Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Introduction

So, I have tried blogging some before with little success.  I always seem to loose my momentum, not have enough information to post, or get lost in my own thoughts and forget the direction that I want to go in, but finally I think that I can do this.  My reasons for wanting to blog have changed over the years.  Originally I thought that it would be a good way to keep family members up to date on what me and my husband were doing in life after we got married, but with Facebook and email, that does not seem to be a problem!  One theme though that seems to follow me around the past few years, among other things, is hip problems.

To start out, I am 27 years old.  I currently live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been and I feel lucky that I get to live and work in such an amazing place.  Me and my husband have been married for 4 years and attend school at Michigan Technological University. I also work part time for an attorney in town as a legal assistant.  I LOVE my job.  So to give a little background on my hip story, I rode horses for years when I was in junior high and high school.  It was my hobby, my sport, my life for years.  But, as it always seems, good things must come to an end at some point, so did my riding and showing horses.

It was a cold winter day, Christmas Eve day to be exact, and I was at the barn, riding a horse that I was leasing to show in the up coming year.  As it seems to go, when you are least concerned about falling off a horse, you fall off, and so I did.  While cantering by a door, my horse spooked and bucked and off I came, landing on my right hip.  I tried to get up, feeling stupid that I feel off while doing nothing intense, I could not stand.  I stayed on the ground on my hands and knees, unable to move because of the hip pain.  Luckily my mom was there and got me into the car and took me to the emergency room.  X-Rays were taken, but showed nothing, yet I was still unable to walk.  I was given crutches and sent home, telling me to walk when I feel like I can.  So a few days later I was able to walk again.  But this was the beginning, where it all started (I think).

Paleramo, the horse who started it all:

For years after I would struggle on and off with hip pain.  It would never be constant, but while riding and running I would start getting intense pain.  Finally, in the fall of 2009, my husband convinced me that I should go to the doctor.  I was hesitant as I had been to the doctor before for the pain and was told there was nothing they could do, they did not know why I was in pain.  But I went and x-rays showed FAI (Femoral-Acetabular Impingement).  I had never heard of this, but it is basically where there is extra bone growth on the femur head and/or the acetabulum causing it to impinge and create pain.  As well as the pain, this often causes labral tears, which will also cause pain.  I was getting more and more pain daily at this point, I was having a hard time sitting at work for 8 hours, a hard time running for more than 3 miles, and riding my horse.      I saw a specialist who told me he did not see FAI on my x-rays and after spending 5 minutes examining me, told me that I did not have FAI and that if I continued to have pain I should go back and see my GP and that it might be my SI joint.  I left feeling defeated, mad, and upset.  I thought that I would finally have answers and all it left me with was more questions.  So I went back to my GP where he ordered an MRI, which showed possible (likely) tears of the labrum.

After this I decided to see an orthopedic surgeon in my home town of Traverse City, MI.  He thought that it was possible I had a tear as well as FAI.  So in May of 2010 I had surgery where a large tear was repaired. Recovery for the most part was easy.  Crutches for 4 weeks.  For a year and a half this surgery seemed to fix everything.  While I had some pain on and off, it was never too painful to prevent me from doing anything.

Around the spring/summer of 2011 I started having much more intense pain.  I was having a hard time even sitting at work again, I was unable to walk long distances, or exercising.  In November and December it got a lot worse, to the point that I was having a hard time even walking.  I was now taking pain killers all day and night to get through work and sleep.  The beginning of January 2012 I got a second opinion for a surgeon in Kalamazoo.  I had more x-rays and an MRA done about a week later.  They results were bad.  I had at least 3 more labral tears, as well as a cam impingement and possible pincer impingement.  Needless to say I was devastated that I needed more surgery, but hopeful that this would be the end of the pain.  Below are MRA images showing the tears.

 So on Feb. 8th, 2012 I had my second arthroscopic surgery to remove the labrum and shave down the bone that was causing the impingements.  The surgery went well it seemed like although the surgeon took out 40% of my labrum as it was shredded to the point that it was unable to be repaired.  As well, the sutures from the first surgery were floating around in my joint, so that was removed.

Its been almost 9 months since surgery though and I am still in daily pain.  Although not quiet as bad as last time, its to the point that I am unable to sit comfortablely at work and school, I cannot walk more than I mile again, and all the same symptoms are back.  So again, I went for ANOTHER opinion of a different surgeon. This time I sent my stuff to Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, CO, a world renowned hip surgeon.  He believes that I still have an impingement and he also wants to use part of my IT band to create a new labrum in my hip.  So I have another surgery scheduled for April 2013.

So this first post has been really long winded, but I wanted to give people an idea of what I have been through in the past few years, and where I am headed.  I want this blog to be a place where I can express my frustrations, triumphs, and disappointments as I try to live with, at times, debilitating hip pain, all while trying to live a normal life of school and work.  Thanks for following me on my journey!

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