I'm 56 years old and have worked all my life since 18 and the last 25 as a salesperson in the retail fine jewelry industry I was made aware of a "bad hip" at age 18 and the doctor told me I'd be in a wheelchair between 40 and 45. I likely had Perthes as a young child. However, treating the hip carefully and not over taxing it preserved it.
This past December, I went to retrieve some clothes on the floor after showering and I was hit with the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. It took me 45 minutes just to dress as movement was pure agony. I went to the ER who took x-rays and said I had osteoarthritis in both hips and lower back and I was referred to a sports medicine bone and joint doctor.
The sports medicine doctor ordered a Cat scan and MRI of my hip. My PCP ordered the same for my lumbar area upon hearing of a residual burning, numbness and muscle spasms in the right leg. The sports medicine doc referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon who said I'd sooner or later need the hip replaced as the femoral head resembled an egg. He sent me to a physiatrist in pain management for hip assessment and back assessment.
That doctor finally informed me that I had stenosis in l3-4 and L4-5. I had symptoms for the past 11 years but had written them off as my "bad" hip and plowed on. He gave me a hip injection to isolate what pain was going to what condition. The injection lasted maybe a week and he is getting authorization for a spinal epidural. We've already discussed the possibility of a laminectomy. I can't stand or walk for more than 15 or 20 minutes and this Easter I drove 60 miles to visit some friends. The trip killed me with muscle spasms, burning, an ache like a bum tooth only the whole leg and back ache. This was all while the hip was fairly recently injected.
During all this, I was working and missing work due to pain. It got to the point where I would take extra strength ibuprofen 6-8 times a day just to function. Literally, I had to begin using a cane in early January which I still use. Mid-Marc h, I went on FMLA and contacted an attorney for disability in early April.
Here are the issues. I've never had a surgery since age 4 for tonsils. In fact, I've been in the hospital only twice since then for a total of 3 days combined. My brother had discectomy and disc fusion in the mid 1990's for L4-5 and he now walks like Frankenstein and has lost the sensation in his left leg because of nerve damage at time of surgery. So, to say I am leery of not one but two fairly major surgeries puts it mildly. Even with the surgeries, I'll be out for a year or so based on my age and my condition. I'm a hefty man to be political and much of the weight was gained the past 5 years because of my assumed "bad" hip inhibiting exercise.
I realise that one surgery is inevitable and the other is very likely. I, also, realise that when one joint is replaced there's a likelihood of the other hip needing replaced down the road. I'm terrified the SSA will require me to undergo surgery which is difficult for me to handle mentally and emotionally.
Sorry for the length of this post and thank you to any who reply.