Post op LPAO, almost 4 months with surgeon follow up

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, but there was nothing too exciting to post about so I thought I would wait until I saw my surgeon on the 9th before updating.  I was continuing my PT twice a week until I saw my surgeon and personally thought my range of motion of the hip joint was adequate, and my strength was ok, but I felt like I was hitting a plateau.  I talked about it with my PT and he agreed that until the right hip gets fixed I was starting to get limited in my ability to progress any farther in PT, so I brought that to my surgeon to get his take on things.  However the things I have continued to be concerned about (besides the right hip and torsion of my sacrum to the right, back pain, and my continuous burning pain in my calves still) is that after my PT had me do a certain hip flexion exercise with a lot of weight 2 weeks ago I started to have burning hip flexor pain again in the left leg, and had to go back to completely supporting it to pick it up when getting in bed, car, etc… Talk about frustrating!!!  I also have built up scar tissue from my scope around the portal scars that is significantly restricting the function of my lateral quads when I exercise.  The whole muscle group bunches up and gets very painful.  The scar tissue feels deep, so foam rolling and use of the stick and self massage give a little temporary relief, but don’t get rid of it.  I’ve mentioned these concerns to my PT I was seeing and he’s not much of a believer in manual therapy and told me just to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully things will get better.  Well……I don’t like that answer so much, so I brought these issues to Dr. Ellis and long story short I am starting with a new PT tomorrow (one that his office recommended up in Akron that trained some down at OSU with his PT’s, so she supposedly is good).  Let me digress a little and go into the Dr. Ellis visit though.

So Monday my hubby and I made the 2 hour trip to Columbus for the almost 4 month follow up.  I was x-rayed and then met with Dr. Ellis.  He was very pleased with the x-ray, it appears one cut is almost completely filled in, the other 2 not far behind, so that was great news!!  No restrictions on this hip from the surgical standpoint (pain and function are a whole other story) except to avoid running and high impact activities FOREVER (if I want to keep these hips for awhile-which I desperately do!). He too was pleased with my range of motion and strength, but did pick up on the tightness in my hip flexors and adductors.  He said I need someone to get in there and manually work on releasing the hip flexors and then strengthen them, because as long as they are locked up, the adductors will continue to overwork and compensate and remain tight which throws off my gait pattern.  He said my glute strength wasn’t bad, but could still use more work.  As for the deep scar tissue from the scope, he said just to see if manually someone could break it up.  I brought up dry needling and he said his PT’s have had mixed results with it, so I may hold off until I see this new PT a few visits, then look into it if she doesn’t think she can get to it.  I was also told about cupping (a western medicine concept) from a friend and may look into that as well.

Dr. Ellis, my hubby, and I also discussed the right hip in detail.  He pulled out and measured all my imaging again and really thinks the scope is the way to go.  Mild dysplasia is 20-25 degrees CE and 10+ Tonnis angles, left hip was 22/23 and 12 (respectively) while right hip is 25/26 and 8/9, so borderline but not in the mild dysplasia category.  He doesn’t want to put me through the big surgery if I don’t really need it.  He said that putting my body through that again (given the risks) just to correct a few degrees is not worth it, especially because there is a risk of over-correction.  I asked him what about if this scope failed and he said then he would consider it.  The 3 of us went through every scenario, and in the end felt comfortable with just doing the scope, BUT leaving the door open that if in the operation the hip presents clinically more dysplastic then there still is a small possibility of a RPAO in November.  So, I signed my consent for the right hip scope and got all my paperwork and prescriptions for afterwards, set up my post-op appointments and then we headed to the Cheesecake Factory to indulge in some good food:)

As for how I am doing physically, to look at me you would think I was normal, but I live in pretty bad pain still.  The right hip just tightens up deep in the back of the socket from walking, from doing exercise/PT, from pretty much everything:(  The tighter it gets, the tighter it pulls on my sacrum and low back, causing SI pain and torsion, low back pain, and nerve pain into the left (and a little right) leg.  I spend a good hour at night using a ball and my foam roller to release the tight muscles behind the hip, the whole mid-low back, and the legs (especially the calves).  I still get myofasical PT once a week and am seeing the chiropractor for ART again every couple of weeks.  Just trying to get by until surgery hoping that that will be the turning point in this mess.  I don’t really like the “how are you doing” question anymore, because the surgery was a success and I do have less pain, but still have a great deal of it and it’s hard to explain, and most people don’t really want to hear the bad stuff anyways, so I try and avoid answering or just saying the minimal.

As for keeping busy since I wasn’t able to return to work, I don’t feel bored ever.  I have my son here 3 days a week.  On the other 3 days I was doing PT 2 days, myofasical one day, running errands, doing laundry, cleaning what I can, cooking new meals, doing a little work for our GoCommunity at Church, and doing a little reading.  I find myself thinking a lot, thinking about the path my life was on before all this, and where I am headed now. Thinking about how I feel a little lost as to what my place is in the world right now.  Thinking that maybe I’m supposed to use all this somehow to help others or do something more or different than I’ve been doing.  Thinking that maybe God has plans for me that I would never have discovered or thought about if I had not gone down this road.  I have to admit my identity of who I am and what was important to me has been shaken.  I’ve thought a lot about what things I want in my life to define me.  Lots and lots of thoughts.  I find myself praying a lot still, some days for specific things, some days just to “help me hold on.”  I don’t expect anymore that anyone understands me and what I go through physically and mentally through all of this, just as I come to realize that I really can’t understand the situations others go through in their lives.  Lack of others understanding of the implications of chronic pain physically, emotionally, and spiritually on a person is something that used to frustrate me to no avail, but something I have now come to accept.  Anyways, I will keep plugging along on this road and see what the next step is as it comes.  I’m putting my hip x-rays on here for all to see.  Thanks for reading, until next time……………….

full view

side view

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5 thoughts on “Post op LPAO, almost 4 months with surgeon follow up

  1. I love a good hip x-ray! I am sorry to hear about the pain, but the right PT can make all the difference in the world! I pray the scope will work for you, my first surgery was a scope and if it makes you feel any better the recovery is NOTHING compared to what you have been through. And even with needing the PAO I received a ton of relief from the initial surgery. Your strength is undeniably beautiful from your posts and I know God has something wonderful in store for you. Just keep doing your best and know that this is a place you can always rant and talk about the bad stuff.

  2. Please do know that just by writing this blog you are helping others. I myself, have had one PAO, I was considered one of the worst cases my surgeon had seen, it was a 7 1/2 hour surgery, I struggle with the same pain as you. I have my next PAO scheduled for this November. I use the roller, small rubber balls, whatever I can find to find some comfort. I still teach fitness classes and teach physical education, so I don’t let it ruin my life, although it tends to take over sometimes. I have a PAO page on Facebook, just search Dawnelles PAO Journey and maybe we can help each other out!

    • Thank you Dawnelle:)I did check out your page and “like” it to follow your journey. I bet you are so ready for your next surgery too. What a journey huh, can’t wait for it to end! So nice meeting and connecting with you, thanks for sharing your link. Its so nice to find others who understand this stuff:)

  3. Pingback: PAO Hip Surgery Essentials & Other Comforts | PAO Girl

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