I met with my new consultant last week. In the same day, prior to meeting him, I had a double MRI, a CT, a series of x-rays and met with his physio for ROM and pain tests. The wait for this new consultant was long, but worth it. He appears to run late because he makes time to go through everything with each patient in turn. You can't however complain then when the same consideration is applied to your case. He took an hour and a half to discuss my hips and the way forward.
He surmised that my case was indeed complicated and that at first glance results, I have bi lateral FAI and (I didn't know this bit) possibly some pubic symphasis from my second child, 2 years ago. The course of action was to have a local anesthetic injection, mixed with steroid, into my hip sockets. This I had done yesterday.
The procedure was smooth and well ordered. You arrive to a lovely room and super helpful nurses. Later I was checked by a physio for ROM and pain inducement, Then some hours after I was sedated and injected with the dye, anesthetic and steroids into my hip socket. Once awake I was fed (hurray!) and re-tested soon after by the physio.
I had mixed results though, as only some symptoms were gone. The impingement seemed more obvious on left unoperated hip. I must say though, I felt anxious knowing so much would depend upon the outcome of these tests and could scarcely think clearly to answer my pain in numbers. I find it hard to quantify pain, esp the fleeting kind induced and find I almost question my own answers. Still it seems a better exploratory process than I have experienced before.
Here's the additional consideration, I desperately want a third child, which I've left and left because of the drawn out situation with my last consultant. Now the clock is ticking, or might have stopped ticking altogether, for all I know! How do I fit this in? A decision I have been agonizing over for months. Do I do one hip, hope it heals fast, then try squeeze in a baby, then fix my other hip? What to do?
Before you leave the hospital the consultant revisits you with a course of action.
He arrived, calm and considered well thought out as ever.
He said he would give me 2 options and said which-ever I choose, he is fine with.
Option one: go away and have that 3rd baby, then come back and he will do his best to fix my hips. Or 2: we take what most likely will be the best part of a year, to get both hips fixed and that's the best case scenario... if all goes well.
I knew my decision the minute he finished his sentence!
He also wants to monitor how the steroids work in both hips in the coming weeks and months. He said there is nothing shocking on my scan to make him think a disaster is imminent. So if I can manage the pain, then to take the time out, as its most likely my last opportunity to try have a baby.
He also said mine is not a straight forward case, as there is pain inside and outside the joint and he can't be sure which is the most troublesome. He thought my left hip had more evidence to suggest bone impinging issues on anesthetic test, but wanted to collate all the information before drawing any final conclusions.
He did seem to suggest my hips wouldn't be easy to fix, I think for anatomical reasons, as well as the pain symptoms pointing to multiple issues... Yet for some reason I am more encouraged by that attitude, than by the 'no problem lets get in there' approach. I think this is because I feel that with my hips they are complicated and I am reassured he can actually see the hurdles.
He refuses to discuss all my scans thus far, (believing I'm a tad fixated with angles and percentages, where would he get that idea from?!) and saying he treat's patient's pain, rather than simply corrects their scans. He told me I have a 3 page detailed letter coming, so I can have my "fix" very soon!
I haven't had any surgery yet with this new consultant, but everything he says is so considered, honest and appears well thought out. This new consultant seems thorough with military precision, which appeals to my well organized personality type... He appears kind and thinks about you as a whole. I wish I'd seen him long ago.
I will, without doubt, be going back to him!