Friday, May 3, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

6 days!
Well, I am really excited. I’ve only got 6 days left on these &$#(*@$# crutches! Woohoo!
It’s interesting, my feelings I get when I’m thinking about it. I feel a whole mixture of emotions. First and foremost I’m ecstatic at the thought of being off the crutches and getting walking again. I also have small nagging feeling of anxiousness. The feelings of “I really hope this worked” are always in the back of my head…and now that I’m going to have to really be testing the hip in a few weeks the feelings are making my stomach sink. I’m generally always an optimistic person…but for some reason I’m so petrified that all of this will be for not. I’ve been dealing with pain for so long, and I’ve always known that I would need to go through what I’ve been through the last 6-7 months. But…I guess I never really thought about “What if it doesn’t help?” I really only started thinking about that when I started recovering from the PAO surgery. The PAO recovery was so absolutely debilitating that I was overtaken with the “This had better be worth it” feelings. That’s when the doubt started creeping in. And it’s funny…because before the arthroscopic surgery I generally felt pretty good. The only problems I had felt like they were from labrum, not the actual hip joint. I really don’t know why I feel this way…I know that all I can do is wait and see what happens.

Anyway, enough with the negative and onto other things: the tailbone pain hasn’t been happening lately, which is great news! The only nagging pain I seem to have lately is some soreness in the joint. I’m sure it’s from the arthroscopic surgery and I have to think that’s going to get better. Another thing I’ve noticed is that since the arthroscopic surgery, my nerves in the surgical area are FAR more sensitive. When I touch that area with anything, it feels like it’s on fire. At least there’s action in the nerves…better than nothing. A large portion of my thigh still has no feeling at all.
I’m just going to cover a couple more things before I go to my appointment next Thursday, May 9th and report back.
I have written about this before, but I still have a pinching sensation in the high part of the joint when Tom (my PT) stretches me a certain way. It’s when he pushed my knee towards my chest. I can get a pretty good angle out of the stretch before it hurts so it’s not overly preventative…however it’s something I would like to have looked at. I’ve mentioned it to Dr. S before and we never seem to get to the bottom of it. I’m going to try and force the issue at the appointment on Thursday. Also, I’m going to have Tom measure the angle when I’m there on Monday…that may help Dr. S have a better understanding of what I mean.

The last thing I’ve been meaning to talk about is the measurement of coverage in my hip joint now that I’ve had the PAO. I’m going to try and explain this the way that Dr. S explained it to us, I’ll even give you a nice graphical from an interesting website called learning orthopaedics

Okay, the angle Dr. S showed us is called the Center edge Angle of Wiberg. That website I posted above had a great description of the way to measure it so I will just quote it here:

“Mark the centre of femoral head on both sides, draw a horizontal line connecting them. Draw a vertical line perpendicular to this line from the centre of head. Draw an oblique line from the centre of femoral head to the lateral edge of acetabulum. Measure the angle between the vertical and oblique lines.”

Here’s a nice photo showing the way it’s measured, this photo is from the website referenced above:

The website goes on to say that a normal Wiberg angle is about 25%.  Anything between 20%-25% is considered borderline dysplastic, and anything less than 20% is considered dysplastic.

Here are a couple different images of my hip before the procedure:
3D CT 1/14/12 - UPDATED 10/2013: I later learned that my center edge angle was actually closer to -11%, not the 2-4% we originally thought.

X-Ray 12/30/10 - UPDATED10/2013: I later learned that my center edge angle was actually closer to -11%, not the 2-4% we originally thought.

So, as you can see, I had pretty crappy hip coverage.
This is what my hip looks like now, post PAO:

X-ray from December 2012 - I now have a center edge angle of about 20-22%.

So, the long and short of it is, overall I have a significantly better shaped hip than I had to start out with. My surgeon is so happy with the success of the surgery. I have newer x-rays and I'll post them next week so you can see all of my bone growth.

Okay, that's all! I’ll check back with you all after my appointment on Thursday next week.



  1. Hi Danielle,

    My name is Julia I am Rebecca Boisclair's sister in-law. I have been seeing Dr. S now for a few months now and he wants me to have PAO surgery. I am also going up to Boston to see Dr. K for a second opinion just like you did I would love to chat with you.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Julia! I will be sure to email you.