Hip Fusion

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Hi. I was born with a dislocated hip. I have many surgerys on it since I was born. I am 19 now and found out that I have to have/may a hip fusion done. I have arthritis in my hip already. I was wondering if anyone knew the limitations. I know that I wont be able to walk really well after the this procedure, but how will this affect my way of doing things? Im scared and excited about getting this done because they said there will be no more pain. With the arthritis, I am in constant pain, on strong medications. But will this stop me from being able to go and run or do anything extreme? If someone knows more about it, please let me know. I'm meeting with a prof. at Duke Univ, but not til the end of this month. Just want to know other peoples experiences or knowledge.

-- Rebekah (hefferbug3@hotmail.com), June 15, 2003



I am 43 years old and have had my right hip fused since I was 11. For the past 32 years I have led an esceptionally successful life without pain. I lost my hip to a rare infection as a child and hip fusion was the only alternative. There has been however damage to other joints as a result of the fusion and subsequent compensation by those joints, (back, left hip, knees etc.). At this time I am considering hip replacement at Centinella Hospital in Los Angeles. Are you not a candidate for hip relacement as an alternative to fusion? I strongly recommend Centinella and the Arthritis Institute. The Doctors there may offer a different approach. Good Luck!!!

-- Jim Bruhns (jim@hogueinc.com), July 14, 2003.

Thank you for responding to my letter! They dont want to do a total THR because Im still young. They think a hip fusion will be a way to go til the time when they think I am old enough to get a THR. They said I would most likely get one done around my thirties. I wish I could get it done, but it runs the risk of me not being able to walk again in 20 years because they only last 10 years. The third THR is risky. So they feel this is the best approach.

-- Rebekah (hefferbug3@hotmail.com), July 15, 2003.

I was born with a dislocated hip and it wasn't spotted until I was 15 I'm now 23 I had a hip fusion after an operation to realign it failed. I find it hard getting in and out of cars, sitting for too long, standing for too long, and I get pain in my back quiet a lot they had to fuse it with a cobra plate so I was laid up for a long time

-- William Cusack (williamcusack1980@hotmail.com), July 29, 2003.

I'm 44 and had my right hip fused when I was 21. There are many people who have been surprised to learn that I have a fused hip as it isn't really obvious. I don't limp much, except when I'm having back or knee problems. I can walk up stairs just fine and have found my only limitations are that I can't ride a bike or tie my right shoe. When I was 19 they discovered that there was a tumor where the hip joint should have been and a joint replacement was not possible at the time due to the lack of existing bone and my age. I have done very well for more than 20 years.

The past year I've been having more and more knee and back problems and I visited my orthopedic surgeon this week to discuss my options. He isn't encouraging me to have a total hip replacement, but I'm afraid of the damage I'm doing to my other joints as I get older. If there is anyone who has had a hip replacement after fusion I am interested in any information you can provide.

Thanks! --Carole (Arlington, TX)

-- Carole Raymond (caroler@yahoo.com), August 21, 2003.

Hey ya'll. Well I went to the doctor to discuss what needed to be done and now he is telling that I can have a full hip replacement. He wants to do this new procedure called metal on metal hip replacement. He says this has great success and no problems with people who have had it done. Im glad that they decided not to do the hip fusion anymore. He tells me that this new procedure can probably last me for a life time. I might not even need a second one done! So I tell all you have had hip fusions or anything else to do this! It sounds great! My surgery is Sept. 25th. I will write back and let everyone know how it went!

-- Rebekah (hefferbug3@hotmail.com), August 21, 2003.

Good luck with the surgery Rebekah! My daughter, four years ago at age 12, had severe damage to her left hip and abdomen from a boat propeller. She is left with a rodded and fused left hip. She has grown taller since the accident and is now having significant musculoskeletal problems. I am just starting to look at any options there may be for her. They originally said hip replacement is out of the question because of the severe tissue damage, but your story caused me to think I should really starting searching. They are always coming up with new procedures. Again, Good Luck!

-- Caryn Clark-Helmer (caryn081261@yahoo.com), September 06, 2003.

I want to wish you luck with your operation. I am very interested in this and would love to get more information from you. I am 32 years old now. When I was 16 I was in a bad motorcycle accident that left me in traction for 9 weeks with a broken pelvis. My femur went through the socket. Once I left the hospital I had therapy for a year but I just developed arthritus in the socket. Once I could take the pain no more I went to Mass General in Boston and had my hip fusion at age 18. This of course required a bodycast for three months. During that time I developed a stress crack in my femur and had to have a large plate screwed to my femur and pelvis. So a year went by and I got back on my feet and learned how to function. It really worked well and have never had another day of that burning pain. So years went by and like everyone the only thing I could not do myself was tie my shoe. I could ride a bike, snowmobile, ski double black diamond trails. Everything seemed as good as it could be considering what it was. Now I am 32 years old and have had a really hard time with back pain. As you all know when you don't have a hip you lower back becomes your hip. So over the last few years I have been taking stronger and stronger pain meds. It started with the anti inflamitories naproxyn and the like. Then the tylenol#3,on to percocet, percodan, then into the time release morphine three times a day and a 30ml instant release twice a day. Soon you get use to anything they give you and you run out two days before you fill your perscription for the next month and have a very hard drug withdrawl that sends you vomiting for a day or two. Needless to say you can't go on like that forever so you give the drugs up for good and withdrwal hard for a week. Its a hard choice but the right one. I saw my doctor again, gave him back the prescript and ask to get off the drugs. Now I am trying Celebrex which does nothing for the pain that I am in. Hence it is a Sunday morning and I am not having much luck surfing the web for anyone in my shoes when I came across your First Question and then read your follow up. I realize you are not in my shoes and everyone in here has a different story but if you can provide any info on the procedure I would much appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond. Trevor McDaniel

-- Trevor McDaniel (trevormcdaniel@comcast.net), September 14, 2003.

Hello. I too am facing a hip fusion. I am trying to avoid it at all costs. I have had 5 hip replacements / revisions and I am only 44. This was due to a water skiing accident and a diagnosis that went bad. Now my prothesis is loose again and I have ZERO prothesis left. My only other option is a cadaveric hip transplant. This is extrememly rare with a high incidence of infection....I am leaning toward this - I read with interest about new joint pain after the fusion. Man. When will this all end.

-- Valerie (svlewis@shaw.ca), September 22, 2003.

I'd like to know if there is anyone out there who have had a hip re- placement after having their hip fused with a cobra plate as I had and I was told I might never be able to get ahip re-placement as there might not be enough bone or muscle left as I am only 25 I'd like to think I might be able to get a hip replacement at some stage

-- Bill Cusack (billcusack@hotmail.com), September 29, 2003.

A year ago I broke my pelvis. I have had one surgery since then to have the broken part of my pelvis put back with screws and a plate. Since then I have pretty much lost all of my cartlidge and now it appears the only options I have are hip replacement or hip fusion. I am seeing a Dr. Jerry Mast in Reno, Nevada due to all the doctor's I have seen recommended him. I am 27 years old and very confused on which procedure to take. I am being told the fusion due to my age and this could hold off replacement for 10 or 15 years. I am also being told replacement so this is leaving me confused on which to do. Could someone please tell me their experiences with each and how many limitations you have with the fusion. I am hearing that people have problems tying their shoes. Can you not tie it at all or just have to sit down to tie it?

-- Patrick Williamon (patrick.williamon@mci.com), October 28, 2003.

My husband is due a hip replacement in jan 2004, he is 29. he is considering a fusion instead as a gap filler untill he is older to have a total replacement. he has many quesions before making his decsion. i understand that there can be pain from other joint's ie the back and knee . can anyone tell us if this is an immediate reaction after surgey or if this will come with time. we also would love to see any photo's of anyone who has had a fusion.we have two small children they are aware that daddy has a bad hip but we are wanting to make sure that a fusion will not interupt ther lives to much. any advice that anyone can give us will be greatly recieved Sarah.

-- Sarah Kent (SarEdwr@aol.com), October 29, 2003.

Hi everybody, I had my right hip replaced last Thursday and I am home already, I am not healed by a long shot yet but I want to tell you it went far better than I ever had anticipated. I am 39 years old and had many breathing issues but they never became an issue in the hospital during or after surgery. I opted to have my surgery with my being awake and having a spinal. what a good choice that turned out to be. I was in control and the surgeon and I were in contact thru the operation, He said my bones were strong and he choose to use a porcelain as the inserted part for the femur because of my age, he said the healing time is longer but much strong and would last much longer because the bone will knit into it. Chrome ball part and plastic for the pelvis cup were his other choices. It feels very strong already. They do not use cement for this type but the porcelain will actually grow bone through it because there is a bone type serum coating on it. I want to wish you all good luck on your surgery and tell you "If you pay attention, talk to your doctor/surgeon about any/all of your problems prior to surgery, he will take very good care of you. Look Up Surgeon Dr. Beauvais of Waterbury, CT. a great young doctor and very gifted surgeon. Don't be afraid of this operation, Eddie

-- Eddie (Gamootz@aol.com), October 30, 2003.

I have read a few posts and wanted to thank those of you that replied to me regarding questions for the fusion or the hip. I thought I would give an update on me. I decided to go with the replacement rather than the fusion and am very happy that I did it. I know at 27 I am rather young for the replacement but my pain is gone and I am much happier now. I dont walk with a limp at all and can do most things now. If anyone would like to email regarding my procedure I did or doctors feel free to contact me. I was up and walking 9 days after my surgery!

-- Patrick Williamon (pwilliamon@hotmail.com), February 10, 2004.

This is not an anwer, but I am 12 years old and on April 2nd I will go in for a hip fusion.Three years ago I fell down a flight of stairs and fractured my left hip since than I have had 4 operations.I will write back to you after my surgery. I just wanted to say good luck if you go throuh with it.

-- Malorie Poppy (Freak345678@aol.com), March 05, 2004.

You should visit this website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/hip/hiprepqa.htm

-- Robert Toussie (Robert Toussie @aol.com), March 15, 2004.

I am an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hip & knee replacements. My e-mail address is fake for medico-legal purposes. I recommend ceramic on ceramic THA for women of child bearing age since ions released by metal on metal THA may be teratogenic (cause damage during pregnancy). Hip fusions are difficult to convert to THA and most orthopaedic surgeons would struggle trying to do it. A properly done THA with an alternative bearing surface in someone in their twenties should last 20 or more years before it needs revision. Seek out surgeons who have done a total joint reconstruction fellowship and who do more than 50 hips per year. 90% of THAs in America are done by surgeons who do less than 12 per year. These have the highest risk for complications. Good luck.

-- Ortho Doc (demigod_tribes@yahoo.com), May 05, 2004.

I was involved in a car accident in May 1993, I was only 19 at the time. I broke my hip, crushed my pelvis and fractured my femur, all on the left side. Plates and screws were placed in the hip and I was in traction in hospital for 3 months. The plates were removed in December 1993 and the problems started. My orthopedic surgeon suggested a fusion as a hip replacement was not an option because of my age and the weakness of the muscles around the hip joint. I tried to avoid having the fusion by extensive physiotherapy and excercise, but it did not help. I finally gave in and had the fusion in May 1995 and wore a prothetic cast for twelve weeks, the pain remained and the hip became unstable, some of the screws were breaking. I went back into hospital in September 1995 and bone was removed from my right pelvis and placed in the left hip / pelvis to try and strengthen the joint, once again I was in a cast for twelve weeks. I managed fine, was still on crutches but the pain was a lot less. About two years later the problems in my back and kness started and have just become unbearable. My sciatic nerve was also damaged in the accident and I have drop foot and little feeling in my lower left leg. Since the fusion my nerve constantly get trapped and I can not move. I was schedule to have a hip replacement on the 15 May 2004, but my surgeon has prosponed it because he is concerned that I don't have the muscle around the hip to hold the prosthetis in place and would like to do some more research. I am very dissapointed and concerned that I will have to live with the fusion. I am tied of struggling with day to day functions, sitting, sleeping, getting dressed, getting in and out of a car / chair etc. and ofcourse being in pain 24 hours a day in no walk in the park either. If anyone has had a successful fusion to hip replacement procedure done please left me know. I would not recommend a fusion as the long term effects are not positive as I have mentioned more damage is caused when having a fusion, back, knee etc and your quality of life is greatly reduced.

-- Samantha Ingram (sales@statmedical.co.za), May 13, 2004.

How would one go about finding a doctor that meets the requirements set out by demigod_tribe? My 10 years old daughter is facing a hip fusion and I'm very worried about her. The lack of knoweldge of one doctor is what sent us down this sad, painful path. Now one of my greatest fears is lack of knowledge by a doctor that is supposed to be helping my little girl.

-- Lorena McFarland (lorenak7@yahoo.com), February 01, 2005.

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