THR Tweb's Hip Recovery


junior member
Oct 28, 2020
United States United States
Hello! I’m new to this page but made my way here because I am about 5 months post op from right THR. I am 63 and have been VERY active athletically for the last 10-15 years. My left side hip/groin is being very bothersome and it seems as though that leg is a little longer than the operated side. I teach a cycling class and a yoga class and just started back with that about a month ago. Have been making sure I allow for a couple of rest days in between. I am also a tennis player and that is slower to come back-guessing because of the “impact” activity. My GP had it X-rayed and they said it’s normal. So in addition to the “rest” days I have been using ice and dual-action Advil to try and manage. But any suggestions or thoughts would be welcome.
It sounds like you're doing really well for 5 months out. Please give us the exact date of your surgery and which hip it was. Knowing these things will help us advise you better.

Here is some reading to help you manage your recovery:
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

BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

Activity progression for THRs

6. Access these pages on the website

Oral And Intravenous Pain Medications
Wound Care In Hospital

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 the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
Surgery date was 5/20/20. Right hip.
Thank you for your surgery date, @Tweb . I've done your signature and added your name to the May Marvels surgery group.

I teach a cycling class and a yoga class and just started back with that about a month ago. Have been making sure I allow for a couple of rest days in between. I am also a tennis player and that is slower to come back-guessing because of the “impact” activity. My GP had it X-rayed and they said it’s normal. So in addition to the “rest” days I have been using ice and dual-action Advil to try and manage. But any suggestions or thoughts would be welcome.
It does take a full year for all your tissues to heal from this surgery and you might have rushed back into sports activities a bit too soon for your hips. Can you ease off those activities a bit, and see if doing that helps? Rest, ice and elevation are still helpful in healing your hip.

As for the apparent leg length discrepancy, that is very common. Most of the time, it isn't an actual difference in length. but more in the way you held your hip before surgery, in an attempt to take pressure off your sore hip. This article explains:
Leg length differential - LLD
So the pain is in the left hip? The hip that was not operated on? Is that new? Many of us have arthritis on both sides, but opt to get the bad side replaced first. Then when we do that, the "good" hip begins to act up. I can't tell if that's what's going on with you.

What about the right hip, the one operated on? What are your symptoms? I got the surgery sorta early in that I could still exercise somewhat ... and I walked pretty much fine ... Took me probably nine months to a year before the soreness eased up when I exercised. And frankly, I just hit my two-year mark, and my hip is better than ever. I almost never have to use ice or a pain med after a hard exercise. So recovery can take time--and that's totally normal.
Yes pain is in the left hip which is NOT the one operated on. Right hip is still stiff but arthritis pain and pain radiating into my leg is gone thankfully. After the X-ray of the left hip was normal I began to think perhaps it is truly from my body adjusting to the fact that maybe I’m no longer compensating for the bad hip that is now fixed. But I wasn’t sure if that’s a frequent occurrence for others who have had THP. I had the anterior approach and so many people kept saying how they got back to Normal so quickly and how my physical condition should aid me in that so I think maybe my expectations were too high too soon??
Yeah, the whole anterior approach "thing" really caught on, but the truth is that there is very little difference in recovery rates. Could be that there is some pain in the left from compensating and adjusting. Could be the left was making adjustments and those adjustments meant that the muscles on the left side were not working in the way they are working now that they can trust the other side.

Recoveries take time and being in great shape doesn't guarantee a faster recovery. I was frustrated with my recovery at your stage and I went to PT at six months. Picked a really smart PT person who helped me a lot. I think all kinds of muscles had gone to sleep in the years leading up to my surgery--even though I was more active than most hip patients. My PT was as much about getting back in shape as it was about recovering from the surgery. Of course, those overlap. But if you consider PT, I say don't go to a PT who is just going to work you hard. Find someone really sharp and thoughtful, who can design specific exercises based on diagnosing specific muscular weaknesses.

There's a good chance though that your issues will sort themselves out over time. But since you're highly athletic (and probably had very high expectations--as many athletic people do) you might really benefit from PT, especially if you find yourself demoralized.

One of the secret benefits of going to PT is the way a good PT can calm our nerves and fears and help us notice subtle progress that we might otherwise be missing.
Tweb, I also was under the same motion that the anterior approach would be so much easier and it has created a world of frustration, guilt and impatience in myself as if something is wrong with me. If not for finding this site I don't know what I'd have done.
Thank you @Carolinagirl54 and @Going4fun for your comments and insights. I am trying to make sure I allow for sufficient rest days between activities and am only teaching limited classes for now. Reading the comments on this forum are helping me stay encouraged. I was in PT leading up to the surgery and they have been wonderful in providing suggestions for strengthening exercises. Unfortunately I had used all of the PT visits allowed by my insurance prior to surgery so have tried to limit my visits for the remainder of this calendar year. I may contact them again to see what they think regarding my progress at this point and see if they have any suggestions for additional exercises.
Actually returning to PT at the start of the new year is perfect. Because you'll be pretty far along the healing path and there's a lot less chance that the PT will exacerbate problems. That's the frequent danger of PT: they can often give people too much to do too soon when the soft tissue is still healing.

And don't forget to ice when you're sore. Icing is amazing.

Good luck.
What are your thoughts on using a “tens” electrical stimulation unit??
Hello @Tweb
Happy Monday to you. Don’t believe I’ve said :hi: yet. Welcome and thanks for joining us.
While I haven’t used a TENS, myself, many do and love it including the forum Nurse Emeritus, Josephine. Following is an article she wrote that you may find useful -

Have a lovely Monday and week!
Amazingly enough I have done two yoga classes this week that involved a lot of hip openers and I had been avoiding them. I still modified to suit myself and my body but I have to say these hip openers seemed to have helped !
Thanks for updating. Good news to hear! You‘re going on six months already.
Time sure flies.

I hope you‘re feeling steadier and stronger with each passing month.
You should be feeling great by the time we turn the page on 2020.
Wishing you all the best!

This article seems to describe my symptoms almost exactly!!
:cheers: congratulations on your recovery and getting back to the things you love.:yahoo:
Does anyone else in this group have trouble with achy hips and legs after you go to bed?? I can feel just fine all day long and then when I go to bed legs and/or hips start aching. It is sometimes one or both legs. Doesn’t seem to be isolated to the operated side. I’m about 7 months post op. Thx in advance.
Well...sometimes it doesn’t hurt until we stop. I guess my question would be what does daily activity look like for you?

Please share and we’ll try to go from there...
Wishing you a week of restorative rest free of aches and discomfort. :)

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