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Pre-surgical screening, clearance, & workshop: Part II

December 29th, 2010 No comments

Had my pre-surgical screening, clearance, & workshop yesterday at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Things went very well. I arrived a little before my scheduled 9AM start time. After meeting with patient registration, they took some blood for labs, did a chest x-ray, and did a urine screen. Things went very smoothly and everyone was very nice.

I went back down to the lobby and read while I waited for my 11AM total hip replacement education class to begin. The class was a little over an hour long and was taught by a nurse educator, physical therapist, and case manager. There were about 10 patients in the class, and not surprisingly I was the youngest one. They gave me a bunch of reading materials and a DVD about what to do before my surgery, and what to expect during and after my hospital stay. I’ve never had a hospital provide provide so much information prior to a surgery before. It makes a lot of sense to prepare patients as much as possible prior to the procedure, as opposed to waiting until they’re in pain and on narcotics.

After class I roamed around the East side to find some lunch. At 2PM I met with a doctor who cleared me physically for my surgery. She said that my leg length discrepancy may be corrected, but at the least would be improved. I got home a little after 4PM both tired and excited for my surgery. Only one week away!

One month from my total hip replacement

December 4th, 2010 2 comments

Thought of some questions I didn’t get a chance to ask my new surgeon when I met with him back in October. His office manager said I could email her the questions, and she would get them answered. In just a couple days, I had my answers:

1) I would prefer general to regional anesthesia, is this an option?
Not recommended, but you can discuss this with the anesthesiologist the morning of surgery.

2) If I’m going to need blood, I’d like it to be my own, should I do an autologous blood donation?
An autologous blood donation is not required.

3) How many days do you think I will be in the hospital?
Plan on being in the hospital for 3 days.

4) How soon after a THR am I allowed to do stairs?
Probably about 2-3 days.

5) With an optimal recovery, when do you think I’ll be cleared to work as an RN?
You will probably return to work in 4-6 weeks for regular duty, or 3 weeks for desk duty.

6) How long before I can travel by airplane?
About 4-6 weeks before you can travel by plane.

7) What replacement materials do you plan to use for my new hip?
We will be using uncemented titanium for your total hip replacement.

8) You will be able to correct the 1″ different in leg lengths, right?
We will try to correct the leg length discrepancy.

I was pretty happy with the answers. The plan is now to stay at my parent’s house in NJ for a few days after I’m discharged, since I live on the third floor of a NYC walk-up. Waiting 4-6 weeks to work is fine, since I have to wait that long to take the licensing exam anyway.

I should have expected that they couldn’t promise they’d fix my 1″ leg length discrepancy. I’m certainly keeping my fingers crossed about it though. I don’t want to have a limp the rest of my life!

Pre-surgical screening, clearance, & workshop

November 5th, 2010 No comments

Received a letter from my surgeon with the details of my three pre-surgery appointments, all of which happen on December 28th. I have laboratory tests, x-rays, and an EKG at 9AM, a total joint workshop at 11AM, and a physical examination at 2PM. I also need to bring a letter from my dentist stating that my mouth and gums are free from active infections. I can’t believe my surgery is only two months away!

Hip replacement surgery approved

October 22nd, 2010 3 comments

Just heard back from the Hospital for Special Surgery regarding my upcoming total hip replacement. They received the authorization fax from Tricare this morning.

I’m still waiting on my copy of the authorization, but it looks like things are all set for January 5th. Only 75 days away!

First appointment at Hospital for Special Surgery

October 8th, 2010 No comments

Hospital for Special Surgery

Just got home from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Had my first meeting with my new surgeon, Dr. P.

I chose HSS because they are the #1 rated hospital in the country for orthopedics. They perform around 2,600 hip replacements each year and more joint replacements than any other hospital in the country. They’re located on the opposite side of Manhattan on East 70th.

After stopping by radiology for a couple x-rays, I headed to Dr. P’s office. I didn’t wait long, and after Dr. P examined my gait and range of motion, he looked at my x-rays. He explained that due to the avascular necrosis, my hip has basically become a square, instead of the nice round shape it was previously. The damage is so extensive that my only option is a total hip replacement. Read more…