For anyone thinking of having PAO here’s some bits of info I’ve been told or found out. Some of the info has come direct from the consultants at Guys hospital and I’ve heard that there is some variation between surgeons on a couple of things, so don’t take what I say as gospel, it’s only the facts as I know them!
* There’ll be a pre-op appointment around 1 month before surgery – other than taking blood I’ve no idea what will happen here, soon as I find out you’ll be the first to know!
* Before you’re knocked out you will need to have an epidural (eeeekkkkk!!!! very scary). Apparently there is no way I would be allowed to have the surgery without this as the pain management a couple of days after surgery relies heavily on not being able to feel your leg at all!
* Your own blood can be recycled during surgery – basically they clean your own blood and give it back to you, all part of the service!
* Surgery can take anything from around 3-7 hours.
* There’ll be 3-4 (generally) screws in your joint and these may or may not stay put. Apparently, all being well, mine will be removed around a year after surgery.
* Usually patients are in hospital for around 4-5 days.
* Constipation is the name of the game – so many pain meds and your body going through trauma means some bodily functions get put aside so be prepared with digestion aides!
* Before you leave hospital the staff will make sure you can manouver up and down stairs
* You will possibly (me definitely) have to inject with anti-coagulent drugs to keep your circulation going. This will be every day for around 4 weeks.
* Bearing weight (other than toe-touch) is very unwise for the first 6 weeks. This is to avoid bending the screws that are holding the new and improved hip joint together. There are lots of variations on this time scale, I’ve heard anything between 3-8 weeks surgeon and patient dependent
* Driving is not allowed during non-weight bearing phase – you have to be able to do an emergency stop before you’re allowed behind the wheel and slamming your foot on a pedal really is more than toe-touch!
* I have bilateral dysplasia and will have to wait at least 12 months between surgeries – again this varies from patient to patient and surgeon to surgeon.
I think that’s about all I know at the mo, if anyone can add to this list let me know, and any differences in the info you’ve found out or been told let me know too. The more you look into hip dysplasia and PAO the more you realise that there’s no hard and fast rules… except that it’s gonna smart a bit!