Before my PAO, I would read the blogs of fellow PAOers/FDOers or information on the Hip Women support group and wonder: What is the pain really like? How does it feel?
I thought I would describe a bit of what I've been feeling in order to help those of you who are still on the pre-op side. I hope this post eases your mind instead of causing fear, as I'm happy to say that the pain never was completely overwhelming, and it's been much easier than I imagined.
The first week
LOTS of stiffness in the joint; lots of swelling in the leg and surrounding area; centralized gripping pain deep in my hip that became stronger with movement or pressure (like when laughing/coughing, etc); uncontrollable itching (from the dilaudid); absolutely no nausea (except in the recovery room); heavy legs; lower back pain (from lying on it for so long); hot flashes and flushing. My groin area was hit with a brief, hot, searing pain on days two and three that took my breath away, but I haven't felt that since.
Pain killers: An epidural laced with dilaudid for the first two days and then an oxycontin and oxycodone cocktail when the epidural was removed.
The second week
Still lots of stiffness; general aching pain in the joint made worse with big movements; general pain in the groin while rising from a seated position; brief shooting, stabbing pain in the groin especially after long days; numbness and tingling in legs and arms from lying in one spot on my back; light muscle cramping in the groin; tenderness at the incision; hot flashes from the drugs.
Pain killers: oxycontin and oxycodone for the first half of the week; oxycodone only for the second half.
The third week
Still stiff; pain in the joint only when twisting or bending too much; random but rare shooting, stabbing pain in the groin; tingling and tightness in the joint when lying on my stomach and side; familiar popping in the joint like pre-surgery; numb patch on my thigh about the size of dollar (this was there right after surgery due to cutting the nerve, but it's only really become apparent to me as I face the incision).
Pain killers: oxycodone before bed.
I almost decided against posting this because I don't want to cause any fear. If anyone thinks it's too much, please let me know and I'll delete it.