THR Amy13may's Recovery


new member
Mar 27, 2023
United States United States
I’m 6 weeks post THR and can’t move my leg vertically at all. I have had worsening groin pain escalating over the last 2 weeks and in agony most days. My surgeon prescribed PT 3xs a week and walking 5,000 steps and I’m struggling. Today I saw him at the office for a post op and he actually told me that I wasn’t trying hard enough and that if I really wanted to lift my leg I could. He said I was just one of those cases and on the low end of the bell curve. He said I would just need to wait up to 2 years for resolution and to work harder at my PT. I was so let down and hurt I felt total despair. Reading your experience @SaraK gives me hope. I know in my gut something just isn’t right. I’m doing all this PT and trying my best and am in so much pain with my groin. I can’t sleep. Can’t function at all. I will be seeking a second opinion asap. Thanks for sharing your story - gave me strength today to keep fighting and not just take his nonsense.
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. I am sorry you're struggling with pain.
Please leave us the exact date of your surgery and which hip you had replaced so we're able to create a signature for you.

The first thing you should consider is stepping away from PT and dropping any exercises you're doing at home, with the exception of walking, but not to excess. Don't worry about counting steps right now either. Get lots of rest and do lots of icing areas of pain. You can ice as often as you want, for as long as you like, always placing fabric between bare skin and your ice source. I will leave our Recovery Guidelines since you're still early into the healing process.

I started a thread for you so you will have all of your recovery information contained in one place which will make it easier for you to reflect back on. It is also helpful for those stopping by to be able to review your history before advising or commenting. Please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here.

I will tag @SaraK to make sure she reads your response in relation to a post of hers on a thread that's currently inactive.

I wish you all the best as you continue healing and hope scaling back, rest and ice help relieve your pain.


As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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:
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. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The recovery articles
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 a 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 history before providing advice.
Everyone and every hip is different so to be told you could do something because you're not trying hard enough just doesn't sound right. I had a completely different experience with my rt then I did with my left. My right was a log leg after surgery and took some time before I could lift it. I had muscle in the back of my leg into my glutes that would not work. It took quite some time before I could even put my sock on my right foot.
As Layla said I'd back off of the PT, just rest and ice for a couple of days. 6 weeks is still very early on in recovery. I didn't do any PT with my right and despite my problem with the muscles it eventually came around and is stronger than my left.
Thanks so much for the encouragement and responses. Feels great to be heard and share. My hip replacement was on my left side and anterior approach. My surgery was February 15th.

I’ve read all the great documents provided and realize they are having me do almost every single exercise on the don’t do list. In hospital my surgeon started off by telling me that I wasn’t doing as well as his 80 year old patients and was very condescending. He told me I needed to push myself. Then I got home and they prescribed me a home physical therapist who would come 3xs a week and she would push me doing all those exercises and walking around my condo building and pressuring me saying I wasn’t where I needed to be before I went back to my first post op appointment. Then they prescribed me outpatient physical therapy 3xs a week on top of doing these exercises at home 3xs a day plus walking. After my terrible appointment yesterday and being told I was not trying I was so hurt!

Thanks to this forum I am seeing that I’ve literally been beating myself up through this whole entire process and not honoring my body at all. Today I didn’t do any exercises and rested and iced and guess what?!? I feel better.

I’m still concerned about not being able to lift my leg and am getting another option outside my surgeon. Hopefully it resolves, but if not I am going to find someone who listens and doesn’t blame me or shame me for my condition!

Again thanks for this platform. It really brought light into the dark place I was at yesterday. ❤️
Wow your doctor sounds like a real jerk. And the PT definitely sounds like too much. I would definitely scale it back and not worry about trying to “win” your recovery. Just do what feels best for you.
Today I didn’t do any exercises and rested and iced and guess what?!? I feel better.
That's great! and many times what usually happens. Sounds like the best thing is to rest, ice and get to feeling better and then do some proper walking and see if your leg responds. Would be good to get another opinion but as most of us will tell you 6 weeks is early on.
Your doctor sure has an "interesting" bed side what a jerk!
Yes, scale it back and rest, ice, elevate. You will learn to listen to your body. I'm over a year and still days I need to lay down and ice when I think I'm super woman!
Keep us posted.
Hi @Amy13may so sorry to hear that you've had such a difficult start and such a complete lack of understanding from your surgeon. My surgeon gave me little advice, except don't do anything silly! At six weeks he told me I could do what I liked but to stop if it hurt. I had done very little PT until then. Lifting my leg was difficult and painful at the beginning but is ok now.
I saw my PT on Weds this week (my op was 11wks ago Tuesday). I can walk short distances without aids but still struggle with stairs - I wanted to think about getting back to gentle swimming and some strength training in the gym but his advice was to stick with walking and basic hip exercises on land and in the pool until I was stronger: doing too much would only set me back! Good advice I think and much better than some on here have been given by unsympathetic folk.
Walk as much as you can but be kind to yourself!
@Newhip_Pol Your PT is a wise person! So happy you shared this here, too. More people can benefit from this kind of advice.

I am a bit speechless about what your OS has said to you!
I am a bit speechless about what your OS has said to you!
He is rather abrupt and blunt but 'down to earth' (calls a spade a spade as they say) and once I got used to that I found I quite liked him. First THR went well so I went back to him this time. No post-op restrictions either time. Healing a bit slower this time but I'm getting there :)
I’m sorry you were treated so badly. I think many healthcare professionals don’t realize that pain is a barrier to healing. If you hurt too much, you won’t improve. I had groin pain and found stretching really helps, a few times a day, gently. Just gradually loosening it up. I also noticed I was using groin muscles to compensate for other muscle weakness. Being aware of that helped me use it less. Btw, I’m six weeks out and I can drive and am starting to balance on one leg but still can’t lift my leg off the bed on its own. I can lift it to practice walking and that’s all I’m worried about just now!
Have you tried using a leg lifter to get out of bed? My leg muscles were atrophied after 3 months of pre-op disability. Without that leg lifter, there was no way I could get my operative leg out of bed without unbearable pain. The good news is that no nurse or PT will be jerking your leg around. If it takes you 30 minutes to slowly and gently lift and slide your leg to the side of the bed, so be it. My lifter was one if my most treasured assistive devices. By week 2, I no longer needed it, though I kept it beside my bed for a month just in case.

Hoping your leg is lifting itself soon, but be patient or you'll join the Overdid It Club, the club no one wants to belong to! :groan:
Update. I saw a different doctor today and he says that I have partial femoral nerve damage. Good news is it’s partial which means it will heal. Said for me to expect 4-6 months for recovery. I’m swimming and walking inside the pool. Taking my pain meds and trying to be loving to myself.

Thanks for everyone on here. The support has been really helpful, especially when I’m feeling down and hopeless.
Hi @Amy13may, Good to know you've got a diagnosis and reassurance that it will heal. Good too that you have a plan including painkillers and being kind to yourself. Best wishes.
I think your plan for recovery is solid and hope you also keep icing on the top of your list also for down time.:ice:
Inflammation is cited as another important consideration for complications following femoral nerve damage.
You are still in very early days and time is the greatest healer. Try not to overdo any activity as you can always regain any loss of strength and tone once this resolves and I hope it is sooner than expected.
Healing Hugs coming your way XXX
Good to read you have a diagnosis and the reassurance it will resolve in time.
Give yourself the TLC you deserve.
Happy Two Month Anniversary!
Hi fellow hipsters Just wanted to give an update. I’m past 2 months and will be 3 months May 15th. There’s been no improvement unfortunately. Still can’t lift my leg. Feels like it weighs 500 lbs. Intense groin and hip pain all the time with 30-45 minutes of reprieve when my Percocet is working. If anything my pain has gotten worse. Surgeon ordered blood work and it came back normal. He’s still being the same - unhelpful. I consistently have a lot of swelling and heat in the entire area seems like no matter what I do. Doing lots of icing and elevating. Using a cane to get around, but any mobilization is painful. Trying to stay positive. Going to get another opinion once I’m past the 3 month marker outside of the network of my surgeon. Hard to come out of a surgery that you think will improve your life and end up being a lot worse. I know it’s still relatively early though so trying to be a patient patient!
Oh, @Amy13may

I'm glad your blood work came back okay, but I hate that along with that "Log Leg" you are still having this kind of pain level.:sad:

I'm wondering ....if the Percocet is only giving you that minimal amount of relief, if a more particular medication could be prescribed, like gabapentin, and would be more helpful?
I am sorry it is hard to get around, but too much sitting is problematic too with femoral nerve I'm glad you are trying to do what you can.

I, too, hope that time is going to show healing but I also think you are wise to go ahead and set up an appointment for some new eyes to address what is going on.

Big hugs for Healing, hippy friend.:console2:
This sounds like such a harrowing experience for you and as others have said, that surgeon sounds like such a jerk! I am guessing he is jumping to conclusions and making misguided assumptions based on your age. I am 10 years older than you and have encountered some of that myself—assumptions that I am just going to bounce back and be complication free based solely on my age.

I hope you find someone better and get some good answers and treatment! Best of luck to you . . . and a warm virtual (((hug))).
Trying to stay positive. Going to get another opinion once I’m past the 3 month marker outside of the network of my surgeon. Hard to come out of a surgery that you think will improve your life and end up being a lot worse.
I am sorry for all you're experiencing and that you're not where you hoped you'd be at this point.
Now that you've hit that three month post op date. I hope you're able to find someone out of your network to get the help you need. Best Wishes. Please keep us posted, we're here for support.

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