THR Great hip surgery but...


junior member
Jul 23, 2014
New York
United States United States
My husband had a total left hip replacement, went great, excellent healing, pain gone BUT he hasn't been able to urinate since...the surgery was 14 months ago. He now self catheterizes. We've been to five urologists here in New York City, had every test...the conclusion was that "his bladder is not contracting." It was contracting before the surgery. It can be a side effect of anesthesia but that should only be a "temporary" problem.

He's had a TURP procedure...still can't urinate. No obstructions...everything clear.

Anyone ever heard of this problem for this length of time? Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, @Anne27 and welcome to BoneSmart. I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's bladder problems following his successful hip replacement. I must admit I cannot recall another BoneSmartie who had this problem for an extended period of time. As you say, bladder issues resulting from the anesthetic usually resolve themselves long before 14 months.

Perhaps one of our "guests" who has not yet joined BoneSmart will see your post and decide to post about a similar experience. You've done all the right things.....he's seen multiple specialists, he's had all the tests, and he's even had a surgical procedure that should have helped if the problem was related to his prostate. I would also assume that somewhere along the line he's been given medications such as FloMax as well.

This is just an out-of-the-box idea, but has he seen a neurologist and/or neurosurgeon? Since the process involves neurological signals from the brain to the bladder to contract and the sphincter muscles to relax to allow flow, maybe the problem is not the bladder.
@Anne27 what an awful thing to happen! I have never heard of this. I can say that every time I have general anaesthesia, my bladder goes "numb" for a few weeks, meaning that I don't have to go so often.

I was going to tag Jamie for you, but she beat me to it! We have a new member who participated in a study of spinal anaesthetics and their relation to post op urination ability. I'll check out who it is and get back to you. Edit: it's Nickelpede. His thread is here on this side, called Left Hip replacement on wed June [oops I forgot the date]. Go read his first post. I'm sure he'd welcome a visit to his thread.

What contact have you had with the anaesthesiologist who was in charge of DH?
The study I was in compared the recovery of urine flow after surgery using Hyperbaric Bupivacane or Isobaric Mepivacaine for a spinal anesthetic.
I do not know which one I was given. One of them has a faster onset and the other has a longer duration.
I was told that they wanted me to urinate within 6 hours of surgery. I was told that I would have a bladder scan if I did not go after 4 hours.
I had no urge to go after 3 hours. Close to the 4 hour mark At 3pm I forced myself to pee. Then a couple hours later I forced my self to pee again. Then another forced urination. Around 3:15 am I did not have to push an more and urinated freely. I have not had a problem urinating since then.
I do have some feelings of urgency and go 250 ml, and other times I have normal feelings and go 500- 700- 900 ml. I am taking in a lot of fluids to try and relieve constipation.
I hope your husband is able to resolve the problem.
I was also going to recommend visiting a physical therapy who does pelvic floor exercises. My PT had a lot of patients who came in with pelvic pain issues, and when I asked if men could benefit from the therapy, she said absolutely yes. I think she was more focused on improving incontinence, but ... there might be some exercises a pt could do to help in your husband's case.

So sorry to hear of this.
I'm inclined to agree with Jamie, that your husband's problem is neurological, since it is the bladder tissue itself that isn't contracting when it should. Some of the nerves controlling bladder function exit the spinal cord at the level of the sacrum. If any of them are damaged or trapped, this could cause problems with the bladder.

Just a thought- but it could be worth investigating.

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