So, I’ve been having this weird pain in my right hip since having rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder last year (go figure). Woke up out of surgery and my hip was killing me. I lived with it for a while, finally had some X-rays taken (since that’s my replacement/artificial hip), everything looked good. I took Celebrex, then prednisone, it got better. I got off the drugs, it got worse. I’d take prednisone for something else, it’d get better. I’d get off the prednisone, it’d get worse. So this has been going on now for a while, and it’s really starting to bother me. Getting dressed in the morning, getting in and out of the car, etc. has been killing me.

In addition, my lower right back has also been hurting. Same activities — getting dressed, getting in and out of the car, etc. bother it. Put them both together and it’s really starting to bother me. So I went in to see my orthopedic surgeon who replaced my hip to see if he had any words of wisdom. I almost expected him to send me for some PT or perhaps inject my back.

Taking a step back in time a couple of weeks, when I had my physical, my PCP looked at my chest X-ray and commented that I have bone spurs on every one of the vertebra in my back (at least that he could see of the X-ray of my chest area). And based on the tests when I was diagnosed with RA, I also knew that I had some arthritic involvement both in the cervical area as well as the lower lumbar area.

Back to present.

My ortho guy did X-rays of my hips and lower spine. The hip looks great. It could be a picture in a textbook of how a successful hip replacement is supposed to look.

The spine, not so much. All my vertebra have bone spurs. Most of them had narrowing between the vertebra. Some of them, the space between the vertebra was almost gone. And I’m supposed to have a lumbar region that curves, but it doesn’t. It’s practically straight.

So I get to go have an MRI and see a Spine guy who is also a great Surgeon.

I said [to myself], that other “S” word that has four letters and ends with a “t”.

I watched my brother go through several back surgeries the last few years and found out that his son, my nephew, just had surgery on the spine in his neck. I guess it runs in the family. (Oh joy.) The really bad thing about all this is that regardless of what they do, it’s just a temporary fix. The degeneration has started and it’s not going to go away.  They can make some repairs to the current damage, but the damage will just continue.


Hope the “s” word in your life today is “smile.” Thanks for checking in.