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numbness in foot after hip replacement
An_224165 posted:
My right hip was replaced 7 days ago. I'm at home and mostly sleeping under the influence of percocet (with the foam leg guard in place). I do walking around the house when awake, and my PT exercises to music for as long as I can once a day (I'm up to 10 minutes).

The incision looks great and seems to be healing well. There are a few blisters from the tape in the hospital, but they're healing well, too. I have moderate swelling -- the affected thigh is huge, but I still have an ankle (last hip, I didn't have a visible ankle for more than 1 week).

This morning I woke up with numbness in the top of my right foot. Despite extra foot pumps and walking, the foot is still numb. The foot is not unusually cold or a funny color. It looks fine.

When should I call the Ortho clinic about this numbness? Could it be related to swelling? Are exercises helping or hurting?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Hennagirl responded:
Well, I discovered the source of the numbness: swelling. Yesterday morning I woke up with a foot the size of Memphis. So I spent the day elevating and resting -- and I took an advil and this morning the swelling is starting to go down.

I know swelling is totally normal for the first few weeks after surgery -- and my Dr. says it's not uncommon for the first year!

So, more elevation is predicted for my near future...
alisyn3ee responded:
I hope your doing better now.It's true,swelling is to be expected as long as it's cold and not warm.Cold means inflamation and warm could mean a problem with blood build-up in the swollen area.
I had swelling at my 6 week check-up last week and this is what I was told.I had my surgery on the 25th of August came home without any pillow guard and no restrictions..I came home used my walker 2 days and my cane 1 and haven't picked either of them up since.
When you lie down if possible lie on the opposite side with a pillow between your upper thighs.Big Relief.

The best therapy is walking..walking and walking as much as possible.I still can't tolerate rolling over onto my left hip incision.I would call my orthopedic Dr. and let him/her take a look at it.
Apply ice pack or frozen veggies to the affected area for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.I did this to the underside of my thigh and the swelling left.My Dr.said more than likely I had some inflamation in it.
I hope this helps. But do call your Dr.
Hennagirl replied to alisyn3ee's response:
Thanks for the advice! It's now 3 weeks since the surgery and I'm starting to feel great. The swelling is all gone. I can walk without the walker or cane (although it makes my DH feel better if I use the cane when outdoors).

My muscles are regaining strength, but are still bruised and stiff. And the part of the incision re-opened -- not huge, but thanks to the coumadin, would not stop bleeding for hours and is taking its sweet time to re-close. In the meantime, no more showers. :( And it still hurts to lie on the incision site.

Yes, I have the foam wedge -- the cats think it is their tem-purr-pedic and sit on it each time I use it. It's a godsend. Looking forward to the day when the wedge becomes a nuisance and I can graduate to pillows...

I've been doing indoor walking videos from Leslie Sansone -- which gets the heart rate going, incorporates all the moves my PT at the hospital said I should do, and has some walking moves, too. I'm up to 45 min/day. My outdoor walks have been shorter than I would have liked b/c I must walk with DH and he's worried about over-doing it. But we're gradually increasing distance. My 6-week check up is in early November, but already I'm amazed at how fast I'm recovering.
rottstin responded:
I had my hip replacement on May 10, 2010. My foot is pretty numb still. It was quite swollen and I went to my podiatrist. He said nothing was wrong when he looked at the xrays. That was 2 months ago. He gave me a referral for fitted compression stockings which I wore until about a week ago. I still can't drive. I am really frustrated because I feel things should be better by now. The orthopedist "doesn't work on the foot" and won't see me. Anyone have a similar experience?
Hennagirl replied to rottstin's response:
How frustrating!!! Your orthopedist should at least check you out. The numbness is most likely caused by the surgery in your hip. If there's pinched nerves involved, the ortho can refer you to a neurologist.

Keep being proactive! And keep pushing your doctors to find the cause.

In the meantime, are you doing physical therapy and walking? I like to use indoor walking videos -- it's a gentle push with the pace and I don't have to do any of the kicks, kneelifts, kickbacks, etc to full mobility until I feel strong enough -- just moving for 15 or so minutes at a brisk pace has helped me rebuild my muscles. WHen I my foot was really swollen and I was still not too sure on my feet, I did the workout within the confines of my walker so I had support if I needed. I really believe that making myself exercise helped reduce the swelling in my foot. Of course, if anything has sharp pain, stop. But a lot of my pain seems to be from healing and stiff muscles, which crave exercise.

Hang in There!!!!!!!!

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