It’s Hip To Be Scared

Mood: Scared

With only 4 sleeps to go, I am now getting more and more anxious about my impending surgery on my hip.

About two months ago, I was diagnosed with an anterior acetabular labral chondrolabral junction tear with some free edge fraying (but no para-labral cyst) in my right hip, 12mm osteochondral change of the central weight bearing acetabulum, separate from the labrum, with full thickness cartilage defect and a 4mm loose body in the acetabular fossa, as well as ligamentum teres thickening, and mild distal insertional gluteal tendinopathy and overlying subgluteus maximus bursitis.

What does that all mean in layman’s terms? I have extensive cartilage damage in my right hip joint. Some of the cartilage is torn, with a bit of it clean torn away, and some of the cartilage has completely worn through. And there are some issues with the tendons and muscles around the right buttocks area too.

In order to get it all fixed, I will be heading to the Mater Hospital for some surgery on Friday. The procedure is a hip arthroscopy to debride (cut away) the damaged cartilage and I’m expected to be in and out in the one day without have to stay overnight.

My wonderful sports medicine doctor, Dr Tom Cross will be assisting in my surgery. I all but demanded that he be in the operating theatre with me as the recommended orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Michael O’Sullivan is not one I was completely confident with. I had previously seen Dr O’Sullivan – in 2005 – for the same problem. Back then, the consultation was short and sweet – he spent 5 minutes with me and sent me on my way to the physio. Had he sent me for an MRI at the time, they would have picked up my problem even back then, and I could have lived with much less pain over the past 3 years. But as it was, he didn’t send me for the MRI, so you can imagine my cautious approach to seeing Dr O’Sullivan again when Dr Cross referred me to him.

My most recent visit with Dr O’Sullivan did nothing to instil my confidence in him. We sat, and chatted for a bit, and he looked my X-Ray and MRI films, and promptly told me that I was ok. Just as he was about to send me on my way, he realised that he hadn’t read the MRI report, which was somehow separated from my patient file. The bumbling doctor went in search of the report, and after briefly glancing at it, retracted his earlier statement and abruptly told me that I needed surgery. And he is the one wielding the knife???

The visit ended with Dr O’Sullivan’s office manager trying to comfort me whilst booking me in for surgery. Yes, that’s right, after upsetting me to the Nth degree, he left the comforting to his office manager.

I was so distressed by the consultation that I called Dr Cross to ask for another referral. After much discussion, with Dr Cross trying his best to convince me that Dr O’Sullivan was the top surgeon in Sydney, I was still reluctant to keep my surgery date. In the end, I kept the date, and my appointment with Dr O’Sullivan, but only after finding out Dr Cross was locked in to assist in my surgery. At least this way, I will definitely have a friendly face to see when I wake up from surgery.

I’m thankful for my family, who is trying to keep my spirits up over these next few days. And my friends have all been terrific too – everyone has been sending me well wishes or getting me out and about doing things to make me forget about the impending surgery. And most of all, I’m thankful for my gorgeous man J, who has been so supportive and loving throughout these trying times.

I’ll try and keep a diary of my recovery process, but am not sure when I’ll be back online after Friday. Here’s hoping everything will go according to plan.


One response to “It’s Hip To Be Scared

  1. Oh sweetie, i didnt realise how pending the surgery was! Hugs and good wishes and everything!

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