Bilateral THR Lower back pain post bilateral THR


new member
May 28, 2022
United States United States
I had both hips replaced on 4/19/22. I am 6 weeks post op and generally doing well. My incisions are healing nicely, and I just have some stiffness in the hips when first getting up. I have been walking every day, but after about 5 minutes, I have excruciating lower back pain. If I rest for a few minutes, I can go another 5 minutes. I would like to be walking greater distances, but the back pain is holding me back. I also gave pain if I just stand for 5 minutes. Thanks for all the helpful tips and support. It has been a long journey.
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart and recovery. Thanks for joining us!
Another brave bi-lateral to join the group. I will tag two BoneSmart colleagues @Mojo333 and @djklaugh as both experienced BTHR. They may have a better understanding of the back pain you described. You may want to try heat or ice, if you haven’t already to bring some relief. Wishing you comfort and all the best. I hope you’ll continue to share your progress here. :)
Since you’re just a bit over one month post op, check out our Recovery Guidelines as much will still apply.

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:
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.
Welcome to the forum, new double hippy!:wave:
I am somy you are hurting.

I had terrible back pain with my bone on bone hips, and that was my main complaint that actually confused medical folks and led to a long delay in diagnosis.
It was still nagging me for a few months after BTHR, but not to the extent of it being excruciating....
New shoes were definitely helpful as I found that years of bad gait/posture leads to bad wear patterns on soles.
Are you do for a post-op check soon?
We not only recover from surgical trauma, but have to deal with the adjustment of our bodies to our new hips and the compensating that our bodies endured pre-surgery.

I considered a chiropractor with my still lingering back issues, but instead...
my OS ordered PT at about 3 months post-op.
Once they ruled out any Leg Length Differential, some targeted strengthening and proper gait training began resolving. the issues.
I think a physical therapist could give you insight into what is causing this.
If it is Excruciating...
I do think I would insist on seeing my surgeon.
Thank you all. I go back to the surgeon in a week and will definitely bring it up. One odd thing about the pain is that it sybsides with minimal rest (2-3 minutes), and tgen I'm good for another 5 minutes. It is frustrating because I would like to walk greater distances, but can't as most paths don't have rest areas at such frequent intervals.
@njdevil You are only 6 weeks out of what was two major surgeries done a the same time. Please be kind to yourself. If this pain subsides at rest that means your hips are trying to tell you to stop pushing. Let them heal. You will indeed get back to all the walking you enjoyed. Just give these hips time to heal.
@njdevil Welcome to BoneSmart and to the Bilateral club! Having both hips replaced at the same time is 2 major surgeries done at once and it rather rearranges nearly every muscle in your body. Think about how long it took for you to get to the place where you needed both hips replaced. During that time all the muscles in your legs, hips, back were getting more and more out of shape. Now that the hips are fixed all those muscles have to relearn how to function properly. And that will take time.

Given that you said the back pain subsides fairly quickly when you stop walking I do suspect the pain is related to muscles.

While hips them selves do not need PT sometimes the muscles around the hips do need that kind of help. For me walking and climbing stairs were fine but getting one leg onto opposite knee took months of PT to accomplish. Of course my hips were really bad ... one had fused to the pelvis so before surgery I could not even stand up straight.

Another thing I noticed after my BTHR was that my body's center of gravity changed. And it took me a while to refind that center ... once I did everything seemed to work much better.

you are still early on in the recovery process. I sincerely hope that this troubling pain will get better quickly.
Thanks for all of the insightful posts. Patience is not my strong suit, but I am learning that this is a rather lengthy process. Thanks for the tips and encouragement.
Hi njdevil, you are one month ahead of me! I also had bilateral HRT, on May 19th.

I've had degenerative disc disease and degenerative scoliosis for many years so I didn't expect this surgery to fix that. But your back pain came on after your surgery so of course you are very concerned.

I just wanted to say hi and may we both continue on this long road to full recovery!
Thank you. I hope your recovery is going well.
Happy Two Month Anniversary!
How are you doing? Hopefully your recent appointment with the OS went well and you’re enjoying steady progress. Best Wishes for a wonderful Summer!

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