THR Leg 1 1/2 inches longer

Frankted

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I had hip replacement surgery 3 weeks ago and my PT estimates the repaired leg is 1 1/2 inches longer than the other. The rest of the surgery has gone well. Everything I’ve read indicates that this length is well past the norm. What have others experienced? Any recommendations? I’ll need the other hip done at some point, but would like to wait until it is absolutely needed. I’d rather not rush into it just to balance out the length in the legs.
 

Layla

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Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. Thanks for joining us!
Please leave the exact date of your surgery and which hip was replaced and we’ll create a signature for you.

As far as Leg Length Differential goes, you're not alone, many feel this sensation post op. In most cases it eases with time. We advise giving it 3-4 months as it can take that amount of time for things to balance. If at that point, you are still concerned we suggest you visit a reputable podiatrist or PT for a measurement.
Here's an article from our Library Leg length differential - LLD.

Below you‘ll find our Recovery Guidelines. I hope you’ll stick with us sharing your progress. You’ll find great support here,
Take good care as you continue your healing journey! :)

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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. Here is a week-by-week guide

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.
 

Going4fun

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Did your surgeon tell you about this discrepancy? I think you want to get this info from the surgeon. Getting leg lengths pretty close is a huge part of their job. They would have documented that in their surgical report.

I'm not sure I would trust the PT on this.
 

EllieBelly

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I’m not even 2 weeks out but when i woke up from surgery my surgeon told me my operated leg is a bit longer (feels like a lot longer to me!) and that with time and physio it will settle. Since I am still so early in the process I am not convinced and kind of worried about this! It’s quite a significant difference. So definitely talk to your surgeon and see what their take and recommendation is as the physio can’t accurately measure that.
 

Jaycey

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Most of this leg length difference will ease with time. Wait at least 3-4 months and then measured as Layla suggest above.

Your surgeon can also address this during your follow up appointment.

You can always wear a lift in one shoe until such time as the other hip is done. I wore a lift for 4 years between my THRs.
 

Eman85

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An inch and a half is a huge amount for a difference in leg length. That's like walking with a piece of 2x4 for a shoe lift in one shoe! How did this PT measure 1 1/2" difference in leg length? I don't see how you could walk in any way normal with that large of a difference. I would want my OS in on this.
 

Arjay

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Hi Frankted….Sorry to hear abt the length discrepancy you are experiencing. I had the same issue, so I know how troubling it is. My leg lengths had a significant difference. (I could stand on the longer THR leg and my other leg could completely swing free without brushing the floor.) I tried various 'lifts' which helped some but were never a completely satisfactory solution. As it happened, I def needed THR on the other (right) side which I did 7 months later and fortunately the surgeon was able to'nearly' even up the lengths. There still is some difference, but a standard heel insert pretty much does the trick. Perhaps it is 'on' me, but I had no idea that this could be one result of THR surgery. It was heck to deal with for those 7 months, and I have to think was an additional stressor on my joints. I've often wondered - what if the leg length problem had occurred after the second hip surgery - I wouldnt have had that opportunity for 'a fix.' So, sadly, I have no real advice for you - just wanted to say that I can completely empathize. Good luck!
 

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