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Revision THR Odd sensations after hip hardware revision

janellej

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I am new to this forum. I am having weird sensations in the hip, months after the hardware revision.

The hip feels very unstable, as if it is going to slide away from me. It feels like the hip is about to dislocate at any moment, giving me a feeling of impending doom. It feels like there are ball bearings in the hip, or the sensation of when you walk on sheer ice and can't get traction.

I have had 4 different X-rays since the revision, which all show the hardware to be intact and in place, yet I have this feeling intermittently and when I have it, I feel like I better not do anything.

I have not heard of anyone else having this sensation and I would like to know if I am the only one who has felt this way.

History:
My original R hip replacement (THA) was 1/1/2005. I had many good years with the hip, but it dislocated 7/4/2017. Then had a second dislocation 12/13/18. My surgeon recommended hardware revision. On 2/15/19 I had a R hip hardware revision, with the installation of a Freedom Constrained Liner and a new ceramic ball.

My surgeon said there had been minimal wear on the cup but the joint capsule had been torn at some point which probably was related to the second dislocation. He said, "We fixed you up."

My recovery progressed nicely afterward, and I had my second post-op visit on 4/3/19. Exam and X-rays were normal, and I was told I did not need to be on hip precautions except that I could not place my R leg in 3 planes at once, that is, do not bring your R leg to the L side of the body. At that time I was walking 2 miles without assistance (no cane).

On 6/25/19 I had the first sensation of my leg wanting to slide away. This subsided by the following day, and for the next couple weeks I walked OK, but with a cane. On 7/7/19 I again had the sensation. My surgeon had retired, so I had to get a referral to another ortho clinic. On 7/22/19 I had the ortho appointment. X-rays, exam, and labs were all OK. The new provider, however, told me 1) Healing from a hip hardware revision takes a year; 2) Your anxiety makes it worse; 3) Need to follow hip precautions for the rest of your life.

I still have no explanation for the sensation. I am currently using a cane much of the time, although I can walk a bit inside the house without it. I am perplexed because I was doing so well, and then I wasn't. I would like to know if anyone else has had similar sensations.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @janellej and :welome:to the forum.
I'm glad the xrays and labs were good, and perhaps someone else has thoughts on what might be causing this odd sensation.
Healing from a hip hardware revision takes a year;
More time for healing and Regaining strength will hopefully resolve this feeling..but I can imagine it does make you cautious.
Do stay mindful.
No falling:bignono: Its against the rules
:heehee:
I hope your weekend is restful and you get some feedback from other revision members.:tada:
 

Layla

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Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
Your story is the first time I've ever heard anything like this. I can't imagine the sensation you describe but would assume it must be unsettling. Hopefully this is something that eases in time. Thankfully you're staying on top of this with your surgeon. Wishing you the best moving forward. Stay in touch and let us know how things progress.
A great weekend to you!
@janellej
 
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janellej

janellej

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Hi, Layla!

My surgeon retired a few months ago, so I am following up with a new provider. I did speak with her today. She reassured me that the X-rays show the new hardware is solid. She thinks I have some degree of PTSD due to the previous dislocations. She also said I may be reacting to the different hardware.

That makes sense, as the surgeon said the new liner was thinner, so he put in a larger ceramic head (ball). But after the initial hip, I never had any sense of hardware, it just felt like "me". So that may explain the sensation.
 

Mojo333

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You do sound as if your revision surgery recovery was remarkable...2 miles at 2 1/2 months!
I know most of our revision folks have a slower time of it.
We are all different and our recoveries can progress differently...just glad we dont have to put up with the horrid hip pain.:egypdance:
 

RobertHip1

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Hi janellej,
I'm really sorry to hear about that. I wanted to say that I have felt something similar. I had a LHR two years ago and it was great. One year ago I had a RHR. Soon after the operation I felt a very strange sensation as if I was standing in ice! I looked at my foot almost expecting to see my foot slide but of course it wasn't. I reported this to my surgeon and PT and was basically fobbed off. Looking back and thinking about this I believe this to be subluxation. Subluxation is where your ball had not dislocated but is properly in the socket. I hate to tell you that in my case it went on to fracture i.e ceramic ball smashed without any major impact. I believe that since the ball was not properly placed the stresses were too much. I had my revision 3 weeks ago and it's much better. I hope that this is not the same for you but when I heard you describe that sensation I wanted to let you know of my shared or similar experience. Please don't be fobbed off by your medics and the PTSD idea sounds like BS. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @janellej
Wondering how things have been going for you.
Hope you are getting back to life and your hip is feeling more normal.
 

prairienut

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Like RobertHip1, I also am skeptical of the PTSD theory. It sounds like they are just grasping at ideas because they cannot explain the sensation otherwise. In my own experience, I have seen that OSs cannot always identify a loose prosthesis from just an x-ray. They probably can easily see alignment issues, however. I also had a hard-to-describe unstable sensation in my THR hip which turned out to be a loosening femoral stem. It did give out on me a few times, causing falls which luckily did not injure me. Also, had start-up pain in the morning and when getting up after sitting for a period of time.

I hope you continue your search for a solid answer that explains what you are feeling. Good luck!
 
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janellej

janellej

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Thanks for all your comments! I have not checked this site for many months. I am happy to report that I finally got an appointment with an ortho surgeon who was new to the practice. My original surgeon had retired, and none of his colleagues would see me. I tried more than once to get an appointment with that office, had to get X-rays on disc and send in, and I got another message, "The doctor declined to see you." Not sure why.

Anyway, I managed to get a 1-year follow up appointment 2/26/20 with a new doc. He said, "I am glad you are seeing me today, and I am sorry you did not see me sooner." He watched me get up and walk 3 steps, and told me my R leg was longer than the left. He could also see this on the X-ray. Consequently, when I walked, my R knee was bent all the time, and the R glute was firing constantly. It got fatigued and stopped working. So my sensation of having no support there was correct. And the paradox of feeling weaker even though I was walking more was explained.

The doctor assured me the hardware was fine, it was not likely to dislocate, and I did not have to use hip precautions for the rest of my life. He said there was no need for me to use hip precautions all those months ago. He gave me a heel lift for the L shoe, which I put in, and I was walking better immediately. I did not have PTSD.

My relief was immediate! I am now learning to walk again. The odd sensations have disappeared. I have ordered some additional heel lifts. After 9 months of using the wrong muscles, I am now making progress. It is slow, but I know that things are getting better. I am very glad that I can look forward to doing normal activities, which last summer I was told I could never do again.
 

Sparkly

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@janellej delighted for you. when I had my right hip replaced, it made that leg longer, it did settle a bit but I too used heel lifts they were great. The ones in the pic are the ones I loved as they were adjustable and didn't move especially in sandals. got them on amazon.
 

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janellej

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Thanks! The ones I have are AliMed, adjustable heel lifts. AliMed is a medical supply company in Dedham, MA.

I have been doing some exercises I used to do (before I was told I had to remain on hip precautions for the rest of my life). I think the exercises will help. The AliMed heel lifts are actually 3 layers, so you can adjust them to exactly what you need. I expect the condition will improve with time and the exercises.
 

Going4fun

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Wow. Glad you're getting some relief. This new doctor sounds like a prince! ... a sharp prince.
 

CricketHip

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That is some great news! I think I love your new doctor.. Oh my gosh, such good news..

Sorry you had to struggle as long as you did, though. A full year later!
 

Mojo333

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:hi: So happy to see your post and that the lift is making a difference.
Hope your Thursday is sweet.:flwrysmile:
 

Debru4

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It sounds like you had a very long, hard year----so glad to hear that things are looking up! :loveshwr:Just be sure that you don't get so excited to have your life back that you overdo. Sometimes when we no longer have horrendous pain, there is a tendency to kick up our heels and go for it. (Speaking from personal experience here!:heehee:) Since you've not been comfortably using all of those muscles over the past year, you are a prime candidate for overdoing---just saying. Take good care.
 

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