Question:I'm very self-conscious that I still limp after a total hip replacement I had five months ago. Will this ever go away?
Muscle weakness is the usual cause of a limp while walking. Three to six months after a total hip replacement, the muscles around the hip are still only at 50 percent of normal. Limping is not unusual up until six months after the replacement.
Limping may even go on up to one year later. This is because joint strength and function are still only at 80 percent of normal. It's important to keep doing your rehab exercises. By five months you should be able to move past the basic program and continue to improve your strength.
Try to get back to your favorite physical activities. Any nonimpact sports you enjoy will help keep you on track for full recovery. If you aren't seeing some gradual improvement over time, ask your doctor if there are any special or unusual reasons why you are still limping. Perhaps you're a good candidate for an updated rehab program.Thomas Youm, MD, et al. Postoperative Management after Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. April 2005. Vol. 20. No. 3. pp. 322-324.
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