Just diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis

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Two weeks ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left hip to repair, what the dr. thought was, a labral tear.   Turns out my hip has grade (or is it stage) 4 osteoarthritis.   I am 54 and am still in the freaked out stage.   He said to hold off as long as possible to get the hip replaced.   Right now the pain is pretty high, but am hoping that's just from the arthroscopy and will return to a more tolerable pain level.

Not looking forward to a hip replacement, but what scares me the most is that this will show up in other joints as I get older.   My weight is normal and I don't know of any family history so am not sure what caused this.   Is it possible that I just have one bad joint or is it likely to affect others in time?      

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  • Posted

    It may it may not. I have already had 2 finger joints replaced and I was younger than you when they did the first one. I reckon my hip might be on its way out too.

    Am I worried absolutely not!! The joint replacement is amazing as I am now pain free. Why suffer with pain when there is a solution. I know someone who had it done recently and they can do everything they use to be able to do, have fantastic movement in their hip.

    With fingers you don't get the same movement but at least its not stuck and not painful.

    If I were you I would get the surgery done as the new ceramic joints are suppose to last for a lot longer. Why be miserable with all thet pain. yes there is a bit of a recovery process but its short term pain for a big long term pain free gain.

    Best of luck

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  • Posted

    Many people only ever have a single hip replacement so it isn't certain you might need more. I know people who've had their hip replacement and gone back to perfectly normal life for them - including sport and skiing (they did already ski and live in the Alps though!)

    Why did he say wait? I would seek another opinion. I had a friend in the north of England who had a familial hip joint problem. Her brother had already had both hips replaced when hers literally crumbled over a period of a few months and she couldn't walk at all without crutches. The consultant was quite happy to do it and she was only just over 50. Her brother was younger if I remember rightly - though very overweight which had accelerated the problem. Another friend was told at 60 that "it will be years before you can have it done" so she looked for another opinion - and surgeons at Addenbrookes had her on the list in just a few months. She was told age is not as important as the degree of cartilage damage and they like to operate while patients are still fairly fit and able to do the rehab required - if you can't walk your muscles deteriorate quite quickly.

    I may be wrong but I understand that in younger patients they use slightly different techniques because they may have to replace the prosthesis at some later point so they think of that.

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    • Posted

      He recommended holding off for a while as the pain I am experiencing now may be a result of the arthroscopy... said it could be up to 3 months for it to heal.     If after 3 months it still feels like this, I'm ready!  Thanks so much for getting back to me - you helped my mind feel better anyway   smile
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    • Posted

      I suppose that is fair enough - but if it isn't better, say so. And firmly. Take a partner if necessary - because it often concentrates their mind.

      Jan makes a good point - I "lost" 5 years of my 50s to something else because I had a wishy GP - lovely but a bit clueless. You have to make it very clear how much it is affecting your quality of life. I got so good at accommodating my problems I didn't realise how much I had done so until I was stopped driving for a few months (wrongly, because a doctor didn't listen and ask ME) and then I was housebound and could barely get up and down the stairs, I can't have those years back and overall it still affects my QOL even now. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    All I can say is I persevered for four years with my doctor and got nowhere, changed doctors and am now on the way to diagnosing the problem. If I need a new hip and am offered one I will gladly have it done - why waste what could be your remaining young and fit years? I don't want to be laid up throughout my ifties then pick up again a decade older, I want to carry on with my life now!

    Hips and knees are the most used and weightbearing ones; if more become affected you will be glad at least one is good having been replaced - imagine both hips gone at the same time, you would be in a wheelchair.

    Another reason not to wait is that I fear for the future of the health service.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hello Linda, I have not got hip Osteoarthritis thou i have experience with knees. I had a total knee replacement aged 38 due to childhood septic arthritis and again replaced at 52. I would no doubt be in a wheelchair without the operations. My ligaaments had gone in my groin so was unable to walk.   My other knee now needs a partial knee replacement, thou i am now going to try steriod injections first only because of living alone and having noone to help me. What i can say is that the younger you have a replacement the better the recovery. My veiw is that you need the quality time now to live your life while your still young enough. You could always ask for a second opinion. What meds are you taking as there are lots of new ones to try while you are waiting. 

    Elizabeth.

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    I am waiting for a hip replacement but my other hip is fine.  One of my knees is a bit dodgy but not unbearably painful.  It may be that your hip has just suffered as a result of a sports injury, a fall of something related to your lifestyle.  For instance, my spine has OA but I know this is from a life spent in care work, where we used to lift people on a daily basis (hoists were not used as a matter of course then).  Try not to worry, just get your left hip sorted out and carry on living your life.  Life is too short to worry about what might happen.

    Love Cels xxx

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    • Posted

      Oh thank you!    You are so correct and I love your attitude.   I appreciate you getting back to me.   I wish you the best with your new hip!   
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