Author Topic: resurfaced leg shorter after surgery  (Read 6707 times)

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resurfaced leg shorter after surgery
« on: March 06, 2010, 07:49:30 PM »
I had my left hip resurfaced 3 and a half months ago and am due to have my right hip resurfaced 8 weeks from now.  The result so far has been great in as much as the pain on the left side has gone.  However, my left leg is now an inch shorter than the right causing me to walk with a very odd gait.  As I still have a lot of pain in the right hip walking far is difficult but is made much worse because of the difference in leg length.  I am particularly concerned  as i have read posts relating to resurfaced legs being longer after surgery.  What if my right leg is even longer after the next surgery?? I have not had chance to speak with my surgeon regarding this and I really hope I can get to speak with him before my next op which is soon!!

Worried saffy


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Re: resurfaced leg shorter after surgery
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 02:09:16 AM »
I would think the resurfaced hip would be longer as I had mine done 2 months ago and it's only 3mm longer. I'm guessing you're getting your right hip done by the same surgeon?

Pat Walter

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Re: resurfaced leg shorter after surgery
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 11:50:25 AM »
Hi Saffy

Was your left leg shorter berfore surgery?  It is very unusual to have a leg 1" shorter after surgery.  Does it feel shorter or has it been measured by the surgeon?

Who did your surgery?  I have only read about a very, very few people that had legs that short.  I think you should ask more about the situation.  Why it is so short and what the surgeon is planning for the next surgery.

Since they don't remove much bone from the femur, I don't' see how he/she made your leg that short.  Did he/she have to remove too much bone from the acetabalar and put the cup too deep?  You need to ask what the doctor did that resulted in such a short leg before getting the next surgery done.

If this was a mistake, then I would definitely be getting a second opinon and use a different surgeon.  Having such a difference in leg length will cause you a great deal of problems.  Back, knee and other probelms are going to result.  This is an important issue and you need to find out what is going on before getting the other hip done.

I don't want to alarm you, but this is an unusual case and I am not a doctor.  I would suggest asking a lot of questions and getting another opinon or two before getting another surgery.

Leg lengthing is not done a lot with resurfacing - there is a very limited amount that can be done since there is not a big rod being pounded into the hip.  I think about a 1/4 of an inch is about the most.  Again, I am not a doctor, but know you can't lengthen a leg very much with resurfacing.

Please understand that I am not a doctor and only know limited amount of information from reading other people's stories and attending resurfacing conferences.  That is why I always suggest contacting the top surgeons for second opinons in unusual cases. 

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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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