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!

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