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Topic suregery (hip replacement) in PD patient Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By MonaL On 2010.10.30 18:29
Hi, I'm new to the forum. My 80 year old dad has PD, and also severe debilitating arthritis in his hip.

The PD interferes with his walking, he has a very slight tremor, and lack of facial expressions, but is not yet on meds. The neuro didn't think the disease was progressed enough to warrant meds - that was 4 months ago.

Because of severe pain in the hip, that was relieved by a steroid shot, he is being scheduled for a hip replacement in Dec. I am trying to get an appt to check in with the neuro, but am looking for experiences with hip replacements and also surgery in general for PD patients.

Do they deal with anesthesia differently? Recovery rates? Anything else? Any info appreciated!

By Emma On 2010.10.30 19:05
Hi MonaL and welcome to the forum. We're happy to have you here. As far as surgery goes, people on this board have had different experiences. My husband is 68 and was diagnosed with Pd about 10 years ago. His Parkinson's is quite advanced. He has had back problems for many years and had spinal stenosis surgery about 7 or 8 years ago. That went fine although the recovery was slow. This past August he had another spinal surgery. Our neuro was actually the one who referred us to the surgeon. This time he had two discectomies and a large cyst removed. We put it off for a long time, even though he was in extreme pain, because we were afraid how the surgery and anesthesia would affect him. Eventually the pain got so bad that he could barely walk even with his walker so we had no choice but to go ahead with the surgery. All in all it went much better than we thought. He was extremely confused from the anesthesia but that only lasted about a week. He had to go to a nursing home for rehab after the surgery because it was taking two or three nurses/orderlies to transfer him in the hospital. At that point I wouldn't have been able to physically manage him at home. Anyway, after he came home we had in-home rehab and nursing services for about 5 weeks. He is now rid of the pain in his back and legs so it is easier for him to get around. His recovery time has been normal, which kind of surprised me. Of course his PD is the same as before but the surgery gave him some quality of life back. Others have not had as good an experience as we did and I'm sure you will hear from them. Sometimes you just have to pick your poison I guess, weigh the risks and benefits. Good luck!

By mrsmop On 2010.10.31 10:49
My husband with PD for about 11 yrs had a total knee replacement about a year ago. He did much better than I thought he would after the surgery. He was grandiose, however, about what he could do and his poor judgment got him into trouble a few weeks later, when he totaled his car. I think the most important thing in the hospital is the dispensing of the PD meds, as hospital schedules rarely coincide with a patients. His MD will need to reinforce the importance of this with hospital staff. People with and without PD react differently to anesthesia and his reaction to that could affect his rehab progress. Good luck.


By parkinit On 2010.10.31 17:07
MonaL - What a blessing that your PDer is not on meds. That is one less worry for him and you. I believe, for my spouse and I, that was the major concern. He was so worried about making sure he got his meds as soon as possible after coming out of surgery. Good luck with the surgery. Wish you the best.

By MonaL On 2010.11.12 17:15
Thank you so much for all your replies! I didn't see them earlier, the email notification was stuck in my Spam folder.

We had a consultation with the neurologist and he thinks that, because of Dad's increasing hand tremor, he will start meds after recovery from the surgery. He feels that recovery from the hip replacement will take at least twice as long as a non-PD'er. He also feels that, after the surgery the PD might get a bit worse, but then should get back to his "usual" normal as his recovery from the surgery progresses.

Myself, I worry about the anesthesia, since it makes both of my parents confused at this point in their lives, but hopefully that part of this doesn't last too long, and hopefully it doesn't interfere with anything else.

I will just be glad to have some of his pain relieved. I appreciated the good thoughts and sent luck, I will also be crossing my fingers - surgery is in mid December! Thanks again!

By susger8 On 2010.11.15 08:16
My father broke his hip two years ago and had surgery to put in some pins. I do think that general anesthesia is very hard on PWPs and has a lasting impact on memory and thought process -- but sometimes we just have to deal with that, if the alternative is not to treat something that really needs to be taken care of.

Dad was 85 when he broke his hip and he healed surprisingly well. He has no pain or weakness from the hip. He was in a nursing home for rehab for 5 weeks -- I felt they sent him home too soon. A couple more weeks would have been better. He definitely needed a lift chair when he got home, as it was very difficult for him to stand. It took maybe a year to heal completely, which is actually not so different from a younger person without PD.


By parkinit On 2010.11.15 08:56
susg - you make a good point. My dad, who is now 85, has gone under anesthesia several times as well and I remember my mom the last few times saying, "I lose a little bit of him every time he goes under." He DOES NOT have PD. I think it must be because of the combination of age and anesthesia. He does not have dementia or any other memory deficits otherwise.

By MonaL On 2010.11.16 22:33
susger8, I am encouraged to hear how well your Dad healed up at his age. I hope that my dad heals as well. He doesn't have much of an option at this point, he is so handicapped by the pain.

From your comments and parkinit's, I still think I fear the anesthesia the most!

By lvmymom On 2010.11.17 13:40
After hip surgery: very confused, pulled out everything, had to be strapped to stop the pulling, recovered in convalesant home, kept getting out of bed, had to put mattress on the floor, finally found the light and within the month was well enough and sane enough to come home.

Be prepared to find the humor (or be afraid and alarmed, how you react is up to you), but have faith that he will be okay once the anesthesia is totally out of his system and his brain catches up and balances out.

Good luck

By MonaL On 2010.11.20 00:56
Thank you lvmymom, I will try to prepare for the unexpected. I know that last time it wasn't pleasant - I hope it's not much worse (fingerscrossed!)

By susger8 On 2010.11.22 08:05
Lvmymom, you reminded me to mention that just being away from home in a rehab facility can be very disorienting for someone with PD, especially if they are older and having some problems with confusion already. The first time my dad had a bad fall (broke 4 ribs) I was taken completely by surprise at how bad his mental status was when he was in rehab. (This was not anesthesia-related, as he did not have any surgery for his ribs) He improved a lot when he came home. I think being in an unfamilar environment can be a problem in itself.


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