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THR Hip Replacement-9 weeks still limping

Teresawebb

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My THR was July 17, 2019. I am still on cane and limping . I am having difficulty building strength in surgical leg ( right hip) I have been following through with PT. Any suggestions. Thank U
 

Mojo333

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Hi and welcome.
How long have you been doing PT exercises and what type?
Please let me leave you some guidelines for recovery.
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
6. Access to these pages on the website

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.

Two and a half months might seem a long time.
But it is still early days and excessive PT or over activity may be delaying healing.

Lots of friendly folks here that have been where you are, so ask questions, hang on, and all will likely level off soon.
 

mainegirl1

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If you limped before your muscles may be used to that and you have to be mindful of walking heel to toe. Heel strike first roll to toe. No flatfooted.
For some folks limping is a hard habit to break and takes time and practice.

Or is it that you are in pain?
 
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Teresawebb

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Thank so much for the helpful information. Not in pain some discomfort but I know that’s to be expected. I will make sure to focus more on the heel toe.
 
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Teresawebb

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I had in home PT for six weeks, and now in out patient PT for 4 weeks twice a week. I am doing the recommended exercises which includes walking 5 -6 days a week.
 

KathyB

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Hi @Teresawebb, I had a very bad limp for a good year prior to my THR. At 9 weeks post op I was still using a walker as my muscles had weakened so much that I would limp without it or if I tried to use a cane. I think for me the weak muscles were the cause of my limping as well as having to relearn to walk correctly. I slowly started to switch to a cane at about 3 months post op. It took about another month of slowly increasing the use of the cane before I fully ditched the walker at about 4 months post op. Walking totally without the cane didn't happen for me until about 6 months. At that point my muscles felt strong enough to walk properly just about all of the time. As recently as 8 months post op I grabbed my cane again so I could walk on a deep sandy beach. I knew this new post op activity would require different muscle use and I was so glad I took my cane. It made the walk much more enjoyable and kept me from tweaking any soft tissues. Keep icing and elevating and the :ok:best to you in your continued recovery.
 

Jamie

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If you're still in therapy, ask for a gait analysis and some gait training so that you can relearn proper walking. It can be a difficult habit to break if this is part of your problem.

It does take some time to get strength back. Remember, your hip deteriorated over years and it all doesn't instantly return once the joint is put back to normal. Soft tissues must heal, get used to the new alignment of your joint and then strengthen slowly.

Walking is absolutely the best thing you can do. What other exercises are you doing? If you could list them out telling us the exercise, how often you do them, number of sets and reps at a time, that will help us take a look at what's going on.
 

CricketHip

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Hi @Teresawebb and welcome to the forum!! I wonder,, have you considered taking a break from the PT and let the soft tissue calm down a bit? Sometimes just walking and focusing on your gait, as mainegirl1 suggested, can go a long way in helping you recover. It doesn't need to be long distances, either.
It would be interesting to see how you do by omitting PT for a few weeks.
2 1/2 months into recovery is still relatively early... I hope you get to read some of the recovery threads and see how many of us have improved in and around the 3 to 4 month stage.
I'm at 3 months post THR and I still work hard not to show a limp.

Good luck, and keep us informed on how you are doing.. :flwrysmile:
 

Calgal

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Great insight @KathyB! :goodpost: Thanks for being so honest and helpful. It goes to show that we are all different and recovery milestones occur at very different times.
@Teresawebb, personally, I know how frustrated I was at around your timeframe about the same thing. :boohoo: I agree with Jamie about getting some gait analysis and retraining. Some PTS focus on doing lots of exercises just as a matter of routine, not necessarily after assessment of your personal needs. I was lucky as mine focused on my walking and tested my strength each time, then just prescribing 1 or 2 exercises for specific muscles. That said, I really didn't do them religiously but just walked! And one day, weeks after I thought it 'should' happen, I just felt stronger and I could finally ditch my crutch. But I DO still limp when I'm tired at end of day or after sitting for any length of time. So there is truly still healing to come for many more months. I agree with Crickethip, try to lay off the PT a while and just walk and see if that helps give your muscles some time to heal. Good luck! :thumb:
 

Layla

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Hi @Teresawebb
Welcome to BoneSmart, thanks for joining us.
I'd have to chime in with the rest. I agree with many of the suggestions mentioned above. Personally, I'd step away from PT, after asking for a gait analysis, and engage in walking as my main exercise, practicing heel-toe walking which does take some concentration if you're not used to it. At least I found that to be the case. As someone else mentioned, I also found I was limping if tired. I usually noticed it on my own, but not always. At times, whoever I was with would ask if I was limping...I was unaware that I was. I'm not sure when it resolved, but it did. At not quite two and a half months, you're early into recovery. Give it some more time...you'll get there. Have a nice Sunday!
 
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Teresawebb

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Thank all of you for your responses. I am so glad that I found this site. I am going to lay of f PT for a week and just walk... and see how I feel. The exercises that PT has me doing are Hip Abduction and Adduction,Knee and Hip Flexion,Knee Extension, Quad Set,Mini Sqats , Hip Abduction, Knee Flexion, Hip Extension , Heel Toe Raises ,March In Place, Forward Leg Raises, Walking Side to Side. I am using 1lb per ankle weights on some and a stretch band on the side to side walking. I do laps around the house and walk to the corner of my street which is about a 5-6 minute walk total time going and coming back to the house. I do one set a day 5 days a week and the rep is now at 20. I go to Outpatient PT once a week and have gone 4 times. The next 3 weeks I am scheduled for twice a week. But will re-evaluate that. I am going to PT at a large hospital system here . I am looking at changing to a smaller privately owned place , where I hear you receive more of an individual treatment plan. Again thanks for any and all suggestion. I feel better hearing your experiences.
 

Calgal

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Yikes! That's a LOT of different exercises and reps and frequency! :shocked: I'm tired just reading about them! :swoon: Slow and steady really does work, with a bit of targeted muscle work later on IF needed after all the poor soft tissue has a chance to heal. :yes:
 

mainegirl1

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Why all those exercises?
I suggest if you want to do PT , have some specific functional goals and express them.
It seems you are in a one size fits a therapy program.
Your perceived lack of strength may be because the soft tissues are still inflamed and not receptive to training which is what you seem to be doing.
But your gait is not being addressed.

I am a month newer than you and hip is happy. I have not done PT I go up and down stairs foot over foot and can walk two miles before getting tired. I dont limp but do shuffle some when I am tired.
I have started hiking this weekend and soon will be in the pool. So I guess my PT is what I like to do in everyday life
I do do some of your moves while cooking and reaching for ingredients or dishes. But no sets of reps.
I am thinking about PT as I have some specific issues I would like to address but frankly Silver Sneakers at five bucks an hour vs 250 may be just fine. My issues are mainly balance and good posture and being able to mount a 15 inch step.
 
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CricketHip

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The exercises that PT has me doing are Hip Abduction and Adduction,Knee and Hip Flexion,Knee Extension, Quad Set,Mini Sqats , Hip Abduction, Knee Flexion, Hip Extension , Heel Toe Raises ,March In Place, Forward Leg Raises, Walking Side to Side. I am using 1lb per ankle weights on some and a stretch band on the side to side walking.
:yikes: :shocked: :bolt:
Oh my goodness Teresawebb that is too much! I would have run screaming out of that place! I could almost cry when I read about ankle weights and elastic bands so soon after your surgery.

Thank all of you for your responses. I am so glad that I found this site. I am going to lay of f PT for a week and just walk... and see how I feel.
Please do and for longer than a week. Maybe find yourself a different PT clinic while you're on hiatus. Is that possible? Or set parameters with the one you are going to now?
We are so glad you found this site, also. Keep reading around on here.. you will read about some amazing recoveries and some very good input on how to handle yours. :)
 

mainegirl1

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@Teresawebb look up @Barbaraj s recovery thread. She had the op the same day as you and she approached her recovery differently. Not that you should be where she is but to deno that there is more than one way to recover
 
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Teresawebb

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Thank you . I am going to take a break from PTand look for another PT.
 

Jaycey

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The exercises you are doing are bad enough - but this is a killer
I am using 1lb per ankle weights on some and a stretch band on the side to side walking.
You are not in training for any athletic event. You are trying to heal from major surgery. Fire that PT and just walk. You will feel much better for it.
 

Barbaraj

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Hi, @Teresawebb You and I are "hip sisters" as we both had our hip replacement surgeries on July 17 this year. Difference is this is my second hip replacement surgery--got my right one replaced last September so my surgery on July 17 was to replace my left (and FINAL) hip. I am chugging along on the recovery road and doing pretty well overall, I think. Sure, I'm still stiff, sore and aching, especially when I first get up in the AM, but it eases quickly with being up and about my day. I returned to PT at about 8 weeks, as I did with hip #1, and I am doing well with it. PT is a godsend for me, but I realize it's not for everyone--lots of positive AND negative views on PT on this forum, and each person has to decide for him/herself whether the time is right for PT. For me, it's always been a good thing. I go to the same folks I saw before and after hip replacement #1, so I have confidence in them and sticking with PT has worked wonders for me in terms of starting to rebuild strength, endurance and flexibility. But, I suspect, I might have been in a little better shape, exercise-wise, prior to both of my surgeries. I was fairly active, even with my limitations due to a deteriorating hip(s), and stayed that way until the day before each of my surgeries. So, getting slowly back into a more active routine (PT and regular trips to the gym for work on the elliptical, my favorite cardio device) was easier for me and something I definitely looked forward to doing.

Despite feeling fairly active with my daily PT and gym visits, you still sound like you are doing one heck of a lot of exercise for this early on and I agree, maybe easing off for now and giving your body more time to recover would be a smart move. We are all going to heal from hip replacement surgery, but it's not a race or a competition so taking things more slowly is perfectly appropriate. This is absolutely not the time for that foolish, "no pain, no gain" philosophy. Slow and steady is absolutely the way to go. I wish you the best on your recovery journey, and happy to answer any questions you might have for someone who has started out of the block at the same time you did. Chin up, you're going to do fine--have faith in yourself and your miraculous body!
 
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Teresawebb

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Barbara thank you for your response. I need a hip sister . I stay in contact with you. I am going to stick with PT , but take a week off and change providers. I have exhaled and prayed and ready to get back on course. My chin is up! Thanks again
 

Barbaraj

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Best of luck to you, @Teresawebb I think your plan of taking a week off from PT to recover sounds good, and then maybe changing providers to find a therapist who isn't so aggressive would be a smart move. I am lucky that my PT has been helpful, but I think we need to advocate for ourselves with any form of treatment to make sure we're not pushed too hard. Good therapists would always be asking you how you feel about any exercise, and watching you like a hawk to make sure your form is correct, and immediately backing off if an exercise hurts or it's clear you can't maintain proper form. I hope you are able to find a better therapist who is more careful with you. As I said before, PT can work (it does for me) but it can also set folks back significantly and you DON'T want that. And, of course, there are many, many folks who feel PT is not necessary at all for recovery and who heal and regain their pre-hip bodies back without any PT. It's an individual choice, no right answer across the board. It's your body so you are in charge!
 

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