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Pain after Hip Replacement
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Pain after Hip Replacement

I had a total hip replacement in Nov. 1996 and suffer from chronic pain from the THR. The images are good, only thing the Orthopods do is check for loosening, I have been to many of them.
If they cannot see anything wrong then there is nothing wrong, I remember how fast they found something wrong to perform a surgery!! Many people suffer as I do and connot prove it, logic used by the Orthopods; if it cannot be seen it does not exist.
A doctor at the Veterans Hospital said her father had a similar experience and I would probably never find the source of the pain. She did give me some pain meds and I was able to live a limited activity, almost pain free life. After three years I did develope a "tolerance" to the oxycodone. I would expect doctors would want to learn why I was in pain but they do not get paid for that and it just don't happen. The other day I talked with a man who had been using a walker for more than two years after a hip replacement, he said they could find nothing wrong. The test of a THR is developed to produce favorable results, only when there is a "train wreck" is the surgery questionable. Would like response from anyone who has the same problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Bill:

Post surgical pain is a common finding.  When there is major surgery surrounding a joint and strong muscles there is often nerve damage from the surgery.  However, there is damage also before the surgery and this is only compounded by the surgery itself.  We try our best to limited and correct the problem, but sometimes we can only do so much.  I wish it there were ways around this, as techniques flux through and get better we will have better results.  I don't agree that if we don't see it we don't believe it.  At least from our point of view (meaning me in this case).  Traumatized nerves, cut nerves, etc often can not be picked up by our current MRI sequences.  Maybe as MRI techniques improve we will be able to diagnose more.  We try and rely on our patients to tell us what is going on.  However, I must say, we sometimes just don't know.  I am sorry that you are having pain.  I would recommend trying something that is not addicting for your pain, maybe neurontin.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Because the xray did not show any abnormality it was a closed case, good THR. As for the pain it is was real, no doctor would attempt to find the source. There are factors that doctors do not care to listen to. The Orthopod who did the surgery said I would get a better prosthetic if I went to "his" hospital, the one he worked out of. It was convenient for him, in the middle of his two offices. It was a hospital where too many things went wrong and it was the last place I would have gone. Only because I was told my chances would be better at Johnson Memorial Hospital did I go there. I have Medicare and never could get info on the Orthopod's fee, they had info on all other charges. Implant manufacturers do pay for research on their devices I cannot wonder if this was the case. Everything is not disclosed to the patient, Medicine is a For Profit Business which means profit is most important, not patient. I have heard doctors working with insurance companies say "we are losing money on this patient".
A doctor would have never tolerated what I went thru as a patient! Yes I have tried Neurontin, it was never offered, I had to ask for it. I was never offered neurology, why? There are a few sincere doctors left somewhere, I hope, I have not seen one.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have used neurontin, still do. It was never offered by any of the Orthopods, I asked a GP and he gave me a script for it.
Sometimes it does seem to help but not much. I have Spinal Stenosis and Osteonecrosis. Right Hip was replaced in Nov, 1996.
Right hip and leg are painful, from the day after the surgery I experienced a lot of pain. There was no Spinal Stenosis that I was told of. Now it is convenient to say pain is referred from the back, now that there is Spinal Stenosis. A short time after surgery it was weak muscles causing the pain, said the Orthopod. Physical Therapy was agony, I was doin 10 push ups three times a day before the surgery and was in good physical condition. I was told by the PT at the nursing home I should not have such severe pain while doing the excercises, I did do them and wonder if I could have caused damage because of it. If not for the pain meds I would have gone back to the nursing home, it was that bad and still is. I have moved several times and plan to go back to NC.
I asked the Chief of Ortho Surg at Duke if he knew or could find the source of the pain in the prosthetic hip. He said he could cut me open but It could cause more harm and damage than I already had. I asked the doctor here in PA if an MRI would be appropriate for images of the prosthetic hip, he would not answer, just gave me a script for an MRI of the hip. I went to the MRI Center and asked, a tech said they do many MRIs on prosthetic hips, the report said no good images were seen because of Artifacts. Why did the doctor not know this, why did the MRI Center not know this? Perhaps you can understand my frustration with the Medical Community, all the doctors know about AVN, how much do they know? Probably nothing beyond the text book definition. I had a bone scan the other day, the script read "check for loosening of the right hip". Several positions were imaged but the report said "right hip normal". I told the tech I had pain in both hips, back and right leg. The report did not have any of this info. I had a bone scan about a year ago, it did have a lot more information including the Spinal Stenosis. I am not too good at finding doctors, anyone can get their name on a referral list, usually those that need the business. I asked who pays for a listing in the referral, the answer was vague. Doctors do get angry when asked questions, I asked about the dangers of Prednisone, especially if given to someone with Osteonecrosis.
Steroids are a cause of AVN but Orthopods give it a try, some patients use it and complain they would never use it again. As for the advice agains using pain meds often nsaids are plentiful and some do work for some people. I think Ibuprofen is cheap and works better than some of the nsaids. If it helped I would be using it now. Am I to believe doctors don't use pain meds such as opiods? When the pain is so bad you cannot walk and taking the pain meds allows you to walk the choice is obvious. I often see messages from people searching for "good" doctors which implies there are "bad" doctors. Would you pick a name out of a hat for a doctor to perform a surgery on a member of your family? Too many are businessman with degrees in medicine.
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