Author Topic: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?  (Read 1555 times)

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pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« on: April 25, 2017, 10:38:32 PM »
Hi All!
Thank you for this forum!
I am a little over 3 weeks post op left hip resurfacing - female, 48, and was in pretty bad shape before. I was doing great - used walker for 5 days then cane, and started formal PT last week - and that is when the pain started increasing. I use Aleve 2 tabs twice a day now, but last couple of days the pain is so bad I am crying, and it is mostly in the groin or lateral. At night I use Tramadol (50mg tab) or I can't sleep. I have to use the cane, and even then I feel weak.
I thought by 3 weeks i would be stronger?! Is this "normal"? My PT says to take a day off, may I overdid it, and I barely did anything today, but it is worse.
Otherwise, incision good, able to to my exercises, take care of myself, drive short distances.


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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 03:02:25 AM »
Plenty of stories on here that stand out where people are doing incredibly well after just a few weeks. But the reality for many quieter patients is plenty discomfort and challenging weeks, carefully not over doing things, religiously doing the exercise programme, and using incredible discipline to not walk a mile or two despite probably feeling up to it.

My point is, the memorable stories are not the ordinary majority, they are the exceptional few. So, take comfort that you have probably just overdone it and take a few days (yes, a few days, be very patient!) to get it under control. Don't feel bad about night sweats, or "still" taking pain meds. It is a serious op, we are all different, you sound perfectly normal, and being patient and taking it slowly (two crutches maybe at three weeks instead of accelerating to a cane already perhaps) will lead to the great outcomes so many enjoy.

I dare to say you will be just fine. Go to two crutches for a day or two to slow yourself down. If you are seriously concerned, call the surgeons office.

Let us know how you get on.
28 April 2015, RBHR Mr McMinn


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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 11:55:44 AM »
I agree with MattJ. Be concerned but not panicked by this. If after a few days of taking it easy and icing you don't feel better, call your doctor.

FWIW I was super good and careful for two weeks, then drove 600 miles to see my folks (well, my husband drove). Their house was two story and not set up for a woman who couldn't bend more than 90 degrees. There were new challenges on the trip and then when we arrived. And I am a big show off and wanted to reassure my folks that I was fine, so I overdid it. I had a new pain at about three weeks. I was forced to back off and make myself sit still and ice in the afternoons. The pain went away.

You just started PT and you have a five year old. Most likely this is just overuse.


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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 02:19:46 PM »
Sounds to me like a classic case of the PT being a bit too much. Don't forget, your muscles were just moved all around during the surgery, and they have nothing. Building that strength back up is a long, slow process. Think of it as the worst injury you've ever had, even though that "injury" was intentional and you'll feel a whole lot better when you heal. Muscles don't always cooperate, either.

I was still taking Tramadol at three weeks. I had this one spot that was really painful, and would spasm out of control at times. It wasn't all the time, or even every day, but when it hurt, it hurt. My groin area also hurt. Dr. P told me he made injections there (ugly bruises), and it seemed especially slow to heal and come back. (I suspect part of that was the muscles being warped from my incorrect walking from my dysplasia and arthritis.) IOW, it sounds like you're on the normal spectrum. My advice is to dial back a bit. One or more of the exercises is more than what your muscles can handle this week. Next week may be different. Of course, if you're even worse next week then it's time to ask questions.


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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 04:58:38 PM »
Sounds like you overdid it.

Your body will tell you if that's the case, then you have to do the hardest thing in the world - take it easy for a while.

I was still on crutches for about five weeks when I had each side done. Don't try to push it too much now, there will be time for that later.

I cruised for about seven months until my hips had completely healed and my muscles (especially the small ones that give you stability) had overcome their shock at being able to move normally (no more arthritis).

Remember that the first order of business is to let the HR anneal itself to the bone, make sure it's a strong fit. Then you can start pushing for more muscular development.

Both times, I had in home therapy for about three weeks, did simple exercises and stayed on two crutches. That was followed by outpatient therapy for about four weeks. Only then did I go back to the gym, working with a trainer to integrate my therapy exercises with my normal workout.

All of that though was with the limits that my surgeon had put on me and the advice I got here. So for six or seven months, no weight lifting greater than 50 lbs and lots of moving around.

Good luck and take it easy.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 04:59:41 PM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

John C

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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 01:40:39 PM »
Sounds like a case of overdoing it. Your progress has been very rapid compared to many of us. I was on and off crutches for a month and then a cane for another week or so. My surgeon was pretty adamant about staying away from PTs for the first six weeks and to be cautious around them for six months, since he feels that they often tend to over do it especially with resurfacing which usually involves more soft tissue damage and bone remodeling than most THRs. He gave some simple exercises to do every day, but did not want anything strenuous or any stretching during that first six week healing period. Remember that even minor injuries like a sprained knee or ankle take six weeks to heal before you can start pushing them. If you watch a video of a resurfacing surgery, you will see that there is a lot of soft tissue damage that your body is just barely starting to stitch back together, and the process of healing and replacing the initial scar tissue with the final tissue usually takes over a year. The image that I got from my surgeon was to be very gentle and just let the tissues heal for the first six weeks, then start gentle activities but no impact or aggressive activities for six months, and then to expect further progress for up to two years. In your current situation, I would consider giving it a few days to recover from overdoing it, and then listen carefully to your body telling you how much it can be pushed right now. As always, you should feel free to call your surgeon with any questions or concerns just to be safe and for piece of mind.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: pain increasing 3 weeks post op - Normal?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 03:32:40 AM »
 8) Hi Dancer. Take it easy. Cheers K
2019-2020 THR Left & Right COC Revision Zim Continuum cup with Biolox Delta Cer Liner, Biolox Delta Cer Head 40mm 12/14 Taper, CPT Stem Cem.
2019-2020 removal of Hip Resurfacing due to Metal Toxicity Cobalt - Chromium.
2015 MOM Conserve plus
2011-2013 FAI hip surgery failure
2007-Injury wakeboarding


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