Hoping for Hip! Hip! Hooray!

Window Project, Oysterville Church 2019

When it comes to old structures like our house or the church across the street, I am in favor of repairing (if possible), restoring (if necessary) and replacing (never!)  I know there isn’t always a choice, but I love the old workmanship and, if it can’t be saved but replication is possible, then so be it.  But the choices aren’t so varied with people just yet – at least I don’t think so.

Nyel’s Hip Repair

These thoughts have come to mind in the last few days as many folks have kindly asked how Nyel is doing after his “hip replacement” and, I have to confess, I keep thinking of what friends have experienced after one or both hips have been “redone.”  So many people have sailed through – “back to work in a week” said one friend.  Don’t we wish.  (“Work”   meaning chicken duties in Farmer Nyel’s case, of course!)

As I understand it, the surgical procedure used to repair a broken hip can vary depending on a number of factors.  According to one website: In general, fractures of the very top of the thigh bone, called the femoral neck, are treated with replacement.   If the femoral neck fracture is not at all displaced, a repair of the break may be considered.  Apparently, that isn’t the problem or solution for Nyel.

Fractures below the neck of the femur, called intertrochanteric fractures, are treated with surgical repair using rods, plates, or screws. Nyel has  experienced a displaced subtrochanteric left hip fracture with full shaft width displacement.  For him it’s been the rod and screw treatment!

So, starting at the top of that long left leg:  a rod through the two parts of the  brokenhip, a connecting rod through his femur down to his kneejoint, held in place by two screws.  There, mid-leg, is his bionic knee.  Next comes the tibia and fibula – both broken in October.  The tibia was repaired with a plate and six screws – maybe more, says Nyel. The spiral fracture of the fibula has actually healed on its own.  So, there you have it.  Metal from hip to ankle!  I asked Nyel if that left leg felt heavier than his all-flesh-and-bone right leg.  “Maybe,” he said.  Maybe, indeed!

Full recovery from this hip repair may take up to a year and, according to many sources, only about 50 percent of people regain their full function.  The biggest challenges are mobility, strength, and balance.  In Nyel’s case, “full function” went out with the quadriceps surgeries seven and five years ago.  But we’ll be working hard to get him back to the best possible level of functionality. Step One:  Get him stabile enough to get out of here and get home to the chickens!  It’s in Oysterville that Farmer Nyel and his bionic parts really shine!

2 Responses to “Hoping for Hip! Hip! Hooray!”

  1. Caroline says:

    Hope you both get home soon. An ordeal for both of you with more to come.

  2. Nancy Russell Stone says:

    Sydney and Nyel: What else? Only positive reporting please. Too much for Nyel and his nurse (and muse)…….

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