Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

hip replacement and such

When I was in Halifax, I had hip xrays periodically, and I went to talk to the surgeon, I dunno what he's called, orthopedic surgeon?

Anyway, he said based on the progressive deterioration of my right hip, I would need a replacement in like 5 years. That was several years ago.

I keep in mind that surgeons always want to operate. It is their function, after all. He said the operation would be a snap.

Problem is that even with early 21st century tech, organic beats artificial by far. Replacement hip works great, but wears out in 10-15 years. If you're planning on living long, that means a lot of replacements if you get an artificial hip early in life.

My doctor here in Ottawa wants to slow the degradation in my hip down so that they can delay doing a replacement. She suggests going on methotrexate. Here's a site for one brand Rheumatrex.

Methotrexate seems to have a lot of potential side effects though.
Since it's just the one hip joint so far, I'm not convinced the benefits outweigh the risks of immune suppression and such.

Using something like remicade (~ $14k per year) would only happen after trying methotrexate and maybe other treatments, plus on my 80% drug plan I'm not so sure I want to be on remicade, that's a lot of money each year out of my pocket.

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