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VRE infection settled in his hip and pelvic bones

My Father had his bladder removed and during the surgery, his colon was injured. Doctors performed a temporary ileostomy as well and send him home 5 days later. The ileostomy tore and leaked fluid into his abdominal cavity for 6 days after he left the hospital. He contracted VRE and the infection settled in his hip and pelvic area bones. His hip suffered sever degeneration.

They reversed the ileostomy about 6 months later and he developed several fistulas 4 weeks following. He ended up with a permanent colostomy which was performed just one year ago.

His hip pain is worsening and the Orthopedic Surgeon we've seen says he is not a good candidate for hip replacement due to the high risk of infection returning.

What can be done to give my Dad some relief? Are there other types of treatment that can relieve his pain outside of taking opiates every day? Please help...Any advice is appreciated.
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replied May 13th, 2013
Especially eHealthy

I am sorry for you and your fathers continuing problems.

Your father is not really a good surgical candidate for any orthopedic surgery, especially a hip replacement. If there is still active infection anywhere in the body, a total joint cannot be done.

If there is joint destruction in the hip, to the point that it is no longer a viable joint (good joint), there is one procedure that can be done to releave pain. But, it is not a surgery that will allow the patient to weight bear on that side.

It is called a Girdlestone procedure.

In this procedure the femoral head (ball of the hip joint) is removed, and occasionally part of the acetabulum (hip socket) is also removed. This makes a flail joint. It takes the pain away (most of the time), but there is no longer a hip joint there. This procedure is a salvage one. It is only done as a last resort. However, many patients live long and productive lives with a Girdlestone. They just cannot put any weight on that side. Thus they have to use a walker or crutches, or a wheelchair, from then on.

Again, I am so sorry that your father has had to go through so much in the past couple of years.

Wishing you both the best.

Good luck.
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