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My father has been suffering from shingles for over 5 years, he is now 81 years old. He broke his femur and needed a hip replacement.

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Your dad needs to be seen by his doctor.
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thank you for your responses.... I wasn't completely accurate in my description of the situation (sorry)... he had an outbreak of shingles 5 years ago, and while the actual physical signs of the virus are no longer there (his skin is clear), he still suffers from pain that I believe has become chronic. Maybe this is what you call "post shingles neuropathy"? (any advice on that? he is in pain almost every day, taking pretty serious pain meds...)
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Are you talking about post shingles neuropathy?
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He's had shingles for 5 years?
Are uou sure it's not psoriasis or something else?
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Tamar, is this a consistent case of shingles, i.e., it never clears up, or has he been subject to repeated outbreaks?

I'm wondering if there's been a medical diagnosis that this is shingles, and if so, what could be making him so subject to such a long outbreak.

Even if he did have the surgery, the combined pain and discomfort would likely prolong the healing process. However, I don't know whether a rehab facility would accept him if he's in a contagious mode.
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If he has active shingles, the surgery will be postponed. Notify the surgeon.
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