Leg length discrepancy following double total hip replacement

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Does anyone have any problems with this.

I have one leg longer than the other which I believe causes me problems when walking and could be the answer to a lot of my ongoing pain. My surgeon says the MRI looks good and could not cause the pain. I also had screws fitted to my hip for stability. When I stand I am not straight and I do walk funny although I cannot walk or stand very much.

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  • Posted

    Thank you Sue and Ted for your reply, it would be nice if the surgeons listened to us and took notice of what we are telling them about the problems we are having and admitted to their mistakes and corrected them ASAP instead of dragging it out, as its us who have to suffer and go through the pain, i have been to my GPs today and now have to have blood tests for to see if i have a Nerve problem as my legs have started to get a stinging burning and itchy sensation in them and just wearing my cloths and sitting hurts and my physio has now again reduced how much exercises i can do, So i am really cheesed off at the moment and i have to wait until the 18th for my blood test to be done and i have another week to wait to find out what the problem is, i'm hoping its not the Nerve problem and just something simple like B12 and been put on Amitriptyline, i seem to have more problems now than i had before i had the operation.Sue i hope you do get better and things get easier for you and Ted i hope your wife gets better and things improve for her, good luck to you both please keep intouch take care,
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  • Posted

    Shirley, is the blood work for testing to see if you have metal particles in your system? I believe they call that metallosis. If so, hopefully that will come back negative. It did in my wife's case but the old one still had to come out but most of her issues have subsided with the removal and replacement of the first one. If the word metallosis was mentioned by your doctor, you need to google it and educate yourself about it so that you can ask some good question when you see your doctor again. In your case you may be fortunate that this is being addressed early rather than 4 or 5 years down the road. Good luck and health to you Shirley.
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  • Posted

    I just had a hip replacement 2 months ago.  My new hip is appx. 1.65cm too long. I am so distressed.  I am a long distance hiker and did this to improve the quality of my life.  Because of the discrepensie of the leg it casuses discomfort, even with a 2cm lift. I live in a cool New England town, and I've had to P.T.' s who heard about my case (did I mention my 90 minute operation took 4 hours?) and said, "Anytime you leave the operation room and your legs are not equal you have a lawsuit."  I'd take my old life back any minute...just be called 'Gimpy' on the trail vs. not knowing when I am going to ever hit the trails again.
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    • Posted

      Hi Norman,

      Sorry to hear you are having problems with your leg length discrepancies.  Prior to surgery I was told that this was a possibility and that is normal procedure here in the UK.

      Its still very early days for you so I would give it some time and hopefully it will settle down and you can return to your hiking after this period.  Good luck.

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  • Posted

    After complaining that my operated leg was longer than my good leg and being ignored by nurses, the doctor, the physical therapist, occupational therapist and probably the cook, I researched the reason and only got acknowledgment of the phenomena last week at my 11 week THR post-op visit. The doc finally told me that he made a small cut across the gluteus medias to get to my hip joint. (That's ALL he said. The following words are mine.) Until that muscle heals and becomes strong, I will limp as a result of the pelvis tilting when I walk. This is called a Trendelenburg Gait. Google it and learn what it is, why it occurs, what to do about it etc.

    My "bad" leg still feels longer than the good one but now I know why and I can work with that! I am still pissed that my legitimate concerns were ignored for so long or was it that these medical people don't know squat about hip surgery rehab. It was a very frustrating experience. I am an R.N. and would never have gotten away with (nor wanted to) such lack of teaching and lack of knowledge as some of today's crews apparently do. It's uncalled for. Patient education was foremost in my profession (cardiac nursing). Thank god.

    No sense in me blabbering on here when you can research exercises (clamshell, etc.) to do after your body has healed enough to withstand them. Don't rush it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue. I had THR last year, and i find it really difficult to walk and it's not long before I get a pain on top part of hip at the back? I had screws fitted too. I feel I've gone through all of that for nothing cos Im still am in pain, but not permanent pain as before. Had my first check this year, doc said they can help with this so he is transferring me to the Orthopedic department where they will measure the leg difference and provide me with shoes or inner soles to help balance odifference. 

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Elaine,

      I also had an insert for my shoe, it made no difference at all.  Although they say my leg length is minimal it does not seem to be to me.  I am still waiting to have remedial nerve root injections under x-ray and really hope this helps.  I hope your visit to the podiatrist helps and relieves your pain.  Good luck. 

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  • Posted

    Me again, hadn't finished message then it disappeared! Anyway, I'm hoping the pain is because I'm putting pressure on the longer leg as I walk, so if I'm balanced out pain will lessen even hopefully disappear for good! Fingers crossed. Just want to say I walk funny too, so you not your own with that. I'm only 52 and I work full time but I'm begining to think if these shoes don't help what next? I was out of action most of last yr and i really don't want to go through that again. I'm trying to be positive cos that helps.  Hope all works out for you. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Sue, I hear insert in shoes don't really help. I have a good inch difference with my legs! I walked around blue water other day and it killed me. I've always been a slow walker cos I have scoliosis with a slight curve going inward, so I have never been comfortable with walking. I was hoping after hips being replaced I mite be a better walker, unfortunately not my luck. Fingers crossed inserts in shoes help but I don't hold much hope. Wish I never had my hips done now.... Oh well we San but try. smile
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    • Posted

      Hi Elaine,

      Gosh I never thought I'd hear anyone else saying the same as me. I've told my surgeon, my GP, my physio, and anyone else who would listen, that I wish I'd never had my hip replacement. I have 2.5cm (about 1inch) difference. I have had shoe inserts but it only seems to put extra pressure on my scar area and increase my pain, if only we could turn the clock back!

      I wish you better soon... I think keeping in touch on this forum helps me to realise I'm not on my own with this situation.

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  • Posted

    This is one of my fears...they already informed me that they would try their best to make the legs even when doing my surgery but if not I would wear a lift until I had the left hip done and then they would even out ...I'm having a hip replacement and also have his dysplasia....
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  • Posted

    I can't believe in this day and age with computers and lasers etc, that this continues to be such a common problem. My wife got lucky with the revisit surgery after the first screw up 7 years earlier. I used to joke that when we went for a walk, if I didn't hold her hand, she would just walk in circles because the new hip leg was 1/2 inch longer. With the number and styles of shoes ladies wear, a lift is just not practical. And the resulting poor alignment will only cause other issues in the knees and back. These doctors are doing several of these surgeries a day, making money hand over fist. More needs to be done to get the length as close as can be. I wish you luck with your recovery.
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    • Posted

      I have discovered one reason for a shorter leg after THR.  Was your wife told what her hip bone size is?  The manufacturers only make two sizes of stems:  127 and 132 degrees, give or take.  If it's wider than normal (134+ degrees -- mine is 146), you'll end up with an acetabular offset and the leg will be shorter.  I don't understand why manufacturers don't make a wider neck/stem, and why doctors continue to implant a stem that's too narrow for some patients rather than insisting the manufacturers make more sizes.  Maybe it's money, or maybe lack of care for their patients.  But doctors don't tell their patients about the size of their hips versus the size of the implant.  But that's a possible reason for your leg length discrepancy. 
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    • Posted

      hi, Ted, my wife just had the surgery 2weeks ago. same problem,1/2 in longer than the good leg. the revisit surgery u are talking about, could u give me more info. about it? how it works?  is it so called revise surgery? thanks for sharing.
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  • Posted

    Hi sue, I had a THR 4 weelks ago.  The first day after surgery they got me up to walk and I immediately was stunned as I realized I was way off balance.  I burst out crying and was told that this all part of the adjustment to the hip replacement.  Now,over 4 weeks later I find that I have pain I my lower back, my knee and my neck.  I attribute this all to the additional pressure that is put on my left side due to the leg being longer.  I am walking with a severe limp, but do find the cane to help relieve the pressure from the left side.
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    • Posted

      Hi Kathryn,

      Sorry to hear you are going through this too.  It is also very early days for you, 4 weeks on is not a long time to know how you will be in the future.  It takes a while to adjust your walking, if you were like me you have not walked correctly for so long due to pain.  Persist with the exercises etc and hopefully it will improve.  You may need shoe inserts to help if one leg is really alot longer than the other.

      Keep going and I wish you luck with your recovery.

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