Update 10: Speedbumps

Hi everyone – hope you have all had a wonderful summer. I’ve been having a great one myself.

I wanted to give you quick update with some news about my treatment and how things have been going over the past few months.

In a word, I’d say things are going “Okay”.

I don’t want to scare anybody – I’m still in remission and cancer-free which is objective number one – but I’ve had a bit of an unpleasant reaction to one of the steroids I’ve been taking as part of my treatment.

Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)

In July I noticed that out of nowhere, my left hip was starting to develop a really sharp pain. I had never had any hip trouble before and couldn’t think of anything I had done specifically to injure it, so after about a month of trying to stretch it out and rehab it on my own, I brought it up to my doctors at SCCA. We decided to do an MRI to check it out.

The MRI revealed that I had developed a thing called Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis) effecting the tops of the femur bones of both of my legs where they join to the hip socket. What’s happened is the steroids has sludged up the blood flow in the femoral heads of my legs, and without proper circulation, that part of the bone starts to die, leading to arthritis and ultimately destruction of the hip joint.

Treatment

From what I understand, this is a well-known side effect of Dexamethasone (the steroid I was on) and I’ve since stopped taking it to prevent any further damage. What’s frustrating is that from a damage standpoint – what’s been done is done. There really isn’t anything I can do on my own to make it heal (meaning I won’t be able to “physical therapy” my way out of this one).

With that said, I have a couple options for treatment. In severe cases, the remedy for something like this is a total hip replacement. Though I’m not quite in this range yet, it’s definitely something that could still be on the table for me in the near future. Kind of weird being 27 and facing a double hip replacement right?

My other option (and the one I’ll be going with on both legs) is a surgery called a Core Decompression, where they will drill some very small holes into the pocket of bone that has died in order to relieve some of the pressure and try to stimulate blood flow to that area and hopefully, bone regeneration.

The surgeon said that this type of procedure is “idiots work” so hopefully meaning it’s fairly simple to do (though I think I’ll stick with having him do it instead of the village idiot). I’ll be getting surgery in the second week of October and should be down for 1-2 weeks and then on crutches for a while after that. 

I’m pretty optimistic about this surgery. If anything, it should help with some of the pain which will be a relief. And though this may put a damper on my dreams of becoming a competitive speed-walker in the 2020 olympics, this is just another speed bump in the road back to health 🙂

Thanks again for all the love and support,

Brock

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