Question:I had a total hip replacement almost a year ago. My pain is gone but I can't really do anything more than I did before the operation. Is this normal?
Several studies show problems can continue after a total hip replacement (THR). This is true even when pain is reduced or relieved. The reason for this can be decreased muscle strength or a lack of stability on the side operated on.
Patients report reduced walking speed and difficulty climbing stairs even when there's no pain. Part of the problem may come from weakness and deconditioning. These were present before the operation. Pain and inactivity result in this weak state.
A recent study at Texas Women's University in Dallas, Texas, showed that exercise even as late as a year after THR can make a difference. Check with your doctor about getting back into a rehab program.Elaine Trudelle-Jackson, PT, PhD, and Susan S. Smith, PT, PhD. Effects of a Late-Phase Exercise Program after Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Trial. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. July 2004. Vol. 85. No. 7. Pp. 1056-1062.
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