Nerve damage after hip replacement

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/2/2010 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
 I had a total left hip replacement 11/23/09.  Shortly after returning home from the hospital, I started having tingling, numbness and a burning sensation in my right thigh.  I was sent back to the hospital for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot.  I have since had it re-ultrasounded to look for fluid build-up and x-rays of my right leg and back.  After I stopped taking the oxy from the surgeon, the burning sensation got worse and worse.  I couldn't do anything, nothing could touch my thigh.  I went to multiple doctors.  I even saw my vein surgeon...who removed a vein in my right leg in 2006.  They said they didn't think it was a vein, but rather nerve damage from my surgery.  She put me on Ibuprofen, and a cream.  Neither did anything.  I started crying all the time, not eating, and growing weaker both mentally and physically.  I went to another doctor who said he thought it was nerve damage from the surgery and put me Gabapentin which helps alittle.  I went back to my PCP, whom I thought would just refer me to a Neurologist.  She upped my Gabapentin dose and added Percocet.  My orthopedic surgeon won't admit it's surgical related and said it's a vein issue.  Even after I have been to the vein surgeon.  shakehead I can't get in to a Neurologist till Feb.  I made an apt. for this coming Monday to start accupuncture.   Has anyone had anything like this happen to them.  How did they get rid of the constant pain ??  What worked, what didn't ???  How long did it take ???   I just need a light at the end of my tunnel.  I'm was hoping to go back to work the end of January...all the doctors know this..

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/2/2010 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear Virgil7,
      Good evening. My name is Dani. It is a pleasure to meet you. I do hope you are finding time to realx.
     I am sorry to hear your pain has become such a burdon in your life. I do hope you can find a way to effectivly treat your pain. And more so that your doctors can find a long term solution.
     I noticed someone had posted a story similar to yours. Perhaps the two of you could find a way to talk about different treatments?
      Hope you have a nice evening.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood



Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 1/2/2010 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Virgil,
Welcome to Healing Well. I am very sorry to read about the problems you are having after your surgery. Although, none of us are doctors here we sure can relate to your pain situation.
I am not real familiar with hip replacements except a couple of my friends have had them and done well. It does sound like you do could have a nerve problem going on. At least your PCP felt this way since  you were put on the generic of Neurotin. It is one of the medications used to treat nerve pain. Your dr can also increase the dosage of this medication as many people take fairly high doses of it for nerve pain to get relief. Most of the time pain medications do not touch nerve pain and they have to rely on medications like Neurotin for relief. Has anyone talked about doing an MRI on your hip with contrast or even a CT Scan with contrast. I know if you have metal in you an MRI cannot be done but a CT can be done. Nerves are very complex part of our biodies. usually if a nerve has been injured it will either over time heal on its own or it could remain the same. No one can really say for sure with nerves.
When the dr talks about the nerve in your hip are they saying maybe it was nicked during surgery or are they saying it may being pinched, compressed or what?
No, I am not one bit surprised the orthopedic is saying its not the nerve. They never admit they do anything wrong. One of the things drs are taught in school is to never admit they messed something up. Number two their malpractice insurance company tells them the same thing.
I would suggest that you go to the hospital where you had your surgery and ask for the medical records dept.and get a copy of your operative records. Just get the operative records and expect the hospital to charge you for the records. Operative records are usually 2-3 pages only so it should not cost much to obtain these. They may ask what you want the records for just say they are for your own personal use that ou always get copies of your records. I would then sit down and read the records to see if there is anything mentioned in them. You might even let your PCP take a look at them.
One thing I would caution you on is when you see the neurologist, I would not say anything along the lines of I think the ortho messed up. You don't want to scare this dr off and something said like that would. Just word it like you did here on what you have been told so far. I would also give the neurologist a copy of the operative records.
I am sorry I am of no help to you but I do want to say welcome aboard. I do hope you will stay with us here and keep us posted on how you are coming along.

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/3/2010 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Virgil,

Welcome to HW. This is a very supportive, caring group. Please stick around, we love to welcome new members to our little family!

I'm very sorry to hear about the poor results of your surgery. Realizing that you have a painful condition that might never get better is a very frightening thing. Hopefully you are able to find a good team of doctors (pain management specialist, neurologist, PCP, etc) that can put their heads together and get you some relief!

I can't recommend any specific treatments, as 1) I have a completely different pain condition (facial pain from a trauma) and 2) everyone responds differently to medications. What helps one person will not necessarily help another. Your doctor(s) will be the best judge(s) of what treatment(s) have the best chance of helping you reduce the pain from your specific condition. However, I can say keep an open mind. It often takes a combination of different medications and therapies to find some relief. Unfortunately, complete relief is very hard to come by, but with the right treatment plan you should be able to successful reduce your pain to a more tolerable level.

If you don't already have a pain management doctor ("PM" or "PMS"), I'd suggest asking your PCP or surgeon for a referral (most PM's require referrals for new patients). Some PCP's or other non-PM doc's are comfortable prescribing long term medication for chronic pain patients, whereas others are not. Either way a doctor who specializes solely in the treatment of chronic pain is more likely to be more knowledgeable about a wider range of treatments, as well as cutting edge procedures. Pain management doctors provide a wide array of services, from pain relieving injections and surgeries to medication and behavioral/lifestyle changes.

As for acupuncture, I think that is a good place to start. It is non-invasive and helps a great many chronic pain suffers. However, don't be disappointed if you don't see any changes after your first session/couple of sessions. It sometimes takes a few weeks of treatment to provoke that initial response. So if you can, plan on sticking with the acupuncture for at least a month before you make any decision about it. Along the lines of acupuncture, there are also other "alternative" non-invasive treatments out there. To name a few: homeopathy, Chinese herbology (your acupuncturist may be a herbalist as well), Osteopathy, cranial sacral therapy, massage...

I hope that some of what I have written you is of help. I hope to see you around the forum.

Best wishes,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/3/2010 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Quite a few of us do suffer from nerve pain caused by one thing or another.

Myself I have it thanks to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Gabapentin (sp) is just one of many medications used to treat nerve pain and one that can take quite a while to get to a theraputic dose, assuming it works at all since as mentioned everyone reacts differently to various medications.

Cymbalta and Lyrica are two other medications often prescribed for nerve pain as well and are also sometimes prescribed with one of the others. Myself I take 90 mg of Cymbalta per day and it works well for me. Like Gabepentin it has to be built up to a dose that is going to work, if it is effective for you. Lyrica is the same way.

I am not suggesting any course of treatment but you can always talk to your doctor about trying one of the other meds alone or in conjunction with the Gabapentin.

I do agree with getting a copy of your Operation Notes as well as any pre and post operation X-rays, CT scans and MRI's that may have been done on that area and take them with you to any and all doctors you see about this problem. Don't be too concerned about lugging around a lot of paper and films. Most hospitals place the radiology films on computer disc when requested by a patient. In addition to seeing a Neurologist I would think about seeing another ortho and have him review the records and take a look. I would just make sure it was one that is not in practice with the one who did your surgery.

Not being a doctor I can't say with any certainty what may have happened. It could be a lot of things from something going wrong during the surgery, which may or may not be anyone's fault, to a new problem, or even an old one that didn't come to light until you had your surgery and corrected a bigger issue.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/4/2010 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Just so you know, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, and Lyrica are all medications used for nerve pain as well as fibro, though Cymbalta and Lyrica are the only two that are "approved" by the FDA for treatment of Fibro.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 1/4/2010 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Virgil, another suggestion would possibly be lidoderm patches. These are normally prescribed for nerve pain from shingles. They can be quite expensive though depending on your insurance.

Straydog, not to differ, but I have had MRI's done with my metal in both cervical & lumbar fusion areas. Everything showed up fine & dandy.

Sorry to hear about your problems but I would definately get a copy of your hospital records just in case there has been a malpractice issue. Good Luck!!!
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 1/10/2010 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Having some bad hip issues myself, I can understand partly where you are coming from. I have a knee surgery last year that left me with nerve damage in my left knee. I have lose feeling in the skin around a 5 inch area in the knee and it brings alot of tingling and pain just from the nerves. It sucks that we have these issues and come out of a surgery with even more. I could not get the orthopedic that did my knee so admit any sort of wrong doing on their part either, what a joke. I have no found a medication to help out yet, but after a pm dr appointment I will report back if anything does. Well hang in there
Neurofibromatosis Type 1, PVNS left hip, Arthiritis Left Hip/Knee

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/11/2010 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Jag is partially correct. You can have MRI's done if you have metal in you, but it has to be 100% non magnetized.

Any more a lot of the metal used in medical procedures are made out of non magnetized alloys.

If you have had surgery and have had metal implanted in your body you should contact your surgeon, or if that is no possible the hospital where you had the surgery, and find out exactly what was implanted and if it is MRI safe.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/16/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I went to a Pain Clinic this week on Wednesday. Had a nerve block injection and was put on the lidocaine patches as well. He also upped my Gabapentin dosage to 800mg. No noticable result yet. Still have my fingers crossed. He does think this will eventually go away, it could take up to 12 months. I just want a light at the end of the tunnel. I can put up with it if someone just tells me when and if there maybe a pain free day in my future. I will keep you all posted. Virgil

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/23/2011 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Virgil7
I have had 5 total hip replacements done and I had wire removed from my hip and a new lining put in only 15days ago.
I can releate to the pain you are suffering from I have suffered with Chronic Nurological Nerve Damage for many years
only they have said mine was caused by all the surgery and scar tissue.  The medication I have been on for the last 2years are the following Lidocaine patches x3 12 hrs on 12 hrs off, amirtipytine 50mg, tramadol x8 a day, cocodamol x 8 a day and fentanyl patches  100mg per hr and on for 72 hrs and then reapply a new patch.  U~p until I had the last operation 15 days ago they were keeping my pain relief to between a 7 & 9 out of 10 now the pain is constantly over an 11 to 12 daily nothing I do seems to get it under control.  I haven,t slept  more than 1hr in every 24hrs for about 3 yrs, but they will never admit they did the damage to the nerves I only got the diagnosis from a Neurologist. mad
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