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Friday, June 13, 2014

Surgery: Hip labral tear

Howdy folks!
Sorry, no late-Thursday loopy drugged up post from me, because I staunchly refused any pain medications and wasn't loopy. Aaaand if I tried to maneuver over to the computer, I would have either thrown up or fallen on my head.
So, the surgery is over with, and I'm in recovery mode. I went in at 7:30 am Thursday. My doctor scheduled me last on the list because hip surgeries are long and complicated. Prep for surgery was fine. I talked to the anesthesiologists about my problems with general anesthesia (last time, I had severe nausea and threw up for weeks). We agreed to do a combination of gas and Diprivan, with Decadron and Zofran added to the IV. Unfortunately I got that nausea party started early. While they were taking blood, I started feeling ill. I suggested they go ahead and get some Versed now or I'd probably throw up on them, and the nurse anesthetist laughed at me. And that's the last I remember!
I woke up incredibly nauseated. Dr. Van Sice was talking to me. He told me that unfortunately, the labrum was in very bad condition, very frayed and full of old damage, and could not be repaired. This was something we both felt was important, so I'm pretty disappointed about that. Instead he had to remove the damage. I just hate taking parts of your body out, you know? The good news, though, is that he did a little PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in the joint while he was there. Woo hoo! I've always wanted PRP! He said he's been trying it for his hips with good results in shortened healing times. My insurance doesn't cover PRP, so it was a freebie.
Then I rudely waved my doctor away so I could gag pathetically.
Now, I am very good about not actually throwing up - I hate it so much that I learned as a little kid to resist it at all costs! But I can't do much for the nausea. And even with zofran and decadron during the procedure, and zofran and phenergan IV post op, I was in bad shape. I was in the recovery room for several hours trying to feel well enough to transfer to a wheelchair. Because the surgery took a lot longer than expected, I wasn't ready to go until 5:30. The problem with that is that the physical therapist left at 4:30! So - no one fitted me with my crutches. That meant, that after a ride home that I only survived thanks to a ginger ale,  I got home to discover that my crutches did not fit AT ALL. They have forearm grips, but guess what? My arms are too small for the smallest setting, so I can't use them at all. I have no support! I had to send David to Walgreens to buy crutches so I could go up the stairs to the bathroom!
My view: ice, brace, useless crutches.
It was about 8 pm when my nausea finally subsided to I could eat. Thank goodness. Things have since settled down. I'm wearing this big, bulky body brace, an ice wrap over that, and using crutches. I slept in the CPM machine, which was a tad awkward, but I was fine.

What's better than I thought:
1. I have not taken anything for pain, and I didn't in the hospital, either. Pain just does not bother me. I'm fine. Yes, it hurts, but heck, it hurt before surgery, too! I heard horror stories about the pain from this procedure, and it's not half as bad as I thought.
2. My throat and mouth are a little sore, but nothing like the last time I had surgery. Turns out that I had a laryngeal mask airway instead of intubation, which is much more comfortable.
3. I was clear-headed and with-it an hour after surgery. Since I didn't accept any morphine or anything for pain, the only drug I had to worry about was phenergan, and it cleared my system pretty quickly.
Friday night: brace is from waist to thigh, locked at 45 degrees. Ice over that. And yeah,  I'm pale and puffy!
What's worse than I thought:
1. I am so weak. My leg is useless. My brain is telling it to move, and it isn't.
2. My get-up is horrendous. My bandage is huge and bulky, my brace is huge and bulky, and my ice is huge and bulky. Plus, I am huge and bulky. All those IV fluids are puffing me up to the point that my rings and shoes don't fit.
3. I am stuck all over. I don't know what happened in that OR, but I went in with one nice, tidy IV and came out with FOUR, two of which were still accessible. The one in my hand was put in before I went under, and they took blood for the PRP (probably what made me start feeling sick). It seemed fine. Then I came out with three arm sticks and one failed stick... I expect to be pretty bruised on my right arm.
After I took the bandaids off, I found a botched stick as well! Five IV attempts?! Was it training day?!
All in all, I'm pretty pleased. I am glad I had the surgery done before damage had worsened any more, and glad my doctor did the platelet rich plasma. Some of my questions before surgery were about whether the procedure was necessary, and it seems it was: continuing to pull and tear the very damaged labrum would have caused cartilage damage and eventually bone-on-bone contact.
Thanks for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers - I appreciate every one!


  1. I hate that post-surgery nausea. Stinks that there was so much damage, but I'm glad the pain is manageable. Hoping for fast recovery and even faster de-puffifying

  2. It sounds like you're handling it all like a trouper. I hope your recovery goes smoothly and really, really quickly. Oh and a bell can be a useful recovery tool. Just ring that sucker whenever you need something and can't be bothered getting up. It's your partner's sworn duty to get you whatever your heart desires when you've had an op.

  3. This surgery sounds absolutely nuts; you're a badass. So cool about the PRP!! Best of luck with recovery -- hope you continue to blog about it!

  4. So glad you opted for surgery and they were able to clean it up. PRP is an amazing thing. I wish I'd discovered it before I was bone on bone. Boy do I hear you on problems with pain meds! Remember that patience is key in solid and full recovery :) wishing you the best!

    1. Oh, yeah. I'd rather be in a ton of pain than take any narcotics. I know too much about them as a pharmacist! :) Thanks for the well-wishes.

  5. You are a brave patient. It stuns me that running caused internal damage, to someone so obviously young and healthy, to make a procedure like this necessary.

  6. Hang in there! Glad the surgery went well and I hope recovery does, too. Also... not sure if you are a running ahead person, but if not... this LENGTHY thread, might be of some interest to you...

  7. I found this blog by googling surgery for labrum tear in the hip. Knowing what you know now would you do it again? I need it but I keep putting it off, no one in my town does the surgery I would have to go to Indianapolis, and of course there is the deductibles!!! OMG! I am just so tired of the pain that I cry every night! I need relief one way or another. My name is Lucy Magee, I would love to speak with you about your surgery and recovery in a private message. Thank you!! And God Bless you!! I will send you a friend request I can only hope that you accept it.

    1. Hi Lucy, I think everyone's case is different, but I would absolutely do the surgery again. It was life-changing. I was in constant pain and couldn't run, or even walk, without excruciating pain. The surgery recovery was long, but I am now back to running at pre-injury levels! Just get a good doctor who will be very frank about prognosis with you.