Linda G's Hip Resurfacing 2009

August 29, 2009

I was 51 at the time of surgery, but very, very active. I was in excellent physical shape and my Dr expected me to be one of his top patients in terms of recovery time, etc.

As Pat has said in her postings, no one recovers the same and you can never predict how your body will react to the surgery.

My recovery was very, very slow with many problems. The first was a tremendous amount of fluid retention in my right leg, requiring me to remain on my back with leg elevated for over a week. I walked the hallway every day with a walker for short periods but then back to bed to elevate my leg.

My hip flexor muscles were shot - I could not lift my leg even a 1/2 inch off the floor and it took months of PT to be able to lay flat on my back with my leg flat on the floor. The only way I can describe it in very non-medical terms is that it seemed that the muscles and/or tendons in my rear end and lower back seemed to have shrunk by a couple inches and I just couldn't straighten out. Not to mention the pain in my groin area. It also took about 6 months for me to be able to lift my right leg comfortably and to be able to bend over and put on my shoes and socks. My leg extension while walking (when your leg extends behind you) was very restricted and painful. I received the most benefit from deep tissue message therapy.

My Dr has expressed his surprise and disappointment over my recovery problems as I continue to have some limitations that were not expected.

Today, I can lay flat, but there is a sharp tightness on my backside at the top of the gluteus muscle. When I walk, I can not comfortably let my right leg extend back to the normal extension – if I do, I have a pain that runs from my lower back to the top of the gluteus. Since my gait is off, I have been experiencing a lot of lower back ache; my alignment is off and I have the constant need to stand and stretch my shoulders way back and then forward. My Dr is following me carefully and believes at this point that my psoas muscle (which, if I understand correctly, wraps around from the top front of the leg around to the backside), is the problem. I have had 2 cortisone injections into that muscle that provide some relief after a week, and lasts for about 2 weeks. At my one year post op appt, he and I will be discussing a surgical option that he has referred to as “releasing” the muscle and lengthening it. I don’t know if that’s what I’ll do, because of my history of post op problems, although my Dr feels it may be the solution.

So my story is somewhat of a success story. The hip surgery itself (ball and socket) was successful – no problem or pain at all from the joint and the x-rays are good. I am back to running, and doing just about anything I want without the hip pain. My problem seems to be with the major muscle and is causing me limitations in movement of my leg which is most noticeable when walking and is affecting my lower back.

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