people did.
After a particularly active holiday one of the orthopaedic surgerons i was working with noticed me limping and agreed to have a look at my hip. The X ray didnt look too bad but the range of motion was definatly reduced. He advised painkillers but said this was only a matter of time before i would need a hip replacement. He siad it would be the effect on my life and the activities i wanted to do that would make me decide rasther than pain.I managed another few years with painkillers and reducing activites, i stopped running and could only do a 6 mile dog walk. At 43 i decided enough was enough as i was getting pain towards the end of a day also and went for the Hip replacement.
I chose my surgeon carefully as one who specialises in young hips and evantually has a minihip with ceramic on ceramic bearing. I was in hospital for 4 days and came home with crutches. At the time i thought the recovery was very slow and initially worroed how long it would be beofre i got a good nights sleep and could return to work. I did not have a lot of pain but tired easiley after the shortest of walks. When i look back at the whole experience i realsie how quick my recovery was really. I was back on a stationart bike at 4 weeks post op, all be it for a few moments only. At 6 weeks i was riding it for 15 miles. I am now 3 months post op and doing really well. I have returned to all my daily activities and am back at the gym, most of the time i forget i have had a hip replacement.
It was a scary prospect to face hip replacement at 43 but i really havent looked back. If i was to give any one advice it would be choose your surgeon carefully, there are implants, like MiniHip, developed specifically for younger patients today. The other piece of advice i would give is follow what the physiotharapist tells you. The excercises are tricky to start with but it really does benefit you to stick with it. If the physio says to try and do less not more, as mine did follow what they say, its only a few weeks of inactivity which in the long run really is a price worth paying.