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Rheumatoid Arthritis & non-union femur surgery for 70 year old woman
JanieJones posted:
My 70 year old mother, who has suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for over 35 years broke her femur bone last year walking up a small flight of stairs. It broke close to the femoral head and she had a rod and two pins put in. She complained of leg pain recently and went to the Hospital for Special Surgery where they told her she has a non union break and needs surgery before the rod breaks. They will be putting plates and synthetic bone in her leg to support lack of natural healing. During her 12 month recovery from the first surgery she has become addicted to oxycodone among other pain medications. She has been diagnosed with osteopenia (sp?) and has been trying to keep her use of steroids for the arthritis to a minimum, though can't completely get off them. She also sometimes takes valium, ambien, and percoset. She is well aware of how deadly a combination of these drugs can be and assures me she is very careful. She is in pain most of the time and has been for years due to the arthritis and now with the additional pain from her broken leg, she feels she needs these drugs to live a comfortable life and will most likely take them for the rest of her life. My concern (among others) for this impending surgery on her leg is how her body will react while under anesthesia and how well it can recover while on all of these medications. Her surgeon told her this surgery was a "big deal" and that it would be a painful recovery, more so than her last surgery, which is understandable. I am also concerned she will abuse the pain killers even more and then become more dependent on these drugs. How will her dependency impact her coming out of surgery and recovering from it? Thank you so much for your help.

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