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My name is Gary and at the age of 7 I was diagnosed with bi-lateral perthes after falling off a wall. Before the wall incident I did not display any symptoms like pain in my hips or limping.
After the perthes was diagnosed I was placed in traction for approximately 6 weeks then under went the first of 2 operations. The operations were ostiotomies which entailed the cutting of the femur bone and changing the position of the ball joints in relation to the sockets and securing the femur bone with Sherman plates. The second leg was also repositioned 3-4 months later.
I was in a plaster cast covering both legs with a bar in between them for approximately 1 year and then received intense phyiso to enable me to walk again. The operations also affected my schooling finding I missed approximately 2 years of school and by the age of 10 I was freed form all appointments concerning my hips and was told not to do sports like football/ rugby.
I spent my teenage life like every other teenager I did feel pain in my hips but it was tolerable so I shut it out of my mind, I did play football/rugby and other sports like boxing for 5 years and left school straight into a job as a petroleum engineer until the age of 25 when I collapsed at work.
I was fortunate to see the orthopaedic surgeon who performed both operations and he said I would no longer be able to perform the job I did as my left hip had collapsed as well as my pelvis had tilted and the right ball joint and socket were also remarkably deformed.
When I asked him what could be done he said I was too young for a hip operation and I would need physiotherapy to keep me mobile. The physio only exacerbated my condition as there was problems with my pelvis and the base of my spine, every time physio was done on my hip and lower back all my back muscles would go into spasm causing me to collapse, so heat pads had to be put on to my back to ease the stress. This went on for 6 months so I was advised by the physiotherapist to stop physio. I was put on strong pain relievers and given a wheelchair.
12 years later I had had enough of the pain so I investigated the possibility of hip replacement. I asked several orthopaedic consultants through the years about this and also the implications to the damage to my spine. I did explain my concerns as the x-ray showed the plates misshapen and not in the usual shape of the base of a spine, being told I was not medically qualified to deserve an explanation to my query just frustrated me, At this point I decided that this surgeon would not be allowed to operate on me as my confidence in him had all but disappeared. :roll:
I did have total hip replacement with the so called Rolls Royce of fusion hips in a private hospital. I was on my feet again for the first time in years with only a stick, 1 month later I had a DVT (deep vain thrombosis) in my left shin muscle which caused a PE (blood clot) in my right lunge and also pneumonia which I spent 8 days in hospital on oxygen, countless drips and was given a transfusion of 2 pints of blood. After this episode it became apparent that I was experiencing sever pain in my groin area and the base of my back as well as my operated hip, this continued and I then started to feel pain in my left knee which was found to have torn ligaments.
Before I hade the hip operation I was also diagnosed with plantar posits in my left foot which made moving around very difficult and my left knee would swell up like a balloon, I put it down to the damage caused by the collapsed hip in relation to my spine.
I keep on about my spine as I feel when I collapsed at 25 years old the operation should have been considered then as the damage to other areas would not have gotten worse and by leaving me like this for 12 years has made my condition irreversible.
When I had the total hip operation it took 3.45 hours as they also had to remove the Sherman plate from my femur bone which was placed there at the age of 7.
Last October I spoke to yet another orthopaedic consultant who explained to me that my leg had been in a different position since the operations I had at 7 years old and I would now be stuck like this as the physio and hydrotherapy I had 6 months ago also did not work and preceded to talk about operating on my right leg which has also collapsed. I did not tell him what I thought about that as what benefits would come from another operation while the other operation was not successful and he would see me in 1 year’s time.
Since having a total hip replacement I have also been diagnosed with auto-immune arthritis which affects most of the joint in my body and also have incontinence problems, I am 41 years old and not so much angry as annoyed that the doctors involved did not inform me of what might and could happen.
So as it stands medication I am on are
Morphine patches (pain relief)
Methotrixate (for auto-immune arthritis causing blurred vision, breathlessness), Amotriptiline (nightly for muscle relaxer, can cause intense dreams)
Anti-inflammatory tablets (control inflammation)
Ant acids (to counter balance burning in stomach from anti-inflammatory tablet)
If there is any body with bi-lateral perthes and is about to get hip operations do consider what will the outcome be on your spine/back and the after effects of the operation.
I am willing to answer some of the questions concerning my condition as this only details the basic facts of my condition.
Sorry this is so long but it does cover 34 years.
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