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THR 4 months post THA and still can't walk right

Selah Corey

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My THA was done 16 weeks ago, and I still have a trendelenberg gait when I walk without a cane. When i saw my surgeon for a follow up at 12 weeks, he said to continue exercising. If, when I return for an 18 week visit and still can't walk without a cane, he said we will talk repair surgery.
About 4 weeks post op, I felt a pop in my buttocks of the operative side and experienced severe pain and difficulty walking at all. It improved over the next couple of days, but when I went for my next PT session, the pain returned and increased. I saw the doctor a couple of days later. He did an XRay, said everything was okay, and told me to rest for a week. The pain went away.
I have been dedicated to doing the exercises and walking, but I'm not seeing any progress. I think something must have torn when I heard that pop, but the doctor couldn't see soft tissue damage on XRay.
Does anybody have any experience with a similar situation?
 

Celle

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Hello @Selah Corey - and :welome:

Please will you tell us the full date of your hip replacement and which hip it is, so we can make a signature for you? Knowing the exact date will help us to advise you appropriately.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

Since you can walk properly when using a cane, I think you still need to use the cane. Keep using it until you walk normally again.
What that also tells me is that there is probably nothing wrong physically, but that your body needs help to adjust back to the correct way of walking.

Instead of faithfully doing exercises - hips don't need a lot of exercises to recover - I suggest you ask your PT therapist to concentrate entirely on helping you to walk with the correct gait.

It may be that your PT sees you need a few exercises to help strengthen certain muscle groups to help with correcting your gait, but they should be the only exercises you need at this point.

Do you have a full-length mirror at home, in which you can watch yourself walking? Walk slowly towards it and concentrate on walking correctly, without that sideways waddle. The Trendelenberg gait was a way of walking that was necessary before your hip replacement and your body has got into the habit of doing it. Now you need to instill a new habit, that of walking correctly again.
 

Celle

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Although you're already part-way through recovery, I'll give you our recovery guidelines, as there are still articles that will be helpful.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. Try to follow this

6. Access these pages on the website


Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
 

Eman85

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My method worked for me, your results may vary. I used a shopping cart at the big box store. I parked at the furthest cart corral that had a cart and left the cane in the car. Walked the cart in and laps around the inside of the store and then back to the cart corral. I walked slowly and deliberately practicing good posture. Now with Covid I would probably just walk the perimeter of the parking lot with the cart if there was a crowd at the store. My OS also suggested walking indoors at a mall. The store windows will give you the big mirror you need to observe your gait.
 

Celle

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Thank you for your surgery date. I've done your signature and I will also add your name to the August Hotshots surgery recovery team thread.
 

ElCapitano

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Hi, just out of curiosity what does your PT consist of?

The reason I ask is when I had my first THR everything seemed to be going to plan at around 5 weeks and then I had a major setback which had me back on a cane for the most part of a further 4 weeks, unable to stand upright. Not sure if this is the same but it felt to me like every single joint from lower back to my ankle was completely mis-aligned and it all needed cracked back into place (there was no cracking needed in the end). My physio had me do a number of things - around Yoga/Pilates but never actually on my feet bearing weight. It made a massive difference to me over the next 4 weeks.
 

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