Nico's new hip


         My name is Nicolas Castro and I have been recently diagnosed with severe arthritis and osteonecrosis on my right hip at the age of 31. I have been having pain in my right leg for many years now and have seen multiple doctors who all gave me different opinions and diagnosis. Tendonitis, bursitis, muscle strains they said while assuring me that my pain would get better. Whenever I asked for imaging I was told it wasn’t necessary. After several months of physical therapy, injections, and medications my pain only continued to get worse. As the pain continued to worsen so did my quality of life. I have always been an active fit person and soon things like running, working out, and playing basketball went from difficult to impossible. At such a young age, I now have difficulties walking, standing, sitting for long periods of time, working, and the simple everyday task of putting on my shoes seems overwhelming. My limp is now impossible to hide.
         I am a Registered Nurse in a busy Emergency Room and never thought I would find myself feeling worse than some of the patients I am caring for. On many instances in the past few months I have had my patients ask me what is wrong with my leg, ask me to sit down, or ask me why I am still working. I’ve had to miss multiple days of work due to the pain and am concerned of my ability to sustain my position at the hospital. This medical condition has also affected my social life as I often must decide whether leaving my house is worth the pain that I will have to endure.
          After much insistence and debating with my doctors they finally conducted an MRI when the treatments were not working. This revealed that 40% of my right femoral head has avascular necrosis and that there is no cartilage left in my joint space. Basically, end stage arthritis that is bone on bone with osteonecrosis a condition where bone begins to die and collapse due to poor blood supply. Once the ordering physician discussed the results with me, he urgently recommended me to see an Orthopedist. Unfortunately, after consulting with the specialist, I received life changing news that I needed a hip replacement.
Following many weeks of denial, pain, and depression, I began to contemplate on what my options were and how I was going to overcome such a difficult time in my life. Undergoing a total hip replacement at the age of 31, only means that I will be guaranteed the need for a revision and multiple surgeries in my lifetime. This repetitive action of surgery reduces the preservation of the bone and reduces the success rate. Studies have shown that young individuals do much worse with a total hip replacement than the elderly and have a 30% chance for a revision at ten years. Sadly, with each revision there is less bone to work with and therefore a decreased chance of success meaning that the possibility of losing the ability to walk is a very real one.
         However, there are alternatives. Young healthy individuals have the option of undergoing a hip resurfacing. This procedure has a higher success rate for younger patient and allows for more mobility and activity than a total hip replacement does. Hip resurfacing is a procedure that creates artificial replacements for worn surfaces of the hip joint, but preserves more of the natural bone than a traditional hip replacement procedure. In hip resurfacing, the femoral head is not removed, but is instead trimmed and capped with a smooth metal covering. The damaged bone and cartilage within the socket is removed and replaced with a metal shell.
         I am here today requesting your help in restoring my health and  my quality of life. This surgery is a difficult one and is not performed by many orthopedists. No one under my current insurance network performs the operation and many attempts to request out of network coverage by my insurance company have failed. Therefore the surgery will have to be paid out of pocket, as after much research and I have decided it is what is best for my overall health. Unfortunately, it is also expensive and a cost that I cannot afford on my own.  This surgey will cost me upwards of 30,000 and so I am asking for assistance in meeting a portion of that expense.  I am touched and grateful for any donations made to me in my time of need. Any amount of help is much appreciated. I sincerely ask you to please share my story with whoever you can and thank you for your consideration.


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Nicolas Castro 
Hollywood, FL
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