….at the beginning. However, I’ve had some exciting new changes today, 7th January 2013. This morning at 7.15am GMT, I arrived at a local hospital in Manchester, scheduled for a Total Hip Replacement Total Hip Replacement. To say I was scared was very much understated. Mixed emotions and a feeling of surrealism as I’m led by a porter to my room. Mum and my long suffering other half are by my side yet I feel as though I’m not really here. So the beginning-Almost 22 years ago, I walked into my bedroom as an eleven year old girl and injured myself falling down and a poster that has become unstuck and landed on my floor. I recall trying to reach inside the wardrobe for my something. The rest is much a blur-screams, can’t weightbear, hobbling using the vacuum cleaner as a crutch to the top of the stairs. I’ve no idea how long it had taken to get me from my bedroom floor to the A and E department on Tameside, but it feels now like it took forever.
We arrived, mum asked for a chair as I couldn’t walk, I could not put weight on my left leg at all, the pain excruciating. My memory is somewhat clouded from that day, although I distinctly remember the emergency Doctor prodding my thigh and telling us to go home and put an icepack onto it as I’d pulled a muscle or had groin strain. So, an 11 year old girl, non-weightbearing, left foot turned out, in excruciating pain in my thigh. Go Home. So we did.
Ice, heat, exercise, no exercise, several trips backwards and forwards to our local GP. Nothing-no support. Everyone thought I was just a ‘mard’ kid, moaning and using my pain to excuse myself from anything I didn’t quite fancy doing. Family friends brought heat lamps, ice packs, crutches. No one could understand why it still hurt and why I was restricted. Fast forward almost 12 months-if i recall correctly it was maybe February 1992-the GP finally referred us back to the Orthopaedic Department at Tameside General. Xrays, tests, manipulation, asking me to stand, sit, lie down, turn. None of which was done on my original visit almost twelve months previously.
The diagnosis was clear. Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysisor SUFE or SCFE, the ‘C’ in the USA being Capital. The first revelation was that surgery should have commenced within 15 minutes of presentation at A and E the first time around-FAIL. The fracture I had walked on for almost 12 months was irreparable. Salter-Harris growth plate fractures involve a fracture through the growth plate. Imagine taking a custard cream and seperating the top and bottom halves. That was the result. The head of the femur had slipped off the neck of the femur and growth plate. Ouch.
Treatment of this type of fracture usually consists of immobilization for a period of time, 4-6 weeks and surgery to pin the affected bone back into place. This had not happened. They had failed at primary treatment. I wasn’t even asked to stand up. As so much time had elapsed from the original fall, my femoral head had fused in the slipped position, imagine the ball joint falling off almost and fusion occurring before it can quite get the chance to topple off. The diagnosis ended in me visiting many different surgeons.
Referrals to Manchester Booth Hall, Nottingham Queens, Manchester Royal Infirmary. I saw doctors across the UK as far as Southampton. All were in agreement-something should have been done IN THE FIRST PLACE.
It became more and more apparent the original Doctor in A and e had made decisions that led to me not being operated on. Hip resurfacing wasn’t possible due to the remodeling and osteocytes that had occurred. Avascular Necrosis -death of the bone had occurred, flattening the head of the femur and deforming the entire bone.
My only option was Hip Replacement in my early teens. Almost 22 years on, a referral to Spire Manchester consultant on 8th November 2012 was the beginning. The real beginning started then and I look forward to a new lease of life without pain and restriction.