Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Muscle Repair - My Perspective

10.5 months since I had my abductors re-attached to my leg.  I'd like to say that I had wild dreams of strutting down the street in high heels by now, but I think we all knew that wasn't going to happen!  My more modest dream of just walking without my stick is yet to materialise too.  I'm still hopeful though.

I think the recovery from the muscle repair took much longer than any of us thought.  Six weeks on two crutches and then a further few weeks on one crutch did nothing for my residual muscle tone (and metabolism!).  If possible, I seem to have lost a little more function as my quadriceps muscle has taken to doing EVERYTHING and now I can't stop it from taking over.  After 10.5 months I cannot lift my operated leg from a lying position and I was just able to do so prior to the muscle repair.  So.... I don't know what happened there?

The way I see it, right now, I am no better or worse than I was prior to the muscle repair surgery.  I'm hoping that in time, with continuous exercise, something might improve.  I've already accepted my stick as one cool accessory (I can get the last packet of pasta from the back of the massive supermarket shelves with that bad boy lol!).  My funky walk is something else - I'm disappointed that it doesn't seem to be evening out, but as long as I don't catch my reflection in a window or mirror, I'm mainly okay with it.

Anyways, as is becoming my mantra - I am still in NO PAIN.  That I am so so thankful for!

I have heard that some muscle repair surgeries can actually induce pain in the muscle due to scar tissue formation.  I either have massive nerve damage and just can't feel it (possible considering my (in)ability to notice how far advanced my osteoarthritis was?) or the repair did go well and scarring was minimal.  I'm going to go with the latter, psychologically more optimistic... ;o)

Related posts of interest:

Friday, 27 April 2012

Okay, break's over....

Yes, I know. I'm sorry for not posting in what feels like forever. Sometimes you just want to forget about things for a wee while. Life has been a little hectic in the last few months and I'm going to take the time to share it soon.

This year is likely to feature another Bextastic trio of uncertainties revolving around my hip, my job, and probably where I live (maybe less so the latter this time). Life's never dull, that's for sure!

Have a good weekend! :o)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

6 weeks, now walk

At last, 6 weeks is up!! WOO HOO

Let's dance! Let's not.

Right, now what? 6 weeks feels so long when you're on two elbow crutches. But I can now drop to one according to the letter I received from Mr. O a week out of hospital. I've been wandering around the house on one crutch and instantly I feel so liberated! With one arm free to carry something, anything, is heaven. I've not had two arms free since before my resurfacing and that's the goal... to ditch the walking stick too and walk unaided.

So I can't start physiotherapy again until after I see Mr. O next week to see what's next really. I had a wee cheeky abduction of my leg earlier 'just to see' what would happen! Er.....my leg moved outwards lol, but more importantly, I felt it in my butt where you should be feeling it. That was new!

I desperately want this to be it, the repair that gets me back on my feet properly. But without re-injury and I don't care how long it takes in physio, I'll do it. I'm still getting the odd painful twinges over the incision site and the side of my butt where I imagine most of the suturing etc has been done to reattach the muscle to the bone. The twinges are fleeting, not requiring pain relief and they usually come at the end of the day (using leg all day?).

I feel happy now 6 weeks has past, like some sort of danger point. My thigh muscles have wasted considerably in that time so I know I have a lot of work to do in the next few months. Once again, and I've lost track of the times I've said this.... BRING IT ON! Let's get walking :o)

Friday, 22 July 2011

Officially bored

It's official..... I'm now bored and restless and I don't want to sit on my ass anymore!

So that's been 3 weeks off work, at home, on my ass to get to this state of mind. 3 weeks.

I have actually been doing some work from home so I don't feel unproductive. I can't focus on work today. It's just the lack of change of scenery! Actually it might be more than that, as I'm currently at my BF's house for the first time in more than a month so if that's not a scenery change I don't know what is? Or maybe it's too little too late? We're even going out tomorrow night for birthday celebrations and I can't shake this horrid cabin fever feeling! I know tomorrow night will be fun, but today is dragging.

What shall I take from this: a lesson in patience.

How do I feel: like I want to put my pants on my head and run around the room.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Like curled ribbon

Mr. O told me to stay off my right leg for 6 weeks. His senior registrar told me to stay off my leg for 6 weeks. The physio's told me to stay off my right leg for 6 weeks. 6 weeks!!! Minimum....

Just let it go stiff, then we'll work on stretching and then strengthening.

Until yesterday, perhaps due to swelling, I had not noticed that the muscles have gone as stiff as a board! Just standing there (on crutches) I had the insane sensation that my left leg was longer, loose and floppy compared to my right. Then it twigged! The reattached muscles have stiffened up and when compared with my left leg, it feels like I'm curling up like christmas ribbon. I'm distinctly being pulled over to my right....in my mind, at least.

Here's hoping that this will be the ticket to shifting my hippy limp. It's a very odd sensation....

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Injection fun

Forgot to mention that I also have to take Clexane again everyday for a month! That's a sub-cutaneous injection of a blood thinner to stop blood clots. Means I don't have to wear the lovely stockings or knacker my stomach with aspirin - and best of all I can now be seen in technicolour!!! ....

Monday, 11 July 2011

Have crutches, will travel

....or not, as the case may be.

I had the surgery to reattached my abductors muscles about 12 days ago (29th June). Both gluteus minimus and medius had completely detached themselves from the bone. When they went in to repair the muscles they were met with a completely naked femur bone over the greater trochanter (upper thigh) area as the ligaments tend to retract back when not holding onto muscles. How this didn't cause me any pain I do not know! I'm beginning to think I have abnormal pain recognition in my right leg??

The surgery went very well, apparently. However, it was more complex than originally thought, took about 2hrs and has landed me with more mobility restrictions than either of my last two surgeries combined! I found out after the surgery that they roughened up the femur bone at the reattachment site to help the muscles stay put. They also took out the screws holding the cup in place in my hip socket and mechanically tested the cup to check that it was secure (i.e. checking that a loose cup was not responsible for causing my muscles to detach ??). The screws did not go back in. I assume they were removed with an aim to stop the muscles rubbing over them (sawing through them) and that I don't need those screws anymore as the cup has knitted itself in with the bone of my pelvis. I sincerely hope so, as I'll be honest and say that I wasn't very happy when I was told they took the screws out. It wasn't consented for. But I do acknowledge that they had to investigate why the muscles detached in the first place. They also wouldn't remove them if they thought it would ultimately cause a cup failure - would they? I'm choosing not to dwell on this and just trust them. My leg's not fallen off yet lol

So originally I was told that I'd be in hospital for one night, two crutches at first and then down to one in a few days for 6wks, driving after a few days, back to work after a week off. Reality: two crutches at all times for 6wks then down to one, NO driving for the first 2wks and only when I feel confident I can move my lower right leg appropriately, no bending down to pick things up off the floor, no side-stepping to the right, and signed off work for a MONTH.

Bit of a shock to the system those restrictions. I'm basically not allowed to abduct to allow the muscles to fully heal. They said just let the muscle go stiff over the 6wks and then we will begin a stretching programme followed by strengthening. I'm not attending physio until after my 6wk appointment at the hospital - so no physio until after the 17th August. That seems ages away! It's not just the physical restrictions of remembering not to actively move my right leg sideways, it's all the little things that come with being on two crutches - carrying stuff around easily, no real cooking, showering....

Thankfully, between my mum and my partner the whole house is organised so when I'm in alone I can get to pre-made meals, clothes (top drawers etc), phone.... the list is long! My back pack is now my best friend and I've dug out my sock putter-onner that I needed last year (glad I never gave that away!). I can't sit on the sofa with a hot drink, but I can get to the kitchen table to sit down. Mmmm....thermos comes to mind :o)

I had the staples taken out last friday and everything already feels a million times better. They didn't go in through the full length of the resurfacing scar - about 2/3rds of it. So I think there were about 20ish staples, but I lost count again when the nurse took them out as I was too busy chatting trying to ignore the tugging sensations. Only the top half the staples felt sore coming out and I definitely believe I have lost sensation in patches over that thigh from previous surgeries. Double-edged sword there: probably prevented me feeling pain when the muscles detached, but pain is the body's warning system telling me something was wrong and I probably didn't get the message until much later (i.e. all that gym going to strengthen the abductors and no improvement, lets check out those muscles on US scan).

Despite the fact I know the frustration level will be high, I'm playing by the rules and parking my backside, doing nothing, letting everything heal. I do not want to have to go back in and have those pesky muscles put back on again!