Fourteen years post-surgery, new mother Gillian is enjoying parenthood without the bother of hip pain…
I had spent five years from the age of fifteen walking with the aid of crutches which was not fantastic. I was in constant pain which was worse with movement and I also had some shortening of the affected leg. Hip mobility was very poor.
I travelled from Northern Ireland to Birmingham for the operation and the hospital staff were fantastic. Post-op I stayed at the hospital for almost a week. Eight weeks later I went on holiday to Rome and saw many of the sights including the Colosseum, Catacombs and Vatican City – all on foot. I was still on crutches at that point but much less dependent on them.
Going in to the operation back in 2000, it was not yet decided if I would get a Total Hip Replacement (THR) or a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR). I had my heart set on resurfacing and was delighted to be told (several times due to the anaesthetic) that the resurfacing had worked.
Unfortunately it was not possible at the time to fix the shortening of my leg so I still require orthotics/heel raises in my shoes which for a young lady is a bit irritating as it sadly does restrict what shoes I can wear.
Prior to the operation, I could not walk very far at all. It took me quite some time to readjust mentally to the concept of what was a long walk. And indeed what was a short walk to many, seemed to be a long walk to me. Step by step I increased the distances I could walk both mentally and physically.
I was quite dependent on others prior to the operation. Afterwards, this completely changed and I was able to pursue studies away from home. This included work in a laboratory in quite an active job role.
I have led quite an active life, if not a particularly sporty one. I can easily walk about five miles and I have learned to swim since the operation. I take care of my back by attending a physio led weekly posture rehab class which focuses on strengthening core, back and glute muscles, while maintaining correct posture.
I suppose the biggest news is that I have recently had a baby. There were no hip issues throughout pregnancy despite me gaining 17kg! The birth was by emergency Caesarean section but the plan (until 9cm dilation) was for a natural birth. The Caesarean was performed due to foetal distress and not because of any “hip issue”.
I have had no problems carrying my little man around and caring for him. He is now a hefty 10kg and very active so I will continue to be kept on my toes.
14 years on from my resurfacing operation, I continue to be mainly happy with the outcome. I will never know what might have been had I had a THR or if a leg lengthening had been attempted, but I consider myself very lucky and grateful to have had the operation performed by Mr McMinn and his team.
My story might not seem like the wonderful success stories that some of the more sporty people have had, but it really is. My day to day life is so much better than it was and I would not be where I am today without having had this operation.
– Gillian Mullen.