So, today marks the three year anniversary to me having my very first Total Hip Replacement. For those of you who do not know I had to have both of my hips totally replaced 3 years ago at 20 years of age. I know I update every year, and to some people Hip Replacements aren’t a big deal but for me at such a young age it was a life changing experience so I like to send out yearly updates! Here’s what Happened. Due to being on high dose steroids for a short amount of time to help manage Crohn’s Disease, I developed a bone disease caused Avascular Necrosis (AVN), now known as Osteonecrosis. I found out when I was 18 years old and weirdly enough (Thankfully) the doctors caught it from a CT scan I had done of my abdomen that just so happen to catch my hip bones, and they knew immediately that I had developed AVN. They told me I would need surgery eventually, but they did not know how long it would take for this to occur. In my case it took 2 years to get to the point where I needed surgery (It’s different for everyone, and nobody knows who will or will not develop AVN from steroid use). Osteonecrosis means Death of Bone, what happens is that the blood supply is cut off to the bone, and the bones started to die. In my case it was to my hip bones and without any blood supply to them they started to weaken and my hip bones collapsed into each other. It is extremely painful and makes it very hard to walk and thus the need for surgery.
We first attempted a surgery to save the bone called a Core Decompression where they drilled an 8 inch hole into the head of my femur to try and bring blood flow back into the bone. This unfortunately did not work so 3 months later I was facing a Total Hip Replacement. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my life, I was only 20 years old having a surgery that most people don’t need until their late 50’s to 60’s and sometimes even longer than that. BUT if I had a choice to do it all again I would, I would endure the 3 surgeries, a year of pain and physical therapy because today I can walk. I ache sometimes and sometimes they hurt fairly bad but it is nothing like it was when my hips were collapsing.
Here we are 3 years later so how are they? My hips are doing really well, I am due for a check up soon so we will see! But I recently went zip lining in Mexico and climbed up a 950 foot waterfall which is something I wasn’t sure I would be able to do! I have been riding a bike a few miles at a time and getting further every time and I exercise my legs as often as possible. Overall, I am doing really well 🙂 Here are some pictures of me zip lining, climbing up the falls and my “Gone Bionic” T-shirt I wore today in honor of my anniversary! Thanks everyone for reading and keeping up with me living my crazy Crohn’s and Bionic life.