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Old 02-25-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
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why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement? I am also getting a lot of pain on the opposite site of my back. I had a left THR 4-1/2 months ago. Was doing really good, no pain, it was wonderful. I still do some of the physio exercises (leg out to the side) and am walking on a treadmill approx. one hour to hour-and-a half a day. However, I have to sit a lot at work and that does bother me. Lately the pain in the hip is getting worse and the back pain is bad. Even when my hip was at the worst before I had the THR and was so very painful and I limped badly, I never had any back pain. Now after a left THR, I am getting a lot of back pain on the right side. Why now? Has anyone had the same problem? Thanks.
Trish

 
Old 02-25-2008, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Is it possible that your legs aren't the same length? BTW, I had something similar happen to me also about 4 or 5 months after surgery. I had been doing much better and improving and then I was getting so that I couldn't go shopping for more than about 20 to 30 minutes without my leg absolutely killing me. I also hurt in my upper buttocks/lower back (although on the same side as my THR). I finally went back to my surgeon - who said he didn't see anything wrong but ordered a bone scan anyway to make sure that there wasn't an infection. That came out clean also. He then told me to consistently take Advil (3 after every meal) as an anti-inflammatory. I was a little worried about the effect on my blood pressure, but did it anyway. After about 3 weeks, i began to see an improvement. That was last October and I'm still taking the Advil - but am thinking of cutting back on them. But I certainly do see an improvement. I think everybody heals differently, but I would recommend seeing or at least talking with your surgeon to rule out anything bad. Hope this helped.

 
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Dear Trish:

I am not a doctor or nurse, but I wonder if you are not just plain overdoing?

I had a hip replacement on December 12 and notice that when I do more than usual in a day, I will get a backache and generally feel achy. For instance, today I went shopping and did errands, went out to lunch, etc. and did four different sets of getting in and out of my car and of course walked from parking lots and in the grocery, restaurant, etc. plus drove about 20 miles round trip. And now here at 6:11 PM, my back hurts and I am generally just plain tired. For you, four months out from surgery is still "early days" as the British say.


Shirley H.

 
Old 02-25-2008, 06:19 PM   #4
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

My first reaction to your post: does anyone think that 1-1.5 hrs a day on a treadmill is kind of a lot for a 4-month post THR patient?

 
Old 02-26-2008, 05:35 AM   #5
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Hi Tobias:

My reaction to that much time on the treadmill was the same as yours - TOO MUCH!! One of the physical therapists at the rehab facility told me to not overdo even the "on the bed" leg excercises after I got home again. He said once or twice a day was enough to do the sets. I think that the usual walking around the house or job gives good exercise.

Shirley H.

 
Old 03-01-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Thank all of you for your replies. I have an appointment with the surgeon this week. Maybe I am overdoing it on the treadmill. That makes sense. I think the sitting at work does not help the back either. And, as to the question is my one leg shorter than the other - before I had the left hip replacement, the left leg was quite a bit shorter than the right. During surgery, the surgeon lengthened the left leg and now it is longer than the right leg. I am wearing a lift in the right shoe. Maybe that is making my back hurt as I am walking opposite to the way I was before I had it done. And, maybe I am just expecting too much. I thought I would be completely "normal" "brand new" after the hip replacement. I have to admit though the pain level in the hip is much better than before I had it done. That's some success right? It's just that the back pain is making everything more difficult. Thanks for your replies and help and I'll let you know what the surgeon says.
Trish GG

 
Old 03-01-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Dear Trish:

I believe that hip surgeons use the x-rays showing both hips to calculate the length of the prosthesis. Does your hip surgeon believe one of your legs is now shorter than the other? Did you add the lift in your shoe on your own or did he or she suggest it?

An interesting story about leg length, is that one of the other women who had a right THR and was at the rehab facility when I was, was told by one of the physical therapists that one of her legs was shorter now than the other.

So there she was - terribly depressed, bouncing on that one shorter leg and gloomily looking forward to being a life long disabled person.

I was feeling so bad about this. Several days later, when she went for a checkup with her surgeon, she was told both legs were the same length! She marveled that her mind had been so influenced by what that physical therapist had said. She came back from that appointment with her surgeon, walking normally! Just thought I would throw this in for the interest of it and to illustrate what our minds can do to our thinking.

I do hope that in your case your legs are the same length now. Please let us know what your surgeon says about this.

Shirley H.

 
Old 03-02-2008, 08:45 AM   #8
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Thanks for the info. I'll certainly keep this in mind. When I was released from the hospital, the surgeon was aware that the left leg was quite a bit longer than the right. He said the left leg would probably fall as I started putting more weight on it and, hopefully, both legs would end up the same. At a checkup, he suggested I put a lift in the right shoe. I'm still wearing it. Maybe the legs are the same length now and I'm not aware of it. I'll try taking the lift out and see if that makes a difference and see what he says at the appointment. You start wearing these things and think you still need them and maybe you don't. The mind thing. You are absolutely right on. Thanks again and I'll let you know.

Trish

 
Old 03-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Hi Trish:

I sure hope that you can stop using that insert and I will be very interested to hear what your hip surgeon says.

I have read on this Forum of a couple other people who were able to go without inserts after a while. and their legs seemed to feel equal. Here's hoping you find the same.

Please let us know. Everyone's experiences are helpful to others.

Shirley H.

 
Old 03-02-2008, 10:34 AM   #10
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

The difference in the leg lengths is very common and your doctor should have been versed in this and what to do. You may end up needing a "lift" on the shorter leg. This also may gradually change over time, I know mine did and I've had many hip replacements.

If it is not corrected and you continue to walk in such a manner you can expect damage to your lumbar due to the extra stress of the imbalance of the legs.

Definately discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible. I actually suffered for years with lower back and thigh pain after my 3rd replacement the doctors kept igonoring me. It wasn't until I found a different surgeon who enlightened me the reason why I had this excessive pain was from my hip but because of the leg discrepancy which I've actually had my entire life due to a congential birth defect.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:29 AM   #11
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Question Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

I just had thr feb 12 and my p/t measured me and my new hip side is 1 inch longer than the other i all ready have back problems will it be worse now? will my leg settle in as the nurse pt says it will? I have constant pain when sleeping now . does this go away.

 
Old 03-08-2008, 06:17 AM   #12
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Hi:
After my THR my leg also was a lot longer than the other one. The doc had pulled up all the muscles and tendons to make it the same as the other side. He pulled it up quite a big longer as he said it would fall in time and hopefully they would end up the same length. I wore a lift in the one side for a long time. I have just taken it out this week and the legs seem about the same length now. However, I still walk with a limp. I went to see the surgeon this week and he still thinks the limp will go away in time. He said some people take longer than others to get rid of it and told me to keep doing my leg exercises out to the side. That is the one that will keep strengthening the muscle to get rid of the limp. I still have pain the hip and groin area. He also said that I shouldn't worry about that, it too will go away and it is just muscle pain. I hope he's right. He did xrays on the hip and everything is O.K. If your pain keeps up really bad, you should go to the doctor and have it checked out. As to my back pain, that is another matter. He did xrays on my back to make sure it was nothing to do because of the hip. It turns out I have advanced arthritis of the spine at all levels. The doc says it was there all along, but I never noticed it because of all the pain in my hip. Now I notice the pain in the back. So, keep doing your exercises, go see your doctor about the pain and good luck.

TrishGG

 
Old 03-08-2008, 06:29 AM   #13
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Hi Shirley:

Well I had the appointment with the surgeon this week. Everything with the hip looks really good and going fine. I now have the lift out of my shoe and the legs seem pretty equal. That's good. As to the limp, he still maintains that it will go away in time and some people just take longer than others. He said to continue with the leg exercises out to the side and that will keep strengthening the muscle to get rid of the limp. The back pain I have has nothing to do with the hip as far as the doctor is concerned. He xrayed the spine and I have advanced arthritis of the spine and it is at all levels. He feels I never noticed it before because the pain in the hip was worse. Now that that pain has subsided, I feel the back. He is not going to do anything now, he said if it gets really, really bad to come back. I don't know what he can really do. So, I got rid of one pain and traded it for another! Must be these awful winters in Canada. We're getting another really big storm/snowfall again today! Yuck!

TrishGG

 
Old 03-08-2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

Hi Trish:

I am so happy that you can now take that insert out of the one shoe, and that your surgeon thinks all is well with the new hip and that your legs are equal in length.
What a relief that must be to you! As for the limp, it might be that our bodies get in a habit like limping, and as you feel stronger as time goes by, this will go away. Thanks for letting us know right away the good news.

Shirley H.

 
Old 03-08-2008, 04:42 PM   #15
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Re: why am I having hip pain 4 months after hip replacement

I am just getting to the 6 month mark following THR and I can now see that the recovery period grows by leaps and bounds. I had a very pronounced limp that I was sure wouldn't go away, but little by little I am noticing a big difference. I used the cane for a long time to help relieve the limp and now I am totally walking on my own. I waited 2 years too long for the surgery, so that is probably why I had so much trouble getting rid of the limp...

Isn't it a MIRICLE!!!!

regards,
carole

 
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