Author Topic: The 'other' hip issue  (Read 3384 times)

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The 'other' hip issue
« on: October 04, 2013, 01:18:58 PM »
Hi all,
Looking at week twelve on Monday. PT is going well.....I must be confident in my recovery because I bought a new pair of squash shoes this week.  No impact allowed until January.....

My question is: my 'other' hip is giving me more concerns than my HR hip. My physical therapist tells me this is probably due to compensation by that side but I thought that would go away after a short while. Have any of you experienced the same?  My fear is the other side is going the same nasty route as my operated side.
Hope all are well.


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 01:56:57 PM »
I would imagine that this is all part of the "aches and pains" that go along with healing. Do you happen to know if you have OA on your non operated side? As you know it is a gradual on set and I wouldn't think that it would just suddenly appear. I had both hips X-rayed after having had the first one done. My surgeon said as I skipped out of his office at 6 weeks post op. "I'll see you back here in probably no less than 2 years" (I apparently had OA in the other hip although was feeling no pain whatsoever) It did take exactly 2 years before I was back again much to my chagrin. So it does take a while. If in doubt go and have an X-ray on the other one.


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 02:31:42 PM »
Funny you should mention it. I'm at 9 weeks and experiencing the same thing. Not all the time, but occasionally I get symptoms in the non-operated side that feel similar to what I was having on the 'bad' side. Apparently I do have slight OA on the non-op side but Dr. Gross wasn't concerned about it. I'm also hoping that this is the body readjusting to normal posture after compensating for a couple of years.
It isn't bad enough that I think it needs treating but it seems like our anxiety level goes up after the surgery. I'll see how it goes over the coming weeks & months.
BioMet Left Hip Resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 07/2013


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 02:41:33 PM »
I have OA in my non operated hip, and it has been complaining more since surgery (1 month today). Before surgery it felt like if it was at the same stage as the other hip 3-4 years ago. Right now it feels worse than that, but it's true that the body is readjusting and also this leg has been under more pressure over the last few weeks and months.
Also, there is this "principle" that a bigger pain masquerades other pains, so when the bad hip was at its worst, the other probably wasn't felt as much as it would have been in isolation...

When I asked my surgeon "how long will it last", he says it's hard to predict: on one hand, fixing the other hip should help to re-balance the load and it could last longer; on the other hand "you will be more active as you won't have pain in the operated hip, and so the second hip might worn out faster"...
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 02:46:03 PM by whyme »
Left hip resurfacing (Conserve Plus) 2013-09-04
Dr. De Smet


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »
Mike...I feel your pain! I do have bone on bone OA in my unoperated side. I'm 13 weeks post op on the right side. The pain in my left is about 50% more now than it was pre operation. I think my right was so bad that I never really noticed the left as much. I have seen a dramatic decrease in ROM in my left as well.

I am heading to surgery in December for the left side. About 12 more weeks and I'll be a bilateral. I'm ready!
Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2013, 11:22:01 AM »
It is possible that your non operated hip pain was masked by the excruciating pain of your operated hip and now that that pain is easing your other one is more pronounced. But i would give it a little more time and if it doesnt get much better you may want to get some more imaging studies on it. Sorry that has happened and hopefully it will resolve once you get back to normal activity. good luck


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 12:16:18 PM »
I too have experienced a similar situation.  I had BHR on my right hip in Mar 2011.  At my 6 mo check  I told my doctor the left side was bothering me more than the surgery side.  He X-rayed it and there was little or no OA.  He prescribed a cortisone shot and PT for it and thought it could be more of a muscle issue.  A year later it had deteriorated so much he recommended surgery for it.  I had surgery last week and it now feels fine.  I never did understand how it went from having little or no OA to surgery in 18 months.  I don't know if I overdid walking or exercise on the original BHR and that caused extra strain on the non-surgery hip.  Both hips feel great now (like greased ball bearings) but I don't understand what happened.


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2013, 01:14:26 PM »
I don't think you overdid anything.

I just think that things are not linear in injuries and life in general.

 My "good" hip (not very good at all) was scheduled at the same consultation for three months after my first. There was no question in the doctor's mind, but to me, it felt much better than the first.

Not long after the first was done, I was doing physical therapy, and eventually, the operated side felt much better despite the healing that was going on.  The second side began to complain loudly and beating cymbals because suddenly I was on a stationary bike, pumping away, or walking much longer distances than before, etc.

As my operated side got its giddyup going, my other side seemed to wither under the new movement. By the time I got to three months and the second surgery, it had had it. I was more than sure that it was time and looked forward to the relief of the procedure.

I particularly noticed it when walking with my daughters to a restaurant at a mall. My left leg was walking along with no problem, my right was trying to keep up, when it hit the ground before it "had" to. I had a huge shock of pain distribute from my hip to everywhere. I grunted in pain, and stopped. My daughters had a scared look to them, and I told them ... just one more week.

So to me, it's probably a combination of things - more is being asked of the joint now that you have one strong side, the deterioration is not linear, and the pain from the first may have masked what the second was doing.

None of it is good, and all of it leaves with the operation, so for me, the second (having had the good experience of the first) was a godsend.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2013, 01:17:55 PM »
Hi Mike,

Sorry you are having trouble with the other one. It really sucks to go through all the crap that comes with this (the pain, disability, uncertainty about the operation) for one hip, get through surgery and recovery (or at least well into recovery, 12 weeks) and then get sucker-punched by the other hip.

I'm with whyme (in particular) on this one, at least in my case. The really bad hip was the canary in the coal mine. As I did less and less over the final few years before surgery on my worse hip, the "better hip" didn't get as damaged or irritated. Once the worse hip was fixed and I became more active, the other hip began to go very fast. In my case, it was about six or eight months post surgery that I started to notice pain on the unoperated side. Twelve weeks sounds pretty quick, but maybe you have been more active in the early going than I was.

This all seems pretty common, particularly with people who have bilateral FAI. If you have FAI and are active, it just seems almost inevitable that the cartilage will get wrecked.

Get an up-to-date x-ray and compare it to the x-rays they took of your hips over the last couple of years. In mine, the degeneration in the unoperated hip is visible even to my layman's eyes.

As you are already experiencing discomfort, and because you are north of 40 (I think) it may already be kind of late (in terms of amount of damage done to the cartilage) for a great outcome for a lesser surgery (less than joint replacement, that is) but you probably shouldn't waste any time in exploring that option.


RHR April 2012.
LHR March 2014.

Both Biomet Magnum/Recap 54/48, by Dr. Thomas Gross.


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 05:50:49 AM »
4 weeks and 6 days   Till  surgery. One would think I'm counting down. This can't come quick enough.
My other hip has been giving me the pips for a while. A burning sensation. My whole body is out of whack. Even though I hAvent had surgery yet resigned myself that undoubtedly the other will require surgery in due course. I am so looking forwArd to coming out on the other side ( as in 2 useable hips) 1 god willing that will be of service for a number of years yet
RBHR 11/11/13 by Stephen McMahon @
The Avenue Hospital Melbourne Australia


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Re: The 'other' hip issue
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 08:17:10 PM »
Great responses from all....many thanks. I'm balls to the walls working both hips now to get some 'balance'. It is helping and I'm working with fingers crossed that the 'good' side is adjusting. Time will tell......



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