Dislocation Nightmare

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ANYONE.......Since July 18, 2001 I have dislocated my left hip eight times. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why or when I dislocate. It happens when I awake and try to get out of the bed, when I'm walking from point a to point b, in my sleep, EVEN with a hip brace attached. My legs swoll up and it becomes difficult to walk after I dislocate. With each dislocation the ER doctors want to keep me in the hospital but usually only for overnight observation. And with each dislocation, I've become paranoid of when it will happen again. Needless to say, this is affecting me in all aspects of my life. I'm not sleeping or eating, my mind keeps thinking I'm going to dislocate at anytime. My ortho doctor isn't sure what to do; he states that there is very little bone left to anchor another THR on and he's not sure if he can fix the one I currently have. His inaction is also getting to me as well. The doctor has told me that I fall into a unique catagory of people who chronicly dislocate and that I may have to get use to it. At this point I would love to get any feedback from others who may have this problem or one simuliar to mine. I just can't believe there's nothing that can done about it. Please feel free to make comments, suggestions or feedback and Thanks to this web site for providing a place to come to for assistance. Sincerly..........WILLIAM C. GLINES

-- William C. Glines (MRM0VIE47@aol.com), November 14, 2001


Chronic dislocation is a definite problem, but usually can be solved with a revision hip surgery. Unfortunately, I cannot make a recommendation unless we can evaluate your hip and your x-rays. Sometimes, changing the position of the components may help, or using a locking mechanism may be warranted. The treatment plan for you would definitely be based upon the condition of your hip, and the type of prosthesis you currently have in place. Based on the history by itself which you have supplied to us, I am not convinced that you have to live with this situation forever. If you would like to make an appointment with a physician in our office, we would be happy to evaluate your hip and make a recommendation.

-- Dotsie Czajkowski RNFA (hkhanuj@jhmi.edu), December 14, 2001.

I'm a 58 yr active male. 2 1/2 yrs ago I had my rt. hip replaced. After 3 dislocations over 6 months the surgeon performed a revision. It worked great for about a year and then I had 3 dislocations over a couple of months. The 2nd revison utilized an encapsulated prosthesis in Nov of 2000. I sucessfully climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the end of Jan 2001...and it has had no problems! I underwent surgery for the left hip in May of 2001 with a non-encapsulate Duraloc prosthesis. In July is had my 1st dislocation and have now had 4 more...I'm afraid that I have to go through the same procedure again. I have done all of the post-op phys therapy recomended and was especially cautious about following all the post-op cautions. I am really looking for info from really knowledgeable physical therapists (who hopefully have an artificial hip) of what to-do. I will definitely insist on the encapsulated prosthesis this time.

You definitely don't have "get use to it"...change surgeons!

Hang in there! ---Rod Guthrie

-- Rod Guthrie (rod@rodguthrie.com), January 13, 2002.

I am sorry to hear that you are having so many problems with your hip instability. There are some patients for whom no matter what is done, the instability problem cannot be solved. However, before arriving at this point, there are a variety of options. First and foremost, we should be sure that your components are in the proper position. A malposition could lend itself to dislocation. Secondly, someties a larger femoral head component can increase stability. Thirdly, sometimes removing heterotopic ossification, which is some extra bone which is formed in the soft tissue, can help with stability.

As a last resort, a stabilized component in which the femoral head locks to the the acetabular socket or snaps together is available from a variety of manufacturers and can be used as a last resort. However, even these components are not full-proof. If they do become dislocated, they can be very difficult to relocate and can require additional surgery to attempt to try to put them back together.

Finally, I would like to encourage you that there are a variety of possibilities to help you deal with the dislocation problem and encourage you to get a second opinion.

-- Marc Hungerford, M.D. (mhunger@jhmi.edu), February 05, 2002.

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