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Help---good idea/ or bad idea for hip joint surgery????


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Things are changing by the hour! My mom was supposed to have radiation to her shoulder blade last week but the radiation doctor decided that her pain should not be that bad from that area and ordered an mri for the lower spine and hips. The mri was Monday and the results were rushed so we would have them Tuesday. The results were not good. The lung cancer has moved to the L4 vertebrae, sacruum (tail bone) and both hip bone joints. She was supposed to get marked today and start radiation to those areas and leave the shoulder blade area alone for now. Well, she got marked but the doctor thought she should have a consult with an orthopedic doctor for pins to be put in both hip joints for stabilization. He said both joints had cancer inside and outside of the bone and were at risk for fracture and possible breakage from the radiation. They set up the consult appointment for tomorrow already. I called her oncologist but he was out today. He is supposed to call the orthopedic doctor right away in the morning and then will call me. My mom has not been eating for the past month and has lost 25 lbs. I think her liver tumors may be causing this but they aren't doing bloodwork to check that. Hospice has not been brought up yet. I know I'm rambling but surgery, even though he said it would just be a pin for stabilization, is still surgery and my mom can barely get up anymore. I guess I'm asking for your feedback and experiences with this. If this is beneficial (I know her doc will judge this) of course I want her to do it but I just wonder how she will be able to recover from surgery & then radiation.

Thanks for your time & advice.


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Your Mom's situation sounds very similar to what my sister went thru only in sis's case she did have mets to spine and left thigh bone. She was in severe pain; had become very immobile from pain and treatments, losing weight, etc. Ortho doc insisted surgery to put pin in thigh to stabilize. This surgery cost her about 6 weeks just to heal/rehab during which time no other treatment could be done. Looking back I wish we had asked about quality of life issues and ongoing treatments for what was already distant mets; Our situation the onc did not seem to want her to have surgery but ortho said it was her only chance to prevent a total break. He won the argument with us but I feel it did not give her anything substantial. I understand there is also some type of injectable "glue" type substance they can use to stabalize and control pain which is less invasive. Don't know how major it would be to put pins in hips. Hopefully you can trust your onc to guide you on this. He should know if your Mom could endure that type of surgery and the benefits. Just wanted to let you know my experience with this.


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Hi Trish,

I am so sorry for all the pain is in, physically and mentally. What a toll this must be on you and your family.

I wish I could help in some way, but all I can do is send prayers for your mom to be pain free and comfortable. That to me is important.

You will have some decisions to make, please do not jump into anything without thinking it through. Is the quality of life more important at this time or the quantity? Take time to really think this through, but it does have to be her decision.

Prayers sent to you. I feel so bad for all you are going through. We are always here for you.


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