This is a bit more personal of a post than I’ve written for awhile, but I thought it would be important to share my thoughts and feelings about the subject. As some of you may know (if you’ve been a reader of this blog and/or have followed me on social media for awhile), I had a hip arthroscopy to repair a labral tear on my left hip last November.
The surgery lasts for about 4 hours, is totally laparoscopic. I was extremely nauseous coming out of the anaesthesia which is no fun. And then there is the recovery period. The first 6 weeks you can’t put any pressure on that side (so again, for me it was the left) so I had to use crutches to get around (which was exhausting, especially because I live alone – though I did have some friends come to help throughout). You also can’t bend at more than 90 degrees during those first six weeks, and obviously, no exercising that hip. (I found some chair workouts to at least get some upper body exercise).
Then after the 6 weeks, you can start walking again and bending, but no “exercise” for 6 months. And by that I mean there are some physio-approved exercises including light walking and recumbant bicycling as well as specific strength exercise for it, but overall it is pretty limited. And for me, well I help my other UCTD and fibro symptoms with exercise, so being limited is not overly helpful.
Recently someone posted in an online group that I belong to, that she was diagnosed with a labral tear and was still undergoing testing for autoimmune diseases. She was asking questions about the tear and treatment options including surgery. Someone else responded to her post saying that she was told by her rheumatologist that labral tears (which can occur in almost any joint) are common in people with lupus and other connective tissue diseases. (Mind you my rheumatologist and orthopaedic surgeon said nothing about this). In my own research I had found that people with fibromyalgia tend to have much longer recovery times from the surgery. In my own experience, I realized over the summer that the pain in my left hip had returned. Not nearly as badly as it used to be, I mean I can sit (including cross-legged) for much longer than I used to be able to, but it was back nonetheless. This leads me to believe that (a) I re-tore the labrum, or (b) it just never healed properly. So that’s what I responded to this other woman’s post.
So, was the surgery worth it? Would I do it again? I don’t know to be honest. Perhaps not. At this moment if someone said to me, well we can go in and fix it again, I would definitely decline. So what I learned, and I suppose what this post is about, is to do A LOT of research before committing to a surgery that some doctors think will help. Unless they are making specific connections to your illness overall, something like this which is elective (because the other treatment option is physical therapy), I would say do not jump into it. I thought I had done my research but I probably didn’t do enough. That being said, I am self-compassionate and acknowledge that I made a decision based on the information I had, and that’s okay. And I choose not to forget that it perhaps did improve the quality of my life in the long-term (remember, I can sit longer now, and as a therapist that is super important). Just many things to consider.
Thanks for reading everyone, and keep making the most of it!
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