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Walking with AVN ( avascular necrosis)

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have recently been diagnosed with eatly stage AVN in my left hip. Doctor says hip replacement in a year (but semi urgent status suggests wait may be longer). I can now walk without pain up to 2 km. Planning April 2022 Camino Frances. I will walk according to ability and use baggage transfer service if necessary. I welcome any advice or experience sharing from someone who has walked a camino with AVN or similar hip disability.
 
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Hello James, and welcome to the Forum.
I’m sorry to hear about your hip condition, but it’s good to have a definite diagnosis.
I walked with hip pain that worsened as I was walking. I received a diagnosis of arthritic bone loss in my right hip, but only after walking. Before that I was wondering whether the increasing pain was due to my gait, my walking speed, my fall in O Pedrouzo on uneven pavement—a lot of denial mixed with wild surmise. After x-rays my doctor told me to forget all that, and that I was a candidate for hip replacement.
When I was on the Camino I will tell you that my hip went downhill fast. After awhile it was uncomfortable walking and sleeping, however I was (just) able to finish. I was in surgery two weeks after walking, a little smug for having cut it so fine.
I had a knee replacement also during the pandemic dark time, and now, recovered, I’m ready to walk again, but maybe not as ignorantly, and nowhere nearly as blithely.

I hope you can walk and pay attention to the warnings your body will issue. It can be done, walking with the condition you have, though it is likely to worsen.

Only you can decide whether or not the physical pain and the psychological stress can be managed until you stand in Santiago.

Good luck, and buen Camino.

Paul
 

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello James, and welcome to the Forum.
I’m sorry to hear about your hip condition, but it’s good to have a definite diagnosis.
I walked with hip pain that worsened as I was walking. I received a diagnosis of arthritic bone loss in my right hip, but only after walking. Before that I was wondering whether the increasing pain was due to my gait, my walking speed, my fall in O Pedrouzo on uneven pavement—a lot of denial mixed with wild surmise. After x-rays my doctor told me to forget all that, and that I was a candidate for hip replacement.
When I was on the Camino I will tell you that my hip went downhill fast. After awhile it was uncomfortable walking and sleeping, however I was (just) able to finish. I was in surgery two weeks after walking, a little smug for having cut it so fine.
I had a knee replacement also during the pandemic dark time, and now, recovered, I’m ready to walk again, but maybe not as ignorantly, and nowhere nearly as blithely.

I hope you can walk and pay attention to the warnings your body will issue. It can be done, walking with the condition you have, though it is likely to worsen.

Only you can decide whether or not the physical pain and the psychological stress can be managed until you stand in Santiago.

Good luck, and buen Camino.

Paul
Thank you Paul for the wise words of experience. This uncertainty and weakness is the beginning of the pilgrimage.
James
 

BigT

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2020)
In March 2020, two friends and I walked from Sarria to SDC. Our plan was to walk to Finisterre then Muxia then back to SDC, but Covid intervened. We were all
70-ish years old with various ailments and arthritides of various joints, some replaced, sleep apnea needing a CPAP machine.
To maximize our chances for completion we traveled with packs under 10 kgs, used daypacks to carry rain gear, medications, blister treatment, CPAP, and food drink weighing about 5-6 kgs. We used a luggage transport service to send the rest of our belongings ahead.
Since a good, lower level (not upper bunk) bed is necessary for those with joint and spine issues, we reserved ahead of time at casas rurales, albergues, private apartments, and had a good experience. This worked well as many albergues, cafes, hostels were still not open.
On our first day, we walked 25 km to Portomarin and not a single albergue or other lodging was open until Portomarin, and the only place open was a small cafe within view of Portomarin.
To limit discomfort, we used Arnica gel(an herbal product), then applied Voltaren gel(NSAID gels were available in the pharmacies in Galicia), and we also used Salonpas(camphor, menthol patches). Since two of our three were on blood thinners for atrial fibrillation, we could not take NSAIDS by mouth.
Good beds made a huge difference.

In Palas de Rei, we used an apartment that had an excellent massage therapist on the ground level that we all utilized (Thanks, Marta!).
After the first day, we limited ourselves to walking 12-18 km, took breaks and sat every 1-2 hours, maintained hydration, and did not have any significant injuries.

Slow beats sore and painful.

Baggage transfer service was recommended by a priest that is our age and a relative of one of our group. Two of our three used it, and the third admitted that his back wished that he had also.
Our total expenditure for lodging and luggage transfer for 13 days in Spain was under 450 USD, about 350 Euros.

We are now discussing Camino Ingles or Camino Senda Literal.

Any other older folks with sleep apnea, mobility, joint, heart type issues that are willing to chime in and add comments on their experience?

Is anyone aware of a reference for known, knowledgeable, compassionate, medical providers on the various Caminos?

Good luck.
 

Paintboy2

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm 66, way overweight, two total knee replacements and a five level laminectomy. My 5th Camino (from Lisbon this time) starts next Sunday. I've found that if I walk to my limitations I do just fine. Not too far, not too fast. I hope I meet you on the path sometime.
 
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