I'm a 42-yr.-old woman who broke my femoral neck (top of femur bone; broke the "ball" of the hip joint right off the femur!) in April, 2012. Being in the joint, it's broken in a really bad spot. Had surgery that involved piecing my bones back together with a metal plate/bracket & 3 screws to hold everything together, then they closed up a 5" incision in my thigh with 19 staples. Needless to say, I've had some really awful pain!
In the hospital, I was given iv morphine (it didn't work at all!), which was quickly switched to Oxycontin pills, 10 mgs. every 3 hours (16 pills/day). When I got home, they began reducing my pain meds immediately: oxycodone 5 - 10 mgs. every 4 hours (12 pills/day, max), down to 5 - 10 mgs. every 6 hours (8/day, max), now down to only one 5 mg. pill every 6 hours (4 pills/day).
I am in horrible pain & finally called my surgeon's office today & am currently waiting for a return call. That prescription was written a week ago, so I've been taking just one 5 mg. pill every 6 hours for the past week -- completely ineffective, way too much pain!
At the hospital, I was given a walker which I used for about 6 or 7 weeks. At first, I could put no weight at all on the broken side, and the muscles had been cut right through so I couldn't lift my leg at all.
It's been roughly 2 1/2 months now since surgery & I'm walking on my own (have been for a few weeks), but with a great deal of pain, a bad limp, & walking only short distances with small steps.
Lately, my stride has been shortened to only about 3 inches due to the pain. Plus, I can no longer bend at the waist from a sitting position to touch my foot, nor can I bring my knee up to my chest from a laying position. I was able to do those things several weeks back, now I can't, & that worries me.
Since the last 2 reductions in my pain medication, my range of motion has been gradually decreasing as my pain has been increasing. I'm not sure what has caused me to be unable to bend at the waist, or lift my knee to my chest, but am thinking that w/o my pain being managed so it's at a bearable level, I'm simply not moving around enough, as much as I was, which is making my recovery go backward instead of forward. All I've done for the past week is lay on the couch or bed, getting up only if I have to. It's been extra-miserable.
2 weeks ago, I had more x-rays taken & the doc said the bones & "hardware" looked fine, so apparently, there is nothing wrong... well, in that sense. Something is definitely wrong, just haven't figured out what it is yet. Perhaps it's just too soon & I'm not fully healed yet. Hoping that's all it is, but if they do not increase my pain medication, my recovery is going to go a lot slower. At this point, it's ground to a complete halt -- and going in the oppposite direction! (Un-covery?)
Does anyone know if I could have shortened the muscles/ligaments/tendons (or whatever it is) from my recent lack of movement ('cause it hurts too much!!)? If that is the case, could "whatever" has been shortened be re-stretched, or would I possibly need surgery again?
I should mention that I didn't have surgery until about 2 1/2 days after the injury. My surgeon said since the blood supply was cut off for so long, the "socket" part of my hip joint could deteriorate or "crumble." If that does happen, he said I'd need a full hip replacement. Initially, I was terrified of that, but now, I'd gladly have hip replacement surgery if that would correct the constant pain I'm in now. That "crumbling" is something that could happen any time, even many years from now.
The surgeon also told me I will have some level of pain in that joint for the rest of my life. If my current level of pain is the permanent level, I'd rather have my entire leg removed if that would get rid of this miserable pain! If this is as good as it gets, I don't know what I'll do.
Does anyone know how I can get through to my surgeon about how very bad the pain has become w/o him thinking I'm some sort of drug addict? They've given me a hard time before when I've told them the pills aren't helping enough, they also say I can't be on them forever. I know that & I understand, but this is a serious injury and a fairly major/complicated surgery that I've had. Just seems/feels too soon to cut the medication back so much.
I was doing very well when I had a higher dose of pain meds; in fact, was actually way ahead of schedule as far as when he said I'd be walking again. That wasn't supposed to happen for another couple weeks. So... if he thinks I shouldn't even be able to walk yet, wouldn't he know/assume I'm still in a lot of pain? Ugh -- I really am, so why don't they get it?!? I've "toughed it out" as best as I could, but I can't take this anymore. I feel that, since it's not necessary & totally up to my surgeon, I should not have to be in this much pain. Does anyone agree?
Anyway, I ramble on a lot -- sorry!! I'd love to read any answers, advice, or stories from anyone who has had a similar injury & surgery; mostly, I want to know when I can expect to be in tolerable amount of pain!
If possible, I could really use a little encouragement as I've become completely DIScouraged & am so frustrated! JUST HAVING WAY TOO MUCH PAIN!! :-(
Thanks for reading about my miserable experience, ha!
(PS The doc's nurse called me back & my doc has refused to increase my pain medication dosage. Now what should I do??)