THR Femoral nerve damage support?

Schaargi

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Hi all,
I'm 56 and had my THR on June 9. It was a fantastic experience except that I have sustained femoral nerve damage. My quads are numb for the most part. I have regained some movement-- I can clench my knee and lift my foot about 7 inches in an arc when sitting in a chair, which is positive.

I was warned about nerve damage and numbness but had no idea it would result in my leg collapsing at random, nor did I realize what a long haul it might be. I need some support from someone who has been through this or is going through this.

Anyone out there experiencing this particular problem?
 

Layla

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:welome:Hello, Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. Thanks for joining us!

I’m sorry you’re dealing with nerve damage and the anxiety that must accompany the instability you’ve described. It’s encouraging you’ve regained some movement. I’m wondering what your surgeon had to offer in regard to the odds of the femoral nerve healing? From what I’ve read the odds are favorable in the great majority, but it can take some time. I hope that is the case for you. I will try to locate some threads of members who’ve dealt with the same and possibly others will stop by who are able to relate through personal experience. Please continue to join us here for encouragement and support as you’re healing.

Hope your day is a peaceful one. :)


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. At week 4 and after you should follow this
6. Access to 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 a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Layla

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You may be able to locate some threads on femoral nerve damage on your own through the SEARCH feature at the top right of the page in the blue nav bar.
Hope this helps...
@Schaargi
 
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Schaargi

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Thank you for replying. I've done a few searches for femoral nerve damage in the forums but there isn't much that is relevant.

My surgeon says that because I've already regained movement, he is very optimistic. He has explained that the time for the nerve to fully heal is a year and that it will get better. I just need some support on what that means for my day to day life. Am I stuck with this cumbersome (my polite word for it) leg brace for months? So many questions.

Again. Thanks for the reply.
 

Layla

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You’re welcome! I understand it would be difficult to feel upbeat with what you’ve described as a cumbersome leg brace. I feel for you, but am highly encouraged by your surgeons optimism. It‘s such early days and I realize it’s easy for me to say, but concentrate on the big picture and all of the healing yet to come. You’re heading in the right direction and hopefully week by week, or month by month you’re noticing progress and feeling more hopeful. Stick with us we’re here for you.
Hugs :console2:
 

Celle

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I've done a few searches for femoral nerve damage in the forums but there isn't much that is relevant.

My surgeon says that because I've already regained movement, he is very optimistic. He has explained that the time for the nerve to fully heal is a year and that it will get better.
That all sounds hopeful.

I do remember one member who had a similar problem. Her femoral nerve was damaged during a knee replacement.
It took quite a long time, but she did recover full function and feeling.
She hasn't been on BoneSmart for a while now, though.
 

Mojo333

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:wave::welome:
I believe a member...
@Fairydell had this issue, but hasn't been about for a bit.
I believe you are progressing more positively than she was at one month out.
Is this a diagnosis you received from your OS?
My quads were quite numb and could be rather unreliable for quite a bit after my bilateral hip replacements...
Thpught I might have collateral damage but - All perfect now:yes:
Early days my friend
Stick with safe walking aides until things get to moving right and I'll be sending healing vibes your way.:) :-) (:
 

Layla

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Hello and Happy Thursday @Schaargi
Four weeks to date since your procedure...so stopping by to say Hi and wish you a great day and end to the week. I understand you’re not where you want to be, but hopefully each day brings you one step closer. We’re here if you need us, so please don’t be a stranger. :)
 
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Schaargi

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Thank you! I made some progress last week and my physical therapist said not to sell my car (I drive a stick shift and I was worried), so I'm really relieved. I won't be driving as soon as I thought I might, and my husband and I will need to swap cars temporarily, but I'm encouraged! Thanks for checking in.
 

Layla

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Thanks for sharing the encouraging news. I am happy for you! :)
I hope you have a lovely end to the week.
@Schaargi
 

Diane60

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Hello, I’m sorry to hear of your experience with nerve damage. I too am experiencing some sort of nerve damage. I have numbness in my foot And I’m not able to lift my foot. I can point my toes but I can’t pull my foot back. I have the pins and needles feeling in my foot as well. I also have LLD and I’m worried sick over it. I can’t walk without a walker and wonder if I might be in the same situation as you.

I had my right hip operated on May 20 with a custom hip. I had 7 hip dislocations and 5 operations before my surgery on the 20th. So you talk about a long haul, “honey I wrote the book”.
I found the BoneSmart forum and let me tell you, the folks here are the best.

Good luck with your healing. Please know, you are not alone.
 
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Schaargi

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My physical therapist told me pins and needles are a really good sign! It means the nerve is waking up. Good for you!
 
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Schaargi

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Is this a diagnosis you received from your OS?
Yes, my surgeon diagnosed it. I don't know if they were sure at first. I have come upon many instances of +ad numbness in my research, but my physical therapist explained that mine was different-- it's a bona fide injury. Thanks for the reply!
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Schaargi :wave:
Wondering how you were and if you were feeling there have been any improvements?
Hope today is a good day.:SUNsmile:
 
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Schaargi

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An update and a couple of questions here... First, I'm at 5 weeks and my quads are definitely starting to "wake up"! If I'm sitting in a chair, I can lift my foot off the ground more than halfway. I'm really happy about that.

The injured nerve is still a concern, as I am at risk of falling because my knee can collapse seemingly at random (my knee and front part of my thigh are numb due to the nerve damage). I am pretty good at knowing its limitations, so I feel confident buzzing around the house with a cane or walker.

The OS and PT insist that I wear a leg brace to keep my knee from collapsing (it keeps my knee straight). I don't wear it all the time- I feel safe when I can focus.

I know I need to vary my movements daily to continue healing (beyond doing laps around the house or up the sidewalk). My physical therapist is encouraging me to go back to work, at least part time. I think the movement would be good for my recovery. But I work in a MIDDLE SCHOOL (I'm a specialist who works in different areas). Kids ages 11-14 don't have a lot of awareness of what is happening around them. My leg brace is not going to help at all when an 8th grade boy is zipping down the hall with his eyes on his girlfriend and he bumps into me.

I am very stressed about being back in school with kids who aren't always paying attention. With COVID, it's likely that there will be fewer kids, and that it won't be crowded in the halls, but I'm still really worried (not to mention the germs).

My PT says that she has had clients successfully navigate airports and other crowded places without incident- she says that when you have a brace or came, people automatically give you a wide berth.

I'm nervous enough about COVID, and the addition of potentially getting bumped is adding to my anxiety. Do any of you have any thoughts? Is anyone an educator who can empathize or tell me I'm being paranoid?
 

Mojo333

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@Schaargi
So happy to hear of your improvements and good to know you are encouraged. A positive attitude will help with this recovery and that certainly can be hard to maintain with the current pandemic and work concerns.:unsure:

I know I need to vary my movements daily to continue healing (beyond doing laps around the house or up the sidewalk)
I'm not sure what movements, but I think this is just fine and right for 5 weeks for THR and certainly for you with a leg brace.

My physical therapist is encouraging me to go back to work, at least part time
It's becoming the norm for hip patients to be pressured back to work after 6 weeks or so. This can be done but it is even more important to put this recovery at the top of your priority list because going back to work can be very hard on the new hip and cause tendinitis in various places. Femoral nerve damage not withstanding....

My PT says that she has had clients successfully navigate airports and other crowded places without incident- she says that when you have a brace or came, people automatically give you a wide berth.
Well, School is not an airport, as you know! Your PT is wrongly pushing this, in my opinion.:nah:

I hope you can get some feedback from teachers...but I think you are talking about mid August for return to school?
Your immune system needs to concentrate on healing and I think this is way too soon for you to go back with the current climate.
Hope your OS will listen to your concerns and agree.
 

Jaycey

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@Schaargi With all due respect PT has no business advising you to return to work so early - especially during a pandemic! In any case it is way too early to be thinking about a return to work.

In "normal" times the recommended time off work is 10-12 weeks and then a Phased return to work. In this "new normal" I would recommend you don't return to work until you are fully confident on your feet. You are right - working with that age group will be a challenge.

BTW - you are not being paranoid. You are being realistic and very sensible. That PT on the other hand......

 

zauberflöte

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@Schaargi I did not remember this nerve damage about you, I'm sorry!

Speaking from airport experience with a cane, it didn't help keep folks away from me one little bit. Everybody was oblivious to it unless we were standing in the boarding line.

Is your school small enough that the student body could learn to practise caution for you? "Watch out that Ms Schaargi has plenty of room to maneuver! Carry her briefcase for brownie points!" Sometimes kids can be taught compassion by the strangest things.

My DIL is an elementary teacher, whose district hasn't made up its mind yet. I was listening in on a zoom call while babysitting the baby, and apparently one of the measures that's under consideration is, keep the kids 10 feet apart on the playground. Can you imagine trying that with lower grades??!!
 

Layla

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Hello Schaargi,
Great news on the increased sensation in your quads and more flexibility in general. I’ll bet it’s encouraging, as it should be. I’m happy for you! :happydance:

I will join in the chorus that your PT is out of line in making suggestions as to when you should return to work. That is not a PT’s call, but your OS’s instead.

Once you’re ready to return to work, is it possible for you to navigate empty hallways, meaning five minutes ahead of students flooding the hallways between classes, or else changing your location (If thats what you need to do) once they’re all settled in their classrooms? Another thought...depending upon your position, is the school administration able to set you up at a location where students come to you?

If you‘re able to take off work until you’re twelve weeks post op, I’d take advantage.
Decisions, decisions, I wish you the best in whatever you decide.
@Schaargi
 

Jamie

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You know your body better than anyone - including your surgeon or your therapist. Trust your own feelings and perceptions of what is "right" for you. I'm also in agreement that, given your specific situation with nerve damage and the brace, you need to err on the side of caution when returning to work. Falls can cause serious problems and it's something you want to avoid at all costs.

I'm not getting why this therapist thinks going back to work this early in your recovery is the thing to do? If it's movement they are after, there is nothing special you would do at work that you cannot do at home. What sense would it make to put yourself in an environment where you might risk getting overtired or having a fall? "Normal" time that we recommend before going back to work is at least 10 weeks. Please listen to your body and that little voice inside your brain that's giving you a valuable assessment as to where you really are in this recovery journey. There is no reason on earth to try and hurry things along.
 

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