Physical therapy after hip replacement

Posted by bbeebe1943 @bbeebe1943, Jun 21 8:25am

My ortho surgeon said PT is not necessary after hip replacement. I had the surgery 3 weeks ago and am still having considerable pain. I'd be interested in hearing others' experiences in this regard. Thank you.

Pain is normal after such a large and invasive surgery – remember, you had skin, muscle, etc cut – which has to heal. You has a bone cut, a new part pounded in. You were sewn and stapled back together. That is a huge insult to your body! Pain is the normal response.

You can control it with ice – far more often and for more weeks than you probably think – I iced 4 or more times a day, with large (12X18) gel packs, for almost 3 months after each of my 5 hip replacements. And a combination of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, alternating every 3-4 hours. Opioids quickly become part of the problem with their side effects and therefore docs try to limit their use.

As for PT – Try, try again to convince the surgeon! Or talk to your primary provider. I have detailed my experience before, suffice it to say that PT finally got me on track to complete healing. If you needed the joint replaced for a while, you either altered your gait, or limped, or both, so your body is out of balance. Also, with your new hip still hurting, you are doing the same again, it is called "guarding", to try to avoid more pain. Both of these need to be corrected so you don't develop pain in knees, back, the other hip, etc. Also a PT can show you how to progress your home exercise program to get strength back. Here is what Mayo has to say about it: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/joint-replacement-not-your-grandfathers-surgery
Sue

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@bbeebe1943
Congratulations on your new hip though I’m sorry to hear you’re still having so much discomfort. I’m not speaking from personal experience as I’ve not had a hip replacement. However, I have 3 friends within this past year who have undergone full hip replacements and each one of them worked closely with a physical therapist.
So I’m really surprised that your surgeon said it wasn’t necessary. From the experiences of my friends and my mother, who had a knee replacement, PT is an integral part of recovery and long term flexibility, range of motion and continued health of the new hip or knee.

Have you had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon yet? If not, call the office and request they set you up with a physical therapist. Generally they work very closely with the orthopedic surgeons to ensure a positive outcome to your replacement.

Were any exercises suggested to you?
I found some information regarding hip replacements and exercises. However, you should find out if these are permitted before trying them.
Wishing you a speedy recovery so you can get up and out again! Lori

Hopefully there are other Connect members who have had the surgery who can give you more guidance.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hip-replacement/about/pac-20385042
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15570-total-hip-replacement-post-op-exercises

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@loribmt

@bbeebe1943
Congratulations on your new hip though I’m sorry to hear you’re still having so much discomfort. I’m not speaking from personal experience as I’ve not had a hip replacement. However, I have 3 friends within this past year who have undergone full hip replacements and each one of them worked closely with a physical therapist.
So I’m really surprised that your surgeon said it wasn’t necessary. From the experiences of my friends and my mother, who had a knee replacement, PT is an integral part of recovery and long term flexibility, range of motion and continued health of the new hip or knee.

Have you had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon yet? If not, call the office and request they set you up with a physical therapist. Generally they work very closely with the orthopedic surgeons to ensure a positive outcome to your replacement.

Were any exercises suggested to you?
I found some information regarding hip replacements and exercises. However, you should find out if these are permitted before trying them.
Wishing you a speedy recovery so you can get up and out again! Lori

Hopefully there are other Connect members who have had the surgery who can give you more guidance.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hip-replacement/about/pac-20385042
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15570-total-hip-replacement-post-op-exercises

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Yes it was at the follow up appointment that he reiterated that studies
have shown that Physical Therapy was not that helpful when it came to hip
replacement he did not say that about knee replacement. Yes I was given
some exercises to do by the hospital but they were very generic,
one-size-fits-all.

I will probably get a referral from my primary care physician to do
physical therapy regardless of what the surgeon said. Thank you for your
good wishes and your advice I'm still collecting my thoughts and facts.

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@bbeebe1943

Yes it was at the follow up appointment that he reiterated that studies
have shown that Physical Therapy was not that helpful when it came to hip
replacement he did not say that about knee replacement. Yes I was given
some exercises to do by the hospital but they were very generic,
one-size-fits-all.

I will probably get a referral from my primary care physician to do
physical therapy regardless of what the surgeon said. Thank you for your
good wishes and your advice I'm still collecting my thoughts and facts.

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In reply to loribmt…@migizi I have had one THR and my surgeon did not recommend physical therapy, although my local orthopedic surgeon I was seeing for follow-up did recommend it. So, I think at about 4 weeks post surgery I tried PT, but found it painful and decided to continue with the generic at-home exercises and TONS of walking on smooth surfaces!!!!! For me, this was the best plan. Thus, different surgeons recommend different things, but you, as the patient, need to find the right fit. Good luck and I hope you will completely recover in whichever way works best for you.

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@migizii

In reply to loribmt…@migizi I have had one THR and my surgeon did not recommend physical therapy, although my local orthopedic surgeon I was seeing for follow-up did recommend it. So, I think at about 4 weeks post surgery I tried PT, but found it painful and decided to continue with the generic at-home exercises and TONS of walking on smooth surfaces!!!!! For me, this was the best plan. Thus, different surgeons recommend different things, but you, as the patient, need to find the right fit. Good luck and I hope you will completely recover in whichever way works best for you.

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Thank you for your thoughtful and probably correct assessment of whether or not to have PT. I am going to try at least a couple of appointments to see how it goes. Thanks again appreciate your response and good wishes.

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I had my hip replaced 3 yrs ago snd was started on pt first post op day. Continued fir I think 6 weeks with exercises given to me at home . I firmly believed it helped my recovery . Good luck

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Sue, would you confirm you had “5” hip surgeries? And, if so, what age were you for your first? And, are you glad you had all 5 surgeries? The reason I ask is my son is 31 years old and an Orthopedic Surgeon told him he will need left hip replacement before he reaches 40. That will most likely mean, he will need another hip replacement surgery on the same hip 15 to 20 years from then. Thanks for your reply.

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Yes – 5 – The first were in 2005, both hips 6 weeks apart – I was in my early 50's and should have done it at least 5 years earlier, but I was in denial until I couldn't walk up steps. The implants were a new type, touted to last for 30 years because both ball and cup were made of metal. I got pain relief, but had strange grinding and clicking feelings almost from the beginning, which the surgeon dismissed at my annual checks was "normal."

In 2009 – 2010 I began to suffer from strange hair loss, lumpy tissue in my thighs, fatigue – never connected it to the hips. 2010, he handed me a letter at my annual visit that said "some people are experiencing issues with the implants…" I was tested, and it was determined the metal was breaking down, causing metallosis (heavy metal poisoning) from chromium and cobalt being shed as the parts rubbed together.

In 2011, I had the hips replaced with conventional implants. Much muscle damage was discovered from the metal as well as the metal in my blood. Then, one of them dislocated (probably due to the weakened muscles) and had to be done again.

Fast forward 10 years – ABSOLUTELY I am glad I did it. I am able to do just about everything, except run on hard surfaces or participate in jumping sports. The surgeon is delighted with my results, and says these hips should last me at least 15-20 more years. I can almost keep up in footraces with my 5 year old grandson, and can climb hills and trees with him.

I know everyone doesn't have the same results, but from the people here on Connect, I see some commonalities in those who have success. Keep weight controlled to limit stress on joints, keep muscles strong and as flexible as your body allows. Don't smoke, and maintain a healthy diet. Do ALL the pre- and post- surgery therapy and exercise recommended. Maintain a positive attitude.

Sue

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@bjgwellness

Sue, would you confirm you had “5” hip surgeries? And, if so, what age were you for your first? And, are you glad you had all 5 surgeries? The reason I ask is my son is 31 years old and an Orthopedic Surgeon told him he will need left hip replacement before he reaches 40. That will most likely mean, he will need another hip replacement surgery on the same hip 15 to 20 years from then. Thanks for your reply.

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In reply to bigwellness….this is migizii….I had two previous hip surgeries (age 13,29) and I was told I would need THR by the time I was in my 40’s also. As it turned out, I didn’t have the surgery until I was 58. I will possibly need another one, as my family has long life genes, but one never knows for sure, when the surgery will exactly be needed. I am aware that exercise (not overdoing it) and maintains a healthy weight helped me considerably.

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@collierga

I had my hip replaced 3 yrs ago snd was started on pt first post op day. Continued fir I think 6 weeks with exercises given to me at home . I firmly believed it helped my recovery . Good luck

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Thank you

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@migizii

In reply to bigwellness….this is migizii….I had two previous hip surgeries (age 13,29) and I was told I would need THR by the time I was in my 40’s also. As it turned out, I didn’t have the surgery until I was 58. I will possibly need another one, as my family has long life genes, but one never knows for sure, when the surgery will exactly be needed. I am aware that exercise (not overdoing it) and maintains a healthy weight helped me considerably.

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Thanks for your comments.

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@migizii

In reply to bigwellness….this is migizii….I had two previous hip surgeries (age 13,29) and I was told I would need THR by the time I was in my 40’s also. As it turned out, I didn’t have the surgery until I was 58. I will possibly need another one, as my family has long life genes, but one never knows for sure, when the surgery will exactly be needed. I am aware that exercise (not overdoing it) and maintains a healthy weight helped me considerably.

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@ migizii
Hello,
I'm curious why you needed a replacement at 13.
My brother's grandson had a brain tumor then bilateral hip replacement at 15 and needs knee and shoulder replacements too.
He has a rare disease of some kind.
Thanks,
Jake

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