Thigh Pain?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m about 17 months post Right Total Hip Replacement. Ceramic on Ceramic and cement less. It took me about a year to really feel good running again. I was able to run some mostly uphill mountain races here in Alaska and coached XC running this fall and jumped into some 5K’s. My fastest this fall in trails was a 17:48, so I was really happy to be running again and getting fit.  I tried not to overdo it too. I was probably running about 30 miles a week with lots of just uphill hiking.  About 4-5 weeks ago I started to get some sharp pain in my mid- thigh, but would go away after a good warmup. Then eventually, it was so sharp and painful that it would stop my right in my tracks.  I could barely walk and now I’m walking with a stupid limp at times.

I went and got an X-ray, which they said the implant looked good and nothing was loose, so that eased my mind but I was still walking with a limp and pain at times. I also got an MRI done. I can’t remember the exact term, but doctor said it was a precursor to a stress fracture? Not sure I believe him or not.  When I look at x-rays/pics I can never tell what they are talking about.  He wants me to not run for at least 2 months, which shouldn’t be a problem because I physically can’t run right now if I wanted too.   It doesn’t hurt to bike or ellipticial at all. It’s only when I’m weight bearing. I am walking without a limp most of the time now, but I can definitely feel it when I take a few steps and try to run. Pretty disappointed. I hope I didn’t screw things up by running too much.

Anyone else experience this?  My plan is just to bike and strength train until the new year and hopefully I can run again.

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    • #17021

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m about 17 months post Right Total Hip Replacement. Ceramic on Ceramic and cement less. It took me about a year to real
      [See the full post at: Thigh Pain?]

    • #17035

      Sorry to hear of the sudden pain. I had surgery 15 months ago, and I’m still easing into running.

      I’d highly recommend that you go to physical therapy … If I had to guess, I would say your glutes are weak and inactive, not propelling you forward anymore. Thus the muscles that are activating (most likely in the front) are overwhelmed and thus the pain. That was my problem at 6 months when I went to PT. My therapist had me stand this way and that … and lie this way and that … and she pushed against my leg … asked me to resist … and she quickly concluded I had a weak and inactive glute medius muscle that is key for propelling us forward.

      It’s quite easy to develop a major muscle problem (and a glute problem) … because in the years before the surgery, we make compromises in how we walk and move … and also because just aging in our society tends to involve a lot of sitting and muscles can go to sleep.

      A really good PT should be able to pinpoint the problem and develop exercises to activate and strengthen the right muscles. (Sometimes we can have strength, but through office living and sitting, the muscles stop firing. You probably need exercises to strengthen and activate muscles.)

      Tip: find a PT that is really good … and that people report is fun to be around. Go online and find some place that is fun to go to. I’ve gone to PT multiple times and it was only at 6 months after hip replacement (when I was having serious problems running and moving) that I made sure to read reviews and I found a PT place that was so much fun … the clients chatted and cracked jokes … and there was great conversation. And none of this detracted from the exercising under close supervision of the PT.

      And because I loved the Pt … and loved the atmosphere … going to PT wasn’t work. It was fun. I never missed an appointment in 5 months. (You probably won’t take that long, but I also had back issues.)

      Sometimes surgeons can miss problems on the X-ray, but what they are looking for is generally that the bone (white on the x-ray) has grown into the device. They can see gaps if there is a problem with the device not binding to the bone. But sometimes surgeons can miss problems on the X-ray. I was having a muscle problem a few months back, and I went to my surgeon to make sure the device was OK … and he showed me how the white streaks on the x-ray (bone) was right up close (with no gaps) to the device. (Turned out some stretching fixed my issue.)

      The good news: Since you can apparently walk and do the elliptical without pain … I’m thinking this is most likely a muscle problem. Severe problems (device problems like a loose device) tend to make even walking painful.

      You can ask your surgeon for a PT script … a GP can also write out a script. Going to PT to resume running is actually legit.

    • #17080

      Hi. I had this, at 19 months (a year ago), where pain towards outside mid-thigh stopped me running for two months. Had been running well, had been out in the hills and mountains with few problems, but this killed running absolutely. Biking and walking were ok, like you. Tried to get an MRI from my insurer, they wanted me to see a physio instead so I did neither. Two months was enough, running became possible and long days in the hills seemed to fix the problem completely. My ceramic/ceramic hip is now stronger than my resurfaced one, which shows on Garmin and Wattbike data, and is good for running 2 hrs plus and 24:30 5k races – slowish because I last ran sub-18 about 30 years ago…
      Get the rest, see how it goes, hope you respond in the same way.

      Cheers, Pete

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