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Terrible Pain & Shorter Leg and Limp after hip replacement
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An_206596 posted:
I am a 58 year old woman, with artritis, osteo (moderate), and 4 months ago had my other hip replaced. ( 4 years ago the same doctor successfully replaced my left hip) On Sept 21, 2010, I had the same doctor replace my Right hip. I have now a shorter leg, and constant pain, of various degrees in my Right leg. My first implant was all metal, this one is all porcelain. I noticed the leg length difference almost immediately( as soon as I started physical therapy at home, the week after surgery. The Doctor told me that my leg was shorter to begin with, and at the time of surgery, when he measured it after the operation, the leg lengths were "Almost Perfect" and to give it some time. Now it is over 4 months, the pain has increased, and he tells me the hip has subsided into the bone, and that that is the reason for my length discrepancy, and that possibly the bone has not grown properly around the implant. I have gone to another doctor, for a 2nd opinion, a Doctor he knows, and he reccomends that I do a lot of physical therapy, and have it re xrayed in 2 months, to see if it looks any different. He has said that it will possiblly improve my limp( depending on who you ask, my leg is between a 1/2 and an inch shorter than the other.
I stopped all physical therapy, with the exception of walking, at the beginning of December. Tomorrow, 1/28, I have a follow up appointment with my Surgeon, and his office called today to schedule my surgury for 2/25. WHAT DO I DO? Do I have it operated on again, and what are the chances of it correcting my legnth, and eliminating the pain. I have much more pain, and if different areas than I did before my operation.. I am confused, and don't know what to do. sincerely, C S
PS, I was very active before the hip replacement, being a hiker, dancer, and only had the hip done now because I was afraid I would not be able to continue to pay for Health Insurance! It wasn't nearly as painful, and it wasn't constant, as IT IS NOW!
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_swank_ responded:
I can't tell you what to do. However, the leg length discrepancy is easy to fix by just putting a lift in your shoe. My physical therapist gave me one. It works perfectly.
 
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annette030 responded:
My husband had AVN in one hip leading to a THR a couple of years ago. His bad leg was over an inch shorter than his good leg when he had the surgery. He was just putting shims in his shoe to even things out as best he could. He just used heel lifts that he got at the drug store and kept stacking them up. After surgery, the two legs were equal in length again.

If I were you, I would just ask the orthopedist for a lift to try and even things out.

My husband had no PT after surgery, he was just told to walk as much as possible. The surgeon told him he would try and even out the two legs, but that was something that he could not guarantee would be fixed by surgery.

I would get another orthopedic opinion, but from a doctor who is not connected in any way to the original doctor. One who does not know him at all would be best. One who does a lot of revisions would be good.

Take care, Annette
 
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Chris2491 responded:
I have also had a THR since 2008. When I told my physician/surgeon that I felt my feet were different lengths, he made me feel like it was "all in my head"....If he would have told me that was going to happen "prior to surgery" I could have been ready to take steps to prevent this pain I'm in all the time.....I had "mild" scoliosis and with the leg length difference it became quite "severe."
I now am wearing a "lift" in my right shoe to make up for the difference in leg length. (This "helps" but does not eliminate the pain.)
I also take a prescription pain medication for arthritis, but the "warnings" on the med caution about "heart attachs" as being a possible "side effect" if taken for a long time.....so I alter every other week or so with an extra strength acetaminophen, (fast acting).....This is the only way I am able to "walk now." (I "also" used to jog and ride my bike befor the surgery.)....now I'm happy just to be able to do my "walking" around the area and on my treadmill......along with some "light" bicycling.
I know this doesn't paint a "pretty picture"....but it's better than being in pain all the time and not "enjoy life."


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