Have just come back from my appointment at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore to find out the results of MRI scans on my hips and lower spine.
My hips are both very unique! I was born with shortened limbs as a consequence of the drug Thalidomide. My femurs (thigh bones) are both shortened - I am only 4ft 9" tall as a result. I don't have ball and socket joints but instead the head of my femur is attached much higher up the side of my pelvis and held in place by muscles and tendons.
I have been experiencing pain in my lower back and hip, especially at night. Not bad enough to warrant using strong pain killers, but it does interfere with my sleep!
The doctors at Stanmore are the TOP people in the country when it comes to treating people with more unique bodies.... and I have been going there for about 2 years.
The great news is that although there is degeneration in my lumber spine, this isn't impinging on my sciatic nerve or spinal cord (no bulging discs).
The Registrar discussed with me where I wanted to go next. I said that I don't want to take pain killers (have stopped taking the amitriptyline as don't think they made much difference, only took them at night).
I said I'd recently sourced somewhere close by that I can access hydrotherapy, pain management, physiotherapy - AND a anti-gravity treadmill.
I've used the anti-gravity treadmill before, and I loved it, as it enables me to exercise without pain in my back or hip.
I MIGHT get this on the NHS, but I would likely have to travel and be added to a waiting list. I have contacted the Circle Clinic and have arranged for a consultation tomorrow evening (6.30pm). circlehealth.co.uk/rehabil…/pain-rehabilitation.
Although expensive (it will cost £200 for the initial consultation), I can afford to and will gladly pay that to keep myself pain free and mobile for as long as I possibly can. The consultant is pretty impressed that I am able to walk at all and was also impressed with my range of movement. I need to keep it this way as it is critical to my independence.
The Registrar said he felt that my plan was excellent and is exactly what he'd recommend - I shouldn't do any regular long distance walking because it will just exacerbate the wear and tear on my back and the pain I am exepriencing. But this kind of "supported" exercise is perfect.
Now that I know what I can do, I am really looking forward to getting on with it!
I will keep you all up-dated with progress. In the meantime, here are my "unique" hips!