In a few days (December 5th, 8am European time to be exact, midnight in California ;c)) my first surgery to treat my hip dysplasia is coming up. The surgery that will be performed is called a Periacetabular Osteotomy aka a PAO.
Having hip dysplasia means the sockets of my hips are too shallow to properly cover the ball of my joint. This eventually results in early arthritis and pain 24/7. The pain has been debilitating in a way that not only I had to stop doing what I love on a regular basis, like hiking and doing sports, but also I can no longer sit or stand for more than 20 minutes, my range of motion is getting smaller, and over all the pain I’ve been living with the past 3 years is just exhausting for both my mind and my body.
I am fairly lucky there exists a surgery that aims at correcting the shallow socket and reconstructing a more normal hip without having to have a Total Hip Replacement but instead using my own pelvis bones to create it.
Without denying the hardship of a Total Hip Replacement this surgery is no comparison to a Hip Replacement. I’m only telling this because people keep thinking I get a “new” hip but I am not! I won’t be walking after a week and I won’t be back after 6 weeks! This is a whole different story, with a recovery period of a whole fucking year. In no way will I be back to hiking after 3 months. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to take my first unassisted steps after 3 months. It will take me a lot longer to get back into the mountains (but I wíll get back!).
Anyway this is what will happen:
My surgeon will make an incision in my left hip/groin area, make his way to my bones and then will perform 4 osteotomies, which means he will cut/break the bones of my pelvis in 4 places so that the socket around the ball becomes loose and he can rotate it to the side and to the front. He’ll then fix the rotated socket with a screw and check whether it’s in the right position or not. If it’s in the right position he’ll fix it in that position with 3 to 5 huge screws that go all through my pelvis. If it’s not in the right position he’ll keep rotating it till he finds the right position to fix it. After the screws are in, he’ll close me up and that’s it.
After the surgery I’ll spend the first day and night at the ICU and then if all goes well I’ll be moved to the ortho unit where I’ll stay for another 4 or 5 days. I’ll be having a nerve block and a morphine pump to control the pain for the first couple days.
After 2 or 3 days they’ll teach me how to sit up and go to the bathroom, however in the first 6 weeks I won’t be allowed real weight baring and apart from going to the bathroom and doing minor minor exercises (like trying to move my leg to the side) I will have to rest most of the day because of course those crazy fractures in my hip have to heal.
I hope that after 6 weeks I’ll have enough bone growth to start learning to walk with one crutch and after 12 weeks I hope to be able to walk unassisted. But for now I’ll try to expect nothing, and I’ll pray for patience (getting impatient while waiting in line to pay at the store seems so ridiculous now :cP)
Anyway, this is gonna be one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, so I would be really really really happy if people keep me in their thoughts and prayers during surgery. I can use every bit of good energy. I’ll be going into the OR at 8am and should be back by noon. For my American friends: Y’all be sleeping probably (it’ll be like midnight in California, 2am in Colorado and 3am at the East Coast), so I’d be just very grateful if you send me some love before you go to sleep or dream something nice about me :c) :c) :c)
I have no idea what not walking for all these months will do to me, I’m afraid it’ll turn me into some sort of crazy bitch, but ya… I guess we’re gonna find out soon. One thing’s for sure though: I’m gonna be screwed!
Thank you all so so much for supporting me!