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Full plate of states

I live in Colorado and work in Wyoming. I'm having my surgery in Washington state and will recover in Montana.

A bit of a jumble to manage, but with extra planning, it will all work out. In the four months before surgery, I need to find "backup doctors" in both Montana and Colorado to manage my follow-up care, as well as a physical therapist in both states. (PT starts at eight weeks, and my goal is to be back in Colorado by then, but I need someone in Montana, just in case.) The ladies in Dr. Mayo's office in Tacoma (I love Keri and Sandy already) are going to look into finding referrals for me. I obviously need someone with at least some basic knowledge of what a PAO is; those of you who are looking into the surgery know that this is not an easy task!

Why Washington?

Believe it or not, a "periacetabular osteotomy" is actually harder to perform than to pronounce! It's an uncommon, technically demanding surgery, so I sought out the most experienced surgeon I could find.
As far as I can tell, there are about five doctors in the U.S. who fall into that top-notch category, and Dr. Mayo was the closest one to Colorado. I know of a lot of women whose "bone sawings" were performed by other qualified surgeons and had excellent results, but I felt most comfortable choosing Dr. Mayo.

The experience I've had so far with Dr. Mayo and his office has been fantastic. Not only is he supposed to be one of the best, but he's also been very personable and patient with me and my questions. He even called me the other day when he wasn't in the office so I wouldn't have to wait to hear from him for two weeks while he is out of the country. Part of our conversation:
Dr. Mayo: I can give you some names of patients if you want to talk with them.
Me: That's ok. I've been talking with a bunch of ladies in an online support group, and they've been really helpful.
Dr. Mayo: Oh, I didn't know there was such a thing.
Me: Yeah, that's actually how I found out about you. You were mentioned a lot on there. But don't worry, it was all good stuff! [laughing]
[Silence] ...

Well, I said he was personable and patient, not lighthearted and funny! It is my goal to make this man laugh at some point! I'll be sure to let you know!

P.S. My pre-op appointment was scheduled today. Sandy called to let me know it's 1 p.m. on April 15. Yay, I won't have to wake up early!


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Questions for surgeon pre-op

Below is my list of questions to ask Dr. Mayo pre-op.

About pre-op care and my dysplasia How many degrees is my dysplasia?How’s the other hip? When will I need surgery on it?What are my chances for a successful surgery?Should I be following any special diet or medication restrictions?
About the surgery
How long is the surgery?Will you be doing the entire surgery or do other surgeons help?Chances of finding FAI or tears in labrum? Then what?Worst-case scenario while in surgery? Any chance of THR or no PAO?Will I be intubated?Do you do a bone graft?Where will scar be?What kind of stitching?When will the catheter go in?What are the screws made of?Will I lose much blood during surgery? Should I donate my own blood prior to surgery? If so, will I get that blood back? About post-op care
What can I expect during my hospital stay? How long will I be in the hospital?How will my pain be managed in the hospital and at home? Will I get an epidural? When will it go in? What items do I need at home to he…

4 months post-op/scar pic

If there's one blanket statement I could make about having a periacetabular osteotomy, I would say this:

It's a long recovery.

When friends, family, co-workers and strangers have comments or questions about the surgery, it's usually something like: "That sounds awful!" or "Was it really painful?" or "Scary."

Truth is, while it was awful, painful and scary at times, this whole time, it simply has been long. At four months post-op, I still feel remnants of surgery in my hip. I still can't lie on my op side for longer than an hour or two without discomfort, and I still have to help my leg in and out of the car on occasion. My hip is still tender to the touch, and of course, that tailbone ...

Don't get me wrong. I have SO much to celebrate, and I can't imagine myself happier with my left hip. I have recovered smoothly and quickly. I'm not asking for anything more. That being said, I have made the following progress in the past two …

3 years post-op LPAO

A surgery can change your body. Two surgeries can change everything.

Today, on the third anniversary of my LPAO, I inevitably think back to my first operation and the years leading up to that day.

Everything has changed.

I am an outdoors enthusiast and exercise nut. I can stay on my feet all day. My new body has freed my soul, and my heart responds in kind.

The breakdown is exactly the same as it was at two years post-op: zero pain with a couple of exceptions, great range of motion, same tingly patch and itching. The one difference is that my tailbone pain has waned considerably, which gives me much, much relief.

I'm a different person today than I was on April 23, 2008, and I'll be forever thankful.