low back pain 10 weeks post hip replacement operation, still need crutch

I am 65 years old and have had my 8 week check up at the hospital post hip replacement operation. The x-ray confirmed that the hip replacement joint was fine and I have been given an apointment for a check up in 12 months.

My concern regarding the fact that I can't bear my full weight on my operated leg yet was answered with ' you're being a little hard on yourself, it's early days yet. I was advised that phisiotherapy was not necessary just increase the amount of walking.

Walking is painful as I have severe lower back pain, stiffness and sciatic pain in my operated buttock and leg. I do have a prolapsed disc L4 and L5 and was advised that the hip operation MIGHT impove things and that if it didn't nerve root injection might be an option.

Any obersvations or advice please!

4 Replies

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  • Like you (but am only 46)! I had total left hip replacement 8 weeks ago. I also have severe spinal arthritis and a protruding disc at L4-L5 which I was told was untreatable and am taking a boat-load of pain killers, my back pain was got under control before the hip op. with accupuncture, but has come back a vengeance. Don't forget that during the surgery you are turned this way and that, your muscles and ligaments are pulled around and I'm posititive that walking with crutches can really jar-up your spine. Also don't forget it you have a wonky hip you get used to walking a certain way to compensate for the pain and weakness, and when the wonky hip is replaced all your muscles and ligaments have to re-adjust so it's only natural they are going to complain. I was told at my 6 week check-up two weeks ago to just use one crutch for another week then give it up. There are times when I could cry with the pain and stiffness and sheer muscle fatigue and just want my crutches back. I know it sounds corny but you just have to work through the pain and get your muscles working by themselves. Little and often is the key, rather than wearing yourself out then sitting down and getting so stiff you can't get up again. I know it is agony and I'm going through it too, it makes you want to cry and just give up. I was offered nerve root injections for my back but as they failed for my hips I decided not to have them as the accupuncture helped, but am now reconsidering that option. Like you I expected to be up and bouncing around but I now realise I can't, it's hard to accept that even at my age I'm having to take things slowly, there are no medals for wearing yourself out! Don't be hard on yourself, I've been hard on myself and set unreachable goals. Give yourself a break, you have had major invasive surgery and your body needs time to heal itself physically and emotionally, just do a little bit, stop when you're tired, rest up then try again later, don't push it, you'll get there.

  • I thought I'd be alot better too. I'm 49 and 10 weeks after my total left hip replacement. I also have arthritis in my lower back L4-L5 plus a herniated disc, a torn disc, and squashed discs, pretty bad. Two years prior I had plantar fascia release in my right foot, which aggravated the left hip, then after seeing 4 specialists and finding one that would operated on me, cause they said I was too young, after the hip replacement, on my good leg, the whole thigh is numb, and I get pins and needles in it, nerve damage in my back the doc is saying, and it may take as long a 2 months or 2 years to get better! so I'm now walking, lost the stick after two weeks, but not as good as I'd like, my brother says I walk like a penguin, but the pain is still there in my operated leg, especially after physio treatments and over doing it, the muscles are still weak, I still have trouble and pain sleeping and I still can't get up off the low toilet seat, so I'm still using a raised toilet seat, or disable toilet where I can pull myself up, is that normal???

  • Hello, I was beginning to think I was alone with this. I am 63 hrs. O.d and 6 weeks out now. I have lower back stiffness and general stiiffness when standing, walking. I walk with a slight limp still . The operative leg feels light and the non operative feels very tight. I am wondering why I am like this and others are back to life in two weeks. I also have bad discs and prior to surgery I was undergoing the injection every 4 months as is "protocol" . Have you been able to to resume your injections? I am still having Physical Therapy but even with insurance it is very expensive. Have you tried and water activity? My surgeon says it takes time.

    Interested in any comments.

  • I've have been told to walk, just do lots of walking. I do physio in the pool for a few weeks, then I do my own water physio, mostly to keep cost down, and the exercises at home, all will still take time as people keep telling me, and not to rush, it is a full on procedure and time does seem to go slow when you are mending :)

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