@SCee and @Phoenix1 It is very rare for anyone to become addicted to pain medications following a joint replacement ( or any other major surgery)! I know doctors are being hyper conservative with pain meds these days - necessary but this causes problems for those who really need them. Take the pain meds as recommended by your surgeon and when you start forgetting a dose then you'll know you are on the way to not needing them any more! I took pain meds before and after each of my surgeries - see list below - and was off them by 2-3 months post op.
Does anyone have experience with the lengthening of a leg weeks after surgery? I hear about the leg with the new hip feeling longer post surgery, but my leg is shorter. My PT thinks the difference could be as much as an inch. He put a lift in my shoe today to help my gait, which is really suffering from the difference in length.
I don’t go back to my surgeon until June. During my last visit at three weeks out, the PA told me the leg would stretch over time, but I really don’t understand how that works and there’s been no inkling of improvement since week 3 despite my pt and strengthening exercises. I know it’s still early - it will only be 7 weeks on Monday - but I think I would be more patient if I understood how it works.
It's very common to feel that one leg is longer or shorter than the other after a THR. It's usually because of a change of gait and the fact that your pelvis has been uneven while you' were trying to protect your painful hip before surgery. That's called a perceived leg length differential (LLD).
True leg length difference can only be assessed accurately by measuring two specific points on each side, one on your pelvis and one on your ankle.
This article explains: Leg length differential - LLD
I think that your surgeon's PA has misinformed you. Your leg won't stretch over time - but your posture and gait can alter, making the LLD less noticeable. (Remember that the PA doesn't know everything. He/she is there to learn from your surgeon.)
We usually advise against using a lift in your shoe until a while longer has been allowed for your posture and gait to re-adjust.
@SCee Don't do anything about your LLD until you are at least 3-4 months out from surgery. In most cases this feeling just eases. Some of this can be a tilted pelvis due to compensating for a sore hip pre-op. Things will balance and your gait will improve. Ask your PT to help you with gait training.