Some of you may recall my ongoing issue with my hip. I’ve been through physical therapy for it, had an MRI for it and just yesterday was seen by a hip specialist. Here’s the deal. I have arthritis. I’m 38 years old and this mess started 4 years ago. Really??? Aren’t I a little young for this? Apparently not.
My hip is showing some cartilage damage, enough that there are fissures – or cracks – in the cartilage where you can see bone peeking through (grade III out of IV). Thankfully, though, the MRI showed that all the muscle, most of the tendons and the bone is healthy and getting good blood flow. There is swelling in the marrow but that’s typical of bone injuries and I guess this counts as one. The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about that.
There is some fluid in the hip joint which is typical of inflammation and the tendons on the outside of the hip (they’re attached to the extensor muscles) have micro tears in them; which is why it would be painful to lift my leg out to the side.
The doctor tells me no hip replacement surgery. Was this really an option??? Again, I’m only 38!! If my MRI and xrays had shown some kind of genital defect, like hip dysplasia, then he would be a little more inclined to try it, but thankfully, none of that here. Plus, can you imagine the ribbing I would get from my friends? Hip replacement surgery? Hip dysplasia? Yeah, it would never end.
So, the next option is both therapeutic and diagnostic. I get to go get a cortisone injection in my hip. Oh, goody. And this is no ordinary “go see the nurse or PA” kind of hip injection. This is the “go to the hospital and get in the fluoroscope xray thingy so the doctor can actually SEE the needle going into the joint” kind of injection. Not so much fun. I don’t like needles anyway. I have no idea how I survived all the blood draws I had to have during my pregnancies, the Alaskan pipeline of a needle for the amniocentesis or any of the IV’s I had to have while hospitalized for, during and after my c-section. I don’t like needles. This is NOT going to be fun.
According to the doctor, if the pain goes away for a short time (a few weeks) then returns, diagnostically speaking, we know the pain is coming from something more than just inflammation. That’s the diagnostic part. If it takes much longer for the pain to return, that’s the treatment part. I can get these shots no more often than every three months. I was hoping for not ever. I guess we’ll see. My injection is scheduled for next Friday.
I’m soooooo not looking forward to it.