What’s to come…

9 May

So the plaster cast was taken off my right leg in December – to reveal my perfectly straight leg, excellent! A follow up appointment was booked for three months later, in March of this year.  The question I knew I was going to get from my surgeon was (as I entered his office) ‘Ruby, why are you still using crutches?’.  I had wanted to be off crutches within a few weeks of plaster removal, to build up muscle and strength, but this hadn’t happened. I was unable to bend my knee past 90 degrees, no matter how much force I put onto it – and this made walking without an aid difficult, and walking up stairs? Impossible (You need 115 degrees of bend to use stairs unaided. According to something I read online!).  There was another reason I hadn’t ditched the trusty crutches too – sharp pain in my hips – but I decided not to add that into the equation when I replied, ‘Oh, because I can’t bend my knee enough to walk with ease’.  With that, I was told to lie on the examination bed, whilst he tried to force my leg past the position I said it got stuck in… No Luck. Apparently it’s a ‘mechanical jam’. So off to the x-ray department I went, to see what this jam was.

A few x-rays later, and it was revealed that the reason I cannot bend my knee is because the two bones are locking up against one another. Since the frame went on, the knee joint has become misshapen. Obviously, I ask what can be done about it, and he says he’s not sure. NOT SURE?! Aaaah! But, he is referring me to see two knee specialists next month to see if they have any ideas… Oh, I really hope they do! Having a leg that won’t bend much obviously isn’t the end of the world, but it is an inconvenience!

Once that was cleared up, I decided to just drop into conversation that my hips had been hurting quite a lot too. Another look at the x-ray, and he said (and I quote) ‘Yep, you’re stuffed – to put it nicely’. haha! I do love how blunt he is about it! Comparing the x-rays from December, to the ones taken in March (just three months later), the bone of my hip has worn away quite considerably, which is why they are hurting so much. Apparently I will be needing hip replacements in the not-so-distant-future.  I’m not impressed.  I was aware that hip replacements are a common thing for people with Pseudoachondroplasia, but I thought I would have until I was at least 30 before they were needed! I’m 20! That’s 10 years too early!! I have plans for my life, in particular, to further my education at University doing a PhD or Masters, and to get my career kicked off – how am I supposed to just fit in the surgery and recovery time for a couple of hip replacements?! 😦 But, it’ll have to be done, somehow.

I have spoken to a couple of women who have PSACH since, one who has had hip replacements, and another who is due to have her first soon… and by the sounds of it, the operations will be worth it. The only major worry I have (asides from the timing issues!) is future replacements. One set is fine, a second should be okay, but to keep on replacing joints is a risky thing to do. I am yet to have an appointment with the surgeon who will be sorting my hips out for me (and it’ll have to be a fairly specialist one as people with this condition don’t actually have proper hip joints anyway…) but I have a million and one questions for him when I do! I’m not quite sure what I’ll be putting myself up for when it gets to joint replacement surgery, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I would just to be able to bend my leg! 🙂

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