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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Surgery on schedule

Where we last left off, my spinal MRI came back normal and healthy, meaning that a compressed disk or other spinal source wasn't causing my pain. It was a rule-out before scheduling surgery. Once my doctor got those results, he called me to recommend surgery to repair my torn hip labrum.

In the days between getting my MRI results and my doctor's phone call, I'd done some research. I know the surgery is elective, and I've read or heard about plenty of runners who pass on the surgery and manage the pain by activity modification, physical therapy, and medication or steroid injections. And I guess if only running was at stake, I could consider that. But I feel this tear during activities of daily living, and I just can't imagine being in pain for the rest of my life. Plus, the reasonable level of pain I'm feeling right now (able to work, walk, even run short distances) is while taking gabapentin, and I'm not comfortable with taking medication every day for something like this.
I did some literature searches on PubMed, and could not find any conclusive data about degeneration of the hip following a torn labrum. But I'm still concerned that the tear is the first step in cartilage breakdown, and puts me at risk for (at a minimum) arthritis and (worst-case scenario) total hip. My doctor doesn't agree with this view, and it's true that there isn't substantial data to prove my argument, but sometimes the meta-analysis hasn't been done or the studies just aren't there. Sometimes you have to base your conclusions off of your prior knowledge. I know the function of the hip labrum, so I am concerned that leaving it alone will lead to more damage.*
I agreed to the surgery.

Right now, I have very little info on the whole process. I'm not meeting my doctor for a pre-op visit until the day before surgery (I know, great planning) right before I see anesthesiology. I have a date scheduled - June 12th - and I got coverage for work, which is the most important thing. I'm trying to go back to work pretty early, but a lot is still up in the air. Once work settles down (handling a big corporate project right now, without ANY extra hours or support) I can, you know, handle my own health. But at least I have a plan!

*There is actually reason to believe that labral surgery can lead to hip degeneration, especially if the torn part of the labrum is removed, rather than repaired. Lots of conflicting info on this topic.

10 comments:

  1. It sounds like you've, of course, done your homework and the great news is the pain will eventually be gone. It seems that most things I read can lead degenerative something or another - so I would focus on that entirely - but you know way more about this than me obviously. Best wishes, hope it goes well for you.

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  2. yay! i'll keep you in my thoughts! best of luck :)

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  3. It seems like a sensible option to take - repair what's broken. I hope it all goes smoothly.

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  4. Grace, here is a website with tons of people who are athletes and had hip issues: http://hiprunner.com/ The website is very informative and a good forum to connect with people who have been through this before. Now, with MRI results and before you go under the knife, you may want to gather some feedback from others in the same boat. I also talked to a lady called Lenore Happenstance and she had a long ordeal with her hip, she was very helpful and gave me a lot of insight into the process. Hope it helps. Good luck! Come back strong!

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    1. Fascinating. Thanks for the resource!

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  5. Well I had some reading to do....I think you are making the right decision...I hope all goes well, will be thinking of you June 12:)

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  6. I'm glad you doing what you think is right for YOU, even if you doctor might not fully agree. Awesome that you've done your research.

    Good luck!

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  7. I would totally do what you are doing. There is no way I'd be in "pain management' mode forever. You're going to come back stronger than ever! Best wishes!

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  8. if you get a chance, this blogger chronicled quite a bit of her surgery & recovery. Definitely worth the read, if you have questions.
    Good luck!
    http://thestringcheeserunner.wordpress.com/

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