Uncle Arthur Scores Again. Hip hip ... booooo :-(

So, my old, painful hip was replaced last Friday by a shiny new model. As you can imagine, it’s been painful, having all those muscles and tendons cut and stretched as they saw, rout, drill and hammer. I had spinal anaesthesia, which is amazing because you really don’t feel anything, and the sedation keeps you as drowsy as you want to be. And the miracle is that afterwards, you wake up feeling like you’ve had a good rest. No hangover. No nausea. No brain fog. It’s such an improvement over a general anaesthetic!

Anyway, you will recall that I spent a lot of the winter worrying that my bum hip was PsA, not garden variety OA. My GP pooh-poohed that, saying I was obsessive and should quit worrying so much. My rheumatologist (or should I say, ex-rheumatologist) had my disease sized up as mild. I worried about that too because my gut feeling was that my PsA was worse than she thought. I got myself a consult at Dr. Gladman’s PsA Clinic in Toronto, and they agreed with me: my disease is severe, and the damage it has done is considerable. Not nice to hear, but I was relieved to know that I was in the best hands I could possibly be, and that they were going to do everything possible to help me. So that’s how I headed into surgery.

I hadn’t expected PsA to follow me into the operating room, though. But Uncle Arthur snuck in there when somebody wasn’t looking. I came to, at one point, to see a bag of red stuff hanging over me. When I asked, I was told I’d lost a fair amount of blood. Not good. Over the next day, my blood pressure bounced back to normal, and I had good colour, despite the loss.

Yesterday, my surgeon came for a chat. Apparently, my blood loss was 2 l, which is probably about half my total blood volume. I asked him why that would have happened. Well, he explained that the entire hip joint was very badly inflamed, and when he went in to rout out the pelvis for the socket, the inflamed bone just welled up and poured blood that didn’t stop until the socket unit plugged it tight and got screwed in.

So Uncle Arthur scores again. My hip wasn’t garden-variety OA after all. And I doubt that my knees (also replaced by this same surgeon) were either. The surgeon is happy about my going on Enbrel, and he will OK me to start in two weeks, assuming things go well with the healing process.

I really like my surgeon: his specialty is knees and hips, and he’s done three of mine. He’s one of the best in the region, and a really nice guy too. I commented that, with all due respect to him, I was hoping we’d not get to number four. His comment? “Listen, I’ve seen the x-rays, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another close encounter.” Groan. Have I ever told you how much I HATE this disease?

Oh Seenie i am sorry but I can;t say I am not surprised, you know what my Rheumy says about OA, it becomes PsA. Glad to hear you are in good hands.

I'm glad that you're through this, and can now begin recovery.

Yes, I think your rheumy is probably right. I have one hip left. They say it’s OA, but you know what I’m thinking now. And yes, Michael, thank goodness I’m in very very good hands.

Seenie, I am so sorry for all the trouble you had with the surgery but the light at the end of that tunnel is, its done and now the recovery has begun and like you said, you in good hands with lots of faith and confidence in your surgeon. I am also happy you found the right doctors at that clinic in Toronto, its always wise to trust your gut feeling until its proven otherwise. Keep recovering and am looking foreward to hearing from you again soon.....Take care, Judy

Assuming that a a blood loss of 2 means two pints--that's more than just being "topped off!" Wowser, UR one lucky duckling that it stopped when it did. We usually have about five pints total. No wonder you felt crappy!!! Uncle Arthur is a wicked opponent, but he won't win them all. Hang in, my friend. Hope you are feeling okay today.

Yes, 2 l is 4 US pints. Amazing.

Hey Seenie,

Sorry to hear what you are going through, but it sounds like you are good hands now.

I just wanted to say that I hae also been through nasty blood loss and transfusion, (due to birth complications not PsA) I felt flat for weeks afterward. There is no other was to describe it. I also recall being told it can take up to 3 months to recover fully from that kind of blood loss. They tell me I lost between 2 to 3 litres of blood.

The other thing that I encountered was an increase in illness. Now I'm not the kind of person who picks up every didease going around, but about a month after the transfusion I got the worst flu I have ever had in my life. I have never been sicker than I was then.

I am not trying to be little Miss Negativaty, I just thought you should know about what could happen. I hope it does not for you! I wish you a speedy recovery!


Thanks, Louise. No, you’re not being negative, just realistic. My BP was really low for a few days, but it’s good now. I feel and look fine, but I’m under no illusion that I might not feel so great once I get home and I try to go about more normal activities. Even in hospital, a round of rehab exercises (which I do in bed, for pete’s sake!) exhausts me. I’ll just have to wait it out and take it easy… (And that is easier said than done!)
Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen dramatic changes: my pain is becoming much more manageable, and the exercises that were tortuously difficult are now quite do-able. I won’t say I’m out of pain, but I’m certainly very comfortable.
And when I’m sitting in a chair or lying in bed, I already have less pain than I did before the surgery. Incredible.

I am so glad to hear your pain is so manageable, that is great news. I know it was not before surgery so i am thrilled for you. Remember as well as iron rich foods after discharge also have a healthy helping of vitamin C foods daily too. We need it in order to absorb the iron and process it properly and will also help you not catch so many viruses and help protect you as the anemia eases. I am so happy for you Seenie!

Yes, my pain is manageable. I’m to the point now (5 days post op) that I’m using only very slightly more tramadol than I did pre-op. Sitting, lying and walking are already less painful than they were. Doing the rehab exercises … well, that’s a different matter. That is just plain painful, but again, a different kind of pain from the deep joint pain. When I stop the exercise, so does the pain.
I would have gone home today, except that my incision is still oozing stuff. My super-meticulous perfectionist surgeon wants it dry before I go home. He says tomorrow. Maybe. :wink:
Thanks for all the good wishes and great advice. The only good thing about this disease is the people I’ve met because of it!

Glad you are on the road to recovery :)