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back pain on operated side of THR

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Hippo28Nov08

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Hello,

I am new on this excellent forum and have read some interesting recovery threads. I am from New Zealand (47yr female) and had L THR (antero-lateral approach) on 28 Nov, so am 19 days post op. I am still on two crutches and when I try to go to only one crutch on the unoperated side, I get a pain in the lower back (sacro iliac region), and just wondering if anyone else has experience this?

Also, my operated leg is now 2-3cm longer than the other and when I walk, can clearly see that the left operated hip is higher than the other side. Surgeon said this will settle and that he had got the leg lengths equal.

18mths ago I tripped over landing awkwardly, tearing the labrum/acetabulum and then got rapidly destructive atrophic arthritis necessitating my THR.

I still get very tired and have to remind myself I am not yet 3wks post op. I lost quite a bit of blood (not replaced), during surgery, so guess this adds to it.

I can sit only for about five mins at a time before my toes on the operated side, go tingly and numb, my GP said this is due to inflammation around the sciatic nerve (notch) during surgery. Has anyone else experienced this also?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers
Hippo28Nov08
 

Josephine

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I see several issues here.

You say when you go on one crutch you get the pain which leads me to suspect your crutch might not be set correctly. You may find it helpful to try some different adjustments.

You also said you have an apparent leg length discrepancy, apparent because the surgeon has assured you they are in fact, the same length. This leads me to suspect that your leg had shortened and has now been corrected. Therefore the muscles and ligaments will be having to adjust to the new arrangement, not to mention your overall balance. This can cause back pain, specifically sacro-iliac joint pain.

Finally, your tiredness has little to do with your blood loss but a lot to do with the surgery, the anaesthetic and the amount of healing your body is having to do. As I have said a number of times before, healing and recovery from the aforementioned, takes energy. Therefore you will feel tired and washed out for quite some time. Three weeks, as you said, is still very early days so take it easy on yourself.

Finally, my other well worn song is - are you taking enough pain meds? It's not at all uncommon for THR pain to manifest as low back pain - it's only a matter of a couple of inches away anyway, so your brain would be a bit confused trying to figure out the source. You need to make sure you are taking sufficient pain meds.
 
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Hippo28Nov08

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Thanks Josephine for your excellent reply, which all does make sense to me. I guess I have to just "go with the flow", and let the body take time to heal. I guess this happens faster for some than others as I have read about some people being off their crutches and sticks at 3 wks and driving.
Cheers and once again thank you for your reply.
 

jaz

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Welcome from Auckland, New Zealand. I had a LHR on 24 July, unfortunately the stem rotated in my thigh bone so I had it repeated on 6 October. My legs felt uneven for a few weeks until I got used to the new length. In fact I probably still limp a bit out of habit.

It sounds like Josephine has answered most of your questions but I will add that I had to stop using one crutch because I was getting back ache, probably from not walking straight.

Three weeks is still very early days, I still get tired two months on. Take it easy, have a lie down every afternoon if you can and if you've got anything semi strenuous to do, do it in the morning while you are fresh.
 

JudyS

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Hi and Welcome
I had a right hip replacement on June 6th. Awesome surgery. At 3 weeks I was still using 2 crutches. A little later I used a cane, a bit too much and was in worse pain than after surgery. Just overuse and maybe walking much differently. Lots of aches and pains and back pain. It all gets better and settles down.
Keep resting and as Jo said keep up with the pain meds,that is why they are prescribed.
Judy
 
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Hippo28Nov08

new member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
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Location
New Zealand
Welcome from Auckland, New Zealand. I had a LHR on 24 July, unfortunately the stem rotated in my thigh bone so I had it repeated on 6 October. My legs felt uneven for a few weeks until I got used to the new length. In fact I probably still limp a bit out of habit.

It sounds like Josephine has answered most of your questions but I will add that I had to stop using one crutch because I was getting back ache, probably from not walking straight.

Three weeks is still very early days, I still get tired two months on. Take it easy, have a lie down every afternoon if you can and if you've got anything semi strenuous to do, do it in the morning while you are fresh.
Hi,
Thanks for your feedback, I am glad to know that you were still using two crutches. I have to be careful not to overdo it, but you hear of these people who are off two crutches at week 2 - 3, but I guess everyone is different and having been an active sportsperson until my injury, I thought I would be one of those fast ones. The body dictates I guess! Cheers and Merry Christmas. Nicolette
 
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Hippo28Nov08

new member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
19
Location
New Zealand
Welcome from Auckland, New Zealand. I had a LHR on 24 July, unfortunately the stem rotated in my thigh bone so I had it repeated on 6 October. My legs felt uneven for a few weeks until I got used to the new length. In fact I probably still limp a bit out of habit.

It sounds like Josephine has answered most of your questions but I will add that I had to stop using one crutch because I was getting back ache, probably from not walking straight.

Three weeks is still very early days, I still get tired two months on. Take it easy, have a lie down every afternoon if you can and if you've got anything semi strenuous to do, do it in the morning while you are fresh.
Hi Jaz,
Thank you for your reply. I am finding that I am needing my afternoon lie down, even if I don't drop off to sleep, and anything I need to potter around and do, I do in the morning, otherwise there is no energy left. Thank you too for your comments regarding using one crutch and getting used to the leg length. I also can't sit too long as my toes go numb, so I better head off now for a circuit around the house!
Cheers and Merry Christmas
Nicolette
 

jaz

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I still feel like a yo yo some days. Too much sitting and I stiffen up, too much walking or standing and my back/hips/legs get tired.
 
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