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PAO II: The Right Stuff

Two things about me:

1) I have a hard time making decisions. For proof, see this previous blog post.
2) Once I make a decision, I rarely look back. For proof, keep reading.

Having decided that my LPAO/recovery was bearable and that it is my best shot at saving my hips, I have scheduled surgery for my left hip on Nov. 10.

That's right. November 10th. Seven months and five days after Dr. Mayo first worked his magic. I've had a lot of people ask my why so soon. My reasons, David Letterman-style:
  • 10) I've already paid all the out-of-pocket costs for my health insurance for the calendar year. Having the surgery in 2008 means I will save about $2,500.
  • 9) I want to sky dive, mountain bike and rock climb starting next spring.
  • 8) Excellent work benefits and lots of paid sick leave. I eventually want to get a different job so I don't have to commute two hours each day, so I want to take advantage of my current situation.
  • 7) Valium before surgery is lovely.
  • 6) My parents will be able to take care of me again.
  • 5) I am not a patient person.
  • 4) The longer I wait, the less likely I will remember how great it is to be able to walk without pain. Which leads me to No. 3 ...
  • 3) The longer I wait, the more I'll be tempted to put it off.
  • 2) The right side bothers me more and more. Near-daily pain, and especially if I'm being especially active.
  • And the No. 1 reason I'm having my RPAO so soon:
    I'm not scared sh**less. Like I said, the first one was manageable. I know I can do this again. ... I think. ;)


abnacy said…
he he, that was funny :) I'm planning on mine 6 mos. apart if at all possible so I'm right there with ya! You are very brave and I'm sure you'll just feel so much better to have it all over with!! Also, saving that $2500 is an awesome idea.

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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.