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Old 06-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Unhappy 1 year after my THR and still in pain

I had my hip replacement in June last year and I am in terrible pain. My left leg is painful to touch, it burns, I cannot sit for more than a few minutes in a chair unless my legs are up. I have pain all down my leg to my toes when I sit in a straight chair.After I have walked a few yards my back aches from my waist to my shoulders,and my leg is extremely painful, my ankle is very painful and my foot and ankle is going black with what looks like varicose veins.By the time 3.30 comes around I have stiffened up so much I can barely walk. i expected after having this THR I would be able to reduce my morphine and other pain killers but instead I have had to have them increased and I also now take an anti-depressant Amitriptyline at night which acts as a muscle relaxant. I feel rather depressed with the whole thing and since I have had it done my other problems have flared up--fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.I am going to see the consultant ( or one of his team) on Tuesday 4th but I don't think he will do anything to help.
Sorry I seem to be moaning I just feel rather blue and very old.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Sorry to hear what you are going through. I've had my hip done 4 times and can honestly say none of them ever stopped the pain. In fact, it has made it worse.

Part of the problem is because of all the nerves they have to cut through. There might be a chance some damage was done that is not healing properly. Scar tissue can play a huge factor as well, it entraps the nerves and the pain is severe. I live with it every day and have since a child.

I would highly suggest you seek out the opinion of a different doctor not in the same practice. A CT might give them an indication of what is going on mechanically.
I would suggest you do it as soon as possible.

The color of your foot doesn't sound right to me at all. I'm no doctor, just a seasoned hip person, and can tell you I've never had that happen to me. Hip pain yes, thigh pain yes, but none of the other ones (OK back problems but that's a different issue)

The one thing that comes to mind is deep vein thrombosis. It is something that can occur, though rare, after a hip replacement.

Definitely get in to see a new ortho and let us know how it goes.

Best of luck
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Hi Kissa:
I am glad you advised eiggam68 to see about the black veins in her ankle and foot because it doesn't sound right to me either. I think she needs to see a doctor as soon as possible about this discoloration. It sounds to me like she may be in the UK though and maybe she isn't able to see someone in another practice. I don't know how that works there. The word "consultant" was a tipoff to me that she is in the UK also the name Shipley where she lives. Sounds British to me!
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Thanks very much for your reply.I will put all this to my consultant tomorrow.I am hoping he will at least explain why I am like this. I think I was spoilt with my last THR which was done 9 years ago by a robot controlled by the surgeon,2 inch scar no pain until this THR and now because I am favouring the left leg so much the right hip is staring to ache. I did have Celluitis for a time after this THR and am left with very red swollen ankles but the foot itself looks very dark .Soon it will match the other ankle which is black due to an ulcer cured years ago! I know I need to lose weight and if this hip op had worked I'm sure I could have done some exercise etc. My real problem is that I am riddled with arthritis (R A ) and that seems to have got worse after the op. I will throw myself on the consultants mercy tomorrow and see what transpires. I will let you know what he says to me. I agree with you on the nerve damage my left leg feels completely different to the right. Thanks again for your reply I feel somewhat more cheerful today --I think the sunny weather make us more cheerful and we have certainly had our share of winter weather last year and this.
I also agree with you on your message that there is always someone worse off than yourself--it is just that sometimes we tend to forget.
M xx

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Hi Silver Swan
you are right I do live in England and yes our National Health Service is great but we go where we are sent. I would have been sent to a private hospital for my op but I am Diabetic and they do not accept diabetic patients. If I was paying it would be a different matter of course. My hospital is pretty good and the nursing care was fantastic but it is very rare to see your actual "consultant" when you get your appointment. You are given an app to see "Mr/s -----" or one of his/her team. You nearly always see a registrar who is one below the actual consultant who has many more years experience. I do believe that it was a registrar who did the actual operation. They all have to learn I know and the consultant usually oversees the op to make sure it is being done right. I did have a couple of niggles while I was in, I fell in the bathroom because the high seat had been taken off the toilet and I had to get it from a shelf. I did not fall on the floor but I landed quite hard on the toilet grab rails. The other was that I was supposed to go for an x-ray the day after my op but it was 3 hours before I was discharged before I got one.5 days after the op! They told me they had lost the slip that had been faxed down to them 3 times, 3 days running, whenever I mentioned it to the doctors during ward round they just said yes we'll sort it. I don't know if I will get any help tomorrow when I see the consultant or registrar, I have been told my spine is in a poor state and they have said there is nothing they can do about that. I must admit I expected to feel after this op like I did after the first one but as my lovely GP tells me I am 9 years older and am riddled with arthritis.It just seems as though everything has flared up after it this time.I had been off R A medication for 4 years because everything had settled and I was in remission from the R A but I can expect to have to go on it again shortly. I have put my name down for a full body transplant on the NHS but my GP says there is a long waiting list!! getting old is no fun LOL
As you can tell I am more cheerful today, as I told KIssa a bit of sunshine does wonders and she also reminded me that there is always someone worse of the me.
I will let you all know how I get on tomorrow.
Thanks again
M xx

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Hi there eiggam68:
So good to hear from you so quickly! I hope you can be seen soon to find out about those scary looking veins in your foot and ankle. We will be waiting to hear what the doctor says about this. You do sound cheerier today. Good for you.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

HI Kissa
I did write a reply to you but somehow I seem to have sent it into cyberspace, I just want to say thank you for your help.I don't know what will happen tomorrow but I will certainly make sure that whoever I see, either the consultant or his registrar ( who I think did the op) I will tell them how I feel. My problem is that I don't rarely think that anything much can be done because most of the problems are coming from my spine which is " crumbling " at the bottom. I was expecting to be able to walk much more freely after this op and to get rid of my sticks, but to no avail. I know I need to lose weight but with the pain I am in even just standing for more than a few minutes walking far is out. I do try to watch my food intake because I am also Diabetic but I would guess that the only way to lose weight is to cut down drastically and of course I cannot do that. It just seems to be one thing after another and I am not feeling happy about getting old! I will let you know what is said to me tomorrow and thanks again for your help. I don't like the look of my ankles and I will also mention this tomorrow. I don't think it is DVT but I did have Cellulitis after the op. It could also be the diabetes I guess I just don't know.
As you rightly said Kissa there is always someone worse off than me and I did need reminding. I feel a lot more cheerful today.The sunshine we are having is helping ---we have forgotten what the sun is in this country. We have not had a summer for nearly 2 years!!!
Thanks again
M xx

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

I am glad to hear you are seeing a doctor soon. You didn't mention you had diabetes which can play a massive factor as well as RA.

Here in the states you are followed up at 6 weeks, then 3 months, 6 month and then 12 and then every year after that. I've had nothing but complications with mine but mostly because of the scar tissue problems.

It's been 13 years since my last replacement and structurally it is sound. I have a lot of thigh pain as well and been told it's my back, the back doctors say it's the hip and it's really frustrating to say the least.

I tried to sign up for a body transplant too, or rather just put my brain in a healthy body but they said the wait list was far greater than my life expectancy. LOL

Good luck and let us know what the doctor says. Do not let them brush you off, the discoloration is not normal at all and being you have diabetes there's a whole new set of issues it could be.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Hello,Kissa and Silver Swan
Well I saw a registrar at the consultants clinic. My appointment was at 2.55 pm. I got there at 2,30 pm and I was called in at 2.45 pm and I was out again at 2.55 pm!! The doctor did examine my hip thoroughly and he said he could feel a lump under the skin. He prodded and poked and it did hurt quite considerably he suggested it was either a deep seated infection or the fatty tissue had not settled down yet----after a year!! He told me he needed some blood tests, gave me a blood form and sent me off to the ' vampires ' lair where I looked at the very crowded waiting room with it's ticket machine. I was expected to take a ticket and wait for my number to be called. The ticket to choose was number 92 and the last called number was 36!! I decided to go to my G P's to have it done--at least there I could make an appointment and I choose my own date and time.
I have to go back to the ortho clinic in 6 weeks time. The registrar seemed worried that the pain and soreness could be an infection because that would look bad on the Hospital. I am going to write down all my symptoms and take that next time because the doctor did not listen properly to my problems.
I will let you know what happens after my second appointment.
Thank you both for listening to my woes,
Marjorie

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Don't wait to see your GP - please go as soon as you possibly can and make sure they check your feet and ankles THOROUGHLY. The darkness on your feet and ankles is very concerning in a diabetic...
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #11
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaji View Post
Don't wait to see your GP - please go as soon as you possibly can and make sure they check your feet and ankles THOROUGHLY. The darkness on your feet and ankles is very concerning in a diabetic...
Hi Kaji
I have an appointment with my Diabetic nurse on Monday next. She is very thorough and I can talk to her easily. My chiropodist, who I saw yesterday ( Wed) looked at my ankles and was also concerned. She did a doppler test and said my blood was going through the veins fine. I had lost a little more feeling to the sole of the left foot and she also said she thought many nerves had been trapped or cut during the op by the look of my leg. I must confess the colour of it when I am the shower of a morning is quite horrifying.I am used to the right ankle being very black because I had an ulcer on that ankle which took 4 years to heal. I have been left with a very dark brown scar and lots of veins.I did not expect the left one to start to discolour but I would imagine it is due to me being overweight and also having Cellulitis after the op.
I have a feeling my body is telling me I am going " down the pan " as we say here.
Thank you all for trying to help me and I will let you know what the Nurse says and also the hospital doctor after I have been.
Marjorie

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #12
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Just thought I would let folk know that I actually saw my Consultant today at the hospital where I was operated on. He cannot understand why I am in so much pain, doesn't know why I have a tender scar and a huge lump under the scar ( poss.fatty tissue), He told me that veins and nerves all run at the back of the hip therefore these nerves and veins will have got bruised and damaged during the op. I queried why, after over a year I still have the pains in my left leg so he is arranging for me to have a MRI scan. I am rather worried about that because of the two implants both metal! I know it says on the info leaflet that it should be ok but I just don't trust the machine. He says also that there is a small piece of bone which has fractured off the thigh bone but he says he is not worried about that ---I am! He reckons that is what it makes the clicking feeling when I walk --who is he kidding.His final words were We will see what the MRI shows us but if it is the spine that's the problem I won't be able to do anything about that. Ah well we shall have to see I guess but I feel that as you get older and all these things start going wrong they think it's time to pop your clogs.
Thanks to everyone who has replied to me before and I would love to know if anyone with a THR has had a MRI scan BTW he says the discolouration and swelling on the left ankle is down to the veins being compressed and bruised and now the blood flow is poor to the ankle.

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

I am glad the swelling and discoloration is gone, that was a huge concern in my mind.
I would say, quite frankly, your doctor is off their rocker! you need to see a new surgeon and get a second opinion.

First the knot thingy I have a thought, it could actually be scar tissue formation which will not be picked up by an MRI but a very specialized ultra sound. I have this very issue and it is incredibly painful. I've had this problem since my 3rd replacement, 20 years now, and it does not go away. Nerves get trapped in scar tissue and cause immense pain. It got significantly worse with my last revision a few years ago and the surgeon did confirm there was a huge mass of scar tissue and had difficulties revising the hip due to it.

For years doctors told me it was my back, my back doctor said no because of the area it isn't the back. It's kinda hard to describe where it is, sort of on the side/back near the sciatica nerve. I also have thigh pain where the bone was sawed off and prosthesis was implanted.

In my case, the solution is not an easy one. Scar tissue when disturbed generally grows even more. So I was told the solution for me was to have a tissue expander placed in my chest to grow new skin. Months later they would remove all of the skin from my hip region, including all scars, and replace it with the new skin. They would remove existing scar tissue at that time and cross their fingers and hope it works.

As far as I know there is only one person who has had this done in the area I live in. It is a new technique and highly specialized. The individual who had it done is doing well I believe.

I have chosen not to have it done at this time due to other major health issues that are a bit more painful and more urgent. There might come a day when I may do this. It's been painful for nearly as long a I remember so I just kinda go with it.

I am not sure what to say as far as the fracture goes. Surely it deems getting a second opinion. You don't have one of those metal on metal hips do you? Does the doctor feel the hip may be loose? That is a potential problem.

All in all, if possible with your medical system, I would suggest you really seek out the opinion of a new doctor just to be sure the fracture isn't the source of pain or isn't problematic or won't be problematic in the future.

Best of Luck!

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:43 PM   #14
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Just wanted to add and forgot... Don't worry about the MRI. I am loaded to the hilt with titanium from my hip to my knee to my neck, you will be fine! I have annual MRI's on my neck and have been for 10+ years and never had an issue. The only time to worry is if you have a pacemaker or VNS device implanted or similar. The MRI can stop these devices or cause a stroke.

I will say though, when I was having issues with my 3rd hip, they did a CT because what they were looking for was more mechanical in nature where as MRI's deal with soft tissues. Sometimes doctors will have this done instead because it gives them better information if there is something mechanical going on.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #15
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Re: 1 year after my THR and still in pain

Just wanted to reiterate what Kissa said regarding the MRI. I developed severe, chronic pain in both my hip and thigh following a hip replacement. Even though it was a metal-on-metal replacement I had no problems with a number of MRIs (and CT scans) preformed to diagnosis the problem.

It sounds like your replacement may also be metal-on-metal. If that is the case, please talk to your doctor about possible infection or allergic reaction. Both can cause significant pain, as I can personally attest to. To diagnosis either (or both), rather specialized blood tests are required. In my experience because these tests are expensive and far from routine, some doctors are hesitant to even think of or suggest them.

 
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