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Opposite hip problem

Lifecyclist

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Hi, everyone. New member here. While bicycling I was hit by a car in March 2020, and required a left hip replacement. Recovery went well, and I had a good deal of therapy. I was in pretty good shape, walking normally and pain-free for a long time. I even got back on the bike a little.

About two months ago though, I started having problems with the OPPOSITE leg. I feel as though I am putting 75% of my weight on that leg, and my right hip (uninjured) hurts and the muscles in that leg hurt, especially climbing stairs. And the muscular pain has spread to the left leg now. I have to walk slowly and stairs are painful. My right foot gets tired and painful when driving due to strain on the gas and brake pedals.

My primary doctor had X rays taken of the right hip and lower spine, and nerve function tests on that leg. The X rays did show some arthritis and the nerve tests were negative. He also suggested PT and pain medication.

Still, it's weird to have such pain on the previously painless, uninjured leg so suddenly. Does anyone have an explanation? Or what avenues I should explore? I'm usually very active, and it's really impacting my life to have to deal with this unexpectedly.
 

Going4fun

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Hip arthritis pain frequently comes on suddenly. That's quite quite typical. I mean once day I was dancing and running fine, and then one day I woke up to extreme tightness and soreness in my inner thigh.

I don't know if this sudden shift occurs because below a certain threshold, pain doesn't really distract us--like we can ignore minor aches and pains and then it crosses to another level and we can't ignore it? I don't know.

Just to clarify, you feel you are putting 75 percent of the weight on the left leg, the side that was operated on?

So how bad was the arthritis on the X-Ray of the right hip, the non-operated side? There is no exact correlation between pain and deterioration that is shown on an X-Ray. Severe pain can occur with varying degrees of visible arthritis as seen on the X-ray. (Life is rarely straightforward!)

I'd go beyond the primary person (though there are lots of great primary folks) and head to an orthopedic surgeon for new X-rays and new readings-interpretations of the X-Rays ... The ortho will probably want X-rays on both hips and possibly both knees to get a better sense of what's going on. Since you can't really explain the pain right now, I'd definitely request X-rays on hips and knees and on both sides. You have to be really open-minded going into this. You want to confirm that the operated hip is fine and hasn't suddenly gone bad and you want to check the non-operated hip (and both knees).

In my experience orthopedic surgeons have a much better sense than primary doctors of being able to read the X-rays and hear the patient's pain levels--and to put those two together to figure out what's going on.

I would do that before I'd go to PT. Now if a surgeon rules out arthritis as the cause of this pain or can't find a reason, then I'd recommend you go to PT. But start with the obvious first.

Good luck. Sudden and odd pain can be so frightening.

Oh, please write the exact date and side of your surgery so the site moderators can post that. That's key information to have.
 

subie2021

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Sorry that you're having problems.
In my experience these kind of painful but non-specific problems require a step by step process of elimination from health care providers. It can be frustrating.
It seems at this point your option is to go with the pt and meds and see if things get better. The therapist might be able to see something the doctor didn't. If a course of pt doesn't help, you might see a physiatrist or a pain management doc. Physiatrists are schooled in physical medicine and rehab; pain management doctors see lots of different problems and might have some different insights.
Maybe you would be able to skip the pt step, but again IME, the other options just recommend the pt anyway before they go further.
Good luck. I hope you get some answers soon.
PS...if you have muscle pain, have you given yourself a few days off from activity, used an OTC pain med and/or heat and ice? We're pretty big on rest and icing around here LOL
 
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Lifecyclist

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Thanks to you both for your considerate replies.

The operated side is the Left. The main focus of my post is the Right, where it feels I'm putting more weight down when walking. It looks like I'm walking with a limp.

I will probably give a call to the surgeon who did the operation. I do have a CD with the earlier X-rays on it to show him too. But if it looks like a long while till I can get an appointment, I may start with the PT anyway. My primary doctor didn't tell me what degree of arthritis showed up, just said "arthritic changes." I should have asked.

I'll have to look up the exact date of surgery...will write it here when I find it.
 

Spex10

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I'm having a lot of pain of a completely different kind from the type experienced before my R hip replacement. Unfortunately this new pain is in my Left hip! It radiates over my hip and down to my thigh muscle. It's a sharp hot very sudden shaft of pain that sometimes makes me cry out involuntarily when it strikes. Quite embarrassing at times!
I'm sort of hoping pathetically that it'll go away. I suppose I'll have to try to see the orthopaedic surgeon at some point and set all sorts of assessment in train. Depressing prospect. @Lifecyclist - you are not alone!
 

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