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THR Anybody else's pelvis/hip area look uneven after surgery?

kregg_the_leg

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Hi all. I'm a 36 year old man and had a left THA (performed through existing scar from fracture repair 2001) after suffering many years of AVN. I'm one month out of surgery and am concerned how different my two legs look and feel. The new leg is visibly wider than the non-surgical side and it also feels longer. Anybody else have this? Does it settle or am I going to look lopsided for life?
 
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Celle

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Hello @kregg_the_leg - 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 in the future.
Thank you.:flwrysmile:

First of all, your operated leg most likely looks wider than the non-surgical leg because it is still swollen. Even though your surgery was on your hip, your leg can be swollen as far down as your ankles.

Hip replacement is major surgery and complete recovery takes a full year, even though you'll be able to do most things long before then. Where your leg is now is not where it's going to end up.

It's very common at first to feel that one leg is longer than the other.
It's usually because your hips were held at an uneven level before surgery, as your body tried to protect your arthritic hip by taking some of the weight off it.
Usually, this apparent leg length discrepancy sorts itself out as your hip gradually adjusts to being level again.

This article explains about Leg length differential - LLD .
 

Celle

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Here are our Recovery Guidelines, to help you through recovery:
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.
 
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kregg_the_leg

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Hi and thanks for the response. Surgery was done September 24th 2020. I'm feeling great. No pain at all aside from some stiff muscles in the morning, probably from being in one position all night. Swelling seems to be around the top of the femur only; from where I imagine the neck starts to just below my belt line. What really concerns me is this "swelling" feels as hard as a bone. After hours of reading it sounds like this is normal and nothing to worry about but im just having a hard time convincing myself. I'm sure it'll all be fine in time
 

Celle

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Thank you for your surgery date. I've done your signature and added your name to the September Sapphires surgery team thread.
 
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After my surgery, for several weeks, the swelling felt very solid. Trying to lie on the operated side felt like lying on a balloon. Not comfortable at all.
I had my THR by posterior approach about a year ago. Things have improved steadily during these 12 months, so you have a lot of improvements still to come.
 
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kregg_the_leg

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Thank you that's very reassuring. I know time is a healer however sometimes my OCD takes over and jump to the worst case scenario. Feeling better having chatted to you guys. Thanks
 

Layla

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I’m wondering if you’re icing and elevating? If you’re not, give it a dedicated try.
You‘ll find articles on both topics under Number 2 of the Recovery Guidelines above.

Swelling can last for months. Doesn’t mean it will, but it can. I’ve learned a few things during my time here and I’m sharing two below. One from Admin Jamie, the other from FA CricketHip -

Jamie has shared that it’s our lymph system that rids the body of fluid (swelling). So you want to get the fluid to the lymph nodes in your torso area so your body can more quickly process it. The lymph system works rather slowly on it’s own and much more efficiently with the assistance of gravity. The fluid isn’t draining into the hips, but contained with the lymph system and moving to the torso and lymph nodes located there.

CricketHip is involved in Therapeutic Massage and has often relayed this exercise to assist in manual lymph drainage. You may want to give it a try. I have, myself, and it’s very easy. CricketHip explains that this gentle, yet effective therapy will help prime your lymphatic system to move fluid and inflammation away from your leg, which in turn will help your range of motion and pain -

While laying supine, take deep breaths...deep, as in breathing in to a count of 5, 4, or 3 seconds, whatever is most comfortable for you. Hold that breath for another count of 5, 4, 3 then blow out completely, still using the count that's comfortable for you. A series of at least 6 reps may help get the excess swelling to move. To ensure you are taking proper deep breaths, place your hand on your naval and watch while taking in your breath, if doing this properly you should see your hand move up. Repeat this whenever you feel up to it during the day or night. Lying flat (supine) is best as the lymph nodes seated in your groin are less restricted, allowing for better lymph flow.

In addition, after the breathing exercise, place your hands lightly on your upper thigh, at the crease in your groin and lightly stroke upwards towards your naval. Be patient because it can take the body time to respond.

Give this a try and see if it helps.
A peaceful evening to you!

@kregg_the_leg
 
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kregg_the_leg

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Thanks @Layla, can't believe it's been a month already!

I ice as often as possible, anytime I'm sitting doing nothing else. I've been less strict with the elevation tbh, but I'm going to give the techniques you mentioned a go. I'm just not used to spending so much time laying around and felt guilty I wasn't "active". I will dial my activity back and spend more time icing & elevating.

Have an awesome weekend
 

Layla

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Hello @kregg_the_leg
Well it’s been two months already. Happy Anniversary!
I hope you’re feeling stronger week by week and steadier on your feet.
Enjoy the rest of the month....Christmas just around the corner, followed by the new year.
Just think how great you’ll be feeling by then. :ok: Be safe, stay well!
 
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kregg_the_leg

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Hi there @Layla! I'm only seeing this now. Yes everything is feeling great. I had my follow up visit with the surgeon, he's happy with the implant and my progress. Started physio and have been improving so may week after week! Really wish gyms and pools were open, I'd love to try a few gentle laps! Hopefully in the new year!

Merry Xmas and a happy new year!
 

Layla

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Hello @kregg_the_leg
Great update! Thanks so much for sharing.
Really wish gyms and pools were open, I'd love to try a few gentle laps! Hopefully in the new year!
Yes! You and many others are hoping for a return to normal. Praying things start looking up soon. It’s easy to grow weary these days. I hope your Christmas is all you want it to be and you have many blessings in the New Year.

:christmas-carols-smiley-emoticon: :merry-xmas-smiley-emoticon:
 

Layla

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Happy New Year and Happy Four Month Anniversary!
Hopefully a month later you’re feeling stronger, steadier and still enjoying progress.
Wishing you many blessings in 2021!
@kregg_the_leg
 
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kregg_the_leg

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Hi there and same to you!

Feeling great thanks, progress is amazing. I'm back at work full time. I work as a carpenter in a commercial construction environment and have never felt stronger or more capable. I do work and move more carefully than before but it's easy to forget because things feel so good. In fact I've just spent the first half of today snowboarding!
 

Layla

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:wave:You’re doing so well! Thanks for updating. It’s encouraging to read how strong you’re feeling and wonderful the progress you’ve made. May it only get better! :)
@kregg_the_leg
 

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