Meeting the surgeon

The nurse practitioner (NP) left and said the doctor would be right in. Uh huh. While waiting I received a text from a close friend with a picture of his waterfront lawn showing what a beautiful view he had. So I smiled, took a picture of my view of the exam room and sent that back to him. Yeah, he won that exchange.

My view of the doctor's office exam room

Anyhoo, the doctor and NP did actually come back promptly. The NP filled in the doc about what we discussed and the doc manipulated my leg a bit more. He advised I “was a good candidate for replacement of the hip and no, there is no other effective treatment to reduce pain“. Now did I have any questions? Yeah, a few dozen, actually. How long will I be laid up? What will the incision look like?… To save space in this post I will just give you the answers. “The procedure will take about an hour. (notice it is a “procedure”, not surgery, or an operation or cutting the bones and yanking out the failed hip, but a ”procedure”…). The incision will be about 9” long and on the side of your hip. The regimen of aspirin, ibuprofen and Tylenol is given for 5 days prior to surgery to help control pain after surgery. You will be given drugs to control infection, IV Tylenol and a nerve block administered to your spinal cord for pain control during surgery. After scanning your thigh with an ultrasound to precisely determine the location of a nerve, we will administer an injection of a drug for local control of pain during the procedure and for even a few days after surgery. You will be given prescriptions for Oxycodone (not a lot of them…) for breakthrough pain and Tramadol for pain control at home. You will be in the recovery room for 45 minutes to an hour and a half where you can have a snack and a little to drink. Then they will move you to your own room where they will assess how you have handled the anesthesia. The nurse will help you order breakfast and monitor your vitals. Within an hour or two, physical therapists will come in to help you out of bed and have you walk down the hall with the aid of a walker and take the stair test. (You have to walk up 3 or 4 steps, turn around and find a way back down WITHOUT falling – too much paperwork for them if you fall). It is common for all to go well and you will be going home about 6 hours after surgery. You will need a walker and cane or crutches to get around at home. You might need the walker for 3 days to a week, then transition to a cane. You will have in house physical therapy for about 2 weeks, then transition to a local physical therapist office.” Walking and climbing stairs in less than six hours? Considering the loopy drugs, and after cutting off part of two bones, hammering in two replacement parts, I have to walk up and down stairs and then go home? That is a lot to consider.

More about the surgery in the next post.

Published by barnberry

Well over aged 60 (well, OK, a lot more than that...) father of one outstanding young woman, unworthy husband of the most patient and talented woman in the world, retired small business owner, lover of all the wrong foods, political junkie and resident of NH. A conservative with a libertarian streak, and a thoughtful, impish, dedicated curmudgeon.

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