> The Beesley Buzz: 5 month update - Younger Hip replacement surgery after JIA

5 month update - Younger Hip replacement surgery after JIA


At the end of the week (23rd June to be precise) my new hip joint will be 5 months old. As I didn't feel the need to do updates beyond week 6 / week 7 back in March, it seems that life returned to enough normality by then. 

After the Easter holidays and once Miss T was back from her physio rehab at GOSH, I felt up to returning to my volunteering duties at girls brigade and at Miss T's school so I remember that feeling very much like a milestone. 

My GP referred me for hydrotherapy recently which consisted of 6 sessions over a 3 week period in May in an attempt to increase range of movement. 

If I'm being perfectly honest, I do feel disappointed that the range of movement with my new hip is not anywhere near what I hoped it would be. And whilst the intense night time pain has gone, there is still a generalised stiffness in the hip area especially after periods of sitting in one position. I had always imagined that was due to the actual damaged bone but it seems that everything surrounding the joint can seize up too. 

Sadly my back pain is also still there - that was one of my main motivations for having the joint replaced and for a short time I had thought it had worked - possibly being masked by the initial pain relief medication I was on and then being at home more during recovery meant I didn't 'over do' things with my back- which is one of the triggers for the more severe pain in conjunction with a morning stiffness kind of pain that happens daily regardless. I'm still hopeful for more improvement as the doctor and physio said that it can be a full year before knowing how successful the surgery has been. 

Standing for long periods or movements to strengthen the correct muscles (which I can feel are not yet as they should be) can cause the weird clunking in the joint. I'm hoping that as those muscles that haven't been used correctly for 30 years start to strengthen properly that the clunking will reduce. 

The regret of having had the surgery has now totally gone as those horrendous sleepless nights and difficult early days are well and truly in the past. I realise now that I didn't have any real choice about the surgery as the pain had got so bad when it wasn't being controlled with medication (both prescribed and alternative remedies). 

And I actually feel proud of myself for getting through the worst of that time. I wasn't mentally or emotionally prepared for what my body went through and the fact that I have got through it, I'm sure has made me stronger as a person. 

It's also amazing how many of us there are out there with our bionic hips. In recent months I've bumped into people on train journeys who have had hip replacements, in the online world who are also 'younger' hip replacement patients and have been a huge inspiration to me, and even in real life I met a young lady in her twenties who had her hip replacement when she was just 10 years old! 

I'm conscious of doing everything I can for there to be as successful an outcome as there can be with my hip so I am remaining dedicated to doing my own physio exercises and stretches throughout the week and have been added to the waiting list to attend a few more sessions at the hydrotherapy pool to build on the exercises that I had learnt. My physiotherapist has updated the exercises I do at home to really target the most-affected glute muscle as well as showing me some new stretches. So in many ways although I'm 5 months on and over the worst part of the journey, the hard work and commitment still continues on a daily basis. I'm inspired by seeing Miss T remain committed to her daily physio regime and so I know I need to do my exercises too however much I feel like giving it a miss at times. 
Standing strong together as #JIAWarriors



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