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Thigh Pain After Hip Replacement

There are many people who undergo total hip replacement surgery (THR), and some people often complain about thigh pain after the procedure. It is imperative to get to the bottom of this problem, since ignoring it could lead to some permanent damage.
Rahul Thadani
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
People who experience thigh pain after a hip replacement surgery should not be too alarmed with their condition, as this is something that is not unusual. Many people go through this ordeal after their surgery, and the severity of the pain usually varies from person to person. In most cases, the pain occurs as a direct result of putting too much stress on the surgically repaired hip, and it soon passes along.
The more time that elapses since the completion of the hip surgery, the lesser will be the intensity of the pain. Thus, it is normal to expect some degree of pain soon after the surgery has been completed. Apart from the pain, there is also a distinct clicking noise that can be heard for some time, though in most cases, there is no pain that accompanies these noises and sensations.
Nevertheless, one should start taking notice if the pain consistently increases as time goes by and does not subside on its own, which means that some complication has developed after the surgery. This is something that you must get checked by your doctor who has conducted the surgery itself, since he will be well aware of the exact condition of your hip.
The pain felt is usually concentrated on the thigh region of the individual. You should be aware of the possible causes of this pain, before you jump to any sort of conclusions.
  • The surgery may have ended up causing some kind of infection in the affected area, and this can end up spreading to neighboring body parts too.
  • Sometimes, the operation might have been carried out unsuccessfully, and the repaired hip may end up getting loose after a few days, or even some hours. There are plenty of hip replacement complications that one is susceptible to. This will be confirmed if the pain is felt right after the individual starts walking and performing other movements.
  • The surgery also affects many tissues and parts around the operated area, and this can also end up causing a certain amount of pain.
  • Any changes in the hip structure and the tissues will be extremely uncomfortable to live with. These are all problems that can be avoided if the doctor takes all the recommended precautions.
  • Possibility of ossification within the muscles, a fatigue fracture of the pelvis, nerve damage, or there can even be some sort of inflammation due to some reason. Sometimes, the thigh pain can be caused by some other factors completely, which will obviously need to be diagnosed.
  • A problem in the spine or some sort of vascular disease can also end up causing this kind of pain.
The exact cause can be determined by a doctor with the knowledge about the exact area where the pain is occurring, the time span for which the pain has been present, and what the patient was doing when the pain was first felt. It is important to remember that the recovery time also differs from person to person.
Managing The Pain
How to deal with the chronic pain is something that will differ from person to person. If you feel that the problem is persistent enough for you to be alarmed, then you must go back to the doctor who performed the surgery. Here are a few ways for pain management:
  • Some painkillers will be administered to you in the meantime, so that you can cope with the pain for the time being.
  • Physiotherapy under proper guidance of a specialist will help in managing the pain to a great extent.
  • To alleviate the pain, ice packs have been of great help, and it is doctor-recommended.
  • An individual can keep his/her legs elevated during the nights, this procedure also helps in reducing the pain.
With the help of an X-ray and some related lab tests, the exact problem will be ascertained soon enough. In extreme cases, a fresh surgery may be necessary to get rid of this extra pain. Studies show that about 10% of the people who undergo total hip replacement experience pain afterwards and require further treatment for their condition. The pain in itself is merely a symptom of a larger problem, and it is important to get to the bottom of the thigh pain causes as soon as possible.
An individual who is experiencing this pain must be strong and follow all the doctor's instructions. This is the only way to avoid a further relapse and worsening of the condition. Some exercises will also be recommended, and they should be performed sincerely. Refraining from strenuous physical activity is also vitally important.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.