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Should there be pain in the thigh after total hip replacement?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 43 Questions
hello, i am the caregiver to my mother(69 yrs 5'0 approx 210 lbs), who just underwent a total left hip replacement on May 18th. (right hip was done july 2010). Her recovery has been typical however, for the past two days, she has complained of a shooting stabbing pain in her right leg (thigh) that is becoming increasingly worse. Is this normal? Perhaps just because her right leg is doing most of the work? She has a complicated medical history: insulin diabetic, subdurhal hemeatoma w. burr hole surgery, confirmed DVT (aug 2010 thru Dec 2010) just to name a few problems... Should she be seen to in the ER?
Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sangeet 3 hours later
Hello Khatter,

Welcome to XXXXXXX

Shooting pain in the thigh following THR needs to be attended as it could be due to the prosthesis impinging to the thigh bone or due to infection. Ask her to avoid walking if the pain is still present.

Follow up with the operating surgeon asap. He is the best person to assist right now. At the ER they will not be able to help with definite management. There is a high possibility of referral to the surgeon who operated it. However if the pain worsens, ER is the destination.

Please let me know about his opinion. I will be available for your follow up queries.

Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Should there be pain in the thigh after total hip replacement? 3 hours later
Thank you Dr. I decided to take her to the er shortly after I sent my question. . 6 hour wait.... Saw dr for 5 minutes. Apparently it is nerve damage as a result of the position she was lying in on her right side during surgery on the left side.. He Increased her elavil to 75 mg and follow up with family doctor. Not entirely satisfied with er diagnosis. I will be calling her surgeons office as soon as it opens.
Answered by Dr. Sangeet 1 hour later
Hello again Khatter,

Thank you for replying back to me.

If the pain is getting better, it could be due to nerve injury, as rightly said by the doctors at ER. This is not a serious concern.

But if its worsening, you'll need to follow up with your surgeons again.

Continue Elavil for the pain.

Nerve injury pain are likely to be temporary only and should subside within a couple of weeks. So, don't worry. Wait for a week's time at least.

In case she develops any other symptoms, please let me know. I will be available for further follow up.

Wish her good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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