I am 34 and a single mother of 2 boys. I have Rhuematoid arthritis which I have had since childhood and it has caused damage to my right hip. I was told 13 years ago that I would need a replacement eventually. The damage has gotten so bad that it has affected movement, i cannot lift my leg all the way and cannot even left my leg to grab my foot. I cannot ride a bike either. I am in pain sometimes but it is not horrible. I am considering a replacement now at 34 but not sure if that is too young. The restricted movement really affects my life. The doctor says I should recover quickly if I choose to do it. Is there anyone who has had this done at a young age and how did you feel afterwards? How long were you out of work? what was recovery like? Any advice is greatly appreciated Smile
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replied July 13th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
apk1003,

I have not had a total hip replacement, but maybe I can give you a little information. Rheumatoid arthritis is one indication for placement of a total joint at a young age. It is felt that RA patients already lead a sedentary life, and therefore are not likely to go out and abuse the joint after surgery. The main reason that surgeons want patients to wait as long as possible, is because the joints just don't last more than around 15 years, depending upon how much stress is put on them.

Most RA patients do very well in total joint surgery. A few things have to be managed before surgery though. You usually don't want to have it put in during a flare. Your medicines, especially steroids, have to be optimized. RA patients are at slightly higher risk of infection and poor wound healing, but nothing that is not manageable. It is preferable that you do as much physical therapy before surgery, so that you have as much ROM and strength as possible, at the time of the operation. The better condition you are in at the beginning, the easier it is to do rehab.

Getting back to work depends largely upon what type of work you do, of course. Barring any complications, must patients can get back to desk work by six weeks. But, the usual disclaimer - everyone is different.


The best persons to ask these questions of is your orthopedic surgeon and rheumatologist. They know you and your case the best.

Wish you the best in the future. Good luck.
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replied October 3rd, 2011
Hi

I'm 34 single mum of two girls. And I have just had two full hip replacements 6 weeks apart. I'm currently 6 into the second hip and its the best thing I have ever decided to.

mandie
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replied July 14th, 2011
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Hi apk1003 and welcome to ehealth...I guess we are a family of "limb replacement" surgeries...My husband having a hip plus both knees and our son having both hips done...He like you ran into problems with pain...It got to the point where he could hardly sleep at night...He was 46 for the first hip replacement and did the other about four months ago...

I would think with your being so young that you will recover quickly...As far as working, with his being an executive in sales, he was back at work around three weeks...However, if a person does a lot of lifting or walking around, it would take more time...IMO, doctors tend to exaggerate the short time for recovery...Obviously, many of they have not been through the surgery...On the good side he is shooting some of the best golf that he has ever shot in his life...He and his wife take their puppy for walks and he lifts weights so he is back to normal...

I guess I can't give limb replacement anymore of a "go forward" than this...We had a wonderful Orthopedist and followed his instructions....I hope this helps...Take care...

Caroline
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replied December 1st, 2011
THR with knee pain..
I'm 3 weeks post op on my left hip with left knee pain. The doctor said that it was because my left leg is 1/2 to 3/4 longer. Can anyone help me out and let me know if anyone has had the same problem.
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replied December 2nd, 2011
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Hollypooh,

Knee discomfort after a total hip arthroplasty is fairly common. It can be caused by several different things.


One of the most common causes is the same as what was going on in the hip joint, osteoarthritis. In some patients, they have OA in many joints, but the pain in the hip was significant enough to overshadow what was going on in the other joints. Then after the replacement, the pain in the hip is decreased enough, that the pain in the other joints starts to show up.


In some patients, after the THR is done, the limb is slightly longer than before. This can change to gait mechanics. Thus the patient may develop knee or foot discomfort from the change in the way they are walking.


Some patients have referred pain from the groin region to the medial side of the knee. This is due to the way the peripheral nerves work in the lower extremity.


Sort of associated with the first reason given, the patient can have other problems going on in the knee other, than OA. It is possible that the patient has a torn meniscus or ligament instability. Again, once the pain from the hip is decreased, then these start to show up.


If the knee pain does not lessen over the next few weeks, have your surgeon evaluate the knee. Make sure that there is not something else going on in the knee that needs to be addressed.

Good luck.
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