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THR Discouraged

ebair23

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I am new to the site and have seen lots of people with THR experiences help others. I am hoping someone out there may be able to give me a little hope also.

I had an anterior THR in March. Two weeks out I felt great! I started to ween myself from my walker to my cane. Well, once I started putting more weight on my operated leg, I started to get sharp pain in my groin area. This pain increased and also spread to my knee (top part) and now I am 12 weeks out and can't walk without both crutches because of the pain.

My surgeon said thexrays look good and suggested I go to his colleague for a second opinion. I went and he said the same and scheduled me for more physical therapy to work on my hip flexors.

I am so bummed and now scared that it will just make it worse. I feel completely awful and in constant pain. Some days I wake up and feel like I can walk, and I start off OK, but eventually the pain comes back and it's awful.

Anyone else out there know where I'm coming from?
 

Layla

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Hi there. Welcome to BoneSmart.
I'm sorry you're struggling but please don't lose hope. I understand your discouragement.
I'm tagging our Nurse Director @Josephine to see if she can advise. She's in the U.K. so check back periodically in case she has questions. Please provide your exact surgery date and it will be added as your signature.
In regard to PT....I'm leaving the Recovery Article as some info may still apply.
Pay special attention to the BIG TIP.
Wishing you peace and comfort!

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
elevate
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. At week 4 and after you should follow this

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. @ebair23
 

Zet

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I’m so sorry you’re having such pain. Although I didn’t have an anterior THR, I know the pain you’re talking about. Mine is caused from my overdoing it. I am 7½ weeks out from a lateral THR and I still have pain that I take prescription pain meds for.

I have a desk job so I went back to work after 4 weeks and should’ve stayed off at least 2 more weeks. When getting up from a sitting or laying position, I have groin pain for about 4 steps and then I seem to work it out and can walk ok. I still tire easily and of course the pain gets worse when I get tired.

I pray you get some relief. Ice and elevate several times a day and hang in there. It will get better.
 

achillex

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Welcome @ebair23 ! I'm sorry to hear you're having these issues. The forum advisors here are wonderful people and they will give you some great advice and recommendations. I'm no doctor/expert but everyone heals differently and I would hate to give you the wrong advice. Once in a while I get some discomfort in the groin area but its usually if I forget to stand up and stretch. Last week I was in a 2 hour meeting and forgot to stand up and stretch the legs and boy did I feel it. Prior to my THR surgery in May, I could not walk w/o using crutches. The pain started back in March and kept getting worse. You really have to be your own advocate when it comes to dealing w/ these doctors, they kept telling me no issues, xrays look fine but why couldn't I walk on my own w/o pain? I kept asking them. They just kept trying to medicate me w/ all these different pain killers that just mask the pain for a few hours. I even went to urgent care several times so I can get xrays and by the last trip to the urgent care, I got a call from my doctor and said he needed to see me right away. When I saw him he said the only way to get rid of the pain was to have the THR and that's what I did. I'm still slowly recovering and listening and getting inspired by everyone's individual challenges and triumphs in this forum. Keep a positive outlook, get a second, third opinion if you need to because you don't deserve to be in pain and/or be walking w/ the help of an assistive device. I'll keep you in my prayers that the doctors can find a breakthrough w/ whatever is causing your pain and discomfort. Keep hope alive! :prayer:
 
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ebair23

ebair23

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sorry. surgery date: 3/14/18

Thank you Zet. I hope your healing process continues. I am just so discouraged after talking to others around who have had this surgery. One even went back to work after two weeks.

Thank you achillex. It is wonderful to have support.
 
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Layla

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Hi @ebair23
One more question for the signature. Which leg for the THR?
Thanks
 
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ebair23

ebair23

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The surgery was an anterior total replacement on the left hip.
 

Bone-obo

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Your story is a cautionary tale for me. I'm at two weeks, feeling great, and trying to get rid of the cane while trying to get back to work. So: if it were me, (and it may well BE me!), here's what I would/will do:

1) STOP ANYTHING THAT CAUSES PAIN. Rest. Ice. Go back to basics and get the pain/swelling under control. Pain in this case is not the enemy - it's a warning!
2) USE THE CANE LIBERALLY. Support the weak parts - right now your knee is taking an imbalanced load and that's probably what's making it hurt. (The knee is probably a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. Likewise the groin - the tightness and pain are probably a reaction to weakness somewhere else.)
4) FIGURE OUT WHERE THE WEAKNESS IS. In addition to the healing, you (and I!) probably have muscle weakness that's messing with our biomechanics when we load the operated leg. Get analytical. What feels good when you stretch it? What feels weak when you walk? (For me it's ascending stairs - my legs wobble side to side a little.) Find an exercise that's feels similar but is easier than what you encounter in daily life, and do it a few times - start easy with 5 reps or so! (I'm working on low steps at PT - I use the cane and hand rails on my stairs at home.) And stay body-aware - if it hurts while exercising, stop! If it hurts afterwards, rest, and come back with fewer reps. Work slowly. Be patient.

Since the x-rays are good, I believe this is a problem you can solve by yourself. And since you are clearly me in the future (as a young woman, which is weird!), please keep posting so I'll know what lies ahead for me!
 

MammaT

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I know I have experienced set backs that have come from me doing too much @ebair23. Once my muscles and tendons get angry, it can take awhile to calm them down. Rest and ice are my best friends then. I still keep and ice pack at work that I use occasionally and will ice after walks, etc. at home.

As I was told on here, no two recoveries are the same, even on the same person. My left and right hips were different. Don’t compare yourself directly to others-hips are in different states when we have surgery and recovery happens at different speeds. Too much exercise too soon gave me problems.
 
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ebair23

ebair23

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young. ha! I feel 90. Thanks for the reply, Bone-obo. It is just so frustrating. I had fai surgery on my right side and then fai surgery on the left. a revision fai surgery on the left and then the thr on the left all in less than two years. it has been a tough road.

Thank you MommaT. It's hard to have patience.
 

MammaT

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It is indeed hard to have patience. I figure it really took my hips years to get bad, need to give them time to get well. I find myself just suddenly able to do things without pushing it. I like the surprises in recovery.
 
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ebair23

ebair23

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I look forward to those times.
 

Josephine

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he said the same and scheduled me for more physical therapy to work on my hip flexors. I am so bummed and now scared that it will just make it worse.
Yes it will!

I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I also need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
 

luvsibes

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@MammaT Your comment that it took years for the hip to deteriorate hit home! I have had challenges with the left hip since an ice skating fall in HS and multiple falls over the years along with probably too much aerobic dance, hyper extension in yoga, and lots of walking. It's been 4 years since I've felt limited by the hip and began an active approach to treating it in the pool and adaptive yoga. It took a year to get a real diagnosis with an MRI,so, your comment does put this into perspective...I can wait out the 3-6 months to be renewed since I already feel better than I did a week ago as I limped into surgery! Thanks.
 

DEL2018Jul-2

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I'm new to the site too (as of today) and also just had an anterior THP 5 weeks ago. I'm doing well however upon my 2nd week of the post op check up, my surgeon saw my PT exercises...he told me to "take it easy & let my body heal"! My PT exercises were so intense (wall squats...ridiculous) that he said I was at a higher risk for fracture and tendonitis due to my strength and that I shouldn't "push it"! This was of grave concern as that's NOT what I want post surgery! I too progressed very quickly....went from a walker the first week, to using two crutches the 2nd, to one crutch the 3rd, then to a cane the 4th week. Now I'm using the cane but walking around the home without it sometimes. That being said, I'm getting stronger each week but am noticing it's "two steps forward....one step back" as I transition to a smaller assisted walking device. I'm using more strength with the smaller device so I'm taxing my body more! I got off pain meds after the 3rd week but still ice and elevate after my .8 mile walks and PT in the morning and continue to take a Tylenol when I'm having aches (as needed)!

It seems you're doing everything right especially in getting a second opinion.

My surgeon, Dr. Todd Dietrick is excellent, he's in Pasadena, CA (Congress Orthopedics), his patients come from all over California to see him and he is in high demand and has perfected the anterior approach for hip replacement. If you are in his area (Los Angeles area) perhaps you can see him for an evaluation.

I hope this helps and I hope your recovery progresses well moving forward! Sending positive healing thoughts and vibes to you!
Best ~
 
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ebair23

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Thank you. I live in Indiana. My Dr and second opinion were of the same place. if this new pt makes me worse, I will be going somewhere else for a third. I just keep reading that I shouldn't be having g this much pain and the Dr just says it may take up to a year to heal. well, how long to be able to walk again?
 
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DEL2018Jul-2

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I agree with you....based on my research as well! Be gentle with your body ~ my doctor said you don't need a lot of PT for this surgery and PT shouldn't give you any sharp pains...sending you positive healing thoughts!
 

luvsibes

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Wall squats!!!! I would not do those in my pre-surgery days! I'm glad your dr. intervened and gave direction to your P/T. I am going to take it pretty easy with a yoga mind set - slow, focused, mindful and with a do no harm attitude. My P/T therapist seems to be on the same page with me so I begin 3x/week Monday.

Thanks for your positive contribution.

@ebair23
I hope today finds you in a better physical and emotional place. Sending healing vibes to you!
 
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