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THR Continuing thigh pain, loose stem?

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CafeFan18

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@zauberflöte, I've always wanted to ride my bike on the Cape. Haven't done it yet. That's a great goal to envision! Next summer! Absolutely. Love it!

As far as how I understood the surgeon: yes, he said that below the ball and above the long part of the stem is a wider top portion with a surface that is prepared in such a way to encourage bone growth. (Actually he said for a while an implant existed where they tried to make the entire stem this way, but they had some kind of problem with that, so that approach fell out of favor.) I think maybe this image from the web shows it. (see below).

So maybe you just can't see it because that part of the stem is pretty tight in the bone?? Not sure.
image_product.png
 

zauberflöte

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Well @CafeFan18 if that don't beat all. Yes, that is exactly where my xrays show bone growth. I guess I thought the whole stem was latticed, having only ever seen the (real live) ball, liner, and shell at the pre op joint class. Or, you know, I saw the stem and have forgotten. Not uncommon.....!

So, we are going back to the Cape (if my mom is well enough) for a while late Aug-early Sept. PM me if you'd like to get to Woods Hole for coffee!
 
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CafeFan18

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Coffee in Woods Hole would be fun, @zauberflöte! I will be out of town part of the time you're talking about, but, maybe it could happen! I was following your thread about your mom. It must be so upsetting to try to deal with a hip situation with someone who isn't fully cognizant of what is happening. So sorry for you and her to have to go through this.
 

zauberflöte

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@CafeFan18 keep me posted on the coffee. My treat!

Thanks for the kind words. I am frustrated and discouraged in turns. Not to mention, the sleep clock getting all turned round!
 

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Hi @CafeFan18 :wave:


Just stopping by to say hello. Sounds like you are progressing nicely for 10 weeks post THR. Sorry to hear you have been dealing with knee pain. It usually works it’s way out quickly once your gate levels out and everything starts working together to keep pelvis even.

Appreciate your words of encouragement. Hope your recovery continues smoothly. This forum is a wonderful place. So many encouraging stories of people getting back to what they love. Hope you are back riding soon. :biking:
 

Layla

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:hi: @CafeFan18
Happy Three Month Anniversary!
I hope you're having a good week and enjoying the Summer as your recovery progresses.
Please leave us an update when you have time.
Hope to hear from you soon!
 
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CafeFan18

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Hi @Layla, thanks for asking.
I guess I'm doing pretty well. I was back at work this week full-time (I transitioned in with three weeks part-time). The working part is fine and my energy and stamina are fine.

I'm still having soft tissue issues. For the last couple weeks mainly my knee on operated side. It's bad enough that I need the cane to support the knee. So walking is still problematic. I haven't quite figured out what to do to move forward with this. I've considered going back to the surgeon, but as we know, they are more about the bones. For now I've decided to try to rest, ice, and elevate as I had very much slacked off on those. If I'm still having these problems in another week or two I'll probably get medical advice.

I've studied up on knee anatomy and can't quite pinpoint the problem. The pain seems mostly to the left and right of the patellar ligament. Sometimes it is further out to on each side where it might be from the IT band or other muscles and tendons of the thigh and hip. To me, it still doesn't seem like a separate "knee problem" as such -- I think it's from either the irritations to soft tissues of the surgery or the gait changes.

Looks like maybe @Fit4Family had some similar problems, and seems to be beating them. But I haven't gotten there yet. @Cecropia is my twin as far as surgery dates, and she's way ahead of me (I know, we're not supposed to compare, but still!!).

I'm still watching the forum. Three cheers to everyone and our common struggles!
 

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Hi @CafeFan18
Happy Friday to you! Thanks for the update.
Thankfully you were able to phase back into work and you're handling it well.
I'm really sorry about your knee. Knee pain is a common complaint after THR, some troubled by their knee, more than their hip. As you know the knee can be manipulated rather aggressively in an effort to dislocate the hip. It's unfortunate you're having a rough time recovering from trauma to your knee.

My knee has never been the same since THR. After 2 visits to the OS's office complaining, they x-rayed mine and determined I had mild arthritic changes. Not sure if the manipulation during surgery aggravated it, or what? It doesn't keep from doing anything and it's not painful so I simply deal with the minor stiffness. I would definitely pursue your issues in another week or so as you mentioned, especially given your need for an assistive device for support and walking being problematic. Please update us again soon and let us know how you're doing.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!
 

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Hello @CafeFan18

Thank you for your encouragement and sharing you progress at 4 months out from surgery. You raise similar issues with your knee. I like you don’t think it’s a bone issue. Some days my pain is very clearly IT band. Do you have a desk job? I sit for mine and have determined I need to be very mindful of frequent stretches. I get caught up writing some days and really struggle with stiffness late in the day. Only mention if it may be part of what is going on with your knee. Hoping we both get there as our bodies work inside to heal all the soft tissue. Thank you again for sharing your story. Hope you have a wonderful day.
 
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CafeFan18

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Hi @Fit4Family:

I do have a desk job. I'll try paying attention to stretching more.

I had my own melt-down last night after slipping on the carpeted stairs and falling on my bum. My hip seemed OK but I managed to sprain my big toe on my other foot (non-operated side). I am completely fed up with hobbling around, and honestly, I could walk better after 4 weeks than I can now at 4 months. This is mostly due to the knee problems on my operated-leg knee, but also quad muscles and IT band.

So far I found two things that have helped my knee. The biggest help has been anti-inflammatories. When I consulted the surgeon, he suggested going on Aleve (plus prilosec to avoid stomach problems). I raised with him the issue about inhibiting bone cell growth, but he said at this point, that shouldn't be a worry. I also tried a bit of biking and for me, I found this helped my knee. But then I over-did it and my thigh muscle started acting up again.

In my case, there is some arthritis in both knees. But it wasn't troubling me before the surgery. And only one knee really is problematic now. So I still think the inflammation from the surgery is major contributor.

Friends are constantly recommending a lot of alternative therapies (massage, acupuncture, etc.) (i.e. expensive). I haven't tried that yet, but may include a touch of that if possible.

While we must try to be patient, there may be some things to do to improve the situation. I'm hoping to find a PT that I trust as part of that.

Have a good week!
 

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Hi @CafeFan18 :wave:
I hate to hear that your knee is holding you back and I am sorry you sprained your toe...but glad that your hips were all good when you fell.
Falling is against Bonesmart rules, remember?:bignono:
Truly I sympathise as I hurt my foot over a week ago and a few days on crutches, and walking gingerly on that foot has some muscles complaining on my end.
Hate to hear of so many new hippys having to deal with knee issues that may be part of the hip replacement process:sigh:
They need to tweak that process somehow, in my opinion.
Hope you see improvement as you look for therapies to help.:friends:
 
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CricketHip

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@CafeFan18 I am a big fan of massage therapy after a THR.. especially if you are having soft tissue pain and knee issues. There are ways to help with the cost of it. You can opt for a 30 minute session where they will just address your legs and hips and low back areas. If you love it, it will go too fast but it can still be so effective.
You can also ask for a discount when purchasing a package of 3 or more..
As for acupuncture, another great choice! There are usually community clinics, they are less expensive but equally as good. I think the main difference is you are in a large room with others getting treatment. I'm sure it's different in different clinics, but that's how I noticed it in the community acupuncture in my area.

Good luck with your continued progress.. I'm a month behind you with my right hip.
 

Cecropia

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@CafeFan18 Funny that you mentioned you walked better at 4 weeks than now at 4 months. I feel like I had less stiffness at 8 weeks when I got up. We had surgery the same time.
Maybe we have to get worse before we get better. I tried the baby your leg, rest, ice, it was okay, but after awhile I noticed no difference anymore whether I rested it or not. Like that helpful time had past and was not effective anymore.
At 8 weeks I did my first long walk away from the house with my hiking poles, it was slow going the first few times, but is better now, I can walk a little faster. And now I ride my bike. I also have pains that persist, especially after sitting and morning stiffness is a killer. I don't use NSAIDs, just Tylenol. But I remember when I tried aspirin, because we were going to be walking a lot at a fair, it worked so good, I knew then I have still got problems with inflammation somewhere. Motrin did not work as good as aspirin. I only used aspirin a few times for special occasions. Now just tylenol, I'm nervous about NSAIDs also. Why does everything have to have side effects. :boohoo:Now I just try to take one day at a time, pain a d all, but I keep doing things, as I'll go stir crazy if I sit around. One nice thing, when I do stretch out in my recliner, I'm a absolutely pain free and pain free in bed, so my problem is still weight bearing on the op leg. Muscles too tight, ligaments, nerves, piriformus, glutes, trochanter. It's a big question mark and I hope we do get better in the long haul.

@Mojo333 I keep reading that you sprained your ankle, hope all is healing well. That can be a very painful injury....
 

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Glad to hear you're okay after your tripping incident last Sunday. I like some of CricketHips suggestions above like a 30 minute massage session focusing on hips and legs as opposed to a full body massage taking longer and at a greater cost. Also, inquiring about a discount if purchasing a package of three or more. Great ideas!

Want to wish you a Happy Three Month Anniversary! You are still early in the healing process with many more months of healing to happen. May it only get better and better.
Happy Saturday!
@CafeFan18
 
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CafeFan18

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Hello. I haven't posted in a while. Please change my thread name to "continuing thigh pain--loose stem?"

I've had thigh pain off and on since the surgery almost 8 months ago. At this point it is the main thing that holds me back from walking without a cane outside. I figured I must have a loose stem and went to the surgeon this week. But my x-rays look fine at this point according to the surgeon (and it looked good to me too -- but what do I know??).

I have read posts by others with loose stems and many report more debilitating pain than I have. I am able to go up stairs and lift my leg OK. I don't take pain killers. I can walk about the house. But if I go outside and walk I do get a strong pain in the front mid part of my thigh. Also, it doesn't really "act" like muscle pain exactly -- i.e. you would think a sore or damaged muscle would be more consistently sore. This is sort of erratic.

Has anyone experienced quite a bit of thigh pain and it turned out actually to resolve on its own? At this point the doctor and I agreed to let it go for another few months. That's actually fine with me. I'm certainly not hoping for surgery. But I'm somewhat pessimistic at this point that it will improve. I've tried physical theraphy and tried no physical therapy. The therapy helped with weak muscles, but not with the thigh pain, nor did it seem to make the pain worse.
 
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Elf1

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@CafeFan18 sorry to hear you're still experiencing pain. I think that the folks that had loose stems had pretty much constant pain not erratic as you describe.

Have you tried icing? Or heat? I know it seems like a ways out but plenty of us continue to use ice or heat as needed. I'm not a medical person and still a newbie in lots of ways with these hip issues but I'm thinking it's muscle or tendon related. It doesn't act up when you're walking in the house, only when you go outside? Could you possibly be walking on uneven surfaces outside and it's causing the pain? Have you changed out shoes since you've had the surgery, I know our pre-op shoes can have wear patterns that cause pain now with the good hip. I know I tend to run around the house either barefoot or in slipper socks only putting on shoes to go outside.

I know it's hard to explain pain sometimes but if you could tell us a little more it might be helpful. I'll go ahead and put in a request to have your thread title changed as you want. Hopefully some of the more experienced hippies will be along with some ideas for you. For now though, the seat looks good so let's think positive. I know, easy for me to say. :friends:
 
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CafeFan18

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Thanks @Celle for changing the thread name.
Thanks @Elf1 for your comments. If I walk too much without the cane, I get the thigh pain. That's pretty constant. But I'm thinking that it doesn't seem muscular because other actions that use the quads don't cause pain (I can ride a bike without pain for example). And sometimes there's a pretty deep pain either stepping onto or off of the leg, but not while standing still on the leg. It's kind of hard to explain for sure. But for now I've just got to patiently keep putting one foot in front of the other both physically and metaphorically and with time, I suppose, the source of the problem will reveal itself-- probably either by getting worse or better. Thanks for your support.
 

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Hello @CafeFan18

I saw your thread title change. I am sorry to read you are still having pain. I’m sure it is getting old. What position were your X-rays taken? How long ago?

I am hesitant to post this as I have no idea if your pain is at all similar. I did end up with a loose stem, had it replaced December 26th. Huge improvements already just 3 weeks from surgery. So if your fears end up being true, just know it can be fixed. ❤

My thigh pain was inconsistent. Looking back after diagnosis I can pin point some things that hurt every time. Lifting leg into and out of car, riding in car with dramatic wide turns, the pull of gravity would make my mid thigh feel like a funny bone pain like if you knock your elbow. Rolling to my right side in bed LTHR, when I’d roll back to get up, left leg would lock up. Knee always hurt, remained swollen. Could not walk downstairs one foot at a time, felt unstable. Finally never could ride stationary bike without mid thigh pain. I had ridden easily after pinning from fracture with no thigh pain.

I am not a surgeon nor do I have any medical training at all. So take all of the above with a grain of salt. Soft tissue can be very painful so hopefully that is what you are dealing with and it will resolve easily on its on with time. I did find tissue massage to be very helpful.

Sending healing wishes.
 

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So sad to hear of your continued pain, my fellow May marvel. :sad: It must be really taxing on you emotionally as well as physically. I can empathize with the feeling of walking better earlier on than now... Just lately I've had more severe stutter steps when getting up from sitting and think I'm limping a bit more. Don't know where it came from, maybe the persistent nasty wet and now very cold weather is having an impact? A friend even asked me the other day 'are you hurting?' Depressing! But we both still have some months to go till the 'magic' 12 month anniversary. Hopefully my stiffness is just a blip, and you find healing and/or answers to your continued thigh pain. (I recall thigh pain off and on up to 5 months.) Sending healing hugs to you. :console2:
 

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