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Post-surgery must haves

Long-handled grabberMy most useful tool. I will be bringing this to the hospital, as well.
Get one here:

Hand sanitizer and moist wipes
Getting up to the sink was a huge chore, if not impossible at times. These were especially important in the hospital.

Small pillow for car trips
I used a pillow to place between my hip and the seat belt. It did not feel good to have the belt rubbing against my hip. I also used pillows to prop my leg and hold it in position since the car's stops, starts and turns made my leg move around.
Get this one here:

Long-handled scrubber for shower
A body poof attached to a long wooden handle was a dream for me to help wash my lower legs and feet while sitting on my bench in the shower (also a must-have).

It was nice to be able to change positions by putting my legs up so easily.

Water bottle with looped handle
I filled mine half full at night, froze it, and then filled it with water in the morning. The looped handle allowed me to carry it while managing crutches, and I had cold water all day long! I got mine at

Small backpack
Since a purse gets in the way of crutches, I needed something to haul my stuff in, either from room to room or while on outings.

Dry shampoo
Needed when I couldn't shower, great shortcut when I was just too tired to do so.
I found mine at Walgreens.

Sleep aids and other medications
I was only on narcotics for about two weeks. After that, I needed a sleep aid to get me through the night. I used Tylenol PM and the naturally occurring melatonin, which you can find in stores like Whole Foods. Also a must-have: colace for constipation. I also took iron supplements, vitamin C (to help with iron absorption), calcium and multi-vitamin. Please check with your doctor before taking any of these!

Removable shower head
The only way to rinse off certain body parts when sitting on a shower bench.

Slip-on shoesThe most difficult thing to find. The shoe needs to be loose enough to slip into easily, but supportive enough that you won't trip or slip out of them. The shoes I had weren't comfortable enough ... putting all your weight onto one side makes for a very tired foot, believe me. I'm still searching for the best pair for surgery No. 2.


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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.